WARNING: 3D Printing is addictive. Once you start, know that there will be no end to it and there will be no such thing as your “last project”, brace yourself for a world full of fun, excitement, and endless creativity.
I’m telling you, you have been warned.
Okay, now that the scary introduction caught your attention. Let’s properly start this off and find out why 3D printing is the next best hobby (or side hustle) that you can start!
Printing is an everyday thing for teachers. From printing resource materials to be used for primary instructions or supplemental learning, to questionnaires and coursework, to meeting materials and more, teachers print almost everything, you name it
But now printing is no longer just limited to paper, because thanks to the everchanging advancement of technology, we have been blessed with the rise of 3D printers, which benefits not only all kinds of industries but also hobbyists as well.
3D printing is just pure awesomeness, ever since it has become more popular and more affordable as well many people have come to find the figments of their imagination come to life.
So if you’re out and about looking for an entry-level 3D printer or a top-notch one that will deliver you professional results, you’re in luck because we’re going over 8 of the best personal 3D printers that you can get your hands on today!
A quick-start guide to 3D printing for beginners
Whether you are new to 3D printing or a seasoned hobbyist, it’s a fact that the world of 3D printing can set you on a path full of wonder, excitement, and unlimited possibilities that will stir your imagination and creativity to the fullest.
So if you are thinking of taking up 3D printing for yourself, this guide will help you know how you can get started if you are currently considering venturing into 3D printing for personal or business purposes.
Before we fully dive into the deets, let’s get to know the basics.
What is 3D printing?
Currently, 3D printing is taking over the world and it’s changing the way we produce objects from everyday tools, toys, clothing, food, and even to human body parts! How amazing is that, right?
So what exactly is 3D printing and how does it work? Let’s quickly break it down first in order for us to further understand and get to know this awesome technology that’s taking the world by storm.
Basically, 3D printing is known as additive manufacturing that allows users to print simple to complex solid objects at a fraction of the cost and time it would normally take to create them.
3D printers work similarly to printers but in a totally different way because instead of needing ink cartridges and paper to print, 3D printers require the use of a special spool of printing materials that can either be in the form of plastic, powder, resins, metal and more.
And because the materials that can be used for 3D printing are so diverse, it is flexible enough for its users to determine the shape, size, texture, and strength of the 3D model that they want to print straight from the computer—the only limit would be is one’s imagination.
So basically, what 3D printing does is create something with far fewer steps compared to traditional means of production. 3D printing cuts down your time and effort all while being at a fraction allowing your creations to come to life right before your eyes in just a matter of time.
Right at this moment, as you are reading this you can already buy yourself your very own and personal 3D printer and print simple to complex 3D models via modeling software.
So if creating something with your own hands is just right up your alley, then 3D printing might be the next best hobby that you can try that can also turn into a side hustle if you’re looking to start one.
Now, moving on to how you can use it and how it will work, your first step is to create a blueprint a.k.a. A CAD model of the object that you want to print.
This might require you to use 3D modeling software but if you don’t want to go through the meticulous process you do have the alternative option to visit websites online that other 3D printer users have modeled and shared online.
Once you’ve decided on what to print and you have your digital model ready, simply head on to your 3D printer and load the data and then you can sit back and relax and let the 3D printer take care of the rest.
Depending on what you are creating and depending on the capability of the 3D printer, the process can take hours to even days for more complex details.
What can a 3D printer print?
The amazing thing about 3D printers is that you can print almost anything you want as long as your 3D printer size and capability can handle your 3D model. Basically, any solid object that comes into your mind you can print out.
Ranging from sunglasses, a milk jug, nerf gun parts to bike accessories, phone accessories, a bottle opener, and even spare keys which I think you can agree is just pure awesome.
And don’t fret if you’re not really that tech-savvy yet with all the technical stuff because you can buy personalized 3D models online or even download some for free!
3D Printing Process: Materials You Need
The 3D printing process starts off with a CAD 3D model design which is the data that the printer uses as the instruction about the amount, location, and type of material to use to create the object that you want it o print.
And to create the digital file you’ll need modeling software, some can be purchased and prices may vary depending on the features and usability of the software itself, but for beginners, software like Tinkercad and FreeCAD are free to use and are a good place to start.
3D Scanner App
If using a modeling software app is too complicated for you at the moment, as I have mentioned, you can round up decent 3D models online or use a 3D scanner app that will enable you to create any 3D model based on something that you already have in real life (i.e. a vase or toy).
But do know that some editing and polishing is still required before you let your 3D printer do its thing.
Now that you have your digital 3D model, a slicing software app is your next step as this will create the thin horizontal layers for your 3D model.
Depending on the 3D printer that you are planning to get, there are a wide array of raw materials that you can choose from. You just need to make sure that the material that you will use is compatible with the printer that you have.
Below are the most common materials used in 3D printing:
Know that there are many kinds of 3D printers and each of which has its own range of compatible materials. The most commonly used material is plastic filaments which are heated to the point of melting for extrusion.
PLA (Polylactic Acid) – dubbed as the “green plastic” as it is made from renewable resources such as cornstarch. It is great for educational purposes in school as it is safe and is also very easy to use.
PLA is a great starting ground as you get more acquainted with the process of 3D printing. This material is fairly easy to use with a standard configuration at a low cost making it highly ideal for beginners.
