With the current fast-growing technology, one of the most creative developments is the occurrence of 3D printing. A couple of years ago, no one even knew about its existence. However, things have been dramatically changing.
It’s undeniable that these days, many have been into creating and collecting some miniatures, whether you’re a hobbyist, an engineer, a designer, or someone who’s starting a new business.
And with the development of 3D printing technology, there are a lot of manufacturers competing their way to produce exceptional and highly-functional printers on the market.
In this article, we’ll talk about the best 3D printers for miniatures – our 10 recommended models from various brands and a buying guide to help you confidently choose the right one for you.
So, keep on reading!
Best 3D Printers for Miniatures
You will be welcomed with a lot of options on the market, and it just becomes too daunting to select one that suits you. That’s why we’ve made things easier for you.
Here, you’ll find 10 best units along with their detailed review. One of them may be an ideal option and will certainly suit your requirements and preferences.
1. Comgrow Creality Ender 3 Pro
Comgrow is one of the leading manufacturers of some of the best 3D printers on the market. They are committed to producing economical and high-quality products to their consumers.
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for your kids, then look no further than this Creality Ender 3 Pro from the said brand. It comes with a pre-assembled kit that will surely be easier for them to learn. Well, the construction is pretty basic.
And the printer is ideal for STEM projects to promote innovation and imagination to students in this field. Being equipped with a branded Meanwell power supply, you’ll be guaranteed to have stable and sufficient power.
It will also be able to heat the hotbed quickly – reaching 110 degrees Celsius in just 5 minutes. Don’t worry though, there’s no way the machine will be up for unexpected surges. You’ll love its improved build surface that protects its heated bed by ensuring that there’s a consistent temperature throughout.
Also, you can easily and conveniently remove the output by the time it has cooled down. What’s more amazing is that this unit can resume printing from the last recorded position, in case of a power outage or power stoppage.
On top of it all, it comes with a fully open source. With this, it will allow you to improve the printing machine upon the source code, and you can share it within the community, providing a much better experience for everyone.
With its 40×40 Y-axis frame design, this can improve the stability of the printing platform. It also comes with an upgraded extruder design that greatly reduces or eliminates the risk of the possible clogged nozzle and bad extrusion.
Overall, this printing machine is a great model packed with exceptional features making it one of the best 3D printers for miniatures on the market.
- Easy to use
- Removable build surface plate
- Safe power supply
- Features resume print function
- Semi-assembled kit
- Poor manufacturer’s quality control
- Print bed leveling is worse
2. ELEGOO Mars
ELEGOO has been known to manufacture 3D printer components since 2014. And with years of experience, they have finally developed and introduced their very first UV photocuring LCD 3D printer – ELEGOO Mars.
This machine is fabricated with a user-friendly system and excellent industrial design. With this, it becomes suitable for anyone. Even if you never had experience in using this kind of equipment, this printer is very easy to use, so it is not something that you should worry about.
Moreover, it is already semi-assembled. That means that setting this up won’t take too much of your time upon receiving it. Within 5 minutes, you will be able to finish it and start working on your very first output.
One of its primary features is that it is equipped with the latest version of CHITUBOX slicing software. This is sure to give you an exceptional user experience. Using this will take only about a minute to slice a 30 Mb .stl model files.
If you compare it to an open-sourced slicing software, that will take about 10 minutes. Also, this will let you hollow out the model before you go to the slicing process. With this, you can incredibly save your resin during the process of photocuring.
The machine comes with an integrated, large colorful 3.5-inch touch screen. You will be able to have a preview of the model in your SD card. For sure, you’ll love how it looks very similar to what you saw in Windows OS since it offers a real-time display process.
Much more, it also has an offline printing. You can print directly from the USB since it is equipped with a computer board. So, you won’t have to connect to your computer anymore while printing.
All in all, ELEGOO Mars is one for the books! Given its features, no wonder it has earned a spot on our list. Indeed, it will provide all your 3D printing needs.
