Owing to the excessive amount of details required, miniatures sized 28-millimeter or less for tabletop and roleplay games cannot be precisely printed with the 3D printers which are designed to print large props and costumes.
And if you choose to get them printed from a professional, despite paying a hefty amount for the print, you will not get a unique and customized miniature.
Therefore, the best option is to buy your own 3D printer which will not only satisfy the gaming freak inside you but also will save you a lot of bucks.
However, with a varied range of 3D printers for miniatures, the chore of buying one can be cumbersome. But don’t fret, we have got you covered here by a detailed review of Best 3D Printers for Miniatures followed by a buying guide.
Best 3D Printer for Miniatures 2021 Reviews
|FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro|
|Official Creality Open Source CR-10 3D Printer|
|ComgrowCreality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer|
|Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 3D Printer|
|LulzBot Mini 2 Desktop 3D Printer|
1. FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro- Top Pick
With its dual extruder and an enclosed sturdy frame, FlashForge Creator Pro is a unique addition to 3D printers, especially because of the innovative ways it has come with, to print models. For instance, you can well print your model in two colors, and for doing so, you don’t need to halt the previous operation to change the material.
Talking of its architect, FlashForge Creator Pro is framed with a sturdy metal which has made it a relatively lasting printer as compared to its rivals. This solid build also gives it a firm footing during printing operations, and you will not experience any instability to harm the models being printed.
Its completely covered enclosure becomes a big plus while printing certain materials that need stable temperature on the printing bed to add precision to models.
Besides, it also allows freedom of standalone prints. This means you don’t have to carry your computer system with it all the time, as it can print through SD cards too. To support this standalone operation, it is given a few features, such as a heated print bed, a few external spools which are mounted at their rear end, and an LCD controller.
Much to users’ convenience, its acrylic covers are made removable to ensure ease during maintenance.
Although FlashForge Creator Pro is delivered assembled and is ready to print your first miniature right out of the box. However, you should not expect stellar performance from this machine with its stock settings.
To make the most out of your FlashForge Creator Pro, you are highly recommended to pair your printer with Simplify3D software which will do most of the initial installation smoothly.
Don’t worry, if it doesn’t perform with all its might in the beginning as it needs a bit of tinkering on your part to give 100 % results.
What users love about this printer is, its equal to low maintenance and an extremely low failure rate as compared to the other filament-based 3D printers available in the market. All this goes a long way to make FlashForge Creator Pro a robust workhorse that may keep going for days without demanding much in return.
Equally compatible with PLA and ABS with no major issues, FlashForge Creator Pro is also capable to handle water-soluble materials effortlessly. This highlighted quality of FlashForge Creator Pro allows it to print more intricate models with a host of details and complex postures.
Moreover, it can work well using filaments from cheaper brands too which makes FlashForge, an economical machine as compared to those which allow to use only proprietary filaments.
In sum, FlashForge Creator Pro is a better buy for those who are planning to experiment with their first 3D printer for printing miniatures as it offers a multitude of features for their ease and excitement.
2. Official Creality Open Source CR-10 3D Printer -Best Value for Miniatures
Recommendable to entry-level and expert professionals alike, Creality CR-10 is an outstanding machine for its reasonable price.
It was released in 2016 and is the fourth generation in Creality series. Although its upgraded version with the name Creality-10S is also launched with certain upgrades, this original CR-10 appears to be the best investment.
A thorough reading of consumer reviews on various buying sites makes one conclude that apart from a few, not so insurmountable issues, Creality CR-10 so far has been an excellent 3D printer for printing D & D and other miniatures.
The reviewers from across the globe have been generous enough in expressing their delight with CR-10 for its affordability, user-friendliness, and high-resolution miniature printing.
With its standard 0.4 nozzle, CR-10 is perfectly suitable to imprint precise details on miniatures. However, its large printing bed makes it a perfect machine to print huge statues with equal ease.
Indeed, it is a multi-function 3D printer and prints small as well as big statues with high resolution.
As for its reliability, it is rated higher than other 3D printers with the same price range. You will find great results while using PLA and PET. However, it performs well on ABS as well. And the best part is that the final product you get will have a smooth surface and would need no finishing at all.
Even a few consumers have reported using some exotic materials such as nylon and other stretchable filaments and told CR-10 works quite well on them. If so, it would be a very economical printer in the long run.
Delivered with it in its package are a lot of extra tools and stuff which one usually doesn’t expect at such a low price. You will have a usable spool, PLA filament, one masking tape for printing bed adhesion, manual, USB card reader, an SD card, and an extra PTFE tube.
3. Comgrow Creality Ender 3 Pro- Pocket Friendly for Miniatures
A budget-friendly and a perfect present for the upcoming birthday of your game freak teenager! With its easy assembly and friendly interface, I am sure, it’s going to fulfill all his weird gaming fantasies.
However, this cut-price doesn’t come at the expense of its printing performance. Creality Ender 3Pro will exceed your expectations once you start printing your miniatures with it.
