featured image of star wars character

Best 3D Printer For Miniatures

3d printers are a hard bunch to pick from. There are so many different choices and many of them vary in print quality. For those in a hurry, I recommend Anycubic Photon.

 

If you’re trying to print miniatures, you better keep your standards high. Miniatures aren’t the easiest to print which means you’ll need a good 3d printer. 

 

Keep reading so I can show you what the best 3d printer for miniatures are like.

Best 3D Printers For Miniatures

Anycubic Photon

Official Creality Ender 3

ELEGOO Mars UV Photocuring LCD

Monoprice Mini Delta

FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro

Table of Contents

What Can You Do With Miniatures?

A common way people use 3d printers for miniature is for entertainment. I’ve seen people print small action figures like those little green soldiers I used to have when I was a kid.

 

You can also keep making new toys for that kid to keep it fresh. Another way people use 3d printers for miniatures is to use it for landscaping.

 

I’ve seen people create terrains similar to forests and tundras. Go to Thingiverse and you’ll see all of the different products possible. 

How Much Money Can I Save?

It’s not hard to see 3d printers being in homes everywhere in the near future. All I needed to do is see what it can do. Regular printers are in homes everywhere. A machine that can actually make practical tools? Take my money already!

 

The major investment is upfront which is the printer. Then you have the materials like the filament and extras. Some of those extras include paint if you plan on designing your projects. Compare all of this to buying gifts over the years and thank your printer later.

What To Look For When Printing Miniatures?

There are 4 factors you need to consider when buying a 3d printer for miniatures. Those 4 are precision, build, features, and print quality.

Precision

The single most important quality here is precision. This number lets you know how small the printer can print at. 

 

The best printers for miniatures average 0.025mm to 0.1mm. Any printer in this range will work for miniatures models. The hard part is looking for printers that are good in the other departments in combination with this.

Build Size

Build size determines how big a 3d printer can print. You want a printer that can print from all sizes. There will be times where a piece you print needs a larger complement. Take the landscape terrain as an example. 

 

You want to print smaller details like trees, but you also need mountains to create a more diverse landscape. You don’t want to limit yourself to only printing miniatures.

Features

Next up are the specific features. We aren’t looking for a specific feature, but we still want to know what each printer offers.

 

Understanding what type of software it uses, user interface, and what type of printing material it uses are some features to look out for. Having one feature over another doesn’t exclude a printer from the list.

Print Quality

It’s important to look at a printer’s finished product before making a decision. Try to look at a printer’s finished product similar to what you want to make and determine if it meets your standards.

 

Some printers have finished products with small zits or overhangs. No printer will be the exact same. There’s no perfect printer on this list. It’s all about finding the one which combines all the things we’re looking for.

Anycubic Photon

The precision for the Anycubic Photon is great. It can go as small as 0.047mm in precision which is lower than the average we stated. 

It’s not the biggest printer though. Its build size volume comes out to 4.52” x 2.56” x 6.1”. For miniature projects, this is more than enough.

One feature I know you’ll love is how affordable it is. The 3d printer market is full of products that cost $500 or more on average. This printer is not only affordable, but produces quality prints. 

A big reason for the good print quality is the material it uses. Resin, which is the material the Anycubic Photon uses is superior to FDM. FDM is also known as fused deposition modeling. 

If we’re looking for print quality only, then a resin-using printer is what you want. There are some downsides though. Resin smells bad, plain and simple. The chemicals it uses are toxic so make sure no kids are around. 

You also need to do some deep cleaning on this printer. I suggest cleaning it with ethanol because the resin is so strong. It’s so important to have safety equipment on while you’re printing and cleaning. Having gloves and masks is a good start.

The first thing I would do with this printer is place it in its own dedicated spot. An open area that’s away from busy parts of the house is good. Placing it somewhere like the kitchen where everybody goes is a bad move.

Next is making sure the area you put it in has ventilation. That resin stench is not a good whiff. Anywhere with a lot of windows is a good spot.

Pros

Cons

  • Affordable
  • Precision
  • Print quality
  • Resin cleaning 
  • Resin odor
  • Build size

Official Creality Ender 3

Important features to understand are the set up and ease of use for this printer. The set up is made easy as Creality gives you step-by-step instructions and all the tools you need. There are also YouTube videos showing you how to set everything up

 

 

The next step is determining how easy it is to use. From my perspective, it’s pretty straight forward. I had to level the bed, put some filament in, and print something out to test it out. 

 

 

The precision numbers average about to 0.1mm give or take. That’s at the very high end of what we want in our precision numbers. Preferably, I would want this printer to be in the zone of 0.5mm of the lower end at least. But, this will still get the job done. 

