The 5 Best 3D Printers for Miniatures ($200 to $1000)

3d printer for miniature

The 3D printers are the future of printing technology. Due to technological advancement the things are dramatically changing and now pretty much aware of 3D printing. There are many benefits of buying a 3D printer to create your own miniatures. 3D printers come in all shapes and forms and many are quite affordable. The two most common and lowest cost 3D printer types are FDM and resin 3D printers. LCD 3D printers are the only type of resin printer to reach prices as low as FDM printers. LCD printers are offering better quality prints with smoother finish. There are massive number of 3D printers available in the market and hence selecting one is a major issue most of them are facing. In this buying guide we are discussing on best 3D printers for miniatures on the market and also discussing on factors which we need to consider while the purchasing.

  1. Printer type
  2. Printing speed
  3. Technology

Anycubic Photon


Anycubic photon DLP 3D printer has emerged as one of the most appealing options on the market. Anycubic has a reputation for building reliable and affordable printers. This Anycubic photon is also one among the cheapest DLP 3D printers out there.

Highlights

  • Printer type : LCD based SLA printer
  • Printing speed : 20mm/h
  • Technology : DLP (Digital light processing)
  • Resolution : 25-100 microns
  • Build volume : 4.52”*2.56”*6.1”
  • Price : $169.00

  Pros

  • Extremely affordable and low priced model compared to other SLA/DLP 3D printers.
  • Produces better quality prints at an impressive resolution of 25-100 microns.
  • Thus is much easy to use and set up
  • Plenty of resin types to choose from.
  • Quicker than printing a compactible resolution on an FDM printer.
  • The metal and CNC made structure offers repeatable and consistant performance in long run.
  • The interactive interface allows to preview and monitor the printing status in real time basis.
  • It makes tiny parts with accuracy and much smoother detail and quality than a FDM printer

Cons

  • Resin 3D printing cam get a bit messy
  • Post processing requires patience and space.
  • Lack of customization

Verdict

Anycubic photon offers both print quality and ease of use. This is an ideal introduction to DLP/SLA 3D printer for both beginners and well-seasoned makers. It provides better print quality and resolution than FDM, but it can be done on a printer in the same low price range. Due the lower cost it charges it is providing 2K LCD, which is good but not the highest resolution screen on the market. There is no Wi-Fi. It also offers a good stirring mechanism to stir resin and thus ensure that nothing is sticking or floating where it shouldn’t be.

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Lulzbot Mini 2


Lulzbot Mini 2 focuses on printing rather than aesthetics. The anodized aluminium frame and 3D printed parts gives it a clean functional look. It includes a flexible print head, faster motor, new modular bed print and a slightly larger print bed. It can handle flexible materials such as Ninjaflex due to the presence of E3D Titan Aero nozzle and a redesigned feeding mechanism. The key features of this printer is Borosilicate glass bed, PEI Print surface, standard and usable filaments, good printing speed, heated platform, USB Connectivity and open source hardware and software.

Highlights

  • Printer type : GLCD
  • Printing speed : 30mm/sec
  • Technology : FFF (Fused filament fabrication)
  • Resolution : 0.05mm-0.4mm
  • Build volume : 4608 cm3 (281.4in3)
  • Price : $1500

Pros

  • Supports a wide range of materials such as TPU, Exotic PLA, and ABS etc.
  • Provides an outstanding print quality with better detailing.
  • It is much easy to install and use.
  • It is having fast and quite performance
  • Removable heated print bed with dual surfaces
  • It is having automatic bed levelling surfaces
  • Have 0.5mm nozzle for a variety of applications and a solid frame

Cons

  • More expensive than many comparable models.
  • The build plate is small and limited build volume.
  • Print quality varies depending on the material used.

Related Read: 10 Best Dual Extruder 3D Printers From $300 to $6000

Verdict

This printer is better in terms of zero issues with adhesion or warping. It works well with difficult to print materials such as NinjaFlex, wood filament and ABS. highly recommended for designers, engineers and small businesses that require a printer that is dependable, consistent and able to pump better quality objects. At $1500 there are certainly more affordable options on 3D printing market, but few can manage to offer the reliability and user-friendly experience of Lulzbot Mini 2.

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Elegoo Mars


This as a budget friendly machines with high resolution 3D printing now both affordable and profile. The Elegoo mars is a remarkable 3D printer offering a simple, forgiving and rewarding 3D printing experience at a combative price point, it achieves more than many of its contemporises by doing less. Expect high quality points and little efforts to get them.

