The best 3D printer for miniatures: Using a 3D printer to create your own personal miniatures can really take desk design and game making to a whole new level.
Designing and making your own miniatures not only gives you the freedom to print in any shape you like.
It also lets you create completely original characters or even your entire game!
3D printing of your game miniatures is a hobby that, thanks to the reduction in the price of 3D printers, the army of its devoted followers is always growing.
There are now several models available that can reliably print the level of detail you need to create your own personal miniatures at home.
When it comes to 3D printing miniatures, you have to have reasonable expectations in several areas, including quality and cost.
There are other things besides loading the material in the machine and waiting for the fully visual miniatures to come out of the construction bed. There are two types of 3D printing machines that you can use for miniature printing:
Both have their advantages and disadvantages that you must consider.
What is a 3D printer and how does it work?
The 3D printer works like its little brother, the 2D model, except that it prints several layers on top of each other to print objects, giving the object a 3D state.
Nowadays, the process of making and assembling parts has become so easy that, like magic, all you have to do is hold your cane towards the machine and turn the materials into a tool with a special magic word. The function of the device is such that to make a three-dimensional object, it is enough to give your desired design to the device to deliver it to you.
Compare 3D printers with other printing tools
3D models are faster to produce than other design tools. Due to the layer-by-layer construction, there is no need for additional materials because it is possible to start building objects from scratch and it consumes all the required materials.
Hence, less waste is generated and certainly less waste means less construction costs. Today, 3D printers have the ability to design highly sophisticated models, and we do not face the same difficulties as in the past.
3D printers are not suitable for high-volume printing due to their high cost and manufacturing time. Because this new technology has been introduced to the market, despite its great growth, it is still not able to produce objects in different materials. For example: metals with high boiling points can not be used.
To make objects using 3D technology, the design must first be designed by a highly skilled person, which is contrary to the slogan of the manufacturer. Because the manufacturer launches the product with the slogan “plug and play” and claims that it has a simpler function than other devices.
Finally, it can be pointed out that 3D printers can not design objects in large dimensions.
Which 3D Printing Technology Is Best for Miniatures?
There are two main types of 3D printers for hobbyists. The best printing technology depends on your budget and the kind of projects you want to create.
- FDM or FFF 3D printers (filament-based)
- SLA 3D printers (resin-based).
The most common technology for enthusiasts is Fusion Depression Modeling or FDM.
These 3D printers use a layer of heated plastic thermoplastic to make the layers. Objects are a combination of stacked layers.
These printers are affordable, but require you to think about structural integrity and add components that support bulging design elements when creating objects.
You can also find 3D printers that use stereolithography or SLA. These printers cost more and there is a faster learning curve.
These printers also use layers to create objects. However, they use a light-sensitive resin and an ultraviolet laser beam that cures the resin.
Objects are more durable and have a smoother surface than FDM printing.
What to Look for When Buying a 3D Printer for Miniatures?
1. Precision and Layer Resolution
Miniatures are inherently small, hence their name.
Therefore, accuracy is an essential aspect of the printer you will be buying.
The precision or sharpness of the layer determines how complex the smallest details of your print models are.
This refers to the height of each layer of hot plastic that is laid to create the model.
The lower the number, the more detail there will be in your model, but the slower the build speed.
It is measured in millimeters or microns and one micron is equivalent to 1/1000 millimeters. Therefore, the recommended resolution is 100 microns (0.1 mm) or even less.
XY Precision, which is exactly the movements of the printer head in the X and Y directions (all directions except up and down), also affects accuracy.
Metal 3D printers provide the most stable substrate in this regard.
Another factor determining accuracy is the diameter of the nozzle, which is the size of the chamber through which the heated plastic is passed to design your model.
The most common and ideal size is 0.4 mm nozzle diameter. It should not be bigger.
If possible, find a 3D printer that allows you to swap your nozzle to a smaller size, such as a 0.2 mm nozzle diameter, for finer detail.
When it comes to buying a 3D printer for miniatures, you want the printer to be as versatile as possible.
This is ultimately determined by the types of print threads and technologies that the printer can support.
In general, SLA (stereolithography) and DLP (digital light processing) are better than FDM / FFF (fuse fiber fabrication) in terms of extra detail in the models.
The importance of this feature depends primarily on the average print size you want. However, it is not harmful to print larger models. You never know what you will need next
4.Type of material
Easy-to-use miniature 3D printers can save you a lot of time, effort and purity.
Final prints require post-processing and fine-tuning, but how tedious these steps are depends on the usability of the printer. The easier, the better!
Usability depends on the type of material. For FFF printers, you need to do some post-processing techniques after making the part so that you can have the highest quality level.
If this material is made of ABS plastic, cleaning your miniature after printing can be done without any hassle because it can be sanded and steamed with acetone, and as a result, it becomes generally soft.