 

 

Printing performance is solid though. Although the precision isn’t as detailed, the Creality Ender 3 gives quality prints. There are some minor issues like warping and adhesion to worry about. A counter to the adhesion problem is at least you can use different filaments. This includes PLA, ABS, PETG, and more.

 

 

In comparison to the Anycubic Photon, this printer doubles it in build size. The dimensions are 8.66” x 8.66” x 9.84”. Overall, I would recommend this printer to anybody regardless if they’re printing for miniatures or not.

Pros

Cons

  • Set up
  • Print quality
  • Can use multiple filaments
  • Build size
  • Affordable
  • Adhesion
  • Warping

ELEGOO Mars UV Photocuring LCD

A cool feature which makes this printer easy to use is the fast slicing software. A big learning curve for someone learning 3d printers are the assembly, and software. 

 

 

A feature that’s pretty cool and I didn’t know is possible is the ability to save resin. It allows you to hollow out your model and produce better prints. A 3d printer can take a lot of resources over the long haul. Having a feature like this makes it more convenient.

 

 

What makes it more convenient is its precision. Being able to cut prints at a 0.047mm accuracy makes more solid miniature prints. The ELEGOO Mars uses this precision alongside its HD masking LCD to bring consistent high quality prints. And, oh yeah, it uses resin to print which is another feather in the cap.

 

 

Of all the reviews I saw on this product, this printer passes all the tests. Benchmarks to test how it prints curves, edges, and text have all proven to be good. Also, the build size comes out to 4.7 x 2.6 x 6.1 inches. Not the biggest size you can go, but it gets the job done.

 

Some features that knocked it down to third was its connectivity and loud fan. Being able to connect through USB only sucks. It will take time to download your files to your printer, and is inconvenient.

 

This printer had the ability to be number 1, but the cons of this printer bothered me. Still a very good printer nonetheless though.

Pros

Cons

  • Fast slicing software
  • Can use Resin
  • Can save resin material
  • Precision
  • Affordable
  • Loud fan
  • USB connection only
  • Resin maintenance

Monoprice Mini Delta

There’s a unique design to this printer compared to the others. And that uniqueness is because it’s an all-metal 3d printer. To be honest, it doesn’t benefit you, but I thought it was cool to mention.

 

Some of the more practical features are auto bed leveling, WiFi connectivity, and a user-friendly interface. Another feature is its ability to use ABS, PLA, and PETG. Its best feature in my opinion is its affordability. Affordability will always make me at least think about whipping out the debit card.

 

Its build volume isn’t special though. It rounds out to 4.33 inches all around. Combine this with a 0.05 millimeter precision and you have a standard 3d printer. But, all of this doesn’t matter without print quality. We already know it’s at a lower quality tier since it doesn’t use resin.

 

This brings me to printer quality. The printer quality is great. A common benchmark for printers is “3DBenchy” and this printer passed with flying colors. Reviews that are hating on this printer don’t know what they’re talking about. This printer delivers.

 

It doesn’t help when the printer sounds noisy too. Imagine patiently waiting for your model with a noisy printer, and your model comes out and it’s not what you wanted.

Pros

Cons

  • Can use different filaments
  • Practical features
  • Easy to use
  • Print quality
  • Noisy

FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro

The FlashForge can use a variety of filaments. This includes PLA, ABS, and more. It’s also not loud when printing unlike other printers on this list. Its quiet nature is due to the design of the printer.

 

As you can tell, the printer has full enclosure, and most of what your hear is the motor parts working. The enclosure also lets you control the temperature to stabilize printing material. An underrated part of the enclosure is durability. The enclosure prevents dust and dirt from getting in.

 

As for print quality, I would say it’s average. Some benchmark testing and reviews will confirm this. There’s some adjustments needed in prints that require curves and horizontal designs. You can also see some warping in certain prints.

 

Although the printing quality is mediocre, what’s ironic is the precision. You will still be able to get detailed prints with the precision of this printer.

 

Its positioning precision is at 11 microns and 2.5 microns for the x and y positions. This translates to 0.011 and 0.0025 millimeters respectively. Combine this with a 305 cubic-inch build volume and you have a standard size 3d printer.

 

One feature I love pointing out is open-source. And this printer has open-source compatibility. This means you can work with different slicing software like Simplify3d and FlashPrint.

Pros

Cons

  • Uses different filaments
  • Durable feature
  • Precision
  • Open-source compatiblity
  • Curve and horizontal printing designs
  •  Expensive

Winner Winner

The clear winner in my opinion is the Anycubic Photon. It has the best combination of precision, features, build size, and print quality.

 

Although the build volume can be larger, the printing quality offsets that in my eyes. The ability to print using resin material with high precision matters way more for miniatures.

 

Knowing that it can print high quality miniatures along with its affordability is what convinced me of this printer.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *