Best 3D Printer For Miniatures: Reviews & Buying Guide 2020

Technology has been a marvel for us. It has allowed the development of printers dedicated to printing 3D models from the vast world of virtual games. Not only we interact with our favorite characters on the screen, but we can also toy with them in real life too.

All credit goes to 3D printers. These are also used to make custom phone cases, models of musical instruments and much more. There are different types of technology that these machines use – FDM or FFF that are filament-based and SLA, which is based on resin. Each has its own pros and cons.

Depending on how far you want to take your tabletop game and the level of precision you’re looking for, you must choose the best 3D printer for miniatures. There’s plenty of these machines available.

That’s why we have sifted through the top products along with user reviews to make your task easier. Whether you’re a beginner or more advanced in the business of 3D printing, this post will help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages and make an informed decision.

How To Choose The Right 3D Printer For Miniatures

There are various brands of 3D printers for models and these use different types of technology. It’s important to understand what makes one device differ from another. Hence, you should be aware of the factors to consider before purchasing one.

Read the following carefully to understand the implication of each factor on your buying decision.

Precision

Since the models and miniatures are just that – miniatures – it’s important to know how detailed output the device can churn out. Precision is measured in millimeters and hence, you ought to know how small and detailed prints you can get.

Technology

This is the main part of any 3D printer for models. Digital Light Processing or DLP and Stereolithography or SLA are better technologies than Fused Filament Fabrication or FFF or FDM. FFF technology is based on the filament.

FFF or FDM technology uses an extruder with a heated end to melt the filament.  The melted filament is then dropped on a platform to create the model layer by layer. This type of technology is easy to use and gives you the maximum scope for large volume printing.

It also offers value for money with lower costs of operation. In addition, FFF technology doesn’t leave a mess behind after you’ve done the printing. That’s not the case when you use resin-based or SLA technology. Follow printtopeer for latest printing technology.

There are a few cons of using a printer that uses FFF technology. You can get a lot of hassle if you’re using this for printing smaller models. In general, the overall quality and resolution are inferior to SLA technology 3D printers. You can’t beat an SLA operated printer when it comes to precision and detail.

Size Of The Build

Although the build size should not matter for printing miniatures, it’s good to have in case you want to print larger models. So, it’s wise to find out if the printer is capable of taking large outputs.

User-Friendliness

A very important factor to consider is how easy it is to use the printer for 3D models. It’s basically essential to know how much blood, sweat, and tears you have to put in to get a standard and acceptable model from your printer. The extent of post-printing processes and fine-tuning required will determine this.

If you have to manually level the bed of the printer or you get worried over the possibility of the model getting botched up, then the printer is not user-friendly.

Printing Materials

Two types of plastic are used for making miniatures.

Poly Lactic Acid: PLA is a plant-based plastic that is recommended for beginners. These are bio-degradable and therefore, environment-friendly. As this type of plastic cools down fast, it prevents the model from getting warped.

PLA results in miniatures with a glossy look and is available in both solid and translucent colors. The downside of this plastic type is that it’s difficult when you try to work with it on joints and interlocking elements. Another con is that under high heat, its low melting point can result in a deformed model.

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene: The second type of plastic is ABS. That’s a mouthful! It’s the more recommended one as it’s petroleum-based. This gives it flexibility and strength features. It’s great for working with interlocking parts.

With a higher melting point, you won’t get deformed models. However, as it takes a longer time to cool down, there’s a chance of warping. Plus, another downside is the fume emission when it’s in process.

Therefore, depending on the final product you want, you need to choose the right 3D printer. All printers don’t accept both types of plastic to work with.

Filament size is another consideration. There are two options of 1.75 millimeters and 3-millimeter diameter. More renowned brands opt for a 1.75 millimeter one.

Quality

Quality factors in both printing speed and print resolution. The latter is measured in microns and tells you how many details you can get. The smaller the micron, the higher is the detail level you can get from your 3D miniature printers.

A higher print speed translates to a faster printing process. If the printer can move its extruder fast, then its printing speed is high. However, acceleration and deceleration features of a printer can also affect the printing speed.

Additional Features

Some printers, especially the high-end ones, come with additional features to make the process of printing 3D models easier. One such feature is the touchscreen one, where the user has the benefit of the smoother operation. As no pressing buttons are involved, touchscreens provide a better interface.

