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Best 3D Printer for Kids: 6 picks for creative young minds

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3D printers are a really great learning tool for kids.

Back in my day (queue the “old guy music”), your creativity tools were pens, paper, paint, or popsicle sticks.

But now?

A child could have an idea and be holding it in their hand by the end of the day.

🤯🤯🤯

The invention of the 3D printer allows them to create actual 3D objects in any shape and color they choose.

And it’s easy to get started by going to Thingiverse or any of the 30+ alternatives we’ve found (did you know you could get free 3d prints of the Apollo 1 landing site from NASA? I didn’t).

3D printing is a wonderful tool to help young students conceptualize and visualize their creations – even as they go about creating a design. In short: we feel that the best 3D printer for kids is the Flashforge Finder.

BUT, not all 3D printers are created alike.

The more advanced machines are not only too complicated for young minds but also very expensive.

If you want your kids to learn without breaking your piggy bank, here’s a list of our favorite 3D printers for kids.

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
cfimvtbl-table__imageExcellent value Excellent value FlashForge Finder
  • Advanced safety features
  • Duel Extrudor
  • Durable metal frame
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cfimvtbl-table__imageSafe and secure Safe and secure Monoprice Voxel
  • Compatable with both ABS and PLA
  • Fully enclose space for extra security
  • Easy to use with cloud technology
VIEW ON AMAZON →
cfimvtbl-table__imageEasy to use Easy to use Qidi Tech X-Smart
  • No assembly required
  • Great custoemr support
  • Awesome print quality
VIEW ON AMAZON →
cfimvtbl-table__imageNovice friendlyNovice friendlyDremal DigiLab 3D20
  • Excellent Tech support
  • Fresh designs available on the site
  • Full year warranty
VIEW ON AMAZON →
cfimvtbl-table__imageBest value for moneyBest value for moneyDa Vinci Jr Pro
  • Ideal for children
  • Customized software
  • Very quiet operation
VIEW ON AMAZON →
cfimvtbl-table__imageSuper friendlySuper friendlyMonoprice Cadet
  • Smart and rugged design
  • Light and portable
VIEW ON AMAZON →

Best 3D Printer for Kids

1. FlashForge Finder

FlashForge Finder 3D Printers with Cloud, Wi-Fi, USB Cable and Flash Drive connectivity

For many people, the all-new FlashForge Finder is arguably the best 3D printer for kids. In fact, this picture-perfect, straight up, entry-level 3D printer is an absolutely amazing option for children and students alike.

The good people at FlashForge HQ have been making the FlashForge Finder for almost half a decade. In fact, this nifty little 3D printer has been expressly created for both novices and children who like printing 3D objects.

It is very easy to use and kids will be able to learn and operate it once it has been assembled. The FlashForge Finder is a great answer to the question of which is the best 3D printer for kids.

Safety

The unique selling proposition (USP) of this printer is the advanced safety system of this particular model. This is one of the most affordable models to come out of the Forge and it is by far and large, a whole lot safer and quieter than many other models available in the market.

This is a completely closed unit and the printer bed is safely enclosed in a solidly built rectangular box. All the wires are also packed properly so that there is no chance of a small inquisitive hand ending up in the wrong place.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Dual Extruder
  • Quiet operation
  • Durable metal frame

Cons

  • The setup process is not easy
  • Insufficient instructions
  • Modest build volume compared to other models in its price range

Technical Specs

  • Build volume: 227 × 148 × 150 mm
  • Printing Speed: 100 mm/s
  • Layer height: 100 microns
  • Nozzle size: 0.4 mm
  • Extruder Type: Dual

Check price on Amazon

2. Monoprice Voxel

Both home as well as educational users alike really like the Monoprice Voxel. This is a small but powerful 3D printer that can fit most budgets.

The Monoprice Voxel is a really neat 3D printer in the low budget category. From the point of view of a budget 3D printer, it can handle both PLA and ABS filaments and it also has a decent-sized space.

From the safety perspective, it has fully enclosed build space so that there is no chance of accidentally touching the heated bed.

The machine has a very clear print area that is enclosed in black plastic and you can easily leave the covers off to gain access to the print table and mechanism.

Ease of Use

This is a mostly plug and play printer. In fact, all that you need to do is to take it out of its box and plug it in and after that to load filament. There you go; the machine is now ready for printing your very first 3D object! In fact, it is a very simple design that even young students will be able to operate with ease.