- Unique industrial design
- Superb precision with a great speed
- Sturdy structure
- Offline printing
- Large LCD screen
- Resin printing can be sticky, messy, and smelly
3. Comgrow Creality Ender 3
Next up on our list is another 3D printer from Comgrow, a well-known brand name for this type of equipment. If you’re after a product that’s been reasonably priced, then this might be a great option for you.
This printing machine comes with exquisite design and a 220 mm x 220 mm x 250 mm print bed, which is just well-sized. It also comes with a BuildTalk-line sticker on the print bed. With this, it will be able to reduce the possibility of prints being removed from the bed while the process is ongoing.
So if you want to have an almost perfect output, then this machine can do the job for you. It has a layer resolution of about 0.1 mm. With this, it will be able to master every single detail of your miniatures with no trouble at all.
One of its noteworthy features is its capability of recovering your prints if ever it gets disconnected or loses power. This is great since this feature can’t be mostly found, especially on the low-priced range.
Also, the navigation of this printer is pretty straightforward via an integrated LCD. It is equipped with a control wheel that will let you manage and adjust the machine with your desired settings.
The machine also comes with V-slot wheels moving on the aluminum extrusions, giving you a smooth motion while printing is ongoing. Moreover, it also has an extruder system that’s wisely designed using the Bowden style with a tight path so the unit can work efficiently with flexible filaments.
Therefore, this printing machine is an ideal option, especially those seeking a high-quality and efficient 3D printer that can print with many filaments yet on a tight budget.
- Affordable market price
- Comes with a sufficient print volume
- Quick setup and easy to assemble
- Compact design
- The LCD panel is slow
- Base is unsteady
4. Luxnwatt Creality Ender 3 Pro
Another model on this series has made it into our list, this time it’s the Creality Ender 3 Pro from Luxnwatt. This is an amazing product jam-packed with a lot of excellent features, making it worthy of being in this spot. So, let’s get into them one by one.
First off, it is a time-saving unit that comes with an excellent rapid heating mechanism. You’ll be amazed how it guarantees you that it will reach the optimum temperature required to heat most filaments, which is 110 degrees Celsius within just 5 minutes.
Much more, this is equipped with a high-quality UL certified power supply. It is specially designed for the 3D printing industry to provide the machine with a stable supply of power, great safety, and small ripple. Also, this will be able to protect your equipment from unexpected surges of power.
If you’re living in an area that has frequent power outages and surges, then this is a good pick. It features the resume print mechanism that lets you continue from the last recorded extruder position after experiencing a loss of power or disconnection.
On top of it all, this machine is fabricated to have a simple leveling method. It has an ergonomic design that comes with a large hand-turn nut allowing you to level the platform easily and quickly.
Also, it comes with a CNC machining of the Y-rail mounting groove. With this, it will be able to ensure precise positioning and also keeping the frame stable while producing high-quality output printing.
Taking into account everything that it has to offer, it’s justifiable why it is considered to be one of the best 3D printers for minis on the market. It offers good printing quality at a reasonable cost ideal for both beginners and enthusiasts.
- Comes with an innovative design
- Easy to assemble and set up
- Safe and protected power supply
- Has a new viscous platform sticker
- Reasonable market price
- It is equipped with an LCD but doesn’t work well, and the touch isn’t sensitive
5. ANYCUBIC Photon
The next one on our list is this Photon 3D printer from ANYCUBIC. Up until now, it is still considered as one of the most affordable 3D printers for miniatures that’s available on the market without sacrificing reliability and output quality. For sure, it has never disappointed its consumers.
First off, it’s just important to mention as to why it’s fairly-priced as compared to its competitor. It’s all because it utilizes DLP (Digital Light Processing) technology rather than the widely-spread FDM technology.
This means that it uses a liquid photopolymer resin that solidifies when you put it under a light source like, for instance, ultraviolet light or a high-powered laser. Much more, it has a great impact on the accuracy and preciseness of the machine, even with the tiniest details of your model, making it ideal for miniatures.
