2019 Year in Review: The Most Important 3D Printer Launches

It’s the end of the year and the end of a decade.

The zeroes (or naughties) are over and the twenties have begun. What will 3D printing have in store for us over the next ten years? That’s anybody’s guess. We’d love to have a time machine so we could find out. What we do know is what has happened so far, and 2019 was a great year for 3D printing and our partners.

In many ways, 2019 followed a familiar theme to 2018: desktop 3D printers grew in popularity – particularly in schools and in the workplace – and large-format 3D printers continued to solve problems on the manufacturing line (increasingly for big players like Heineken). More designers and engineers introduced 3D printing into their workflow, and the technologies and components that power 3D printers have got better than ever.

The cool stuff came from new product launches, though. Formlabs, 3DGence and Ultimaker have each treated us to some really cool machines which we’ll recap in this guide.

Formlabs launches

Form 3 and Form 3L


Formlabs launched two successors to the Form 2 in the Form 3 and a larger-format 3D printer called the Form 3L. These new printers utilise Low Force Stereolithography (LFS) which uses a light processing unit (LPU), parabolic mirror and spatial filter to print superbly detailed models. It significantly reduces the peel forces per layer versus traditional stereolithography, so supports can be much lighter and touchpoints on models smaller.

Find out more by reading our launch post. We’ve also published a Form 3L guide and Form 3 guide.  

Form 3B

Form 3B

The Form 3B is similar to the Form 3 but it is designed specifically for dental applications, with a custom-designed light engine which moves the laser even more smoothly and consistently across the build volume for unrivalled accuracy and model quality. It’s designed to print the complete Formlabs dental library, to create crowns, bridges, diagnostic models, surgical guides, occlusal splints, patterns for casting and pressing and more.

Find out more by reading our launch post.

Fuse 1

Fuse 1

The Fuse 1 is a Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printer which sinters nylon powder, a versatile material that is tough and extremely resistant to abrasion. With SLS, you can produce parts without supports (unlike with SLA or LFS) which frees up the potential geometric complexity of designs. This also allows you to pack the build chamber and print a larger series of parts and models in one sitting.

Find out more by reading our launch post.

Zortrax launches

Zortrax M300 Dual

Zortrax M300 Dual

The M300 Dual prints using dual-extrusion LPD Plus technology with single and dual extrusion modes. LPD is another name for FFF, a process which deposits melted material layer by layer onto the build platform. The M300 Dual is compatible with perforated, glass, and other build platforms, which enables it to print a wide range of materials reliably while maintaining model quality and good repeatability.

This particular printer can be thought of as a direct upgrade to the older M200 Plus, so long as your workspace allows for the slightly larger footprint.

Find out more by reading our launch post.

Ultimaker launches

Ultimaker S3


The Ultimaker S3 is Ultimaker’s most compact entry to their S Line range, which has enhanced performance, functionality, and quality over the standard line.

It’s identical to the S5 except in one area – build volume – which stands at 230 x 190 x 200 mm (9.1 x 7.4 x 7.9 inches). It utilises swappable print cores, enabling you to print standard, abrasive and build materials. This is one of the best 3D printers on the market with dual and single extrusion modes and support for third party materials, as well as Ultimaker PLA, Tough PLA, ABS, Nylon, CPE, CPE+, PC, PP, TPU 95A, PVA and Breakaway.

Find out more by reading our S3 guide.

In addition to the S3, Ultimaker also launched two add-ons for the S5:

Ultimaker S5 Air Manager

The Ultimaker S5 Air Manager sits atop of the Ultimaker S5, providing an optimised environment for external airflow and filtering up to 95% of ultrafine particles. The inside-out airflow also helps to stabilise airflow into the build chamber, resulting in a more reliable and consistent 3D printing experience than ever.

Ultimaker S5 Material Station

The Ultimaker S5 Material Station sits beneath the Ultimaker S5 with geared feeder holders for 6 spools of filament. The S5 cycles through each spool of filament until each runs out or it can pull different filament through on request to suit the print job. This automates the finicky process of material swapping and increases uptime.

You can find out more about the Air Manager and Material Station here.

Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle

Ultimaker S5 Material Station and Air Manager

Also launched in 2019, the Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle gives you the Ultimaker S5 printer, Ultimaker S5 Air Manager and Ultimaker S5 Material Station in one package, giving you everything you need for a reliable, high-performance 3D printing experience. Alternatively, the Air Manager and Material Station are available separately, although a small saving can be made by opting for the Pro Bundle.

Find out more by reading our S5 Pro Bundle Guide.

Builder 3D launches

Builder Extreme PRO updates

Builder 3D

Builder 3D released a series of updates for their Extreme PRO range of 3D printers in 2019, making their large-format 3D printers better than ever.

In May, they announced that all new Extreme 1000, Extreme 1500 and Extreme 2000 3D printer models would have a 7” touchscreen, automatic filament detection and a UPS system. Then, in December 2019, they announced models made in 2020 would have the following upgrades:

– An enhanced print speed of up to 300 mm p/s with a print travel speed up to 500 mm p/s
– Automatic build plate levelling
– An aluminium build plate
– The option of a BOFA air filter

The latter upgrades (listed above) are massive upgrades, putting the Extreme PRO range well ahead of the competition for features and usability.

You can find out more about these 3D printer upgrades here.

3DGence launches

3DGence F420


If you’re an engineer who makes functional parts, the 3DGence F420 should go down as one of the most exciting 3D printer launches of 2019.

This FFF printer can print traditional thermoplastics like ABS and PLA, specialised materials like polycarbonate, PA and ASA, and the engineering polymers PEEK and ULTEM AM9085F thanks to its swappable print modules. The F420 is also wicked fast with print speeds up to 400 m/s and has a large 380 x 380 x 420 mm build volume.

Other features include automatic spool changing, material detection with NFC, an in-built ULT filtration unit which can filter emissions and dust, a UPS (uninterrupted power supply) with a capacity up to 71ah, 3DGence Cloud support with remote controls and a live camera feed, and a patent-pending rapid build chamber heating system.

You can find out more about the 3DGence F420 by reading our guide.