3D printing is being used for all sorts of unique purposes now — creating everything from concept cars to human limbs, and so much more. It works in various industries because it can easily recreate missing or damaged parts.
What is a 3D printer?
A 3D printer is a machine that creates 3D objects from digital files. It can replace a factory production line by printing different types of items on a variety of materials. In years past, they were too expensive for home use, but they are now available in a range of prices, so you can enjoy the benefits from home. (See also: 5 Surprising Ways a 3D Printer Can Save You Money)
Top 5 3D printers
FlashForge 3D Printer
The FlashForge 3D Printer offers quiet, safe usage, even for beginners. The user-friendly features ensure it is ready to use right away. It has a slide-in, non-heated build plate, assisted bed-leveling, and color touch-screen to ensure you get the best results every time. It can connect through Wi-Fi, USB, and flash drive.
This includes a roll of PLA filament, power cable, USB cable, filament guide tube, and USB stick. It is built to last and is an Amazon best-seller. It is also recommended by PCMag.
MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer
The MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer, 5th Generation, Firmware Version 1.7+ allows you to create high-resolution prototypes and complex models from your desk. It features a full-color display, onboard user interface, intuitive dial, and remote monitoring from the onboard camera feed. The large build volume and onboard utilities will help you print more in less time. It offers a preview of your 3D model files and automatically takes reference pictures of final prints to save to the Cloud.
This is meant to print for over 700 hours and can connect through Wi-Fi, USB, Ethernet, or the Cloud. It is recommended by PCMag (which also recommends the MakerBot Replicator+).
XYZprinting Da Vinci Mini 3D Printer
If you’re just looking for a small 3D printer for home use, then the XYZprinting Da Vinci Mini 3D Printer should work for you. It uses an intuitive auto-calibration system that automatically adjusts to give you the best possible prints. It also has updated slicing precision and computing efficiency, so there’s less prep time required. The compact, lightweight design has a large aluminum print bed, autoloading filament system, and colored LED indicator lights.
This can connect wirelessly to your local network and streamlines its printing through a single-button design. It is available in two colors. It is an Amazon best-seller and won the 2017 Family Choice Award. It is also recommended by Tom’s Guide and PCMag. CNET also recommends the XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro. 3D Printer.
LulzBot Mini Desktop 3D Printer
The award-winning LulzBot Mini Desktop 3D Printer is fast, accurate, and easy to use, even for beginners. The premium desktop 3D printer is ready to use right out of the box. It starts each print with a nozzle cleaning and probing sequence for a level first layer, with no manual adjustments required. It also features a low maintenance heated PEI print surface, all-metal Hexagon hot end, and easy carry handle. The modular tool head carriage design allows plug-and-play with different print heads to suit different printing filament materials.
This is recommended by Tom’s Guide, Computer World, PCMag, Digital Trends, CNET, and Tech Radar. It is built to last and backed by a one-year warranty.
Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer
Amazon’s #1 best-seller in 3D printers, the Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer is perfect for desktop use. The compact open frame design has a small footprint and is ready to print right out of the box. The affordable printer has great features, like a quick-release steel gear filament feeder and easy-to-read color LCD. The heated aluminum build plate nozzle cooling fan offers support for all filament types.
The complete kit includes a filament rack, AC power adapter, Micro USB cable, MicroSD card, bed scraper, and bed leveling hex wrench. It is Amazon’s Choice for 3D printers and one of the “Most Wished For” items on Amazon. It is also recommended by Digital Trends and has more than 500 five-star reviews on Amazon. It is also backed by a one-year replacement warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee. The Wirecutter also recommends the Monoprice 13860 Maker Select 3d Printer V2.
And those are our recommendations for the best 3D printers. As always, be sure to check Wise Bread’s Buying Calendar to learn when and how to buy just about anything!