What are 3D printers? Are they simply fun gadgets that let you print all sorts of random things? Or are they life-saving devices that have helped technology advance by leaps and bounds in a short time? In truth, they are a bit of both. And there’s no reason not to try one for yourself.
3D printers are used for so many different things. You may use one for printing out a new mug or a fun present for a friend. Scientists may use one to print a prosthetic arm or a wrench to be used on the International Space Station. And now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, people all over the world turn to 3D printers to create face shields and other medical equipment.
The uses for 3D printers seem to have no limits. If you still haven’t tried using one, now is the best time to check it out for yourself. But how do you pick from amongst a sea of options? Simple enough — read our comprehensive guide about the best 3D printers for beginners.
We will tell you everything you need to know about 3D printers and then introduce you to the best models available. Keep reading to soon make your dreams a reality with a brand-new 3D printer.
How Do 3D Printers Work?
Some people already know the short idea behind 3D printers — you get to create something from nothing, or so it seems. For many others, the mere concept of 3D printers still seems like something pulled straight out of a sci-fi Hollywood movie. So how do they really work?
The best 3D printers for beginners rely on CAD models to then produce the desired item in high quality. As an example, if you were to 3D print an action figure, you would first need to upload the CAD model to your 3D printer. Fortunately, many 3D printing models are available online for free, so you don’t need to be a 3D modeling expert.
Once the project is approved, your printer gets right to work. All such printers work by stacking layer upon layer of plastic in very thin layers. Home models melt a soft plastic which then solidifies again in the desired shape thanks to the ray beam that draws based on the CAD model.
The plastic lands on the printer’s plate, and once solidified, can be taken off and used like any other item would.
Most printers use thermoplastics (polymers), such as ABS and PLA, in order to bring your projects to life. However, advanced, industrial 3D printers can even use materials like titanium. For this guide, we will focus on printers for beginners.
What can I make with a 3D printer?
The range of items that you can make at home with a 3D printer is very wide. Here are just a few examples, but your creativity is the limit!
- A camera lens
- A guitar
- A ukulele
- Kitchen utensils
- Basic medical equipment (face shields, etc.)
- Home decor
The above are just some of the things you can make using a 3D printer. So what are you waiting for? Time to check out some new printers for beginners!
List of Top 10 3D Printers for Beginners in 2020
For a new user, 3D printing can seem a little daunting and intimidating. We want you to enjoy this exciting process without spending hours on research. That’s why we’ve picked out the best 3D printers for beginners. Read on to pick your own!
Creality Ender 3 3D Printer
- Resume Printing Function: Ender 3 has the ability to resume printing even after a power outage or lapse occurs.
- Easy and Qucik Assembly: It comes with several assembled parts, you only need about 2 hours to assemble 20 nuts well.
Creality Ender by Comgrow is one of the best 3D printers for beginners. It’s also one of the most popular models in the current market. What contributes to its lasting fame?
First of all, this 3D printer is really affordable. It’s not easy to find one with this many features that will be cheaper to buy. It’s simple to use and beginner-friendly. Moreover, it’s rather simple to assemble — if you have zero experience, the assembly should take about 2-3 hours. You’ll need to assemble 20 nuts. Some of the parts come pre-assembled.
This 3D printer is fully open source. This means that all users can improve the source code of the printer and share the changes they made with the Comgrow community. As such, you may end up finding some really cool addons or fixes just by browsing the internet.
As far as printing goes, this printer is quick to heat up (just 5 minutes for the print bed to reach 110 degrees Celsius). The end result is remarkably smooth due to the high precision of the print. You can use this for figurines, tools, and all sorts of detailed items. It’s also simple enough to be used by children, making it one of the best 3D printers for beginners out there.
ANYCUBIC Photon S 3D Printer
- Great starter 3D Printer, Super easy to setup since it comes almost entirely preassembled, come with all the proper tools to get started, and just a single grub screw to level instead of having to...
- With the Dual Rails, No worry about Z wobble issue; The dual Z axis rail make the bed very stable, this helps with the movement and to make sure the bed does not shift in the middle of printing;...
If you don’t mind spending a little extra, you might find that one of the best 3D printers for beginners is the one that is simple to use. ANYCUBIC’s 3D printer was made specifically with beginners in mind. This also makes it a very accessible and easy to use printer for new users. On the other hand, it comes with an array of features that will satisfy expert users in the art of 3D printing.
The simplicity of use begins with the assembly. Most of this 3D printer comes pre-assembled, which makes it the best printer for new users. You won’t have to waste time on a long installation. Instead, you’ll be able to get right to printing.
ANYCUBIC has equipped this 3D printer with UV upgraded lighting. This greatly contributes to the accuracy of your printing. If you have some rather difficult projects that require a lot of precision, this printer will tackle them easily. Details as small as individual hairs in an action figure will show up in your print.
This printer also comes with a handy touch screen that is very user-friendly. The plate is made out of sanded aluminum, which contributes to the durability and adhesion of your project. It’ll grant you some extra stability as you complete your first few prints.