Ender 3 pro, like a responsible successor of Ender 3 regular, made its appearance addressing many of the reported flaws of Ender Pro ironed out. It is made more stable as a solid aluminum extrusion is added on its y-axis.
To add more to its stability, the manufacturers have placed stiff bearings in Ender 3 pro which have reduced the amount of friction and made the whole body firmer during operations.
Another improvement made to Ender 3 pro is its C-MAG, which is a magnetic printing bed and allows you to take your models off the printing bed smoothly. It also helps the first layer to stick on the bed in a better way.
To your amazement, it will handle ABS, PETG, PLA, and other exotic filaments with equal ease without any warping issues during the printing process. This versatility is quite hard to find even in the most expensive options available in the market.
Appreciable is its quick assembly and the ease of use it offers to consumers, for instance, a big bed-leveling knob present on the printing bed makes manual calibration easier. You should be able to fix it in just a few attempts.
One glaring issue faced and reported by some users is its wobbly base, which gives a few speed bumps to the whole-body during operations. However, this is not an insurmountable issue and can be solved by supporting one of its sides with a wedge.
Still, there are numerous reasons to make Creality Ender 3 pro a wise and lasting investment option for you. Its incredibly low cost, a decent build, power resuming feature and a narrow filament passage are the features which are not available even in the most expensive 3D printers.
4. Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 3D Printer, with WiFi & Built-in Camera
Featuring a stylishly futuristic look, Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 3D has a lot to offer ata reasonable price. It’s nimble in performing its function and sturdy in its structure. On top of all this, the final prints coming out of it need very little brush-up.
You might be intrigued by the fact that Sindoh allows you to watch all the printing process on your mobile device by connecting it to the monitoring camera placed in its interior.
What’s more, is that this 3D printer comes with an enclosure to keep your models safe. For safe removal of your printed miniatures, it offers a removable aluminum plate which when heated easily detaches itself from the printed product and makes removal easier. Moreover, this aluminum plate is a great base for PLA and ABS.
It comes with a standard 8x8x8” print space, a single but speedy extruder, and is capable to print up to 200 mm miniatures with a maximum of 50 microns resolution.
With varied connectivity options such as USB, WiFi, and Ethernet, 3DWOX DP200 comes completely assembled, ready to give its first print within an hour after unboxing.
Apart from these technical specs, its 3DWOX DP200’s user-friendly features that make it the first choice of many educationists. To name a few, 3DWOX DP200 has an auto plate leveling and an auto-loading filament system. Its ultra-intuitive touch screen interface outperforms the other touch screen 3D printers in the market.
Moreover, this touch screen interface is located right at the top, making the functions like STOP, START, PRINT, RESUME just a tap away.
However, you cannot use any off-brands filaments on 3DWOX DP200 to save some money as it doesn’t allow any support filaments to be used in.
What I love the most about 3DWOX DP200 is that it eliminates the most tiresome task of loading and unloading of filament as it is automatized for it.
In all, with its reasonable price, low maintenance, a comfortable design, and smooth operations, 3DWOX DP200 has brought 3D printing to the ground level for an average user.
5. LulzBot Mini 2 Desktop 3D Printer
Perfectly engineered to the needs of education, corporate and industrial sector, LulzBot Mini 2 is a highly efficient and versatile desktop 3D printer. It’s a perfect upgraded version of its predecessors LulzBot Mini and is made more compact, portable, and sturdy.
It has truly been called a plug-and-play 3D printer. And it is due to its Quick Start Guide and CuraLulzBot Edition software. Right after unboxing it, the guide tells you the step by step procedure of assembling the printer which is well made easier with the help of pictorial illustrations and leaves nothing ambiguous in the mind of new users.
Once you are done with assembling the hardware, you are required to install its CuraLulzBot Edition software which has preconfigured profiles for 30+ materials. All you need to do is to load your 3D model and press the CLICK button.
The mere fact that your printer is manufactured by a legendary USA-based company by using local and imported parts of top-notch quality, is good enough to ensure its reliability. The company’s commitment to providing quality products means your LulzBot Mini 2 will deliver professional performance for decades with equal to no maintenance.
Moreover, you don’t need to worry in case something wrong happens with your machine, as the company’s technical support is always available which helps you fix any possible glitch.
Much to your relief, it is truly a whisper-quiet 3D printer and at times you have to look to ensure it is working. Thanks to its Trinamic TMC2130 motor and premium igus bearings. This feature makes LulzBot Mini 2 the best buy for libraries, schools, and offices.
Printing with LulzBot Mini 2 is a real breeze. No taxing bed-leveling, no nozzle cleaning. All you are to do is to load the SD card, select the miniature model you want to print, and finally hit the print button. You will see the prints coming out finely detailed and don’t need to undergo a substantial finishing process.
Moreover, loading and unloading of filament are also made quite easy in LulzBot Mini 2. And you have a variety of materials to choose from for 3D printing.
Seriously, one cannot recommend LulzBot Mini 2 enough, for all the features it is laden with.
