What are the best 3D printed models

The best 3D printer for miniatures and models 2019

If you're reading this, you might be interested in 3D printed miniatures and / or wargames terrain. Below are the best 3D printers for miniatures and models.

Before we really get started, let's get this out of the way. Right now, it's simply not possible to replicate your favorite models directly with 3D printed miniatures. Firstly, it is illegal to steal intellectual property from other companies, and secondly, miniatures with the level of quality available from an affordable 3D printer do not yet exist. To say it's damn close

Don't get me wrong, you can make incredibly high quality prints. However, if you are looking to 3D print a Space Marine or Stormcast model, you will likely be disappointed. Especially if you're hoping for something like Resin Sculps. You can make some decent 3D printed D&D miniatures. 3D printing miniature figures are really fun and rewarding, it's essentially a hobby in itself. When you don't have to worry about stealing someone else's IP address. You can get some incredible creations.

Check out Heroforge for some great customizable 3D printed desk miniatures

In fact, generic models are abundant online if you are looking at 3D printed tabletop miniatures or looking for 3D printed RPG miniatures. Then there are websites where you can design a custom model and download the file for printing. This also applies to 3D printing of WW2 miniatures. From full models to components, this opens up a whole new world of possibilities for many model builders.

While the process of “whole models with 28 mm print” is not quite at its peak. Larger models and slightly less detailed 3D printer game thumbnails are still very accessible, even with the printers in place, users are improving their model printing results every day.

To see all of our guides on Best Miniature Tools, click the image above.

The Best 3D Printers for Miniatures and Models - Summary

If you don't worry about arguments and just want to see the list, check out this quick roundup of the best 3D printers for miniatures and mockups.

Why 3D Print Minis?

There are many great reasons to use 3D printing in your miniature hobby. You can create incredibly detailed 3D printed custom thumbnails. Although not quite on the same level of quality as the extruded plastic models you get at retail outlets. But still God enough to exist as part of your armies. They are great for making a variety of terrain pieces. The best thing, however, is to manufacture custom components and conversion parts for existing models. Think of weapons, emblems, and pieces of armor.

If you want your models to stand out on the tabletop, as I have said many times before. They just have to look a little different from the norm.

Another fun thing to do with 3D printers is to get yourself some hobby tools or supporting components. You can make a brush or paint holder, storage for your models, water pots and mini holders. A popular miniature painter of the fans, Garfy who is very active in the community and has written a ton of incredible guides about History of Painters (one of my personal favorite blogs) even started his own business of 3D printed miniatures and made some of the best miniatures Painting handles you can buy.

Print quality and types of 3D printers.

If you want to know how to 3D print miniatures it really depends on the printer you get. If you want to know which miniature 3D printer to get, it depends on what you want to print.

It's worth noting that there are two main types of 3D printers. One of them uses a plastic thread that is passed through a nozzle (or multiple nozzles). These are F.used D.eposition M. Odor printer (FDM). The other uses a bath of liquid resin that is hardened when light is focused in what is commonly known as a resin printer. There are also a few other sub-categories within these two main categories.

To understand print quality, you need to know how the printers work.

FDM printer got a roll of plastic wire called P.olyL.aktiv EINcid (PLA) or EINCrylonitril B.Utadien S.Tyren (ABS). The latter is generally stronger but requires more head to become usable. They are types of thermoplastics, which means that they can be heated to a temperature that makes them act like a liquid.

An FDM printer feeds this roll of plastic wire into a nozzle, which heats it to its reformable temperature. The plastic is extruded through the printer nozzle and the printhead is moved. The printer extrudes the plastic layers. Once one layer of a model is ready, the head moves up and prints the next layer.

The quality of these prints will depend on many factors, the type of plastic used, the size of the nozzle, the minimum layer height you can achieve, and your patience. But in general (compared to resin 3D printers below) the print quality is much lower, but you can make much larger models.

Resin printer are a completely different animal. Instead of a roll of plastic wire, you'll create a bath of liquid resin. The resin hardens when ultraviolet (UV) light is shined on it. Here we have the sub-categories.

S.TereoL.Ithography EIN pparatus (SLA) technology uses UV lasers that are focused on specific points, causing the resin to harden. Unlike FDM printers, where the printhead moves. With resin printers, the light is located under the resin bath. The print base itself is raised when the laser is focused. You will see that resin printers actually print the models upside down.

D.igital L.Nacht P. The way of processing (DLP) is identical, except that a screen or a UV projection plate is used instead of lasers. This is also printed in layers, but with SLA printers where the laser traces the surface of each layer. DLP actually prints a whole layer at a time. This makes them faster than SLA printers. However, the quality of your print is limited by the resolution of the panel. in contrast to the ultra-fine beam of a laser

The most noticeable influence on the quality are the individual layers of the model. If these are too thick, you will see ridges on each layer that is being printed. These are quite noticeable on FDM printers and will also show up after priming a model. There are ways to smooth this out, e.g. B. manual sanding that takes forever or acetone steam that smooths the entire model, including deliberately sharp edges.

