Table of Contents
- Expensive vs Cheap 3D Printer for Miniatures?
- How long does it take to 3D print a miniature?
- Best filament to use for miniatures
- Top 10 3D printers
- FLSUN QQ-S Delta 3D Printer
- Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer v2
- SUNLU 3D Printer DIY Kit
- Adventurers 3D Printer Creality Ender-3 V2
- FlashForge Finder 3D Printer
- Adventurers 3D Printer Creatlity Ender-3 Pro
- ANYCUBIC Mega-S New Upgrade 3D Printer
- ANYCUBIC Photon S 3D Printer
- LONGER Orange 10 Resin SLA 3D Printer
- JGMAKER Magic 3D Printer
- What to look for when choosing a 3D Printer for Miniatures
- Final Words
Are you looking to spice up your setup or are you an inspiring entrepreneur trying to make some money? Well in both cases, you might be looking for miniatures and figurines. If you are trying to buy one for your personal display purposes, then you might have noticed that miniatures are very expensive and their high price tag seems unjustifiable.
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That might make you lean towards making your own. In other cases if you want to make and sell out miniatures, then a solution for all of this would be to invest in a 3D printer. With a 3D printer, you have full control over what product you display on your desk or what product you sell out to customers. Where traditional production methods might have a very high cost of production, a 3D printer cuts down on those quite a bit and allows you to save a lot of money as well.
In this confusing world, choosing a 3D printer can seem like a very daunting and overwhelming task as there are countless options in the market ranging from different price points to features to types etc. This overflow of information can blur your decision and thought process, so we will guide you along the way and will present some of the best options out there when you are in the market for a 3D printer.
Expensive vs Cheap 3D Printer for Miniatures?
When looking for a cheap 3D printer, you need to know that you shouldn’t expect too much as 3D printers are very expensive. But being a budget option doesn’t translate to it being low quality and useless. Usually a printer around the $300 price point will do anything that a high end printer is capable of doing.
Cheaper 3D printers just lacks some quirks and features such as reduced time, faster speeds etc. Most times you aren’t able to distinguish between a print from a budget entry printer and an enthusiast level printer. If you are just trying to print for fun or for a small scale business, then a budget printer will surely be enough for your needs and you won’t need to spend a fortune.
How long does it take to 3D print a miniature?
This is all very subjective as some prints can be completed in a few minutes whereas some might take days to complete. This depends on the type of printer used, the quality and size of print you want to print and speed of the printer.
Best filament to use for miniatures
The most popular and heavily recommended filament that can be used to print miniatures is PLA. This is because you can easily sand, paint and post process your prints without a problem to make your miniatures stand out and look aesthetically pleasing. PLA is also quite forgiving as it handles overhangs pretty well and is very durable and rugged as well.
Top 10 3D printers
FLSUN QQ-S Delta 3D Printer
This 3D printer from FLSUN is a filament printer that comes with plenty of features all at a respectable price point. It has an all metal body that is very stable and high quality. It comes almost completely assembled and a novice can also easily assemble it. It has a very high speed of printing with a low noise output making a deadly combo.
The titan extruder combined with the all lattice glass platform allows for a clean print with strong adhesion and easy removal as well. It has multiple connectivity options including a wireless Wi-Fi option as well making it easier for you to execute a print file. If you want to control all the functions of the printer then you can access them through the inbuilt 3.2” color touch screen.
- All metal surface
- 90% pre-assembled
- High printing speed
- 3.2” touch screen controls
- Wi-Fi support
- Resume printing function
- Very quiet at <50 decibels
- Lattice glass platform
- Titan extruder
- Three axis linkage
- Very easy to assemble
- Not noisy at all
- Great build quality
- Fast print speed
- Lots of dribbling
- After 30 layers printing gets offset
- Remaining filament gets stuck in the tube
All in all, the FLSUN QQ-S Delta 3D Printer is a great pick for anyone looking for a great all-rounder printer. This will not only get the job done pretty quickly but will also deliver great results. You won’t be disappointed if you decide to go for this 3D printer.
Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer v2
This is the v2 3D printer by Monoprice that is equipped with a heated build plate which allows for strong adhesion and easy removal of the print. It comes in two colors and is fully assembled and can be plugged in to work right out of the box. This printer has a very compact design which will allow you to fit it anywhere.
It has multiple connectivity options which include Wi-Fi, Micro SD card and micro USB support so that you can easily transfer the printable file. In order to properly control the printer, it comes equipped with a color LCD screen which adds to the usability and user friendly experience. The 0.4mm extruder makes sure that the print is precise and accurate making it as detailed as possible.
