Best 3D Printers in 2023 – Our top 5 picks for professional, hobbyist, miniatures
Not too long ago, 3D printers were only reserved for people looking to run a 3D printing business. Those that did not fall into this category but wanted to own 3D printers had to have deep pockets. If you did not have strong financial muscles or had no interest in running a 3D printing business, you did not need to get a 3D printer.
The case is different today as virtually everyone can get a 3D printer if they know its existence. This is great. However, it comes with a challenge; selecting the right 3D printer can be arduous.
If this is not a process you are up to, you do not have to go through it. We have done the needed research and have put together the best 3D printers in 2023.
Products at a Glance
How we picked the best 3D printers
There is a selection of top-quality 3D printers on the market. So, selecting the best for 2023 took a lot of work. To get the best of the best, we considered their ease of use, their defining features, how they work under pressure, accuracy, price points, and of course whether they are worth the price tag they come with.
We’ve also considered use cases and the filament types that can be used: be it ABS, PA, PETG, PLA, or TPU, features, and additional kit that’s included. As well as intense research into the world of 3D printing, we’ve drawn on our knowledge of the market to deliver the best 3D printers for a range of uses. If you’re relatively new to 3D printer tech, you can check out our complete guide on 3D printing for extra information. And you can check out our best 3D printer for beginners guide. If cost is more important. have a look at our best budget 3D printer list.
Best 3D Printers in 2023 – Our top 5 picks for professional, hobbyist, miniatures
- Easy to use
- Great print quality
- Unresponsive touchscreen
As a small business owner or a professional looking to use a 3D printer, the Dremel DIgiLab 3D45 3D printer will offer you good value for money. This tool is great. However, it might be less good for you if you are looking to use a 3D printer on a commercial level given its limited size. This is one of the best enclosed 3D printers on the market and is a great option for seasoned and beginner printers alike.
Although this firm is not the most popular for its 3D printers, it is known for its high level of craftsmanship, and this 3D printer is a product of such craftsmanship. Furthermore, this printer already has a reputation for churning out prints of high quality.
The Dremel DigiLab 3D45 3D printer features a close frame, ensuring that users do not get in harm’s way while it works. Additionally, you can print from a USB thumb drive, Wi-Fi connection, or Ethernet. It also features an HD built-in camera – enabling remote print monitoring.
In terms of build dimensions, the Dremel offers 6.7″ X 10″ X 6″ (170 x 254 x 152 mm).
- Dual extruders
- Great for large build volume
- Easy set up
- Slow printing
Ultimaker S5 is not one of the cheapest 3D printers in the market. It is quite expensive. While this could look like a drawback, it actually offers you good value for money and comes with several premium features, notably a heated bed allowing for smoother prints.
The S5 is a 3D printer for pros and is particularly good for people looking to print large objects, with build dimensions of 330 x 240 x 300 mm. So if you want to get a printer for large prototypes, this is a serious contender. This printer also has a closed frame to help minimize contaminants like dust.
It also comes with dual extruders, making it possible for you to print two filament types – while it supports filaments including PLA, Tough PLA, Nylon ABS, PVA, and TPU. This device was designed for pros. However, setting it up and operating it is very easy.
- Easy to use
- High quality prints
- Complicated App
- Expensive filaments
With the MakerBot Replicator+ comes a good number of connectivity alternatives. So, it is up to you how exactly you want to print. Also, you can choose to print from a computer. If this is the route you want to take, you can print from Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or USB. Also, you can print from a tablet or phone with the MakerBot app. There is more. This 3D printer has its software, which can be adjusted to suit whoever uses it.
This printer is an open-frame device. However, this is not a problem as its external nozzle is behind the extruder assembly and is difficult to get to – so there is a little bit of protection rather than it being fully exposed.
This printer is a good choice for the hobbyist, and we say that considering it has build dimensions of approximately 295 x 195 x 165 mm (11.6 x 7.6 x 6.5 in). The modest area means miniatures are a sensible focus for this 3d printer too.
- Magnetic heat bed
- Filament runout sensor
- Resume printing function
- Manual bed leveling
Supporting multiple languages via its TFT touch screen, the BIQU B1 utilizes a variety of advanced technology to deliver an FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) printer you won’t regret investing in. A variety of FDM printers are available, but for our money, Its very own magnetic patch allows for easy removal of models every single time!
One exceptionally cool feature is that in the event of a power outage, the last recorded extruder position will be assumed and printing will resume right from where you were, minimizing waste and saving you time starting from scratch. On the downside, the BIQU B1 doesn’t have an automatic bed, instead, it has a manual bed so should you want auto-leveling, you’d be out of luck.
- High detailed and fast prints
- Minimal and easy to setup
- Easy to level the print plate
- Connecting to Wi-Fi is difficult
Three times faster than its counterparts, the AnyCubic Photon Mono X takes just one second for single-layer exposure, with a maximum printing speed of 60mm/s, ready to bring you the highest quality models in half the time of competing products. THe high throughput and build volume is certainly a plus point.
An ultra-high resolution, app remote control, and a large printing volume are just some of its impressive key features: expect to spend more on this bad boy and in return experience some of the best and brightest models ever printed at home.
In terms of build dimensions, the Photon Mono X is 192 x 120 x 245 mm (7.5 x 4.7 x 9.8 in). This makes it another 3D printer for anyone looking to focus on miniatures.
