5 Creality Ender 3 V2 Cheap 3D printer for miniatures and much more
The Best 3D Printers for Miniatures
3D printers are great for those who want a custom, one-of-a-kind set theydesigned themselves, especially for mini D&D sets as well as cosplay designs.Some people also love printing mini 3D printed cars or WW2-era planes, modeltrains, or anything else they loved during their childhood.There are thousands of free 3D models you can download on sites likeThingiverse, as well as 3D printing services and marketplaces where you canpurchase premium designs by professional 3D designers and have the model sentto your door. You can also design your own 3D printable miniatures on avariety of free 3D modeling software tools or 3D CAD software.
FDM vs Resin 3D printers for miniatures
The two most common and lowest cost 3D printer types are FDM and resin 3Dprinters. LCD 3D printers are the only type of resin printer to reach pricesas low as FDM printers.FDM 3D printer materials are cheaper than LCD 3D printer resin, and models areeasier to finish by painting and other methods. FDM printers also have largerbuild volumes, which while not important if you want to print single, smallmodels, is an advantage if you want to print many small models simultaneously. * You may also want to view our guides to FDM and SLA, and our comparison of FDM vs SLA.LCD 3D printers are capable of noticeably better quality prints, with farsmoother surface finish and less obvious layers. Though the printer priceshave recently fallen to the same level as cheap FDM 3D printers, the resinsstill cost more than filaments.Overall, when choosing between the two types, here’s our advice: beginnersshould stick to FDM printers, and experts who can handle the complexity andsafety and who want clearer models may prefer a resin printer.
1. Elegoo Mars 2 Pro Mono — best low cost resin 3D printer for miniatures
An LCD 3D printer capable of fast speeds and very fine details despite the lowprice, the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro has fast become a mainstay in desktop 3Dprinting.For makers who have experience with 3D printing and are comfortable with theadded complexities of resin printing, the Elegoo Mars could be your perfect 3Dprinter for miniatures and tabletop models. It can print smoother models withclearer, crisper finishes than FDM printers, and the resins used do not costas much as they used to.The 2K 6″ LCD screen gives the printer great precision for solidifying resins,with layer resolutions between 0.01-0.2mm available. It comes with CHITUBOX,the highly-praised resin 3D slicer which slices models quickly to save youtime, and also includes useful features such as tools that hollow out modelsbefore you print to lower material costs, if you don’t mind slightly lessdurable parts.Overall, the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro Mono is one of the best low cost resin printersaround, and for creating miniatures, if you have the tech know-how, you mayfind resin printing meets your needs best.
4. Formlabs Form 3 — best 3D printer for miniatures (if you can afford
it)If you’re a make-your-own-miniatures superfan and money is no limitation, thenabsolutely go for either the Form 3 for resin miniatures, or the Ultimaker 3or S3 for FDM miniature model printing.Formlabs’ high quality SLA 3D printers made the company a unicorn – a billiondollar privately held startup – and are used extensively in 3D printing dentalimplants, hearing aids and 3D printed jewelry molds. The Formlabs Form 3 canhandle small details on miniatures without any problems.This is an industrial 3D printer, an extremely powerful machine that cancreate astonishing details. For any miniatures you plan to 3D print, such asgame characters, intricate shapes, or even lost wax casts for creating customjewelry, the Form 3 will have no problem delivering perfect models.Obviously, this comes at a cost. Very few makers have $3,500 to spare to printhigher quality models for their hobby, but we still felt we should includerecommendations for every price range.
5. Creality Ender 3 V2 — Cheap 3D printer for miniatures and much more
Considered one of the best cheap 3D printers around, the Ender 3 is famed forits reliability and effectiveness despite costing under $300.It comes as a 3D printer kit, though do not fret, it takes under an hour toassemble and only involves placing around 20 screws. Though if you are lookingfor a 3D printer for complete beginners, you may want to buy a desktop 3Dprinter that comes assembled.Those looking for a 3D printer for miniatures that is affordably priced, issimple to use, and prints filaments like ABS or PLA cheaply and consistently,should look no further than the Ender 3 V2. There is a reason it is so popular– it prints, and prints well. As a result of its popularity, if you do everhave a problem, there are thousands of members of various Ender 3 owners’groups that will assist you, as well as customer service teams at Creality.You sacrifice a small amount of quality by choosing the Ender 3 instead of anLCD printer, but save the hassle and complexity, reduce health and safetyrisks, and FDM plastic parts are more durable than resin prints. If simplicityand reliability are traits you prefer and you want to spend less than $500,absolutely go for the Ender 3.
3D printing miniatures cost
Beyond the initial cost of purchasing a 3D printer for miniatures, your onlysizable cost is the filament material used to print your mini models.1kg of PLA or ABS starts at around $20, and miniatures are…well, miniature, sothey don’t cost a huge amount to print. You can expect most miniatures to costless than a dollar in materials. For resin 3D printers, the resin can be moreexpensive, but in return you get better surface finish and precision.For FDM printing, different filaments can give you different textures,strength and color. Source: Simplify3D.
