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Best 3D Printers For Beginners

Best 3D Printers for Beginners | 3D Printing Spot

Updated by

William Stone

/

July 12, 2021

3D printers are experiencing a steady increase in demand from enthusiasts of 3D printing who have discovered the art and want to practice at their comfort.

As a beginner in the field of 3D printing, you may find it challenging to select the best 3D printer that will meet your expectations. The printers have different specifications depending on the models. This article will guide you on the best 3D printers to choose from as a beginner.

3D Printing is an art that can be accomplished by anyone starting with children to the experts in creating prototypes. This art can be done in homes, schools, and workplaces. You will require an excellent 3D printer and skills in crafting designs. You’ll also need to know the specifications of each 3D printer to determine what will fulfill your needs as a novice or as an expert. The first step in deciding the best 3D printer to purchase is by knowing whether you will be printing out miniatures or large models.

3D printers have some complex terms that a beginner will find confusing at first. Therefore, it is vital that you understand all the terms associated with 3D printers and what to look out for when purchasing the machine. This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide on choosing the best 3D printer that matches your skill set and budget needs. 3D printers can also be quite expensive; thus, you need to have a budget to ease your selection process.

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Table of contents:

What Is 3D printing?

3D Printing is constructing three-dimensional solid items from a digital file through the additive processes. Sequential layers of material are laid down to create a 3D-printed object. 3D Printing eliminates the use of large quantities of materials to produce a complex shape.

You will require a 3D printer to accomplish this process. There are several factors that you can consider as a beginner when choosing a 3D printer.  You can start by learning the elements that make up a 3D printer which are crucial factors to help you make that important decision when purchasing the printer.

The Composition of a 3D Printer

Build Area

3D models are created in the build area of the 3D printers. This is the space in the printer that makes your unique designs. The area can be measured by a series of dimensions, cubic inches, or volume.

However, the build area does not necessarily limit you from creating large items if the space is not large enough. You can maneuver this by including clips and other attachment mechanisms to create a much bigger design than the build area.

Printing Materials

3D printers for beginners are designed to use ABS and PLA filaments. The materials are suitable for general printing, but they will limit you when you want a more professional end product. For the latter option, you can choose the expensive models of 3D printers that will allow you to use a wider variety of materials.

These materials include water-soluble support materials, wooden or carbon-fiber filaments, or glass. You are advised to use a metal extruder head when using these filaments since they are coarse and likely to damage your extruder.  The advantage of the metal extruder is that it is widely available at discounted prices, and you can be assured of an identical model each time you make your printouts.

Printing materials is a significant consideration to make when choosing your 3D printer. The ones that only use the ABS or PLA filaments will always limit you to use simple snap-off supports. Therefore, you can consider a printer that supports different materials.

An example is the PVA material that will eliminate the need for further processing since it dissolves in water. In this case, choose a printer that supports more filament types for more diversity and professionalism in 3D printing.

Print Speed

One of the critical factors to consider when purchasing a 3D printer is print speed. It often translates to the quality of your model; the slower the print speed, the better the quality. The print head speed is usually listed in millimeters (mm) and determines how fast your printer operates in a single second.

Choose a printer with a slower speed listing if you value precision and fine details for your end-product. For faster printouts, choose a printer with higher speeds without consideration of quality.

Layer Height

A 3D printer will have its supported layer heights listed in microns. Thin layers allow a smooth finish but also take longer to complete a printout. You can always work around with the layer height and determine what works best for you, depending on the speed and print quality. Eventually, you can adjust the settings and use what works best for your everyday printing.

Calibration

The first step when using your 3D printer is to calibrate it. The advancement in technology of the 3D printers has enabled this functionality to be automatic. However, it comes at a price where you pay more for such models.

You can learn how to calibrate your machine, and specific components require your attention. For a perfectly flat surface, the print bed has to be leveled. You then need to set the step distance of your printer to avoid printing a smaller or larger item than anticipated while making sure that you position the print arm perfectly.

Best 3D printers for beginners

Creality/Comgrow 3D Printer

The printer is highly recommended for a beginner of 3D printing who is not yet familiar with complex printing designs. You can learn so much with this printer right from the onset since it requires you to assemble it yourself. It would be best if you also had to set up the calibration since it’s not automated. The process will only take you about half an hour, and you get to learn a lot from the components, which makes maintenance a lot easier.

The printer has several unique features that distinguish it from other printers. One of the most significant traits is the ability to resume printing after a power cut. Other features include fast travel speeds, a colossal build area, Wi-Fi support, and a fast heat-up time to reach 1100C in five minutes.

