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A Complete Guide to Buying a Delta 3D Printer
One of the most popular types of 3D printer is the delta model. This uses a unique mechanism of three arms to control the print head in a way that makes it look like a robot arm. Delta 3D printers have many fans, and there are plenty of reasons for adding one to your 3D printer arsenal.
In this article, I’ll show you the pros and cons of Delta 3D printers and recommend some models that will suit all budgets.
Most of us have heard about 3D printers; they are amazing gadgets, varying in sizes and features and purchased by all kinds of people from the toe in the water novice to the enthusiast pro and everything in between.
In times of rapidly changing technology, it can be a real minefield trying to work out the best options, some machines are cheaper than you’d think, and the cheap does not mean rubbish. Other machines would seem overpriced to the average user, but each has its place.
With most 3D printers, you can also expect a decent learning curve, how steep depends on you, and of course, the model you choose. But don’t lose heart because 3D print communities are all over the internet and very helpful indeed.
In this guide, I’ve looked at four consumer delta 3D printers, two in the high-end price bracket, one budget, and one mid-range. I would be happy to own any one of them as I’ve only chosen printers that I have experience of, or I’m familiar with their reputation in the 3D printer community.
What is a Delta 3D Printer?
A Delta 3D Printer has a flat circular bed above which three arms, on rails, move up and down independently to move the print head. So, these machines do not use linear motion to lay down the filament as with other types of 3D printers.
The shape of the Delta printer, due to its bed, is usually circular. There’s a common misconception that you can only print small objects on delta 3D printers. However, you are only limited by the bed diameter; it’s just that rectangular objects use the bed area less efficiently than circular objects.
Where delta 3D printers excel is in the height they can print to.
For example, a 3D print of the Eiffel Tower would be feasible as that is where these machines excel, with taller structures and greater attention to detail at the top of the structure.
The Delta printer has fewer parts and, therefore, a cost-saving on maintenance. The footprint is also smaller if you’ve not got a whole lot of space in which to experiment, but you do need the height.
If you’re about to purchase a 3D printer, a word of warning, not all machines come ready assembled. If you’re the type of person that calls a mate to build flat-pack furniture, either look them up now or choose a model that comes ready built.
The Delta is an FDM (Filament Deposition Modelling) printer, initially designed to make the 3D printing process a little faster. There are those who may say that accuracy has been sacrificed, but overall the results can be amazing, I guess it’s horses for courses and depends on what you are producing.
Best Delta 3D Printers
Here are my personal picks of the best delta 3D printers.
Monoprice Delta Pro
Last update on 2020-12-26 at 14:19
The Monoprice Delta Pro 3D printer, you will be delighted to hear, arrives ready assembled.
The manufacturer claims that this is the one for professional speed, quality, and control. The reviews and buzz in the 3D printer community bear this out.
The Monoprice Delta is neat and elegant and fairly robust, and it was made to suit all levels of skill from beginner to pro.
This machine has an auto-leveling feature, so there’s less time to set up for printing. Also, a glass build plate which makes the build more accurate due to the properties of glass.
Glass takes longer to warm up, but when it is hot, the heat dissipates more evenly around the build area, and there is no warp over time. Your surface will always be dead flat, which contributes to the build quality.
Changing the hot end is a simple matter of loosening the appropriate screws and swapping for a new one. This robust and mostly metal structure has a touch screen interface giving easy access to all functionality.
Performance is quiet; your office photocopier is louder so you can enjoy the 3D printing experience without having to shout to be heard. This 3D printer also tells you when it’s getting hungry. There is a low filament sensor, so no excuse to run out of filament mid-build.
Note that this item does not ship with a manual, you would need to download that from the internet. When your machine arrives, check the exact model and put that into google for up to date information, including some excellent YouTube videos on how to set it up for optimal results.
The weirdest thing I considered about this 3D printer is that it appears to be devoid of a simple on/off switch, but many users preferred to find a way around this than trade machines.
