Before the advent of the 3D printer, cosplay was a very time and energy-consuming exercise, which is why making realistic cosplay costumes was not everyone’s cup of coffee.
Now it is possible to create extremely intricate and complex works of art that not just look good but are also wearable too. All of this is only possible due to unprecedented advances in 3D printing technology.
Today’s die-hard cosplay fans have now created full-fledged suits of armor that are the envy of the teeming crowds at comic book fairs and other gatherings of the cosplay world. Let us see how you too can join the big boys and girls with the help of a 3D printer.
When selecting a 3D printer for your cosplay ambitions it is best to understand that not all machines are created equal. For example, the supposedly best 3D printers for beginners might be great entry-level machines, but they might not be able to fulfill your idea of what your costume should look like.
This is why you have to be very careful to ensure that you purchase the best 3D printer for cosplay around, keeping in mind your specific requirements.
Yes, if you want a simple sword or handguard, any beginner 3D printers might do the trick. But if you want a full-fledged state of the art suit of armor, well, you might need to look for other alternatives.
Best 3D Printer for Cosplay
Thanks to the fresh and new entrants in this highly competitive market, today’s enterprise cosplay enthusiasts are truly spoilt for choices. Let us check out some of the better 3D printer models for all your cosplay aspirations.
1. LulzBot Taz 6
The LulzBot Taz 6 is widely considered by most industry pundits to be a top-end desktop 3D printer solution for all of your high-quality cosplay related 3D prints.
However, it is pertinent to note that this printer has to be assembled from scratch before you start printing stuff on it. That is not a very big deal though for DIY (do it yourself) fans and you can have the machine up and running within half an hour on average.
The kit comes with a helpful assembly and maintenance tool kit as well as everything else you will need to have your printer up and running in no time at all.
Once the LulzBot Taz 6 is completely set up and ready to use, you will definitely enjoy the user-friendly control processes thanks to the large LCD screen and the software app.
The Lulzbot Taz 6 has a pretty large build volume of 280 x 280 x 250mm. This is large enough to print most of the shapes and items that you will need to inject life into your cosplay costume.
The Taz 6 is also well equipped with an automated print bed so your structures will always remain permanently stable
This is the best 3D printer for a beginner since it has plenty of pre-set 3D printing standards to choose from. These include standard, high-speed as well as very high detail quality. This machine is also equipped with its own self-cleaning mechanism and it cleans its nozzle with the help of a small felt pad. It also has a changeable nozzle so you won’t have to worry about nozzle distance calibration.
- Layer Resolution: 50-500 microns
- Build Volume: 280mm x 280mm x 250mm
- Filaments: more than 30 filaments
- Print Speed: 200mm/sec
- Open source and hackable
- Auto-leveling bed and a
- Self-cleaning nozzle
- Modular tool head design
- Heated PEI bed
- Dual Extruder
- Multi-material upgrades and high level of flexibility
- Automated print bed
- Plenty of speed-related and printing quality options
- Solid and sturdy design
- Supports a very large number of filament types
- Very noisy operation
- It has to be assembled from scratch
This is a really nifty 3D printer for almost all of your cosplay needs. However, you would definitely need to up your DIY game if you want to make the most of this printer. Its innate hackability allows you to upgrade it as per your own specs.Buy on Amazon
2. Creality Ender 3 Pro
When it comes to cosplay on a budget, few 3D printers are as satisfying as the Creality Ender 3 Pro. In fact, when we talk about affordable yet reliable 3D printers for cosplay we would be hard put not to mention the one and only Creality Ender 3 Pro.
This is a good beginners’ 3D printer thanks to its amazing budget price not to mention the fact that this is actually a pretty good quality printer.
The unit has been equipped with a very tough 40×40 aluminum extrusion. It makes sense because it has been designed for the machine’s Y-axis and it acts as a great aid to the overall stability of the platform. Apart from that, this 3D printer has very large bearings for its base and they provide a very high level of stiffness, thus greatly reducing friction.
Ever since it first made its way into the market, it has a very large and enthusiastic fan following. There are always plenty of fresh upgrades and other mods for the dedicated cosplay aficionado, courtesy the extensive community of followers.
This is a fully upgradeable machine and even if you don’t want to print upgrades on your own, you can still buy them from the Creality Company itself. In fact, the good people at Creality have now started retailing some great plug and play upgrades for cosplay renditions.
If you have the DIY (do it yourself) skills to assemble a Meccano set you will almost certainly be able to do the same with the Ender 3 Pro kit.
It offers some truly amazing prints, even with basic materials. It can be upgraded as per your own personal specifications.
The printer’s designers have tried their level best to ensure that the whole assembly process is both easy and painless. They have thoughtfully labeled every part so that the new users won’t have to second guess assembly details.
The bare bones details are further complemented by an excellent and comprehensive step by step instruction sheet for detailed assembly procedures and it is part of the kit.
In case of any further issues, Creality has also created a video to help in the assembly of their product.
