3D printing is a big part of the present and future.
It has set the tone for what’s acceptable and what’s not when it comes to modeling new designs. More and more people are now venturing into this niche because it’s exciting and lets the mind explore in unique ways.
While 2D printing was always a fun way to get creative, 3D printing kicks things up a few notches. It lets your creative juices flow in a way that has never been seen before. This is why people are looking at bringing a 3D printer home now.
Before doing this, you will want to know what to look for and how to make sure the purchase is a good one. You don’t want the investment to be a dud.
This guide is going to take a look at the top 7 3D printers for beginners, what to look for in a new 3D printer, and what the steps include.
Top 7 3D Printers for Beginners for 2021
1. Original Prusa Mini+
- Color LCD Screen
- 32 Bit Controller STM32
- One-Click Printing
- Flexible Printing Sheets
- Certified High-Quality PSU
The Original Prusa Mini+ is one of the best 3D printers on the market for beginners.
It offers a slew of world-class features that make it user-friendly and perfect for the average person. If you are someone that has never had the opportunity to use this type of device, this is a great starting point. It will allow you to get creative without complicating matters.
A lot of users get confused and give up when it comes to 3D printing.
This machine offers user-friendly instructions, a gorgeous LCD, and flexible printing sheets that are perfect for long-term quality.
If you want to keep things simple at home with a quality 3D printer then this is the right place to start. It is one of those machines that has been made with tremendous care and is going to fit well in your workspace.
2. Creality Ender 3 V2
- Quiet TMC2208 Stepper Drivers
- Resume Printing Function
- App Integration
- UL-Certified Power Supply
The Creality Ender 3 V2 is a renowned option for beginners.
It is one of those 3D printers that you can set up easily and know it will work out. The reason has to do with the beautiful app integration with this company’s 3D printer.
They have made it as easy as possible to toggle through settings and customize each step. Along with having a robust printing process, it also does well when it comes to noise creation. It is not loud at all.
If you are going to be setting a 3D printer in a bedroom or somewhere quiet, this feature does help a lot.
3. Flashforge Creator Pro 2
- Independent Dual Extruders
- Touchscreen (3.5″)
- Handle Design
- Anti-Scrape Functionality
- Quick Startup
The Flashforge Creator Pro 2 is a tremendous 3D printer and does well when it comes to offering creative features others don’t.
Whether it is the anti-scrape option or the handle design, there is a certain level of control that is hard to miss when it comes to this particular machine.
You will enjoy being able to go through the settings on the beautiful touchscreen while knowing it is going to protect your modeling work.
This level of control and precision allows you to get creative with your designs right away. This is good for beginners wanting to kick things up a few notches.
4. Creality CR-6 SE
- Leveling-Free Technology
- Modulularized System
- Trinamic Driver
- Touchscreen (4.3″)
- Dual Z and Y-Axis
The tremendous leveling-free tech associated with this 3D printer is hard to miss.
You are going to want something that is automated and offers refined precision, which is what you are going to get here right away.
The quality will be impressive and you are going to feel in control from day one. The Creality CR-6 SE is one of those machines that you can quickly set up and put to use in minutes.
They have taken the time to create a quiet setup that works using the Trinamic driver. It also has a beautiful touchscreen that is larger than some of the others on the market making it a delightful device to use.
5. Anycubic Mega Zero 2.0
- Modular Design
- Auxiliary Leveling
- Fast Heating
- Magnetic Stickers
- Refined Extruder
The Anycubic Mega Zero 2.0 is a monster machine when it comes to speed and efficiency.
This is a 3D printer that offers 5-minute heating ensuring the machine is ready to go when you are. Just having the ability to tap into the auxiliary leveling and magnetic stickers will bring a smile to your face.
The team behind this realizes a streamlined, simplistic machine is good for beginners. It will allow you to flex your creative muscles without getting perplexed.
Each element of the machine is refined and it is built to last through loads of printing sessions.
