The world of 3D printing is slowly but surely becoming a mainstream phenomenon, and getting one of the best 3D printers for miniatures is likely to be a good first step.
3D printers can come in all shapes and sizes, so it's worth breaking down some key features to work out what you need depending on your printing experience.
For example, if you're someone who's just starting out, you may want to go for a smaller FDM printer that requires less setup.
Whilst, if you're someone with more experience, or someone who needs a 3D printer for a professional application, then getting a larger resin printer will give you more detail for your creations.
You will need to handle toxic chemicals and cure and wash your prints after they're done, as well as wear a mask when setting a print up.
Filament printers work by melting plastic that is then deposited onto the desired area, whereas Resin printers deposit a liquid, which is then cured (hardened) through the use of UV light.
The size is also important in terms of print volume. If you've got a lot of space for instance, head for a larger printer, as this will allow you to print bigger things.
But do note that bigger printers can be more expensive than smaller ones as print volume usually has a direct correlation to cost.
With all this in mind, we’ve selected these printers based on our research into their specs, features, general reviews, and other general points, that we think make them worth considering. Plus, we’ve answered some of your most frequently asked questions so you can pick the best ones for you.
So with that being said, let’s get into it – here are some top picks for the best 3D printer for miniatures available today.
Best 3D Printer For Miniatures
Best 3D Printer For Miniatures Elgoo - Elgoo Mars 2 Pro
The Elegoo Mars 2 Pro looks like a brilliant 3D printer to use for miniatures.
It looks to be rather sturdily built with a metal base, and CNC-machined aluminium construction, and it also looks rather good with a black and red colour scheme.
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You'll also find it features a convenient levelling system that keeps things easy, which means beginners and pros alike can experience its power.
The Elegoo Mars 2 Pro is a resin printer, so it's best to get all kitted up to make sure you'll be safe when handling the substance, but should result in some high-quality miniatures with plenty of detail, as well as if you're creating larger models too.
Best 3D Printer For Miniatures Anycubic - Anycubic Photon 4K Mono
The Anycubic Photon 4K Mono should be an immense choice for 3D printing miniatures, especially if you're a beginner and you want a more powerful option.
This is a resin printer, which should give you high-quality models, and its printing speed of 60mm/h means it offers a much quicker printing speed than other 3D printers out there, which should cut down on the time you're waiting for models.
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A 4K Mono LCD panel on the Anycubic Photon 4K Mono should result in some ultra-precise prints too, and some marvellously detailed models, whether you're printing miniatures or larger models.
Conveniently, there's also a decent-sized print volume of 192mmx120mmx245mm, so you can be sure to print a handy few models at the same time if needs be.
If you'd like to, this printer can also be controlled via its associated mobile app, which means you can print conveniently from your phone, too.
Best 3D Printer For Miniatures Creality - Creality Ender 3 V2
If you're wanting a rather capable and affordable 3D printer for printing out some good quality miniatures, the Creality Ender 3 V2 looks to be a handy choice.
It features a sleek black look to it, with an open housing, so you can watch your creations take shape as they print, and as a filament printer, this is a great choice for beginners, as you won't be handling any toxic chemicals or waiting for anything to cure in the same way as a resin printer.
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With that being said, the models you'll get out of the Creality Ender 3 V2 do look to be rather good, and as this is a filament printer, it'll also be comfortable printing any larger pieces as much as miniatures, which makes it quite versatile indeed.
There's also a handy resume printing function if, for whatever reason, the printer does stop, which can help to reduce any waste and save you time, too
Best 3D Printer For Miniatures Qidi - Qidi Tech X-Pro
The Qidi Tech X-Pro should be a marvellous 3D printer for printing miniatures, especially given it features something pretty cool.
This is a dual extrusion 3D printer, which means that you can print using two different materials at once, or in two different colours. What this should result in are some rather cool-looking models.
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As this is a filament printer, your models should also be pretty detailed and of good quality too. The Qidi Tech X-Pro looks to adhere to a model's inputted dimensions with remarkable accuracy, alongside looking to produce miniatures with good consistency.
It also looks to feature a convenient setup procedure, which means it should be a good choice for beginners and pros alike.
Best 3D Printer For Miniatures Ultimaker - Ultimaker S3
For a truly professional 3D printing choice, look no further than the Ultimaker S3.
It is a dual extrusion filament printer, giving you the combination of brilliant print quality and the power of either using two different materials or printing in different colours, which is rather cool indeed.
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There are also four different print quality systems to choose from, depending on how quickly you'd like to print out pieces, and for the most part, the 200-micron 'Draft' setting looks to be able to create some incredibly high-quality output.
The Ultimaker S3 also features automatic bed levelling, which is a convenient feature, and means you'll spend less time calibrating and more time printing. In addition, it features a USB port for loading a print file, as well as also being able to connect over both Ethernet and Wi-Fi, which means you could use it next to a workstation with just a single cable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a 3D printer for miniatures worth it?
In our humble opinion, we'd definitely say that a 3D printer for miniatures is worth it, given the fact they will allow you to print whatever you want to, and even then, you can of course print larger models, as well as miniatures, of course.
How much should I spend on a 3D printer for miniatures?
This all depends on the type of printer you're looking for, and how large a surface area you need to print on.
Smaller printers will run you up to $500 or so, and are likely to be good all-rounders for both beginners and professionals alike, whilst if you want something with more connectivity options and a bigger print area with features such as dual extrusion, then you can be looking at four-figure sums.
What should I look for in a 3D printer for miniatures?
We'd say that the first thing to decide is whether you'd like a resin or filament printer. For miniatures specifically, resin printers are perhaps better, given they can produce more detailed models.
Filament printers can produce good quality models too, but are perhaps better for larger models - they also don't require you to handle any chemicals to get them working, which can make them easier to set up, especially if you're just starting out.
In a more general sense, you'll also want to look for a printer that will fit your setup. There are printers we've listed above that will fit smaller and larger spaces, depending on how much you've got, so be sure to get one that will fill any space you've got.
What is the best material to 3D print miniatures?
FLA+ filament is generally considered to be one of the best materials to print 3D miniatures with. This is because it is especially durable, as well as flexible, so you can create some detailed and interestingly shaped models with it.
Is PLA or ABS better for miniatures?
Generally speaking, PLA is considered to be an easier material to work with for printing miniatures given it doesn't require as much technical expertise with regards to using a heated bed in order to create miniatures.
On the other hand, ABS needs more expertise to get consistent results, for which the reward is a set of miniatures with higher levels of detail.
Do 3D-printed miniatures need to be washed?
This all depends on the material you've used to make them. 3D printed filament miniatures don't need to be washed down, but is advisable to clean off any excess plastics for the sake of your models looking a lot better than if the excess plastic was still present.
Resin-printed ones though will need to be washed either with soap and water or isopropyl alcohol as part of the post-processing phase.
Does 3D printing use a lot of electricity?
This all depends on the printer you're using, but generally speaking, 3D printers don't tend to use that much in the way of electricity. Printers tend to output between 50 and 150W, which for reference, is about the same as a pair of incandescent lightbulbs.
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