Delta Vs Cartesian 3D Printers

3D Printing has taken the whole manufacturing industry by storm, by reducing prototype lead times while saving on costs.

3D printing has evolved beyond a niche hobby to become a robust technology used in research and development, product design, manufacturing business, education, architecture etc. For any 3D printing system to be properly specified and engineered for manufacturing, the printer needs to fit into the workflow smoothly.

Beginners are confused on which mechanism to opt for especially for their first machine. For those in to 3D Printing for a long time, know the cold war that is being waged upon between Delta vs Cartesian 3D Printer Mechanisms,

The 3D Space follows the Cartesian Coordinate System, but we have different mechanisms that cover this 3D Space. Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) Technology has a variety of 3D Printing mechanisms to choose from ranging from Cartesian, Scara, Delta, Polar Etc. In this blog we are going to cover the two commonly used mechanisms for 3D Printing which is Cartesian Mechanism & Delta Mechanism

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Advantages –

  1. Easy to Manufacture
  2. Maximum Space Utilization
  3. Widely Used Mechanism
  4. Printing Flexible Materials (Thanks to Direct Drive Mechanism)
  5. Great Community Support

Disadvantages –

1. Higher Maintenance Costs compared to Delta Mechanism

2. Frequent Calibration Required

3. Comparatively Noisier

Cartesian 3D Printing System has a Hotend Mounted on a planar system either moving along the XY Axis and the Gantry System which holds the build plate moves along the Z Axis.

Delta 3D Printer

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Advantages –

  1. Lower Maintenance Costs
  2. Faster Print Speeds
  3. Build Plate is Stationary
  4. Frequency of Calibration is Much Lower
  5. Silent Machines

 Disadvantages –

 1. Printing Flexible Materials can be     difficult (Bowd Drive  Mechanism)

 2.Space Utilization is Lower 

Delta 3D Printing is completely different from the cartesian mechanism. Here we have a fixed build plate, ideally circular in shape, while the hotend moves across all 3 axis of XYZ.

Personally we have used both the Cartesian as well as the Delta Mechanism, and we have found that once you are accustomed to the Delta Mechanism, shifting to the cartesian mechanism seems a little difficult and more complex, especially leveling the bed with the screw adjustments and making sure that the first layer is perfectly printing so that the chances of failure reduces.

Cartesian 3D printers have been designed from the ground up to follow the Cartesian coordinate system. Delta 3D printers are a more modern take with their design based on gantry systems, holding the build plate in fixed position. The build plate does not move at all; instead the hotend does all of the work.

We are not saying that the delta mechanism is completely perfect but yet the frequency of calibration is much more less overall (Like once in 3 to 4 Months for us), unlike the cartesian, where after every 3 to 4 prints(1 to 2 Days) the bed needs to be calibrated. This will not pinch a lot initially but once you build a farm of 3D Printers you will realize time is money, and spending 5 to 10 minutes everyday on a machine for calibration is pretty cumbersome and time consuming.