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3D printing miniatures can mean any kind of small models. Tabletop games are popular with loyal communities of fans albeit expensive. Finding a good 3D printer for miniatures can often be a challenge. More so if you do not have much previous experience with these devices.
This article, therefore, will point you to some of the best 3D printers for miniatures available in the market that you can buy as well as factors that you need to consider when choosing one that will best meet your needs and preferences.
In a Hurry? Below are the best 3D Printer For Miniatures:
What to look for when buying a 3d printer for miniatures
The sheer volume of printers available in the market can make it very difficult to make a good choice since not all are good for printing miniatures. However, during your buying process, you can use the below list of criteria to judge a good 3D printer.
A printer’s nozzle diameter is the most critical factor when it comes to picking a 3D printer for miniatures. Most come with a nozzle diameter of 0.4mm. When it comes to miniatures, the smaller the diameter of the nozzle, the better. This is because the small diameter of the nozzle allows you to increase the level of details that you can accomplish on your print as well as the overall quality of the miniature.
Consider buying a printer that is versatile thus can work with various filament types. This will save you time and energy. A printer that has unstable parts affects the level of details of the miniature. A printer made of quality material ensures there is no need for a lot of post-printing processing, which is a great bonus. Thus go for a printer with a metal structure instead of plastic.
When deciding on the right printer, one question you should look to answer is if it offers sufficient precision for your needs. Your 3D printer needs to be able to produce items at a much higher resolution than other models. However, keep in mind that 3D printers with a higher degree of detail will often cost more than the ones with a lower printing resolution.
Reliability is one of the most important features that you need to look out for in the best 3D printers in order to produce precise work. Ensure you get your printer from a company that has experience in the field as well as a good reputation, as that will improve the reliability immensely.
Go through reviews by customers who have used the products to find out more about the performance ratings as an indication of how reliable the printer is. Note that buying printers from unproven manufacturers could end up both disappointing and costing you in the long run if the machine stops working on you.
Ease of use
Some models come with clear user manuals that help guide you on how to properly operate your 3D printer to achieve quality work. The ease of use of a 3D printer goes a long way to determine just how much time you put into your model before getting that perfect result. If you are a beginner, start off with a simpler machine that you will be able to use comfortably.
Ultimately, your 3D printer’s user-friendliness depends on your willingness and dedication to learn how to use it and whether or not you already have the experience needed to use it. In order to be able to make the most advanced miniatures using your 3D printer, then you may have to learn sooner or later.
Another important factor you need to consider when looking to buy a 3D printer is the price point. Compare prices of different manufacturers to determine if you are getting a good deal before settling on your final pick. Ideally, 3D printers that have the capability of producing fine designs with utmost precision are likely to be priced above average as compared to other models available in the market.
Although extra features often come with an additional cost, they make your job easier as a user. Look for features such as touchscreens instead of the normal buttons, so that you will not have to worry about a complicated user interface. A filament detection capability to inform you when you are about to run out thus making refills more convenient.
Other models have systems in place such that they will resume printing if your job is cut short by a lack of filament or power interruption. This prevents you from losing your work. Your 3D printer is able to pick up exactly where you left off on your printing job.
Review of the Best 3D Printer for Miniatures
1. ANYCUBIC Photon S 3D Printer
The Anycubic Photon DLP 3D Printer is an appealing option for anyone searching for a low-cost desktop DLP 3D printer. This model is creating a buzz in the market for not just its affordability, but also its print quality and ease of use. It makes an excellent SLA/DLP 3D printing machine for both seasoned users and beginners.
Compared to FDM, resin 3D printing offers much better print quality and resolution. If you will be using this machine for the first time, there is a slight learning curve to be expected. Fortunately, the manual included in the package as well as other widely available online resources will make your learning process a breeze.
From where I stand, this is an almost perfect machine with the only downsides being universal resin printing concerns. This includes minor issues with material handling, post-processing, and safety. While this printer has a small build volume, it still offers plenty of space to make a decent number of projects a complete success. You must, however, pay attention to the post-processing chemicals and sticky resin you will be using.
Apart from that, this incredibly affordable equipment is a worthy investment. Its impressive high-resolution prints (25-100 microns) make it worth its weight in gold.
- Easy to set up and use
- Compact design yet efficient in size
- Designed to produce top-quality, high-resolution prints
- Clear assembly, use and maintenance instructions
- Extremely affordable
- Relatively small build volume
- It’s typical for resin 3D printing to be a little messy
2. Official Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer with Glass Plate
Next on the list is one of the best 3D printers under $200. The Pro 3D printer is one of those models that have made Creality Ender 3D printer series quite popular among makers globally. You are likely to fall in love with not just its low price, but also its print quality and user-friendliness.
