​Learning to design and print miniatures with a 3D printer is a fun and rewarding hobby. You can use 3D printers to make game pieces, figurines, and other small objects. These printers are more affordable than ever before. Using a 3D printer at home as a hobby wasn’t realistic a few years ago, but recent innovations have made this technology accessible to everyone.

Comparison Table

No products found.

A Few Things To Know About 3D Printing And Printers

Choosing the best 3D printer for miniatures can be complicated. It’s important to gain a better understanding of 3D printing before you start comparing products.

​How Do 3D Printers Work?

These printers use additive manufacturing techniques to make objects. A 3D printer uses plastic or other materials to build an object with layers.


You can create 3D models on a computer, and send an STL or VRML file to your printer. The printer motherboard will then interpret the data from the file and divide the object into different slices or layers. The extruder will then use a melted filament to print the object.


There are some challenges to think about when you create 3D models. You have to consider the structural integrity of the object, how the material responds to heat, and whether or not the structure of the object could cause wrapping during the printing process.


Learning about 3D printing techniques and how to design 3D models is fascinating, and hobbyists can typically create some unique and intricate miniatures after a while.

What Kind Of Skills Do You Need To Print Miniatures?

There are plenty of 3D models available online. You don’t have to start to scratch if you want to create some miniatures.


You can create models from scratch or make modifications to existing files by using software like OpenSCAD, Cura, MeshLab, MeshMixer, or FreeCad. All these tools are free, and there are many other options to consider.


There is a learning curve to mastering 3D modeling software. We recommend that you start by studying existing models and make small modifications.


You can find online tutorials that focus on a specific aspect of 3D modeling, such as creating basic shapes and assembling them or adjusting proportions.

Which 3D Printing Technology Is Best For Miniatures?

There are two main types of 3D printers for hobbyists. The best printing technology depends on your budget and the kind of projects you want to create.


The most common technology for hobbyists is Fused Deposition Modeling or FDM. These 3D printers use a heated thermoplastic filament to build layers. Objects are a combination of stacked layers.


These printers are affordable, but they require you to think about structural integrity and add parts that will support design elements with overhang when you create objects.


You can also find 3D printers that use Stereolithography or SLA. These printers tend to cost more, and there is a steeper learning curve.


These printers also use layers to create objects. However, they use a photosensitive resin and an ultraviolet laser beam that cures the resin. The objects are more durable and have a smoother surface compared to FDM printing.

toys on the floor

Kuva Alexas_Fotos Pixabaystä

​Which Features Should You Consider When Comparing 3D Printers?

There are a few things to look at to select the best 3D printer for miniatures:

  • ​​A small resolution means you can create pieces with a higher level of detail. It’s best to spend more to get a printer with a higher level of resolution if you want to create miniatures.
  • ​The print speed might not matter that much since you will print one piece at a time as a hobby.
  • ​​Pay attention to the materials you can use. The most common options are ABS and PLA filaments.
  • ​​The size of the print bed is very important since it determines the maximum size of the objects you can print.
  • ​A heated print bed is best when working with ABS filament. You can print with PLA filament and get good results on heated and non-heated print beds.
  • ​Look at the frame of the 3D printer you are interested in. An open frame is interesting because you can see the printing process, but closed frames are safer, especially if you have children.
  • ​Your budget is another thing to consider. Invest in a 3D printer with all the features you need so you don’t have to replace it once you start learning more about 3D modeling.
anime miniature with toy guns

Image by Vinson Tan ( 楊 祖 武 ) from Pixabay

​How We Reviewed Different 3D Printers

We looked for affordable 3D printers with accessible features and controls. We selected printers with small or medium print beds since these printers are suitable for creating miniatures.

We paid attention to the level of details you can achieve with different printers. We made sure you can work with different file types and can easily send your creations to your printer. We also looked at the different materials you can use to print miniatures.

​How Much Do 3D Printers Typically Cost?

You can find plenty of FDM 3D printers in the $100 to $200 price range. These products are suitable for hobbyists. You can also find a few SLA 3D printers in this price range.