And the machine has a layer resolution that ranges from 25 microns up to 100 microns. With this, it will let you further add more intricate details to your desired miniature without having to compromise the print quality.
Also, it is equipped with a screen that has a 2k resolution, which is considered fine given its price point. As for its print volume, it has about 115 mm x 65 mm x 155 mm, which takes around 4 hours to finish printing a 50-micron resolution lattice cube making it ideal for smaller miniatures.
When it comes to its connectivity, you will be offered two options – USB and SD card. It is also user-friendly since the printing process is done and managed through the use of its 2.8-inch color touchscreen.
It’s no wonder why this belongs to the best ones on the market. Indeed, it possesses all the exceptional features that you’re looking for in a 3D printer. This product will never disappoint for sure!
- Decent quality of the output
- Minimal setup is needed
- Attractive price-point
- Equipped with a custom slicer that enables functional support structures
- Cleaning is a lengthy and detailed process
- Has a strong resin odor
6. Monoprice Mini Delta 3D Printer
If you’re looking for a product that has a professional-quality print yet still on the budget-friendly range, then this Mini Delta 3D printer from Monoprice is a great pick. It integrates some features of the high-end and expensive ones, which makes it more appealing.
Much more, this printing machine is designed and fabricated for beginners. It is ready to be utilized once you took it out of the box. All you need to do is plug it, and then you’re good to go! What’s even more amazing is that this equipment features an automatic bed leveling technology.
This saves you from all the hassle and inconvenience of the manual adjustment process. When it comes to ensuring its durability and capability to withstand the abuse of everyday utilization, it is constructed with a steel frame along with a black anodized aluminum frame. For sure, it will serve you for a long time.
Furthermore, the extrusion nozzle and the print bed can heat to a wide range of temperatures. With this, you’ll be able to work and print with various types of filaments from any manufacturer.
You’ll be amazed by its printing speed that reaches about 150 mm per second. It is justifiable as to why it is one of the best 3D printers for miniatures with a size of 28 mm, printing them perfectly well. Also, this printer comes with a 50-micron layer resolution, which is just adequate.
Overall, this is indeed the go-to product, especially for beginners who are just starting to step in the world of 3D printing. It may not offer the best quality of printing, but it holds a lot of exceptional attributes given its price range.
- Equipped with an automatic bed leveling feature
- Speedy performance
- Its build plate is removable
- Lightweight and portable
- Setup is fast and easy
- Build sheet surface is thin
- Print resolution is inferior
7. Official Creality Open Source CR-10
This CR-10 is known to be the first attempt of Creality to fabricate a perfect 3D printing machine that is exceptionally durable and easy to operate. For the past few years, it has continued to develop, making it one of the most popular choices in its class range.
One of its noteworthy characteristics is its extra-large build platform. This machine has dimensions of about 12 x12-inch square for the build plate, which goes nearly unrivaled in the same printers. It comes with a full height of about 15.5 inches.
However, it is big and bulky equipment, making it occupy a large space in your area. But with its size, it is capable of supporting a large build volume. Also, it has a 0.4 mm nozzle, making it print models that have a high-resolution that can reach as much as 100 microns.
Furthermore, this printing equipment will leave you in awe when it comes it power for sure. Its manufacturer claims that it is capable of continuously printing for about 200 hours. You won’t experience any heating since its bed distributed the heat evenly across the glass print surface.
As for its connectivity, you will be able to connect with the use of USB cords or SD card. Much more, it is equipped with an LCD screen, control box, and control wheel, providing you with a comfortable and convenient printing process.
With this 3D printing machine, it is now possible to produce large volumes that come with exceptional print quality. All in all, you can indeed say that it’s an impressive product at an amazing value.
- Superb build volume
- Comes with an attractive design
- Assembly is easy
- Several options for the navigation
- Glass print bed is removable
- Its bed takes a long time to heat up
8. FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro
The next one here in the list of the best ones on the market is this 3D printer Creator Pro from FlashForge. If you’re more concerned about the need for constant ventilation during printing, then this machine might be your perfect option. It is fabricated with a lower build volume of about 225 mm x 145 mm x 150 mm.
