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Best 3D Printers for Beginners in 2021

Best 3D Printers for Beginners in 2021 : Our Top Five Picks

This article covers our top 5 3D printers for beginners so you can find a budget-friendly pick to get started in the world of 3D printing. The specifications and top features of each are discussed and compared to ensure that you can make an informed choice.

When trying to find the right printer, it is easy to get overwhelmed. It can be difficult to determine what build volume you need or which features to consider. Factors like ease of assembly, use, documentation, and quality are also crucial in determining the right printer to buy first.

Considering these factors and using our own experience, we believe that the Creality CR-10 is the best beginner-friendly printer owing to its varied features and low price tag of around $349. Despite our selection, we also wanted to cover some other great printers so you can make an informed decision for your first big 3D printing purchase.

Top 5 3D Printers for Beginners

3D Printer

Build Volume
(mm)

Market Price
(USD)

Anycubic i3 Mega

210 x 210 x 205

$219

Creality Ender 3 Pro

220 x 220 x 250

$209

FlashForge Finder

140 x 140 x 140

$299

Original Prusa Mini

180 x 180 x 180

$349

Creatilty CR-10

220 × 220 × 300

$349


Anycubic i3 Mega

Anycubic i3 Mega

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Specifications

  • Build volume (mm): 210 x 210 x 205
  • Minimum layer height (μm): 50
  • Connectivity: SD card
  • Heated bed: Yes; 110 °C
  • Maximum hot end temperature (°C): 260
  • Filament diameter (mm): 1.75
  • 3rd party compatible: Yes

The Anycubic i3 Mega printer is one of our under-$300 favorites owing to its excellent design and ease of use without a drop in print quality. Its heated bed allows for solid bed adhesion even for beginning 3D print hobbyists.

This printer is outfitted with a color touchscreen, filament run-out sensor, and auto-resume feature, which all come in handy for seasoned makers. The included documentation and spare parts are very helpful for getting acquainted with your machine, facilitating easy repairs.

The only potential drawback of this budget pick is its small print volume. For a newer hobbyist that does not anticipate making large, complex, or functional prints over a certain size, this may not be an issue, but many makers prefer having the potential for versatility.

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Creality Ender 3 Pro

Creality Ender 3 Pro

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Specifications

  • Build volume (mm): 220 x 220 x 250
  • Minimum layer height (μm): 100
  • Connectivity: SD card
  • Heated bed: Yes; 110 °C
  • Maximum hot end temperature (°C): 250
  • Filament diameter (mm): 1.75
  • 3rd party compatible: Yes

At just over $200, the Creality Ender 3 Pro has been a fan-favorite budget printer that routinely yields high quality prints while exhibiting solid upgradeability.

A build volume of 220 x 220 x 250 mm and flexible build plate can be forgiving for newer makers while still offering a range of possibilities; once you become comfortable with your printer, you can further upgrade the machine to do more.

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FlashForge Finder

FlashForge Finder

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Specifications

  • Build volume (mm): 140 x 140 x 140
  • Minimum layer height (μm): 100
  • Connectivity: WiFi and USB
  • Heated bed: No
  • Maximum hot end temperature (°C): 240
  • Filament diameter (mm): 1.75
  • 3rd party compatible: Yes

The Flashforge Finder has a forgiving learning curve while being reliable with expansive characteristics for a variety of print styles.

The Finder comes fully assembled and does not require significant setup before being to print. Its WiFi connectivity is not conventional for this $300 price point, which sets it apart from other beginner printers. It is outfitted with a removable bed, large color touch screen, and simplified printing process that makes it a great learning tool for makers who are just starting out.

Without a heated bed, PLA prints are not a possibility with this printer. However, for those who are just learning how this technology works, it is an excellent starter machine regardless.

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Original Prusa Mini

 Original Prusa Mini

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Specifications

  • Build volume (mm): 180 x 180 x 180
  • Minimum layer height (μm): 50
  • Connectivity: USB and Ethernet with potential WiFi upgrade
  • Heated bed: Yes; 100 °C
  • Maximum hot end temperature (°C): 280
  • Filament diameter (mm): 1.75
  • 3rd party compatible: Yes

The Original Prusa Mini is the first dive into budget printers by the well-loved 3D printing manufacturer Prusa. Similar to its more robust predecessor, Original Prusa i3 MK3S, the Mini is less expensive and can be sold as a self-assembly kit to save even more. With a medium-sized printing volume of 180 x 180 x 180 mm, it might not be the most versatile but is more than well-suited for beginner hobbyists.

This printer features a detachable PEI-coated metal bed and bed-leveling probe with the robust community support and ease of use expected from Prusa printers. The assembly instructions are clear and highly detailed, making it a great option for those who want to fully understand how their printer works rather than getting a “plug and play” experience.

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Creality CR-10

Creality CR-10

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Specifications

  • Build volume (mm): 300 x 300 x 400 (standard)
  • Minimum layer height (μm): 100
  • Connectivity: USB and WiFi
  • Heated bed: Yes; 100 °C
  • Maximum hot end temperature (°C): 240
  • Filament diameter (mm): 1.75
  • 3rd party compatible: Yes

Last but certainly not least is our favorite budget-friendly beginner’s pick. The Creality CR-10 boasts a huge build size for this price point at 300 x 300 x 400 mm, making it well-suited to “grow” with a new hobbyist as they foray into new print types and styles. While this can limit its normal useability owing to its larger desktop footprint, we believe that this minor inconvenience is easily outshined by its excellent print quality and versatility.

Owing to the simplicity of its design, it is easy to assemble and fix in the case that any calibration is required or if anything goes wrong. The control module is intuitive, allowing new makers to quickly get comfortable with 3D printing at a variety of scales and levels of detail.

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Another minor limitation is the lack of comprehensive instructions that come with the printer. Due to the popularity and robust community around Creality printers, however, this is not a significant problem because detailed instructions are easy to find online, as well as a plethora of tips and tricks for calibration and troubleshooting.

Additionally, the CR-10 is easily moddable, with a massive number of mods and upgrades available on repositories like Thingiverse. Versatile out of the box with room for growth, this is by far our favorite beginner printer that can be used well after its user becomes a veteran 3D print maker.

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