Additive manufacturing has become more popular both for small businesses and larger commercial enterprises as 3D printing becomes increasingly affordable and offers a wider range of capabilities.
But with so many different 3D printers on the market, it can take time to decide which one is the right fit for your business.
This article will review some of the best professional 3D printers on the market, including both commercial and desktop options.
Table of Contents
What is a Professional 3D Printer?
A professional 3D printer is specifically designed for commercial and industrial use, rather than for hobbyist needs. Professional 3D printers come with more advanced features and higher resolution than their consumer counterparts.
They’re designed to be precise and accurate in their prints, making them invaluable in various industries. Alstom, a full-scale railway company, uses Nexa3D’s NXE 400Pro to extend the lifespan of their high-speed rail cars with 3D-printed replacement parts. Excel Orthodontics, an orthodontic lab, adopted the NXD 200Pro 3D printer for dental molds, pontics, and splints.
No matter the use case, professional 3D printers can support rapid prototyping, sustainable manufacturing practices, and a quicker time to market.
Best Professional 3D Printers
Here is a review of some of the top-rated commercial and desktop 3D printers.
1. Nexa3D XiP
The Nexa3D XiP is an advanced professional desktop 3D printer that enables businesses and professionals to produce high-quality parts in record times. The XiP desktop 3D printer runs on a proprietary Lubricant Sublayer Photo-curing (LSPc®) technology that allows users to print at speeds of up to 18 cm per hour–ten times faster than other leading 3D printers. XiP’s patented LSPc® technology has a self-lubricated membrane that eliminates the forces between the parts during printing, therefore enabling ultrafast print speed without compromising the print quality and surface finish.
The XiP is trusted by engineers, businesses, product designers, and professionals to meet their manufacturing needs. Liquid Sound Technologies, a business that develops sound-enhancing accessories for acoustic instruments, used the XiP printer to make their patented product, The Droplet Sound System. This partnership allowed them to print a batch of 60 to 70 pieces in less than 30 minutes, saving up to 90% in production costs.
- Easily upgradeable and easy to operate.
- Allows users to print at speeds of up to 180 mm per hour.
- Open material platform (allowing third-party resins).
- Builders get in-built wash packages for post-process.
- Large 4.8L build volume (95 x 115 x 210 mm).
- Produced from aluminum materials, making it recyclable.
- XiP is for professional printing, not hobbyist printers.
Best for: Professional engineers and designers who need rapid iterative prototyping or small businesses who need low volume production.
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2. Nexa3D NXE 400Pro
Nexa3D NXE 400Pro is an industrial-grade 3D printer offering high throughput, low operational costs, and incredible precision. This photopolymer 3D printer comes with an exceptional 17L build volume and ultrafast speeds without compromising accuracy or repeatability. It also uses Nexa3D’s proprietary LSPc® technology.
Professionals can use a wide range of materials with the 400Pro, including polypropylene, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, and other engineering-grade functional materials. The printer also has an intuitive interface for easier operation and a powerful cooling system that ensures consistent prints.
Many top companies have noticed its impressive performance; Murtfeldt Additive Solution GmbH uses it to produce complex electrical connectors with precise surface finishes. These high-precision products require an excellent surface finish to be effective, and the NXE 400Pro was the only 3D printer capable of the job.
- Unmatched 17-liter build volume (274 x 155 x 400mm).
- Best in its class for print speeds (6.5x faster than other SLA and DLP technology).
- LSPc® light engine delivers uniform, high power, and distortion-free image to ensure part-to-part accuracy and uniformity.
- Self-lubricated membrane prevents delamination forces and enables fast print speeds.
- This is also a professional printer (not for hobbyists).
Best for: Industrial production and on-demand manufacturing and functional prototypes.
3. XiP Pro
Nexa3D XiP Pro is an industrial resin 3D printer that delivers the highest production throughput at the lowest cost of operation. XiP Pro offers the largest 19.5L build volume and fastest print speed in its class–and its unrivaled productivity allows you to produce functional prototypes and final-use parts at previously unattainable production economics.
Various industries use XiP Pro printers for their manufacturing needs. According to Glen Mason, Manager of Advanced Innovation/Industrialization at DeMarini (a division of Wilson Sporting Goods), “XiP Pro gives us about 10x the throughput of what we had before. Nexa3D has done a really great job taking the costs out of 3D printing while increasing the capacity. Their printers are getting bigger, faster, and more affordable at the same time. It’s a total win for the users.”
