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Top 5 Best 3D Printers for Beginners in 2019

Gone are the days when 3D printers were considered an expensive commodity only the most accomplished manufacturing engineers could own. You don’t need a degree in mechanical engineering to operate one anymore, as there are many 3D printers now being sold ideal for beginners.

Best 3D Printers for Beginners Reviewed

A 3D printer that is great for beginners should not only be intuitive to use, but also easy to assemble, offer compatibility with easily available filaments, and dish out great results. We’ve handpicked our 5 favorite 3D printers for beginners and reviewed them. Be sure to check out our buyer’s guide after the reviews for some insight on 3D printers and what to look for when buying one.

Our Top Pick

Our Top Pick

Tiertime Up Mini 2

Safe, Reliable, and Stylish

The Tiertime Up Mini 2 is a 3D printer looks stylish and comes semi-assembled. It is easy to set up, and the navigation and settings are intuitive. The printer also has a built-in HEPA air filter to ensure no fumes escape the printer during the prototyping process.

Tiertime’s Up Mini 2 is the best 3D printer you can buy for less than $1000.

Budget Pick

Budget Pick

Monoprice Maker Select V2

Most Popular Budget 3D Printer

The Monoprice Maker Select V2 comes with a heated bed and a large printing volume for its price. It is compatible with a plethora of different filaments. It also has support for microSD cards, so you can print without even connecting it to a computer.

The ease of use, availability, and filament compatibility make the Monoprice Maker Select V2 one of the most popular 3D printers for beginners in the market right now.

Tiertime Up Mini 2

Tiertime Up Mini 2 isn’t exactly cheap, but it’s one of the best printers you can buy for less than $1000. It includes several high-end features you’d find in printers three times its price. It’s an easy 3D printer to set up as well, making it ideal for beginners.

The quality of the prints is also top notch on this 3D printer, making consistently great prints that can match ones that are far more expensive and itself. The proprietary software included in the Mini 2 is also easy and intuitive to use. It can print straight away. You also have a touchscreen to access the printer’s settings. Furthermore, you can print over Wi-Fi or USB, which is a welcome addition.

For the filament, you’ll need to buy Tiertime’s own custom filament for it to work best. You can use other brands as well, but the results aren’t always as consistent, and you’ll need to make several adjustments to the software.

The combination of the looks, performance, ease of set up, and ease of use make this one of the most reliable 3D printers for under $1000. The printer is a bit heavy though and has a fairly large footprint as well.

Pros

  • Fantastic results
  • Excellent build quality
  • Easy to setup
  • Intuitive software
  • Supports printing over USB and WiFi
  • Built-in HEPA air filter

Cons

  • Bulky and heavy

Monoprice Maker Select V2

The Monoprice Select Mini is a great budget 3D printer for beginners. It offers a heated print bed, which is rare among low-priced models. It also has a very large print volume. The ease of use and the accessibility provided by the Monoprice Maker Select V2 is what makes it so popular among beginners and home users.

You get the ability to load models through a microSD card, so there’s no need to even connect the device to your computer. You can start prints on the printer itself. The overall quality of the prints is great, though you will get a few average ones, which is a common issue among printers below the $500 price point.

Monoprice has made this printer compatible with most common filaments. It can print using any type of filaments including ABS, PLA, PET, TPU, TPC, EPE, PVA, HIPS, Jelly, Foam and FELTY.

The company offers its own filaments as well, but you don’t have to rely exclusively on their product. Just make sure you mess around with the print settings as the print quality will vary greatly by changing filament.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Heated print bed
  • Supports printing through microSD or USB
  • Supports all kinds of filaments
  • Excellent support

Cons

  • Difficult software to navigate for beginners
  • Complicated to set up
  • Some quality control issues

XYZprinting da Vinci Mini

The XYZprintin da Vinci mini is a pure 3D printer for beginners. It comes fully assembled, so you don’t have to spend any time reading manuals and going through the assembly setup. This out-of-the-box feature makes it great for those who want to have some fun with 3D printing.

You also get 30 lessons online with this printer, making it ideal for children and those foraying into the world of 3D printing. The quality of the prints is decent for the price, though you shouldn’t expect it to be as consistent as our top pick or more expensive ones.