What makes a good 3D printer for miniatures
* Precision: the most important aspect for printing miniature prints, especially for characters where a recognizable face can make or break the piece. Print the smallest layer height you can — which ideally is under 100 microns — for excellent quality on an FDM 3D printer. * Cooling: a good cooling fan that cools from all angles can drastically reduce deforming on small prints. This is because on smaller prints your 3D printer will finish each layer quicker, so each layer may not have enough time to cool before the next layer is printed. * Build size: less important for miniatures, but for those who want to print many small models at once, having a large build area can be beneficial. * Stable, metal frame: a heavy frame is less influenced by other variables such as the vibrations that can affect model quality, even slightly. * Dual extruder: a dual extruder 3D printer can print supports in water-soluble materials such as PVA, resulting in better surface finish once supports have been removed. Additionally, for mini models with two colors, dual extruders are the way to go.
Best Practices for 3D printing miniatures
* Nozzle size: using a small nozzle makes for better precision on printers, and though they print slower, this isn’t a big problem when printing small models that do not take long anyway. * Slow printing speed settings: if you have the fastest 3D printer around, such as a delta 3D printer, you should slow it down when printing small, precise models. You may want to reduce speed to as low as 20-30mm/s. * Infill percentage: you may want to change this based on how strong you want your miniatures to be. If you want to save on material costs and don’t mind giving up some part strength, you can reduce infill to 10%, though some hobbyists who want solid models may go for a higher infill percentage. * Retraction settings: optimize retraction settings to prevent oozing and stringing of filament, which can occur especially often with PLA. * Post-processing: not directly related to your printer, but you can decide whether to paint your model, sand or polish it to enhance its finish.
A 3D printer
Source: Windows CentralThe type of printer you start with will entirely depend on your budget. If youare looking to enter the 3D printing world for as little as possible, you canget a printer that requires a little work to get perfect. This can sometimesbe a false saving as you might spend more on upgrades than it would have costto buy a new one. If you have a little more money to spend, buying a betterprinter early on can save you a lot of time, money, and frustration.We have a list of the best 3D printers for under $1000, but if you are juststarting, there are two I would consider — The Ender 3 from Creality and thePrusa Mini+.
What makes a good 3D printer for kids?
* Closed enclosure: to filter out fumes and keep kids away from hot parts * Simple to use: quick to set up, and simple to use 3D slicer software * Auto calibrates: and features that prevent errors such as end of filament detectors, filament clogging detectors * Lightweight and smaller sizeProbably the single most important feature for a 3D printer for kids is aclosed enclosure, especially if the printer has a heated bed. Heated beds makeit possible to print tougher filaments like ABS and PC, but are very hot totouch and should be kept away from children.Closed enclosures keep the hot parts of a printer away from kids, removing thetemptation to touch and keeping them safe. They can also keep fumes fromfilaments like ABS away as they can be smelly and unpleasant. (No research hasbeen conducted to ascertain whether ABS fumes are harmful, but we recommendprinting with PLA anyway).
Reasons to teach kids 3D printing
There are so many key skills young kids and teenagers alike can gain from 3Dprinting: * 3D design skills: if designing the model to be 3D printed instead of downloading it. By using simple and free 3D software modeling tools such as TinkerCAD or FreeCAD, kids learn 3D printing, spatial and shape skills, engineering and prototyping skills. Engineering is one of the most lucrative careers around, and this experience is hugely beneficial. * Experience with rapid prototyping: rapid prototyping with 3D printers has become a mainstay in engineering, and early experience with creating models, tinkering with them and playing with them puts kids at a massive advantage. * Having fun in real-life while learning: instead of spending hours on a screen, kids using 3D printers gain all these great skills, while seeing the effects of their designs appear in real-life, rather than just on a screen.Disclaimer: this article contains affiliate links that we earn a smallcommission on.
Monoprice Voxel — Simple 3D printer for kids under $500
The Monoprice Voxel is almost identical to another popular 3D printer kids,the Flashforge Adventurer 3 Lite, so feel free to use the namesinterchangeably.It’s small, sleek and compact, doesn’t weight much, and is perfect for kidslearning 3D printing who want to take on small projects. It can print ABS orPLA with its heated bed, and most importantly for safety, the closed enclosurekeeping any prying young hands from burning themselves.The full-color 2.8” touchscreen makes printing easy, and for a cheap 3Dprinter the Flashforge Adventurer 3 has a few neat features, including afilament run out detector to avoid any print errors.Overall, it’s a good starter 3D printer for kids who want to have a go at 3Dprinting without a large investment.Fully enclosed (keeping the hot parts away), and easy to set up and getprinting. What’s not to love about the Voxel?