If you’re a fan of wargames terrain or have the slightest interest in 3D printing miniatures, then you’ve landed at the right place. A 3D printer for miniatures provides you with the ultimate solution whether you’re looking to improve your miniature collection or want to build models for your existing minis.
With that said, after much research and deliberation, we feel that the best 3D printer for miniatures is the AnyCubic Photon. The kind of detail you can get with SLA(resin) printers is unmatched by FDM printers.
If you want to avoid the messy SLA process, though, stick to the Ultimaker for the absolute best of the best or a Creality Ender 3 for a tight budget.
Why use a 3D printer for miniatures?
By using a 3D printer to create your own miniatures, you can take your game development and tabletop design to new heights. Not only do you have the freedom to print the miniatures you want, but you can also create figures from scratch or—wait for it—your very own game. How amazing is that?
However, there is a catch. Miniatures for role-playing games (RPGs) and tabletop games are more difficult to print than your standard 3D models due to the sheer volume of detail on them. 3D Printing large items such as buildings, homes, dungeons, and tunnels can be accomplished with almost any 3D printer. However, printing a gaming miniature is a totally different ballgame altogether.
The good news for fans of both tabletop and war games is that 3D printers designed specifically for printing gaming miniatures are available on the market today. However, to ensure that you get your money’s worth, we’ve included in this guide the best 3D printers for miniatures in terms of both pricing and quality of the print.
Listed below are the best 3D printers for miniatures available today.
Comparison of the Top 10 3D Printer for Miniatures:
|Anycubic Photon||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Creality CR-10||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Creality Ender 3||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|BIBO 3D Printer||CHECK BEST PRICE →|
10 Best 3D Printers for miniatures and models
1. Anycubic Photon SLA Resin (Best 3D Printer for Miniatures in our opinion)
One of our top picks, the Anycubic Photon printer is a resin-based 3D printer capable of printing your beloved miniatures with extraordinary quality.
This printer features digital light processing (DLP) technology which uses liquid photopolymer resin to print miniatures with utmost precision.
This LCF SLA 3D printer hardens the resin by utilizing an ultraviolet (UV) LED light source. As a matter of fact, SLA models are some of the best printers around.
If we talk about the quality of the print, this printer has a layer resolution that ranges between 25 and 100 microns which enables you to incorporate intricate features into your miniatures without compromising on print quality.
Another thing that makes it great for printing miniatures is its 115x65x155mm build size. However, you’re better off using a larger SLA printer or an FDM 3D printer if you want to print larger items such as buildings or props.
While Anycubic Photon does not have the same print volume as some of the other printers on our list, its print volume is good enough for miniatures.
This printer needs little assembly and setting it up and getting started with it is easy. The printer is provided with a solid frame and touch screen display that allows you to see a demo of your miniature before it is printed.
- Great print quality
- Compact design
- Touchscreen interface
- Several options and upgrades available
- Strong resin odor
- Expensive material
- Vendor lock-in
- Technology: DLP (Digital Light Processing)
- Build Volume: 115 x 65 x 155mm.
- Layer Resolution: 25-100 microns
- Connectivity: USB, SD Card.
- Touchscreen: 2.8-inch color screen.
- Input rating: 110V/220V AC.
- Working Voltage: 12V DC
- Printer Dimensions: 220 x 220 x 400 mm
2. Creality CR-10 (best 3D printer for Gaming Terrain and Props)
A popular 3D printer for miniatures, Creality CR-10 has an extremely large build plate. Additionally, its quality of the print is second to none, making it ideal for those seeking a printer with great print quality and superior build size and volume.
In other words, it is the best choice of 3D printer for gaming terrain and props.
A printer with an attractive design, the Creality CR-10 can print models with resolution as high as 100 microns. Additionally, it can print for up to 200 hours without developing any heating issues.
This is possible thanks to the printer’s heated bed which disburses the heat across the glass print surface.