If you want more advanced features or a larger print bed, you will have to look for printers in the $400 to $500 price range.

The Best 3D Printers For Miniatures

Here are some options to consider if you want to invest in a 3D printer.

Comgrow Creality Ender 3 3D Printer

No products found.

The Ender 3 is a popular option among hobbyists because it’s affordable and easy to use. This printer uses FDM printing technology. We like the simple controls and the resume print feature. You won’t lose your entire project if you have to interrupt printing for any reason.


The printer features a sturdy aluminum frame. It weighs a little over 17 lbs. The bed can reach a temperature of 230°F in five minutes. The nozzle of the printer reaches a temperature of 490°F.


You can create miniatures with layers that measure between 0.1 and 0.4mm. The nozzle diameter is 0.4mm, which allows for detailed creations.


You can use 1.75mm PLA filament with this printer. It’s a versatile and affordable material. You can send STL, OBJ, and G-Code files to the printer. You can either send files via Wi-FI or use an SD card.


The printer is very easy to assemble, and several shoppers talk about making modifications to customize the printer. The manufacturer of the printer, Creality, has a lot of good online resources to help you get started.

PROS

  • FDM printing technology
  • Heated bed
  • Simple assembly
  • Affordable and performing
  • Excellent reviews
  • Good level of precision

CONS

  • Open frame

You can purchase this 3D printer for around $ on Amazon. There is a three-month warranty on the extruder and a one-year warranty that covers the other parts.

​​ADIMLab 3D Printer

No products found.

​This printer is another option to consider if you want to get an FDM printer. It’s easy to use and features a glass bed that heats up.

The auto-leveling feature for the bed is an advantage. Figuring out the ideal height of the print bed can be challenging when you get started with 3D printing.

The print area measures roughly 16x12x12.” The extruder operates quietly, and you can easily adjust the bed and Y-axis as needed.

There is a control box attached to the printer. We like the design of this printer because it features a basic frame and a control box that you can set anywhere near the printer. It’s convenient if you don’t have much space for your 3D printer.

You can work with different materials, includes PLA, ABS, wood, PC, and more. You can send STL, AMF, G-Code, and OBJ files to the printer via USB or an SD card.

You can print layers that measure 0.05 to 0.3mm, which makes this 3D printer one of the best options for precise results.

PROS

  • Precision and high level of details
  • Works with different materials
  • Simple design and easy assembly
  • Adjustable bed and Y-axis
  • Supports multiple file formats

CONS

  • Lack of enclosure

This 3D Printer costs $$ on Amazon and comes with a one-year warranty.

printer

Photo by ZMorph Multitool 3D Printer on Unsplash

Monoprice Mini Delta 3D printer

No products found.

​The Mini Delta 3D printer is a pocket version of the Monoprice printer. It’s an FDM printer that includes features you would typically find on a larger model.

We like the sturdy triangular steel frame of the printer. The frame shields the printing space while allowing you to see the printer in action.

There is an LCD screen with simple controls. Having a built-in screen with controls results in a compact printer.

The printer weighs four pounds and comes with a handle you can use to transport it easily. There is a bed that adjusts automatically, and the printer comes fully assembled.

One of the most interesting features of this printer is the ability to adjust the temperature of the bed and nozzle. The nozzle temperature ranges from 350°F to 500°F, and the bed can reach a temperature of 140°F.

The 3D printer delivers very detailed results since it can print with 50-micron layers. It supports a wide range of materials, including PLA, ABS, wood, copper fill, steel fill, and more.

The size of the build area is approximately 4×4.” The small print bed is ideal of miniatures but might limit you for other projects.

PROS

  • Compact and portable design
  • Affordable FDM printer
  • Versatile and great level of detail
  • Adjustable temperature
  • No assembly required

CONS

  • Small print area

You can find this 3D printer on Amazon for $. The manufacturer offers a one-year warranty on this product.

​​FlashForge Finder 3D Printer

No products found.

​This 3D printer features a semi-closed frame. You can easily remove the plate once the printing process is over since it slides out of the printer.

