Advances in 3D-printing technology have seen the production of 3D printers become more widely accessible in recent years.
The increased interest in them when FDM patents became part of the public domain saw their popularity soar and resulted in a drop in prices.
With so many options to choose from these days, it can be hard sourcing the printer that best suits your needs.
Are you printing multiple prototypes for a new product, or are you a keen DIY-er who wants the ability to make anything you can dream up?
Whatever the intended use is, any of the five dual-extruder 3D printers reviewed in this article would make an excellent choice.
Further down you’ll find a buyer’s guide, which gives greater detail on some of the stand-out features you’ll want to consider, and I’ve also answered some commonly asked questions.
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- Review of The Best Dual-Extruder 3D Printer
- Other Great Dual-Extruder 3D Printers
- Buyer’s Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
Review of The Best Dual-Extruder 3D Printer
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My top pick is this sleek, high-tech 3D printer from QIDI TECH.
Equipped with the most advanced technology, the X-Pro 3D printer is at the forefront of its class, ideal for a range of purposes from education to engineering, home design use, or for hobbyists.
The printer performs impressively with 0.05-0.4 millimeter precision detail, and it allows you to incorporate bright, bold colors and multiple materials into one creative design.
The QIDI Print automatic slicing software can be tailored to your printing needs and preference.
It’s simple to set up the printer and the improved 4.3-inch touch screen makes operation easier than ever before with real-time printing status updates.
You can use multiple filament types to complete your project or use the dual extruders to make light work of repeat copies.
Features such as the power-breaking point make this a hugely convenient printer to use with none of the frustration of some other models.
Caught in a power outage? This function means you won’t lose your work, and it will resume from where it left off when power returns.
Customers love how easily the curved metal plate can be removed once printing is done, as this helps to reduce the risk of damage, which can affect the accuracy of the final model.
Previous purchasers of the QIDI TechX-Pro Printer also rave about the one-to-one helpline that is guaranteed to respond to your query in under 12 hours.
- Excellent customer service and QIDI TECH one-to-one assistance.
- Improved design.
- Compatible with multiple materials.
- Removable curved metal plate.
- One-year warranty.
- Some reported quality-control issues.
Other Great Dual-Extruder 3D Printers
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One of the leading printers in the 3D-printing industry is the Creator Pro printer from Flashforge, a dependable brand that’s committed to producing high-quality products.
It’s a much-improved version of the previous model, with the frame offering more thermal resistance and better accuracy.
The plug-and-play 3D printer features a simple LED control panel and an easily accessible SD slot.
Alternatively, instruct your printer via a laptop by connecting it to the USB port.
It’s incredibly user friendly making it a great choice for beginners and students.
It has a large build area and a heated build plate, although it’s not removable like with some models, which is less convenient.
The aviation level aluminum plate is 6.3 millimeters thick and has a flat surface to prevent any warping from occurring as the printer heats up.
There’s LED lighting to illuminate the printing area so you can see exactly what’s happening and a new wiring router for the extruder, which helps to prevent wear and tear around this area.
If you do encounter issues, some customers complain that the customer helpline could be more helpful, which is perhaps the only drawback to this efficient printer.
That, and the fact that it’s slightly louder than other models I’ve looked at.
- Durable construction and heavy-duty metal frame.
- Compatible with a large range of materials.
- No warping during the heating process.
- Full manufacturer’s guarantee.
- Great email support from expert Flashforge technicians.
- Slightly noisier operation.
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Next up is the BIBO 3D Dual-Extruder Printer.
Designed for long-lasting use, the 6 millimeter thick aluminum composite panel is incredibly durable and offers more reliability than a plastic frame would.
You can achieve better temperature control thanks to the design as the acrylic hood and front panel mean the printer can be fully enclosed to trap heat, yet it can also be removed if you’re using PLA filament for improved cooling.
Capable of printing in dual colors or with more than one material, the dual-extruder printer is compatible with dissolvable filament so you can create easy-to-remove structure support for your models.