On resin printers, these layer edges are almost non-existent, but they are still there.

user friendliness

3D printing is as much a skill as it is a new technology. If you want to get the most out of any of these printers, you are unlikely to get these results right away. There are many settings to understand for 3D printing that create or damage a quality model.

Similar to 2D printers, there are several options to consider. When you get a 2D printer (which is pretty much standardized now) you have the option to print in different grades. Black & White or Color? Are you printing a document or a photo? What quality would you like this photo? All of these options can use more or less ink, print faster or slower. Even the paper you are using and the printer's knowledge of that type of paper can have a dramatic effect on the quality.

It's the same with 3D printing, but more, much more. 3D printing doesn't have many standards yet, it's still in its infancy, which should inspire you to see how far it can go. I was still using a dot matrix printer 20 years ago. (because my school was cheap). However, this means that you will need to tweak many of the complicated settings to get the results you want.

There are two main considerations when it comes to quality. Nozzle width, laser beam width or the resolution of the UV projection field control the level of detail on the X and Y axes. (left / right and back and forth, like a 2D printer) The accuracy of how incrementally the construction site's printhead can be moved on the Z-axis (up and down) controls your vertical quality.

If you are into 3D printing please understand that high quality comes from time and understanding. Fortunately, the resources are numerous and many people have already found some of the best settings to use. A consideration that we took into account in compiling the following list.

It's not just 3D printing that has a huge community, but every printer has its own sub-communities, and miniature printing is a 3D printing sub-community in itself. So don't worry, you are not alone and there are numerous resources to help speed your progress. Use these instructions to print high quality models very quickly.

The best 3D printers for miniatures and models

The following list focuses on the print quality order. Note, however, that this is based on the best possible quality determined by trial and error using specific settings for each device. It is unlikely that you will get the best possible print quality right away. Unless you want to pay for it.

So expect the top half of this list to be FDM printers and the bottom half of the list to be resin. Resin printers are currently unrivaled in terms of print quality. Please remember that people are learning new things about these printers every day, so the best quality of any printer can easily be surpassed this morning.

6. XYZ - DaVinci Mini

This model is included in this list for a reason. It's a cheap, (mostly) pre-made desktop printer. It's a low resolution printer. There are no built-in controls, which means that a connection to a PC or smartphone is required (although the latter has a limitation in terms of printing options for models). This model also requires you to purchase XYZ's own filament. A filament that is more expensive than generic filament. And their customer service was rated terrible.

It's cheap, easy to set up and use, and comes in a variety of colors. If you don't care too much about print quality and are just looking for something cheap to play with, this is your place to look, but if you spend just a little more you can get a much better printer.

Pressure range: 150mm x 150mm x 150mm (6 "x 6" x 6 ")

5. Monoprice Select Mini v2

The Monoprice Maker Select is another low budget FDM option that is only slightly more expensive than the above option, but is better in every way. With the exception of a smaller build plate. This printer is pretty sturdy, and you can use any standard filament. You also have controls on the printer and can insert an SD card with your 3D model files.

This printer is ready to use right out of the box. While the printing area is only 120 mm³, it is still large enough for most miniature models and smaller pieces of terrain. The Monoprice Select also has numerous amazing communities to help you get the best print quality possible.

(Cheap) with good quality, small build plate

Pressure range: 120mm x 120mm x 120mm

4. Creality Ender 3

Creality is a very popular name among 3D printing brands. Again, this is only a minor increase in price over the budget models above, which still keeps this in the low budget category. The communities for this printer are huge and this is the first printer to offer truly competitive print quality.

There is more work to be done with this printer since you have to assemble it yourself, although it is not that difficult if you just follow the instructions. There are also numerous video tutorials online.

What's more, you can even print out upgrades and mods for this printer with the printer itself.

This printer has a generous print area that is perfect for larger models and pieces of terrain. Once assembled you can print right away, but there is a lot to learn to get the best quality. Once you've got your settings right, you can create incredibly high quality prints

Pressure range: 220 mm x 220 mm x 250 mm

AliExpress.com Product - Ender-3 Pro CREALITY 3D Printer DIY Kit Ender-3 PRO Printing Mask Magic Cmagnet Build Surface 220 * 220 * 250MM With Branded Power Supply

3. Reality CR-10

As one of the most popular printers, it has a very large build plate. and an active online community. This is also one of the higher quality printers. For the price, it really has a good balance of everything from quality to size.