- Available in two colors (Black and White)
- Heated (120 x 120 x 120) Build plate
- Fully assembled
- Support for all types of filaments
- Compact design
- Nozzle cooling fan
- Quick release steel gear filament feeder
- Easy to read color LCD
- 0.4mm extruder diameter
- Micro USB and Micro SD card support
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- Great value for money
- Accurate and precise printing
- Multiple connectivity options
- Compatibility with most filaments
- Compact and space saving design
- Tends to heat up
- Software is lacking in some aspects
The Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer v2 is one of the best options in the price point. It offers great features and works as good as very expensive 3D printers. If you are in the market for an inexpensive printer that will print out high quality 3D miniatures then this would be a great pick for you.
SUNLU 3D Printer DIY Kit
SUNLU is known to make wonderful 3D printers at a very affordable price point. This printer is no different as it provides you with a very precise print due to the 0.1mm extruder. This also ensures that the quality is quite high as well. It supports all sizes of prints due to its massive build plate. It has a very stable and quality build due to the metal construction and 3 inductive end stop sensors. It can heat up very fast which will save you time and will provide a strong adhesion and easy removal of the print.
- 0.1mm high precision extruder
- Resume print function
- Fast heat up
- Large build volume (310mm x 310mm x 400mm)
- Works with flexible filaments
- Ideal for STEM projects
- Filament detection
- 3 inductive end stop sensors for stability
- Saves time with fast heat up
- Highly accurate and precise
- Huge build space for any size of print
- Easy to assemble
- Louder than most printers in the market
- On/Off button is in a very odd position
- Filament runoff sensor has a unorthodox location
The SUNLU 3D Printer DIY Kit provides you with everything you would ever need from a budget printer. It has great value and has amazing features as well. This would be a viable choice for anyone in the market for a 3D printer as it is compatible with all sizes of prints, is very precise and works very efficiently as well.
Adventurers 3D Printer Creality Ender-3 V2
This 3D printer from Adventurer has an all metal body and a v-slot pulley for smooth, low noise accurate movements. The printer produces quality prints due to its precise extruder and custom made platform which allows for strong adhesion and easy print removal. It has a very user friendly and easy to use UI so that you can control all the operations of the printer with ease. If you want to store your scraping and sanding tools then you can store them in the integrated tool box.
- All metal body
- Carbon crystal silicon glass platform
- Self-developed silent motherboard
- Resume printing function
- Convenient filament feed-in
- XY- axis tensioner
- Easy to use user interface
- Integrated tool box
- V-Slot pulley
- Strong adhesion and easy removal
- Low noise output
- Very stable
- Great build and print quality
- User friendly interface
- Speed is a bit slow
- Not as precise as other options in the market
Overall the Adventurers 3D Printer Creality Ender-3 V2 is a great pick for people looking for a 3D printer as it provides great features at a respectable price point. It produces great quality print and is built to last a very long time as well.
FlashForge Finder 3D Printer
This Finder 3D printer from FlashForge is a very loaded printer. It produces very accurate and high quality prints due to its precise extruder and calibration. It comes equipped with a slide-in build plate which makes it very easy to remove your 3D miniatures because the build plate is not heated. It has an auto leveling bed and multiple connectivity options such as Wi-Fi and 3D cloud function as well.
- Slide-in build plate
- Easy to remove 3D prints
- Intelligent assisted leveling system
- Precise calibration
- Low noise output at <50 decibels
- 2nd generation Wi-Fi connection
- Supports 3D Cloud function
- Multiple connectivity options
- very low noise output
- comes with a spool of PLA
- easy to use
- Extruder tends to get clogged up
- No heated build plate
If someone is looking for a 3D printer that can produce very accurate prints and has multiple connectivity options to transfer your printable files, then the FlashForge Finder 3D Printer is a viable option. You won’t be disappointed if you decide to go for this.
Adventurers 3D Printer Creatlity Ender-3 Pro
This is another great 3D printer from Adventurer as it provides high quality prints due the precise extruder, 1.75mm printing support and positioning as well. The hotbed allows for strong adhesion and easy print removal with a handy resume printing function which is a great bonus. The 45° Display allows for great control and information regarding the functions of your printer. It comes equipped with a CNC machining Y-axis mounting flute as well.
- High precision MK-10 extruder
- Hotbed able to reach 110°C in only 5 minutes
- Soft magnetic sticker
- Easy print removal
- CNC machining Y-axis mounting flute
- Precise positioning
- Safely protected power supply
- Resume printing function
- 45° Display
- 1.75mm printing support
- Very easy to set up
- Easily controllable and user friendly touch screen
- Great air filtration system to reduce odors
- Compatible with many connectivity options
- Not as precise as other printer due to 1.75mm extruder
- Tube tends to get clogged up
All in all, the Adventurers 3D Printer Creatlity Ender-3 Pro is a very good option for people looking for a great 3D printer for their miniatures. It provides great value with quality prints and easy setup as well.