As for PLA +, its strength allows you to remove support materials quickly and easily, without damaging the miniature.
Finally, SLA 3D printers use a liquid resin material that must be transparent to enable UV curing. You can print using cast resins, molds are created that allow you to make all-metal miniatures
3D printers for miniatures are mostly in the most expensive range, so you need to analyze your exact needs and find a printer that meets those needs, and nothing more.
Many printers have features that can be tempting, so make sure you do not make a purchase that you will not make full use of.
Best 3D printer for miniatures
Comgrow Creality Ender 3 3D Printer
Ender 3 is a popular option among enthusiasts because it is affordable and easy to use.
This printer uses FDM printing technology. We love the simple controls and the feature of resume printing. If you want to stop printing for any reason, you will not lose your whole project.
This printer has a sturdy aluminum frame. It weighs just over 17 pounds. The substrate can reach 230 degrees Fahrenheit in five minutes.
The printer nozzle reaches a temperature of 490 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can create miniatures with layers ranging in size from 0.1 to 0.4 mm. The diameter of the nozzle is 0.4 mm, which allows you to create details.
With this printer you can use 1.75 mm PLA string. It is a versatile and affordable material.
You can send STL, OBJ and G-Code files to the printer. You can send files via Wi-Fi or use an SD card.
The printer is easy to assemble, and several buyers are talking about making changes to the printer personalization.
Printer maker Creality has great online resources to help you get started.
- FDM printing technology
- Heated bed
- Simple assembly
- Affordable and performing
- Excellent reviews
- Good level of precision
- Open frame
ADIMLab 3D Printer
If you want to get an FDM printer, this printer is another option to consider. It is easy to use and has a heated glass bed.
The automatic leveling feature for the bed is an advantage. Determining the ideal bed height when starting 3D printing can be challenging.
The print area is approximately 16x12x12. “The extruder works quietly and you can easily adjust the Y-axis and axis if necessary.
A control box is connected to the printer. We like the design of this printer because it has a main frame and a control box that you can adjust the printer anywhere. If you do not have much space for your 3D printer, it is convenient.
You can work with different materials, including PLA, ABS, wood, PC and more. Send STL, AMF, G-Code and OBJ files to the printer via USB or SD card.
You can print layers with a size of 0.05 to 0.3 mm, which makes this 3D printer one of the best options for accurate results.
- Precision and high level of details
- Works with different materials
- Simple design and easy assembly
- Adjustable bed and Y-axis
- Supports multiple file formats
- Lack of enclosure
MONOPRICE MINI DELTA 3D PRINTER
The Mini Delta 3D Printer is a pocket version of the Monoprice printer. This is an FDM printer that includes features that you would normally find in a larger model.
We like the solid triangular steel frame of the printer. This frame lets you see the printer in operation, protects the print space.
There is an LCD screen with simple controls. Having an internal screen with controls makes the printer compact.
The printer weighs four pounds and has a handle that you can use for easy transport.
There is a bed that adjusts automatically and the printer is fully assembled.
One of the most interesting features of this printer is the ability to adjust the bed and nozzle temperature.
The nozzle temperature is from 350 degrees Fahrenheit to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and the bed can reach a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
The 3D printer offers very detailed results because it can print in 50 micron layers. It supports a wide range of materials, including PLA, ABS, wood, copper filling, steel filling and more.
The size of the construction area is approximately 4. 4. “A small print bed is ideal for a miniature, but may limit you to other projects.
- Compact and portable design
- Affordable FDM printer
- Versatile and great level of detail
- Adjustable temperature
- No assembly required
- Small print area
FlashForge Finder 3D Printer
This 3D printer has a semi-closed frame. When the printing process is complete, the page is easily removed from the page.
There is a touch screen with easy controls. You can send files to the printer via Wi-Fi network or use a USB drive. It can also access cloud-based resources using a printer, including a huge collection of 3D models.
The downside of this printer is that you can only use PLA with it. The bed is not hot, this is not a problem when working with PLA but it limits your use of materials.
The bed level is adjusted automatically. The size of the printing bed is slightly larger than 5x5x5. “
The nozzle diameter is 0.4 mm, which allows you to have a good level of detail. You can create layers with a thickness of 100 to 400 microns.
- Easy operation
- Good level of detail
- Sturdy frame
- Semi-closed frame
- 3D models available on the cloud
- PLA only
- Non-heated bed
Monoprice MP Mini SLA LCD High-Resolution Resin 3D Printer.
We think this Monoprice printer is one of the best options available for SLA printing.
This printer uses resin and ultraviolet light to improve it. Resin printing is more complex than PLA or ABS fibers, but results in smooth miniatures.
