3D Printing has tremendously grown in popularity in the recent past. Today, this type of printing remains a topical subject when it comes to tabletop games.
Even one model can turn out to be pricey. An entire set can be costly for miniature terrain and accessories. It is an incredible way to create miniatures as well as miniatures terrain.
So what constitutes the best 3D printer for printing miniatures? After spending more than 70 hours of extensive research and rating many of the popular models and brands in the market today, we came with a comprehensive list of top-rated and high-quality 3D printers for miniatures.
- 1 Types of 3D Printers for Miniatures
- 2 Best 3D Printers for Models and Miniatures Reviews
- 3 Miniatures 3D Printers Buying Guide
- 4 Final Words
Types of 3D Printers for Miniatures
Two main types of 3D printers for miniatures exist. They are:
FFF is an acronym that stands for fused filament fabrication. They are also known as fused deposition modeling or filament.
These utilize a plastic filament spool that is passed via an extruder. Once that happens, a hot end then melts the deposits and filament it onto a platform, thus accumulating your print layer by layer.
Generally, FFF printers are pocket-friendly. In addition to that, they are not only more effortless to use but also are associated with less hassle compared to their SLA printers.
Their only drawback is the fact that they lack the much-needed detail on your miniatures in comparison to the capability of the SLA printer when it comes to precision.
Are you planning on copying an original? Then you need to know that FFF clones look somewhat slightly melted.
Resin or SLA 3D Printers
Resin or SLA 3D printers utilize liquid resin and solidify every layer by shining some UV light source. Their biggest benefit over FFF is more precision and accuracy.
So, what does this mean? It simply means that it enables you to effortlessly print mints with as many details that are similar to the commercially produced figures.
Generally, running them is generally costlier. In addition to that, dealing with them is messy.
The resin tends to be unpleasant. In addition to being smelly and toxic, you must put on safety gloves when using them.
SLA vs FFF 3D Printers (Major Difference)
The individual layers’ quality is the major difference between these two. If they are thick, you will notice ridges on each of the individual layers.
These tend to be more common or prominent with FDM printers. With the SAL resin printers, their layer ridges tend to be almost invisible.
That explains why resin printers are more popular.
Having looked at the two main types of 3D printers for miniatures and what informs their differences, it is necessary that we now shift attention to some of the factors that you need to consider when shopping for one.
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Best 3D Printers for Models and Miniatures Reviews
FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro
There is no doubt that this is the best printer compared to the original creator’s wood frame version. Flash forge is more stable thanks to the durable and sturdy metal frame.
Its platform is made of warp-resistant aluminum with a 6.3 mm thickness that does not change when subjected to high heat.
You will never miss out on any step of the printer’s progress through the LCD screen. Flash Forge latest version has an acrylic cover that surrounds the chamber protecting the ABS prints.
A new design that offers easier access to prints and LED light that illuminates the printing area. The PC top cover comes as a single stronger piece that allows users to regulate temperatures effectively.
The platform’s adjusting screws have been restructured for an easier fix. A new extruder wiring router offers protection to the entire printer’s wiring from wear and tear.
- Sturdy metal frame
- LCD screen
- Temperature regulation
- Top-notch quality with sturdy metal construction
- Use of the second filament is allowed
- An up to date progress through an LCD screen
- Error-free button board functions
- Produces noise under operation
- A little difficult to learn
ELEGOO Mars UV Photocuring LCD 3D Printer
This is the best printer for those who have no problem with resin printing. It is not a taste that works for everyone because of the harmful chemicals used but it is the most affordable and straightforward printer in the family of the Resin-based printers.
The printer has a great design that is user-friendly and comes semi-assembled to save your setting-up time.
It has a large and colorful 3.5″ screen for the real-time display of the printing process. It uses a 2560×1440 2K HD masking LCD that allows perfect printing with a resolution of 0.00185inches / 0.047mm in the XY axis.
The new Chitubox slicing software slices 30Mb STL model files in just a minute. The Elegoo Mars printer has a sturdy aluminum platform and an elegant and long-lasting acrylic cover.
- Offline printing mode
- CHITUBOX software capabilities
- User-friendly system
- Classy design
- Higher power UV lamp
- Excellent for beginners
- Resin printing can be all messy and uses dangerous chemicals
ANYCUBIC Photon S 3D Printer, UV LCD Resin Printer with Dual Z-axis Linear Rail
ANYCUBIC is one of the leading and most reputable companies in the world when it comes to production and manufactures high-quality 3D printers. Today and over the years, their philosophy has always been more practical, smarter, and simpler.
The company has always come up with machines that meet your daily and professional day-to-day needs. This one brings a host of features that will make your printing work effortless.
For starters, the best 3d printer for making miniatures features an upgraded UV module. With this incredible feature, it is possible to adopt matrix UV lighting and a high-resolution screen that contribute to the uniform distribution of energy as well as the improvement of prototype precision.
The printer’s Z-axis dual linear coupled with a rail design enables you to maximally enhance the Z axis’s stability. This way, you can make sure that your models boast detailed reconstruction and a smooth surface.