The connectivity options include both USB cords and an SD card. Additionally, there are several options for navigation including an LCD screen, a control wheel, and a control box that ensures a comfortable printing process.
Last but not the least, the Creality CR-10 can be assembled without a manual—it’s that easy to set up the printer. If you are looking for one of the best 3D printers for miniatures, this one definitely fits the bill.
- Intuitive control box
- Superior build volume
- Easily removable glass print bed
- Multiple navigation options
- Attractive design
- Large prints of detailed miniatures
- A lot of time needed for the bed to heat up
- Tangling inside the holder of the filament
- Does not work too well with ABS without building a separate enclosure
- Printing technology: FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)
- Build volume: 300 x 300 x 400 mm
- Layer resolution: 0.1 to 0.4 mm
- Filament diameter: 1.75 mm
- Nozzle diameter: 0.4 mm, 0.3 mm
- Print speed: 80 to 200 mm/s
- Connectivity: USB, micro SD card
- Input rating: 110V/220V AC, 50/60 H
3. Creality Ender 3 (best 3D printer for tight budgets)
The Creality Ender 3 is another great offering by the good people at Creality HQ. This 3D printer is slightly more expensive than the many other budget models out there. However, it can still be classified in the low budget category.
This is a great choice if you are looking for some serious competitive print quality. It has a really smooth motion and works very efficiently with flexible filaments.
It does require assembly before you can put it to work. This might have been a bit problematic had it not been for the fact that the unit comes with a well explained assembling and operating manual. Apart from that, there are quite a few detailed video guides available online as well.
There is another really nifty advantage of using the Creality Ender 3. You can actually print out various modifications and upgrades for the Ender 3 by using the printer itself. This makes it one of the very best 3D printers for miniatures.
This printer has been equipped with a very generous print area. One which is perfect for large scale models and even terrain pieces, effectively making it one of the best 3D printers for miniatures. Once you assemble the unit, you can roll up your sleeves and get to work straight away.
Here, it is pertinent to note that this is a pretty sophisticated machine and you will have a lot of learning to do before you can start making some really great quality prints. The printer boasts of a fairly large print area measuring 220mm x 220mm x 250mm.
If you are a perfectionist, you will love the 0.1mm layer resolution. Such a fine resolution can easily help you to master even the smallest details of your miniatures very easily.
In case there is a power outage, you don’t have to worry about recovering your prints since the printer has a recovery feature. This is not something easily available amongst lower budget 3D printers.
The navigation is fairly straightforward on this printer. The machine has been equipped with an LCD complete with a control wheel.
This simple setup allows you to effectively manage your settings as soon as possible. Moreover, there are multiple V-slot wheels that move with the aluminum extrusions on the printer. They help provide the user with a uniformly smooth motion while the printer is working on a job.
Furthermore, the whole of the extruder system has been designed using the Bowden extruder. This makes the printer work more efficiently.
- The printer is ideal for D&D miniatures
- One mm layer resolution
- It can easily recover prints in case the printer gets disconnected
- Universally smooth motion
- It can works very effectively with different types of flexible filaments
- Affordable price
- Compact design
- Sufficient print volume
- Fast set up
- The base is slightly unsteady
- The X-axis belt is quite long, which makes it tend to be loose
- Modeling Technology: FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)
- Printing Size: 220*220*250mm
- Machine Size: 440*410*465mm
- Net Weight: 8kg
- Printing Speed:180mm/s
- Filament: 1.75mmPLA, TPU, ABS
- Power Supply: 100-265V 50-60HZ
- Output:24V 15A 360W
- Layer Thickness: 0.1-0.4mm
- Nozzle Diameter: 0.4mm
- Printing Accuracy: ±0.1mm
4. Monoprice Select 3D Printer
The Monoprice Select Mini 3D printer has been primarily designed for entry-level 3D printing for people new to this field. It helps beginners enjoy both the versatility as well as the user-friendliness of a state of the art 3D printer in an economic package.
