Whether as a professional or a hobbyist, if you are in the market for a 3D printer, it is important to know how 3D printers differ from one another so you can choose the model that best suits your needs. 3D printers come in a variety of styles, sizes and specifications, and may be optimized for a particular audience or kind of printing. This guide will show you the different 3D printer types based on enclosure and compare 3 of the best-selling closed frame 3D printers in the market today.
These are the commonest 3D printer types. As the name suggests, the open frame printers are not protected by walls, doors or lids, they are simply not protected by any layer, making it possible to easily see print jobs in progress and providing easy access to the print bed and extruder.
As opposed to the open type, closed frame 3D printers have an enclosed structure with a door, walls, and a lid or hood. The closed frame 3D printer model is safer because it can keep kids and pets, or even adults from accidentally touching the hot extruder. The enclosed structure also means quieter operation, reducing fan noise and possible odor, especially when printing with ABS filament, which can exude a burnt-plastic smell.
The benefits of fully enclosed 3D printers are obvious. Enclosure in a printer can significantly improve printing performance by keeping dust and wind out and heat in. This tends to reduce the odds of print failure and boosts interlayer adhesion of your prints, consequently improving print quality and strength. This is especially useful when printing high-temperature materials like ABS and other more complex matter benefit from being printed in a higher ambient temperature. They are also more stable and are relatively quieter than most open-framed 3D printers.
A stable temperature is also a key element when printing with high-temperature materials such as ABS and more advanced materials. Of course, fully enclosed 3D printers have disadvantages as well. For example, they tend to have limited build volumes and are not as open to mods as open-framed 3D printers. But the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. The following are the biggest benefits of fully enclosed 3D printers.
Closed Frame 3D printers provide the much needed domestic and workplace safety, considering nozzles and beds can reach some very high temperatures. Closed frame 3D printers provide an additional layer of safety for both the machine and the user. It essentially shields the printer from dust and other contaminants that may affect its performance over time while also proving useful in any situations where children or heat sensitive equipment may be nearby, either at home or in educational environments.
A closed print chamber prevents unwanted airflow in and out to alter your print as it prevents warping and it also keeps the print environment warmer than open framed printers. An enclosure helps you to maintain a stable, consistent output, which makes it ideal for printing specialty materials like nylon. Speaking of filaments such as ABS, Polyamide, Nylon, Polycarbonate, carbon, metal-filled filaments and others, the temperature really matters for a good output to be achieved. These filaments have a higher glass temperature and to be able to print these materials warp-free, you really need an enclosed chamber. A good closed frame printer will do the job effortlessly.
Besides the variety of materials that can be printed in a closed frame 3D printer, these printers have stronger and more sturdy frames than a printer with an open frame, this feature enhances print quality by reducing vibration, particularly with ABS and larger parts. Print quality can vary depending on the quality of the enclosures. A fully enclosed printer will do the best work.
Printers with closed frames tend to be far quieter than ones with open frames. This makes them far more viable for offices, educational and social environments. The sealed environment in these printers ensures that they make notably less noise compared to their open framed counterparts.
The enclosure in a closed frame 3D printer helps to maintain the temperature inside the printer. It is also a bonus that since heat is concerned in closed frame printers, it tends to be better at keeping around equipment that doesn’t do so well with fluctuating temperatures such as high-power computers.
Of course, we understand that there is no one 3D printer that suits all ends and means. With this in mind, we have carefully selected and reviewed 3 of the best closed frame 3D printers in the market today to help you choose the perfect printer that will satisfy your array of printing needs, wants, and budgets.
Anycubic 4Max Pro 2.0
Flashforge Creator Pro
A compact and ergonomic design with a dimension of 454mm × 466mm × 410mm and weighing 18.8 kg, making it the easiest to handle and transport.
The Qidi Tech X-plus Printer weighs about 21 kg and has exterior dimensions of 465mm x 320mm x 375mm.
The Flashforge Creator Pro weighs 11 kg with a dimension of 410mm x 560mm x 480mm.
PLA, ABS and TPU
PLA and ABS
To cut to the chase, the Anycubic 4Max Pro 2.0 has been and continues to be our top recommendation for a closed frame 3D printer that combines print quality, affordability and ease of use. Despite the notably wide range of exotic functions and capabilities offered by all three 3D printers, the Anycubic 4Max Pro 2.0 edges out the QIDI X-Plus and the Flashforge Creator Pro as the best budget option when buying a closed frame 3D printer. Buying a 3D printer is a big decision, there are dozens of fully enclosed 3D printers on the market, ranging from budget options under $500 to high-end options that cost well over $2,000. Purchase the Anycubic 4Max 2.0 Pro now and enjoy all the premium features at just $479.