Best small 3D printer 2023: our top mini 3D printers
For mini-printing tasks, the best small 3D printer may be all you need. 3D printing can be highly rewarding and while these may not offer some of the high-end features we see in the best 3D printers, you can still create and produce amazing objects with smaller printers. Mini 3D printers offer excellent quality prints without taking up tons of desk space, making them ideal for printing miniatures, jewelry, and other trinkets for a hobby or small business.
Now, if you’re not into all the technical stuff and just want a quick list, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with a simple rundown of the best professional 3D printers for Miniatures and models. Let’s dive in!
Products at a Glance
What can you 3D print with a mini 3D printer?
With the best tiny 3D printers, you can create small things like mini spools of 3D printing material, a little spinning carousel, earrings, a fun bottle cap figure, a small lock, a tape holder, and a cool nightlight. You can also print useful things for your kitchen, like coasters to protect your table, covers for your knives, tools to open stubborn jars, holders for your cups, and stylish cutlery. You can easily create cool accessories to wear, like hats, belts, watch straps, and belt buckles.
Best small 3D printer 2023: our top mini 3D printers
- Automatic bed leveling
- Auto filament loading
- Failed print detection
- Large print bed
- Filament holders can be mounted vertically or horizontally
- Could be a bit too expensive for beginners
The AnkerMake M5C 3D printer stands out as a reliable performer, excelling in both speed and user-friendliness, making it a top choice among 3D printers. It impressively achieves speeds five times faster than your typical printer and offers features like automatic bed leveling, auto filament loading, and the ability to detect and address failed prints.
Notably, this printer consistently produces high-quality prints and has the added feature of capturing captivating time-lapse videos during the printing process with its built-in camera. Operating as a Cartesian type 3D printer, similar to the popular Ender 3 S1 Pro, it boasts a standard speed of 250 mm/s, significantly faster than other printers in its category.
The AnkerMake M5C is one of the best space-saving 3D printing devices that excels in print accuracy while remaining remarkably straightforward to set up and operate.
- Reliable printing of a variety of objects, many of them including hinges or other moving parts
- Easy to use; no need to install apps or configure slicers
- Maximum 200-micron resolution, which is average
- Smaller print area compared to other options
The Toybox 3D 1-Touch Kid-Friendly Children’s Toy Printer is an affordable 3D printer designed specifically for children. It offers easy and reliable printing directly from a web browser or mobile device.
Its extensive toy catalog sets it apart, making it simple for kids to design and print their toys with just one touch. The Toybox printer is impressively user-friendly, making it suitable even for elementary school students. Despite its child-friendly design, it maintains a sleek and mature appearance with its smooth metal frame and white powdered coated surface, featuring rounded and safe edges.
While the Toybox 3D printer is tailored for kids, it may not have the most advanced features. With a maximum 200-micron resolution, it falls in the average range, and its print area is relatively small, which can be seen as a limitation. Nevertheless, it’s an enjoyable device that allows you to create simple, colorful toys instantly, offering young makers a glimpse into the world of manufacturing.
What’s particularly convenient is that you can start printing without the hassle of app installations or slicer configurations; just press “print.”
- Heated bed with a special pad to enhance layer cohesion
- Compatible with different operating systems and 3D modeling software
- Small print bed
- Not the fastest print speed
The Monoprice Select Mini V2 is an economical 3D printer that provides satisfactory print quality and is user-friendly. It boasts a compact design, making it suitable for use in various settings such as homes, offices, or schools.
This printer includes a heated bed with a specialized pad to enhance layer adhesion and is compatible with a range of filament types. It offers three connectivity options and can work seamlessly with various operating systems and 3D modeling software.
However, it’s important to note that the Monoprice Select Mini V2 has a limited print bed size and operates at a relatively slow printing speed. Despite these drawbacks, it remains an excellent value for the price, making it an ideal choice for beginners or individuals with budget constraints.
- Large printing area
- Easy to use
- Produces highly detailed resin 3D printed parts
- Calibration can be challenging for beginners
The Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K stands out as one of the best resin 3D printers that excels in delivering high-resolution output, making it particularly well-suited for creating intricately detailed models. Distinguishing itself as the most user-friendly 4K resin 3D printer available, it achieves an ultra-high resolution of 722 PPI, setting a new standard in the market.