FlashForge Finder 3D Printer
- Slide-in build plate allows printed objects to be easily removed
- 3.5-Inch full color touchscreen with intuitive icons makes for easy operation
3D printers, more than any other piece of technology, truly do come in all shapes and sizes. This cubic red-and-black 3D printer is rather uniquely shaped, but that doesn’t take away from its many merits.
A lot of emphasis was placed on the ease of use here. The first thing you notice is the slide-in build plate. This makes your printed objects much easier to remove than in competitor printers. Next, it features a 3.5″ full-color touch screen with an intuitive, user-friendly interface. These small details make it one of the best 3D printers for beginners.
Speaking of the build plate, it’s high-quality and non-heated. This is important, as a heated plate might damage your project if not used correctly. The entire printer is made out of a durable & sturdy plastic alloy. The construction contributes to a stable performance.
This 3D printer for beginners offers many connectivity options: Wi-Fi, USB, and flash drive. Lastly, it’s fairly compact, allowing you to use it in your very own home office.
Creality Open Source CR-10 3D Printer
- OPEN SOURCE: In the spirit of innovation and progress, we have decided to make our firmware and design plans available to all for extensive modding and improvements. We hope to create a large...
- EXTRA LARGE: This printer comes with one of the largest build spaces available. At 12inx12inx15.5in, you can print models that 90% of other printers could not. The unique Bowden extruder design...
Creality 3D truly does make some excellent 3D printers, so it’s impossible not to mention them more than once on a list of the best printers out there. Fully open source, this printer brings a fresh breeze of innovation and creativity, leaving it at your fingertips. It’s a considerable contender in the world of 3D printer best of.
If you’re a beginner, you’re not likely to take full advantage of the fact that all the firmware and design plans for this printer is open-source. However, if you have an interest in coding and improving your devices, you may start dabbling with it soon enough. At any rate, Creality being open source is good for all users. This allows you to benefit from the expertise of other users & upgrade your printer for free.
More importantly, this printer is sturdy, well-made, and also offers a very large build area. Measuring at 12″ x 12″ x 15.5″, it’s larger than 90% of other home 3D printers. This opens up the option for many new projects. It’s not just the width, but also the height that is impressive here. You can print some quite tall items using this 3D printer for beginners.
Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer
- Support for All Filament Types: The heated build plate and wide range of extruder temperatures allow this printer to work with any type of filament, from basic filaments, such as ABS and PLA, to more...
- Compact Desktop Design: Featuring a small footprint and basic, open frame design, this 3D printer is compact enough for any desk.
Some printers, like Creality CR10, are really large. There’s no way you could fit one onto your desk, next to your computer. However, if you’re mostly interested in smaller projects & you lack space, Monoprice has got you covered. For a super-affordable price, you’re getting a compact 3D printer that has some powerful features. The print quality may not be super-great, but it’s more than satisfactory.
This printer features a heated build plate, but that actually works to its advantage. With the use of the plate and the wide range of extruder temperatures, Monoprice can work with all types of filaments. Basic filaments such as PLA and ABS as well as conductive PLA, metal composites, dissolvable PVA, and wood are all a possibility here.
You’re going to love the fact that this compact 3D printer ships fully assembled. No assembly required! What’s more, the manufacturer included a sample PLA filament and a MicroSD card with pre-loaded 3D models. You can try your printer out right away with zero delays.
FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro
- Full manufacturer's warranty fulfilled by Flashforge, and free email support provided by expert FlashForge technicians
- A sturdy metal frame that is substantially more stable than the Creator's original wood frame.Build volume 8.9 X 5.8 X 5.9 inches
If you’re on the hunt for the best 3D printers for beginners, you shouldn’t overlook FlashForge. This somewhat expensive model makes up for the higher price tag by delivering a great range of features.
First of all, this great 3D printer is really stable and sturdy. With its box-shaped metal frame, all your projects are safely stored on a stable surface. This model is medium-sized, measuring at 8.9 x 5.8 x 5.9 inches.
Next, FlashForge’s Creator Pro offers one of the greatest filament compatibilities out there. You can use it with the following filaments:
- ABS Pro
- PLA Color Change
- Conductive Filament
- Several more
This opens up the possibility for you to let your imagination run wild and create anything you want. The printing process is aided by metal platform supports and the 10mm guide rod. Both of these contribute to the awesome precision this 3D printer offers.
Longer LK4 3D Printer
- 【90% Pre-assembled】The new arrived LK4 simplifies assembly. The complicated parts such as cantilever, gantry, and nozzle have been assembled before leaving the factory. 90% of the assembly process...
- 【2.8” Full Color Touch Screen】Easy to operate, brand new friendly UI to preview model and printing process on screen, offline printing. Say goodbye to the traditional manual knob screen.
There are a few factors you may think of when looking for 3D printers for beginners. For the ultimate ease of use, you’ll want something pre-assembled and ready to go right away. Longer almost meets that requirement. This is because all of the complicated parts have already been assembled for you. With 90% of the assembling process done prior, there’s very little you’ll have to trouble yourself with.
