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 consumer printers, then take a look at some industrial 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
- Fastest 3D Printers At A Glance
- Relationship Between Speed and Quality
- Limiting Factors for Speed
- How to Make a 3D Printer Faster
Fastest 3D Printers At A Glance
3D Printers For Consumers
These are consumers printers that focus on speed. You’ll get your part back fast, and you won’t have to pay an arm and a leg to print them with an industrial printer.
Build volume: 210 x 210 x 210 mm | Layer Resolution: 200 mm/s | Max Print Speed: 100 mm/s
For the price, the i3 Mega S delivers great results. The accuracy, build volume, and printing speeds are rare gems in this price category.
It comes with a touch screen to make things easier for you, and the UI is clean.
The noteworthy thing about the I3 Mega S is how many features they added while still keeping the price low:
- The frame is metal, which means better results for you.
- The build plate is heated, and the hot-end gets hot enough to print a ton of different materials.
- A filament sensor will tell you when you’re out of material and it will automatically pause the print. When it detects new filament is loaded, it will resume right from where it stopped. You can use third-party filaments as well.
Out of the box, you’ll have to make a few connections before you can start printing. Also, the filament is side-mounted, which typically leads to some reliability issues.
The Anycubic I3 Mega S delivers great performance and a healthy build volume that won’t break the bank.
In its price category, it is the fastest 3D printer, and it’s a great choice for people who are looking for a budget 3D printer.
Build volume: 255 x 255 x 360 mm | Layer Resolution: 50 micron | Max Print Speed: 300 mm/s
Next on the list is the QQ-S by FLSUN.
It’s hard to know what all the letters stand for, but it’s a good guess that the S stands for “silent.” This unit’s claim to fame is the whisper that it prints at.
This printer’s default running speed is 60 mm/s, however, it can go up to 300 mm/s. And some users even reported higher speeds with a bit of tweaking.
The build volume is the largest on this list on the consumer side.
This printer also will resume a print after it’s paused or stopped. Out of the box, it takes about a half-hour to finish the assembly and set up before you can start printing. The filament is top-fed, which is great for space savings so you can put it in your office.
Another great feature is its unique lattice build plate, which makes it easy to remove prints.
While we don’t recommend the QQ-S for beginners, overall this 3D printer is our choice for a fast, delta 3D printer with the right price.
Build volume: 200 x 200 x 400 mm | Layer Resolution: 50 mm/s | Max Print Speed: 500 mm/s
You might recognize the Delta WASP 2040 from our best delta 3D printer review; the Turbo 2 is that and more.
This printer can be bought with a single or dual extruder. Either one will print at speeds up to 500 mm/s and travel up to 1,000 mm/s.
You won’t find numbers like this for an FDM printer anywhere else.
Even more impressive is the final print quality. That was the main area of improvement that his printer has over its predecessor.
If you blink during the printing process, you’ll miss it, but you’ll be left with a beautiful part.
The build volume also has a huge height dimension. You can print skyscrapers on this printer in the blink of an eye.
The framework is really sturdy. This means fewer vibrations for your print, which results in a more reliable printer. This also helps achieve better accuracies.
This is a Delta-style printer, which means it moves differently than a standard Cartesian 3D printer. It makes it even more fun to watch the printer move around, has better accuracy, and can achieve quicker speeds.
The Delta WASP 2040 Turbo 2 is a much-welcomed sequel. It’s fast, accurate, and has a large build volume. It’s the fastest FDM printer that’s commercially-available, and it’s not as expensive as you might think.
Build volume: 192 x 122 x 200 mm | Layer Resolution: 200 mm/s | Max Print Speed: 1,000 cm3/hr
Let’s take a look at the Uniz Slash Plus UDP.
You might recognize the name from their Kickstarter campaign. They raised over $500,000 with the mission of creating a super-fast commercial-grade 3D printer. Mission accomplished.
This is the fastest commercial-grade 3D printer on the market. This is largely due to the fact that it’s an SLA-type printer.
The other good news about it being an SLA printer means you get to enjoy a better accuracy and precision with your prints.
The price is high for this unit because you are getting a great piece of machinery. It achieves a great printing speed and doesn’t have to sacrifice performance or accuracy at all.
The build volume is pretty good, but it’s small for the price.
Uniz also put a lot of effort into keeping maintenance low for this printer. They say you can go 1,000 hours of printing without touching the screen, and there won’t be any issues.
There are also a lot of great features built into the printer. You can remotely monitor your print to make sure everything is going smoothly.