Something that came out of the reviews for the Monoprice Delta Pro was the preference for the Monoprice Mini Delta 3D Printer, which is where we are going next.
Monoprice Mini Delta 3D Printer
Last update on 2020-12-26 at 12:06
This little printer packs a powerful punch for its size. A totally black anodized metal construction with a heated platform, and auto-calibration which takes the heavy lifting out of set up lending itself to a more consistent build.
The mini is a little easier on the purse strings and carries plenty of features usually found on the more expensive models.
The Delta Mini will print directly from your computer via USB, over Wi-Fi, or it will take a micro SD card.
This fun-size delta printer wouldn’t be an excellent choice for someone wanting to build large products, but for small models and prototypes, it is perfect.
Note this printer does not have an enclosed cover, so beware if the children are involved.
The Delta mini is open source, meaning you will never be short of a project with owners all over the world coming up with enhancements, and its varying heat levels also mean you can use quite a variety of materials.
To use more than one color in your print, pause the machine and change the filament.
For the more technically minded, it is possible to swap to a dual extruder. However, this may not be cost-effective and opens up a whole new discussion. If you’re planning on multi-colored builds and this is going to be an issue, this may not be the best choice for you.
So how does this stack up against other mini 3D printers? Well, so far, all it misses is a removable plate and a filament sensor. The Delta mini nozzle reaches 260 degrees C compared to 280 and upwards for other models.
This printer can be purchase from Monoprice direct, and you’ll be delighted to know that price-wise we are now at the opposite end of the budget from the Delta pro.
Check out the same site for replacement build sheets too. These go onto the printer bed and last for just a few prints each so you may want to buy in bulk if you are doing a long print run.
The Monoprice Mini Delta 3D Printer is the lowest price professional quality printer in the world, according to the manufacturer, and the reviews would tend to back this up.
Next, we shall look at another mid-priced printer.
Last update on 2020-12-26 at 15:17
A mid-priced printer with excellent reviews, another very quiet printer, auto leveling with a Titan Extruder for smoother feeding. Large size, 255*360mm, and high-speed printing. One of my favorites so far.
One user states that they were up and running from unboxing to test print in just 20 minutes, and others have proudly shown off their creations with photographs.
I noticed criticism of this machine, however by itself, it’s nothing that would alarm me. The customer stated its construction was too thin and, therefore, unstable.
From one criticism to 16 positive reviews, the only complaint was it could be tricky to clean, but there are extra heads provided.
One reviewer has labeled this printer a ‘workhorse,’ and it has been on overtime 24 hours a day. The user reported some build issues but owned up to the fact that the printer was not to blame, just the owner.
So, we’ve looked at one pro machine and three cheaper, but also mighty, Delta 3D printers. I don’t know about you, but I love the mini printers, however, the next one, although out of the price range of the regular enthusiast, just blew me away.
DELTA WASP 2040 CLAY
Last update on 2020-12-26 at 14:19
This Italian built machine is so smart it will resume printing from where it left off in the event of a power failure and prints up to 40cm in height.
The Delta Wasp is made from steel and aluminum; this solid structure is robust and stable. It weighs 40kg with dimensions of 44 cm x 49 cm x h 87 cm
This machine gives the possibility to print in filament and clay, and if you’d like to see it in action, head over to YouTube with this link
3D print technology gives pleasure to many, but aside from the fun aspect, it also has a major positive impact on our health and environment. The WASP excels here, and last year some Syrian children had the benefit of 3D printed prosthetic limbs.
These children are not the only ones to benefit from this technology, WASP Med can be found at the link below, check it out for more information, and you can truly see the quality of the products stemming from this printer.
There are many Delta printers on the market, and they vary in price and features, as we’ve shown. I hope I’ve given you a little insight at both ends of the market and for all skill levels.
While some may start their 3D printing journey with an entry-level machine, who knows which stop will be theirs, maybe it’s a WASP.
Happy 3D Printing!