This can also be printed on cold surfaces and is also available in a wide array of colors.
ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) – a type of thermoplastic material that is widely used in the manufacturing industry and now in 3D printing as well.
This is usually the go-to material for most 3D printers as it is always accessible and is also available in a wide range of colors at an inexpensive price point too. ABS is also known for its durability and it is also fairly easy to print.
Nylon (Polyamide) – Another thermoplastic material widely used in 3D printing. It is well-known for its flexibility and durability along with its low friction and corrosion-resistant properties. But printer suitability also varies because not all 3D printers are compatible with the use of nylon material.
PET-G – Another great filament material for beginners due to its likeness with ABS. You’re probably already familiar with this type of material as it is most commonly used in plastic drinking bottles.
PET-G is highly durable, sturdy, and is lightweight as well. This raw material is also odorless, great for users who don’t like the smell of plastic exposed to high temperatures.
Resins – There are 3D printers that use resins as their main material for printing, the three most commonly used types of resin for 3D printing are the standard resin, tough resin, and medical-grade resin.
Standard resins are used to print smaller prototypes but are not usually fit to use as a final product, tough resins are preferred in a more professional setting for their greater physical resistance to higher impact.
Medical grade resins on the other hand are usually used for printing hearing aids and creating custom dental molds and works—and still more advancements are made using 3D printers in the medical field.
**Disclosure: There are Amazon affiliate links below, meaning that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases
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3D Printers: 5 Step Buying Guide For Beginners
Choosing the right printer for you is a crucial task considering how expensive they are—so it’s important for you to make an informed decision so that you’ll get the most out of your purchase and have no regrets in the end.
That’s why I’ve curated this 5 step buying guide tailored for beginners to help you find the right 3D printer that you can use for personal or educational purposes as well.
Step 1: Study And Do Your Research
First thing first, if you’re not yet that familiar with 3D printers but you want to buy one for yourself, don’t rush and get the first one you find on the market or online because there’s no use in buying a 3D printer if you’re not yet well acquainted with how and works and if it is going to serve the purpose you want it to.
I highly suggest for you first start learning about CAD applications because this will be the main thing that you will work within using a 3D printer, so that when the time comes and you already have your own 3D printer you can make full use of it.
Ask around and do your research first and learn from personal experiences from people around you or online that have already used the 3D printer that you have been eyeing.
Thanks to the internet we can already learn a lot from certain products without even having to put your hands in your pocket to buy them. This will help you guarantee if that certain 3D printer is the right one for you.
You can also opt to attend workshops offering courses about 3D printing to get yourself more familiar with the actual 3D printing process and the machine itself. In this way, you’ll make a more confident decision on which potential machine best suits you and your needs.
It may cost you a bit of money but it’s far less than getting a 3D printer that’s just not compatible with you in any way.
There are three most established 3D printer types that are low-cost and also consumer-grade printers best suited for beginners and personal use as well.
Stereolithography (SLA) – SLA is the earliest and the world’s first 3D printing technology that came out in the 80s.
Even though it was the first it is still one of the most used and preferred types of 3D printers for personal use because of its ease of use and ability to produce high quality and highly accurate prints with fine features and watertight smooth surface finish as well.
this would be your go-to 3D printer if you are planning to print highly detailed prototypes that require water-tight tolerances and smooth surfaces such as molds and functional parts.
the method of how SLA printers print helps bring your 3D objects into life by utilizing a laser technology that cures liquid resin that after a while hardens to form a solid object.
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) – FDM is the most popular type of 3D printer for beginners that works through an additive process producing nice and smooth prints using widely accessible raw materials that you can easily purchase anywhere and online as well.
It is also known as FFF or Fused Filament Fabrication. Most FDM printers utilize motors and carriages that move around a hot nozzle that’s usually at around 195°C extruding thermoplastic filaments from a spool of plastic producing extremely thin strands.
The FDM printer moves around the cone-shaped metal piece called a “hot end” around the 3 dimensional XYZ planes and adds the 3D model layers on top of each other one at a time until it fully prints the platform of the 3D object that you want to print.
FDM printers are your go-to if you want to print out low-cost prototypes and simple designs. However, if you are looking to print out a more intricate and detailed design it’s best to go with SLA printers as FDM printers tend to have less resolution and accuracy compared to SLA printers.
But still, for beginners, FDMs are a great option as they are fairly less expensive, and the raw materials for FDM printers are much more accessible and with a lot of options in a variety of colors as well.
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) – This new upcoming type 3D printer is becoming more and more popular for personal use and hobbyists. A high-powered laser is used to sinter small particles of polymer power into a solid structure to help form your 3D object.
SLS is becoming more popular for end-users as it eliminates the use for support structures producing superb mechanical parts similar to injection-model parts at a fraction of the cost. SLS printers use Nylon as the main material for printing which is lightweight, flexible, durable, and functional ideal for complex 3D objects.
It’s also best if you can narrow your options and list down 3D printers that you are interested in, weigh their pros and cons until you’ve found one that you think you can work with when you need to print.
Step 2: Set Your Budget
It’s a fact that 3D printers are not cheap and there are a lot of variables to consider when purchasing a personal 3D printer, that’s why it’s important for you to set your budget before deciding to purchase one.
Setting your budget does not stop at purchasing the 3D printer itself; there are two things that you can consider, first is the cost of equipment ownership and materials that you are going to need and use in the 3D printing itself. Determining these two factors can help you find and select the right 3D printer for you.