There are other 3d miniature printer models that have a way of detecting when you’re nearly running out of filament. With such a filament detection system, refills become timely and easier.

Threading the filament can be a tedious job. Not so with some 3D printers that have a pre-constructed cartridge already filled with filaments. Another important feature is the failsafe. This means if you’ve run out of filament or electricity, the printer will resume the job from where it stopped.

Top 12 Best 3D Printer for Miniatures 2020

1. Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer

Positioned as affordable printing for everyone, this 3D printer for miniatures comes fully assembled and calibrated from the factory. It’s so easy to set up and use that you won’t need to spend hours on the Internet to try to figure it out. Just check if the print bed is level and you can start the printing process.

The enclosed micro SD card comes pre-loaded with models. The package also includes PLA filament so that you can get to try out your new printer as soon as possible. In addition to PLA, the printer accepts ABS and even other materials like soluble PLA, wood and metal composites, and conductive PLA.

The different printing materials can be used on this product owing to the different temperatures the heated plate allows the extruder to be warmed up to. With its open-frame design and a small footprint, this printer is a compact machine that can be placed easily on the desk.

The 1.75-millimeter diameter of the sample filament allows small and detailed output. The size of the filament spool is about ten feet and the filament is white or natural in color. A sample print is included for reference. The maximum temperature of the extruder is 482 degrees Fahrenheit.

The kit includes a scraper for the bed, nozzle cooling fan, main cooling fan, micro USB cable, and an all-metal nozzle. To appeal to a wide target market, the printer for miniatures is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems. Software like Repetier, Cura, and others are compatible.

Highlighted Features:

  • Fully assembled and factory calibrated for immediate set-up.
  • Pre-loaded models in the enclosed micro SD card.
  • Accepts PLA, ABS, and other materials.
  • Compact design with a small footprint and open frame.
  • 1.75-millimeter diameter of sample filament.
  • Windows and Mac compatible.

2. FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro- Best 3D Printer For Miniatures

Grab this 3D printer to make your virtual game models come alive. Its sturdy body of metal is durable and contains all the components to help you create.  It’s perfect for d&d miniatures!

For making larger models, the build plate comes in a dimension of 8.9 X 5.8 X 5.9 inches. 6.3-millimeter aviation-grade aluminum plate. This ensures that the bed will remain flat and will not warp under high temperatures.

10-millimeter guide rod plus the support for the metal platform enable perfect and precise z-axis movement. The extra support prevents any deformation on the platform arm.

A wide range of printing materials is compatible with this printer for miniatures. These include PLA, ABS, ABS Pro, PLA Color Change, Conductive Filament, Pearl,  Flexible Filament, HIPS, TPU, PETG,  PVA,  Elastic, Wood Filled Filament, PP, TPE, and metal-filled filament.

With filament diameter of 1.75 millimeters, you can take delicate and small prints of separate parts of a toy or figurine. For protecting the ABS prints, the printer is fitted with an enclosed chamber to foster insulation.

Some upgradations to the older model make it the finest 3D printer for miniatures. For easier access to prints, a pre-installed front door is in place. 

The PC top cover is in one concrete piece. This makes it stronger and more efficient to regulate the temperature properly.

The screws on the larger platform are adjustable and give a new design to help using it easier. The extruder comes with a new wiring router. This feature helps to prevent any wear and tear on the wiring system.

Highlighted Features:

  • Metal body for durability and stability.
  • Bigger build plate for larger model printing.
  • 6.3-millimeter thick aluminum plate for a flat bed.
  • Metal platform and 10-millimeter guide rod for precision.
  • A wide range of printing materials is acceptable.
  • Enclosed chamber for insulation and protection of prints.

3. QIDI TECHNOLOGY New Generation 3D Printer

If you’re an absolute beginner and want to check out how you fare in 3D printing for miniatures, this product is it.

No need to be concerned about how to set it up. The factory has calibrated it and assembled it fully to have it in ready-to-work mode. The package includes a roll of PLA filament, an SD card, a toolkit, and a box to keep the spare parts.

On the SD card, you’ll find test files, the user manual, and instructional videos. Everything has been made ready for you to begin printing as soon as the printer is out of the box.

