If you are considering making your own 3D printed miniatures, we completed these 13 reviews of the best 3D printers for miniatures just for you!
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If you are short on time, here is a quick list of the best 3D printers for miniatures:
- Comgrow Creality Ender 3 3D Printer Aluminum DIY with Resume Print 220x220x250mm <<Best 3D Printer for Miniatures on a Budget
- ANYCUBIC Photon UV LCD 3D Printer Assembled Innovation with 2.8” Smart Touch Color Screen <<Best 3D Printer for Miniatures Very Close Runner Up!
- Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 3D Printer
- FlashForge 3D Creator Pro
- Creality HICTOP Filament CR-10S 3D Printer
- BIBO 3D Printer Dual Extruder
- LulzBot Mini 2 Desktop 3D Printer
- Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer V2
- Da Vinci Mini Wireless 3D Printer
- Robo R2 3D Printer
- ADIMLab Updated Gantry Pro 3D Printer
- QIDI TECH X-Pro 3D Printer
- Dremel Digilab 3D45 Award Winning 3D Printer
Tabletop games like D&D and Warhammer 40K have seen a major comeback in recent years. They can provide hours of fun for gaming enthusiasts, and people from all around the world are switching to tabletop games because they are very entertaining.
One of the factors that concern players is the cost of miniatures used in such games. For instance, it can cost about $500 – $1,000 to complete a standard-sized (2000pt) army for Warhammer 40K. Gaming enthusiasts have tried to come up with ingenious ways, like crafting and painting their own units, to overcome the cost issue.
With the developments in 3D printing, it is now possible to create cool miniatures that can be used for tabletop games. You can design and create impressive 3D figures that provide very fine details and are sturdy enough to be used outdoors as well as indoors. 3D printers can help you save time, money, and energy spent on crafting your own miniature creatures.
One important factor to consider is whether you will want to buy a dual extruder 3D printer. This can make the costs increase but can be well worth it!
In this article, we will review some of the best 3D printers available that can be used for printing miniatures for gaming, decoration, and artwork. We will share tips on what printer features you should look for when buying a 3D printer online.
13 Reviews of the Best 3D Printers for Miniatures
We looked at some of the more popular 3D printers on the market to come up with more than a dozen at different prices.
We begin our list of best printers with one of the most popular 3D printers. The Creality Ender 3 is ideal for people on a budget who want 3D printing to create plastic miniatures. The Creality Ender 3 shares some features with a few other popular 3D printers. However, the model offers a very high-quality finish and offers some unique features that give it an edge over competing printers.
Creality 3 has a solid finish, and the printer is quite sturdy despite its delicate internal apparatus. It is the flagship model from Comgrow, and they’ve used top-quality materials and components on this model. Creality 3 allows you to print precise and high-quality miniatures right out of the box without the need for any complicated set up.
If you can wait long enough to print out miniatures using small layer heights of 0.05mm at very slow speeds of just 25mm/sec, you can get a good level of detail with this printer. You can also replace the stock 0.4mm nozzle for something more delicate to improve accuracy if you want to push the limits with fine details. The level of detail on this model, however, is not the best when you compare Ender 3 to some of the more expensive models in the market.
Setting up the printer is quite easy. You can attach the pieces with just a few bolts and plug in the electrical connectors together. The printer comes with a user’s manual that contains instructions on setup and usage. It also includes a full spool of filament material to get you started right away.
Compared to its previous versions, the Creality Ender 3 received a major upgrade that has been a game-changer for 3D printers. It has a glass stage with a hard-wearing coating that the layers easily stick to. The coating ensures that your prints stick to the base, and it’s easy to remove your prints when they’re done.
The Ender 3 has a working area surface of 220mm x 220mm with a height of 250mm. That should give you enough space to print miniatures quite easily. If you are looking to print something bigger, you will need to look elsewhere.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on 3D printing and don’t have a problem with sacrificing a little detail, then the Creality Ender 3 is a great choice for printing minis a low budget.
