If you love art and design, then you absolutely need a 3D printer to help you explore your imaginations and creativity. With choosing the best 3d printer for gaming miniatures, there is no limit on the things that you can do. Although the readily available options are not fast enough or capable of producing the quality required for mass production, they are highly useful when it comes to prototyping and home production markets, like gaming miniatures. A good quality 3D printer is capable to offer you advantages from the initial design stage to the production stage of the final product. Nevertheless, although they are not as expensive as they used to be, they still cannot be considered cheap and thus, you must be careful when selecting the right one for miniatures. Your goal should be to find one that is of high quality and reliable. 3d printing miniatures is also super fun!
Our Recommendations & Comparison
Our Top Choice – LulzBot Mini Desktop 3D Printer
With a small compact design, LulzBot mini desktop 3D printer is built to provide quality while making everything else easy and straightforward. The assembly process is not complicated and you can easily operate the printer using straightforward software that has easy to use documentation and an army of enthusiasts ready to help transform your imaginations into final products. Although the printer is smaller than most of its rivals, it actually produces comparatively large print size of up to 6.2 by 6 by 6 inches.
The LulzBot Mini also includes a functional fabric at the back of the print bed that cleans the print head before every project begins, which means that your jobs will not be ruined by a stray piece of filament while in the progress. Finally, it bundles in a free downloadable Cura software that lets you easily import 3D models, set them up for printing and control the printing process.
Our Runner Up – Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 3D Printer
With a print volume of 200 by 200 by 185mm, the Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 3D printer is a sleek, blue-tinged box that is worth its price. The Sindoh printer comes with a remarkably effective print bed that offers three beds for quick print swapping. The printer has a heated bed that can ratchet up to 110 degrees Celsius and a 0.4mm nozzle with a temperature range of 180 to 220 degrees. The Sindoh DP200 3D printer also has WIFI connectivity that lets you easily transfer your designs.
The 3DWOX DP 200 also lets you transfer designs through USB or online thanks to the standard USB thumbstick and Ethernet. The completely closed-box design protects the quality of your prints from external temperature and humidity fluctuations ensuring reliability and consistent prints. The 3D printer features a 5-inch color touchscreen that offers all the functionality that you will need. The printer also has a print monitoring camera that lets you remotely witness your prints.
Best For 3D Printing Fine Details – Ultimaker 2+
If you are looking for a 3D printer review that is ideal for high-volume printing, you should buy the Ultimaker 2+. The 3D printer uses fused filament fabrication to produce excellent-quality prints in an easy to use package with excellent detail. The Ultimaker 2+ offers two printing methods for high volume and for fine detail printing. Using a large layer height, the printer can churn out high-volume rougher prints quickly while by using the smaller layer height, the printer can slowly print mode detailed prints with finer detail.
The Ultimaker 2+ does not require a specific filament brand and can print using ABS and 3-mm PLA filaments, which gives you flexibility and convenience as you can work with whatever you want. The Ultimaker 2+ has a single extruder that is moved by two belt drives down a bit for each level for steady prints. Furthermore, the printer moves the extruder, which makes it ideal for printing tall, thin prints.
Another quick printer recommendation – Ultimaker 3
Best For 3D Printing Terrain – FlashForge Creator Pro
The FlashForge Creator Pro comes with a metal chassis upgrade over its predecessor that had a wooden chassis, which means that your prints will not experience any heat and noise leakage. The new metal chassis seals in heat and eliminates noise pollution while minimizing vibrations ensuring better precision of the print heads for a smoothly finished end product. The printer also includes a super-clear acrylic panel that lets you see the object being deposited from raw PLA or ABS.
The FlashForge Creator Pro has a bright LCD panel that lets you see the state of the current operation. Furthermore, unlike other 3D printers, the FlashForge Pro printer includes an SD memory card slot in addition to the USB interface for easy connectivity. Furthermore, the printer has enough workspace for a wide variety of projects that range from building prototypes to fun copies of 3D computer models, hobbyist items, and replacement components. The printer boasts a steel chassis, dual-spool feeds, and an aluminum plate.
