Best 3D Printer for Miniatures 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Best 3D Printer for Miniatures - Buyer's Guide

With the number of printers on the market, it can be a little hard to make a final choice that you’re absolutely satisfied with.

And when it comes to printing something so specific as miniature 3D printed models, the task could be even harder and it might not be so easy to find a good 3D printer for printing miniatures.

If you’re new to the world of 3D printing, you can check out the guide at the end to form a better background regarding the miniature 3D printing process.

If you already have some experience and just want to make a final decision, scroll through this list of the best 3D printers for miniatures.

3D Printers for Miniatures: Specs Comparison

3D Printer

Precision 

Layer Resolution 

Technology 

Price

AnyCubic Photon

0.025 - 0.1

25-100

DLP

Sindoh 3DWOX DP200

0.4

50

PLA & ABS

LulzBot Mini 2 Desktop

0.05 - 0.4

N/A

FFF

Comgrow Creality Ender 3

+/- 0.1

0.1

FDM

Monoprice Mini Delta

0.05

50-200

FFF

FlashForge Creator Pro

N/A

11

FDM

The 6 Best 3D Printers for Miniatures 2019

1. AnyCubic Photon 3D Printer

Anycubic Photon 3D Printer

AnyCubic Photon has earned its place on the market as one of the most affordable and reliable DLP 3D printers on the market.

The reason the AnyCubic Photon printer can be available at this price point is that it uses DLP technology instead of FDM.

It’s based on a liquid resin that is cured by either a high-powered laser or a UV light.

Using DLP technology also means high precision and accuracy when it comes to adding details to your objects which makes it a great 3D printer for D&D miniatures.

Moreover, its 2K screen resolution is relatively good for the low price point.

With a print volume of 115 x 65 x 155 mm, the AnyCubic photon’s results may not be as big as other options on the market.

Its layer resolution ranges tween 25-100 microns, which enables the user to add intricate details to their model without compromising the quality of the print.

That’s why it’s more suitable for printing small models without leaving a hole in your pocket.

However, a downside to the AnyCubic Photon printer is that the odor of the resin can be overwhelming despite the fact that it’s equipped with a carbon filter with a fan inside.

And like all resin printers, it’s not that practical for beginners as its post-processing requires intricate cleaning such as washing the pieces with ethanol, curing them, and cleaning the build plate.

Some pre-sliced models are uploaded on the 8 GB USB stick. Also, it takes 4 hours to 3D print a 50-micron resolution lattice cube.

On top of that, the AnyCubic Photon printer is practically assembled out-of-the-box. The assembly of the remaining parts would only require 20-30 minutes.

The connectivity options you get are SD card and USB and you get to control the printing processes through the 2.8-inch color touchscreen.

Once it’s set up, it has a footprint of 220 x 220 x 400 mm.

Pros:

  • Affordable compared to other SLA and DLP printers
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Good quality prints and resolution
  • Compact design
  • Custom slicer that generates good support structures

Cons:

  • Printing with resin can be messy
  • Post-processing is a demanding job
  • Takes a lot of time to clean

The Anycubic Photon 3D printer will satisfy you in terms of both its print quality and ease of use.

Although it may have a little bit of a learning curve for beginners, it’s a living proof that an affordable DLP can produce great results.

2. Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 3D Printer 

Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 3D Printer

This model beats the other Sindoh printer, the 3DWOX DP201. Despite having the smaller number, the DP200 is more capable with its heated bed and capability to print both PLA and ABS.

With the Sindoh 3DWOX DP200, you’ll be able to print models of a size 200 x 200 x 185 mm. The printer also has a great print bed which performs in a similar way to the PEI.

Moreover, it can also be swapped in and out of the printer quickly. You get 3 beds for the fastest swapping and printing.

While the bed can handle up to 110 degrees Celsius, the 0.4 mm nozzle attached to the print head can handle a temperature that ranges between 180 – 220 degrees.

The combination of the Sindoh 3DWOX DP200’s 0.4 mm nozzle and its 50 microns maximum layer resolution gives you finely-detailed prints.

The fact that the hot end and bed warm up quickly gives you fast performance as well.

As for the filaments, you're restricted to Sindoh's cartridge-based system.

And although Sindoh wanted to provide the user with a more simplified and convenient printer, the filament cartridge system it works with is rather restrictive and unnecessary.

It could have used automatic bed leveling instead.

The WiFi connectivity allows you to control the printing settings quickly without saving them. You can also transfer the designs to the printer through the standard USB thumbstick, USB cable, or Ethernet cable.

The former 2 are included in the box while the latter isn’t, however. There is also no SD card connectivity.

The Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 comes with a completely closed-box design which gives the printer great looks and functionality.

It minimizes the probability of external humidity and temperature fluctuations to interfere with the print quality as well as any print problems.

