Best 3D Printers for Miniatures

The Best 3D Printers for Miniatures 2019

The future of printing technology is here. The only question to ask is: are you ready to take the plunge? This would not have been asked even a decade ago. This is because 3D printing was a relatively obscure form of printing that very few people knew anything about.

3D printers were massive and expensive machines used by a small circle of firms and professionals.

Fast forward to a decade later, 3D printing has become a movement in and of itself. 3D printers are everywhere: they have become a viable option for schools, engineers, and even hobbyists. This article will take you through some of the best 3D printers for miniatures that will bring your creativity to life.

Best 3D Printers for Miniatures Comparison Chart

Image

Name

Printer technology

Printer Connectivity Type

Supported Software

Printing Speed

Price

Best Resin 3d Printer

ANYCUBIC Photon UV LCD 3D Printer

DLP – LCD Shadow Masking

USB, Wi-Fi, Ethernet

ANYCUBIC Photon Slicer

20 mm/h

Best 3d Printer For D&D Miniatures

Comgrow Creality Ender 3 3D Printer

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

USB, Wi-Fi

Cura

180 mm/s

Best 3d Printer For 28mm Miniatures

Monoprice Mini Delta 3D Printer

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

USB, microSD card

Cure, Repeater, or Simplify 3D

150mm/s

Best 3d Printer For Flexible Filament

FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro

Fused Filament Fabrication

USB cable, SD card

ReplicatorG, FlashPrint, Simplify3D

45 mm/s

Best 3d Printer For Cosplay

Monoprice Maker Select 3D Printer v2

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

Wi-Fi, microSD card

Cura, Repetier, or Simplify 3D

55 mm/s

3D Printers for Miniatures Reviews

1. ANYCUBIC Photon UV LCD 3D Printer Review | best resin 3d printer

The ANYCUBIC Photon UV LCD 3D Printer is a budget priced resin 3D variety that is a good choice for beginners and well-seasoned users, such as jewelers and dentists. It is also one of the best SLA 3D printers. Also, its compact size makes storage convenient.

Resin printing ensures a comparatively higher quality and resolution compared to Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) printing with its 405nm photosensitive resin. This printer model is of industrial quality as it ensures a flawless satin finish, with anodized blue bits and red knobs.

The 2560*1440 (2k) HD masking LCD screen is able to capture complex details in its printouts. Additionally, the 25W UV-LED expands the life of the printouts. The Resin Vat FEP allows for adjustments to the tightness.

This resin printer is also relatively easy to use in comparison to the FDM variety, with just 4 settings and a lot fewer adjustments. On the touch screen, you can glimpse the model in almost the same way that you do on your computer.

It comes fitted with a custom slicer that is able to give you a finished product within a minute’s time.

The printer accepts print commands directly via USB, which eliminates the need for an additional device. It can, however, be a bit messy and cleaning up can be time-consuming.

Highlighted Features

1. Better than Fused Deposition Modeling printing.

2. 2560*1440(2k) HD masking LCD screen.

3. Just 4 setting and fewer adjustments.

4. Perfect for industrial use.

5. Resin Vat FEP allows tightness adjustments.

Best Resin 3d Printer

Pros

1. Relatively easy to set up.

2. High quality print outputs within a minute.

3. Budget friendly for a resin printer.

4. Comes in a compact size.

Cons

1. Resin 3D printing can be a bit messy.

2. Cleaning can be time-consuming.

2. Comgrow Creality Ender 3 3D Printer | best 3d printer for d&d miniatures

If you are looking for a present for your kids' upcoming birthday or to fulfill your gaming fantasies, then you do not need to look further than the Comgrow Creality Ender 3 3D Printer.

The low-cost and easy to assemble Comgrow Creality Ender 3 3D Printer is equipped with an upgraded extruder that is able to bring down plugging risk as well as a bad extrusion. Also, the V-Slot with POM wheels makes the device highly portable and durable.

The parts of this printer can be assembled within 2 hours and it is ready for use.

With its branded power supply, the hot bed is able to reach 110 degrees Celsius within 5 minutes once it is powered up. Key components of the printer are put through exhaustive testing before they are delivered to your doorstep.

This printer will not let you down as it is able to resume printing after a power outage or when any other interruptions happen along the way when using the Comgrow Creality Ender 3 3D printer.

However, the uneven base means that there is a slight wobble and extra adhesion is needed to stabilize the 3D object during printing. All in all, this 3D printer is a good option for people newly experimenting with 3D printing or those on a budget.