This 3D printer has a compartment. You can use the touch screen to create and save different profiles.
It is possible to create and save profiles because you may need to use different settings and set cooking times for different projects.
The size of the printing bed is slightly more than 4x2x4. The printer weighs less than 10 pounds and is very compact.
Using this printer, you can create layers as thin as 35 microns. The print bed height adjusts automatically, and you can send files to the printer over a Wi-Fi network or use a microSD card.
- SLA printing on a budget
- Excellent level of detail
- Ability to save profiles with different settings
- Semi-closed frame
- Small print area
- SLA is more complex than FDM printing
AnyCubic Photon – SLA Resin 3D Printer for Miniatures
AnyCubic Photon printer has been able to prove its position in the market over the years as one of the most cost-effective 3D printers for miniatures, but it is a reputable printer.
True, this 3D printer capable of printing miniatures has never met the expectations of its users!
For starters this is a great way to get word out that your printer is attractive.
The main reason is to use DLP technology instead of FDM technology.
DLP stands for Digital Light Processing, which uses a liquid photopolymer resin that can be solidified under a light source such as a high-power laser or ultraviolet light.
From the printer’s point of view, the effect of this DLP technology is considerable precision in the smallest detail of your objects, which is ideal for 3D printing of miniatures.
In addition, the resolution of the printer layer is between 25 and 100 microns, allowing you to add more complex detail to your miniature without compromising print quality.
In addition, the printer is equipped with 2K screen resolution, which is good considering the reasonable price.
Depending on the print size, the printer is 115x65x155 mm in size and takes about 4 hours to print a 50 micron grid cube.
In general, the printer is more suitable for printing small models than large models.
An important advantage is that there are several pre-cut models on the 8GB USB memory card that comes with the printer, and the printer is basically ready to use the box.
Most parts are pre-assembled, while only a few remaining parts need to be assembled, which takes a maximum of half an hour.
When checking the connection, you have two main options: SD card and USB.
The only drawback of the AnyCubic Photon printer is its strong resin odor due to the SLA resin 3D printer.
It also includes a carbon filter with a fan inside that adds even more odor.
Accordingly, this requires a lengthy and thorough cleaning process, including washing the parts with ethanol, cooking them, and cleaning the fabrication plate.
- Attractive price-point
- Minimal set up required
- Decent print quality
- Compact design
- Custom slicer enabling functional support structures
- Strong resin odor
- Lengthy cleaning process
Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 – Best FDM 3D Printer for Miniatures
Miniature prints with precise details, heated beds and the ability to print both PLA and ABS make the Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 one of the best 3D printers for miniatures.
For transaction seals, this has an attractive design with a complete closed box design!
The importance of the design is that the possibility of external humidity and temperature fluctuations affects the print quality and printing problems in general.
To further reduce possible damage, vapor from the ABS filaments is reduced through a filter on the back of the printer box.
For the fastest printing, the printer has a superior printing bed and three detachable printing beds are provided for you that can swap and swap inside and outside the printer for the ultimate printing experience.
The flat itself can withstand up to 11 degrees Celsius, while the 0.4 mm nozzle attached to the printhead can withstand temperatures between 180-220 degrees.
The heating end of the bed heats up very quickly, which makes printing faster.
Nozzle With a maximum layer resolution of 50 microns, you ensure that you receive very accurate print outputs with considerable attention to detail.
Using this printer, you can print models with a size of 200x200x185 mm.
Unfortunately, in the case of strings, you are limited to the Sindoh-based cartridge system.
When it comes to connectivity, the printer is compatible with Wi-Fi, thumbsticks, or USB or Ethernet cables.
With these, you can both manage print settings and transfer designs directly to the printer via the 5-inch color touch screen.
USB knob and USB cable are included in the box with the printer. It is worth noting that the printer does not support SD card connection, which can also be a concern.
- Detachable and exchangeable print beds
- Closed-box design to preserve harm
- Simple set up
- Detailed prints
- Compatible with printing both PLA and APS
- Fast warming
- Sophisticated cartridge system
- Lacks SD card connectivity
If you have experience with 3D printing or are not afraid of the curvature of steep learning, we recommend the Monoprice SLA printer.
This 3D printer allows you to work with resin instead of ABS or PLA filament. Resin printing creates durable and smooth miniatures.
However, working with resin can be challenging, especially if you do not have modeling and printing experience.
If you are new to 3D printing, it is best to try the FDM printer first.
If you do not want to spend more, the $ 160 Monoprice Mini Delta 3D printer is a great option, but if you want a larger printing bed, you should consider investing in an ADIMLab 3D printer or look at the 3D FlashFordge Finder 3D printer above. we investigated .
The 3D FlashForge Finder printer can connect to the cloud and access a wide range of manufacturer 3D models, which is a great tool for learning.