It is prudent, to begin with, details for you to enjoy more playful and crisp prints.
Another great highlight you can look forward to is an air filtration system. It features dual fans that go miles in guaranteeing excellent ventilation.
It applies activated carbon air filtration that goes miles to enable you to effectively mitigate odor divergence.
The creative structure of this best 3d printer for figurines provides more easiness when it comes to leveling. You can lower this platform down to your screen.
- Upgraded LEDs array
- Dual rails
- Touch screen
- Sanded aluminum platform
- Countless options and upgrades
- A great choice for 3D printing of minis
- Reasonably priced
- Improved adhesion
- Inadequate instruction manual
BIBO 3D Printer Dual Extruder Laser Engraving Sturdy Frame
This printer has a different design and features from the above-reviewed models. It is also a little pricier and has more printing capabilities as well. Besides being a
3D printer, BIBO 3D Printer is a laser engraver altogether.
It engraves wood and can cut paper, leather, and plastics.
The good 3d printer for miniatures comes with a sturdy frame made of 6mm thick aluminum composite material that is more durable than plastic. Comes with a removable acrylic cover and a front door.
Dual copy printing by the dual extruders reducing the printing time by half. You can do two-color printing at the same time without changing the filaments.
- Aluminum composite material
- Acrylic cover
- Front door
- Dual extruders
- Faster printing time made possible by the dual extruders
- Laser engraving is possible
- You can continue printing even after power loss
- Color touchscreen combination is easy to use
- Can be complicated especially for beginners
Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 3D Printer
Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 3D Printer appears smaller at first glance but this printer is very capable. It comes with a convenient automatic loading and unloading filament cartridge system that is suitable for beginners.
Offers assistance in bed leveling through the 3Dwox. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, USB Flash Drive, Ethernet, USB cable, and USB Cable.
5″ LCD full-color touch screen that is easy to use. 0.4mm Nozzle diameter, 200 x 200 x 185mm (WxDxH) maximum build size.
You can remotely view the printer via computer or smartphone through the internal monitoring camera.
- LCD touch screen
- Internal monitoring
- Variety of connectivity options
- 3Dwox bed leveling
- Filament cartridges are easy to use
- An internal camera for remote viewing
- Bed leveling assistance
- The good 3d printer for miniatures and the filament cartridges are pricey
Miniatures 3D Printers Buying Guide
Consider the following factors when in the market for the best 3D printer for miniatures:
One of the most important factors you need to consider when it comes to buying the best 3D printer for miniatures is technical support. It is prudent to settle for a printer that is as versatile as possible.
You can determine this ultimately through different types of printing technologies and filaments that your prospective printer can support.
Generally, DLP and SLA are better when it comes to detailed extras on models compared to FDM/FFF.
Layer Resolution and Precision
Naturally, miniatures are mini-sized. This is what informs their name.
For this reason, accuracy and precision are important aspects of your prospective printer. Layer resolution or precision is one of the factors that determine the intricate details of how printed models will turn out to be.
Precision simply refers to the height of every individual layer (s) of heated plastic to be laid down to form a model. Of great importance to note is that the lower the number, the more details your printed model will have.
Nonetheless, the build will turn out to be slower. It is measured in microns or millimeters.
A single micron is equal to 1/1000mm. Experts recommend a resolution of 100 microns if not less. 100 microns translate to 0.1mm.
The nozzle diameter’s accuracy is another factor that you need to consider. This refers to the hold’s size that the heated plastic is transmitted through when it comes to designing your model.
The ideal and most common size in regards to nozzle diameter is 0.4mm. it needs not to be larger. If you can, look for a 3D printer that enables you to exchange the nozzle featuring a smaller size like a diameter of 0.2mm.
This is magical in terms of giving you the most intricate and delicate details.
Easy-to-use 3D printers for miniatures are efficient when it comes to saving your temper, time, and effort. Final prints are handy for post-processing as well as fine-tuning.
How tiring such processes are, depending on the printer’s usability. The easier it is, the better.
3D printers can use TPU material, ABS plastic, PLA, PET, HiPS, nylon, etc
If the type of material your printer features is ABS plastic, cleaning it up after printing is easy as you can effortlessly sand and vapor bath it in acetone to provide a smooth overall finish.
As for the PLA+, its strong or sturdy nature enables you to get rid of support material smoothly and rapidly without having to harm the miniature itself.
Finally, yet importantly, SLA 3D printers utilize liquid resin material with the ability to be translucent thus enabling UV curing to work. Printing can be done using castable resins that create molds hence allowing you to completely cast metal miniatures.
Searching for the best 3D printers for miniatures can be challenging. This is especially true if you are a newbie.
In addition to getting the right product in terms of quality, you should also look for one that will serve you for many years.
We decided to come up with this comprehensive review based on the need to recommend the best products for those searching for a top-rated 3D printer for miniatures.
If you are considering buying one, you must follow everything we have highlighted on this primer so that you can land nothing short of the best.