Some say the pricing of assembled 3D printers from the major manufacturers has risen, and in some cases they have, but usually accompanied with a series of new useful features. To counteract the “price barrier”, as perceived by new members of the 3D printing community, the majors have developed “mini” 3D printers.
The first was 3D Systems’ Cube, first released some two years ago and now in its third generation. Last week MakerBot joined the party by releasing the tiny MakerBot Replicator Mini.
But which one is the right one for you? There are a number of similarities and differences in the two devices:
|Features||Replicator Mini||Cube 3|
|PLASTIC||PLA only||PLA and ABS|
|CASE||Black||Black or White|
|MATERIAL||Generic PLA||Cubify only|
While there are similarities, the key differences seem to be:
- The Cube has two extruders, has higher resolution, can print ABS as well as PLA and is substantially less expensive
- The Mini uses inexpensive filament that over the long term may make it less expensive to own
The decision is easy only if you absolutely must have a white machine.