The ANYCUBIC Photon is another great LCD 3D printer that offers high-quality printing at 2K resolution that goes up to 2560 x 2440. This model prints by using an LCD screen that projects an image of UV light for an entire layer at once. The light cures the resin wherever it hits it to mold it into the print. The platform then lifts slightly to repeat the process for the next layer, and so on.
This process allows you to shape the tiniest facial details on miniatures that could be as fine as 28mm or even less. The Photon UV offers many features that make it more reliable and easier to use than previous generations of smart laser printers.
Here are some salient features of the printer advertised by the company.
- It can create layers as low as 25 microns (0.025mm) thick
- At its highest resolution, the printer speed is comparable to FFF printing allowing you to complete prints in good time
- This LCD printer gives you a much smoother finish than filament printers with very little need for sanding or smoothing. All faces of the finished product have a perfect satin finish. Every curve, chamfer, or bevel produced by the printer is flawless
The printer works with any 405nm photosensitive resin, so it can also work with metallic resins that let you create molds for investment casting. It is one of the few 3D printers that lets you cast metallic minis and can even be used to craft jewelry.
There are some downsides to the printer as well.
First, the resin must be prepared carefully before and after each build to remove any bubbles. After finishing a build, you must wear latex gloves to remove your build and wash it in Isopropyl Alcohol to remove any uncured resin.
In short, you need to be very careful and methodical when using this printer. If you’re generally messy and likely to spill resin and don’t want to clean up later, then this printer isn’t for you.
The Sindoh 3DWOX 1 is a relatively new model that has become a top seller in a short period. It offers high-quality 3D printing that is easy to set up and can even be used by people who are not very technically savvy.
The 3DWOX 1 is a great choice for printing miniatures as the accuracy and level of detail is quite good. The user reviews for this model are mostly positive in their praise. The printer has an open-source filament mode that lets users work with 3rd party filaments.
Another benefit is that it allows flexible metal bed plates for easy bed adhesion. This improves user safety and removes the need to use scrapers for removing objects from the base. The model comes with a built-in HEPA filter that arrests very fine particles produced during the printing process.
Its software is quite powerful and allows lots of customization for miniature model design. The printer hardware is also sturdy enough to handle most printing requirements. It offers a moderate build area with its dimensions of 210 mm x 200 mm x 195 mm.
The 3DWOX 1 is perfect for beginners and people who don’t want to deal with diagnosing printer problems or unreliability. Additional features offered by Sindoh 3DWOX include,
- A flexible build bed that is coated with Aluminium Teflon.
- A fine nozzle diameter than that can produce layers from 0.05 mm to 0.4 mm.
- An enclosed build chamber with an HEP filter that is perfect for printing with ABS filament.
- Adjustable bed leveling.
- An easy-to-refill cartridge system for filament.
If you are only looking to print miniatures, then 3DWOX 1 will work just fine. However, it isn’t suitable for bigger projects as the work area is quite limited.
The biggest strength of this model, compared to previous models from Sindoh, is that 3DWOX accepts all filament brands so you can choose any filament brand that you are happy with.
The FlashForge Creator Pro is a real gem in 3D printing. It was originally introduced in 2016 and became a big hit with the 3D printing community as a reliable workhorse that could handle almost anything. The original printer has been discontinued, but you can buy its new version that boasts a metal frame and works with dual extruder spools.
If you are wondering what a dual extruder spool is, it basically allows you to use a second dissolvable filament as a support material for your prints. Using dual spools allows you to create more complex minis with multiple layers of overhangs without leaving witness marks on your final print.
You can also use dissolvable supports that significantly reduce the amount of time and effort needed to clean your minis after they are finished.
The Creator Pro is very precise and allows you to print minis as small as 28mm. However, the printer still cannot replicate very fine facial details like eyes that will need to be painted on after printing.
The design for FlashForge Creator Pro was taken from another popular 3D printer, Makerbot. It added more features to the design like metal support arms for the build plate and better thermal stability that prevented the base plate from moving during a print. It has plastic-coated adjusters that make it very easy to level the build plates.