- Large industrial capacity and compact footprint
- Intuitive NexaX Software & Smart Resin Delivery System
- Environmental Monitoring System
- 19.5L build volume & 10″ High-Resolution LCD Touchscreen
- LCD-based VAT photopolymerization process uses patented Lubricant Sublayer Photocuring (LSPc) technology
- Self-lubricating membrane enables lighting-fast print speed and unprecedented production value without sacrificing print quality or surface finish
- 7K resolution LCD screen with 46 µm pixel size and 23 µm sub-pixel resolution
- Open material platform (ability to use with third-party resins)
- Not for hobbyist 3D printing
Best for: Prototypes and production applications for engineering, dental, and other industries.
4. Raise3D Pro3
Raise3D Pro3 is a professional-grade 3D printer that runs on Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) technology. It is equipped with an all-dual extruder system, enabling users to switch between single and dual extrusion printing depending on their requirements.
The Pro3 also has a build volume of 300 x 300 x 300 mm allowing it to produce large parts. It also has an integrated auto-leveling system for consistent prints and a filament runout sensor to avoid printing failures due to a lack of material.
- Large build volume size.
- Live monitoring HD camera.
- It runs on FFF technology, not SLA or DLP, which means print times can be slower.
Best for: Industrial production and multi-sized rapid prototyping.
5. Creality Ender 3 V2 Neo
Creality Ender 3 V2 Neo is a 3D printer best for hobbyists and professional printing. This professional-grade desktop 3D printer has a build volume of 220 x 220 x 250 mm and runs on FDM technology. This 3D printer has a print speed of 120 mm/s and a net weight of 7.8 kg.
The Creality Ender’s FDM technology can be less accurate than other technologies like Masked stereolithography (mSLA) and the subcategory lubricant sublayer photocuring (LSPc).
- Affordable for hobbyists.
- Fast print speeds.
- Lightweight and easy to use.
- FDM technology isn’t always as accurate as other 3D printing technologies.
- It lacks an inbuilt patented 3D printing software.
Best for: Hobbyists and professionals who need an affordable 3D printer with portability.
6. Fortus 450mc
Stratasys developed the Fortus 450mc industrial FDM 3D printer for the aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, railway, and defense industries. The Fortys 450 is compatible with materials including ASA, ABS-M30, Polycarbonate (PC), PC-ISO, and FDM Nylon 12CF and has a tray size and build plate shape of 16 x 14 x 16 in (406 x 355 x 406 mm).
- Has a large build size.
- Can build complex parts faster than its predecessors.
- It uses FDM technology which is not as accurate as the SLA technology.
- It is very expensive to own and maintain.
Best for: Mass-producing jigs, fixtures, factory tooling, production parts, and functional prototypes.
7. Ultimaker S3
The Ultimaker S3 is a professional-grade 3D printer that runs on Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), allowing users to print with different materials such as Polylactic Acid, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, and Nylon. The Ultimaker S3 has a build volume of 230 x 190 x 200 mm and weighs 14.4 kg.
- Its open material platform allows for a broad range of materials and sizes.
- The semi-enclosed design ensures consistent temperature during the printing process.
- It prints metal parts.
- It is relatively expensive compared to other desktop 3D printers on the market.
- It has limited connectivity options for other devices and networks.
Best for: Professionals who require metal printing.
8. Fromlabs Form 3+
Formlabs Form 3+ is a popular 3D printer that uses low-force stereolithography. This 3D printer has a build volume of 145 x 145 x 185 mm and a layer resolution of 25–100 microns, which means it can print parts with intricate details. The Form 3+ is equipped with an advanced optical system so it can print with clear and accurate details and uniform layer lines.
However, users still need to properly understand its in-built software, PreForm, to get the most out of the printer.
- Offers good print quality and an optimized workflow.
- Relatively affordable.
- Slow print speeds.
- Not a modular design: if one component fails, you have to replace the entire printer.
- Closed material platform so you must use Formlabs branded resins.
Best for: Users that require user-friendly desktop 3D printing technology to produce prototypes.
9. Carbon M3
The Carbon M3 Max is a production-grade 3D printer for producing end-use parts. It has a build volume of 7.4 x 4.6 x 12.8 in (189 x 118 x 326 mm), an XYZ resolution of 75 microns, and a general accuracy of up to 65 microns.
- It has a 4K light engine.
- Simple set-up.
- It is relatively expensive compared to similar 3D printers
- The filaments can be fragile.
Best for: Printing elastomeric parts and parts with features that are more sensitive to high forces.
