There is nothing like having a high-quality printer in your possession, but a sturdy table, workbench or desk for it to sit on is more or less equally important as well.
A solid foundation is definitely a factor that can impact your print quality, so this article will list down some of the best surfaces 3D printer users make use of in their printing journeys.
What Makes a 3D Printer Workstation a Good One?
Before getting into the best 3D printer surfaces, I’m going to quickly go through some key information about what makes a good 3D printer workstation, so we’re all on the same page.
When buying a table for your 3D printer, make sure of its sturdiness beforehand. Stability is a crucial factor that determines your print quality, so be wary of this when you’re going to make the purchase.
As 3D printers are prone to vibrations and sudden movements, a well-built table will be tremendously useful in helping the printer do its job properly.
In addition, a sturdy workstation means that it is capable of holding the 3D printer according to its weight comfortably. Moreover, it should have a robust base.
This will attribute to the overall smoothness of the printing operation and certify the firmness of the whole procedure. Chances of something going wrong are drastically reduced from here on out.
A good workstation should not only include a strong foundation and sturdy build, but also an ample amount of space, which is fundamental for usability, especially with larger 3D printers.
First off, the workbench or table must have large enough dimensions to appropriately accommodate a 3D printer and handle its weight. The cherry on top with a great workstation is having a wide surface.
Why? Because a spacious worktable that can host a 3D printer will also have storage options available for printing accessories. Thus, you can arrange and organize everything related to 3D printing in one place.
Getting a table that genuinely confines your 3D printing to a specific, single location pays off very well. In this way, you won’t have to go to a different part of the house or lose focus. It can be your own 3D printing area that you have ahold of.
May it be post-processing or tweaking your 3D printer using a set of different tools, the ideal workstation has sufficient space for all requirements. We recommend getting a table that ticks all these boxes.
A Flat, Even Surface
Even if you see a durable, firm table with lots of room to spare, there’s still no point in buying it if the surface isn’t totally even. One of the most principle needs of a 3D printer that it has to be placed on a flat surface, no questions asked.
The floor or ground area where you 3D print may not be evenly levelled at all. In addition, many tables and workstations also might not be totally flat. We recommend a thorough inspection of this factor before you buy anything.
There are specially dedicated adjustable tables out there for 3D printers as well that allow the height of their legs to be correctly optimized. A feature like this guarantees that the workstation you’re getting is indeed worth the money.
How Does a Wobbly/Shaking Table Impact Print Quality?
When your 3D printer is working at higher speeds, especially during sections like infill, it causes vibrations, jerks, and rapid movements. All this leads to imperfections such as wavy lines or poor surfaces.
You don’t want to be 3D printing on a plastic table with frail supporting legs. You would rather set your 3D printer on the floor than use a surface like that.
Additionally, your prints may experience what is known as ghosting or ringing. This is another term for vibration but particularly for 3D printing.
I wrote an in-depth article about Ghosting/Ringing and how to fix it which you can check out. Tons of users experience this and don’t realize it for months of 3D printing!
Ringing is basically a wavy texture on the surface of your print that occurs when your 3D printer’s extrusion shakes or wobbles. The impact could worsen if the table on which your printer is placed is also prone to vibrations.
Moving parts of a printer aren’t entirely steady, especially around corners when they’re about to change direction. Usually, this is where ghosting or ringing takes it toll the most.
Therefore, the ringing artifacts that will leave marks on the print are mostly in the form of repeated lines on the model’s surface, ultimately reducing the quality and sometimes, even ruining the whole print.
This is why it’s essential to place your 3D printer on an appropriate table or workbench that never compromises on stability and sturdiness.
If you’re buying a $300+ 3D printer, you might as well invest a bit extra into a well-made workstation for your machine too so you can really get the best out of it, and take away complications that wouldn’t exist in the first place.
Another incident that could happen if your table is overly wobbly is that you may not be able to print at all.
A 3D printer prioritises steadiness and accuracy and is built on this very foundation, so with a table that’s consistently shaking, I doubt your printer can manage to extrude anything in place.
Therefore, the result will be a flabbergasting mess of plastic on your worktable. This is why it’s equally important to get a table that has perfectly made supporting legs, an evenly levelled surface, and enough room to host your printer and other useful items.
How to Make a DIY Workbench
Workbenches don’t always have to be bought, and in the case of 3D printing, it’s quite straightforward to make your very own workstation. The outcome may also be cheaper than you think, and on par with effectiveness when compared to an expensive table.
Here’s a well-crafted DIY workbench tutorial that’s pretty much ideal.
The tools and materials required to build this kind of a workstation aren’t over the top, as you can comprehend. On the contrary, the work is purely minimalistic and yields a convenient result.