Things to Consider in the Best 3D Printers in 2023
When looking to buy the best 3D printer in 2023, there are factors you have to consider to ensure you get value for your money. Some of these factors are;
The best 3D printers in 2023 are associated with amazing features. So, this is something you need to look out for when shopping for one. In the absence of top-notch features, you might want to avoid spending money on a 3D printer. If you need to save on desk space you may want to consider one of the best small 3D printers instead.
A 3D printer is not necessarily a good one because it is expensive. Sometimes, less expensive printers are better than their expensive counterparts. Going by this, if you are getting a 3D printer because it is expensive, you are making the wrong move. It would be best if you looked out for value. The best 3D printers offer value for money. They could be expensive or cheap. Regardless, they come with a lot of value.
You do not want to buy a 3D printer only to use it for a short time. If you must avoid heading to the market to get a 3D printer frequently, you should consider durability before settling for any.
What should I look for in 3D printer connectivity?
3D printing software performs three main functions. It processes an object file (moving, rotating, resizing, and duplicating it), slices it (into virtual layers), and finally, prints it. This is almost always universally combined into a seamless process. Some high-end printers have software that supports an even wider range of settings.
Connection options from model to model may vary with cheaper sets, however. They almost all have a USB Type-A port to fit a thumb drive for printing from document files, and a USB Type-B port for connecting directly to a computer. Some also offer Wi-fi as an alternative, and some even let you connect via Ethernet to share a printer across a local network.
Some printers let you store 3D files on an SD or microSD card. Most 3D printer manufacturers (even budget-friendly ones) have a mobile app to launch and monitor print jobs, and some let you access cloud services for you to print from.
What software is used for 3D printing?
There are several different software platforms available for designing 3D objects to be printed. The one you use will depend on what it is you want to print!
You can print out premade files as much as you like, but to design and print your own projects, you’re going to need modeling software. There are several free options that could work for you, including Sculptris, TinkerCAD, Blender, SketchUp Free, OpenSCAD, and FreeCAD.
Those seeking a more sophisticated experience should look at paid software like SolidWorks, AutoCAD, Fusion 360, ZBrush or Rhino. Each has its own pros, cons, and suitabilities, so do some research if you’re going to put cash on the line.
Perhaps most important after choosing your modeling program is finding a good quality slicing software: these are required for turning digital 3D mesh models into G-code, which is the “instructions” that are sent to a 3D printer in order for it to physically reproduce the design.
The two most popular free slicing software are Slic3r and Cura, which might look simple but work surprisingly well in small-scale printing setups and for the majority of small to medium-sized printing projects.
When you’re slicing commercial 3D objects, you might want to consider Simplify3D, which is hailed by professionals as the best possible slicer. Yes, you have to pay for it, but for the best possible results – and multi-part printing – it won’t let you down.
Last but not least, if your software does not have mesh tools and you come across a printable 3D mesh that is causing errors in your slicing software or the printer itself, you need to use mesh repair software like Meshmixer or MeshLab in order to fix them.
Do 3D printers come with software?
The majority of them do, yes! Whether that’s in the form of a physical disk, SD card, or a link to download the software from the internet, most 3D printers will provide you with a program or two to use alongside them, usually just for slicing.
As already explained, you’re going to need mesh repair software to fix any issues with premade 3D objects you download and have trouble with. If you want to design your own 3D objects, you’ll also need to access a modeling program too.
If you’ve already spent a good few hundred dollars on a 3D printer, you’re probably not going to want to shell out more on fancy software from the best manufacturers. No worries – there’s plenty of free-to-download programs easily accessible online.
Although they might not be as detailed or as sophisticated as commercial or professional paid software, you’ll be able to achieve most if not all of your design goals using free programs, especially if you’re not working in a commercial setting.
What is the right volume for a 3D printer?
A 3D printer’s build volume is the maximum dimensions (HWD) of a part that it can print. The smallest build volume of any 3D printer is usually 3.9 by 3.9 by 4.9-inches. Medium printers are usually 10 by 10 by 10-inches, and any printer with at least one build dimension of more than 10-inches is considered large.
Usually, budget-friendly 3D printers have small build volumes, while more expensive ones tend to be larger. But this also depends partly on the type of printer. Closed-frame 3D printers tend to have small build volumes, while open-frame printers (that are not as sturdy) often have relatively large build volumes. Importantly, the right build volume will depend on what you want to print.
Should I get an open-frame or closed-frame 3D Printer?
Closed-frame 3D printers are boxlike devices with a rigid base, walls (with a transparent door at the front), and top. They muffle noise, reduce odor from any melted filament, and they are safer if you have any children or pets around who might accidentally touch the hot extruder. However, they are smaller than open-frame printers.
Low-cost 3D printers are available in both open-frame and closed-frame models. If you’re after a larger build volume, then you may get more value for money with an open-framed model. However, they tend to be noisy, emit odors when certain plastics are melted, offer little protection, and some may require assembly and more maintenance to keep them running smoothly.
In terms of all-round product, price, and features, our best 3D printer is the Dremel Digi Lab 3D45. All of the printers on this list are good options, but this is the one we’d opt for. Of course, if you want something more ‘professional’ in terms of build dimensions this may not be the pick for you – but we’re sure there’s something for you on this list, whether you want to print as a hobby or otherwise.