A 3D printer is needed to help build three-dimensional solid objects of any shape (toys, tools, aerospace components, etc.) using materials instead of ink, and adding successive layers of materials to create the desired object.
They allow designers to produce a prototype in a very short period of time and without using conventional and tedious methods such as cutting or drilling.
If in the past these products were only accessible for industrial use, today they are accessible to the wide public and are in high demand thanks to the many features that shorten the design time of the finished product, which makes maintenance a very easy task and the manufacturing costs worthwhile.
With such a big difference between the smallest and biggest size, you have a large variety of items you can print. However, if you let’s say wish to do miniature figurines for games and role-playing, you will need to read on about our selection of the best 3d printer for 28mm miniatures.
Our team has tested and reviewed the top ten printers out there to make your life easier when deciding which machine to buy for your miniatures.
1. ANYCUBIC Photon UV LCD 3D Printer : Best for User experience / High Precision and Detail
This product is composed of durable and high-quality materials that meet industrial standards. The components are specifically made to deliver high precision and detail of every layer, and the workshop slicer offers an extraordinary experience of the user.
Based on a 3-step installation this printer makes your life so much easier. You only have to assemble the platform to build on, level the printer, and then assemble the resin container.
After that, you’re ready to print away anything from toys to jewelry items to dental and architectural models. Our team highly recommends this machine because of its smart design. Even if you decide to print multiple items on the single build plate, or just one bigger object, the time needed would be the same for both.
2. Ultimaker 2+ 3D Printer : Best for Supporting Software Variety
This product is constantly updated as the manufacturer strives for the highest performance possible. You can start utilizing it straight out of the box as it is already assembled and it’s not difficult to operate. It’s also compatible with a large variety of operating systems: Windows XP, Mac OS, and Linux Ubuntu.
Its switchable nozzle feature is amazing for better detail in printing. It comes in 4 sizes from 0.25 to 0.8 mm nozzles.
The heated glass bed remains always leveled and eases vibrations out for a smoother finite product.
3. Sindoh 3DWOX 1 3D Printer : Best for Low Noise Levels
With this machine, you will feel like you possess a professional 3D printer. Its smart features include the air purifier that filters harmful fumes and particles from the printing process so that they don’t get into your lungs. Another great feature is the fact that it is app-enabled.
So with a simple download of the app, you can monitor the progress from anywhere just by looking at your screen as the small camera records the printing process.
Yet the best feature of this machine is that you can swap the filament out with any other 3rd party brand filament. And with the auto-loading incorporated feature, your life will be so much easier.
4. FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro : Best for Large Filament Compatibility
The plastics components in the previous models have been replaced to offer better performances.
The Pro version of this product has the most important parts specifically designed for easier operation.
5. Official Creality 3D CR-10S 3D Printer : Easiest to Install
The design facilitates a no-noise and no-trembling experience, with high-quality plastic wheels that bond any moving components inside perfectly. The printing area is oversized, allowing you to create larger prints or a high number of smaller ones.
The best feature of this product is the sensor that will detect when the machine has no more filaments and will stop the printing immediately.
6. Official Creality 3D CR-10S 3D Printer : Best for Beginners
If you’re in the middle of printing, it stops it if there is a power outage and you can resume it when safe without losing progress and wasting time or filament materials.
The work platform is built to protect from heat and easy removal of the printed object after cooling. The high-quality power supply will heat up your bed quickly and safely so that you can start printing immediately.
7. ELEGOO Mars UV Photocuring LCD 3D Printer : Best for Fast Slicing Software
The structure comes semi-assembled; therefore, it is perfectly outlined for the more impatient users.
In 5 minutes, you can get going, and the speed and precision of this device make it outstanding for any project.
8. Monoprice 121666 Mini Delta 3D Printer With Heated : Best for Price Point
If you don’t want to deal with leveling your work bed, then this device is for you. It’s outlined with a self-calibration feature that will save you a lot of time and effort. It comes fully put together so you can start your creative work as soon as you take it out of the box.
You can use different materials for your prints due to the flexible nozzle that allows different temperatures.
The fine layer resolution promotes great detail in your miniatures and the price point is outstanding for the high-quality and durable parts.
9. Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 3D Printer : Best Over-all
This award-winning product will make you feel like you possess a truly professional machine. The beautiful design and great-quality components along with the amazing features, this 3D printer provides the best of all worlds. All these qualities make it an absolute joy to work with.