As a general rule, it takes roughly two hours or so to unbox and build your very own Ender 3 Pro unit. Since the X and Y axes are already pre-installed at the factory, there is no need to worry on that score at such. Just mount the Z-axis and you are good to go.
The Ender 3 Pro kit has lots of tools so there is no need to go to the hardware store to assemble this machine.
This machine features a very large-sized heated print bed that comes to around 220 x 220 x 250mm. The Creality Ender 3 Pro’s frame boasts of an in-built LCD display on the right-hand side and it also has a clickable control wheel. Unfortunately, the control board has not been covered at all and it would be a really great idea to install a good cover mod before you start churning out your favorite cosplay accessories.
The overall interface of the machine is more user-friendly than many of the other printers in its class and range. Best of all, this is an open-source printer and you will easily find its free blueprints online, in case you want to tweak it a bit more than its factory specs.
Speaking of specs, let us check out the technical specifications of this machine.
- Print volume: 220 x 220 x 250 mm
- Max. print speed: 180 mm/s
- Nozzle: Single 0.4 mm
- Layer resolution: 0.1-0.4 mm (100-400 microns)
- Filament: 1.75 mm
- Heated bed temperature: 110 ℃
- Packing type: Unassembled kit
- Connectivity: SD card, USB
- Print precision: +/- 0.1 mm
- LCD screen: Yes
- Great prints with basic materials
- Highly affordable machine
- Compact design
- Good print volume for its size
- This printer offers outstanding results on most benchy ship 3D printing tests
- Strong extruder
- An easy to assemble 3D printer
- Tight filament path aids in improving compatibility
- Compatible with multiple filament types
- An excellent introduction to the world of 3D printing
- Very high print quality for its price
- Upgradable and hackable
- It often requires heaps of additional adhesion materials
- Print bed leveling can turn out to be very tricky for a newbie fiddling with their first printer
- It has brittle filament issues
- The magnetic bed is not suitable for everyone
- It does not have multiple nozzles
The Bottom Line
Go for this model if you are on a tight budget but want a strong and functional workhorse.Buy on Amazon
3. Robo R1+
The Robo R1+ is a state of the art plug and play 3D printer that easily stands out due to its easy to use features and excellent overall performance. In addition to retaining the ability to print quickly and accurately, this printer is highly affordable as well.
Moreover, it can be used with just about any open-source software as well as a whole range of materials. The ROBO R1+ comes with its very own fully customizable version of MatterControl so that you will be able to derive maximum performance out of your machine.
It also contains an automated leveling print platform. The whole package is very aesthetically pleasing to the discerning eye.
A highly motivated beginner new to the world of 3D printing could go all the way from unboxing to installing the printer software of the machine. From there he can actually start a 3D printing project in as little as 10 minutes. This shows exactly how easy it is to get started creating your favorite costumes with the help of this 3D printing machine.
Apart from the above, the cutting edge Robo R1+ also enhances its overall versatility by being fully compatible with various types of filament. Some of the more common filaments that this machine can work with include Wood, TPU PLA, and ABS to quote but a few. In fact, this 3D printer can easily handle up to 30 different kinds of filaments.
- Build Volume: 254 x 228 x 203
- Print Speed: 50 mm/s
- Layer Resolution: 100-300 microns
- Filaments: Nylons, Carbon Fiber Nylon, ABS, PLA, PET-G, metal-filled PLA, PVA, HIPS Magnetic Iron, Glass Filled PLA, Polycarbonate, and many other different ones
- All metal hot-end
- Very affordable
- Easy to assemble
- Easily upgradable and modifiable
- New and improved filament feeding system
- Auto-leveling and calibration
- It is a noisy 3D printer
- The print speed is somewhat slower than many of its counterparts in the same price range
The Bottom Line
If you want something highly flexible and easy to use, the Robo R1+ is definitely the best 3D printer for cosplay!
4. Creality Cr-10S
This is another great offering from the Chinese company Creality. They are known for bringing affordable printers for cosplay to the homes of hobbyists and enthusiasts alike. In fact, this offering can also be termed a chip off the old block.
The 3D printer’s 300 x 300 x 400mm build space is roomy enough for most cosplay applications in the 3D printing world. Apart from that, this machine has lots of flexible printing options. Best of all, it’s one of the more affordable 3D printing machines in its class and it won’t put a big dent in your wallet as such.
The unit has 6 six bearings at the Z-axis. They have to move under the same force otherwise the transitions of the print bed won’t be very smooth. This will create issues during the 3D printing process. Apart from that, it will also effectively eliminate any wobbling of the print bed and thus ensure top-quality builds, time after time, every time.
The printer comes partly assembled fro the factory, but you will have to finish the process on your own. It offers a great resolution for its price as well as excellent details.