The dimension of the build volume is 140-millimeter length X 140-millimeter width X 140-millimeter height.

The user-friendly interface comes with a 3.5-inch sensitive touchscreen on the printer to help make the printing process easy and quick. You can also use the touchscreen to make any adjustments while printing is in progress.

The software included is a 3D slicing software that comes free with the printer. It’s designed to apply intelligent model segmentation into parts. With this software, you can operate various powerful functions. It’s easy to use and provides stability. The result: smoother and more delicate models.

The heated build platform has been made from high-quality aluminum and is 6 millimeters thick. With a high level of flatness, it ensures even heating and fewer chances of warping. The plate corrects any printing errors effectively.

A temperature of up to 110 degrees Celsius is supported by the bed. It accepts any type of basic filaments like PLA as well as other more advanced types.

For high precision printing, the 10-millimeter guide rod makes sure the Z-axis movement is done accurately. In addition, it prevents the platform arm from getting deformed.

Highlighted Features:

  • Ready-to-work mode with full assembly and calibration.
  • 10-millimeter guide rod for precision.
  • Build volume dimension of 140-millimeter square.
  • 3.5-inch sensitive touchscreen for easy adjustments.
  • Intelligent slicing technology software for smoother results.
  • 6-millimeter thick and flat aluminum heated platform.

4. Comgrow Creality Ender 3 3D Printer

A very intelligent 3D printer for miniatures, this product has several unique features that make it a favorite within the 3D printing community. You can create a magical world with it as it’s the right solution for d&d miniatures.

It doesn’t come fully assembled from the factory. Some of the parts have been factory-assembled. The rest needs to be done by the user and usually takes about 2 hours. You need to put 20 nuts well in the system before you’re ready to use it.

Another cool feature is that it resumes printing from where it left off. So, if you get a power outage or some other glitch, the printing process restarts, saving you materials loss.

Using advanced technology, the extruder has been upgraded to bring down the risk of plugging, clogged nozzle, and bad extrusion. POM wheels have been attached to the V-slot to make the entire printing process smooth, noise-free, and durable.

This 3D miniatures printer takes only 5 minutes to get the platform heated up to 110 degrees Celsius. Thanks to the branded power supply and the high-voltage heated plate.

Before you get this printer in your hands, it has been tested strictly to ensure the main parts work fine.

It’s suitable for kids and they can learn the basics of 3D printing. However, it’s ideal not to let them work with it unsupervised. Also ideal for students who can learn much about STEM-related topics. This product is good for both first-time and veteran users.

Highlighted Features:

  • Partially assembled from the factory.
  • Resumes printing after power outage or other glitches.
  • Lessens risk of bad extrusion, plugging and clogged nozzles.
  • V-slot with POM wheels for durability and smooth, noise-free operation.
  • Takes only 5 minutes for the aluminum platform to be heated.

5. Dremel Digilab 3D20 3D Printer

If you’ve been toying with the idea of taking up model-making as your hobby, go ahead and let your creativity burst forth! This 3D printer for miniatures works great for new users and those who want to do some dabbling with it.

It’s a fully assembled printer so that you can test your creativity as early as possible! To expedite your creative process, a 0.5 kilogram of Dremel filament spool is included in the box. The enclosed quick-start guide and step-by-step instructions will soon have you 3D printing to your heart’s content.

The open system of the device allows you to look for free models on the Internet and download them for printing. Plus, you can use any CAD or computer-aided design software to create your own design to print and admire.

This product claims of high safety standards and stands by its claim with its fully-enclosed and sturdy design, that’s been approved by a third party. Each printer is tested vigorously to make sure you enjoy hours of reliable printing.

The interface of the product is fitted with a 4-inch full-color touchscreen. This helps you to check out the files on the SD card, adjust the settings, and have a smooth printing experience.

With a fully enclosed design, the temperature inside the printer for miniatures remain uniform, resulting in high-quality prints. This feature also prevents any injuries, especially in the case of children who might touch the work area while printing is in progress.

The included Dremel PLA filament is the best of its kind – non-toxic, safe for children, and recyclable. It’s been specially designed to produce sturdy and stable models that are of high quality.

To ensure that the prints stick to the platform, black build tape has been used. The plate measures 9-inch X 5.9-inch X 5-inch. 100 microns ensure a high-resolution output.

