There is nothing worse than making your appearance at Halloween, dressed up as your favorite character, and finding the one standing beside you and a dozen more dressed in the same as you.
In a matter of seconds, it not only ruins the hundred dollars you spent on its purchase but also the time you invested running from store to store.
Why shouldn’t you customize your costume at home, at a low cost, and without searching for stores for hours?
Yes, it is made possible, with the help of 3D printers. Now, you can bring your imagined costume to life, with all the tweaks added and that too in no time. Be it a full armor set or details like buttons, clips or pins-3 D printer can print anything. Moreover, for this, you don’t need to be an expert in cosplay props.
As there are hundreds of files and prints shared on the internet to give you a kick start on your journey to using a 3D printer.
However, before rushing to grab one for you, ask yourself two questions:
Whether I need it for personal or professional use?
How active you will be in that costume?
The latter will help you determine how durable your armor should be.
There are many other considerable factors though, which will be discussed in our detailed guide after reviews.
Bearing these two basic questions in mind lets hunt for the best out of the list of 5 best 3D printers for cosplay props.
|Maket Replicator+ Award Winning 3D Printer|
|LulzBot TAZ 6 3D Printer|
|Dremel Digilab 3D20 3D Printer, Idea Builder|
|Robo R1+ ABS/PLA Assembled 3D Printer|
|Creality CR-10S 3D Printer|
1. Maker Replicator+ Award Winning 3D Printer
Owing to its gigantic and sturdy build, it is capable to print large pieces of costumes and props, eliminating the need for welding the pieces together after printing. However, its massive build is way too big to be kept at the designated table.
Since it is an open-design 3D printer, you can see and enjoy the whole printing process the machine passes through. However, the same makes it challenging and hazardous, if you have children and pets around.
As for set up, its quite easy but instructions in the manual could have been better illustrated. For assembly, it first requires you to connect to a Wifi and then download the MakerBot application which is compatible only with the newer version of this printer. After creating your account on MakerBot and completing other necessary steps, you will be able to control your printer remotely with the help of this easy-use app.
Moreover, its interface is quite easy for starters. Unlike most of the 3D printers, its filament is hidden at the rear of the machine. The controls are placed at the eye level.
Although third-party filaments can be used in this printer, however, the manufacturers warn to cancel the warranty in this case. Their filament is pricey like their machine.
Printing with MakerBot is effortless, however, you will have to struggle a bit with part removal from the printing plate.
You will also have to adjust the layers manually. Once the file is generated and sent forward, you may turn your computer off and enjoy watching the machine, printing your cosplay costumes or props.
It is speedier than its older versions, as the company claims, and gives you decently printed objects in a few hours.
In an attempt to lure a professional audience,its filament level indicator notifies the user to refill and restart.
In sum, the print quality provided is better than the other professional 3D printers available in the market. However, with such a hefty price tag, we expect high definition prints with no messing with the models.
2. LulzBot TAZ 6 3D Printer -Top Rated
Having earned the AII3DP badge for the ‘Best Workhorse 3D Printer’, LulzBot TAZ 6 is a perfect choice for those who require a tremendous build size to build their cosplay costumes and props with undoubted reliability.
Another amazing benefit is that, with LulzBot TAZ, you don’t necessarily have to have your stationary computer with you all the time, as it also allows untethered 3D printing via SD card.
Its assembly takes hardly 20 minutes. With all the spare parts right out of the box, you must not assume that it will take hours to have the first print out. You just need to simply snap all the pieces at their appropriate places with the help of a pictorial manual. ‘Start Here’ guide delivered with the package also make its assembly easier.
As for design, its minimalistic frame lets you enjoy all the printing operations. If to describe its design in four simple words, I would say, LulzBot TAZ is sleek, simple, sturdy yet impeccable.
As an open-source company, you will find no difficulty in finding the documentation for installation.
Once its software, MatterControl, is installed, you can start your first cosplay print. With its auto-leveling, the printer makes sure the first layer is perfectly placed and is leveled to the bed. Its PEI surface grips the print tightly and gets cool when you are done with the printing process. This cool bed makes the releasing easiest of its kind and leaves a clean smooth base, ready for the next print.
Although it is hard to find faults with LulzBot TAZ, there are a few hiccups that prevent it from being perfect.
Read Also, Best 3d Printers Under $500
One glaring problem with LulzBot TAZ is a slight lack of user control with standalone printing, for instance, it doesn’t have any option to feed the filament on UI, which creates a bit of hassle while changing material. However, this issue is being resolved in recent editions.
True that it takes a bit longer prep-time but it’s fair not to complain when it delivers a high- quality final product.
3. Dremel Digilab 3D20 3D Printer -Best For Cosplay
With the launch of 3D20, Dremel, an American based company primarily known for handy tools, became an education-focused player in the Digital industry as this model is primarily designed for students.