If you’re on a budget and you want to start off with a fairly easy-to-use and simple printer FDM printers are a great choice as they offer the lowest price point in 3D printing and in terms of materials to be used which are cheaper and are always more accessible as well.
SLA printers on the other hand are a bit more costly but will guarantee you smoother and finer prints at a higher resolution and accuracy rate—the same goes with SLS printers.
Step 3: Know What You Want To Print And Materials You Want To Use
After doing your research and setting your budget, your next step would be is to determine what you want to print. 3D printers vary in different volumes and different technologies and their price may depend on it.
Short-listing your printing needs will help you have a better understanding of how you will use the printer and this will act as your guide to help you know which printer best suits your 3D printing needs.
Also, it’s imperative for you to consider the size of the object that you want to print this will be a big determining factor to help you choose which printer will give you the results that you want because the build volume of the 3D printer will most usually be your limiting factor when printing a 3D model.
After deciding on what you want to print the next thing for you to look into is the material that you will use to print your 3D models.
Are you looking to print simple designs or complex and functional parts that need a polished and smooth finish to complete a certain product? Try to ask yourself these questions.
As I have previously mentioned you can choose from a wide array of materials but you need to make sure that the material you will use is compatible with the 3D printer that you are going to get.
Beginner-level materials such as PLA, ABS, Nylon, and Pet-G are compatible with most FDM printers, whereas, SLA printers will require you to use Polymer Resin materials to print.
As you go further into your 3D printing journey, you will come to what time where you will print more and more complex models, this will also be a time for you to have the option to modify your machine to print using other materials—you can choose to upgrade the nozzle and other parts to make it more reliable and durable when you print.
Modifying your printer also has a benefit in the long run because this will help the 3D printer itself to print reliably for a longer time and withstand usage throughout the years.
Step 4: Consider The Placement Of Your 3D Printer
Most personal 3D printers will only take up a tiny amount of space on your desktop or countertop, but that’s not the only thing that you need to consider when getting a 3D printer
Depending on the type and technology of the 3D printer that you are planning to get the usual printing time for 3D objects can range from a couple of hours if not days depending on the model.
That means there’s a high chance that your 3D printer will need to run continuously without any interruption until it completes the 3D model that you wanted to print.
And unlike normal household printers, 3D printers tend to make more noticeable noise that can be potentially distracting for you and your neighbors.
So it’s really important for you to consider the placement of your printer, alternatively, you can also up for a printer that runs quieter than others but that can be a bit of a challenge.
Also, another important thing for you to note if you’re considering an SLA printer that requires the use of resin materials—resin materials are known to produce fumes when exposed to high temperatures.
Those fumes can be unpleasant and toxic when inhaled so try to choose a spot in your home where your 3D printer has surfeit ventilation and is not exposed to areas where people tend to lounge around.
Step 5: Immerse yourself in 3D Printing Communities And Forums
It’s a known fact that you can find almost everything on the internet nowadays and you can use that to your advantage because that includes online forums and communities solely dedicated to 3D printing.
These online communities and forums will be particularly helpful for you as you kick-start your 3D printing journey as they already know a lot about the insides and outs of 3D printing along with a number of valuable tips and tricks.
Some are also dedicated to a certain brand or type of 3D printer which is incredibly helpful if you already have a 3D printer that you are set on purchasing. These communities and forums will give you a better insight into how it is to work with the 3D printer that you are interested to buy and how you can maintain it to preserve its life span.
Try to immerse yourself in these kinds of groups and I guarantee that you will learn so much and you’ll be more confident with buying the 3D printer that you have your eyes set on.
And joining these groups will not only benefit you prior to purchasing a 3D printer because in any event that you’ll run into some challenges in the future with the 3D printer that you are using you will have an instant support group that will help you find a solution to your printing difficulties.
8 of the best personal 3D printers for teachers 2021
**Disclosure: There are Amazon affiliate links below, meaning that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases
1. Creality CR-10S
Starting off our list with a bang is the Creality CR-10S—considered to be the almost perfect 3D printer for beginners as long as you know what you’re getting yourself into.
The Creality CR-10S is an FDM 3D printer that is friendly for beginners to work with which is a big thumbs up for me.
A few of its main features are; an LCD screen, keypad, an SD card slot for an untethered printing function, volume printing size of about 300x300x400 mm, filament detection, and finally a resume printing feature which is incredibly helpful in reducing waste filaments
After that quick run-through, let’s talk about its amazing features one by one.
First up is its huge print volume size advantage which is about 300x300x400 mm which is something that you won’t usually see in personal 3D printers.
It also has a single print or split printing feature that will let you create as many parts as you like until you have completed your 3D model as a whole.
This 3D printer will come to you fully assembled with only a few parts to put together—20 screws to be exact. Greatly reducing the hassle of building it from scratch which can be overwhelming especially for beginners.
A star of the show feature that the Creality CR-10S has that other printers might lack is its resume printing function that lets you resume printing from the last layer where you’ve left off or lost in case of any sudden power outage or interruption, greatly saving you both the time, effort, and materials as well.
Another excellent feature that this outstanding 3D printer offers is its filament runout sensor that helps reduce accidents and avoids model printing interruptions.