The total print volume is almost 300 cubic inches. That is actually big enough to handle most objects.

Pros

  • Easy to use with cloud software
  • Excellent print quality
  • Heated print bed
  • Fast print speed

Cons

  • Lackluster software support
  • Some Wi-Fi connection issues

Technical Specifications

  • Technology: FDM/FFF
  • Frame: Cartesian
  • Build Area: 150 x 150 x 150 mm
  • Layer Resolution: 0.05 – 0.4 mm
  • Interface: 2.8″ Color touchscreen
  • Build Accuracy: ±0.2mm
  • Print Speed: 10 ~ 100 mm/second
  • Nozzle Diameter: 0.4mm
  • Filament Size: 1.75mm
  • Materials: ABS, Exotics PLA, PETG
  • Connectivity: USB, WiFi, Ethernet
  • Dimensions: 400 x 380 x 405 mm (15.7″ x 15.0″ x 15.9″)
  • OS Compatibility: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10, Mac OS X, Linux
  • Input Power: 24 VDC, 6.5A
  • Weight: 9.0 kg (19.8 lbs)

3. Qidi Tech X-Smart

QIDI TECH 3D Printer, X-Smart Intelligent Printer with 3.5 Inch Touchscreen, Fully Metal Structure 6.3x5.9x5.9 Inch

This machine can easily print in a 50-micron resolution. Apart from that this child-friendly unit has a whole lot of awesome features that can help contribute to its overall print quality.

The enclosed frame is a great safety feature as are all the heavily insulated wires as well. Taken together, it makes printing with ABS not only more predictable but also very reliable as well. This machine is very easy to use and has minimal controls.

Printing with PLA is also very easy because space is well ventilated and the interior of the machine is equipped with a multi-directional fan to aid in temperature regulation. Apart from that, the filaments adhere very quickly to the build plate. This means that kids won’t have to experience multiple failed prints and less frustration. Since such failed prints are the key reason for losing interest in 3D printing, this printer is an ideal setup for an educational institution.

Pros

  • No construction required so very novice-friendly
  • It has the feature of many high-end machines at less than half the cost
  • Superior Filament loading system
  • Great customer support
  • Awesome print quality

Cons

  • 6 months out of the box warranty instead of a lifetime one
  • Small print area
  • To slow for young and impatient minds

Technical Specifications

  • Technology: Fused deposition modeling (FDM)
  • Assembly: Assembled
  • Mechanical arrangement: Cartesian XY-head
  • Build volume: 170 x 150 x 150 mm
  • Feeder system: Direct drive
  • Print head: Single nozzle
  • Nozzle size: 0.4 mm
  • Max. hot end temperature: 240 ℃
  • Max. heated bed temperature: 100 ℃
  • Bed leveling: Manual
  • Print bed material: PEI
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Connectivity: USB, WiFi, Ethernet
  • Print recovery: Yes
  • Filament diameter: 1.75 mm
  • Operating system: Windows, Mac OSX
  • Third-party filament: Yes
  • Filament materials: Consumer materials (ABS, PLA, PETG)
  • Recommended slicer: Qidi Print, Simplify 3D Cura
  • Weight: 15.0 kg

Check price on Amazon

4. Dremel DigiLab 3D20

Dremel Digilab 3D20 3D Printer, Idea Builder for Hobbyists and Tinkerers - 3D20-01

The Dremel DigiLab 3D20 is widely considered to be a rock-solid 3D printer by many industry experts. Since it is very easy to operate, it is a great way to introduce children to the art and science of 3D printing, both at school and at home. Operating the printer is simplicity itself, and even very young students can quickly learn to show their creativity by crafting 3D objects on their own.

Since this is a completely enclosed 3D printer, there is no way for children to accidentally hurt themselves by touching the machine’s working parts.

However, this printer uses proprietary PLA filaments only. While it is possible to use third party products, the results are not as good.