The printer does not have the features or the capabilities of its more expensive competition, especially in terms of build volume. This is because the unit is only 110x110x120 mm.
However, what it lacks in size, it more than makes up via its relatively quick paced printing speed. It prints at a brisk pace of around 150mm per second.
If you are in the market for a 3D printer for 28mm miniatures, you won’t go wrong by selecting the Monoprice Mini 3D printer. This printer has a justifiable reputation for printing such miniatures perfectly.
However, such a high speed comes at a cost. In this case, the overall quality of the print is sacrificed for faster output. The unit’s 50 micron layer resolution is not exactly known for producing the very best high-quality prints out there. It churns out acceptable quality prints for amateurs and beginners alike.
This is a plug and play unit that is ready for use right out of the box. It has been thoughtfully equipped with an automatic bed leveling feature. This means that you won’t have to spend any time or effort in making manual adjustments.
This is a fairly lightweight machine and clocks in at around 30 pounds. Its portability is also a great asset if you want to work on the go. All you would need is a functional electronic socket and you would be good to go!
In fact, the designers have prepared this machine for precisely that, because the unit’s accessories also include a full metal case as well as a carrying handle.
- Removable build plate
- Fast performance
- Automatic bed leveling
- Speedy set up
- Highly portable
- Very fragile and build sheet surface that is prone to ripping when you remove the finished print
- Issues with USB and Wi-Fi connectivity
- Inferior print resolution
- Type: FDM 3D printer
- Build Platform: Aluminum Heat Bed
- Nozzle: 0.4mm Dia.
- Max Print Speed: Up to 150mm/sec (Lower speeds will give higher detail)
- Build Size:110mm Ø x 120mm H (4.33“ Ø x 4.7” H)
- Maximum Build Plate Temperature: 60°C with stock firmware
- Layer Resolution / Height: 0.05mm to 0.3mm
- Extruder / Hot end Temperature Range: 180°C – 260°C
- Connectivity: microSD card, WiFi 2.4 GHz b/g/n Mirco USB connector,
- Compatibility Windows®, macOS®, Linux
- Filament: 1.75mm dia ABS, PLA
- Display: 3.4 IPS color display (non-module touch)
- Power Consumption: Up to 60 W
5. Elegoo Mars Resin 3D Printer
As far as entry-level printers go, the Elegoo Mars in a class of its own. In terms of quality, its output can be favorably compared to many 3D printers that are a lot more expensive.
However, the Elegoo Mars is a comparatively rare printer that is not easily available everywhere. This means it that its fan following and community is somewhat smaller than most other models out there.
This unit boasts of a fairly large build area. However, the overall build quality is a bit basic and the unit is not as sturdy as many other 3D printers close to its price range.
The main benefit of this is that you will be able to safely and easily remove the whole IR shroud so as to gain access to the more important components of this printer.
This is a cutting edge DLP printer which means that it works by curing the resin with the help of an LED screen. The overall layer height comes to around 30-60 microns.
This is approximately 0.5microns larger than its Anycubic Photon S counterpart. For comparison purposes, we can take an average human hair that is approximately .75 microns.
The machine is priced as a budget printer but it offers very high res 3D printing solutions. This makes it both affordable and prolific for beginners and professionals alike.
- Excellent print quality
- Minimalistic setup and design
- Simple but effective printing capability
- Its basic connectivity (USB) is located in an awkward position
- The printer’s fan is quite noisy
- Prolonged usage can easily trip up the firmware
- Resolution: 2560 x 1440 pixels.
- Volume: 120 x 68 x 155 mm (4.7 x 2.6 x 6.1 inches)
- Display: 3.5″ full-color touchscreen.
- Bed-Leveling: Manual (assisted)
- Connectivity: USB
6. BIBO 3D Printer
If you are looking for an entry level 3D printing solution, this one might not be the very best options around. The BIBO 3D printer requires a certain level of experience in 3D printing solutions before it can be used to extract maximum mileage for its price.