Despite these numbers, this machine is still suitable and ideal for miniatures, given its 11-micron layer resolution. One of the major advantages of this equipment is that it allows you to work and produce various supporting structures or any two-colored materials at the same time.
It can do this since this unit is equipped with two extruders. Much more, it supports PVA filaments. Also, your models that are finished with the process can be placed in water afterward. This is done to eliminate the supports. It also works well with ABS and PLA filaments making it less competitive.
As for its construction, this machine has a sturdy metal frame that’s known to be more stable than the manufacturer’s original wood frame. Also, the plate is made with an aviation-level aluminum that has a thickness of about 6.3 mm, ensuring you that it’s flat and won’t warp while heating.
Therefore, this 3D printer is ideal for anyone who’s looking for the equipment that has the capability of dealing with various filaments without the need of breaking the bank.
- Equipped with a dual extruder
- Has a reliable performance
- Setting-up and assembly is just minimal
- Sturdy device
- Connectivity options are limited
- Tends to be noisy during the printing process
9. Monoprice Maker Select 3D Printer v2
This printer is yet another impressive equipment from Monoprice. For its excellent performance and functionality, it is known to be the easiest way to step into the world of 3D printing technology. The printing machine provides you with a creative and innovative way of learning.
By the time you’re much prepared to bring your designs and ideas into the real world, then this equipment might be your perfect starter solution, meeting all your needs and requirements.
When it comes to its assembly, you won’t encounter any trouble at all. This is pretty easy to assemble and comes with all the required tools to do the job. All you need to do is tighten the screws, then you’re good to go in just less than 10 minutes. It‘s much better than these kit-based printers.
Since it’s quite fully-assembled, it will be easy and convenient for you. It is packed with everything that you need, which includes the sample PLA filament and a microSD card.
As for software compatibility, you can utilize both the open-source and commercial software. These include Repetier, Cura, or even Simplify 3D. It works well with Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux.
Much more, it is also equipped with a MicroSD card slot. This SD card can be utilized to store the sliced GCode files, then plug it into the card slot for easy and convenient printing, eliminating the need to connect to a PC. The package includes a 2 GB microSD card along with sample 3D models.
Given all of the attributes and characteristics, it is a pretty amazing product indeed. No wonder that it has earned a spot on our list.
- Works with various types of 3D filaments
- Equipped with a microSD card slot
- Minimal assembly required
- Sturdy frame
- Good print quality
- Leveling its bed should be done often and tend to be difficult
10. Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer v2
To complete our list of the best ones here in our 3D printers for miniatures reviews is this Select Mini v2, again, from Monoptice. This machine is here to impress you with all of its amazing features.
If you’re after a high-quality and top-rated printing machine available on the market, then look no further than this equipment. It is jam-packed with incredible features while still being affordable.
The printer is equipped with a heated build plate along with an extruder. With this, it will be able to produce a wide range of temperatures making the printer support all types of filaments.
In addition to that, it functions pretty well, whether it’s from the primary filaments like PLA and ABS or the more advanced ones like wood and metal composites and dissolvable PVA.
Most printers are producing excessive heat, especially during the printing process. To address this issue, this unit features a cooling nozzle that can help you in keeping the machine cool while you’re operating it.
It is made to be small, so it won’t take too much space and can perfectly fit on the desk. Also, it comes to you as ready to print. You don’t need to spend the time thinking about how to set it up.
Taking into account everything it has to offer, it will be able to deliver all your 3D printing needs. It will never disappoint in any aspect for sure!
- Great printing quality
- Can support all sort of filaments
- Has a compact design
- Fair market price
- Manual calibration is difficult to manage
Things to Consider before Buying
Your final decision when it comes to purchasing a product shouldn’t be made instantly. If you want to end up with the appropriate one, you need to think about it thoroughly. And it also applies when choosing the best 3D printers for miniatures on the market.