Highlighted Features:

  • Heating plate measures 9-inch X 5.9-inch X 5-inch.
  • Fully assembled and easy to set up with the enclosed manual.
  • Fully enclosed and sturdy design for safety and uniform heat.
  • A 4-inch touchscreen to adjust settings and access the SD card.
  • Special safety features approved by a third party.
  • Included 0.5 kilogram non-toxic, recyclable Dremel filament.  

6. BIBO Dual Extruder Laser Engraving 3D Printer

This product is more than just a 3D printer as it does the work of a laser engraver too. This has a 6-millimeter thick and durable aluminum composite frame. It makes it more dependable and higher in precision.

A front door and an acrylic hood make the printer fully enclosable. So, if you’re working with ABS filaments, it maintains a uniform temperature inside the printer to result in high-quality prints. Remove the acrylic cover for better cooling if you’re working with PLA filaments.

The laser engraver can cut through various category of materials like wood, leather, paper, and thin plastic. Thus, the printer has multipurpose functions and any small organization can benefit from it.

With this 3D miniatures printer, you need not worry about power outages and wasted materials. Its resume feature picks up the printing job right where it was left off.

Its filament detection property automatically detects if you’re running out of filament. It will wait for you to load the filament spool before restarting the interrupted process.

The full-color touchscreen affords an easier way of operating the printer. As it’s Wi-fi enabled, you can control the machine from your computer or smartphone easily.

The best part is the dual extruder that allows easy printing of support parts. If you print using a different type of filament and color, it can be removed.

For example, using a dissolvable filament as the support material is not an issue. It will dissolve and leave the complete miniature behind.

The basic and additional features make it the best 3D printer for miniatures. The double extruder can print two models at the same time, thus saving you more time. You can also print using two different colors without changing them.

Highlighted Features:

  • 3D printer with a laser engraver.
  • 6-millimeter thick aluminum composite frame for durability.
  • Fully enclosable with front door and acrylic hood.
  • Double extruder for printing two models at the same time.
  • Resume and filament-detection features to prevent any hampers.
  • Full-color touchscreen and Wi-Fi enabled for easier operation.

7. LulzBot TAZ 6 Self Levelling 3D Printer

Expand the horizon of 3D printing and explore more into this arena with this product. It’s great for 28mm miniatures and is the answer to your wildest creativity dreams.

The device boasts of having one of the largest build volumes that any desktop 3D miniatures printer has. The dimensions are 280-millimeter x 280-millimeter x 250-millimeter (11.02 inches x 11.02 inches in x 9.8 inches). The benefit is that you can print larger models or a few smaller ones at the same time.

This device affords powerful printing with its self-cleaning, self-leveling, integrated power supply, and tetherless printing features. Without having to level your print bed, you can commence a new printing job easily.

You can use a wide variety of materials for printing including the basic filament types. The reason for the various materials that can be printed can be credited to its wide range of temperature – 300 degrees Celsius (572 degrees Fahrenheit) to 120 degrees Celsius (248 degrees Fahrenheit).

The heated print platform makes sure all the parts stay in place while printing. It also allows removing the output easily once they have cooled down. The aluminum frame has been used to ensure the printer is durable. With dual part cooling fans, the cooling process is quickened.

The advanced tool head features an extruder that has been proven to work well. With the modular tool head, you can plug and play with different print heads and filament types.

The high quality of this minatures making 3D printer has been ensured by carefully selecting parts that are guaranteed to give you a hassle-free operation and last a long time.

Highlighted Features:

  • Prints one large model or smaller ones at the same time.
  • Self-cleaning, self-leveling, integrated power supply, and tetherless printing.
  • Build volume with dimensions 280 mm x 280 mm x 250 mm.
  • Accepts temperature range from 300 degrees Celsius to 120 degrees Celsius.
  • Capable of printing with a wide variety of materials.
  • Dual part cooling fans for quicker cooling.

8. QIDI TECH 3D Printer X-Pro With Double Color Printing

This model of the 3D printer for miniatures was released in January 2018 with state-of-the-art technology. It has been praised by a wide community of hobbyists, designers, and practitioners of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Armed with the latest technology, it boasts of a dual extruder that gives a superior high-precision printing. Even for beginners, it’s the right choice as it teaches the concept of 3D printing in an easy way. Its features are simple to use, and it has a noiseless and safe operation.