Its most unique selling point is the fact that it is an extremely versatile printer that uses plenty of diverse materials for optimum results. You can also engrave paper, leather, wood, and even plastic with this printer.
This printer has been equipped with smart AI that can automatically detect when its filament spool runs out. Once that happens, it will automatically pause the whole printing process.
This way, you will be able to load another spool without harming the final product. The unit is also equipped with a Wi-Fi control option so that you can check up and tweak your prints even when you are not physically present in front of the machine.
The unit’s smartphone app will enable you to keep track of the printing process through your phone. This way you will be free to take care of other tasks while the printer completes its job.
The printer has myriad features that combine to effectively make it one of the very best selling 3D printers in its class. For example, the laser engraving ability of the BIBO 3D printer will enable you to engrave wood, plastic, and other products.
The unit’s greatest USP (unique selling proposition), as well as its claim to fame, is its dual extruder system. You have the option of printing multiple copies of the same object simultaneously thus speeding up the whole process.
The printer is quite easy to operate thanks to its full-color touch screen that makes it very easy to control and manipulate the machine.
- The BIBO 3D printer uses use several everyday materials to create excellent finished prints
- It is equipped with smart controls that help you to monitor the whole printing process
- It automatically detects when its filament spool runs out
- It has been equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity to help control the printing process via any smart device or PC
- Its dual extruders help to cut down the printing time in half so that you can actually print two copies at the same time
- It is very user-friendly with an easy to use touch screen interface
- Not suitable for beginner level operators
- Initial assembly is not very easy
- The operating manual is not as helpful as it is supposed to be
- Not many tutorials or other support online courtesy other users
- Build size: 214 x 186 x 160 mm
- Print resolution range: 0.05 mm to 0.3 mm
- Maximum nozzle temperature: 270 degrees Celsius.
- Duel extruders: Each with a nozzle diameter of 0.4 mm as well as 1.75 mm respectively.
- Connectivity: SD card slot, USB slot, and WI-FI capability
- Maximum print speed: 350 mm/s
7. Sindoh 3DWOX High-End 3D Printer
The 3DWOX is one of Sindoh’s best offerings and it beats several other models currently available with the company. This Printer is great for printing compact objects.
The unit’s print bed can easily handle a top temperature of 110 degrees centigrade. However, the nozzle attached to the 3DWOX printer’s print head is capable of withstanding temperatures up to 180 and even 220 degrees.
The printer will enable you to print objects with a resolution of 50 microns while creating highly detailed prints.
The unit is equipped with a self-cleaning nozzle that can clean itself automatically, as and when required. The printer is fairly simple to set up and assemble and even a beginner can do it within an hour.
Both the hot end as well as the bed warm-up is very fast. In the long run, it makes for very fast and effective printing.
The extremely fine nozzle has been combined with the printer’s 50 microns maximum layer resolution. Taken together, the unit effectively ensures that you get extremely precise print outputs, with very significant attention to detail.
It is possible to print models of size 200x200x185mm with the help of this printer.
The 3DWOX printer supports seamless Wi-Fi connectivity. This way, you can easily control the settings of the printer irrespective of its location. In fact, it is possible to transfer your designs to the printer even from a remote location. The device supports standard USB thumb drives as well as a USB cable, and both of them are part of its accessories kit.
- Simple and user-friendly set up
- Exchangeable and detachable print beds
- Closed-box design to prevent the ingress of foreign matter
- Very detailed prints
- Fully compatible with printing both APS and PLA
- Very fast warm up
- The printer is fairly restricted when it comes to filaments as well as its proprietary cartridge system.
- The unit lacks SD card connectivity
- Technology: Extrusion (FFF, FDM…)
- Material: PLA, Other plastics, ABS
- Max. build size: 228 × 200 × 300 mm
8. Ultimaker 2+ 3D Printer
If you are in the market for the best top-end 3D printer for miniatures, the Ultimaker is just the printer for you because it is tailor-made for the job.
