It’s easier than you might think to create 3D models for your favorite games.
Over the past 12 hours, I tested ten different the Best 3D Printer For Miniatures & Figurines and evaluated them according to price, usability, detail, and assembly. But not all of them were fake.
Best 3D Printer For Miniatures & Figurines Reviews:
To create beautiful miniatures, here are my six top recommendations for you
1. Anycubic Photon S (Best Overall)
There is a new resin printer on the block. 6 kg Goliath that has destroyed path.
I haven’t found a better 3D printer for 28-30mm miniatures than Anycubic Photon S hands down. The figures you receive will be just as good as those from Hero Forge, except you won’t have to wait ages for them to arrive (and risk damage).
There are such fine details with a resolution of 10 microns that it’s insane. You can also go smaller without losing details, unlike just about every other FDM machine out there. This is good news because you do not have to buy a second printer to get the size and details you want.
Which feature do we enjoy most about it?
This printer offers the best price/performance combination, according to my testing. The printer is also more efficient than printers twice so expensive.
It uses SLA technology, not FDM, which is the key to all of these benefits.
Models and miniatures are the goals of this printer, which is called an SLA printer. In SLA, liquid resin is cured with an extremely precise laser.
How did it turn out?
Your character’s nose is an ugly one, but you have it all detailed.
No assembly is necessary to use the Photon out of the box. During the creation of this printer, the creators considered ease of use.
Despite being better than any other 3D printer for miniatures, the Photon S still holds the top position.
- (115 x 65 x 155) Low build volume
- Pre-installed and ready to go
- Easily configured, used, and maintained
- Detail that looks lifelike
- The screen is very easy to read and has a good touch response
- A more stable model than Rock Solid
2. ELEGOO Mars (Best Value)
ELEGOO Mars is always at the top of mind when talking about affordable resin 3D printers. You would expect a high-end printer to have everything that you’d want – 10 microns or more resolution, simplicity, easy usability, a good build volume – except that it costs 50% less.
Unless you need lifelike detail or are using your 3D printer for business, a more expensive printer is not really necessary. An affordable model will do just fine. My D&D miniatures I printed with it are still being used today.
Most $1,000 models aren’t as good as this Little Engine That Could.
How To Get Started
A 2560*1440 2K HD masking LCD and CHITUBOX Slicing software is included in ELEGOO Mars. Its speed makes it ideal for cutting incredibly fast and producing high-quality miniatures.
Neither the touch screen nor the assembly is complete, so it’s a bit outdated.
The rest is great. Beginners and intermediates alike can use it. By far the best model at this price point is the ELEGOO Mars.
- Despite being smaller than average, the dimensions of 120 x 68 x 155mm are perfect for miniatures.
- Despite her lack of advanced skills, she always manages to complete a task well.
- At a low price, you get a top-notch product
- It is easy to assemble
- Budget-friendly and easy to use
3. Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K (Best Print Quality)
Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K is the best printer on market when it comes to print quality.
Unlike cheap resin 3D printers from the Othercubic Photon series and Elegoo Mars series, the Mini 4K has a 35 micron XY resolution instead of 50 microns.
With Mini 4K, you’ll benefit from the 4K LCD screen. You can also print with better quality. Fairly speaking, comparing the three printers’ prints didn’t produce significant differences. A powerful 4K LCD will be evident in miniatures with a lot of detail.
Despite the price difference, quality is only on the order of $100 more depending on discounts. Although the newer models of the Photon and Mars can also print in 2 seconds, the Sonic Mini 4K prints faster – one layer in 2 seconds.
You can also use it easily. Insert the printer, level, then begin printing. Although certain designs will require some tweaking, Chitubox comes with default settings that should not need adjustment.
Compared to the original Sonic Mini, the Sonic Mini 4K does produce a bit more noise. Mini’s Z-axis stepper motor is the main cause of the noise during layer changes.
The Mini 4K is an ideal resin 3D printer for beginners looking to make miniatures. Detailed prints are no problem for this machine.
- Printed miniatures with very fine details look stunning on a top-of-the-line 4K LCD screen. It costs less than $400.
- Due to the faster curing times, printing times are about double that of older resin 3D printers.
- Touchscreen displays are very responsive
- Tank-like construction
- Setting the vat to clean takes less time
4. ELEGOO Mars 2 Pro (Best Value – Alternative Choice)
This 3D printing beast is called the Elegoo Mars. The best part? It’s 3D printable! Check it out!