Cheapest & Most Affordable 3D Printer – Hictop CR-10S
The Hictop CR-10S comes with an enormous 11.8 by 11.8 by 15.7 inches build space that lets you almost any filament. The printer includes a heated aluminum print bed with a glass top for better adhesion with all filaments. Whether you are looking for speed or precision, the printer can print at speeds of up to 200mm/s for resolutions of between 50 and 400 microns or speeds of up to 80mm/s for amazing results and a microSD card and tethered USB for easy connection.
The printer also has dual Z lead screws that ensure better stability and precision, especially when working with taller prints. The dual Z lead screw upgrade also helps to improve the durability of the printer. The CR-10S has a filament sensor upgrade that helps to preserve your prints by detecting when the filament runs out and stop the print. The sensor also detects the power outage and pause prints and thus, saving you tons of wasted filament as well as print time.
Another Best Budget 3D Printing Choice – Dremel DigiLab 3D20 3D PrinterWant to know more? Click here!
Dremel is well known for building devices that are reliable and easy to use and the Dremel Digilab 3D20 3D printer is not different. The printer continues the Dremel reputation by being ready to use from the box. The unit comes with printable files that you can use to test the quality of the printer from the box. The 3D20 printer is also highly reliable as the filaments are specifically engineered to optimize printing while at the same time being one of the most affordable 3D printers on the market.
The Dremel Digilab 3D20 3D printer has a fully enclosed design that improves printing by creating stable temperature while protecting children and other people from putting their hands into the work area during prints. The printer also features a 4-inch full-color touch screen for easy functionality and a simple extruder that allows easy maintenance. The printer also comes with a cooling fan that prevents your prints warping or printer over-heating.
Another quick recommendation – Dremel Digilab 3D45
What to look for when choosing a Best 3D Printer for Miniatures
When looking for a great 3D printer, you will most likely have to compare two or more brands and thus, it is important that you know what to look for. The most basic factor that you should consider is the price of the printer as well as your budget. The price start from below $1000 to over $2000 and thus, it is important that you come up with the price range of the printers that you can afford. Another important factor that you should consider is the print surface. The print surface will have a direct effect on the projects that you can print. When it comes to the print surface, larger is always better as it gives you more convenience.
You should also never purchase a 3D printer without considering the print speed as well as the performance of the printer. A printer with a high print speed is better as it helps you save on the printing costs in the long-run while enabling you to see your finished products sooner. However, the speed should not compromise the quality of prints. Another factor that you should consider is the accuracy of the printer as well as the color aspect of the printer. A printer that can print a spectrum of colors or a few colors at a time is better.
*Honorable mention – Makerbot Replicator+ – Amazing printer but more pricey – definitely not for beginners.
Which 3D Printing Filament is best for miniatures?
3D printers can print of a number of materials but the two most common types that you familiarize yourself with are PLA and ABS. The PLA also the Polylactic Acid refers to biodegradable plastic with many features that make it highly preferred for printing. The PLA has greater resistance to warping than ABS and it does not give off any fumes during print. The PLA is also harder than ABS and shiny resulting in products made of PLA being sleek in appearance. The ABS or the Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene is a petroleum-based plastic that has a higher melting point than the PLA. ABS is also very strong. However, it is necessary to note that products made of ABS will likely bend while those of PLA will likely snap under much pressure. Therefore, the best filament for miniatures depends on your preferences and special project needs.
Best 3D Printers For Miniatures Conclusion
The best 3D printer for miniatures and terrain is the one that matches your budget and needs. Therefore, the most expensive one or the cheapest model on the market may not be your ideal model. Instead, you should look for features that your projects require without compromising on the quality, reliability, and convenience. For example, if you would like to print many things, a printer that prints very fast may be ideal. However, 3D printers that print very fast may not be ideal for projects that require high precision and excellent prints. In this occasion, you may find a printer that offers you an option to print both fast for volume printing and slowly for excellent printing being the ideal option.