The following steps show you exactly how to make your very own DIY workbench, and by the end of that, I’ll also mention a few handy additions.
- Start off with the proper assembly. The wood workbench frames will play their part here as you arrange for the workbench surface along with the lower shelf.
- Once you’ve got that sorted, continue by screwing the legs of the bench and subsequently attach the lower frame by turning the workbench upside down (you can use support during the attachment if you’re facing difficulty).
- Proceed with the surfaces of the worktable now. Screw them tightly to the frames you’ve just added. After this step, you’ll have to assemble the frame of the top shelf.
- Next, give a proper finish to this top-shelf frame, so anything that is placed on it has a compact yet harmless contact with the frame. Continue by adding legs for the top shelf.
- Finally, screw your top shelf to the workbench you’ve previously developed. After carefully doing that, you’ll be looking at your very own DIY worktable!
Additionally, you can mount an extension cable on one of the legs of the top shelf, and even mount a strip of lights atop your workbench. Apart from an aesthetic overhaul, proper lighting is necessary to make your workbench look like the jack-of-all-trades.
Not getting a step correctly? Here’s the video that shows the DIY process in action.
DIY IKEA Lack 3D Printer Enclosure
Illustrating the significance of DIY in the 3D printing field is a simple enclosure that you can make using IKEA Lack tables. Simple, but elegant, might I say.
An enclosure becomes almost a necessity when you’re working with high-temperature filaments like ABS. It helps keep the internal temperature stable, prevents warping and curling, reduces the noise level, and even keeps your printer away from the dust.
There are many expensive enclosures out there, but opting for a cheaper option by building one yourself with an IKEA table that costs about $10 is really something else.
Originally coming from a Prusa blog article, the video below shows you the whole process in the flesh.
I wrote an article specifically about 3D Printer Enclosures: A Temperature & Ventilation Guide that you can check out for some key information about the best types.
Best Tables/Desks for 3D Printing
Now that we’ve pointed down the essentials of this topic, let’s get to the main part. The following are two of the best tables for your 3D printer that are also well-grounded on Amazon.
This SHW 48-Inch Table is a great option to get you started with 3D printing. It’s also listed as one of the best sellers on Amazon while being labelled as the Amazon’s Choice, and that’s all for good reason.
For starters, the table has the dimensions of 48″ W x 23.8″ D x 28″ H, which is more than enough for printers like the Creality Ender 3. Moreover, it has pre-determined metal chambers so you don’t have to worry about the screws going too far in to damage the table.
The material of its surface is made with engineered wood while the rest of the framework is consolidated with powder-coated steel. Furthermore, its shape is fully rectangular and the table itself adapts to your workspace environment in a highly diverse manner.
At its core, this SHW table is truly a versatile product that suits a multitude of occasions, and not just 3D printing. It’s adorned with an intricately stylized design and hosts a combination of three different colours where you can choose the one you like.
Subsequently, when it comes to this table’s quality, people have been genuinely surprised. Most of the reviews say that this is their sturdiest bought table yet and that the underdog product has delivered beyond their expectations.
Its top-grade stability allows it to comfortably host a 3D printer and minimize all prospects of any vibration. The table boasts a smooth surface and measures up to be the perfect size for your printing requirements, considering that you may want to put down a handful of accessories besides your printer.
People also say that this was just the thing they were looking for. The firm foundation of the table is truly multipurpose and with its strapping quality, you can rest assured that you won’t be experiencing wobbling when 3D printing.
It’s easy to move around and quite possibly the biggest selling factors of this table is the very easy setup that hardly even takes 10 minutes. The table leaves you ample workspace on the top and appreciable legroom below.
Get yourself the SWH Home Office 48 Inch Computer Desk from Amazon today.
The Foxemart Worktable is another top of the line option for your 3D printer in the premium range. It’s a bit pricier, but with the level of quality it’s packing, you won’t regret a single penny.
The table boasts a 0.6″ thick surface board and comes with a frame that’s consolidated with metal. Additionally, it’s very spacious and has the dimensions of 47.27″ x 23.6″ 29.53″, being able to host large printers and a lot beside that as well.
Not to mention the matte black legs and the table’s space-saving design, but this product simply brings you value for your money. There are expensive yet similar tables as well out there but the bang for your buck doesn’t compare when it comes to this Amazon’s bestseller.
For a 3D printer, it can be effectively used as a sturdy workstation and can even look quite good at that too. This is because this Foxemart table comprises a rustic wooden colour combined with a dashing black top that does nothing except leave a luxurious impression.
