3D printers are now found in design shops, classrooms and almost everywhere. They have become everyday gadgets, and with a myriad of models available, you must be wondering what the best 3D printers for beginners out there are. There are a lot of factors that will influence your buying decision. This is why we did thorough research and created this guide. We had a look at the good 3D printers for beginners and found that the following models are the ones that you should try.
With this 3D printer, the company wants to bring flexibility to homes. It’s an enclosed machine and the plastic panels that cover it keep fingers away from the hot and moving parts. You can see what is happening in the device through the top and frontal covers. It’s a good choice for classroom users.
The process of creating and preparing the design is accomplished within the Dremel Digital software and the interface is a simplistic touchscreen LCD display. You can connect the printer to other devices through Wi-Fi, USB or Ethernet.
Most of the prints that come out of this 3D printer are impressive, present excellent details, and accurately reproduce smooth curves.Buy from Amazon.com for ($1599)
The Dremel 3D45 is a fairly large, closed-frame printer, that is safe to be used by beginners. It has a clear front and a lid panel that opens, allowing easy access to the print bed. The device has a five-inch touchscreen that can be used for loading filament, printing from a USB drive and other tasks.
Besides USB, this printer offers connectivity through Ethernet or Wi-Fi. Since it doesn’t use a specific app, the device should be connected to the Dremel Print Cloud, in order for it to launch print jobs. The DigiLab 3D Slicer software is easy for beginners to use and provides enough versatility for more experienced users.Buy from Amazon.com for ($1799)
CraftBot Gentian Blue
Weighing just thirty pounds, this 3D printer is easily transportable. In addition, it’s highly flexible in terms of the materials it uses — it can print from PLA, ABS and HIPS filaments. The printer feels sturdy, and the simplistic design makes it user-friendly. Setting it up also takes little time.
The LCD touchscreen is very responsive and it uses both images and descriptions to help the user. Of course, you can utilize the touch screen for all the critical functions. More tools can be exploited in the CraftWare software that the machine incorporates.
You might be surprised by how silent the device is and how fast it can print, especially if the thicker filament is used.Buy from Amazon.com for ($1099)
Monoprice Mini Delta
Designed for novices, the Monoprice Mini Delta 3D printer offers a lot of features at a low price. It’s a little machine that uses simple principles to offer good printing capabilities. It can use both PLA and ABS materials from any manufacturer.
The hardware structure is very simple to assemble and the software setup requires a bit of care, but can be done by beginners, as well. In terms of connectivity, this machine offers a USB port, a MicroSD card slot and Wi-Fi connectivity that requires the use of a free mobile app. The interface is minimal, user-friendly and functional. The print process is a bit noisy, but speedy.Buy from Amazon.com for ($159.99)
BIQU Magician Lipstick
Taking into account details such as the easy to use interface and the instruction manual, this is a great option as a 3D printer for a beginner. It is a reliable machine, but it doesn’t have a large build volume. The detailed page guide is excellent for starters and it teaches them how to use the Cura software.
Setting it up is not an issue as the device comes pre-built and ready to use. In terms of software, the default features offer a good starting point. The LCD touchscreen impresses with great colors and a simple menu and provides the user with the possibility to change printing speed in real time.Click to see the price on Amazon!
How to find a 3D printer for beginners
Some years ago, the 3D printer was a tool only used by some professionals, but nowadays anybody can get one, and certain manufacturers make all kinds of models, including cheap 3D printers for beginners. This is why it’s hard for a starter to find the perfect device.
It’s important that before you buy something, you do your research and make sure you know what you’re looking for. You will first need to get a 3D printer that is easy to use, but it also needs to provide the safety required. To make it easier for you, if you are short on time, we created a buying guide that discusses the most important features that 3D printers for beginners should have.
Besides the usual characteristics that make a 3D printer a good device, there are aspects that make some printers more suitable than others in the hands of a beginner. We addressed those in our guide as well.
If you’re looking to get such a device as a present for someone, 3D printers are some great teen gifts. However, make sure that you first know what they are going to use it for. You can also find out how big the resulting prints will need to be, and how fast the objects should be created.
How we chose the best 3D printer for beginners
We spent time analyzing beginners’ 3D printers reviews, consumer and sales reports and investigated specialized sources and we chose our top picks after evaluating the usefulness of the devices, how the design impacts the usability and how versatile 3D printers are.
Types of printers
3D Printers are classified into two categories. The first of them is the FFM one, also known as fused filament manufacturing type. They work by melting a plastic filament using a moving printhead. These types of printers are usually cheaper, easier to use and simpler.
The other type of printer is the SLA kind, otherwise known as stereolithography. These models use a laser to solidify resin and they’re usually more complicated to use and require a bigger investment to maintain. They also have fewer versatility options than the FFM models.
SLA models are used for creating prints with incredible detail and smooth surfaces and they can even be used for making castable molds. This being said, if you’re a beginner you should probably stick to the simpler and more accessible FFM 3D printers.
When choosing a printer you must pay attention to what kind of printing material it uses. As a rule of thumb, the more it can use, the better. That’s because you will have diversity in what you can print and in the costs that the process brings.
In the case of FFM models, the range is greater, because many of the printers use several different materials that can be found for sale: PLA (a biodegradable material), ABS (the plastic used in Lego bricks), nylon, TPE (a material that resembles rubber) and HDPE (a light material that feels like polystyrene).
Also, many of the presented materials come in a great range of colors, especially PLA and ABS. This is where the SLA printers are weaker — they don’t have so many options for printing materials.
It is also worth knowing that certain 3D printers only allow the use of specific materials or a specific brand of printing material, usually the one made by the same manufacturer. The idea is simple: the manufacturer sells the printer cheaper and profits on the sales of printing materials.
Based on different factors, each 3D printer has a limit on the size of the print that it can produce. The aspects that influence this size are the dimensions of the print bed and how far the printhead can be moved. This measurement is usually expressed in cubic inches. Depending on what you usually want to print, you must pay attention to the specific dimensions of height, width, and depth.
If you want to build architectural models you will need a printer capable of creating larger outputs. You should choose your 3D printer depending on the size that you want your printed objects to be. The chosen material also influences this. More complicated coloring or polishing can reduce the dimensions of the printed objects.
A printed object can take between six and twelve hours to execute, depending on the 3D printer used and how complicated the object is. To increase the speed of printing, thicker materials that produce larger layers are used. But this comes as a trade-off — the quality of the resulting object is worse and the details are neglected.
It’s great to find a 3D printer that allows you to use thicker filaments and a faster printing speed so you can obtain the result faster. The best 3D printers for beginners allow you to do that and at the same time, they can let you make prints at a slower speed and better quality if wanted.
The type of material used can also affect the printing speed. The shape of the object printed is important, as well – a sphere is easier to print than a star, for example. This is why it should be kept in mind that the higher the resolution and the level of details needed, the more time it takes. You should look for a printer that is flexible and lets you choose how much detail or speed you want.
Features that beginners should look for
3D printers that are used by beginners or in the environment of a classroom should have some special characteristics. The users of these devices need to benefit from an easier learning curve, the results should be predictable and simple to achieve and the printer should come with information on how to use it.
These aspects will avoid frustration and uncertainty when working. Safety features also come into play here, and when talking about this, closed-frame 3D printers are the ones that provide a secure environment for the user. The lack of a heated bed is also an advantage from this point of view.
The devices that come pre-assembled are some of the best 3D printers on a budget and they are always a good choice for learners. Similarly, the ones that allow a wide range of connections, from USB to a SD card slot, WiFi or Ethernet, are a good choice.