Best 3D Printer for Miniatures – Buyer Guide
Read on to find what are the most important factors to consider while buying a 3D printer for miniatures and how each impacts your buying decision.
Perhaps, the most considerable factor to look for while buying a 3D printer for miniature is the size of its nozzle. It is so because a smaller diameter decreases the printing speed and allows you to precisely detail your miniature.
Simply put, the smaller the diameter of the nozzle, the better the detailing on your model.
The commonly available nozzle of 3D printers for miniatures is 0.4 millimeter in size. However, there are others available with a swappable nozzle, which means, the nozzle size can be adjusted to your needs. Provided, all the other features meet your requirements, I would advise you to buy the one with a swappable nozzle option as it will save you from any possible trouble later.
Given the need for fine details in miniature painting, the 3D printer you select should be capable of producing models with high-quality precision, in fact significantly higher than other models.
And for attaining this level of precision, hardware means your printer has to be efficient. Because it is true, no matter how hard you work with your design files, you cannot acquire high-quality precision without an efficient printer.
And such a 3D printer is more expensive as compared to those with low printing resolution. And, it is always advisable not to compromise precision for price.
Make sure the 3Dprinter you purchase for miniatures is from a reliable make. One way to ensure this is to read the reviews of the consumers on different buying sites online. It is important because, if you purchase your 3D printer from any off-brand, which later remains out of service most of the time of year, you cannot think of making much out of it.
Another way to gauge how reliable is the brand you are going for is to check the company’s profile and several years in the field. It is highly recommended to opt for experienced manufacturers than newbies who are still trying to earn a name in the field.
As for technology, it’s wise to choose your 3D printer incorporating either DLP (Digital Light Processing) or SLA (Stereolithography) technology as they are tried and tested to be the best for printing miniature models.
Conversely, FFA (Fused Filament Fabrication)which uses filaments is not proven to be successful with miniature paintings. Although it provides maximum scope for massive printing and is cost-effective as well, it cannot beat an SLA operated 3D printer when precision and detailed matter.
True, that build size should not matter when it comes to miniature paintings. However, you may purchase a high-quality large 3D printer if you want to print large pieces sometime. This way at least you will not have to invest in a larger size all over again.
Equally worth considering is the factor that how easy it is to use your printer. It includes assembling after unboxing, ease of operations during printing and post-printing processes such as taking the model off the printing bed and tuning and maintenance.
Opt for the one which doesn’t need assembly from scratch as it can pose problems if you are a new user. It would be even worse if the user manual with it is ambiguous and crappy.
Similarly, check if the printer you are getting for 3D miniature printing has an autobed-leveling system as with manual leveling you can end up having your model completely botched up.
Lastly. The one with auto cleaning and low maintenance can be a better option.
Without any doubt, a 3D printer that allows you to work with various filaments, even cheaper ones like nylon, etc. can always be an economical option to go to. Alternatively, if you buy a printer that reserves its propriety rights for filament, you will fall into trouble. As these filaments can be bought only from their specific stores and secondly, they are made expensive.
The Architect and Structure of Printer
Precisely, a better option is always a stable structure made of steel or any other metal. On the other hand, if you choose a plastic body, which might be more appealing to the eyes, at first sight, you will notice that the unstable plastic body will wobble during printing and affect the details of the miniature.
Although it is an enjoyable experience to watch the printer processing printing when you choose an open structure. However, highly recommended is the one with the closed body as the open body poses safety hazards to the children and pets around, which can halt your operation, and in severe cases break the whole machine down.
The 3D printers with a high price range come with additional features to make your printing operations easier and to give you a high-quality final product.
These features include a touch screen with an easier interface
A filament level gauge which constantly displays the remaining level of filament and warns you well before it runs out.
One more feature you can look for while buying 3D printer for miniatures is a pre-constructed cartridge filled with filament which spares you from the trouble of threading it manually.
Yet another is failsafe, which allows you to start where you left from in case of interruption due to filament shortage or power failure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which 3D printer is good for miniature paintings?
To name a few:
- Official Creality Open Source CR-10 3D Printer All Metal Frame 12x12x15.5 Inch Build Volume and Heated Bed Includes Glass Bed
- ComgrowCreality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer with Removable Build Surface Plate and UL Certified Power Supply 220x220x250mm
- Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 3D Printer
- LulzBot Mini 2 Desktop 3D Printer
- Monoprice Maker Select – Best 3D Printer on a Budget.
- FlashForge Creator Pro – Most Versatile 3D Printer.
What is the required resolution in a 3D printing for miniatures?
The higher the resolution of your 3D printer, the more precise and detailed the miniature. Normally, a 3D printer having 50 microns resolution should be enough to have precise lines on your miniature. But 100 or more microns is highly recommended for better results.
What is the cost of printing a miniature using 3D printer?
No more than around $5. Which is quite an economical range which provides you unique and original model without searching for your desired one store to store.
What is Hero Forge?
Hero Forge is the name of a service which lets you choose your tabletops or other miniatures. Then they print them with 3D printers and deliver to your home.