This Elegoo Mars printer has excellent print resolution, as I mentioned previously. This printer can be used to print many unique miniatures. It prints the same miniatures much faster than the Mars 2 Pro, however. Curing speed is likely the biggest difference. Flash prints faster than Batman, while Mars prints faster than Flash.
Consider purchasing the Mars 2 Pro if you plan to sell your print on Etsy or another marketplace. Mars 2 Pro is a thoroughbred compared to the original Mars. You can trust it completely. It will consistently produce prints for the next 15 to 16 hours if you run it for that long.
It doesn’t matter if you plan to purchase the Mars. Compared to the Mars 2 Pro, both are equal in print resolution.
Wouldn’t a 2K resolution on the Mars 2 Pro provide a better quality image? Although the print quality would be comparable to that of the Mars, the large build volume means that the 2K resolution has to cater to a larger area, thus the print quality is on par.
Because of the Mars 2 Pro’s larger build volume, you can print larger prints.
Fans of resin printers will appreciate this high-end model. Speed is especially important for 3D printer beginners and those looking to sell their own prints.
- It is essentially a Mars Pro with a new LCD, which means it can achieve cure times as low as one to two seconds
- This high-quality 3D printer is designed to print continuously at high speed and with high consistency
- Built-in build volume is larger than the Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K and Anycubic Photon S
- Connects to any computer without any additional software
5. Creality Ender 5 (Best FDM For Miniatures & Terrain)
An exception to the rule would be a find like this that makes no sense. This product is so cheap but it’s insanely effective.
When I compared my Lulzbot and my coworker’s Ender 5, I couldn’t tell any difference in the terrain pieces.
Due to its self-assembly requirement, this product is extremely affordable. Aside from its immense build volume, it also has an impressive nozzle temperature and a very useful print bed. However, there are some complaints about the print bed.
Adhesion problems. Occasionally, the first layer cannot adhere to the flexible plate. Glue sticks can easily solve this issue!
It is a 3D printer suitable for those who require the option to 3D print a variety of objects besides miniatures.
- A massive 220 mm x 220 mm x 300 mm build volume results from it.
- 255 degrees Celsius is the maximum temperature that it can print, so you can use nearly any material
- A 110-degree bed is insanely hot. When you don’t have enough space in your kitchen, boil water for your pasta!
- However, there is one major disadvantage. Customers have to fully construct the 3D printer. You assemble and troubleshoot the product after it ships in a box. This requires some technical knowledge.
- If power is lost during a print, the Ender 5 will continue from where it left off once power has been restored.
Specs To Consider For Your 3D Printer
I did not check the details before I bought my last 3D printer.
Who would have thought it?
My money was taken away by a fraudulent company and I spent many hours on the phone fighting for it. If you dive into the technical details of 3D printers, they can become very complex. The following are the most important specs to check before buying a printer so you can avoid the return lines.
Overall Build Volume
You can use this envelope to describe the cubic dimensions that you can print in. For example, how big can a print be? As the envelope grows, the 3D printer gets larger.
If you’re just making miniatures, you might not care about volume.
You may need to set up your print overnight if it’s a 3D print, since the process isn’t the fastest. More miniatures can be lined up at one time when you have a larger build volume!
Quality Of Craftsmanship
A lot of trouble can be had here. This is a precision-based technology. Poor machining and assembly will result in a table that chatters, vibrates, skips, and results in poor printing.
A rigid and well-built printer is necessary when working in the miniature world. Do not overlook this.
We recommend choosing brands with a lot of reviews. Most miniature 3D printers are not found on Kickstarter.
There isn’t much difference between one material and another. Tests over hundreds of uses are the only way to know. Thanks to you, I have already completed those tests.
Types Of Miniatures You Can 3D Print
Any model that will fit into your build envelope can be printed.
These devices can produce complicated geometries, tiny parts, highly detailed parts, and multicolored parts, depending on the model.
Can You Print Props And Terrain?
A great game night can only be enhanced when you have terrain that helps your party feel more immersed. Maps and terrains can be printed with 3D printers, as well as props for your models, and tools to assist quests. It isn’t necessary to choose the best 3D printer for terrain to produce miniatures. For large terrains, you will need a FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) printer, which is a 3D printer constructed from plastic.
3D Printing Miniature Models 54mm And Larger
Most printers can handle a 54mm figurine. It becomes easier to recognize the figure as it gets bigger and more details are added. There is no limit but what you can imagine.
3D Printing Small Detailed Models
The larger the 3D printer gets, the more care you need to take. When printed on a 3D printer, you will find that your small features merge together and become indistinct. A smaller version of Einstein looked more like Sloth from the Goonies than a bust of Einstein on my printer.