This printer offers 4K resolution printing at an impressive 35μm, coupled with a spacious 6.1″ printing area, enabling the creation of exceptionally detailed resin 3D prints that faithfully replicate your original 3D designs. In terms of speed, the Sonic Mini 4K ranks among the fastest resin 3D printers available, capable of completing one layer in a mere two seconds.
Additionally, it seamlessly integrates with the widely used ChituBox software, ensuring effortless compatibility right out of the box.
- Removable heated build plate
- Great value for money
- Simple menu system
- No specific cons
The Monoprice Voxel 3D printer is a user-friendly option with a fully enclosed design, making it ideal for beginners. Its operation is straightforward, featuring a user-friendly menu system displayed on a 2.8″ color IPS touch screen.
This printer includes a removable heated build plate and offers a respectable build volume of 150 x 150 x 150 mm, accommodating various printing needs. Notably, it comes equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity and boasts 8GB of internal memory, simplifying the process of file transfer and enabling wireless printing.
While it provides good value for its price point and delivers satisfactory print quality, it’s important to mention that its leveling system is less than optimal, and the build plate can sometimes be excessively adhesive.
Advantages and disadvantages of using PlA versus Abs for Printing small objects
When it comes to 3D printing smaller objects, there are two primary materials to consider – PLA and ABS. Let’s delve into the pros and cons of each for printing:
Advantages of PLA:
- Ease of Printing: PLA stands out for being easier to work with compared to ABS. This makes it a great choice for beginners.
- Lower Printing Temperatures: PLA can be printed at lower temperatures, which is not only convenient but also saves energy.
- Reduced Warping: PLA is less prone to warping during printing, resulting in smoother prints.
Disadvantages of PLA:
- Limited Heat Resistance: PLA is not well-suited for high-temperature environments due to its lower heat resistance.
- Brittle Nature: While PLA is durable, it is more susceptible to cracking upon impact when compared to ABS.
- UV Sensitivity: Prolonged exposure to UV light can degrade PLA prints over time.
- Specialized Use: PLA is less commonly used in typical consumer and industrial applications compared to ABS.
Advantages of ABS:
- High Heat Resistance: ABS excels in environments with higher temperatures, making it suitable for certain applications.
- Toughness: ABS is preferred for projects requiring toughness and resistance to impact, making it ideal for small functional projects.
- Durability: It provides enhanced durability, making it a solid choice for items that need to withstand wear and tear.
Disadvantages of ABS:
- Printing Difficulty: ABS can be trickier to print with, demanding more precise settings and skilled handling.
- Warping and Shrinkage: ABS is more susceptible to warping, curling, and shrinkage during the printing process, which can affect the outcome.
- Surface Finish: Prints made with ABS tend to have a rougher and less glossy surface finish compared to PLA.
Which small 3D printer is best for you?
When choosing the best small 3D printer, several factors must be considered. Here are some of the most important factors based on the search results:
Several types of small-footprint 3D printers exist, including FDM, SLA, and SLS. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages.
Print quality is an important factor to consider when choosing a 3D printer. High resolution usually means slower print speed, and vice versa. It is important to look for a printer that consistently produces high-quality prints with smooth-looking models and 0.1 mm or thinner layers.
Print speed is another essential factor to consider when choosing a 3D printer. Increasing the print bed’s temperature or extruder’s temperature can increase print speed, but only up to a point before overheating issues arise.
Ease of Use
The ease of use of a 3D printer is a major factor in selecting one, especially for beginners. Looking for a printer with an intuitive software interface and a straightforward calibration process is important. It’s also important to look for a reliable and consistent printer with a low risk of jams or other issues that can disrupt the printing process.
The best mini 3D printing technology is the one that suits your budget and matches your individual needs and preferences. There are many options to choose from, ranging from super low-budget printers to high-end models.
With the best small 3D printer, you can create all the props you need and love without taking up too much desk space. For bigger projects you may want to consider the best professional 3D printers, however, for all your trinkets and pieces of jewelry, the models above will serve you well.
Whether you’re a hobbyist, a gamer, or a designer, the world of 3D printing offers limitless possibilities for crafting intricate and detailed miniatures that reflect your unique vision.
So, go ahead, embark on your 3D printing adventure, and let your creativity soar. With the right knowledge, tools, and dedication, you’ll find that 3D printing is not just a hobby; it’s an art form waiting for you to explore and excel in. Just choose the printer you love.