The con of this model is its limitation to the use of PLA filament, which is not a big deal since it’s the recommended material for beginners. The printer is also priced at slightly over $200.

Pros

  • Resume printing
  • Fast heat uptime
  • Fast assemble

Cons

  • Limitation to use of PLA filament

Creality Ender 3D Printer

The printer is an excellent option for use in schools embracing the rising trend in technology, science, mathematics (STEM), and engineering. One of the few features why it is highly recommended for teaching learners, is its slow printing ability.

Others include USB and SD ports, removable print plate, semi-assembled construction, and resume-print feature. These features make it easier to teach learners about 3D printing.

You can buy this model for a discounted price of $236 from a previous price of $339.99.

Pros

  • Resume printing
  • Removable print plate

Cons

  • It is slow

ELEGOO Mars 2 Pro

The printer is the best for resin material which gives your end product more precision and allows for faster drying. Setting up the machine is easy, and you can begin your printing right away. You add models for 3D Printing with USB to the printer after constructing them using UV photocuring.

The advantage of using this printer is that it has a carbon filter that reduces all volatile odors and harmful UV rays that emanate during printing. Additionally, it does not cause blur to the layers or loss of clarity to the prints. The device has a 6-inch screen, and it is considered one of the fastest resin printers since it bakes a layer within two seconds.

The disadvantage of this printer is that it’s only suitable for small objects. It is also common for fumes to build up with this type of printer.

Here is a look at the price.

Pros

  • Carbon filters volatile smells
  • It’s fast

Cons

  • Used for small objects only

Monoprice MP Voxel

Monoprice MP Voxel is a friendly model for beginners to try out. It has several features that bring out quality 3D printouts. Some of these include a simpler nozzle change, a color touchscreen, and an automatic filament feeder.

You will not need any tools to change the nozzle of the Monoprice, unlike other 3D printers where you can take about 20 to 40 minutes and tools to change the nozzle. Another advantage of this printer is that you do not need to calibrate it since this feature is automated.

The automatic filament feeder also increases the ease of use of this printer. Besides, it will pause printing when it recognizes low filament levels until you load the filament.

You will be impressed with the quality of prints and its ease of use facilitated by the removable plate. You can buy it from Amazon for $399.99.

Pros

  • Fast change of nozzle
  • Automatic calibration
  • Easy to use
  • Resume printing

Cons

  • Expensive

XYZPrinting Da Vinci Nano

The Da Vinci Nano printer is suitable for beginners who are learning 3D printing and do not want to invest a lot of money in purchasing a printer. It is small and portable, with a generous build area of 4.7 inches on all sides.  

The printer is easy to operate and produces high-quality prints, although it is slow. There is no need to adjust material settings since the print materials are pre tested and approved for quality printouts. It is also safe for use with the children since it has a visible enclosed print area that they can watch closely as objects turn into reality without the fear of getting burnt.

The printer can be comfortably used in classroom settings. This is due to the ease of use of its software and a wireless version of the machine. It is a relatively cheap device, and you can get it for $159.95 from the XYZPrinting website.

Pros

  • Small and portable
  • Easy to operate
  • Cheap
  • Enclosed area for safe use

Cons

  • It is slow

3-In-1 Snapmaker 3D Printer

This printer is suitable for highly creative and enthusiastic innovators of 3D printing since it allows the creation of objects in materials such as plastic, wood, aluminum, or glass. Besides printing, the machine enables the user to safely and efficiently learn to cut, engrave or produce computer numerical control (CNC) objects.

A beginner will find it easy to use this printer due to its interchangeable parts and other add-on modules. This will help you upgrade and customize your machine to suit your needs and build all the designs you can imagine.

It allows its users to get creative and produce massive or multiple small designs at a go due to its large build area. You can place it on a solid level surface to minimize shakes during printing.

You can get it from Amazon at $1,849.

Pros

  • Use of a variety of materials
  • Easy to use for beginners
  • Produces multiple designs
  • Large build area

Cons

  • It is expensive

Bibo 3D Printer

The Bibo 3D printer can print two different objects simultaneously, enabled by its dual extruders. Other features that allow creating these designs are the enclosed aluminum covering that provides accuracy for every printout.

When transferring the designs, the filament detection, color touch screen, resume printing, USB, Wi-Fi, and SD ports provide the machine with more control. The device is worth investing in and will amaze you with its ability to print multi-colored designs simultaneously.