6. Artillery Sidewinder X1
- Synchronized Dual Z System
- Power Loss Detection & Recovery
- 150mm/s Speed
- Direct Drive Extruder
The Artillery Sidewinder X1 is a masterpiece because it is a quick 3D printer with loads of positives.
Everything about the machine has been crafted in a way to make sure it’s safe to use. This includes power loss detection and how quickly it can protect the machine and model from damage.
You also get the synchronized dual Z system ensuring the quality doesn’t drop during the printing process. Having this level of control and quality is impossible to ignore.
They have put a lot of time into this 3D printer and it does stand out for all the right reasons.
7. Original Prusa i3 MK3S+
- MISUMI Bearings
- Mesh Bed Leveling Process
- Removable Print Sheets
- Power Loss Recovery
- Filament Sensor
When it comes to the Original Prusa i3 MK3S+, you are getting a power-packed device that is ideal for the average user.
It is going to include removable printing sheets and a mesh bed leveling process that is quite easy to get used to. It is the simplistic setup that tends to win users over because beginners will have a learning curve to deal with.
If you are someone that wants a quiet experience that doesn’t lead to a loss in quality then this is a good place to begin.
The company has crafted a 3D printer that offers power loss protection and a complete filament sensor. This attention to detail is what allows the printer to shine when it comes to long-term use. You will feel in control when you start testing how effective the printer is.
They have thought of everything with this machine and it does stand out.
The aesthetics of the machine and its build quality will impress. You will know it has a presence and it’s going to offer streamlined results that are great for your creative needs.
It is this commitment to engineering a world-class device that has made it a good option for lots of people.
Key Features to Look for in a 3D Printer for Beginners
1. Filament Printing Melts
You need to take the time to look at what is being put in the 3D printer and how it works.
There are two types of 3D printers (resin and filament-based). You want to stick to the latter because it’s easier to manage.
Resin is for those who want to upgrade and produce better results even if it is harder to maintain. Once you are an expert, you can afford mistakes because you know how to undo them immediately. As a beginner, it’s best to stick to what most people use.
A filament 3D printer will yield good results and is a nice starting spot.
2. Self-Leveling Bed
The print bed has to be in the right position before 3D printing.
If not, the printing process will fail on the spot. You have to look at where the print bed is set up when it comes to the nozzle’s location.
It should be close to the nozzle allowing for the modeling to take place.
The benefits include:
- Stable Results
- Stress-Free 3D Printing Experience
With a self-leveling bed, it does all of the hard work for you.
It will know when to position itself close to the nozzle and when to move away. Just being able to automate this is a game-changer and something to look for.
3. Low Noise Pollution
Noise is one of the worst things a person has to deal with at home.
If you are going to be setting up a 3D printer in the room, it doesn’t make sense to go with a loud one. The same applies to those who are living in an apartment and want to print at night.
You will end up waking up the neighbors and that is not an ideal situation to be in. Don’t underestimate how much noise a 3D printer can make because it will wake up the neighbors in seconds.
Your goal should be to go with something that has purposely quiet drivers set up inside. The goal is to muffle the printing noise and make sure the device itself is well-insulated. This is the only way to ensure noise doesn’t become a troublemaker later on.
4. Printing Speed
How fast is the 3D printer when you put it to use?
A common mistake beginners make is to look for a 3D printer that simply does a good job. Yes, this is great but you don’t want to be left waiting all day long for the printer to do its work.
It should be quick enough for the printing to get done as fast as possible.
The benefits include:
- Quicker Printing
- No Depreciation in Quality
Each printer is going to have a fast speed that you can set up.
This tends to vary depending on several different mechanisms. This can include how fast it heats up, how the print bed moves, and how quickly the material is dispersed during the printing process.
Account for all of this to make sure the speed doesn’t become a hurdle later on.
To the surprise of many people, each 3D printer is going to have a unique set of connectivity ports.
You want to look for something that has all of the ports that are needed to upload your data.
These can include:
- SD Card
- USB Drive/USB Cable
This is a bare minimum because you don’t want a situation where compatibility becomes an issue. This is the last thing anyone wants to deal with especially as a beginner.
