3D printers are a great way to get your part, but if you’re impatient, then you want the fastest on the market. At the same time, you don’t want to waste money or compromise on quality.
Don’t worry; this extensive list has you covered.
We will dive into the fastest FDM printers, then take a look at some resin options. Afterward, we’ll take a look at what print speed is good for a normal printer and why printers can’t go faster.
Let’s take a look at some of the fastest 3D printers available for you to buy today.
Table of Contents
- FDM 3D Printers
- Resin 3D Printers
- What is a Good Print Speed for 3D Printers?
- Relationship Between Speed and Quality
- Limiting Factors for Speed
- How to Make a 3D Printer Faster
FDM 3D Printers
3D Printer Type: FDM | Materials: PLA, ABS, TPU & PETG | Build Volume: 250 x 250 x 300 mm | Max Print Speed: 250 mm/s
Folks, this is Avengers: Endergame. Creality is known for putting out affordable and high-performance printers (most notably its Ender series) and this one is its fastest yet.
If you’re looking for a fast FDM printer for production, look no further. It literally can’t get better than the Ender 7.
This is a heavy printer at 17 kg — so you might want to enlist some help when moving it around. (Your spine will thank you.)
This weight is for two main reasons:
- Fast printing speed requires heavier and more robust stepper motors, and;
- More weight equals less vibration, so your printer doesn’t wobble around like a washing machine at top speed
This is a CoreXY printer. The CoreXY structure differs from your typical run-of-the-mill Cartesian printer in that it distributes weight on the printhead rather than on the X and Y axes.
This makes it print much faster than standard 3D printers.
In fact, the Ender 7 is up to 80% faster than the Ender 3 — and this difference is especially noticeable in big prints. It has an INSANE speed of 250 mm/s, which… speaks for itself, pretty much.
This heavyweight champ also offers a huge build volume of 250 x 250 x 300 mm. For home users and hobbyists (anyone who isn’t building giant space robots), this is more than ample printing space.
Our only gripe with this printer: when you’re printing fast, it’s bound to get noisy. But hey, for these results we’ll excuse it. After all, what racecar is ever silent?
3D Printer Type: FDM | Materials: PLA, ABS, PETG & Flexibles | Build Volume: 260 x 260 x 330 mm | Max Print Speed: 150-200 mm/s
We’re in the Grand Prix of 3D printers, and our next contestant is the FLSUN Super Racer!
If you’re looking for a fast and accurate printer, this one’s for you.
With a print speed of 200mm/s, the FLSUN offers super precise detailing and accuracy. It’s a Delta-style printer that uses a sturdy linear rail to give the printer stability and keep your eardrums from exploding!
The Racer gives you a roomy 260 x 260 x 330 mm build volume for large vases, giant ducks, cosplay masks, and so on.
The FLSUN Super Racer comes with automatic bed leveling, which is a nice plus. It also has safety features built in place — which are really important for a printer.
You’ve got the resume print function so you don’t lose your print in a power outage (insert gif of Grandpa Simpson yelling at a power grid). Then you’ve got the filament detection feature so the Racer warns you when you’re soon to run out.
The FLSUN comes with a removable print bed — no need to struggle anymore with removing your prints. Here’s a neat trick: you can actually pop the print bed into the freezer for a few hours (with your printed part) for easier removal.
Layer thicknesses range from 5 microns to 30 microns — this printer really puts an emphasis on detail. Case in point, it’s got an accuracy of just 10 microns. Wow. You can achieve breathtakingly fine details!
3D Printer Type: FDM | Materials: PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, PVA, Carbon Fiber, Nylon & PC | Build Volume: 330 x 250 x 320 mm | Max Print Speed: 150 mm/s
Speed? Check. Dual extrusion? Check again!
The Qidi Tech iFast is an FDM printer that gives you industrial-grade precision and speed at an affordable price tag. So if you want fast printing AND dual extrusion, this printer is perfect for you!
The iFast lives up to its name with a print speed of 150 mm/s. It also has a roomy build volume of 330 x 250 x 320 mm where you can cook up larger prints.
It also has a heated enclosure for better printing of high-temp filaments — and built-in air filters to keep your printing space clean.
Removing our printed parts was a breeze with this printer — all we had to do was remove the flexible print bed, bend it a little, and the print popped right off in one piece!
The only thing we didn’t like was the noise coming from the stepper drivers when the iFast was in use. But if that isn’t a dealbreaker for you, this printer is perfect for speedy printing!
Resin 3D Printers
3D Printer Type: MSLA | Materials: 405 nm UV Resins | Build Volume: 127 x 80 x 150 mm | Max Print Speed: 1.4 s/layer
Highly detailed prints at a faster speed… The most coveted combination in 3D printing. Can anyone pull it off?
Well, Prusa has! With MSLA (masked stereolithography) technology and a high-res monochrome LCD panel, the SL1S provides amazingly detailed prints at 80 mm/hr.
Before you balk at this seemingly low speed (compared to FDM), the SL1S is markedly faster than the average resin printer speed of 30-60 mm/hr.
So if you want the sublime clarity and detail of resin prints at a comparatively faster speed, the SL1S is for you.
MSLA works by curing UV resin using an LCD to mask each layer’s cross-section. The SL1S comes with an 8 UV LED array to cure resin with amazingly sharp detail. It also uses a 2560 x 1620p monochrome LCD with a pixel size of just 49 microns.
This is an amazingly well-built printer (par for the course with Prusa), sporting a robust aluminum body with a 127 x 80 X 150 mm build volume. Perfect for smaller objects! And with a minimum layer thickness of 25 microns, you can easily capture fine details.
And, in typical Prusa fashion, it comes with a thorough manual to guide you through everything step-by-step, including potential printing problems. We loved the detailed and clear documentation — it truly sets a standard for other 3D printer companies.
This printer comes fully assembled — and as it’s a resin printer, you have the choice to buy it with a Cure & Wash station for post-processing of your prints.
The printer comes with a half kg of Prusament resin — though since it’s open-source, you can use virtually any resin you want.
3D Printer Type: LCD | Materials: 405nm UV Resins | Build Volume: 134 x 75 x 130 mm | Max Print Speed: 80 mm/h
Looking for a lightweight resin printer that can print fast with amazingly crisp details quality? Do you want to print a snowman? Well, now you can “Let It Go” with the Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K! (See what we did there?)
The Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K offers a 4K resolution LCD screen that makes it 4x faster than traditional resin printers at a speed of 80 mm/hour.
This Mini contender offers a 134 x 75 x 130 mm build volume and weighs just 5kg! It’s perfect for printing in a smaller workspace.
Let’s talk about detail — this printer offers an XY resolution of just 35 microns with 722 PI (pixels per inch) — the highest among commercial-grade printers. It offers layer thicknesses of 10 to 30 microns.
As to software, the Mini 4K comes with Chitubox version 1.6.5. Chitubox is considered the best slicer available for resin printers, and it’s packed with features usually only present in paid software.
The Mini 4K offers multi-resin compatibility, which is really neat if you like working with different resin brands.
On purchase of this printer you get 1 year warranty except on the LCD and FEP film of the printer. It comes with a 2.8″ touch panel for easy navigation and prints via USB connection.
3D Printer Type: MSLA | Materials: 405nm UV Resins | Build Volume: 143 x 90 x 175 mm | Max Print Speed: 30-50 mm/h
Are you looking for an affordable yet still fast and precise resin printer that can print big objects?
The Elegoo Mars 3 Pro is your answer.
It uses a light source of a whopping 36 UV LED lights and a Fresnel lens to produce a 405 nm wavelength. This combination yields high-quality prints with a smooth surface finish that you’ll love staring at and showing off to people.
As some other printers already mentioned, it uses a 4K monochrome LCD. It’s a 6.66″ screen that comes with anti-scratch glass of 9H hardness.
It’s like a screen protector for your printer’s LCD, which is very handy in the event of a resin spill. That way, if some resin does end up being where it shouldn’t, you’ll only have to replace the glass and not the whole LCD.
The light source and glass protector are both new features from the Elegoo Saturn S and Saturn 2, so this truly makes the Mars 3 a “Pro” machine.
It’s got a large build volume of 143 x 90 x 175 mm and, being a robustly built and reliable machine, is perfect for round-the-clock printing. It comes with a carbon filter for resin fumes and odor, as well as a powerful and efficient cooling fan. However, we could still feel the remnants of some odors when printing.
Let’s talk software — the Mars 3 Pro can be used with Chitubox or Lychee Slicer 3.0. Both are viable choices of software. You have to pay extra for a Chitubox Pro subscription, though.
It prints with a pixel size of an amazing 35 microns and takes about 2.2 seconds to print a layer.
3D Printer Type: MSLA | Materials: 405nm UV Resins | Build Volume: 245 x 197 x 122 mm | Max Print Speed: 100 mm/h
Are you looking for a resin printer that can make some super high-definition and smooth-surfaced amazing prints?
It’s still at an experimental stage in some ways, but the Anycubic Photon M3 Plus comes with some impressive features.
It’s got a 9.25″ 6K monochrome screen where its predecessor, the Photon M3, has a screen of 7.6″.
Using the Anycubic LighTurbo, which consists of 40 LED beads in a parallel matrix (Where are you, Keanu?), you can get a pixel size of just 34 microns, which is pretty impressive for an MSLA printer.
It has a pretty large build volume of 245 x 197 x 122 mm. It’s equipped with an aluminum alloy build plate with superb adhesion — in fact, too superb. We had a bit of trouble getting our prints off it. For a printer of this size, it’s better to just use a flexible build plate.