A useful tool in schools and home users, the device is easy to set up, operate, and maintain. It fulfills the needs of designers and artists with its ability to give shiny colors as well as using more than one color and filament types. Its excellent print quality can satisfy any professional.

The dual extruder assembly consists of a turbo fan to blow air from four sides to ensure a high quality of prints. This has a print precision between 0.05 and 0.4 millimeters, a print speed of 60-150 millimeters, and a maximum nozzle temperature of 250 degrees Celsius.

In addition to printing two colors at the same time, it accepts printing materials like PLA, ABS, PETG, and TPU.

The heating platform is 6-millimeter thick and made from aviation-grade aluminum. It withstands temperatures of up to 110 degrees Celsius. With a 12-millimeter enhanced guide rod, you’ll get precision printing very time.

The extraction plate is movable, curved and made from metal, allowing you to use it repeatedly. It makes it very easy to remove the models after printing. Plus, it also protects the heating bed from damages.

A 4.3-inch color touchscreen makes it convenient to check on printing progress and provides a user-friendly interface.

Highlighted Features:

  • Latest dual extruder technology for high-quality models.
  • Print precision of 0.05 - 0.4-millimeter, print speed of 60-150-millimeter.
  • Accepts printing with two colors and different filaments simultaneously.
  • Dual extruder with turbo fan for high-quality output.
  • 6-millimeter thick heating bed made from aviation-grade aluminum.
  • 12-millimeter guide rod for precision printing.

9. ANYCUBIC Photon S LCD Resin 3D Printer

The possibilities for your creative endeavors are endless with this high-quality 3D miniatures printer. It’s suitable for both professionals and dabblers in the art of 3D printing.

There are only three steps to set it up. First, assemble the build platform. The second step is to level the printing platform. Finally, assemble the resin vat after ensuring the FEP film has been tightened. You’re good to go!

The dual Z-axis guide keeps this axis stable, resulting in smoother surfaces, a high degree of accuracy, and more detailed prints. You’re sure to get more precise printing with this device as it has an upgraded matrix UV lighting and 2560 X 1440 high-resolution screen.

These ensure heat is distributed evenly and exposure time is reduced. As a result, you get high-quality prints within a lower time frame. The unique structure helps to level the printing pad with ease. The printer works quietly and so, won’t bother your work or rest.

You can reduce the effect of fume emissions with activated carbon air filtration and dual fans. These provide a superior and safer ventilation system than found in other 3D printers. 

With a build volume of 115  X 65 X 165 mm, this is the best 3D printer for 28-millimeter miniatures. Even if your workstation gets a lot of sunlight, don’t worry. The printer comes with a yellow-tinted glass that blocks out UV rays from outside, thereby preventing the resin from hardening.

The package includes a pen drive with the slicing software. It’s compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems. The intuitive and responsive touchscreen makes the operation more friendly and convenient.

Highlighted Features:

  • Easy to set up with only three steps.
  • Dual Z-axis guide for more stability and higher accuracy.
  • Matrix UV lighting and 2560 X 1440 high-resolution screen for quality.
  • Superior ventilation and air filtration for reducing fume effects.
  • Tinted glass cover to prevent resin from hardening.

10. JGMAKER Magic 3D Printer DIY Kit

A high-quality 3D miniatures printer, this is suitable for both hobby and commercial purposes.

The device has been praised for its safe operations and quality outputs. The all-metal base is combined with aviation-grade aluminum profiles and industrial-grade silicone wiring. With the additional weight at the base, the printer becomes more stable and is a safe place for the electric parts.

In addition, the power supply has been built in a way that meets safety standards. It not only looks neat but also gives you the reason why you shouldn’t go for an exposed design.

The build volume of 220 x 220 x250-millimeter is good for 28mm and d&d miniatures. With the solid metal base and the side filament holders, you can easily change the filament. The printing process will remain unhampered.

The SD card hot plug-in features mean, that even if you accidentally took the SD card out while printing is in process, you can resume printing by reinserting the card. This saves you from wasted materials and time.

Installing the device is not difficult. There are eight modules that are partially combined. Once you get the assembling of these right, you’re ready to use the printer. The whole process of assembling takes approximately two hours.