You can complete projects with tight deadlines with this device. You can get it from Amazon at a discounted price of $749 from $839.

Pros

  • Dual 3D printing
  • Enclosed cover

Cons

  • It is expensive

FlashForge’s Creator Pro

This printer is a considerable investment for small businesses that produce minor parts. It can significantly increase your business turnover due to its capability of dual printing colors quickly and easily through the USB or SD ports.

The device has simple leveling, a stable platform and is 95% assembled when you purchase it. You can allow the printer to heat up thoroughly before use and prevent the extruder nozzles from getting clogged.

You can purchase it from Amazon at $629.68 from $699.  

Pros

  • Dual 3D printing

Cons

  • Quite expensive

Monoprice Select Mini

The printer allows for diversity using any material ranging from ABS, PLA, wood, or even PVA due to its heated plate. However, it has a small build area and is slower than other printers. Besides, it does not have an enclosure, which is required when using some of the materials.

The advantage of this printer is that it’s ready for use since you get it when it’s fully assembled. Additionally, it’s small and does not require a dedicated workspace. Other features of the printer include an SD card, Wi-Fi support, and you can work with any PC or Mac.    

You can get the Monoprice Select Mini from Amazon at $190.                                               

Pros

  • Use of a variety of materials
  • Ready to use-no assembling
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Slow
  • Small build area
  • No enclosure cover

Original Prusa MINI+

The Prusa MINI+ is a small 3D printer capable of large printing while offering a high level of quality and reliability. Other features that resonate with this printer include automatic Mesh Bed Calibration, sensorless homing, network connectivity, replaceable nozzles, a full-color LCD screen, and LAN and USB printing.

The removable spring steel sheets and magnetic heat bed can be found in two variants: smooth and textured, making it easier to remove the prints. At the price of $399, this printer will make your 3D printing experience so much exciting.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Produces more prints

Cons

  • Expensive

ANYCUBIC Photon Mono

The Photon Mono is a 3D resin printer that gives out cleaner and faster designs. It upgrades the standard color LCD 3D printer models and offers a higher resolution and clearer light during the 3D printing process.

The printer is 2.5X faster than regular 3D printers and effectively eliminates layer patterns with high accuracy and substantial stability LCD screen. The Photon Mono is a friendly printer for beginners with its removable one-piece transparent cover. It allows one to see the printing process and even stop the process by opening the lid.

The transparent cover also ensures maximum resin utilization without wastage and speeds up the solidification process for a successful design. You can get this printer at the price of $259 on Amazon.

Pros

  • High accuracy
  • Fast and clean prints
  • Minimal resin wastage

Cons

  •  Expensive

JGMAKER Magic Upgraded 3D Printer

This printer is very easy to assemble, and its “Magic” name comes from its three modules: frame, base, and filament spool. It has a large build area and a heated bed. Unfortunately, it does not have WI-FI, but it will allow you to replace the filament if it runs out before printing is completed.

You can find this printer at Amazon for $199.

Pros

  • Fast assemble
  • Resume printing

Cons

  • No WI-FI

Anycubic Mega Zero 2.0

Anycubic seeks to accommodate your tight budget to offer you this 3D printer. It features a heated and removable bed which is an upgrade of the Anycubic Mega Zero model. It’s pretty easy to use this model, especially for beginners, since it eliminates the sticky effects of its predecessors.

This printer has quite some advantages since it’s very easy and fast to assemble. The printer is relatively small, making it portable. Besides, you can upgrade it so that it does not turn obsolete, giving it a competitive edge over other models. The device can be used for printing small to large items for everyday items such as props and cookie-cutter.

You can find this printer on AliExpress for $210.

Pros

  • Heated print bed
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi
  • No touchscreen features

LulzBot Mini 2

This is an updated version of the LulzBot Mini, and you can purchase it when looking for a 3D printer to upgrade you from the beginner level. It is flexible to handle a variety of materials and comes with a large print area. It is also fast and produces high-quality designs.

You can find it on Amazon for $1850.

Pros

  • Fast and high-quality prints
  • Quiet when printing
  • Handles a variety of materials

Cons

  • It is very expensive

About THE AUTHOR

William Stone

William Stone

William has spent 20 plus years in the custom manufacturing industry as a COO, CEO and Owner of various custom product businesses. His experience has exposed him to all types of manufacturing from die cast, die struck, injection molding, CNC machining, laser etching, engraving and of course 3D printing.

Learn more about William Stone

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