It might also help if you can take time to read some feedback from consumers and some 3D printers for miniatures reviews. Also, having a checklist of the things that you need to consider beforehand can help you narrow down your options and come up with one best product.
So, here are the factors that you need to consider before you pick and buy the 3D printer.
Precision and Layer Resolution
One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a 3D printer is its resolution. Since you are dealing with miniatures, accuracy, and precision are two of the key components to produce excellent output.
Layer resolution will determine how intricate even the tiniest details on your printed output can be. It refers to the height of each layer of the heated plastic used to create the model. The lower it is, the more detailed it will appear, but the process will be much slower.
It is usually measured in microns or millimeters. And the recommended layer resolution of the 3D printer is 100 microns (0.1 mm) or lesser.
Another aspect that determines the accuracy of the printer is its nozzle diameter. It is the size of the hold wherein the heated plastic is transmitted through to design your miniature. The ideal and most common diameter is about 0.4 mm, and it shouldn’t be larger than that.
By the time you purchase a 3D printer, you want the machine that’s versatile enough. This can be determined by checking a few things on the machine, such as the types of filaments and all the printing technology that it is capable of supporting.
Generally, DLP (Digital Light Processing) and SLA (Stereolithography) are much better when it comes to adding more details on your miniature models as compared to FDM or FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication).
This refers to the surface where you’ll be printing your models. Hence, this is a very important factor to consider beforehand. A good platform will allow the item to be created to adhere to its surface and to easily remove the finished product once it is completed.
The commonly used platform is the heated glass covered with similar materials or blue painter’s tape. Miniatures made on this surface with relatively adhere well to the tape and removed upon completion with ease. Also, you must choose the platform that you can easily level.
Ease of Use
You must consider this factor, especially if you don’t have much experience in handling these kinds of equipment. You should look for a simpler machine that you can utilize even if it means compromising slight precision.
Moreover, the importance of the user-friendliness and convenience of your 3D printers can also depend on how willing you are to learn how to manage and operate it. If you don’t want to be restricted with the machines for beginners, it’s just vital to study the functionality of this equipment before buying one.
FDM or SLA 3D Printer
In buying a 3D printing machine, you should know that it’s very essential to know the difference between FDM and SLA 3D printers.
FDM 3D printers utilize an extruder that has a hot-end allowing the melting of the filament. Once it’s melted, it is then deposited to the build plate creating the 3D model. However, these types work on their single layer at a time.
Nevertheless, they are much easier to use. Also, they come with much lower operating costs and larger build volume than its competitor.
On the other hand, the post-print process of the SLA 3D printer is much messier than the FDM ones. However, you should know that FDM printers don’t offer the overall superb quality that an SLA printer does.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are the most commonly asked queries regarding the best 3D printers:
1. How much does it cost to produce a 3D miniature?
One of the main reasons that you should print your 3D miniature is the cost. The average cost of producing an unpainted miniature usually has a range of about $5 up to $10.
2. Will it take so long to print a 3D miniature?
If you’re fine with a standard quality printing, then you can finish the job in just 10 minutes. However, if you’re working with a more complex, high-quality, and detailed models, then it will take a few hours or even a day to finish.
3. Which is stronger – ABS or PLA?
ABS has better properties when it comes to mechanics, but it’s more difficult to utilize in 3D printing. It’s perfect if you’re aiming for strength and stability. While PLA is ideal if you’re more on the aesthetics side.
4. What are the materials used in 3D printing?
There are various materials used in this process. ABA and PLA are two of the most common. Some objects can be produced with wax, titanium, epoxy resins, polycarbonate, and even nylon.
5. What high-end features should I look for in a 3D printer?
Some of the high-end features that you want in a 3D printer are heated glass beds, dual filament options, and touchscreen interfaces. But you should make sure that the machine suits all your preferences and needs.
Whether you’re just getting started or you have a lot of experience with printing 3D miniatures, you will be overwhelmed with a lot of options on the market. Hopefully, this article about the best 3D printer for miniatures has helped you confidently choose the appropriate product for you.