Highlighted Features

1. Perfect for beginners and those on a budget.

2. Upgraded extruder to reduce plugging risk and bad extrusion.

3. V-Slot with POM wheels makes for portability.

4. Hot bed is able to reach 110 degrees Celsius within 5 minutes.

Best 3d Printer For D&D Miniatures

Pros

1. Very affordable for the high precision it offers.

2. Able to resume printing automatically after a power outage.

3. Can be assembled within 2 hours.

Cons

1. Uneven base means there is a slight wobble.

2. Extra adhesion is needed to stabilize during printing.

3.  Monoprice Mini Delta 3D Printer | best 3d printer for 28mm miniatures

Once you unbox the Monoprice Mini Delta 3D Printer, it can be used immediately to print without the separate hassle of having it assembled. You can additionally use filaments made by any manufacturer.

It has a sturdy build with its steel frame and black anodized aluminum frame, but the build surface is very thin and can easily rip when removing the printed item. Although one of the cheapest 3D printers in the market, it is well suited for children as there are not too many controls to master. Its outputs are of professional quality with its LCD screen, 50 micron layer resolution, and its 150 mm per second print speed.

A large variety of materials can be created as the print bed and nozzle are able to withstand high temperatures ranging between 180 to 260 degrees Celsius.

It supports printing via Wi-Fi connection, USB, or directly through a micro SD card. Bed leveling issues will never arise with the Monoprice Mini Delta 3D Printer as the delta design style is capable of continuously self-calibrating.

Highlighted Features

1. Able to use immediately after unboxing.

2. Handles ABS and PLA materials.

3. Able to withstand a high temperature.

4. Supported by open source software, such as Cura and Repetier.

Best 3d Printer For 28mm Miniatures

Pros

1. Low price and comes fully assembled.

2. Accepts filament made by any manufacturer.

3. Prevents bed leveling issues by continuously self-calibrating.

Cons

1. Problems with USB and Wi-Fi connectivity.

2. Build surface can easily rip when removing the printed item.

4. FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro | best 3d printer for flexible filament

Reasonably priced, the Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) technology using FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro is an option for those new to 3D printing. The printer comes fully assembled and uses a well-built mental frame, with a volume of 8.9 x 5.8 x 5.9". This gives it fast turnaround times and makes it more reliable than the wood frame originally used by Creator.

The thick aluminium plate makes for a flat surface that can tolerate high levels of temperature won't warp when the heating is taking place while a high level of insulation and protection is guaranteed with the enclosed acrylic chamber.

The LCD screen of the printer and buttoned board function smoothly. With its dual extruders, the motions of the z-axis are highly accurate and the platform arm is protected from malformations due to the metal platform support alongside the 10 mm guide rod. Its layer resolution stands at 100 to 500 microns.

The extruder wiring router also well serves the purpose of keeping the wiring from wearing away. But it also has limited dimensional accuracy and the print layers can be visible. The printing area is well lit with the LED light.

A few features that make this printer standout include the revamped and pre-installed front door, granting users more convenient access to the prints. Also temperature regulation is more smoothly handled with the one piece PC top cover.  It has a relatively bigger surface area on the platform, re-designed for simpler handling.

That it only supports PVA, PLA and ABS means that it is more suitable for those who are just getting started with 3D printing or those who do not print on a regular basis.

Printouts can be processed via a USB cable or an SD card using ReplicatorG, FlashPrint and Simplify3D.

Highlighted Features

1. Comes fully assembled.

2. Enclosed acrylic chamber provides strong insulation.

3. Thick aluminium plate will not warp.

4. Highly accurate z-axis movements.

5. Convenient access with the re-designed doors.

6. Compatible with Windows, Mac OSX and Linux.

Best 3d Printer For Flexible Filament

Pros

1. Suitable for those who do not use 3D printing on a regular basis. 

2. Has a fast turnaround time.

3. Can tolerate high temperature with its thick aluminium plate.

4. Supports all filament types.

Cons

1. Print layers can be visible.

2. Limited dimensional accuracy.

5. Monoprice Maker Select 3D Printer v2| best 3d printer for cosplay

What makes the Monoprice Maker Select 3D Printer stand out amongst other 3D printers is how it offers the quality and specifications of a high end printer at an affordable price point.

Large sized and intricate designs can be created with the spacious 8 x 8" build plate and 7" vertical. The build plate is also heated, which means that you can print materials that cool down slower, making the designs more durable.