The reason it stands out from the other options is because of its laser engraving technology, which allows you to etch words and logos onto either wood or leather in addition to 3D printing.
It’s packed full of useful features, such as filament detection that will automatically pause until you’ve reloaded a fresh spool and a continue-printing function that means you won’t lose where you left off should the power run out.
Combined with the intuitive full-color touch screen interface and Wi-Fi control, this is a seriously high-tech piece of printing equipment.
- Durable construction and high-quality materials used in manufacturing.
- Removable casing for improved temperature control.
- Compatible with dissolvable filament.
- Laser engraving technology.
- Multiple features including continue printing and filament detection.
- The most expensive option included here.
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From a company that prides itself on manufacturing open-source 3D printers, the GEEETECH A10M is their new and improved 3D printer and is a vast upgrade compared to the preceding model.
It’s hugely popular thanks to its dual-nozzle 3D-printing technology, which allows you to blend two colors within a single print design, creating a cocktail of swirls and gradients.
Choose from four dual 3D-printing modes, including single, dual, gradient, or mix colors.
Considering that it’s the most affordable option included on this list, it has a lot to offer for any maker allowing you to be hugely versatile in your designs.
There are also additional features, such as the filament detection system and break-resume.
You won’t have any trouble setting up this 3D printer as it should take just 20 minutes to assemble.
Everything you need is included, but the instructions provided could be a little more comprehensive although you have access to a lifetime of technical support if you do need assistance.
- Dual-nozzle 3D-printing technology for creating multi-colored models.
- Most affordable option.
- Versatile use.
- A number of useful features.
- Quick and easy to assemble.
- Lifetime technical support.
- Easy to accidentally scratch the super plate with the nozzle.
- Instructions aren’t very detailed.
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The final printer in this list the TENLOG TG-D3 Pro 3D Dual-Extruder Printer, which uses IDEX technology so that the dual nozzles are independent of each other.
This means you can utilize the dual-duplication or mirror mode to produce simultaneously identical copies using the same or different colors.
You can also create dissolvable supports using this 3D printer, which is easier than trying to remove regular supports post-printing production.
Simply leave to soak in water, and the support will come away from the model easily.
Useful functions include a resume-printing feature in the case of a power cut, so you won’t have to worry about having to start over as it’ll remember the last point of printing and resume from there.
There’s also a filament-run-out-detection function that protects the workings of your printer and tells you when you’re running low.
It features an upgraded borosilicate glass bed for improved print quality and no warping.
There’s also a self-developed silent motherboard tmc2208 driver that is built-in, and this provides anti-interference and more consistent performance.
The easy-to-assemble printer will be up and running shortly after it arrives as it comes partly pre-assembled already, leaving you with just three steps to complete to finish setting it up.
Total setup should take less than 10 minutes.
- Features IDEX technology for simultaneous dual printing.
- Borosilicate glass reduces the chance of warping.
- Built-in self-developed silent motherboard.
- Includes features like resume printing function and filament-run-out-detection sensors.
- One-year manufacturers warranty and lifetime technical support.
- Some customers report connectivity issues.
- Instructions and technical support is poor.
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Why Choose a Dual-Extruder Printer?
Is two really better than one? The short answer is, yes.
With a single extruder printer, you’re limited in terms of what you can produce.
Objects can only be made with one material or color unless you change the filament during printing.
This can be tricky, however, and it makes the printing process much longer and more complicated than necessary.
Comparably, a dual extruder can print in more than one color or material.
You’ll have greater flexibility and freedom over your designs, and you’ll also save time by no longer having to paint on the second (third, or fourth) colors once the object has finished being printed.
Even for single color or material models, two can get the job done faster.
Furthermore, when creating more complicated models, there’s the option to print the support using a dissolvable filament rather than struggling to remove it post-production, which is especially difficult when the filament material is the same you’re using for the object itself.
HIPS and PVA are both particularly popular choices for dual-extruder 3D printers.
Ease of Use
The first things you need to check are the maximum nozzle temperature and the materials that can be used with the printer, as not all materials will be compatible with every machine.