Compared to the former model of the CR-10S which is the CR-10, the latter’s upgraded dual Z-Axis leading screws provides a better high positioning accuracy that helps the nozzle move more smoothly at a faster printing speed as well.
What makes this printer great for teachers is its quality and fantastic prints all while being at a reasonable price as well.
This 3D printer can also be applied to a vast number of printing categories such as home decor, DIY designs, creative designs, medical prototypes, architectural designs, and just about everything under the sun that can come to your mind, CR-10S will make it happen for you.
Perfectly compatible with PLA, PET-G, ABS, TPU, Wood, and Carbon fiber materials the versatility of the CR-10S makes it the perfect candidate for your first ever personal 3D printer.
So if you’re looking for an excellent grade 3D printer that is reliable with a huge print volume size with a sprinkle of attractive extra features look no further and add this to your cart asap!
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2. ANYCUBIC Mega-S
Another FDM type printer that will surely catch your attention is the ANYCUBIC Mega-S 3D printer, ready to offer you an amazing value for its surprising price point at only $200 more or less (Ballpark figure as price may vary from time to time).
This 3D printer has a decent print volume size of around 210x210x205 mm while being a compact and smaller machine providing you with more creative space to work with.
The ANYCUBIC Mega-S 3D printer is equipped with a Bowden drive and geared feeder that feeds the filament into the printer.
The ANYCUBIC Mega-S utilizes a single extruder or nozzle that gets to a temperature of 275°C max along with a heated bed temperature that tolerates up to a hundred degrees celsius making it very capable to print filaments that are in need of higher temperatures when being printed.
This would be also the printer that you are looking for if you want a 3D printer that works out of the box as it comes pre-assembled and is almost ready to go.
The ANYCUBIC Mega-S 3D printer’s 3-step setup that includes only eight screws and three cables which is remarkably few compared to other 3D printing set up will let you print in just a matter of time before you realize it.
In terms of build quality, the rigid metal frame of this machine is very sturdy and durable as well. The metal frame also helps in minimizing the rattling and shaking of the extruder when printing which results in improved print quality.
The upgraded titan extruder design of the ANYCUBIC Mega-S provides accurate and precise extrusion ensuring reduced clogging risks and improved print accuracy.
Along with its solid filament drive and compact overall mechanical design that is compatible with most filaments you’ll rest assured that your 3D printing experience will go smoothly and fantastically with this machine.
Another notable thing about previous 3D printer models is that once it gets going you have to do whatever it takes to keep it uninterrupted because if not you might need to start all over again from the top, wasting time and energy as well as materials. And that’s not very ideal.
But luckily that’s not the case with the ANYCUBIC Mega-S because you can resume printing after a power outage or if its plug were accidentally moved causing it to power fail. With just one click and you’re good to go to print from the last recorded position prior to the stoppage.
The filament runout sensor of this 3D printer is also quite useful if the machine ever runs out of filament to print. It’s programmed to set an alarm to let you know that a filament refill is needed—greatly saving you time and effort when you print.
The ANYCUBIC Mega-S also features ANYCUBIC’s Ultrabase technology which is a patented 3D printing platform surface that is coated with a one-of-a-kind microporous coating that has excellent adhesion which keeps the 3D model from tumbling down or warping during the printing process.
The filament will also effortlessly fall off to the bed once it cools down to room temperature at the end of the print.
And making this printer more likable for 3D printing beginners is its awesome 3.5-inch TFT touchscreen display that is user-friendly and has an easy-to-navigate interface. It features simple to operate and rich functions that will provide you with a smooth 3D printing experience.
A One-key switch can also be used which changes the language from English to Chinese and vice versa in an instant.
Lastly, you will also appreciate its suspended and detachable filament holder rack which feeds the extruder smoothly and also gives the ANYCUBIC Mega-S a nicer and neat organized look.
And that’s the ANYCUBIC Mega-S, a humble machine that will surely knock you off your feet with the features and performance that it offers at its unbelievable price point.
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3. Creality Ender 3 V2
Next up is a 3D printer that you surely wouldn’t want to miss out on, the Creality Ender 3 V2 that’s dubbed as one of the best low-cost 3D printers out now. Without any further adieu let’s dig into this awesome 3D printer.
the Creality Ender 3 V2 comes with a build volume of about 220x220x250 mm which is fairly bigger compared to other machines within its budget range.
This machine has a Bowden-style extruder which has an added knob making it easier to load and feed filament in making the whole process almost effortless.
At first glance, the Creality Ender 3 V2 looks like a pretty neat and compact machine giving it quite an exquisite appearance due to its integrated structure design as the whole body is made from high quality and durable aluminum steel.
A V-guide rail pulley is also featured in this machine ensuring stable movement, low noise, wear-resistance, and longer lifespan.
It is also equipped with a glass bed platform that has very good adhesion when it comes to stabilizing printed models on it, promising ultra-smoothness even on the first layer of the print.
New inject tensioners or belt tensioners are also found on the X and Y-axis of the Creality Ender 3 V2 supports adjusting in a quick and more convenient way. And adding more convenience to this machine is a built-in toolbox that can house your 3D printing tools or whatever item it is that you want to put in there.
The toolbox design is pretty intuitive it won’t distract you in any way while you print and it keeps your things safe and secured and out of the way and is always there and easy to reach out to when you need extra parts or tools whenever you need to in a snap.