The filament and power failure detection features ensure your printing job resumes as soon as power gets back or you refill the filament. A beep sound will alert you to these situations. This saves your time as well as the hassle of starting the print from scratch.

The build platform is both flexible and removable, allowing the prints to be firmly in place while printing. It also helps you to easily remove the model after printing is done.

Highlighted Features:

  • The all-metal base provides more stability and safety.
  • Aviation grade aluminum profiles for durability.
  • Industrial-grade silicone wiring for safety.
  • A build volume of 220 x 220 x250-millimeter.
  • Built-in power supply system for safety and elegant look.

11. Creality Ender 5 3D Printer With Resume Printing

A host of important features makes this 3D miniatures printer a coveted one for users.

The neat cubic design gives a spacious look and adds to the stability of the printer. It boasts of both higher printing speed and accuracy that few other printers for 28mm miniatures can.

The transparent and 3D space combine to give a unique look and feel. Plus, the open design makes it easy for the user to cover the printer from the outside to trap the heat inside during the printing process.

The heating bed is equipped with a movement platform. This secures the printing stability, fewer chances of errors, and smoother movements. The Y-axis has a double shaft, resulting in more stable outputs. This also takes care of any shock imbalance that may happen from long hours of printing.

With the V-slot wheels, the printer gets more stability, is free from noise, and gets less wear and tear. The result is a durable printer that functions way beyond its usual lifetime.

The leveling is an easy chore with this printer. Ergonomically designed manual lathes or hand-turning nuts are there to speed up the printing process. Therefore, you can save hours on labor or time-intensive tasks.

There’s no fear of losing work or materials from a power outage or other lapses. The printer has the print resume feature to address these unexpected situations without losing your work.

The heated platform can reach temperatures up to 110 degrees Celsius in 5 minutes. Thanks to the brand power supply that’s built in the printer. With the wires tucked in the internal control part, you get a safe and neat overall design.

With the removable building surface, you can easily and safely remove the models after printing. You can create various types of models as this product offers a large printing size.

Highlighted Features:

  • Cubic design for a neat, spacious look and stability.
  • The heated platform can reach 110 degrees Celsius in 5 minutes.
  • Transparent and open design for convenience.
  • Movement platform for stability, smoother movements, and fewer errors.
  • Double shafted Y-axis for more stability and counter shock imbalance.
  • V-slot wheels for noiseless operation and more stability.

12. LulzBot Taz Pro Desktop 3D Printer

This is an industrial desktop 3D printer for miniatures that provides you with the scope of getting a wide variety of prototypes and models using different materials.

With this machine, soluble support printing with multiple types of materials becomes a breeze. You can easily print prototypes, on-demand parts of larger projects, and manufacturing aids with this reliable device.

The double vertically positioned hot ends can reach a maximum temperature of 300 degrees Celsius. Thus, it permits multi-material and soluble printing.

You have the total freedom to experiment and explore making miniatures with the widest array of materials. The printer accepts high-heat filaments with high strength that may prove to be too corrosive for other 3D printers.

The printer design is rugged and made of metal to ensure it continues to give you service for a long time.

The build volume is 280-millimeter x 280-millimeter x 285-millimeter, perfect for d&d miniatures. The X-Y-Z axes have been calibrated. Together with automated nozzle-cleaning and self-leveling features, you experience very little hassle with 3D printing.

The package includes 4 spools of filaments with a mix of different types of both PLA and ABS materials. Some of these materials are bio-degradable, thus making these friendly for the environment.

With these spools, you’ll experience the smoothest printing process you can imagine. They seamlessly move on from one spool to the other, without any hiccups. It maintains top-class dimensional accuracy – better than +/- 0.3 millimeters.

Overall, this 3D miniatures printing is the dream machine of all hobbyists, enthusiasts, and professionals. You can reach the pinnacle of quality and the fun of multi-material soluble printing with this single product.

Highlighted Features:

  • Industrial 3D desktop printer for professional-quality output.
  • Accepts printing with multiple materials and solubles.
  • Reaches a maximum temperature of 300 degrees Celsius.
  • Self-leveling and nozzle-wiping features are automated.
  • The build volume is 280-millimeter x 280-millimeter x 285-millimeter.
  • Automated calibration of all axes.

