The correct geometry of the finished model is directly related to the printing accuracy of the 3D printer. The better this parameter is, the lower the percentage of rejects that will come out from under the extruder nozzle. There are printers with good accuracy ratings. We will talk about them today in this article.
What is a 3D printer’s print accuracy?
This definition can be compared to laser printing. On a paper printer, accuracy can be compared to the graininess of the image, its clarity, lack of bands, gaps, shift of the picture. That is the printed object is as accurate as possible in its physical parameters on paper. The correspondence of the object on the monitor to what we see in the finished image.
Important: In this article we will talk about different printers. There will be a place for both classic FDM devices and printing devices that are rarely found on the market.
In 3D printing, accuracy is about matching the manufactured model to what we see in the slicer. Several factors can affect the accuracy of a print:
- The printer’s frame. The better the frame is aligned, the more stable the printing device itself stands. Priority is given to metal construction, as it is stiffer and more reliable.
- Positioning accuracy. In this case we mean the kinematics of the device. Adjusted and calculated kinematics also affects the final result. Stable and adjusted operation of stepper motors, carriages and end stops shows a higher level of printing.
- Print resolution. This is actually the print spot. The smaller it is, the higher the accuracy. The most accurate printing
- devices are SLA devices. Some stereolithography machines can make a print spot as thick as a human hair. FDM printers can’t boast similar performance, but there are champions among them as well.
Poor accuracy can lead to print defects. The worse a printer is set up and calibrated, the more inaccurate and defective it is. The highest quality models are designed with a combination of all these parameters in mind.
Attention! The quality and accuracy of the print also depends on the skills of the 3D-maker. The user must select the optimum temperature and speed characteristics so that the model turns out as detailed and clear as possible, without defects.
The most accurate 3D printers
Let’s consider 5 printers that print models with high accuracy. We will tell about their features, printing technology, and show one example in the form of a finished figure or part.
One of the most accurate 3D printers in the world. The device works with MJF technology. It uses fine-grained material to print products. This allows you to make layers up to 80 microns thick. The Fusion 580 has multiple print heads. This arrangement makes it possible to make an entire layer of a model in one pass. The printheads can apply different colors. This creates complex models with different colors across the entire model area.
The Fusion 580 produces high-precision models. It achieves an almost perfectly flat surface. Such quality is highly appreciated in research institutes and various design shops. The device simulates anatomically accurate body parts, complex assemblies and prototypes of mechanisms.
FS271M is considered one of the most precise among SLM devices. It boasts a print spot size of 40-200 µm. Unlike similar devices, FS271M has no limitations on print settings. The user is open to the machine parameters, as well as the choice of the desired powder. In other models, all settings are sewn into the printer beforehand. The 3D maker is limited in its work to preset presets. This is not the case here.
Laser spot diameter 70 µm
Argon / Nitrogen shielding gas
Laser power 500W
Laser speed 20 cc/h
Laser type Yb fiber laser
Working chamber area 275×275×340 mm
Layer thickness from 20 microns
Scanning speed 15 m/s
The device has a 500W Yb-fiber laser. The area of the figure is 275 × 275 × 340 mm. Together with open settings, these characteristics make the Farsoon FS271M very much in demand among precision industries such as aircraft, rocket and space. Freedom of operation of the machine allows to adjust it practically to any task and set accuracy parameters to almost ideal values.
The champion among LCD printers. The Phrozen Shuffle series has two models: a device with the same name and one with the XL prefix. The maximum printing area in three axes is 120 × 190 × 200 mm. The accuracy of the LCD-printer is 75 microns. The device prints with resins with a working wavelength of 405 nm.
UV wavelength 405 nm
Resolution along the Z axis 10 microns
Resolution of X and Y axis 75 microns
Working chamber area 190x120x200 mm
Speed 30 mm/hour
Layer thickness from 10 microns
Price 85 564 rubles.
Phrozen Shuffle differs from analogous devices by the structure of matrix. It emits a light flux perpendicular to the printing surface with minimum distortion of the light wave. In this parameter, the device surpasses, for example, the Anycubic Photon S.
The Shuffle is used to make various shapes. The ability to print very flat surfaces reduces the amount of post-processing to a minimum. The printer is used for private modeling, in medicine and in design offices.
An unusual device in our selection. The point is that it prints with “ink” based on organic fabric. The device is specially designed for the needs of regenerative medicine and emergency care. The printer prints with special bio-inks based on collagen, hyaluronic acid, gelatin, and silk fibroin.
Dispenser 0.08-0.2 mm
UV wavelength 365nm
UV LED light source
Sterilization UV lamp
Temperature of printing table Up to 80 C
HEPA Filter H14
Working chamber area 100x100x80 mm
Speed 3-20 mm/sec
Nozzle diameter, mm 0,2; 0,4
Scope of application Medicine
The maximum accuracy is achieved by setting the nozzle with a different diameter – from 0.2 to 0.4 mm. The dispenser size is 0.08-0.2 mm. Biomaterial is applied to a rigid frame. Due to this it is possible to grow a full-fledged prototype of living tissue. Rokit Invivo is rightfully considered to be the first hybrid 3D device, which allows to recreate organic tissue in a short period of time.
Intamsys FUNMAT PRO 410
Finally we get to the classic FDM devices. The FUNMAT PRO 410 includes all the features that allow you to print as accurately and consistently as possible without stopping for calibration. The machine is a large metal box with a hidden inner working chamber. The construction area of the model is 305 × 305 × 406 mm.
Resolution along the Z axis 0.0016 mm
Resolution of X and Y axis 0.016 mm
Temperature of printing chamber 90°C
Temperature of printing table 160°C
Extruder temperature 450°C
Working chamber area 305 x 305 x 406 mm
Speed 300 mm/s
Number of printheads 2
Layer thickness from 50 μm
Diameter of filament 1.75
Nozzle diameter, mm 0.4 (0.25, 0.5, 0.6, 0.8, 1.2 mm)
Z-axis accuracy is an enviable 0.0016 mm. The resolution of the X and Y axes is 0.016 mm. The minimum thickness of the printed layer is 50 microns. Of the features we can mention double extruder, working temperature of nozzle up to 450 °C, temperature of heating table – up to 160 °C. An interesting solution is a constant temperature in the working chamber within 90 °C.
The device is used by various engineering and design offices, research institutes. Sufficiently large construction area allows to produce large-size parts. Printer supports more than 20 most common types of filaments.
There are different models of printing devices in the world. But not all of them can boast of high printing accuracy. Maximum detail of the final model is achieved through a combination of several factors. And only some printer models boast a stable frame, precise kinematics, and high print resolution.