It comes with a powerful CPU that uses auto-leveling for more precise work. The precise heater control and prioritized timing of CPU operations allow a much better quality finish. When added together, these features make the Creator Pro a highly accurate and reliable 3D printer that is perfect for building amazing miniature figurines.
If you want to create bigger figurines while saving as much money as possible on 3D printing, then Hictop CR-10S is probably the best option on this list. You will miss out on some advanced features, but all your basics will be covered, and you might even be surprised by the quality of printing on this model.
The model isn’t very user-friendly, and beginners will have some trouble figuring things out. However, if you are dedicated to 3D printing, you can learn to use this 3D printer in a relatively short period of time. You will be making good quality miniatures in no time!
The HICTOP has double lead screws on the z-axis that allow very precise 3D prints as the bed levels down. The level of detail you can achieve with this model is quite good, and you will be happy with the features.
It flashes a warning sign when your filament is almost used up. The CR-10S can also be set to resume a printing job halfway through if it has to be stopped in the middle of a print. This ensures you don’t waste any filament or time.
The only shortcoming with the model is lack of instructions and a slightly higher learning curve. If you are already experienced in 3D printing, then you will be right at home with this model. If you are just starting out and looking for your first 3D printer, look elsewhere.
If you are printing out miniatures for War or Role Playing Games, you will also need some terrain pieces. While you can find miniatures that you need at hobby shops and other sources, finding exact terrains that you need is more difficult. This is where 3D printers like BIBO can be very useful.
The BIBO 3D dual extruder is a great choice for people who are looking to make a combination of miniatures and terrain for their tabletop games. The dual extruders on this printer are designed to improve the speed of printing while still offers consistently good quality. It allows you to print two similar objects at a single time, cutting your printing time in half.
The BIBO is quite easy to interact with. It offers a touchscreen interface that you will find very similar to mobiles and touchpad devices. Perhaps the one downside is that the features and options are difficult to understand for first time users.
The printer also includes a laser for engraving objects such as wood, plastic, leather, and paper. It even allows you to cut thin materials like plastic. This makes BIBO great for adding finishing touches and modifications to previously crafted pieces.
The machine also has a filament detection system that warns you when you are about to run out of filament. It can also be controlled via WiFi, and you can start, stop, or resume operations with a mobile. Pretty neat!
Overall, BIBO is a powerful and versatile 3D printer that can be used for creating complex, beautiful miniatures, but it does require a bit of experience to get the most out of its many features.
The LulzBot Mini 2 printer is a niche-focused 3D printer marketed for professional applications, including product and process engineering, manufacturing, design, and education. Most reviews suggest it is an excellent device for professionals and small businesses that are looking to design and create high-quality miniatures without spending a huge fortune on a 3D printer.
It comes with Einsy RAMBo electronics and preTrinamic 2130 stepper motor drivers. Its build volume is 160 mm x 160 mm x 180 mm, which is smaller than most other models, but the output is more precise and refined.
It has an LCD screen at the upper right corner for display and a slot for SD card readers to input designs. The 50mm nozzle is compatible with flexible and rigid materials, and the Lulzbot comes with a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer.
Monoprice Mini V2 is marketed as a low cost, entry-level 3D printer. Despite its low price, the 3D printer is quite versatile and easy to use.
It costs just 200 bucks but still capable of printing at a reasonably quick pace. However, at 110 mm x 110 mm x 120 mm only, the work area is quite small, so your figurines will be small. The compact printer doesn’t require a lot of assemblies and is ready to print right out of the box. The device is plug-and-play ready, which makes it ideal for beginners.
The small size also makes it very portable. It weighs just a little less than 15 lbs. Despite its small size, the printer’s working temperature is quite high. The wide range of extruder temperatures and build plate heat threshold allows this printer to work with most types of filaments, from basic ones like ABS and PLA to more advanced materials.
The printer comes with an automatic bed leveling feature eliminating the need for manual adjustment. It allows printing speeds of up to 150 mm per second. However, the quick speed does affect the build quality, which is just fine for the Mini 3D V2.