ANYCUBIC Mega-S New Upgrade 3D Printer
This printer produces high quality and precise prints and works out of the box. It comes with a filament sensor and has a large build volume along and is compatible with most filaments as well. This printer has a touch screen as well to easily control the operations of your printer with ease. You can easily remove the finished print without a problem due to quality build base.
- Titan extruder
- Straight-through nozzle
- Sensitive touch screen
- Filament sensor
- Strong adhesion
- Easy print removal
- Works out of the box after easy installation
- Compatible with most filaments
- Anycubic ultrabase
- Large build volume
- Works out of the box
- High quality print and results
- Great build quality and stability
- Most filaments can be used
- Can print all sizes
- Z-axis tends to shift in position
- Takes a lot of time to heat up
Overall the ANYCUBIC Mega-S New Upgrade 3D Printer is a great pick for people looking for a 3D printer as it provides great features at a respectable price point. It produces great quality print and is built to last a very long time as well.
ANYCUBIC Photon S 3D Printer
This is a resin printer that is very easy to control and is easy to setup. The dual z-axis liner rail and aluminum platform allow for a high quality print with its upgraded UV lighting. It has easy leveling capabilities and touch screen controls for easy operations of the printer. Odor can also be filtered out with its air filtration system.
- Resin printer
- Dual Z-axis linear rail
- Off-line print
- Upgraded UV module
- Air filtration system
- Easy to level
- Touch screen controls
- Sanded aluminum platform
- Super easy to set up
- High quality 3D print
- Air filtration to remove any odor
- Touch screen for added usability
- Plate isn’t able to retain level in some cases
- Not consistent in prints
All in all, the ANYCUBIC Photon S 3D Printer is a very good option for people looking for a great 3D printer for their miniatures. It provides great value with quality prints and easy setup as well.
LONGER Orange 10 Resin SLA 3D Printer
This compact resin printer is packed with features. It has a full metal body making it very stable as well. The touch screen, smart support and even UV light distribution design adds to the usability and overall ease of control. It comes equipped with easy leveling and fast slicing features as well to make your job more enjoyable and less troublesome.
- Touch screen
- Smart support
- Fast slicing
- Offline printing
- Easy leveling
- Temperature warning system
- Uniform UV light distribution design
- Full metal body
- Very affordable
- Resin printer
- High quality and detailed print
- Easy to use
- Compact design
- Build quality is not as good as others
- Motor tends to malfunction
If you are looking for a compact, resin printer that is also very affordable then the LONGER Orange 10 Resin SLA 3D Printer is the one for you. It produces high quality prints and is very stable with low noise output.
JGMAKER Magic 3D Printer
This 3D printer comes equipped with a large build base for any size of print. It has multiple connectivity options and comes with an industrial grade silicone wire as well. The base is made out of metal making it very stable and reliable. The side filament holder and filament run out detection are also great features that come with this printer along with a concealed built-in power supply.
- (220mm x 220mm x 250mm) large print size
- Industrial grade silicone wire
- Built-in power supply
- Filament run out detection
- SD card hot plugin
- Metal base
- Side filament holder
- Easy to assemble
- Easy to use
- Heated build plate allows for easy removal
- Comes with preloaded instructions and program
- Assembly is very easy and straightforward
- Built plate cracks in some cases
- Extruder tends to get blocked
The JGMAKER Magic 3D Printer is a viable option as it provides great features at a reasonable price point.
What to look for when choosing a 3D Printer for Miniatures
When you are in the market for a 3D printer to print your miniatures or figurines, you want to look out for some main deciding factors that will allow making an informed decision about where to spend your hard earned money at. There are a lot of options available in the market and there is a high chance you could make a bad pick, in order to avoid that we will let you know about what things to look for and what things to avoid.
Speed of printing could be a concern if you were short on time or if you are planning to start up a business that relies on 3D printing. Resin printers are known to take a bit longer to print compared to their filament counterparts.
If you are planning to print miniatures then a faster speed would not affect the quality of the final product and would actually save you some time without compromising on quality. But if you were planning on printing larger form factor designs then a faster speed could hinder the quality of the final product as a faster moving nozzle might miss the fine details that would be required to give life to a larger print.
A faster speed could also lead to other problems such as vertical banding or ringing, whereas a very slow speed might cause stringing. When choosing a 3D printer for your miniatures, make sure that it matches your desired printing speed requirements so that it won’t be a hassle in the future.