The touch screen is its most highlighted feature which fascinates you right out of the box. So is its being a colored printer, which helps you print vibrant prints with ease.
Its single intruder is capable to cope with temperatures of up to 230 degrees.
Although in theory, it is said to be ready out of the box, its bed needs to be leveled manually as, unfortunately, it doesn’t have auto-calibration. However, its well-illustrated instruction manual helps a great deal.
Once after leveling the bed, all you have to do is to select the model you want to print, tap the start button, and sit back to wait for the finished product to come out.
Apart from this, it is easy to use with touch screen operations, allowing you to operate silently at a tap. Nevertheless, while working it produces a bit of noise-just as much as a microwave.
As for performance, it finishes printing decently and fairly quickly, especially when you choose to slow the things down a notch. However, we can’t expect a masterpiece from it as it is meant to impress the beginners.
Although it can print different filament brands, it is better compatible with Dremel’s PLA filament, which makes adventurous hobbyists lack interest in it.
To provide instant support to its customers, Dermal has a website with a handy support system which you may refer to any time for troubleshooting issues. They also reply to queries without any delay.
Moreover, its year-long warranty serves as icing on the cake.
On the downside, a limitation which I believe the company could have improved is that you can’t print models by using any software, other than Dremel’s.
Moreover, it can also sometimes run into some network errors which ask for repeated restarts. However, the company is trying to improve it with constant updates.
In sum, with its small size and good online support, 3D20 can be a tempting choice for the newbies looking to invest in their maiden printer.
4. Robo R1+ ABS/PLA Assembled 3D Printer -Best For the Money
If you are out in the market for a user-friendly but sub-$1000 3D printer, Robo R1 is worth your closer look. This fairly priced 3D printer doesn’t boast to be the best in the town. However, it offers a versatile software, a massive print volume, and the ability to print multiple filament types.
While you may be easily drawn by its beauty, this sizeable 3D printer is easy to set up. All you are required to do is to set it to the correct voltage (115 for the Us) and then install its software either from the SD card provided in the package or Robo official website. Plug it in to turn it on and connect the included USB to your laptop.
You can easily snake its filament to the extruder by following the steps in the video provided on Robo official site.
Much to the relief of 3D enthusiasts, Robo does not use propriety filament cartridges and is compatible with other ABS and PLA filaments. It can even use non-standard filaments of nylon and polystyrene.
As for software, Robes uses an open-source program named MatterControl which is versatile and friendly to appease new user’s excitement.
You might need considerable effort to remove objects from its printing bed. However, if you use a thin coat of glue on the printing bed or twist the object between your forefinger and thumb for a few times, it can easily come off. You just need some time to get along with it.
One con noted in this 3D printer is the mark which its default support, vertical plastic pillars, leaves on the object. However, if you choose to turn the support off, and turn the raft on instead, you will be better able to take off the delicate objects from the beds.
My verdict! Provided you value reliability and versatility, Robo 3D1 can be a good buy for you with its generous printing area, versatile software, ability to work with any filament under the sun, and low price.
5. Creality CR-10S 3D Printer – Best For Cosplay Armor Props
Creality CR-10S leapfrogged over other 3D printers in the popularity chart, primarily for two main reasons-its affordable price and massive volume, which allows you to print enormous 3D models. These two things alone are enough to make Creality CR-10S a better buy for a large community of hobbyists and professionals.
Expect nothing fancy about its design as its overall impression with a sturdy open-frame screams minimalism. However, it gives a tidy look with its separate control box which houses the LCD interface and the USB slots, spool holder sitting on the top of the control box, and the cables decently secured at the side.
The setup is quite straightforward with all the tools and spare parts included in the box. Even loading the filament is not an intricate procedure for beginners. However, the instruction manual is quite crappy.
Creality isn’t reputed for its quality control, so it is advisable to meticulously make sure no parts are suspiciously out of place and no screws are loose so that you may encounter fewer problems in the first few prints as possible.
It has an open filament system which means you can use filaments from third-party manufacturers as well as falling within the diameter of 1.75 millimeters. Moreover, its print bed has good adhesion and doesn’t require the routine adhesion hacks to make sure that prints always stay stuck at its place.
Thanks to its filament sensor which indicates the level of filament left so that you don’t run out of it in the middle of printing.
The main reason for Creality CR-10S staying on the 3D printer’s map is that it doesn’t compromise on print quality. And is capable of producing finely detailed prints both at low and high configuration setting
However, the prep time can be a real hassle as it takes a while to heat up. And the bad news is that it would need long rest between printing of two large objects, especially if you are printing in high resolution.
What you are going to love about it is that its manufacturers gloat less than what it performs for its affordable price.