This printer is advertised as having a speed of 100 mm/h, but in reality it comes with a speed of 20 mm/h for 50 micron layers.
It’s got a smart resin filling feature that’s more of a burden than a solution, since it sometimes overfills the vat with resin and then you have to pour it out. Yep, not so great … we’d recommend turning this feature off.
This printer does come with a camera that’s connected to Anycubic Cloud, a cloud service that also connects to your slicer, and the Anycubic Cloud app on your phone (the website doesn’t work).
The slicer for this printer is Photon Workshop, which is in many ways similar to Chitubox.
The Photon M3 has a responsive 5″ touchscreen, so that’s a nice . . . touch.
It comes with an anti-scratch glass on the LCD in case of resin spills (we thought that a very wise addition). The printer comes with a tool set, as well as a scraper, masks, and gloves.
What is a Good Print Speed for 3D Printers?
A good print speed really depends on what you’re using your printer for, and it’s all about personal preference.
For a recreational printer that you’re just using for fun, realistically nothing’s wrong with 1 mm/s – it’s just going to take a lot of patience.
3D printer manufacturers know that we aren’t patient, so they upped that number a lot.
As you look around the market, you’ll find that a lot of commercial printers can hit 40-60 mm/s comfortably.
For a little more money, you can hit 100 mm/s on a commercial printer. The higher-end units will run around 150 mm/s.
Manufacturers suggest running at 60% of the max speed so you get a higher quality.
But how is quality related to speed?
Relationship Between Speed and Quality
Speed and quality seem to be related in every industry – if your mechanic is the fastest in the world, you’re going to be sitting on the side of the road a lot.
3D printers are the same in this sense, but for a technical reason.
The actual speed of a printer moving in a straight line doesn’t affect the print a ton. It’s the change in speed that does.
When you’re in a car and you stomp on the gas or brake pedal hard, your body will lurch. When a 3D printer suddenly accelerates or slows down, the same thing happens.
When the 3D printer lurches, the print quality suffers. You’ll get stringers, wobbly sections, fuzzy exterior walls, and an inconsistent build.
A ton of effort has to go into ramping the printer up to speed and decelerating it without hurting the print.
There are other reasons why the speed can hurt the quality of print.
Limiting Factors for Speed
Don’t let this list fool you, a majority of printers on the market are painstakingly slow in comparison.
So what slows down 3D printers? Let’s look at the answer in terms of FDM printers.
If you recall, FDM printers work by laying down hot plastic from an extruder head that moves on a 3-axis setup, driven by tiny motors. Every step of this process limits how fast you can print
Cooling the Plastic
The first thing that limits how fast you print is how long it takes the hot plastic to cool.
Since you’re building on top of previous layers, the first layer has to be solidified enough before adding the second layer.
Imagine you’re painting a wall, but you don’t wait for the primer to dry before applying the first coat of paint. The result is similar to 3D printers.
The layers will drag, deform, and might get caught on the extruder nozzle. In other words, your final print will be unrecognizable.
Tiny Motors Driving the Motion
If you want a 3D printer to be small, quiet, and inexpensive, you need tiny motors to run the operation.
- Check out our review of the smallest 3D printers here
This is fine because the extruder isn’t heavy either, so you don’t need a lot of power.
If you want the printer to move faster, you need bigger, heavier, stronger motors. This would call for a complete redesign of how 3D printers look, and the added weight would be a huge problem.
The tiny motors are another limiting factor to the speed.
The 3-axis setup (or gantry) is the final big hurdle.
It’s tough to understand how this limits speed without a deep explanation, but it works for the same reason that trains run on a single track.
Single-axis motion is really easy to speed up and predict the outcome. When you add the y- and z-axes, things become more unpredictable, and more vibration affects the process.
Your 3D printer relies on predictability and few vibrations. That’s the secret sauce to get good quality on your final print.
That’s why the printers have to take it slow on a 3-axis gantry, so the final prints turn out good.
Let’s see what can be done to make 3D printing faster.
How to Make a 3D Printer Faster
3D printers can be faster by getting rid of the limiting factors described above.
- Get rid of the jerk associated with quickly getting up to speed and slowing down.
- Use materials that cool a lot quicker or don’t require cooling.
- Step away from the tiny motors used to drive 3-axis printers.
- Lastly, get rid of the 3-axis setup altogether.
The way printing companies achieve this is by getting away from FDM altogether. They’ll opt for SLA, GDP, or MJF technologies which eliminate one or all of these limiting factors for speed.
Unfortunately, the way to make a 3D printer faster is to get away from FDM printers and move to another technology of printer.
If you want to print quickly, there aren’t a lot of printers that can do so without hurting the final print quality. This shortlist of printers can manage to do it successfully, but it comes at a price.
You’ll be shelling out more cash and potentially getting a smaller build volume. You have to consider which is the most important for your application and go from there.
When it comes to true speed, the printers on this list stand in a league of their own.