Benefits Of Using A 3D Printer For Miniatures Making

Using a 3D printer to make miniatures requires some technical know-how. Such knowledge varies with the type of printer. Sometimes the prints don’t come out right. But it isn’t a rocket science and you can get many benefits by using a 3D printer. Read on to discover the benefits it can give you.

Cost Saving

With a miniatures printer, any organization can save costs on machine operation, labor, and materials.

As opposed to an industrial setting where the energy consumption of machines is high, a printer can produce complicated parts and models in just one step. This increases efficiency and saves time and machine operating costs.

Costs are also saved as production using a 3D printer results in less waste. Waste storage and disposal incur costs, and hence these are reduced. The printer uses only the exact amount of material that’s required, therefore preventing waste. Plus, the plastic materials can be reused.

The materials used in a miniatures printer are gaining ground. Thus, over the long-term, the price of these materials will decrease, saving costs even further.

All manufactured products need storage space until they are sold or sent somewhere. Such storage space charges a pretty penny. But, with a miniatures printer, you can produce the good just in time for selling. Thus, there’s no need for storage space and subsequent costs.

Faster Manufacturing Process

In traditional manufacturing processes, many people are needed at the production line, to operate different machines, and assemble the various parts of a product. A 3D miniatures printer gets rid of all these steps as it is automated and needs only one person to start the process.

It takes a few prototype developments before arriving on the final one. This process affects the time the product reaches the market. Without the use of any manual labor, a printer for miniatures costs much less. It also takes less time to get the product.

Manufactured products need to be dispatched from one country to another, giving rise to travel expenses and time. With a miniatures 3D printer, these are reduced. That’s because designers in one country can do the design. They can then send it to another country where the printing can take place.

Requires Less Time

Without leaning on the help of traditional methods of printing and production, a 3D printer for miniatures can quickly produce the parts. These take less time to assemble. Also, with such a printer, it takes only a few hours to design something on 3D and take an output.

Competitive Advantage

New products can be developed quickly and printed to reach the market first, thus beating the competition. Prototype development time is reduced; hence you can invest this time into making new and improved products. You can test the market and reap first-mover advantages.

Fewer Mistakes

Miniatures printers use a one-step production process. This has been programmed carefully by a computer therefore, there are far fewer chances of making mistakes. Without any interruption from any operator, the printer for miniatures can build in just a single step.

Confidentiality

Since you are in charge of developing the prototypes and taking the final print, others don’t know your secret! Your innovations and intellectual property become easier to safeguard. All the effort and labor you’ve put in remains within your boundaries.

High Customization

Along with precision, a miniatures printer can make models highly customized. For any product that needs only one-time designing and printing, such 3D printers rise to the occasion. With mass production, customization isn’t possible.

Safety Issues To Consider When Using A 3D Printer For Miniatures

We all love the excitement of getting the best 3D printer for miniatures and the prospect of having our favorite game models in the palm of our hands.

Amidst all the furor, it won’t do to neglect the safety issues that come with the use of a miniatures printing machine.

Read the following carefully to find out the safety hazards and how to prevent them.

Burns And Fire

Since a printing process using a 3D printer for miniatures involves high temperatures, beware of getting burns or causing a fire.

Usually, a temperature between 190 and 260 degrees Celsius is used to heat the printer extruder end. This is needed to melt the plastic to produce the correct consistency for the printer to work.

Such high temperatures can give you a burn if you’re not careful and if your printer works on a filament-based technology. This is especially so when you are removing the plastic from the nozzle.

If you can, just opt for poly lactic acid as the material to avoid working with larger surfaces and higher temperatures.

Fire hazards come with any electrical equipment. The same applies to your miniatures printer. Always keep paper and other flammables away.

Never leave your 3D desktop printer unattended while it’s in the operation mode. If you attach a small wireless camera, then you can keep an eye on the printing job even if you’re not in the same room the whole time.

Consider having a smoke alarm and a fire extinguisher near where the 3D printer is at work.

Toxic Fumes And Particles

Most miniature printers give out fumes and particles when heated. You may use either of the two plastic types, but you’ll still get these fumes. Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene gives off more toxic fumes as it’s based on petroleum.

When we breathe, these particles can enter our brain, the respiratory system, and even our bloodstream. Results include inflammation.

To fight the effects of such particles, consider using a High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance or HEPA filters. These can filter the air before it leaves the printer, resulting in cleaner emissions.