Cosplay 3D Printers: What to Consider while Buying
Look, it is a sizable investment and needs a rigorous search before buying, especially if you are buying it for a specific purpose in mind.
With this, is the fact that the manufacturer bar of 3D printers for cosplay is on a constant rise. And they broadly differ to cover various needs of users, making selection more cumbersome.
On top of it, cosplay usually requires a gigantic build volume of the 3D printer so that it can handle the large prints. However, it isn’t as simple as this.
There is a whole lot of features to consider while buying a 3D printer for cosplay.
Choose the one with speed options. As it allows you to set speed to slow when you need a high-quality resolution prop. Similarly, it allows increasing speed for the low resolution which will not only save your time in rush hours but also use your cartridge too economically.
Moving to the next criteria, cosplayers must consider while buying a 3D printer, is the ability to print filament types. In other words, how good does it withstand different materials, such as metal, ceramic, and wood, etc.
No, why would you need to 3D print your props on exotic materials like this? The answer is, to give a realistic touch to your props. And to integrate as less extra finishing touches as possible.
Depending on the purpose you are buying a 3D printer for, you should go for those which can 3D print on most filament types. There are many available out there which come equipped with the ability to print more than 30 filament types too. To name a few, Robo R1+ and Creality CR-10s. With them, you can enjoy the versatility of printing on different materials to give a realistic look to your props.
Make sure the brand you opt for is reputed to offer excellent customer service. You can read reviews of different users for this on buying sites. Usually, for expensive products like this, durability and reliability are ensured. However, in case something goes wrong, you should be able to contact the manufacturers to get it fixed.
Ease of Use
Using almost all 3D printers is challenging as it is a complicated machine and you should not expect any with simple operations. However, they vary in terms of assembly.
And, if you are a beginner, it is advisable to go for the one which doesn’t need assembly from scratch.
Secondly, as a beginner, I recommend you opt for reset option and do not get into the nitty-gritty of details, in case it gets stuck or something. And after your initial learning curve starts flattening, choose to customize your settings to enjoy 3D printing of your props.
We suggest Dremel Digilab 3D20 or Robo R1 + 3D printer as both of them have an interactive LCD control screen which provides you with the prompts related to the printing process in real-time.
Additional Technical Features
A self-leveling bed which can save you plenty of time and makes printing job much easier by eliminating many of the commonly faced 3D printing problems.
LCD Touch Screen which also makes this challenging job convenient.
A heated bed which ensures the prints have a stable and well-formed foundation
Print Resume Function will allow you to resume your printing process where you left off, so that you may not have to start it all over again.
- Safety Options
They are related to the safety of your printer. The beginners are recommended to choose their 3D printer with maximum safety options. Check carefully in the specs list that the printer you buy should have an automatic nozzle cooling and an auto shut off function for the heated bed and a retracting nozzle. This saves your prints from being ruined by the excess filament and ensures the printer’s longevity.
- Build Volume
One of the basic things to consider while purchasing a 3D printer for cosplay is the build space or volume. After all, you are to print the things you will wear.
The more voluminous your cosplay props, the more build space you would require printing. Therefore, it is always advisable to go for one which will be able to materialize the characters you imagined at the conceptualization stage.
Conversely, if your 3D printer has a smaller build, you will have to have your bigger props like swords and arrows welded and given a finishing. To avoid all this welding trouble, try to purchase a bigger volume. And Creality CR-10s and LulzBot Taz 6 are highly recommendable options in this regard, with approximately 280*280 250mm.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to run a 3D printer per hour?
Since the approximate number of filaments, a 3D printer uses per hour is 15.6 gram translating into 0.26* 60 minutes. Therefore, the filament it uses per hour will be worth 6 cents. This may be rounded off as $1 per hour of 3 D printing time, for the cost recovery of filament time.
How does a 3D printer work?
A 3D printer has a tiny nozzle to extrude plastic. This nozzle keeps moving around with precise movements controlled by a connected computer. It waits for the first layer to get dry and then prints the next layer to give 3D effects to the props used in cosplay.
What size of 3D printer do I need for cosplay?
Given the fact that you are 3D printing the material to put on your body, you need a large volume. The largest, the better. It will eliminate the option of welding separate pieces of props which undoubtedly be not as durable as a complete piece coming out of printer which doesn’t need to be welded.
It’s true especially for the cosplayers who are to move a lot in the show,
Can a 3D printer print anything?
Yes, anything under the sun. Even you can 3D print a 3D printer with another 3D printer.
Do 3D printers use a lot of electricity?
The average electricity consumption for a 3d printer is 50 watts per hour.
What is the best 3D printer for cosplay?
A few top picks are:
- Lulzbot Taz 6.
- Creality CR-10s.
- Robo R1+
Dremel Digilab 3D20.