You have yet to build most of this printer yourself, but it's only a 30 minute job. The assembly is a little easier than the Ender 3. As with the little brother Ender 3, you have to make some changes to the settings to achieve the highest level of quality. Regardless of what you do, it will still print with layers visible, but you can minimize them a lot. With a smaller print nozzle, you can improve the print quality tremendously.

Pressure range: 300mm x 300mm x 400mm

AliExpress.com Product - Original CREALITY CR-10 V2 3D Printer Full Metal DIY Kit Silent Mainboard Resume Print Meanwell Power Supply

Creality CR10s

Another step further are the Creality CR10s, which are a little more stable. It recognizes when you are out of filament and you can continue your print job halfway. However, these features are more useful for large prints where filament volume is difficult to estimate, or for prints that take days.

Pressure range: 300mm x 300mm x 400mm

AliExpress.com Product - CREALITY 3D Upgrade CR-10S PRO V2 3D Printer BL Touch Leveling with Resume Print Filament Sensor

Resin printer

If you are looking to print your own parts and miniatures, quality is paramount. In addition to the FDM printers listed above, there are other models with much better print quality. But these have their price. Even the Creality CR10 is more expensive than the cheaper resin printers, but the enormous construction volume accounts for the loss of quality.

With resin printers, the quality is much higher. However, these printers and the models they create require a greater degree of care.

Resin prints are made using UV light against a resin bath. The resin bath must be emptied and thoroughly cleaned after each print. The model must be rinsed of liquid residues with alcohol and further cured with UV light (e.g. sunlight or a special light oven). All of this is before you start cleaning up the supports.

Oh, and resin stinks and you need gloves to handle it because it's toxic.

2. Elegoo Mars

With the Elegoo Mars in a great entry-level 3D printer, you will hardly notice any quality differences in your print between this and the following model. The main disadvantage is that it is not that widely used and therefore has a smaller printing community behind it.

The Elegoo Mars has a slightly larger build area, the processing quality of the printer itself is a bit more basic. Not bad in any way, just not quite as robust. The advantage of this, however, is that you can easily remove the entire IR cover and access all printer components.

This is a DLP printer that cures the resin using an LED screen. Many believe that this is the same component that is found in the cubic photon S., although I have not found any confirmation of this. The layer height is 30-60 micrometers. This is 0.5 micrometers larger than the Anycubic Photon S. To put this into perspective, the average human hair is 75 micrometers in diameter.

Only when it comes to deciding which to get of these is it probably worth going for the one that is cheapest at the time.

1. Anycubic Photon S.

This is another entry-level resin printer that is very popular. This is a DLP printer, which means that the UV light is projected onto a screen below the resin bath. In relation to the quality level, let's look at the level height. Unlike extruded plastic, this printer has a resolution of 47 micrometers (0.047 mm versus 0.25 mm for an FDM nozzle) and a minimum layer height of 25 micrometers.That's three times thinner than the average human hair!

For more information on miniatures, see our Anycubic Photon S test

The Anycubic Photon S has stronger UV light than its predecessor and the double rail on the Z-axis prevents Z wobbling. A problem the solution of which had to be changed

This has the smallest maximum print volume of any printer on this list, but is more than enough for thumbnails. The device is already prefabricated. All you have to do is calibrate the pressure bead and the pressure. This can be up and running in less than 30 minutes. But don't hurry. You need to know how to clean this printer before you start. Resin printers require care and attention.

While this has a smaller build volume as Anycubic has been around for a long time. The support community behind this printer is much larger. This is what easily brings the Anycubic to the top. But it's a split hair fringe (pun intended) any of these printers would produce impressive results.

Still, this is one of the best miniature printers you can buy for an affordable price. In addition, you are spending a lot of money!

The best 3D printer for miniatures and models - final thoughts

As I said above, 3D printing entire miniatures isn't quite there yet. Although with the Anycubic Photon's 25 micron layer height, you can get very close if you want to spend the money.

It is important to decide what your budget is and how much effort you want to invest. With FDM printers, the effort is directed in advance to get the correct settings for fine layers on your printer. You might think you're just printing everything in the thinnest layer, but the problem is that when you print the next layer, the heat of the environment reactivates the layer below and warps it. FDM is betting on miniatures and terrain above everything else. It's all about how much you are willing to spend.

With resin, you'll want to tidy up more afterward, but that's the only way to get smooth prints. It has the added benefit of being a bit more plug and play too.

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  • Self-proclaimed Editor in Chief of FauxHammer.com - But I have to thank the team for making it exist and allowing me to give myself a role - without them I'm just a nerd with a computer and a plastic addiction.

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The best 3D printer for miniatures and models
Below are the best 3D printers for miniatures and models.