Not that there is ever a bad time to buy a 3D printer but Christmas is certainly as good an excuse as any to purchase one for yourself or a loved one!
For the occasion, we’ve selected some of the best affordable 3D printers to buy this Christmas. Whether you are a noob or an experienced maker, you will find something for you.
This post was done in partnership with Aniwaa, the leading emerging tech comparison website. The editorial picks below have been selected independently.
For beginners: plug-n-play desktop 3D printers
3D printers can be a little tricky, even for experienced makers. If you are just starting out, a plug-n-play 3D printer is probably the right choice. These devices are easy to set up and are designed to 3D print almost right out of the box.
Monoprice MP Mini Delta - $159
The Monoprice Mini Delta is an affordable desktop 3D printer built on the Delta design. The MP Mini Delta is delivered already assembled and ready to 3D print. It features a heated build plate so you can use PLA and ABS filament as well as an automatic bed leveling system to make your first steps even easier.
XYZPrinting DaVinci Mini W+ - $180
The Da Vinci Mini Wireless+ (a.k.a. Da Vinci Mini w+) is a plug-n-play compact desktop 3D printer made by XYZPrinting. It features wireless connectivity so you can launch 3D prints remotely, automatic print settings that detect the material type and adjusts its settings accordingly as well as automatic bed leveling. Priced at $180, this 3D printer will deliver quite a bang for your buck!
For advanced makers and tinkerers: 3D printers to be assembled
Makers are the backbone of the 3D printing community. At the intersection of hardware hacker and DIY culture, they create and invent new devices as well as tinker and enhance existing ones.
We’ve selected a couple of DIY 3D printer kits that would make great gifts for this holiday season. These 3D printers are cheaper, in part because you have to assemble them yourself. This can be quite a challenging process which is why we recommend these for advanced users.
Creality CR-10 mini (kit) - $359
The CR-10 Mini is a DIY desktop 3D printer kit made by Creality, a manufacturer based in China. It is a smaller version of the highly popular CR-10 but despite its name, the CR-10 mini still offers a fairly large build volume. This bad boy also features a heated build plate so you can print in PLA, ABS and TPU as well as print resume capacity for those times when something goes wrong.
Original Prusa i3 MK2S (kit) - $599
The Original Prusa i3 MK2S is a top-selling desktop 3D printer made by Prusa Research. It is among the best-rated consumer 3D printer available today. This beast features an automatic bed leveling system, a heated print bed and can be upgraded to become a multi-material 3D printer.
For high-quality 3D prints: a resin 3D printer
Resin 3D printers use light-sensitive liquid resin as a 3D printing material and are typically used to get high-quality prints with small details. There are two main types of resin 3D printers: SLA and DLP. SLA (Stereolithography) 3D printers use a UV light projected via a laser beam to cure the liquid resin in a vat, while DLP (Digital Light Processing) 3D printers use a digital light projector as the UV light source.
We selected one resin 3D printer for the more demanding makers, looking for highly detailed 3D prints, but keep in mind that operating a resin 3D printer is challenging (resin can be messy and smelly!) and requires more experience, so it’s not for beginners.
ANYCUBIC Photon - $550
The Anycubic Photon is an affordable resin 3D printer that uses DLP technology. This DLP 3D printer uses an LCD screen to cure resin. The Photon is quite compact and easy-to-use and is compatible with most of the resin materials available on the market. Its main features include a touchscreen and an air filter, an important addition since resin fumes are toxic. The Photon also comes with its own proprietary slicer software.
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