There is a touchscreen with easy controls. You can send files to the printer over a Wi-Fi network or use a USB drive. You can also access cloud-based resources with the printer, including a huge collection of 3D models from the manufacturer.

The downside of this printer is that you can only use PLA with it. The bed is non-heated, which isn’t an issue when working with PLA filament but limits you in terms of which materials you can use.

The level of the bed adjusts automatically. The print bed measures a little more than 5x5x5.” The nozzle diameter is 0.4mm, which allows for a good level of detail. You can create layers with a thickness of 100 to 400 microns.

PROS

  • Easy operation
  • Good level of detail
  • Sturdy frame
  • Semi-closed frame
  • 3D models available on the cloud

CONS

  • PLA only
  • Non-heated bed

You will find this FDM 3D printer for around $$ on Amazon. There is a 90-day warranty from the manufacturer.

anime figures

Photo by Ryan Quintal on Unsplash

Monoprice MP Mini SLA LCD High-Resolution Resin 3D Printer

No products found.

We think this Monoprice printer is one of the best options available for SLA printing. This printer uses a resin and UV light to cure it. Printing with resin is more complex than PLA or ABS filament, but it results in smooth miniatures.

This 3D printer comes with an enclosure. You can use the touchscreen to create and save different profiles. Being able to create and save profiles is interesting because you might need to use different settings and adjust the curing time for different projects.

The print bed measures a little over 4x2x4.” The printer weighs under 10 lbs and is very compact. You can create layers as thin as 35 microns with this printer. The height of the print bed will automatically adjust itself, and you can send files to the printer over a Wi-Fi network or use a microSD card.

PROS

  • SLA printing on a budget
  • Excellent level of detail
  • Ability to save profiles with different settings
  • Semi-closed frame

CONS

  • Small print area
  • SLA is more complex than FDM printing

You will find this SLA 3D printer for around $$ on Amazon. The manufacturer offers a one-year warranty on the printer.

​Comparing Different 3D Printers

This table will help you decide which product is the best 3D printer for miniatures.

Best budget option

​​Product name:

​Monoprice Mini Delta 3D printer

​​Printing technology:

​​FDM

​Heated bed:

​​Yes

​​Size of print area:

​​4×4″

​​Materials:

​PLA, ABS, wood, and more

​​Layer thickness:

​​50 microns

​​Price range:

$

​​Rating:

​3.4 out of 5 stars

​​Largest print bed

​​Product name:

​​ADIMLab 3D Printer

​​Printing technology:

​​FDM

​Heated bed:

​​Yes

​​Size of print area:

​​16x12x12″

​​Materials:

​​PLA, ABS, PC, and more

​​Layer thickness:

​    ​0.05 to 0.3mm

​​Price range:

​​$370

​​Rating:

​​4.2 out of 5 stars

​​Best resin 3D printer

​​Product name:

​​Monoprice MP Mini SLA LCD High-Resolution Resin 3D Printer

​​Printing technology:

SLA

​Heated bed:

​​No

​​Size of print area:

​​4x2x4″

​​Materials:

​​Resin

​​Layer thickness:

​​35 microns

​​Price range:

​​$200

​​Rating:

​    ​5 out of 5 stars

tools

Photo by Ryan Quintal on Unsplash

Verdict: Which 3D Printer Is Best For Miniatures?

If you have some experience with 3D printing or aren’t afraid of a steep learning curve, we recommend the Monoprice SLA printer. This 3D printer gives you the possibility to work with resin instead of ABS or PLA filament. Printing with resin will result in durable and smooth miniatures. However, working with resin can be challenging, especially if you lack experience with modeling and printing.

If you are new to 3D printing, it’s best to gain experience with an FDM printer first. The $160 Monoprice Mini Delta 3D printer is a great choice if you don’t want to spend more, but you should consider investing in the ADIMLab 3D printer if you want a larger print bed, or look at the FlashFordge Finder 3D printer we reviewed above. The FlashForge Finder 3D printer can connect to the cloud to access a wide range of 3D models from the manufacturer, which is a great learning tool.


LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here