Almost all 3D filaments types such as ABA-based, PLA-based, and Felty are supported.

The printer is quick and easy to assemble, and does not require extra parts for you to purchase before you get started. It comes with a sample PLA filament and a 2GB microSD card with 3D model samples.

Softwares such as Cura, Repetier, or Simplify 3D can be used with this printer due to its versatility in handling both open-source and commercial software. While there is no Wi-Fi connection, you can insert your card into the micro SD card slot without having to connect to a computer first.

Together with the separate control box to the 3D printer takes up a bit of space.

Highlighted Features

1. High end printer at an affordable price.

2. Build plate is heated so printed objects are durable.

3. Almost all filaments are supported.

4. Compatible with a range of software and Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Best 3d Printer For Cosplay

Pros

1. It is highly affordable.

2. Designs are more durable.

3. Large designs can be facilitated.

4. Relatively easy to assemble.

Cons

1. Takes up a bit of space because of the separate control box.

2. Does not come with a Wi-Fi option.

Best Printers 3D Printers for Miniatures Buying Guide

1. Purpose 

Whether you are a hobbyist who likes to create new projects or parts, an educator in a school or community center, an engineer who creates prototypes to show to clients, or even a parent introducing your kids to 3D printing, you will find 3D printing quite handy.

Depending on the type of thing you are planning to print, you will be able to find plenty of 3D printers that fit your bill.

2. Size 

Your 3D printer needs to be large enough for the size of the item that you print using it. What this ultimately means is that you need to have an idea of the size of the objects you are going to print in the near and distant future.

The build area of the 3D printer, that is, the size of the largest item that can be printed with your 3D printers, typically are between 6 to 9 inches square.

3. Filament 

Most 3D printers that are not pricey use the FFF technique. The types of filaments available all melt at different temperatures. What this means is that you can either limit yourself by solely using filaments that are compatible with your 3D printer or you can invest in a 3D printer that has the software to control the extruder temperature.

Whichever type of 3D printer you buy, make sure that the filament will be compatible. While some 3D printers will work with generic filaments, others will only operate with proprietary filaments. Additionally, it will be wise to ensure that the filament is of the right diameter and the spool it comes with is the right size.

4. Photosensitive Liquid Resin

You can alternatively use photosensitive liquid resin instead of filament for 3D printing. Doing so will give you high resolution output. However, this would also mean that only a limited color palette will be available, namely gold, gray, white, and black. Additionally, working with liquid resin can be quite messy.

Whether you opt for resin or filament for your 3D printer, remember to factor in the expenses incurred with each choice.

5. Resolution   

The next factor to consider when it comes to 3D printing is its resolution. When 3D printing, resolution refers to layer height. The number of layers the printed item has determines how thin each layer is and how detailed the resolution will be. Conversely, a higher resolution does not automatically translate into high quality output.

Most 3D printers can print at a resolution of 200 microns, which are of decent quality. Further, many 3D printers can print relatively good quality prints at a resolution of 100 microns. But only a few 3D printers can print at a resolution of 20 microns.

To get this kind of resolution, you need to be able to tweak the settings of your 3D printer. Additionally, a higher resolution means more printing time.

6. Number of extruders

3D printers can print items in multiple colors and materials if they are fitted with multiple extruders. Most 3D printer models have two extruders, and each will be connected to a different filament color. It is only files that have been designed for multicolor printing that can print multicolored objects.  

Multiple extruders will speed up the overall production time needed for 3D printing.

7. Build platform

The surface on which you are printing, otherwise known as a build platform, is of paramount importance. A good platform allows the item being printed to adhere to its surface. Following this, a good platform allows you to easily remove the 3D printed item once the task is complete.

A heated glass platform covered with blue painter’s tape or similar material is most commonly used. 3D objects printed on this surface will adhere to the tape relatively well and are easily removed upon completion.

Added to this is how the build platform is leveled. A tilted build platform will impede printing, especially the printing of relatively large objects. 

Final Words

3D printers are the future of printing as they give you the chance to create a physical model from a digital one. With rapid advances in technology and cost-effective manufacturing, 3D printers are now widely accessible. Hence, it is also becoming increasingly possible to own a 3D printer for personal use.

Investing in your own 3D printer is really the way to go in the present. 3D printers are a great machine to invest in irrespective of whether you are a parent hoping to introduce this technology to your kids, your profession requires you to use it regularly in your business, or you are a hobbyist who likes to create models.

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