This determines what you can actually work with and what you can use your printer for.
With more creative freedom comes more complex user instructions, or so it goes most of the time.
It’s therefore worth thinking about how easy your 3D printer will be to set up and use.
Otherwise, you won’t be able to make the most of all that these machines have to offer.
Some of the higher-end models will feature a touch screen LED user interface for easy control and settings adjustment.
However, even the more budget-friendly options tend to feature an intuitive interface with a large dial control or simple arrow buttons.
You should also think about assembly and how easy (or not) this will be.
For example, the filaments will need to be calibrated perfectly to produce precise, accurate results, or your model could end up warping.
An instructions manual will be provided, but the level of detail included varies between brands.
Don’t panic if you think you’ll really have trouble as some models arrive partly or fully pre-assembled.
Features and Functions
In terms of performance, the two key things to consider are print speed and precision, which will tell you how quickly you can complete a printing job and how accurate the final results are.
Whether or not the printer delivers on these performance promises depends on the brand’s quality control.
Customer reviews are another good way to find out if a printer performs well, and you aren’t forced to take the product description at its word.
Some of the high-quality printers will feature additional functions that improve the printer’s performance and make the overall experience more seamless.
For example, certain models include a resume-printing function or a filament-run-out detection, with the aim to enhance user convenience and to protect the printer from wear and tear.
Another useful feature is IDEX technology, which can have you seeing double of your designs as it allows you to create two identical copies of one design simultaneously.
This makes it much less time consuming to print multiple copies of a single model as you’ll have double the extruder power.
Nobody likes a noisy work environment, and there’s nothing more disruptive than a printer with a loud operation volume whirring away while you work.
Luckily, a lot of the newer models are making an effort to reduce the noise produced during printing, and many offer whisper-quiet operation.
Every marketing team is going to claim that their printer operates quietly, but since this is somewhat up for interpretation, the best place to find an accurate description of the noise levels is to check out the customer reviews section.
This will give you a less biased view of the product from the perspective of someone who’s tried and tested it.
The size of the models you’re able to make directly correlates to the size of the printer.
It’s easy to assume that the bigger the printer the better, but don’t forget that larger printers are typically more expensive due to their versatility and the wider range of things you can create.
To find out the capacity your machine is capable of printing, look for the build volume of the printer.
This is typically measured in millimeters or inches and should be listed in the product description.
Don’t forget the measurements of the machine itself as there’s also storage to consider, and when they’re not in use these machines can take up a fair amount of space in your workroom or office.
One thing you can’t use your 3D printer for is to print out some extra cash, although wouldn’t it be handy if you could?
Ignore everything you think you know about how much a printer costs because dual-extruder 3D printers are in a league of their own in terms of price.
This can hugely vary depending on the brand and model, sometimes upwards of $6,000 if you’re looking at the professional-quality 3D printers.
As well as the initial payment, there’s also repair and maintenance to consider, as with a dual-extruder 3D printer you’ll have double the replacement costs should things wear out.
I scoured the internet so that I could include a range of options in this article to cater to different budgets without compromising on quality as they’re each a great printer in their own right.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It worth Getting a Dual-Extruder 3D Printer?
If you’re going to be printing simplistic designs in single colors or materials, then you might not think it’s worth it to equip yourself with a dual-extruder 3D printer.
It does mean you’ll have double the filament power and performance, but again, improved print times alone might not be enough for you to consider it a worthy expense.
However, anyone who’s planning on creating more complicated, intricate designs will find a dual extruder invaluable when it comes to 3D printing.
It’s definitely worth it to have multiple material/color options as it’ll make your printing process a lot swifter and smoother.
What Is the Most Flexible 3D-Printing Material?
One of the most flexible materials you can use for 3D printing is thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU).
When it comes to mixing materials and colors, it will mostly come down to trial and error (and lots of practice!).
My top tip would be, if you’re using more than one, to try and stick to materials that reach similar temperatures during printing.
Avoid, for example, using PLA and ABS as these are more likely to warp or result in adhesive issues.