Besides, people have really liked how this table isn’t hard to assemble. In fact, you can do so with the most minimal of efforts, and not even begin to break a sweat. Comfort and stability are all over the place with it, in all honesty.
Continuing with the prominent features, the table is very easy to clean and even waterproof. This is why it’s truthfully low maintenance, and sets you up for a long time because of its top-quality standard.
In your work environment, the Foxemart table looks like a costly product and is an eye-catcher for anyone who passes by. However, when its practicality is assessed, the legs of the table can be adjusted up to 2 cm so stability isn’t compromised by any means.
This worktable holds its ground even when the floor isn’t even.
Underneath the table is two small shelves that do a great job of keeping your necessary items organized and secure. The bottom shelf is big enough to host a tower while the top shelf can manage your tools related to 3D printing painlessly.
The multipurpose and ultra-strong build standard of this table vouches for the quality itself.
Check out several positive reviews on Amazon and purchase yourself a high quality Foxemart 47-Inch Office Table for your 3D printing adventures today.
Best Workbenches for 3D Printing
To carry on with the article, here are two of the best workbenches that can handle 3D printing nicely.
A solid option for all those seeking the budget range is this first-rate buildable workbench that falls under the category of do-it-yourself.
What’s really admirable about this 2x4basics product is its immense customization. There are literally endless ways to configure this bench, and you can use it for any purpose you like. Us getting it for 3D printing, are no exception of taking a massive advantage here.
In terms of 3D printing, this purchase will set you up for good. Reviews repeatedly affirm how this custom workbench attributes to be very sturdy and stable.
In order for you to make this at the right amount of size, the manufacturers decided not to include the lumber, for this will only limit your modifications. This is because the benefit here is to make a workbench for whatever size you want, and adding in lumber may quite not meet your demand.
Therefore, to accommodate your wishful thinking, the kit only contains the 4 workbench legs and 6 shelf links. Lumber isn’t very costly, especially if it’s been bought from the right place, and the fact that you need only 90° cutting and none of those complicated angular hassles, setting this DIY workbench up is a breeze.
Having said that, the assembly won’t take more than an hour. To talk concerning your possibilities with customization, you can paint and prime this workbench prior to assembly, giving it an aesthetic appeal.
Apart from the fact that the 2x4basics brackets are made out of heavy gauge structural resin, the workbench you’ll make will be fit to withstand harsh conditions. And when 3D printing goes wrong, you’ll see how this characteristic is substantially beneficial.
People have found this method of building a workbench truly lively and fun. Since there isn’t a great deal of endeavour involved, you’ll soon find yourself having a cheap yet great workstation of your own.
Plywood and a number of 2×4 lumber will do the trick here, coming off as a relatively cheap way to treat your 3D printer.
For a nice budget option workbench that gets the job done, get yourself the 2×4 Basics Custom Workbench from Amazon.
Welcoming a dive into the premium class here, the CubiCubi 55″ Workbench is a sight to behold. It’s a smartly built table that perfectly fits a 3D printer and ensures the utmost stability- everything that a perfect worktable should be proud of.
After all, it isn’t the Amazon’s Choice for nothing.
Offering a vintage vibe, the contrasting colour difference of the table fits in attractively with the rest of the furniture. It’s big enough for a 3D printer to be easily placed on it while leaving room for even more accessories.
Many buyers said that the table was bigger than they thought it would be, coming off as a pleasant surprise.
The four legs of this workbench being 1.6″ have been made extra-strong alongside the power-coated and highly durable steel frame. Moreover, it features a triangular junction design beneath that ups the stability and acts as an anti-wobble mechanism.
In addition, there is a plentiful of legroom too.
Assembly will hardly take up to 30 minutes, thanks to the carefully detailed instructions page that teaches you how to put everything together from A to Z. You just have to install the 4 legs and finish with a prompt fix of the desktop board on the top.
To speak of the shape, the table is fashionably modern and has dark and rustic brown wooden boards, boasting a splice board design.
The size in numbers is 55″ L x 23.6″ W x 29.5″ H which shows that your 3D printer will cherish its stay while enjoying a wobble-free contact with the surface.
Inclusive in your order is a small table as well. In terms of 3D printing, you can use this as a neat accessory alongside your printer and keep your stuff either above or below it. Furthermore, the table comes with a hook too.
This could be screwed on a wall or directly attached to the table instead to hang an extra spool of filament, perhaps.
CubiCubi offers a 24-month warranty on this product with the promise of an excellent customer service experience. As the plethora of reviews precedes them, this investment seems candidly worthy.
The professional look and sturdiness of the CubiCubi 55-Inch Office Desk makes it a great choice for your 3D printing needs, so get it on Amazon today.