We’ve been waiting for this one: a real, honest to goodness benchmark for 3D printers. T. A. Grimm & Associates announced a new benchmark specifically designed for 3D printers. TAG’s approach is to produce four challenging and specifically designed models on each of the tested printers.
Each printer is then measured against a series of fundamental measures that are surely of interest to anyone considering purchasing a 3D printer:
- Elapsed time – including not only the build, but also any necessary processing time or labor/automation
- Cost – including materials, operating expense and of course printer acquisition cost
- Quality – including finish quality, materials and accuracy
- Operations – including day-to-day activities, office suitability and the green factor
The benchmark has been run against seven key commercial 3D printers:
- Alaris30 (Objet Geometries)
- Designjet 3D (HP)
- ProJet SD 3000 (3D Systems)
- SD300 Pro (Solido)
- V-Flash (3D Systems)
- ZPrinter 310 Plus (Z Corporation)
- uPrint (Stratasys)
The results have been collated into a very extensive 60-ish page report. Actually, there are two reports, one is European and one is for North America.
Benchmarks such as these are very difficult to produce and apply to specific situations. No matter what kind of benchmark was used, there will be scenarios where results differ from the benchmark. Also consider that the benchmark factors may be of differing importance to different users. What’s more important to you? Cost or Time? Quality? So to be clear: your mileage may vary.
What are the results of the benchmark? We think they are very interesting – so interesting that we’ll post our thoughts tomorrow!