The Creality Ender 3 V2 also comes with a self-developed silent motherboard that will ensure smooth and accurate movements with as little as 50 dB which is notably silent compared to other 3D printers.
This 3D printer is also backed up with a Meanwell power supply that meets all the needs of fast heating and longtime printing.
And what’s best about it is that the power supply is concealed behind the rail making it much safer and pretty much out of the way giving you easier access to parts that you need or want to tinker with.
Something that even season 3D printer enthusiasts will also appreciate is the brand new user interface and a brand new screen that the Creality Ender 3 V2 comes up with.
Its 4.3-inch colored screen with a turn dial is simple and easy to operate and very user-friendly as well. You’ll be able to easily cycle through the menu and select and configure temperatures and so on and so forth.
Another unique thing about this machine is at the bottom part of it which are the vibration dampers that greatly help with the noise transfer it produces to whatever type of surface you place it on.
Making it perfect for users who might need a 3D printer that is specifically quiet to help lessen distraction especially if you need to place it in the same room where you work or stay.
The only noticeable noise that the Creality Ender 3 V2 makes are from its fans which are quite tolerable as most users of this printer have described.
Overall a very competitive 3D printer coming from its price point that will wow you with its bonus features and performance—I would definitely recommend you to add to the Creality Ender 3 V2 to your shortlisted potential 3D printers.
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4. Creality Ender 3
If you’re a bit limited with your budget but want something similar to the Creality Ender 3 V2 then you should definitely check out the OG Creality Ender 3.
The OG version Creality Ender 3 has a print volume of 220x220x250 mm which is a generous build volume given its price point it also comes with a Bowden drive extruder.
It comes partially assembled with the hard parts already done for you leaving you with just a couple of parts and components to put together to fully set it up.
The build quality of the Creality Ender 3 is also sublime just as the Creality Ender 3 V2, with everything being sheet metal aluminum from the extrusion down to the body parts and the injection-molded plastic parts give it a very sturdy and durable build.
A heated aluminum bed is also found in the Creality Ender 3 that only needs 5 minutes or so to reach the ideal temperature for quality 3D printing. It can reach up to 110°C or so. It also has the ability to resume printing after a power outage or any stoppage that might occur.
The upgraded extruder design is also something to applaud in the Creality Ender 3, it greatly reduces the risk of clogged nozzles and bad extrusion.
And along with that, V-shaped rollers and perfectly match V-slot extrusion in the Creality Ender 3 makes up for a noiseless and smooth movement of the machine.
Moreover, you’ll be impressed with the print quality and flawless precision of this machine all while being very easy to use.
This 3D printer is actually great for STEM projects, so if you’re a teacher who wants to incorporate 3D printing into your classes this might just be the perfect machine for you.
It’s super easy to use and easy to set up and overall will give you top-grade prints that can complete with high-end ones.
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5. Voxelab Aquila
Dropping at number five, we have the Voxelab Aquila, an easy-to-use beginner-friendly 3D printer that can be used for both work and play.
Getting up and running in this printer is easy as pie, fresh out of the box you already have the bottom part fully assembled for you with just the upper components left for you to assemble which should be fairly easy with their given instruction manual even for first-timers.
Now when it comes to operating the machine you will surely love how easy it is to use and the choice of color the Voxelab Aquila has for its user interface, with complementing colors of red white, and gray it looks very clean and user friendly as well.
3D printing beginners will also love this machine more because of its simplified menu that keeps away advanced configuration leaving you with just the basic and essential options that you need to get started with 3D printing. This makes the user experience with the Voxelab Aquila fast easy and most importantly not overwhelming.
An all-in-one turner is accessible in the Voxelab Aquila and this little mechanism acts as an XY tensioner that lets you quickly adjust the belt tightness in a quicker and much more convenient way compared to other 3D printers.
The Voxelab Aquila also uses a V-profile pulley that promotes stable movement, lower noise, wear resistance, and a longer and more reliable printing time.
The rapid heating carbon crystal silicon glass bed of this machine is also a plus point as it provides excellent adhesion making sure that the printing model stays put and will not be easily warped during the printing process.
This 3D printer also comes with a 1-year warranty and lifetime technical support in any event that you encounter any printing problems with the Aquila in the future.
So if you’re looking for a solid 3D printer that will spoil you with amazing prints at an alluring price point, look no further because the Voxelab Aquila will give you just that!
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6. ANYCUBIC Photon Mono SE
Now we’ve already run through mostly FDM printers, now it’s time to turn the spotlight on to a resin printer that will have you in awe with what it can do in just a little amount of time—the AnyCubic Photon Mono SE.
Known for its ultrafast printing time, this resin printer is a no-fail machine that will give you flawless results every time you use it to print.
It features a 6.08-inch 2k resolution monochrome LCD screen which has a longer lifespan compared to RGB color screens and it can also print over 2,000 hours as well.
The Mono SE only needs one second per layer exposure for curing resin material, contributing to its outstanding fast printing time that pairs well with its high precision and printing efficiency.
Its high precision and strong stability mainly come from its new upgraded matrix parallel light source that is able to evenly spread the UV light across the LCD, this then gives off highly accurate and improved print quality.
The ANYCUBIC Photon Mono SE also adopts ANYCUBIC’s 3D app that lets you connect to the machine itself from your device via Wi-Fi.