Make sure you place your 3D miniature printer in a well-ventilated space and open space. Wearing a mask can also keep you safe from these fumes.

Loose Parts

The loose parts of a miniature making 3D print include pulleys, carriages, small fans, stepper motor, and threaded rods. Be especially careful of stepper motors as they have high torque and could trap your fingers. Never leave children unattended with a 3D printer.

If you ever find yourself in the above situation, disengage the power immediately to free yourself. If you have long hair, tie it up before you start working with your 3D model printer.

Electric Shock 

Check the voltage of the exposed parts of the miniature printer. It should not exceed 12 to 24 voltage. Usually, most 3D printers have voltages lower than 12 volts.

Whenever you are taking apart your printer to take out pieces of plastic and to fix any parts, always unplug the unit from the main source of power. This will prevent the chances of getting an electric shock.

In some printer for miniature models, you may need to remove the cover. This may expose you to very high voltages, up to 220 volts. This can be fatal. Use a transformer so that although it is connected to the main power source, your printer will not have a high voltage within it.

Accessories And Chemicals

Using a 3D miniature printer involves the use of tools and accessories like knives, pliers, sharp plastic ends, and metal scrapers. Adults should be careful while using these and children should not be allowed near these at all.

Use spray paints and pastes in a well-ventilated area to prevent the fumes from entering your system.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What Can I Make With A 3D Printer For Miniatures?

Answer: You can make models and characters from your favorite games. With the top-quality 3D printer for miniatures, you can have 3D models of toys, figurines, busts, and more – basically small plastic objects.

For business organizations, a 3D printer helps to produce a prototype quickly. That means the time between the designing phase and the prototype production reduces dramatically.

2. Is FFF Or SLA Technology Better?

Answer: Stereolithography or SLA are better technologies than Fused Filament Fabrication or FFF or FDM. The reason is that FFF is filament-based while SLA uses resin. With FFF technology, you get lesser quality prints, resolution, and details. As details are key for miniatures, SLA technology is better.

3. What’s The Difference Between PLA and ABS Materials?

Answer: PLA or poly lactic acid is a plant-based plastic. It’s bio-degradable and doesn’t harm the environment. It cools down fast and thereby prevents the model from getting warped.

PLA gives a glossy look to the products and is available in both solid and translucent colors. However, it’s difficult when you try to work with PLA on joints and interlocking elements. Its lower melting point tends to warp models when high heat is applied.

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene is petroleum-based, giving it flexibility and strength. It works great on interlocking parts and joints.

As this has a higher melting point, you won’t get deformed models. However, it takes a longer time to cool down, giving rise to warping. Fumes from ABS are harmful to health.

4. What Are The Benefits Of A Double Extruder?

Answer: If you’re looking for the right 3D printer, try to get one with a double extruder. It’s going to save you half the time of printing as you can take prints of two models at the same time.

Moreover, with a double extruder, you don’t need to worry about changing colors. It allows you to use different colors without the hassle of changing them.

5. Is It Safe To Use A 3D Printer For Miniatures?

Answer: If you follow some safety rules and precautions, a 3D printer is totally safe to use. As with all electronic gadgets, you need to be careful about certain things. For example, if you’re cleaning the inside of melted plastic, you should unplug the printer from the power source.

As working with high temperatures are involved, be careful not to burn yourself by touching the work area. It’s highly recommended not to leave the printer unattended while printing is going on. Also, it’s best not to keep children unattended around it.

As there are fume emissions, you should use the 3D printer in an open space that guarantees a good ventilation. You can wear a mask while working with your device. Alternately, you can use filters to clean the air before it leaves the printer.

Final Words

3D printing of models, miniatures, figurines, toys, etc are not only a fun project for you to do. You can also turn it into a small business. If you take an order and make highly customized models, you’ll always have a string of loyal clientele waiting at your doorstep.

There are different 3D miniatures printers that are available. It’s not just about buying and using a 3D printer that matters. There are safety concerns that the user needs to pay attention to and follow whole-heartedly.

To aid customers looking for the best 3D printer for miniatures, we have done some comprehensive research. The result is this article that discusses the ins and outs of a 3D miniature printer. Hopefully, it will help you find the ideal one for your purposes.

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