High-resolution, high-detail printers are available. If your goal is to print detailed objects, you’d be better off with resin 3D printers (Anycubic, ELEGOO, EPAX, Peopoly, etc.) as they produce far better results than 3D printers that use filament such as ABS, PLA, PET. The printers will typically do a good job, but depending on the print, they might not be able to get the detailed results you’re looking for.
FDM Or SLA/Resin Printers?
Do not take this decision lightly because it is a HUGE decision that will have a profound effect on your life.
A resin print is the way to go if you need to create detailed miniatures for tabletop gaming.
When it comes to printing large terrain and tools, FDM is the way to go.
Resin terrain is more expensive and takes a long time to print, so you can do both on either, but resin terrain is limited by the size of the build plate. Low-quality FDM minis with really obvious print layers will result from using resin terrain.
Layers of material are laid down by FDM 3D printers using very hot plastic. Easy to use and inexpensive to operate, they’re much easier to purchase and install. A FDM printer is also typically capable of creating larger build volumes. Unfortunately, the quality of their prints is lower.
Solid 3D parts are created with SLA printers by curing liquid resin under light. SLA printers are thus more expensive than FDM printers due to this technology. In exchange, SLA printers offer greater accuracy and more detail, especially for smaller pieces. If you want to create miniature jewelry or miniaturized figurines, this is great news for you.
Where To Download Miniatures To 3D Print?
Is it worth the million dollars?
CAD programs can produce .STL files for 3D printers.
You can design your own .STL file if you have a 3D CAD program that exports its output as an .STL file. You can also 3D print yourself if you have a 3D scanner and a model you want to print.
In general, the largest challenge for 3D designers is having no experience with 3D CAD, no 3D scanner, and no reference model.
Having other people who share your beliefs is a great feeling! We have online repositories filled with all kinds of files that are optimized to be used with 3D printers. Most of these websites provide CAD files, as well as .STL files for 3D printing.
Thingiverse occupies the majority of my time. This is a large database of 3D-printable files maintained by the community. Parts are more readily available now, and the community is able to optimize other people’s submitted parts in some way. Additionally, they have D&D minis and a fantasy mini set available.
Besides Cults3D, I use another platform. I’ve found their designs to be more diverse. However, some of the files aren’t free.
Lastly, you can sign up for a maker’s Patreon (or an alternative membership platform) and support their work. By contributing directly, you will be able to design your own prints.
How Much Does It Cost To 3D Print A Miniature?
3D printers come into their own at this point. 3D printers are the best way to create custom pieces and one-offs. House power and resin/filament are the only sources of fuel. Electricity and these two materials are all that you need. Since these units are so energy-efficient, it’s really just a matter of filament cost – you won’t even notice a difference in your electric bill.
- SLA resins cost an average of $50 per liter. Each model has a height of approximately 1 inch, so a liter of ink can print 120 to 140 minis or figurines. Miniatures cost between $2 and $3 each. You can print 500 cubes of a specific size if you print a 1x1cm cube. A larger model requires more resin, perhaps up to 100ml.
- 1KG of economy PLA filament costs less than $25. A gram of PLA costs 2.5 cents. The weight of the miniature will just about equal the amount of material you used since 3D printing is an additive process. This will cost 50 cents for a miniature weighing 20 g. For example, a two-by-two-by-two-centimeter cube of PLA weighs about 10 grams.
Best Filament For Miniatures & Terrain
The best material for 3D printing miniatures is PLA plastic instead of resin, since resin is not a filament. It’s a low-grade, lightweight material. The temperature needed (around 185-205 degrees C) can be reached by almost any 3D printer. Any 3D printable FDM miniature should be printed using PLA filament, as it is the best filament for miniatures and terrain!
In closing, if you’re looking for tabletop gaming, you can’t go wrong with the Anycubic Photon S, Elegoo Mars 2 Pro, or Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K.
This Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K will provide you with the detail and precision you desire with your miniatures. The Mars 2 Pro will give you the benefits of SLA 3D printers without the high price tag. It’s the Ender 3 of resin 3D printing (great value, reliable, consistent high-quality prints). The Photon S is a good option if the ease of use and community support are priorities.
Besides that, the Ender 5 is a great choice if you want to keep your costs low while using FDM filament and 3D printing terrain.
The build volume is large and is incredibly affordable. It’s just a bit tricky to set up at first. A beginner can get started with a 3D printer like the Ender 5. As a result, they gain an in-depth understanding of how 3D printers work and understand troubleshooting. If you want to move on to a resin 3D printer, you can do so.