In the app, you’ll be able to control your print operations, monitor your printing progress, and configure print settings conveniently from your device at any given time.
The Mono SE is equipped with a sturdy and durable metal frame and is also supported by dual linear rails for the Z-axis, stepper motor, and clearance nut combination which drastically improves stability while it does its thing. These amenities also help in reducing the risk of shift and layering.
You can also choose to configure the Mono SE’s bed level in 3 easy steps via its 3.5-inch TFT-colored touchscreen menu which has a nice and bright control panel.
On the screen, you will be able to see the mask of each layer, the number of layers remaining, and the approximate printing time as well
To print, you can opt to input a USB memory stick instead of an SD card. And to further explain the printing technology of the Mono SE, screen shadow masking is what’s being executed, we’re basically the screen of the Mono SE will create the mask for each shape of the layers and then cure it using a UV light right after.
Now if you are a bit worried about the UV light, the side panels on the sides of the enclosed Mono SE are coated with UV-resistant clear yellow plastic which will help protect your 3D model from the inside and outside as well.
Since it is a resin printer there may be a slight chance that it can set off fumes, but don’t worry because the Mono SE is also equipped with built-in ventilators on the inside to filter the air and release it through the air vents located at the sides of the machine.
In any case that you plan to go with the Photon Mono SE know that you have support for their software which is Anycubic’s software, it’s pretty easy to use and straightforward along with other accessible services on their website.
Just a friendly reminder, if you’re planning to push through with a resin printer, printing with it can get a bit messy so make sure to always wear an air filter mask along with some gloves—always safety first!
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7. R QIDI TECHNOLOGY X-Plus
Let me introduce another awesome machine—the QIDI Tech X-Plus 3D printer, one of the easiest 3D printers that beginners can get well-acquainted with.
Right off the bat, not much assembly is needed with the X plus except for unwrapping the packaging, leveling the bedplate, hooking up the filament material, and lastly plugging in the wires for the power supply, and you’re all good to go.
Along with the printer itself, you’ll also be able to get a generous number of items that you’ll be able to use to get started in 3D printing with the X-plus.
In the box will be getting a number of very informative pamphlets to help you get started along with some tips and tricks for troubleshooting and more, you also get a leveling card, an extra build plate, an ethernet cable, a spatula or scraper, some parts for the spool holder, 1 kg spool of PLA material, power cord and extra extruder, and lastly a small toolbox with things that you might need during your 3D printing process.
One of the main innovations in the X-Plus is its two newly developed extruders and you might be curious and ask the question, why two?
Well, the first extruder is mainly for printing general materials such as PLA, ABS, and TPU, whereas the second extruder is for printing advanced materials such as Nylon, Carbon Fiber, and PC.
The first mentioned extruder can heat up to 250°C while the second one can heat up to 300°C.
The X-Plus 3D printer also pioneered the two-way filament placement where you can load up to two filaments in both the interior and exterior part of the machine making it very ahead of its competitors.
And the reason behind this innovation is because materials such as Nylon, Carbon Fiber, and PC require an enclosed constant temperature while printing for it to achieve your desired print and result.
A double Z-axis is also featured in the X-Plus which is also another first for it. This makes printing more stable and solid great for large-size prints.
The maximum print size that the X-Plus can yield is 270x200x200 mm which is very massive and will allow you to print fantastic 3D models within its build volume.
In terms of usability, a 4.3-inch touch screen can be found at the top part of the machine which shows a very clear and easy-to-navigate control panel.
When it comes to printing every result you get from the X-Plus is just top-grade, pristine, and with very high accuracy as it combines all features such as one-button quick leveling, breakpoint printing, air purification, wi-fi connection, and more.
The X-Plus also shows a very intuitive and modern belt design and it feels very sturdy and durable. It also has four rubber feet found at the bottom part to improve the stability of the machine.
It is also known for its quiet printing, making it easy to place anywhere within your home or office area knowing that it will not cause disturbance in any way while it’s operating.
Also, one last thing that I need to mention is that the bedplate is magnetic and is completely removable making it easy for you to take your printed model in and out of the machine and it is locked in with 19 magnets to ensure that it stays in place during printing.
Overall a great choice of 3D printer that offers really impressive specifications for beginners and even for seasoned enthusiasts, X-Plus will surely give you a pleasant 3D printing experience starting from the set-up all the way down to your first 3D printed masterpiece.
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8. Dremel 3D45-01
And to finish off our list is an award-winning 3D printer that will favor both beginners and hobbyists is the Dremel 3D45-01—comes fully assembled with the only hardest thing that will do when it comes to setting it up is getting it out from the box because it is quite heavy and huge.
With it being quite heavy and huge it already gives us a hint that this machine is well-built and sturdy guaranteed to last you a long time serving you with quality prints.
Along with the 3D printer itself, you’ll get a handful of paperwork that is really informative and very straightforward with how you can get started with 3D printing. A number of accessories are also included which are the two types of filaments from Dremel, Nylon and their ECO ABS, two glue sticks, and one handy scraper.
After unboxing this beast of a machine, all you need to do is plug in the power cord, flip the power switch, and be in awe of how the Dremel 3D45-01 performs. You’ll be greeted first with a setup romp that’s really easy to follow and is not overwhelming, it will then guide you on how to connect to your network.
Now getting to the fun part of loading the filament, on the sides of the machine you’ll see a concealed compartment that you can open to place the filament in making it look very nice and neat.