Highlights

  • Printer type : LCD
  • Printing speed : 22.5mm/sec
  • Technology : SLA (Stereo lithography apparatus)
  • Resolution : 0.047mm
  • Build volume : 4.7”*2.6”*6.1”
  • Price : $229

Pros

  • Excellent print quality
  • Minimal set-up
  • Simple but effective
  • Fits comfortable on a desk.
  • Linear ball rail guide for better stability and higher quality prints
  • It uses FDM (fusion deposition modelling) a process which involves extruding hot plastics.
  • The XY resolution is 0.00185” (0.047mm), so the quantity of everything you print will be great than other standard FDM printers.
  • It is portable with levelling tools and access to the flash drive storage
  • It uses photo polymers resin to 3D print objects.
  • It provides a build platform volume space of 4.7*2.6*6.1 (120mm*68mm*155mm)

Cons

  • Basic connectivity (USB) is an awkward location.
  • The fan is quiet loud and beeping throughout beginning and end of printing process
  • Prolonged use can trip the firmware up.

Related Read: The 5 Best Resin 3D Printers Under 500 (SLA & DLP)

Verdict

The Elegoo mars is an affordable printer with the quality and performance of a professional machine. It is an excellent 3D printer for both resin printing newbies and enthusiasts alike. The mars uses interface is easy to use and the overall printing process is really simple. This printer is better for beginners, as it is not only extremely affordable but also delivers excellent results without too many technical functions around it. The printer is compact and thus place comfortably on your desk.

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Creality Ender 3


Creality under 3D printer series is stronger and more popular than ever. There are number of features that make the Creality ender 3 one of the most popular missions currently available on the market. It has a build volume of 220*220*250mm, a build tak-like heated build plate, power recovery mode and a tight filament path way that makes it easier to print with flexible material.

Highlights

  • Printer type : LCD
  • Printing speed : 180mm/sec
  • Technology : FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling)
  • Resolution : 0.1mm
  • Build volume : 220*220*250mm
  • Price : $259.00

Pros

  • Highly affordable
  • Easy to assemble
  • Compact design with decent print volume
  • Print can be high quality
  • Tight filament path improves compatibility with flexible filaments
  • Good result on the auto desk kick starter test

Cons

  • Print bed levelling is tricky
  • Magnetic bed not to suitable for everyone
  • Encountered problems with brittle filament
  • Sometimes, additional adhesion materials are needed
  • Some flaws of the Ender 3weren’t ironed out

Verdict

Creality Ender 3 is an excellent and affordable tool of maker’s hobbyists, tinkerers and to some degree for educated beginners. The first reason is obviously; its extreme low price. It is a great machine that should give a pleasant experience for both beginners and even experts due to the easy and simple controls. Creality is very quick to respond printer. The features such as heat bed, tight filament extrusion and more, makes it easy to work with flexible filaments. Looking at the bright side the 3D printer gets you extra control over the prints set.

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Creality Ender 3 Pro


The ender 3 pro offers features that you don not find in more expensive 3D printers, a decent build volume of 220*220*250mm, a magnetic bed, a power recovery mode, a tight filament path way that makes it easier to work with flexible materials.

Highlights

  • Printer type : LCD
  • Printing speed : 200mm/sec
  • Technology : FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling)
  • Resolution : 0.1mm
  • Build volume : 220*220*250mm
  • Price : $259.00

Pros

  • The V slot corporate with prusa 13 frame with extreme innovative design, following the step of the trend, integrated with classic element, create a new generation economic DIY 3D printers.
  • Super printing size with 1 piece structure saves space
  • Safety protected power supply, reach 110 degree Celsius for hot bed in about 5 minutes.
  • Additional power cut protection functions to meet the needs of fast heating ad long time printing.
  • CNC machining of Y-rail mounting groove to make use precise positioning and keep the stable frame with high precision printing qualities.
  • Patent technology: V slot with POM wheel makes it more noiseless, smoothly and durable.
  • MK8 extruder greatly reduces plugging risk and bad extrusion
  • New viscous platform sticker help to replace printing tape and glue, solve warping problem but saves the printing cost.

Cons

  • Constant maintenance is needed that is belts need tightening and it attracts dust
  • Levelling the bed continually before every print
  • Changing filament is tough and snags easily
  • It has a rough print finish and magnetic bed misaligns

Verdict

If you are looking to spend as little as possible for a new 3D printer, the Creality Ender 3 Pro is our top recommendation for any one shopping on a skinner budget. This printer has a decent set of capabilities produces all print, and is fairly easy to use all while being significantly more budget friendly than the top layer or mid-range 3D printer.