This 3D printer is also reliable. It offers a “resume printing” function that ensures you will never lose your progress during a power cut. It’s also equipped with a 2.8″ full-color touch screen that makes it easy to operate.
The frame is made out of aluminum, which means that you can expect it to perform well for years. You’re also bound to like how quiet this printer is — it’s one of the quietest 3D printers out there right now.
ELEGOO Mars UV Photocuring 3D Printer
- 【Fast Printing and less maintenance】Mars 2 comes with a 6.08 inch monochrome LCD of 2K HD resolution and only takes 2 seconds per layer exposure to cure resin, which could significantly enhance...
- 【Outstanding prints and ultra accuracy】Brand new light source structure provides more even UV light emission and working together with 2K mono LCD, the printing details and precision are greatly...
Talk about something straight out of a sci-fi movie! This 3D printer looks as modern as it truly is. It brings you a refreshing breeze of the future at an affordable price.
Thanks to the latest version of the CHITUBOX Slicing Software, slicing through 30Mb of .stl model files only takes one minute. This is incredibly quick for a 3D printer, making this one great for printing large quantities of items.
ELEGOO offers offline printing thanks to the 3.5″ color touch screen that lets you control the printing process without going online. And it truly is truly impressive — Mars uses a 2560×1440 2k HD masking LCD, providing some of the highest accuracies ever.
QIDI Technology X-one2 3D Printer
- Applicable to families,schools.
- Out of the box,only simple operate to printing.
This colorful 3D printer offers most of the features you might ask for in even the best 3D printer for beginners. At the same time, it’s rather compact, user-friendly, and perfect for kids. It’s a great present for the entire family or even a classroom.
QIDI is ready to use right out of the box and offers a high print quality for a budget model. It has a single extruder that reduces the risk of clogs and other annoying malfunctions.
Like most printers, this one too sports a metal frame, encasing your build in a sturdy box. The heated build bed is safe to use and free of malfunctions. You can use QIDI for many different kinds of filaments, such as PLA, ABS, TPU, and more.
The controls on this 3D printer are super-intuitive, so you can easily teach your kids how to use this. They’re bound to have a lot of fun!
LulzBot Mini 2 Desktop 3D Printer
- Maximum print size: 160 mm x 160 mm x 180 mm (6. 3 inches x 6. 3 inches x 7. 08 inches)
- Tool Head: E3D Titan Aero with . 50mm Nozzle – Compatible with Flexible and Rigid Materials - Maximum Temperature: 290°C (554°F)
For those with limited space, a mini 3D printer is going to be a dream come true. You can still bring your projects to life without sacrificing valuable space in your home. If you’re okay with making smaller items, you’re going to enjoy LulzBot Mini 2.
The maximum print size this printer offers is 6.3 x 6.3 x 7.08″. There are bigger 3D printers for beginners out there, but they also take up more room than the LulzBot Mini.
Despite the high price tag, we still consider this 3D printer to be worth it. It has a heated print bed that was made out of borosilicate glass/pei. The tool head is some of the best in the industry, made out of E3D Titan Aero. It’s suitable for flexible and rigid materials and can heat up to an astounding 290°C (554°F).
As this printer comes with a whole lot of required certifications, you can have no doubt about it — it’s safe to use, and so very easy!
Frequently Asked Questions
3D printers tend to have a bit of a learning curve, so it’s no wonder you might still have questions. We’re going to address them in the section below.
What is the best 3D printer for home use?
The best 3D printer for home use should be safe, sturdy, relatively compact, and most of all, beginner-friendly. Our favorite 3D printer for beginners is definitely the Creality Ender 3 3D Printer. It will help you get started with your very first projects & still remain useful when you’re already an expert.
Are 3D printers easy to use?
Printers capable of printing 3D are becoming more and more accessible by the day. Just a few years ago, only some people knew what they even were. These days, some printers are manufactured to be easy enough for kids to operate.
That said, some models are more beginner-friendly than others. We recommend choosing a 3D printer that has a touch screen, resume printing function, and is pre-assembled. Not having to assemble it yourself saves you time and frustration.
What is the most accurate 3d printer?
While most 3D printers are accurate to a high degree, some will always be better than others. One such printer that caught our eye is ELEGOO Mars UV Photocuring 3D Printer. It offers a surprisingly great degree of precision for a home-use 3D printer.
How do beginners use 3d printers?
It may seem intimidating at first, but it gets easier with each and every new build. All you have to do is familiarize yourself with the guidebook. Every printer will have one that describes how to work with it. The internet is also full of guides on how to use 3D prints if you should want to learn a little bit more.
3D printing is fun, exciting, innovative, and most of all, extremely useful. Whether you want to get such a printer for the fun of it or for an important reason, you’re well on your way to stepping into the future. Who knows what kind of things we will be able to create soon enough!
Hopefully, after this guide, you feel ready to jump in head-first and begin your journey with 3D printing. It’s definitely worth your time!