The filament that the Dremel 3D45-01 is equipped with an RFID chip that the machine automatically detects letting it know what material it is that you’re going to print with. Once you have the filament loaded in and it is detected by the machine it will then proceed to heat up the extruder to get ready for printing
The extruder of the Dremel 3D45-01is an all-metal one that can heat up to 280°C with flexibility in printing different kinds of compatible materials. It also features a filament runout sensor which is quite helpful, once you’ve locked and loaded a new spool of filament in it, it will automatically resume printing right where you’ve left off.
A built-in automatic 9-point leveling sensor is also highlighted in the Dremel 3D45-01, it detects any variation in the print bed and automatically accounts it for a more successful printing process. Also allowing you to print different filament types including PLA, PET-G, ECO ABS and Nylon is a heated bed plate that evenly heats up to 100°C.
But that’s not all, a built-in camera, yes you read that right a built-in HD camera is already integrated into the machine for remote printing monitoring, it will let you watch your print real-time from your computer or device.
Truly an amazing all-in-one 3D printer that’s great for heavy-duty use with easy-to-operate features and already everything you need in the box. I highly recommended Dremel 3D45-01 as a great printer for beginners right out of the box
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At the end of the day,
If you were to ask me if it’s the right choice for you to buy yourself a personal 3D printer, my answer would be, no. As surprising as that may sound, there’s really a good reason behind my answer.
Don’t buy yourself a 3D printer, if you’re not yet sure about what you’re getting yourself into. Another big no, if you’re buying a 3D printer impulsively just because you saw one on sale with a hard-to-say-no-to price tag.
The 3D printing rabbit hole is indeed full of wonders and excitement but I ask you to take a moment for yourself and really do your homework and research about the ins and outs of what you’re committing yourself to, whether it’s a brand or type of 3D printer.
3D printing is not for the faint-hearted, especially with all the technicalities involved. But know that as time goes along and your 3D printing experiences increase you’re gonna get sucked right into it and immediately realize that there’s no stopping it anytime soon!
Again, I highly suggest for you to join Facebook groups and indulge yourself in online communities, tutorials, reviews, and lots of googling!
So, that’s that! I hope you’ve found this quaint article of mine informative and helpful in your journey to find the right personal 3D printer for you.
And if you did, don’t forget to sound off below and give me your two cents on 3D printing!
As a treat, please enjoy this time-lapsed 3D printing of Yoda (from Star Wars) because we can all agree that Star Wars is just pure gold! Until our next one!
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
1.) What are the most common 3D printing problems?
As soon as you buy your first personal 3D printer, there will be a time where an issue might arise and it’s just an inevitable part of the trade. But don’t fret because some of these issues are always pretty easy to fix with just a little bit of research and some googling.
And to give you a gist of some of the issues that you might encounter along the way here are some of the most common 3D printing problems and their fixes in hopes that these can give you a headstart so that you will not feel overwhelmed just in case you experience them in the near future—but let’s just hope that that will not happen any time soon.
First up, we have model warping, one of the most common problems that you might face during 3D printing. Model warping is when your prints or some parts of your model do not come out aligned or are a little bit titled unlike how you planned it to be.
There will always be times where your print will not be perfect as you thought it would be and that’s normal, even seasoned enthusiasts encounter this kind of problem from time to time.
There are a number of reasons as to why your 3D model is warping; it could be that the bedplate temperature is too hot, or the model might not be adhering well onto the bedplate, and it’s usually something along those lines.
Some possible fixes for the model warping issue are to make sure that your bedplate is level to ensure that no titling will happen to your 3D model during the printing process. It’s important to make sure that it’s stable and steady to avoid any warping of the model.
Another quick fix that you can try out is to lower your bed plate temperature and make sure that your temperature settings are ideal for the type of material that you are using to print your 3D model. There are a lot of tutorials and websites that you can turn to in order to find the right temperature to use for the type of material you want to print with.
Another annoying issue that you might potentially encounter during your 3D printing process is layer shifting. Layer shifting happens when a layer of your model significantly shifts from the originally intended position causing the model to be printed badly and not quite what you expected it to look like.
A few reasons as to why layer shifting might happen are; (1) can be due to a bad model, (2) nozzle is too close to the print bed which causes the hot end to drag, (3) the model lost adhesion from the bedplate, (4) loose belt tensioners.
These are just some of the factors that might affect and cause a shift to the layers of your printed model.
Some of the quick fixes that you can try to straighten this out is to; (1) Try and check your model and see if there are any lapses within in, (2) check the retraction distance of your nozzle from the bedplate, it shouldn’t be too close or too far, (3) check your bed leveling and make sure that the model can adhere well to the bedplate, (4) make sure to check the X and Y axis and the belts are not too loose while it’s functioning.
The 3D printer is running but is not printing
Another troublesome experience that you may or may not encounter is when the 3D printer is running but nothing seems to be coming out from it.
Some of the reasons that may cause this to happen is a clogged nozzle or you might already be out of filament since I did mention that some models like the Dremel 3D45-01 have a compartment for the filament that is concealed.
If the 3D printer that you have chosen has a concealed filament placement, then the latter would definitely be a cause for the printer to keep running but is not printing anything. But that’s to some of the features like filament run our sensor you’ll be able to dodge this pretty easily.