10. AON M2+
AON M2+ is designed for industrial use and can print high-performance thermoplastics such as PEEK, ULTEM, and Carbon Fiber Reinforced Nylon. The printer has a large build volume of 454 x 454 x 640 mm and features a heated build chamber, dual extruders, and automatic bed leveling. It also has different connectivity options, including Wi-Fi and Ethernet, allowing for remote monitoring and control of the printing process.
- It comes equipped with dual extruders.
- Large build volume.
- It uses open-market slicers which lack production features like machine automation.
Best for: Producing large and complex parts with high precision.
11. Fusion3 EDGE
Fusion3 EDGE is a professional-grade 3D printer that runs on Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) and uses low-temperature plastics such as Polylactic Acid and Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol-modified. It has a heated print bed and a build volume of 368 x 368 x 343 mm. It also features a dual extrusion system that allows for printing with two materials simultaneously.
- It has a large build volume.
- It can print with two materials at once.
- It runs on FFF technology, not SLA or DLP.
- It has an expensive price tag compared to other professional 3D printers.
Best for: Industrial production and prototyping of large parts.
12. Delta WASP 2040 Industrial X
Delta WASP 2040 Industrial X is a professional-grade 3D printer that uses Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) and comes with an open material platform that accommodates various materials like Polylactic Acid, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, and other low-temperature plastics. It has a build volume of 200 x 400 mm and is equipped with a removable extruder head that allows for easy maintenance.
- It has a large build volume size.
- The printer features an open material platform that supports various materials.
- It is not one of the fastest 3D printers.
- Average print quality when compared to other professional SLA 3D printers.
Best for: Professionals who need a large build volume and easy maintenance.
13. Anycubic Photon M3
Anycubic Photon M3 is an entry-level professional 3D printer that runs on stereolithography technology and uses resins such as PLA, ABS, PETG, and other low-temperature plastics. This is a desktop 3D printer with a print size of 180 x 163 x 102 mm and weighs less than 7 kg.
- It has a small footprint and is light in weight.
- The printer supports various materials like PLA, ABS, PETG, etc.
- Its build area is not large enough for larger parts.
- Average print speed when compared to other professional 3D printers.
Best for: Prototyping small parts
14. MakerBot Method X
MakerBot Method X is a professional-grade 3D printer that runs on Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and a dual extrusion system. The 3D printer supports materials like Polylactic Acid, ABS, Nylon, and other low-temperature plastics. It has a dual extrusion build volume of 152 x 190 x 196 mm and a single extrusion build volume of (190 x 190 x 196mm) and comes with an enclosed print chamber for temperature control.
- The printer supports various materials.
- It runs on FDM technology, which has inherent issues.
- The printer is expensive compared to other professional 3D printers.
Best for: Industrial production and prototyping of large parts
Other Top Professional 3D Printers
Best 3D Printer for Small Businesses
Small businesses are looking for 3D printers that are reliable, easy to use, and cost-effective. They often seek to expand to increase productivity and throughput at a reasonable cost.
Nexa3D’s XiP 3D Printer is the best option for small businesses. It runs on SLA technology and has an impressive 18cm per hour print speed, making it ideal for quickly printing larger parts and components.
Best 3D Printer for Beginners in the Professional Space
Anyone transitioning from hobby 3D printing to professional 3D printing needs a reliable and user-friendly printer that can deliver high accuracy at an affordable cost. The XiP is also great for beginning professionals since it is easy to use, prints quickly and accurately, and features an intuitive software interface.
Hobbyists could also consider:
- Creality CR6-SE
- XYZPrinting da Vinci Mini
- Ender 3 Pro
- Original Prusa i3 MK3S+
- Formlabs Form 3+
Best Industrial 3D Printer
Industrial 3D printers are specialized 3D printing machines that can produce complex parts or components with minimal waste and maximum accuracy. Industrial professionals require powerful and reliable 3D printers for large-scale production and extended runs.
Nexa3D’s NXE 400Pro, QLS 820, and XiP Pro all support industrial-grade 3D printing and feature a large build volume, ultrafast print speed, high-quality results, and flexible materials. These 3D printers are ideal for industrial manufacturers looking to scale at an affordable cost.
Choose the Best Professional 3D Printer
When it comes to choosing a professional 3D printer, professionals must consider their printing requirements, build area, and cost. These 3D printers are ideal for producing large-scale parts or components with maximum accuracy and minimal waste.
Nexa3D offers a range of professional 3D printers that are perfect for engineers, designers, businesses, and professionals. With suitable options for any project needs and requirements, Nexa3D can help you find the best 3D printer for your project.