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MP Mini Delta 3D Printer


PROS

  • Low cost
  • Simple controls
  • Decent print quality

CONS

  • Unreliable USB connection
  • User must configure software
  • Unreliable high-quality print mode

VERDICT

A new approach to 3D printing by monoprice with the MP Mini Delta. It is one of the cheapest professionally made 3D printer available. The MP Mini Delta, considering the price it offers a wide range of features on the other side some cutting edges too. But overall you will find it as a good value for money.

DESIGN & FEATURES

The Mini Delta’s print head is held by three arms and it includes three motors. The three arms are attached to a drive belt that is turned by a motor and the three motors are situated at the base of the printer move each of the drive belts, which in turn move the arms up and down.

This printer can handle both ABS and PLA materials because it’s a combination of heated print bed and extruder. The Mini Delta uses 1.75mm filament and you can use any of the manufacturers product.

It includes a self-levelling print bed, which helps the setting up of the print by running at every time when a print starts. As an interface, it has only a 3-inch LCD screen and three buttons one for option selection and the other two for scrolling through options.

The on-screen menu consists of setting up the printer, staring a print, loading filament etc. It requires a lot scrolling to cancel a print – a drawback. Another important problem with Mini Delta is printing over USB just didn’t work. A bit noisy printer and you wouldn’t want it sitting next to you for a long print.

PRINT SPEED & PRINT QUALITY

Fairly fast printer works for 8 hours and 41 minutes in normal print mode and 3 hours and 36 minutes in fast mode. This is much better than low coast printers.

In both normal and fast mode the print quality was decent and easily visible.

SETUP

Very simple to set up. Unpack and plug it in. With the help of LCD screen and controls on the printer you can load the filament, with the reel hanging on a hook on the back of the printer body. For the software set up, Cura Open source package to be installed. It comes up with a micro SD card and input the settings for the MP Mini Delta. In the connectivity part the printer includes a microSD card port, a micro USB and an 802.11g Wi-Fi connection. For usage of mobile app, it requires a Wi-Fi connection and it can be done by holding a button on the back of the printer and run the app, which passes the details of your Wi-Fi network to the printer.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Technology: FFF
  • Year: 2018
  • Assembly:fully-assembled
  • Mechanical arrangement:Delta style
  • Manufacturer: Monoprice
  • Frame dimensions: 348 x 264 x 430 mm
  • Assembled dimensions: 360 x 440 x 480 mm
  • Weight: 13.9 kg
  • Build volume:110 x 110 x 120 mm
  • Layer height:50 – 200 microns
  • Feeder system: Bowden
  • Extruder type: Single
  • Nozzle size:4 mm
  • extruder temperature:260 °C
  • heated bed temperature:  60 °C
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Print chamber: Open
  • Bed leveling: Automatic
  • Connectivity: USB, SD Card, WiFi
  • Build-in camera for monitoring: No
  • Average operating noise: -49 dBA
  • Filament diameter:75 mm
  • Third party filament: Yes
  • Filament materials: ABS, Wood Fill, PLA, Steel Fill, Copper Fill, Bronze Fill
  • Operating system: Linux, Windows (XP and later 32/64-bit) Mac OS X (10.6+ 64-bit).
  • Recommended Slicer:Cura
  • File types: STL, OBJ, AMF, DAE
  • Frame dimensions: 348 x 264 x 430 mm
  • Assembled dimensions:360 x 440 x 480 mm
  • Weight: 9 kg

CONCLUSION

Offers a lot of valuable features in a low price. Specially designed for experienced users with full value for your money, our rating is 7.5 out of 10 in low cost category of 3D printer.


HOW TO BUY 3D PRINTER FOR MINIATURES?


Printer Type

There are different types of 3D printers for miniatures such as LCD or DLP. DLP (Digital light processing) printer provides poor print quality. But here all the printers are of LCD which offers a better quality print. The print quality of a LCD printer depends on its LCD density.

Printing Speed

Printing speed is always a major consideration for an expert miniature makers. Hence choose a printer with decent printing speed makes it more economical and time saving one. After comparing all the printers Creality Ender 3 Pro printer which offers 200mm/sec of printing speed.

Technology

There are different types of printing technology used in 3 D printing such as SLA (Stereo lithography Apparatus), DLP (Digital light processing), FDM (Fused deposition modelling), SLS (Selective laser Sintering) etc.


FINAL VERDICT


Here we are discussing in this article about the best 5 3D printers for miniatures. These projectors are excellent and affordable tool for makers and hobbyists, tinkerers and to some degree even for educated beginners. The above mentioned printers are equally superb but as a suggestion I suggest Creality Ender 3 Pro which has got unique features with other 3D printers. At this lower cost it offers features such as decent built volume of 220*220*250mm, a magnetic bed, power recovery mode an tight filament path way.