You also have wireless printing options with the da Vinci Mini. There’s also a huge number of online users that can help you, and the technical support for the printer is great.

Pros

  • Great value
  • No assembly needed
  • Compact design
  • Wi-Fi connectivity available
  • Great online and technical support

Cons

  • Only uses XYZprinting filament
  • Quality control issues

Anycubic i3 Mega

Anycubic i3 Mega’s pricing makes it sit between the budget lineup of 3D printers for beginners and the mid-ranged ones like our top pick. This 3D printer is one of the most user-friendly ones we’ve come across. It comes semi-assembled – you’ll just have to screw a few things and it’ll be ready to use.

The build quality of the i3 Mega is rugged and sturdy. This does make it rather heavy. It features a touchscreen display that gives access to an extremely intuitive interface for easy operation. You can use different filament materials with it as well, including PLA, PETG, TPU, and ABS.

The printer operation is quiet, and the build volume is enormous. Inserting the filament in this printer can be a tricky task though, and the printer overall is quite heavy due to its steel design.

Pros

  • Excellent build quality
  • Easy assembly
  • Big build volume
  • Quiet operation
  • Great online and technical support

Cons

  • Heavy and bulky
  • Filament insertion can be tricky
  • Quality control issues

LulzBot Mini

Okay, so this isn’t exactly a cheap 3D printer, but we focused on those ideal for beginners, and the LulzBot is. It’s possibly the best printer you can buy for under $1,300. It will cost you almost twice as much as our top pick, but the results are extremely consistent, and the printer is capable of printing at fast speeds.

It is beginner friendly because it comes with very simple software. The settings of the printer are tuned to suit most beginners’ needs. The setup is also quick and simple. The print volume of the LulzBot Mini is enormous and belies its name.

You can use a wide variety of materials as well, well beyond the ABS and PLA that our top pick is limited to. LulzBot Mini are so reliable that many professional 3D printers also use them, so you know you’re getting a professional standard product even though it is so beginner friendly.

Pros

  • Excellent build quality
  • Fantastic performance
  • Built to last
  • Easy to set up
  • Huge build volume

Cons

  • No onboard menu
  • Filling filament can be tricky

Buyer’s Guide

    3D printers use filaments to create the objects you input into the machine. Think of filaments like the toner/ink for your regular office printer. Not all 3D printers support the same kind of filament though, so you must make sure that the 3D printer you’re buying is compatible with the filament of your choice and the one most easily available.

    Some common types of filaments are: ABS, PLA, PVA, PET, PETT, and HIPS. You should make sure you know what kind of filament a 3D printer is compatible with before you buy one. It is also important to know that changing filament type on the same printer will require adjustments to the settings of the 3D printer for the best results.

    3D printers for beginners can come either fully assembled or semi-assembled. Fully assembled 3D printers offer great convenience as they are plug and play machines. You don’t have to go through a hassle of tweaking electronics, screwing together parts, or reading tedious manuals.

    However, most full assembled 3D printers are small and not very sturdy. Secondly, the inability to disassemble the printer means it’s hard to maintain the parts.

    Semi-assembled 3D printers vary in price point and difficulty level, but they offer more features and are often larger. They can take around 10-20 minutes to assemble together, which may be tedious for some. Semi-assembled printers offer maintenance options though because of their partially modular design.

    Printing quality is obviously an important factor. The quality of the print depends on a lot of factors, but the most important is the 3D printer’s design and accuracy itself. Human error, filament quality, and other various factors can also greatly influence the quality of the 3D printed item.

    Generally, a 3D printer that can print four or five great prints out of six is considered good. Getting all prints close to perfect isn’t truly possible with 3D printers coming in at less than $1500.

    Is there any software I should know how to use to operate a 3D printer?
    Some 3D printers come with their own custom software. However, the operation of most of them is the same. You will need to know a slicing software to 3D print designs. The most common is Cura. We recommend learning how to use it if you’re serious about using 3D printers.

    What are the most common file formats for 3D printers?
    The most common file formats for 3D printers are STL and VRML.

    Can I use a 3D printer to earn?
    Absolutely! If you have enough practice with a 3D printer, you can print items for clients or get creative and make your own to sell.

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