Single Extruder vs Dual Extruder 3D Printer

Delving into the captivating world of 3D printing, soon you’ll be at the crossroads, deciding between the uncomplicated single extruder and the multifaceted dual extruder 3D printer. Fear not, tech fans! This piece will be your beacon, lighting the path to an informed decision tailored to your printing aspirations. A single extruder 3D printer epitomizes elegance and straightforwardness. Newbies will adore its user-friendly nature and swift acclimatization.


Conversely, the dual extruder is intricate, bursting with diverse functions, setting a canvas of boundless possibilities. But remember, the finale rests upon individual tastes and goals. Dive deeper with me, Carolina, your tech enthusiast, as we unpack this from every conceivable angle. From weighing the advantages and downsides to showcasing the stellar single and dual extruder 3D printers, this article is designed to arm you with conviction for your next purchase.

Single Extruder vs. Dual Extruder 3D Printer

Single Extruder 3D Printers
The Advantages
Effortless Printing
Catering especially to beginners, single extruder printers owe their charm to their singular nozzle. They come highly endorsed for those embarking on their 3D printing journey, ensuring you’ll never feel lost.

Seamless Calibration
Aligning the Z-axis is a cinch and accomplished promptly. Boasting only one nozzle, the calibration process is notably smoother. Users consistently applaud the straightforwardness of adjusting the printer’s pressure settings, although slight variances might exist between models.

Unadulterated Simplicity
For those content with mono-colored outputs and seeking an undemanding, fuss-free experience, the single extruder is your loyal companion.

The market brims with affordable yet competent single extruder 3D printers. With the relentless evolution of the printing realm, the quest for cost-effective and proficient printers intensifies. Given their exclusive reliance on a single filament type, your expenses are curtailed, making them an economical choice.

The Limitations
Restrained Capabilities
Despite the commendable results with single extruder 3D printing, the range is restrictive. Bound to a solitary color palette and confined to a single nozzle’s dimensions and filament, you’re tethered from realizing the zenith of 3D printing innovation.

Support Filament Constraints
Numerous filament varieties exist, including the vital support filament, which is indispensable for intricate designs. Unfortunately, single extruders lack the capacity for an auxiliary filament, compelling users to rely on support tools like rafts or skirts. While functional, these aids can sometimes mar the final product, necessitating meticulous post-production for pristine quality.

Dual Extruder 3D Printers
The Advantages
A Realm of Infinite Possibilities
Dual extrusion unravels a spectrum of opportunities, amplifying versatility. With the privilege of alternating between printing materials seamlessly, the entire experience becomes streamlined.

Masterful Support Implementation
Boasting a specialized secondary extruder, the utility scope multiplies. For instance, water-soluble filaments like PVA, when combined with other thermoplastics, yield impeccable results without any unsightly residues, a challenge often encountered with single extruders.

Vivid Colors, Robust Designs, and Beyond
The dual extruder’s ability to simultaneously print in diverse hues has revolutionized sectors like anatomy and automotive. The addition of varying materials can enhance print resilience, while the dual extrusion even facilitates simultaneous printing of twin identical objects, known as Ditto Printing.

The Challenges
Potential Overkill
Despite the allure of dual extruders, your needs might be adequately met by high-caliber single extruder 3D printers. If simplicity is your mantra, investing in a dual extruder might be overambitious.

Higher Expenses
Dual extruders command a premium. Apart from the initial investment, the inclusion of a second extruder necessitates additional filament purchases.

Intensified Maintenance
Extruders demand periodic care. With two nozzles and hot ends, dual extruder printers inherently pose a heightened maintenance challenge.

Single or Dual Extruder 3D Printer: The Verdict
The decision is deeply personal, anchored in individual preferences and objectives. If you’re an amateur, a single extruder is your best bet. Yet, for the seasoned printer or those tackling projects demanding multi-hued outputs or diverse thermoplastics, the dual extruder is a dream.

Top Single Extruder 3D Printers
Creality Ender 3 V2
This gem, an upgrade of the iconic Creality Ender 3, is laden with state-of-the-art features without breaking the bank. With an enhanced design, a vibrant LCD screen, and noise-reducing chips, the Ender 3 is bound to impress.
– Filament diameter: 1.75 mm
– Compatible materials: PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU
– Bed leveling: Manual
– Print bed: Heated
– Display: LCD color screen
– Connectivity: MicroSD card, USB

Original Prusa i3 MK3S
The gold standard in budget-friendly 3D printing, the Prusa i3 MKS is unparalleled in performance within its price bracket. Offering a plethora of features like filament sensors and bed autocalibration, it’s the embodiment of excellence.
– Build Volume: 250 x 210 x 200mm
– Filament Diameter: 1.75 mm
– Max. Extruder Temperature: 300°C
– Connectivity: SD Card, USB

MakerGear M2
Synonymous with superior quality, the MakerGear M2 is an embodiment of reliability and top-tier value, engineered to rival industrial-grade printers.
– Build Volume: 254 x 203 x 203mm
– Min Layer Height: 25 microns
– Printing Speed: 80-200 mm/s
– Filament Diameter: 1.75mm

Stellar Dual Extruder 3D Printers
Geeetech A20M
Distinguished by a generous print volume and the unique ability to showcase filament transitions, the A20M is a master at crafting the mesmerizing spectrum effect.
– Filament Diameter: 1.75 mm
– Compatible Materials: PLA, PETG, PVA, HIPS
– Accuracy: X & Y axes 11 Micron, Z axis 2.5 Micron
– Extruder Type: Dual Extruder with Single Nozzle

FlashForge Creator Pro
Renowned in the 3D printing world, the Creator Pro is an epitome of affordability and efficiency. Its features, like the enclosed print chamber and robust metal frame, make it a favorite among enthusiasts.
– Build volume: 227 x 148 x 150mm
– Extruder type: Dual
– Max. extruder temperature: 260°C
– Print chamber: Enclosed

Ultimaker 3
A marvel in dual extrusion, the Ultimaker 3 exemplifies perfection in every facet. From its sturdy design to the dual nozzle cartridge-style print cores, it promises unparalleled results