Da Vinci is an Asian brand that is popular for marketing low-price, sturdy 3D printers. While the detail quality of finished prints is not the best, they will meet the requirements of consumers with a very low budget and low expectations.
Da Vinci offers more than 20 different lines of 3D printers; however, we decided to include Da Vinci Mini w + on the list. From our research, it was one of the top sellers on Amazon last year.
It has a clean and elegant design and offers a printing area of 150 x 150 x 150 mm, which is reasonable. The printer can go up to a layer resolution of 100 microns, which isn’t the best but good enough for a moderate quality finish.
The printer can be connected through WiFi, and printing is streamlined through a single push-button design. You can currently find the printer at Amazon for less than $200.
Robo R2 is a stylish box printer with an open top and gently-curving frame legs at the sides with large plastic windows on three sides for viewing the print bed. It has a see-through front door with a magnetic latch. There is a 5-inch touch screen below the front door that is used to input commands.
Given that it is a high-budget model, the Robo R2 creates exquisitely beautiful prints. Even the tiniest details are represented faithfully on the final print.
With support for more than 30 different filament types, it is one of the most versatile 3D printers in the market. You can create some very exotic prints, including glass-infused PLAs and even magnetic iron miniatures.
The printer is quite easy to use. It comes with a large, 5-inch touch screen to view and slice models directly. The Robo R2 printer comes with a USB stick that is pre-loaded with test models. You can operate the printer through the USB or via Ethernet/WiFi if you prefer.
ADIMLab 3D Printer follows the same blueprint design that was popularized by Creality CR-10. It comes with a tall frame of aluminum extrusions surrounded by a large print bed. The control box and power supply are attached with an umbilical cord.
With a print area of 310 mm x 310 mm, the Gantry Pro 3D is one of the biggest printers in the market today. The printing bed can extend to a height of 410 mm. If you look under the large glass bedsheet, you will find a dual rail system that provides excellent stability for the bed’s Y-axis movement, which is operated by a stepper motor mounted at the rear end of the printer’s frame.
It offers good precision with a layer height between 50 – 400 microns. The model has mostly positive reviews at Amazon.
The Qidi Tech X-Pro has pretty good ratings and reviews at Amazon. It is a durable printer with dual extrusion technology for quickly building multiple prints. The unit features an upgraded 4.3” touch screen, which makes it easy to operate.
It has a high temperature resistant 6 mm aviation class aluminum build platform that can handle heat up to 120°C. The work area is 300 mm x 250 mm x 300 mm, which should serve the needs of most users. The base has a removable curved metal plate that makes it easy to remove the print after finishing.
Overall a decent model with plenty of features, but it is expensive at a price of $600+.
We will conclude the list with one of the most expensive, high-end models in the market right now. When it comes to features, power, and reliability, the Dremel Digilab 3D45 is a beast that can print almost anything except another Dremel Digilab.
Well, perhaps not quite that much, but this model is designed to be incredibly easy to use and will be indispensable for professionals and higher education classrooms that want to do some serious 3D printing. It offers an incredible print quality that can achieve 50 to 300-micron layer height.
You can create 3D prints with the cloud software that comes with the package. The unit ships with the Dremel Digilab 3D Slicer for Windows and Mac, or your favorite 3D software that supports .gcode, .g or .g3drem files.
It offers a printing area of 255 mm x 155 mm x 170 mm and has a 4.5” touchscreen that makes it very easy to use. The printer has USB, WiFi, and Ethernet connectivity, as well as a heated glass plate. A laser cutter is included for finishing touch.
The downside? This model is incredibly expensive to purchase. It is more suitable for an organization than individuals for private use.
Conclusion of the Best 3D Printers For Miniatures
All of these 3D printers are quite amazing. We are confident you will find just what you are looking for if you are sure to read through each review and ensure you get all the features you need for your miniature design project!
After you have completed your 3d printing, you will need to paint your miniatures. We are way ahead and we put together an article for the best airbrushes for miniatures to help you determine the next step! Read it here!
Do you have more questions or something to add for 3D Printers? Did we miss a model that should be here? Let us know!