Pros

  • Great price and quality that makes it one of the best printers in its class
  • Great customer support
  • The Dremel website gets a few new designs once in a while, perfect for testing out the current limits of your abilities with a 3D printer
  • Excellent tech support
  • Full-year warranty

Cons

  • Limited to Proprietary PLA filament only
  • Very difficult to upgrade this 2D printer

Technical Specifications

  • Dimensions: 514 mm x 406 mm x 403 mm
  • Ready to Print?: Comes fully assembled
  • Compatibility: Compatible with both PC and Mac OS
  • Print Dimensions: 255 mm x 155 mm x 170 mm
  • Filament Types: PLA filament, of the Dremel brand
  • Weight: 15.43 pounds
  • Warranty: One-year warranty

Check price on Amazon

5. Da Vinci Jr Pro

Unlike many other printers, in its price range, the Da Vinci Jr. Pro is specifically geared towards children, beginners, and schools. Don’t expect high-quality printouts. It is hands down one of the very best beginner-friendly printers available today. It provides highly customized software and delivers where it counts, thus creating a solid price to performance or cost-benefit ratio

Pros

  • Ideal for children and schools alike
  • It is extremely beginner-friendly
  • It comes with customized software
  • Quiet operation
  • Unobtrusive design
  • Enclosed design for safe operation

Cons

  • The printer is restricted to PLA filaments only

Technical Specifications

  • Gross Weight: 33.07 lbs. (15kg)
  • Technology: FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)
  • Maximum Build Volume (WxDxH):5.9 x 5.9 x 5.9 inch (15x15x15cm)
  • Filament Material: PLA
  • Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm
  • Filament Diameter: 1.75 mm
  • Display Panel Type: 2.6″ FSTN LCM
  • Language: Multi-Language
  • Connectivity: USB 2.0, SD card
  • Software: XYZware
  • File Types: .stl , XYZ Format (.3w)
  • Operating System: Windows 7 and above Mac OSX 10.8 and above

6. Monoprice Cadet

Monoprice - 140108 MP Cadet 3D Printer, Full Auto Leveling, Print Via WiFi, Small Footprint Perfect for a Desktop, Office, Dorm Room, or The Classroom

The MP Cadet by Monoprice is a really great 3D printer for young minds new to the world of 3D printing. It is widely considered to be one of easiest to use 3D printers around. You can start printing with it within 30 seconds of unboxing it.

It is so easy to operate that even very young children will quickly get the hang of it.

It has a fully automatic leveling system so you won’t need to level it manually before starting work on it. Since it is completely closed from all sides, it can be safely operated by children under adult supervision.

Pros

  • Super friendly for kids since all the dangerous parts are safely tucked away
  • Smart and rugged design
  • Light enough to be extremely portable

Cons

  • It has a very poor starter kit and the tiny spool of filament will quickly run out
  • It only supports PLA filaments

Technical Specifications

  • Printing Technology: Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)
  • Supported Filament Types: PLA, PLA Pro
  • Nozzle Diameter: 0.4mm
  • Filament Diameter: 1.75mm
  • Supported Inputs: micro SD™ card, Wi-Fi®, WLAN, USB
  • Build Volume :3.9″ x 4.1″ x 3.9″ (100 x 105 x 100 mm)

Check price on Amazon

3D Printers for Kids: A Buying Guide

There are so many great 3D printers for kids available today that you would be spoilt for choices. In fact, in the low budget category, you can easily acquire a printer good enough for both the classroom as well as your home.

Assembled vs. Pre-assembled

3D printers are very available in both complete knockdown (CKD) units or fully assembled. In the former case, you will require full-on assembly with the proper tools. This can take anything from 30 minutes to a few hours depending on your skill level and the size of the printer. However, the best 3D printers for kids come preassembled.

Ease of use (bed leveling)

Here, an auto bed leveling system wins hands down over a manual one. Few kids have the technical know-how to handle such a tricky operation on their own.

Need for Troubleshooting

This is a very important consideration for a 3D printer for kids and hobbyists alike. If you need to troubleshoot your machine right out of the box or again and again, it will spoil the whole fun element for everyone.

Types of Filament

While there are many different types of filaments, you have to make sure that you only use PLA using printers since it’s the safest one out there.

Cost

All of the above printers are in the low budget beginner level category and as such affordable enough to make great gifts for young and inquisitive minds.

Related

Conclusion

In light of the above, we can safely state that getting a 3D printer for kids is an easy exercise, as long as you make sure that it is very simple to operate and safe for kids. We hope the above review will help you make an informed decision.

Photo of author

Shabbir

In 2019 Shabbir bought a Tevo Tarantula and fell in love with 3D printing. He now shares his tips and love of 3d printing with the world exclusively through Maker Shop. Here's how he builds Ender 3s that can print at over 1000mm/s (25x stock!) for under $600.