Before we dive in any deeper, let’s get one thing clear. This machine may be dubbed “pro” 3D printer, but it’s by no means professional-grade equipment. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an ideal tool for hobbyists, makers, tinkerers, and educated beginners and the quality of its prints is astonishing at the price range. All the same, it still falls short of being a professional-grade machine.
One of the key reasons we picked this model is because it offers features you will only find in 3D printers that cost almost double the price. It also brags of a fairly decent build volume, a power recovery mode, a magnetic bed, and even a tight filament pathway for working with flexible materials.
We can all agree that this is a pretty hackable machine, although there are concerns with the magnetic bed. When compared to the firm, flexible metal build plates, this magnetic bed feels flimsy. On the bright side, the print quality achieved makes this shortcoming forgivable.
- Fast and easy to assemble
- Decent print volume from a compact machine
- High-quality prints
- Tight filament path for easy pairing with flexible filaments
- Highly affordable
- Upgradable and hackable
- Some users don’t like the magnetic bed
- Challenging the print bed leveling process
3. ELEGOO Mars UV Photocuring LCD 3D Printer
In the past, resin-based 3D printing was strictly used by those with deep pockets. Currently, models like the ELEGOO Mars 3D printer have changed the norm thanks to their affordability. Whether you are a hobbyist or a professional, this is equipment that is guaranteed to warm your heart without denting your wallet.
This model is a prolific machine that offers high-resolution 3D printing. It is just the equipment you need if you need a simple, forgiving, yet rewarding 3D printing experience. Like the majority of LCD 3D printers, this model is compatible with a whole array of 405nm UV sensitive resins. Compared to using a desktop FDM printer, resin printing offers a more straightforward process of printing filament. The default settings work perfectly, meaning only minor tinkering is required.
Overall, the beauty of this product is in its simplicity and ease of use. You can expect top-quality prints with minimal effort, and you can even view the display printing process in real-time on the 3.5 inches touch screen.
- Sleek design
- Outstanding print quality
- High precision and resolution
- Simple setup process
- User-friendly and perfect for beginners
- Quite loud during the printing process
4. Dremel Digilab 3D20 3D Printer
Dremel is a brand renowned for its excellent handy tools designed with hobbyists and homeowners in mind. This brand has a special seat at the table of leading 3D printing companies, thanks to its DigiLab Division that produced the Dremel DigiLab 3D20 3D printer. Such easy to use equipment is also perfect for use within schools and universities.
In 30 minutes or less, you can get the Dremel 3D20 set up and ready for use. The machine comes pre-assembled so you only need to feed the filament and get the printing bed leveled. While this is isn’t a model that allows auto-calibrating, there are detailed instructions on the manual that make the bed leveling procedure a breeze.
Something else that makes the equipment ideal especially for school environments is its fully enclosed design. This ensures an even temperature is maintained for enhanced user safety. Additionally, it muffles the noise, keeping your operations relatively silent.
- Pre-assembled for a fast and easy setup
- Designed for hobbyists and classroom settings
- Simplified operations
- Safer to use with a fully enclosed design
- Relatively silent operations
- Limited build capacity
- Not the best option for professionals
5. QIDI TECH Large Size Intelligent Industrial Grade 3D Printer
If you are interested in an industrial-grade 3D printer, the QIDI TECH large size is a perfect option to consider. This is a machine that is also ideal for manufacturers, educational institutions, project designers, and hobbyists. Considering its stellar user reviews, you can look forward to getting the best value for your money.
With more advanced features such as Wi-Fi connection, you can set up this machine and start printing in less than one hour. Simply go through the comprehensive instructions on the manual and press the button to quickly level the bed.
One of the best features is that the printer supports breaking point printing. This means you can bring the printing operations to a halt at any point and do things such as changing the filament before restarting the process.
A point that cannot go without mentioning is that this is a sturdy machine built using exceptional engineering practices. With its large enclosed printing area, operations are relatively silent, dust-free, and safe. Moreover, the printer has a high-temperature extruder ideal for printing Nylon, Carbon Fibre, and Polycarbonate among other exotic materials.
- Packed with a range of the best 3D printer features
- Easy to use QIDIprint software
- Perfect for hobbyists and professionals alike
- High resolution and precision
- Excellent customer support
- Large build capacity
A 3D printer comes in handy for any tabletop gamer. You are able to custom-make any miniatures you need for your game. Making one’s own miniature is gaining a lot of popularity. It is mostly because of the joy of having our own miniatures made by ourselves that 3D printing is growing day-by-day.
Findthing the best 3D printer for miniatures adds excitement and take your gaming to a whole new level. 3D printers have now grown to become more affordable and reliable than ever, with their ease of use increasing tremendously.
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