- Print Speed: 80-200mm/s
- Build Volume: 300 x 300 x 400mm
- Filaments: PETG, ABS, PLA, TPU, and other special filaments
- Layer Resolution: 1-0.4mm
- Heated glass bed to eliminate warping
- MOSFET for electrical safety
- Removable glass bed if you are eager to pluck your cosplay prints from the bed
- Auto-resume feature as a hedge against power failure
- The 3D printer’s bed takes a very long time to heat up properly
- Unlike other 3D printers, filament spool placement is not very stable
The Bottom Line
This is a relatively inexpensive machine in the world of 3D printers and it can give you many hours of cosplay pleasure. There are plenty of free hacks and downloads available online as well.Buy on Amazon
5. Dremel Digilab 3D20
The Dremel Digilab 3D20 is a great entry point to the fascinating world of 3D cosplay costumes printing. Not only is it highly affordable for an enthusiast without deep pockets, but it is also very easy to use for the newbie.
Its main claim to fame is that it has been well-equipped with a touchscreen. This way you can take complete control of all printing processes with the touch of an icon! The machine has a single extruder that can extrude filaments up to 230-degree temperature.
- Filaments: Requires proprietary filament
- Build Volume: 230 mm x 150 mm x 140 mm
- Layer Resolution: 100 microns
- Cutting edge interactive LCD screen that allows you to monitor your 3D printing builds in real-time
- No need for calibration, or troubleshooting or extensive modifications
- A closable door keeps out dust and grit and also stabilizes the printing temperature
- This 3D printer is strictly restricted to proprietary PLA filaments only
- The user has to manually level the print bed
The Bottom Line
This is great value for money for basic builds. Once you learn the tricks of the trade you can move on to bigger and better things. This is one of the best 3D printers for cosplay around.Buy on Amazon
6. Monoprice Maker Select Plus
A few years back the Monoprice Select took the world of 3D printers by storm. The Monoprice Select Plus is a highly anticipated and eagerly awaited newer version of the original Monoprice select.
This 3D printer will build with just about any 3D filament once you assemble it with the help of the six screws supplied with it. Even though it is primarily a kit based 3D printer, it does not require any technological know-how, unlike various other kit-based printers. If you want one of the best 3D printers for cosplay, this might be just what you are looking for.
- Touchscreen interface
- Build Volume: 200 x 200 x 180 mm
- Filaments: Almost any type of filament
- Layer Resolution: 100 microns
- Improved Anti-Jam MK10 extruder
- Build Speed: 150mm/s
- Direct drive extruder
- High speed
- Heated bed
- Touch screen
- Large print volume
It is a difficult printer to use, especially for a newbie
The Bottom Line
You should only buy it if you are comfortable running a complicated interface. Albeit having said that, its high speed and large size make it a very good choice for cosplay related builds. Thus making it one of the best beginners 3D printer around.Buy on Amazon
7. Ultimaker S5
Ultimaker S5 is a very big printer. In fact, it has the largest build volume in the whole of the formidable Ultimaker family. Few people use it for cosplay and it is generally used in a professional capacity. However, its ability to create very high-quality parts and continue to do so for a long time makes it a good choice for the really serious cosplay print enthusiast.
Unlike many other printers, the 3D print space is completely enclosed to help ensure that both the internal temperature as well as the airflow is always optimal. Its dual extruder set up makes for a very strong and reliable build action. You should get one if you want to build large cosplay props.
- Dimensions: 495 x 585 x 780 mm
- Build Volume: 330 x 240 x 300 mm (13 x 9.5 x 11.8 inches)
- Layer Resolution: 0.25 mm nozzle: 150 – 60 micron
- Print Temperature: Up to 280 ˚C
- Print Speed: < 24 mm³ /s
- Print Head: Dual Extrusion with Soluble Support Material
- Heated Build Plate with Active Leveling
- Filaments: PLA, PP, TPU, PVA, ABS, Exotics, CPE+, PC, Nylon, etc
- Exceptional build quality
- Large build volume
- Remote monitoring capability via Cura
- Quite an expensive 3D printer
- Slow build time
The Bottom Line
This is a large and expensive top end value added 3D printer for the dedicated cosplay fan.Buy on Amazon
3D Printer for Cosplay: Buying Guide
Let us see what you need to know before you purchase a 3D printer for your cosplay props related needs.
First Identify Your Filament Type Needs
For really cool costumes, you will need a 3D printer that is capable of working with lots of filament types and materials. This is the only way to ensure that your cosplay 3D builds will be both realistic as well as durable and you will be able to flaunt them off for a long time.
Build volume is the total size of the print platform. It is an extremely important consideration for 3D printing your cosplay wearable objects. A simple rule of thumb: The larger the build volume or space, the bigger the cosplay 3D object you can print.
If the resolution is high your cosplay props builds will look truly realistic, even up close. Conversely, low-resolution printers won’t be able to give you the kind of quality you might want to show off at a cosplay costumes convention.
If you are an eager beaver you might want a fast printer otherwise it could take hundreds of hours to create a large and clean set of builds.
Ease of Use and Assembly
If you are a newbie, you might not be able to understand and assemble a complicated machine, so it makes sense to go for fully assembled printers that are also easy to use. This is why it you should consider purchasing the best 3D printer for beginners that are well within your budget.
Amongst the above plethora of 3D printers, the best one would be the Robo R1. This is because it is the best 3D printer for beginner in terms of both ease of setting up as well as subsequent printing of cosplay props