Moreover, the harmful fumes produced by the ABS filaments are reduced with the included filter on the rear of the printer's box.

The 3 detachable print beds seamlessly slide in and out of their mount giving a click. Moreover, the 5-inch color touchscreen provides you with all the functionality you need behind an intuitive interface.

Pros:

  • Simple set up and assembly
  • Enclosed printing available
  • Swappable print beds
  • Nozzle cleans itself automatically

Cons:

  • Limited filament options
  • Cartridge systems can be a little too complicated
  • The camera’s position isn’t the best
  • Print quality can sometimes be flawed

The Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 prints out very smoothly without failure which is why you can leave it to print while you’re rest assured that it won’t print out a plastic mess.

3. LulzBot Mini 2 Desktop 3D Printer

LulzBot Mini 2 Desktop 3D Printer

Aleph Objects is well-known to prioritize professionalism over affordability. And that’s why they always offer the market amazing 3D printers that are easy to use and incredibly reliable.

The LulzBot Mini 2 focuses on its goal to be used in professional applications such as product and process engineering, manufacturing, education, and design.

All-in-all, it’s a great choice for professionals and blooming businesses that are looking for a 3D printer of professional performance but doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

With the Einsy RAMBo electronics and Trinamic 2130 stepper motor drivers, the LulzBot Mini 2 can operate very smoothly and quietly.

And while there isn’t much of a difference between the LulzBot Mini and Mini 2’s footprints, the latter can produce models that are up to 20% larger in build volume. This build volume is 160 x 160 x 180 mm.

With an LCD screen and an SD card reader, the Mini 2 can operate completely independently –with no connections to a PC.

Moreover, the belt-driven Z-axis increases the travel speed and accuracy of the layer alignment all while maintaining a good print resolution.

In addition, the LulzBot Mini 2 comes with compatibility with a wide range of high-quality accessories.

This includes the lightweight Aerostruder Tool Head designed around the E3D Titan Aero hot-end extruder. Using this accessory provides you with a more constrained filament path to expand compatibility with flexible filaments.

It can work with natural and metal PLA blends, PLA, ABS, TPU, nGen, PETG, HIPS, Polyamide, Polycarbonate, PC, Nylon.

The ability to work with many 3D printing materials is made possible thanks to the modular system that splits up the heater from the print surface, thereby making it easy to remove the build plate.

This means that you can easily switch from the standard PEI bed to raw glass surface.

Furthermore, the belt-driven Z-axis provides the user with top-notch layer stacking, which in turn increases accuracy.

Its heavy packaging is absolutely justified because the printer practically comes ready to use out-of-the-box.

Pros:

  • Reliable and handles large-volume jobs
  • Compact and durable
  • Capable of fast printing
  • Can work with multiple filaments
  • Automatic bed leveling feature

Cons:

  • Some issues may arise when changing the extruder/filaments
  • Print quality isn’t the best with every material
  • High up-front price
  • Build volume is limited

Keeping the compactness and reliability of its predecessor, the LulzBot Mini, the Mini 2 beats it with the new features enhancements.

Even though it’s not the most affordable option on the market, it does feature reliability and user-friendliness that are hard to compete with.

4. Comgrow Creality Ender 3 3D Printer

Comgrow Creality Ender 3 3D Printer

What makes the Comgrow Creality Ender 3 such an impressive printer is that it comes at a very low price point yet it has a great design with features to match.

The Ender 3 comes with an adequately-sized print bed of dimensions 220 x 220 x 250 mm.

The 0.1 mm layer resolution enables you to perfect the details on your miniatures easily.

On top of the platform, there’s a BuildTalk-like print bed sticker to minimize the prints coming unstuck from the bed during the process.

If your printer gets disconnected or loses power, you don’t have to worry about being unable to recover the print as the Ender 3 enables you to do just that.

While this feature isn’t an innovation, you wouldn’t usually find it on a lower-budget 3D printer.

The LCD display with the control wheel on the right-hand side of the printer's frame allows you to control your print settings.

Furthermore, the V-slot wheels that run along the aluminum extrusions work on providing you with smooth motion during the printing processes.

However, the Creality Ender 3 had some drawbacks.

One of which is the slight wobble in the base. Another one is the X-axis belt which is a little too long, which makes it loose.

Moreover, the cleverly-designed extruder system uses a Bowden style with a tight path to enable the printer to work with flexible filaments.

There’s a helpful LCD panel that you can use to move the X and Y-axis to each corner. The panel has many settings, but it can be slow to respond at times.

Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Ample print volume
  • Open source
  • Easy assembly and set up
  • Compact design

Cons:

  • The base can be a little unstable making it hard to level
  • Needs manual calibration

Considering its low price point, the Creality Ender 3 is a pretty great choice. It can print with many filaments –including flexible and exotic ones-, save for some adhesion and warping issues with ABS.