You can start the print remotely via WiFi printing. To make things easier, the printer will automatically calibrate before each print.
The Uniz Slash+ is not only quick, but there’s a lot of ease-of-use and features built-in. It’s a great choice for a commercial printer if you care about accuracy, speed, and don’t mind the price tag.
3D Printers For Industrial Use
If you’re looking for the titans of the space, and price is not an issue, you will love these next few printers.
These guys are designed specifically for industrial use. They’re faster, bigger, and badder than any commercial printer you’ll find on the market.
They are all hundreds of thousands of dollars, but they are also revolutionizing the 3D printing industry and what can be achieved.
Build volume: 6,000 x 2,300 x 1,900 mm | Layer Resolution: 1,250 mm/s | Max Print Speed: 80 lbs/hr
The first speedy printer for industrial use is the BAAM.
That stands for Big Area Additive Manufacturing. This might come as a shock, but it’s an additive manufacturing machine that has a big area. A really big area.
This printer looks like a small room filled with magic. The creators realized that if you want a massive build volume, you need an impressive printing speed.
The print speed is 80 pounds per hour.
The BAAM has printed a ton of big items in the past. A kayak, an electric car, and a replica F-22 to name a few.
The extruder gets hot enough to handle a lot of different materials.
The printer is built within a steel frame, which means vibrations won’t disturb your massive prints.
Though the company won’t release the retail price, they do offer quotes to print your project on the massive BAAM machine. Serious buyers can reach out to BAAM to get a price on the machine as well.
This printer is the best option if you’re looking to print massive objects quickly. This comes with a big price tag, but it’s easy to overlook when you realize what the BAAM can produce.
6. Massivit 1800
Build volume: 1,800 x 1,500 x 1,200 mm | Layer Resolution: 500 mm/s | Max Print Speed: 1,000 mm/s
Massivit 1800 is another heavy-hitting printer you want to take a look at.
This printer was made specifically for visual communication. It can make large signs, props, and displays.
It opts for Gel Dispensing Printing rather than FDM. This results in a better finished product and a more aesthetically pleasing print.
You’ll see this printer used to make movie props, art exhibits, and different sculptures.
The 1800 definitely has the required build volume to make large props. It also prints at a speed of a meter a second which is one of the fastest in the industry.
Purchasing this unit will set you back about a quarter of a million dollars. You can also get a quote to use one of the company’s 3D printers for your needs.
You can also arrange the unit to be a dual extruder printer, which opens the door for even more possibilities.
The designers also made the printer really easy to use. A few clicks of a button and you’re on your way. The UI is smooth and provides troubleshooting feedback.
The Massivit 1800 is the leader in the visual communication space. The prints are highly detailed, smoothly contoured, and they’re done really fast.
7. HP Jet Fusion 5200
Build volume: 380 x 284 x 380 mm | Layer Resolution: 1,200 dpi | Max Print Speed: 4,115 cm3/hr
The HP Jet Fusion 3D 5200 is a modern marvel in the industrial 3D printing world.
This is the fastest printer currently on the market.
HP (yes, it’s that HP) has only been in the 3D printing world for a few years, but they’ve made some huge players in the space. Who knew that paper printing was so akin to 3D printing?
Their 5200 is the top of the Jet Fusion line they have, and it’s the fastest model. It prints at a staggering pace of 4,115 cm3/hr or 1,143 mm3/s.
The print speed isn’t measured in mm/s due to the speed of the technology used.
It uses Multi Jet Fusion, which is a different printing technology than SLA or FDM, which you might be familiar with. MJF lets you print whole layers at a time rather than tracing the layer line by line, as FDM printers do.
The resolution of the printer is super crisp.
The build volume isn’t as big as the other industrial printers, but that isn’t the focus of this printer. The 5200 will get you your print faster than any other printer around.
For reference, if you make a single part that’s as large as the build volume (380 x 284 x 380 mm), it will complete the print in as low as 10 hours – this is strikingly fast.
You’ll need to get a quote for pricing on this machine, but the manufacturer hints that the sticker price is over $250,000.
This might be the first 3D printer that can compete with other manufacturing methods for mid-volume part production.
The HP Jet Fusion 5200 is a super-fast 3D printer that gives you accurate, precise, and crisp parts faster than any other printer around. It’s the newest of their three-machine lineup, and it’s worth every penny.
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? Why can’t ever printer churn out speeds like the WASP or the HP Jet Fusion 5200?
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.
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.