Vendor Name: MakerBot Replicator+
Description: MakerBot’s award-winning desktop 3D printer uses PLA filament and is perhaps the easiest to use of the printers housed in the Lab 213. The Replicator+ prints PLA plastic, a form of plastic derived from starch (and shown to release fewer potentially harmful vapors during printing). The Replicator+ has app connectivity, which offers increased functionality and accessibility.
Vendor Name: Form 2
Description: Formlabs flagship printer, the Form 2 is a stereolithographic (SLA) device which prints at very high resolutions using heated resin. SLA is a form of 3D printing technology used most often for creating models, prototypes, and production parts in a layer by layer fashion using photopolymerization, a process where light causes chains of molecules to link, forming polymers.
As MAKE magazine professed, “If you are looking to get into the SLA game, the Form 2 is the flagship product to get. You can definitely get started at a lower cost, but the feature list of the Form 2 is currently unbeatable and is especially powerful for collaborative environments.”
Vendor Name: Original Prusa i3 MK3
Description: The newest iteration of the Prusa series, this brand is one of the most popular ones worldwide. The Prusa i3 is an open source fuse filament fabrication modelling 3D printer. In fused deposition modeling plastic filament is fed through a heated moving head (extruder) that melts and extrudes it, depositing it, layer after layer, in the desired shape described by the STL file. For this kind of 3D printing technology additional vertical support structures are needed to sustain overhanging parts.
In addition to low cost and ease of use, the Prusa’s open source nature makes it popular among educational institutions and hobbyists for the simple fact that it is capable of printing its own parts, making it the most sustainable and modular printer on the market.