Now, when it comes to clogged nozzles which are quite irksome even for experienced users you really have to get in there and really figure out how to remove the plug or clog that’s causing the blockage of the extruder.
Usually, this happens during filament replacements or using a different type of filament from the previous one that you’ve used to print. But this can be easily avoided with proper and regular maintenance of the 3D printer.
The first method that you can try to remove the block is by pushing it out using a needle, this usually does the trick but if not you can try out the second method.
The second method will require you to use a new filament to push out the clogged one, simply remove the old filament, and feed it a new one and see if that does the trick—if not, you can add a little more pressure by using your hands but just be careful not to put too much pressure as this can cause damage to the printer rods and you definitely don’t want to add another problem on top of your existing one.
If all else fails, and you’re still having issues with the clogged nozzle, your last resort would be is to dismantle and rebuild the hotend of your 3D printer. You can check out video tutorials on youtube or from online support groups for steps on how to do it properly and how to put it back together again.
Cracks in larger and taller models
This type of problem usually occurs on the topmost part of taller and larger models due to the heat of the build plate not reaching those areas. As the material tends to cool down faster this results in poor adhesion of the top part layers.
The best fix for this kind of issue is to manage and increase the temperature of the hotend by 10°C along with checking the position and speed of the cooling fans of the 3D printer. These adjustments will then compensate for the heat of the build plate not reaching the top parts of your model.
2.) Is there a limitation as to what shapes you can 3D print?
This is probably the best thing about 3D printers—you can print almost anything that you want as long as it can be done within the build volume of your chosen 3D printer. But that also does not limit you because, you have the option to split print, which is split printing parts of your 3D model until you have completed it as a whole.
You can print intricate and unlimited shapes, geometries, and designs to your heart’s contents and the only limit would be your own imagination.
3.) What are the benefits of 3D printing?
From 3D printing everyday useful tools to 3D printing functional human body parts, 3D printers have surely come a long way from where they began to where they are now. And if you want to talk about the benefits of 3D printing, I might need to write a whole ‘another article for that.
But let me explain two of the main advantages of using 3D printers that all kinds of users from professionals, hobbyists, and even big companies are benefiting from in this one-of-a-kind machine.
First up is the cost-effectiveness of using a 3D printer. Back then, traditional manufacturing relied on the manual labor workforce which involved the aid of more than a handful of workers to develop and put together a certain product.
But now, a huge contribution of technology came about the use of 3D printers. It drastically cut costs by almost 75% because now you only need one person and one printer to make what used to require a huge chunk of money and effort to something much more economical and practical as well.
Another major benefit of 3D printers is their ability to produce models at a much faster rate. The additive manufacturing technology makes it able for a wide range of industries and even consumer-level hobbyists to produce and test design in just a fraction of time.
Compared to traditional manufacturing which required more steps and also a long time to produce, I’m talking about a couple of weeks if not months just to develop certain Computer-Aided Designs (CAD).
These are just some of the major benefits that the rise of 3D printers has brought upon us, it greatly aided in a lot of areas that not just one industry will benefit from but almost all; architectural, engineering, medical, educational, and a lot more!
4.) Do I need some kind of special training or seminar to get started with 3D printing?
What I love about 3D printing is that all are welcome to join the hobby. You don’t necessarily need to enroll yourself into a special training or seminar just to get started with it—But, it can be a huge advantage for you if you can immerse yourself in a workshop that tackles the basics of 3D printing.
Letting yourself learn about the fundamentals of the hobby can greatly aid you in avoiding a lot of bad experiences that can lead you to wasted materials, time, effort, and most importantly money.
It does not have to be a paid workshop because again, thanks to the internet there are a lot of free tutorials and guides that you can take advantage of before you take off your journey with 3D printing.
Again, before you drag yourself into the rabbit hole of 3D printing, do a lot of research and googling, and if you really want to commit to learning all about it, try to check if there are local workshops within your area or online workshops where a mentor can really get into depth with the dos and don’ts of 3D printing.
And if by chance you know somebody who’s already well versed with 3D printing, try to ask them if they can mentor you. A person with experience in 3D printing will surely have some valuable tips and tricks that can help you start off the next best hobby that you can start.
5.) As a first-timer in 3D printing, how long will it take for me to learn and master 3D modeling?
The timeframe of learning all about 3D modeling is solely up to you. The biggest factors that will play a role in how soon you’ll be able to learn about 3D modeling depend on the time you set aside for it and how committed you are to it as well.
Learning the basics in 3D modeling can take up to half a year up to a whole year depending on the 3D modeling software that you want to learn about and how dedicated you are to learning it.
Some of the best software that is easy to use and is great for beginners are; TinkerCAD, FreeCAD, and SelfCAD. These programs will help you learn to design basic models and even complex ones as they also offer interactive tutorials to help you learn about the ins and outs of the software.
As your 3D modeling experience increases, you can opt to use different software that is more intuitive and advanced, letting you create more intricate and complex designs for 3D printing.
You can also opt to enroll yourself in online 3D modeling courses. The timeline of these classes varies depending on the topic that you would want to pursue, some may take a month, while others can last for 3 months.
And if you do happen to know someone who is already a professional when it comes to 3D modeling, try to ask if you can shadow them and if they can teach you the basics of how you can get started with 3D modeling.
Be resourceful and scour the internet, you’ll be surprised with how much you can learn for free!