If you’re just starting out in the world of 3d printing the process of choosing the right 3d printer for your needs can be a daunting one. At the beginning level, your budget is probably at the lower end but, at the same time, you want to know that the 3d printer that you buy will actually work, glitch free and be relatively simple to operate. If you’re completely new to 3d printing then the terms and vocabulary may be quite unfamiliar to you, if this is the case, you might like to read our 3D printer buying guide which will help you navigate through this.
There are 2 different types of 3d printers that are especially useful for beginners. There’s the plug-and-play type, which, of the 2 types would be a little more expensive, or there’s the semi-assembled type which is often suitable for those on a tight budget. Let’s have a look at both types:
Pre-assembled Plug In And Play
If you don’t want to worry about the hardware or the hassle of tweaking electronics, then a plug and play, fully assembled 3D printer is for you. As the name suggests, it’s as easy as plugging the machine in and you’re ready to go. You can start your first print right after you’ve unboxed the printer.
If it’s for a classroom or another space where safety is an issue, you’ll want to skip the DIY kits and limit your search to pre-assembled 3D printers.
Semi-assembled DIY 3D Printer Kits
If you’re happy to spend a bit of time in the initial set up and believe you have the knowledge and expertise, then a semi-assembled 3D printer could be the perfect solution. Think of these as the Ikea flat-packs of 3D printers – they’re cheaper because you have to do some of the assembly work yourself. Semi-assembled kits are especially good for beginners who don’t want to spend too much money but are also not interested in the hassle of building a complete kit. Semi-assembled 3D printers have the best of both worlds, they’re relatively simple to set up (some will only take half an hour or so) and they’re reasonably affordable because they can be packed into smaller boxes which saves on shipping costs.
So, here they are, our top picks for the best 3D printers for beginners:
Flashforge Adventurer 3
Flashforge Adventurer 3 is a great example of a beginners 3D printer ready to plug in and play straight out of the box. It heats up super fast, doesn’t make much noise (making it perfect for the office or classroom) and features a flexible, removable print bed which makes removing your creations so much easier.
If you’re looking to get started in 3D printing, the Monoprice Voxel 3D printer is a great choice. Delivering high-quality prints without costing you a fortune, the Monoprice Voxel 3D printer is also fast! This amazing little unit is capable of producing prints in times we usually see from much more expensive devices. Beginners will particularly appreciate the heated print base which gives more reliable prints especially when using materials like ABS. Removing prints is super simple as the top of the print bed slides out and it’s bendable – perfect for beginners!
Comgrow Creality Ender 3
Not for the faint-hearted, but, if you’re up for a challenge and want to save some money the Comgrow Creality Ender 3 is a great little unit and a terrific example of a semi-assembled DIY 3D printer kit. You will need to spend some time assembling it – the manufacturers advise it should take about 2 hours to put together. Once assembled though, you’ll have a nifty little machine capable of great print quality with an added bonus of a resume print feature – if you lose power during a print, the machine will pick up where it left off once power is restored.
And, finally, if your budget is reasonably healthy, you might want to consider the:
Qidi Tech X-Pro 3D Printer
The Qidi Tech X-Pro 3D Printer is probably a lesser known brand than the others but this machine consistently delivers amazing prints. With dual extruders and a built-in enclosure, you’ll have the opportunity to learn all about different materials that require hotter temperatures and even how to create multicolor prints – there’s plenty of room for growth and expanding your knowledge and capabilities with this 3D printer. If you really think 3d printing could be your thing, then a machine such as this one is well worth a look. It’s more expensive than the other beginner suggestions listed here, but if you’re willing to dive in then you would do well with the Qidi X-Pro.
So, there you have them, our top suggestions for the best 3d printers for beginners, let us know what you think and if you have any questions, we’re here to help.