3D printer noise output is actually a very big factor to consider. There aren’t any 3D printers in the market that are completely silent, but most do a great job of keeping the noise level down quite low. When you are printing a 3D miniature, it might take an upwards of hours. If you have a noisy printer then that constant sound can become the cause of discomfort and it can get very annoying.
For example, if you were to keep the 3D printer in your bedroom you would want to keep the noise quite low. So, when purchasing a printer, you need to consider that it shouldn’t be noisy. Get a printer that is reviewed to be very quiet such as a printer with a sound output of less than 50 decibels.
In order to print a miniature or figurine or any object, you need to send a printable file to your 3D printer. The printer will process and execute this file and will produce a final product. That makes connectivity options quite an important feature when looking for a 3D printer.
Some printers will only come with a SD card slot, which will allow you to plug in a SD into the printer in order to transfer and execute that file. Now, great news for people is that more and more affordable printers are coming equipped with multiple connectivity options making it very easy to use and operate the printer.
These options include USB connection, Wi-Fi connection, and Computer/laptop connectivity option to name a few. When looking for a printer, make sure it has plenty of connectivity options so that you won’t have a problem when trying to print a miniature.
This feature is quite overlooked but is one surely one of the most convenient and time saving features you could ask for. In manual leveling, it is a very tiresome and frustrating process and if not done right can ruin your 3D print altogether as well.
Thankfully, most printers come with a self-leveling bed which makes your job a lot easier. In this, a sensor detects the distance between the nozzle and print bed in order to determine if it needs leveling. If the sensor detects abnormal values, then it will automatically adjust and level the bed.
The software adjustments make sure that a correct distance is maintained between the nozzle and the print bed. Some people might prefer a manual leveling bed but going with a self-leveling bed printer will make the process more streamlined and will make the process more enjoyable as well. So when choosing a printer, you need to look out for this feature as this is a great bonus.
There are a lot of 3D printers in the market with different price tags. Even the most entry level 3D printers however cost a few hundred dollars. But that doesn’t mean that most of them compromise on quality in order to cut production costs. An “inexpensive” 3D printer might lack in features when compared to a more enthusiast level printer.
When you are in the market for a 3D printer, you would want to get the best value for your money. It is recommended that if you are going to print smaller scale 3D prints, then you would want to invest in a high quality highly rated printer as the work would be very intricate and would require a quality machine to execute it as well.
Resin or Filament
Basically there are two types of printers, these are filament 3D printers and resin 3D printers. Both of these printers will be more than enough for any basic user. Filament printers are much more common and they work by melting down a string of plastic (known as filament).
The filament is then extruded onto the bed layer by layer until a final product is made. An FDM printer deposits the material from the bottom and builds from there. In resin printers a liquid resin is used instead. The plate is lowered into a resin container and then cures the liquid resin using a light source
Resin 3D printers are generally known to produce much better quality products when compared to their FDM counterparts. However, a resin prison is costly both in terms of mess and money. Cleaning and setting up a resin printer is a task in itself.
Even though most resin printers are quite expensive, some can be found for a few hundred dollars. When trying to select a printer, you need to figure out your use purpose in order to pick a resin or filament printer.
This list contains some of the best options out there for you. They are all amazing options and you will not be disappointed if you decide to go for any of them. Hopefully our list has helped you in making an informed decision into which 3D printer to purchase. We have prepared some of our recommendations in terms of overall performance, price to value and runner up. However, if you don’t agree with our picks then it is recommended that you research yourself and using our list you can decide which printer to go for.
We believe that the best overall option is the ANYCUBIC Mega-S New Upgrade 3D Printer. This is because it is packed full of features and has a very appealing price tag along with it as well. It produces excellent quality prints that are not only highly detailed but they are durable as well. It has amazing build quality and is built to last. The extra features such as the touch screen and large volume build area are just added bonuses to this amazing product.
The Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer v2 is the runner up on our list. It is a very compact 3D printer that is full of features that make it very easy for you to control and print miniatures using this product. It produces high quality prints and has a very stable and high quality build as well which makes it quite stable as well.
Best Value for Money
The best value for money printer is the LONGER Orange 10 Resin SLA 3D Printer. It has a very compelling price tag and is one of the lowest costing in the list as well. On top of the low price tag, it is actually a resin printer which is already hard to come by in a budget printer. The resin printer is perfect for miniatures as the prints are quite detailed and high in quality as well. This printer is aesthetically pleasing and comes with added features as well that might be non-existent in a printer nearly double its price.
Hopefully our top 10 list has helped you into deciding what the best option for you is. In the end it is up to you to decide which 3D printer fits your requirements. But be sure to research clearly and thoroughly as there are a lot of printers in the market and knowing beforehand about which one to avoid and which to consider can make a huge difference.
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