Keep things straightforward and make sure there are enough ports for connectivity to be taken out of the equation. This is a must.
You have to look for a 3D printer that is accurate.
This means it has several automated settings that will toggle the 3D printer to make sure it prints nicely. These are subtle details that go a long way in the results you get.
Too much manual input and you will make silly mistakes.
Accuracy helps deliver great results and that is what you should be aiming for as a user. Once you get the hang of things, you can look for a manual solution that allows for complete customization.
How to Get Started with 3D Printing
1. Choose the Right 3D Printer
This is one of the most important steps in the entire process as a beginner.
Look to find a high-grade filament 3D printer that is easy to set up, has a gorgeous screen, and will work well for your projects.
If you don’t have a good 3D printer, it becomes a lot harder to get started. You will make more mistakes and it can become a frustrating exercise.
Keep things simple and choose a vetted 3D printer such as the ones listed in this guide. Just having the right type of printer will lead to better results.
2. Find Good 3D Modeling Software
3D modeling software is the foundation of your 3D printing experience.
You won’t be able to print anything until this type of software is installed. You can use any of the viable options on the market right now.
These can include:
- Autodesk’s Fusion 360
Choose the one that is ideal for you and begin to learn how it works.
This is is the heartbeat of your 3D printing experience, so giving it time is a must. Be patient, learn the settings, and then begin to work on printing a 3D model.
If it is not easy at first, there is nothing wrong with that. Most people take time to learn.
3. Download Files
You will have to find the files to create the models.
Some people will take the opportunity to design their own but that is not recommended as a beginner. Just get your feet wet by downloading created files.
You can find them online within specialized databases.
These can include:
Look at all of them to find what you like.
Remember, the goal is to test the 3D printer as a beginner. You don’t need to go with anything complicated as you will have more time in the future for those types of projects.
4. Prepare the Bed
It is important to set the bed in the 3D printer for the project.
The first step is going to be to load the filament. You are going to want to prepare the extruder and set the filament in place. Most 3D printers will have a unique loading setup that allows you to set up the filament for heating purposes.
For this to work, you will have to make sure the bed is set at the right level. Some machines do this automatically while others don’t.
The goal should be to have the print bed close to the nozzle. Otherwise, it will not be able to access the bed leading to below-par results or a botched printing process.
5. Use the Right Materials
Your goal should be to use the right materials when it comes to 3D printing.
The materials make a difference and it is best to look at the best options on the market right now. For the average filament printer, you will want to choose from specific printing materials.
These can include:
Look at these options and choose one of them.
This is the only way to ensure the printing that is done will turn out beautiful. The wrong type of filament tends to ruin the hard work that is put into modeling.
6. Don’t Forget The Finishing
One of the most important steps in the process is finishing.
The model that is prepared by the 3D printer has to be worked on carefully. This includes taking the time to remove the support material and ensure everything is mark-free. If it is not, you will have to take the time to make adjustments in the coming steps.
A key part of the process is to start sanding the marks. This means you start to take sandpaper and gently work on the surface of the 3D model. This doesn’t have to be done roughly but is an important step in the process.
You can also look at painting the 3D model if you want to give it a bit of color.
A lot of people prefer to paint the 3D model as it gives the model life and depth. This can also include adding specific details to the model that weren’t there before.
Once you have taken the time to paint the 3D model, it is also important to start polishing the surface. Some filaments are going to have vapor smoothing (i.e. ABS) but it is still smart to rework some spots manually.
In some cases, you might also want to glue a 3D model together after individually printing parts. This is okay and it is best to do it carefully using good-quality glue.
Summary: Why the Original Prusa Mini+ is Our Top Pick
The Original Prusa Mini+ is a fine-tuned 3D printer with all of the perks a beginner needs to see results. If you want a crisp, easy-going solution that takes seconds to set up then it’s time to start here.
The reason include:
- Exceptional Speed
- Built To Last
- Crisp Results For All Models