The enclosed, high-quality design is not only stylish, but it keeps all the heat inside and a steady temperature throughout the entire printing process for the best outcomes possible. This feature also makes it safe to use because all moving parts are inside, as well as provides very quiet and smooth operation.
Sindoh has the 3 best features available in such a device, and they are all accurate and professional. It levels the bed automatically, it loads the filaments by itself and you can monitor the whole printing process through the incorporated camera and app/Wi-Fi control for you to be able to see everything from the comfort of your phone or tablet.
10. Dremel Digilab 3D20 3D Printer : Best Reliable Device
The enclosed components and non-heated workspace plates make it safe and reliable.
The Dremel filaments are of the highest standards. They are recyclable, non-toxic and plant-based, making them safe to use in the house even by children.
The best 3d printer for 28mm miniatures
When you want to start a creative 3D printing project you have to take into consideration a few things that will help you buy the one that best suits your ideas and budget. There are so many available printers nowadays on the market and choosing the right one for you could get tricky.
Our team of researchers and testers have put together a list with some of the best 3D printers out there, but the prices vary quite a bit. To make the right choice you need to think of how you plan to use it, what your budget is, what the most important features tailored to your imagination are, how much time you have on your hands, and so on.
What do people use 3D printers for and what can you use it for?
For you to figure out how you’d like to use your device, let’s take a look at what a 3D printer is generally used for.
Some examples of industries where people really take advantage of 3D printing due to time savings and costs/production advantages are:
- architecture for creating prototypes before building
- game/toy industry for creating small objects with complex structures and shapes very quickly
- medicine for producing tissue like blood vessels or organs for transplants that are made to be compatible with any person in need
- dentistry for making dental or bone implants
- archaeology for the reconstruction of artifacts and fossil
- forensics for creating damaged or incomplete objects for better case solving
- cinematography for building masks or costumes for actors in certain roles
- in aviation for creating certain complex parts for planes
Besides all of these professional uses, you’re more likely to use your 3D printer for home crafts like decorative or personalized objects, for giving life to your ideas and making toys or games, and even for giving your children a gift that will promote easy and fun learning.
What printing technology to choose
After you decided what you want to use it for, you have to take a look at the printing technology because not all 3D printers work the same.
There are three major technologies to know about: FDM, SLS, and SLA. The first one is the most popular and utilized on the market. It works very well for non-professional or first-time users because it’s low-cost and it creates the objects desired very easily. The downsize is that it doesn’t provide accuracy and high definition finishings.
The SLS technology uses a very powerful laser to create the miniatures, and it does that by accurately melting and sticking very small particles together that an FDM printer won’t be able to acquire. These types of machines offer higher quality finite products and remarkable details that are greatly recommended by professionals.
It also permits the utilization of a large variety of products which gives so much more flexibility with the finished item. As great as it is, these printers come at higher costs and not everybody can afford or are willing to pay for it.
The SLA technology is amazing for fast creations, as well as accuracy. They work using a UV laser that melts resins with precision, offering very qualitative miniatures. As you can imagine, these ones are the most expensive ones, so unless you’re looking to create an amazing award-winning project, you’re better off looking into other 3D printers that can do a great job as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I need a specific operating system to be able to use a 3D printer?
A: Not necessarily. A lot of printers come with Microsoft, MacOS, and even Linux operating systems incorporated but it’s best to look for it in the description before you buy anything because some printers only work on one of the three.
Q: Can I create my own designs?
A: Yes. Using CAD software, you can bring to life any idea that you have.
Q: Do I need to have experience with 3D printing to buy one?
A: Not necessarily. There are a lot of printers that are beginners friendly.
Q: Are 3D printers safe to use? Are the fumes of melting resin harmful?
A: 3D printers are safe to use for everybody, especially when they are placed in a ventilated environment.
Q: Do I need to buy extra materials to use a 3D printer?
A: Most of the time, your 3D printer will come with a kit for your first use. Afterward, you will need to buy filaments in order to create more figurines.
Choosing a 3D printer could be overwhelming, especially for beginners. We advise you to take into consideration all of the above and take some time to carefully read and review the information in order to make certain you are buying the right one for yourself. We hope this article answered your questions and that you will manage to find and enjoy the best device out there.