Tabletop games have been driven to the margins by the development of video games, but those who like them are typically die-hard aficionados. With bespoke gaming characters and models becoming so expensive, many people have concluded that purchasing a 3D printer for miniatures and manufacturing their unique models is the way to go.
If you like printing 3D miniatures, you are well aware that there are two factors to consider while shopping for the best printer: cost and quality. There's more to printing a miniature than merely inserting the material and waiting for your beautiful little figure to emerge.
There are several excellent printers for miniatures if you need prototypes for a design model, role-playing games, tabletop games, or video gaming miniatures for concept art. As a result, this post recommends the finest 3D printers for miniatures depending on your objectives, tastes, and budget, as well as essential best practices for printing miniatures and variables that make a significant difference in tiny model print quality.
The Best 3D Printers For Miniatures.
3D printers are ideal for individuals who wish to create a bespoke, one-of-a-kind set, particularly for small D&D sets and cosplay designs. Some individuals enjoy creating small 3D printed vehicles, WW2-era planes, model railroads, or anything else they enjoyed as a youngster.
The Benefits of 3D Printing Miniatures
- Customizable: With 3D modeling software, you can design highly personalized, one-of-a-kind models for yourself and your friends to play with.
- Low cost: after you have the 3D printer, you just need to pay for filament if you are developing your creations. This may be less than a dollar per print for tiny objects, especially if you utilize lower-cost filaments.
- Simple post-processing: acrylic paints may be used to paint models, and models can be sanded or polished to get the desired look.
FDM vs Resin 3D Printers for Miniatures
FDM and resin 3D printers are the two most prevalent and least expensive types of 3D printers. LCD 3D printers are the only form of resin printer that can compete with FDM printers in terms of pricing.
FDM 3D printer materials are less expensive than LCD 3D printer resin, and objects may be finished more easily by painting and other ways. FDM printers also offer higher build volumes, which, although not essential for printing single, small objects, is advantageous when printing multiple small models at the same time.
LCD 3D printers produce substantially higher-quality prints, with a far smoother surface finish and fewer visible layers. Even though printer prices have recently dropped to the same level as low-cost FDM 3D printers, resins continue to be more expensive than filaments.
Overall, we recommend that novices continue with FDM printers, while professionals who can manage the complexity and safety and want clearer models should go for resin printers.
The Best 3D Printers For Miniatures:
Elegoo Mars 2 Pro Mono
The Elegoo Mars 2 Pro, an LCD 3D printer capable of fast speeds and very fine details despite its low price, has quickly become a mainstay in desktop 3D printing.
The Elegoo Mars might be the ideal 3D printer for miniatures and tabletop models for creators who have expertise with 3D printing and are comfortable with the extra complexity of resin printing. It can print smoother models with clearer, sharper finishes than FDM printers, and the resins used are less expensive.
The 2K 6′′ LCD screen provides the printer with high precision for solidifying resins, with layer resolutions ranging from 0.01-0.2mm. It contains CHITUBOX, a well regarded resin 3D slicer that swiftly slices models to save you time, as well as handy features such as tools that hollow down models before printing to reduce material costs, assuming you don't mind somewhat less robust components.
Overall, the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro Mono is one of the best low-cost resin printers available, and if you have the technical know-how, you may find that resin printing is the best option for creating miniatures.
Anycubic Photon Mono
The Anycubic Mono is a less expensive, newer alternative. It performs well as a low-cost resin 3D printer for miniatures while fitting most budgets, and as a consequence, it is now one of the world's most popular 3D printers.
It can print somewhat higher components than the original Photon, which is beneficial for tall and thin models such as video game characters or tabletop war warriors. The Mono has also been improved with a more robust dual rail and dual z-axis slide to increase stability and conceal any obvious layer lines.
The Mono and Elegoo Mars ranges are both reasonably priced and provide comparable benefits. They are the two greatest low-cost resin 3D printers for miniatures, and they can both create every type of exact miniature model you might want.
Wanhao Duplicator 7
Wanhao 3D printers are one of the market's most popular filament-based brands. They have a large range of gadgets, so you should be able to find one that works for you. For the sake of this article, the Duplicator 7 is the finest 3D printer for miniatures.
This 3D printer is a desktop product that is particularly intended for those that want the highest layer resolution. The Duplicator 7, like the AnyCubic Photon, is an LCD SLA 3D printer with a UV LED light source.
While these two printers share many similarities, they also have some variances. To begin, the Duplicator 7 offers consumers a bigger printing size. However, the Photon does not have the same resolution capabilities as the Duplicator 7.
Original Prusa MK3
When it comes to value and convenience, the Original Prusa MK3 3D printer is hard to beat. This FDM printer has a plethora of features, including automated print bed leveling, which is something that many beginners require.
The MK3 is simple to put together. However, because it ships from the Czech Republic, you may have to wait a bit for it to arrive. Many users of the MK3 would argue that the wait was worthwhile given the product's quality and value.
If you're new to 3D printing and want a reliable, high-quality 3D printer that creates miniatures in high-resolution, the MK3 will do the trick. It has a plethora of features that are ideal for novices, so you won't be overwhelmed.
Formlabs Form 3D Printer
If you're a huge lover of make-your-own-miniatures and have unlimited funds, opt for the Form 3 for resin miniatures or the Ultimaker 3 or S3 for FDM miniature model printing.
Formlabs' high-quality SLA 3D printers helped the firm become a unicorn (a billion-dollar privately held startup) and are widely utilized in 3D printing dental implants, hearing aids, and jewelry molds. The Formlabs Form 3 can easily handle tiny features on miniatures.
This is an industrial 3D printer, a very powerful equipment capable of producing amazing details. The Form 3 will provide excellent models for whatever miniatures you intend to 3D print, such as gaming figures, complex forms, or even lost wax castings for making unique jewelry.
When you're ready to buy a 3D printer, there are a plethora of options available to you. Keep in mind, however, that the sort of 3D printer you desire may influence where it is accessible. You can generally locate the 3D printer you desire on Amazon or by contacting us at Elegoo.