It's a great choice for beginners as well as designers on a low budget.

5. Monoprice Mini Delta 3D Printer

Monoprice Mini Delta 3D Printer

The Monoprice Mini Delta was designed to be an entry-level 3D printer. And its low price point, versatility, and ease of use qualify it to be so.

At less than 200 bucks, the Monoprice Mini Delta is still capable of printing at a quick pace. It does compromise a little on build volume as it’s only 110 x 110 x 120 mm –but that makes it a great 3D printer for 28mm miniatures.

This compact printer is ready to print right out of the box. It’s basically a plug-and-play device, something which makes it ideal for beginners.

If you’re looking for a 3D printer that you can carry around for whatever reason, the Monoprice Mini Delta is a pretty good choice as it only weighs 30.6 pounds.

So you can print with your Mini Delta anywhere as long as there’s a socket in sight.

That’s why the printer is sturdy and comes with a full metal case and a carrying handle.

Moreover, the Monoprice Mini Delta comes with an automatic bed leveling feature that spares you the manual adjustment.

With this compact printer, you can print a speed up to 150mm per second.

Fast speed usually doesn’t help the quality for 3D printing –which is the case here.

The 50-micron layer resolution does produce adequately high-quality prints, they’re not the best quality on the market.

Another drawback is the build sheet surface which is so thing that it can easily rip when you’re removing your finished print.

This can be fixed by applying keton tape or something similar.

Pros:

  • Automatic bed leveling
  • Removable build plate
  • Fast performance
  • Ready to print out-of-the-box

Cons:

  • User must configure software
  • Some problems with the WiFi and USB connectivity

The Monoprice Mini Delta is designed for working small. Whether its compact size or its small build volume. Although its quality isn’t professional, it does give you an entry-level price –or even less than entry-level!

6. FlashForge Creator Pro 3D Printer 

FlashForge Creator Pro 3D Printer

The first thing you’ll notice about the Creator Pro is that it’s a closed unit –which means its building volume may not be that big (around 225 x 145 x 150 mm) but suitable for miniatures.

This spares you the need for constant ventilation while you’re printing.

Its 11-micron layer resolution is another aspect that makes it suitable for printing miniatures.

You can start printing with it just after you unpack it from its box.

The Creator Pro comes with two extruders to allow you to print supporting structures or to simultaneously print two-colored materials.

On top of that, the Creator Pro supports PVA filaments, you can just soak your finished models in water to get rid of the supports when you’re done.

Other than PVA, it also supports PLA and ABS filaments. This is quite inferior to other options on the market, so if you want to experiment, you might want to look for something that supports a wider range of materials.

A drawback to the Creator Pro is that it doesn’t support WiFi connectivity. However, you can add it using a WiFi SD card. Naturally, it supports printing from SD cards and USB.

Pros:

  • Reliable performance
  • Dual extruder
  • Great value for the money
  • Heated platform

Cons:

  • Can be a little noisy
  • Connectivity options aren’t the best

For an entry-level 3D printer, it's adequately-priced and can work with various filaments.

How to choose a 3D printers for miniatures?

Precision

Since miniatures are quite small in size, you’ll need a printer with high precision.

Measured in millimeters, the precision of your printer will determine just how intricate small details on the printed models can be.

Features and Technology

The types of filaments and printing technology your printer supports play an important role in how versatile your operations can be.

SLA (Stereolithography) and DLP (Digital Light Processing) are better than FDM/FFF when it comes to adding details unto your model.

Build Size

Of course, this aspect is ultimately important when it comes to printing miniatures.

Just keep in mind that being able to print models of larger sizes would be a nice option.

In short, determine the average size of your prints and take it into consideration when you’re shopping for your printer.

Ease of Use

Post-processing of the final print and fine-tuning requirements can become tedious after a while. The same applies to having to monitor your print in fear that it might mush up together or having to constantly level the bed manually

That's why you should pick a printer that's easy to use.

Price Point

A lot of the 3D printers available on the market aren’t that affordable and therefore not worth it if you’re not going to be running a business.

Try to compare the price points with the features available and get the most value for your money.

Our Top Pick

The list above had the best 3D printers for miniatures that you can find on the market, but to narrow down your options even further and make a decision, try to prioritize one or two aspects.

If you’re looking for the cheapest option that still prints out models of ample quality, you should opt in for the Monoprice Mini Delta.

The Comgrow Creality Ender 3 and the AnyCubic Photon are also good budget 3D printers that provide you with a generous build size and overall features.

The FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro is also a good choice if you’re going to need a lot of support structures.

If you want fast performance and reliability, you should go for the Sindoh 3DWOX DP200.

Finally, if you want professional-level performance and output, the Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 3D Printer is a great option for its versatility and print quality.

Adam William
 

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