This is an expensive printer. After all, quality is always necessary for any precision 3D printer for miniatures.
The overall construction of this printer is simply amazing. This means that not only will you be able to print miniatures, but also those small custom bits too.
The machine comes with quick swap nozzles that you can simply change with larger or smaller ones. What better way to get both precision and speed at the same time?
- The nozzles can be replaced very easily
- The filament is also very easy to change
- This printer can easily manage even very elaborate detail on most printed miniatures
- It is a considerably more expensive printer than other options
- The overall print speed is quite slow when compared to many other printers
- Nominal Voltage: AC 120/230 V
- Frequency Required: 50/60 Hz
- Power Consumption Operational: 221 Watt
- Technology: Fused filament fabrication
- Connectivity: Wired
9. QIDI Technologies X-one2 Heavyweight Printer
The X-one2 by QIDI Technologies is an efficient mid-range 3D printer. It is an affordable 3D printing solution that acts as a workhorse for heavy-duty printing applications. It can easily hold its own in terms of both print qualities and capabilities when compared to various models that cost a whole lot more. This makes it a great option for people on a budget.
- Great print quality
- Great overall value
- Solid aluminum frame
- Outstanding customer service
- Touchscreen navigation and display
- Easy to use for beginners and hobbyists alike
- Ready to use out of the box
- Compatible with many third-party filaments
- Loading filament is an arduous process
- Very limited build area
- The user manual is not easy to understand
- Max print Size: 145mmx145mmx145mm
- File Format: STL/OBJ and GCODE
- Filament Diameter: 1.75mm
- Extruders: One
10. FlashForge Finder 3D printer
If you are looking for a 3D printer that won’t break the bank and yet perform well, the FlashForge is the answer to your prayers. It might not have the largest volume or the most comprehensive printing capabilities but this is definitely a great introductory budget economic model and a great 3D printer in its own right.
- Affordable price
- Dual Extruder
- Quiet operation
- Durable metal frame
- The set up process is not easy
- Insufficient instructions
- Build volume: 227 × 148 × 150 mm
- Printing Speed: 100 mm/s
- Layer height: 100 microns
- Nozzle size: 0.4 mm
- Extruder Type: Dual
3D Printer for Miniatures: Buying Guide
Before you purchase any of the above printers it is very important to know exactly what your printer can do for you. Let us check out some of the more common touchpoints regarding 3D printers for miniatures:
Build Size and Volume
Build volume will determine how much room you have. However, size isn’t a huge consideration for printing miniatures. While large volumes and sizes are not necessary, but it is always nice to have that capability, as and when required.
3D printer resolution is typically measured in the form of microns. 25 microns is the minimum for miniature printing and the higher end tops around 100.
3D printers use different technologies to get the job done. These range from FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) to Stereolithography and DLP and more. However, FDM and DLP technologies are most often used for miniature printing.
If you are short on time and want to print multiple miniatures simultaneously, you should opt for a dual extruder based machine as opposed to its single extruder counterpart.
Filament Based or Resin Based
The FDM machines extrude hot materials and plastics that are referred to as filaments, to create 3D objects, while DLP uses resin for miniature printing.
If you want a portable 3D printer that you can travel with, you will have to opt for a lighter printer than the more heavy-duty ones.
Where to buy
Some of the really great 3D printers for miniatures are available both online and offline via Amazon as well as authorized dealerships all over the country.
More buying guides
In light of the above, we can state that there are plenty of 3d printer options available for the ardent hobbyist. It does not matter if you are a novice or a professional, we are sure you will be able to find the ideal 3D printer amongst the above choices mentioned in this review.
To recap, the Ultimaker is probably the best all-around 3D printer there is. For very detailed miniatures, though, stick to a resin-based printer like the Elegoo Mars or Anycubic Photon.