What's the best 3D printer for $300-500? Preferably for Miniatures

Hey guys. I am thinking of getting a new 3D printer for miniatures. I have about 500 I can put to it. What would you recommend? I have some experience with printers, but not a ton.

I just finished reading some articles on printer deets and have learned so many good things about the best 3D printers. Just confused about which one should I go with?

I would highly appreciate all of your recommendations.

Cheers
Bella

Depends on the size of your miniatures, and the detail you expect. If you’re looking at the typical RPG miniatures in the 25-30 mm range with fine detail, then you’re looking at the liquid resin printers. Nasty to work (chemical handling and fume management) with and more expensive than the fused filament type. Results can be as good as you’ll see on Warhammer injection moulded miniatures.

If fine detail is not of concern, or you’re going after larger miniatures (90 mm +), then the fused filament is the way to go. You can replace the standard 0.4mm print nozzle with a smaller 0.3 or 0.25 mm nozzle to give better resolution, but print at slower speeds. For example, if the low detail quality you see on the average resin cast minis you get at the hobby store are good enough, then this choice should be fine. An Original Prusa Mini+ will fit your budget.

1 Like

Yes, I heard about the Prusa 3D printers and seeing their FB ads nowadays. I will definitely give it a try. Thank you

I have an Original Prusa Mk 2S from a few years ago. Like it but not as simple to use as I’d like. Was hoping my kids could use it, but it was too intimidating to them.

I then bought a Prusa Mk3S+ about 8 months ago. Massive improvement and way easier to operate. Was enough to encourage me to buy the upgrade kit to turn my old 2S into a 3S+. Just need more time to finish up the upgrade…

We like them.

2 Likes

The state of the art increases so quickly that you may want to consider using 3D Printing Service Bureaus. Unless you plan on building an army of figurines, you will probably save money and get better quality with less aggravation. Additionally, you can change materials for special projects (I make bespoke jewelry for my girlfriend out of brass, as an example).

2 Likes

Thanks for your insights on this.

I’d get a Resin Printer, probably a ELEGOO Mars 2 Pro or better/larger. The Elegoo Saturn is larger but hard to find. And you probably don’t need the larger size for mintures. Also consider a curing station (basically a box with ultraviolet lights in it with a turn table into to cure the resin), but some people just put them out in the sun to cure.

2 Likes

You want a resin printer for figurines. FDM will not produce “professional” quality results.

I’ve got a Form3 printer (which isn’t cheap). Elegoo and Creality and a few other low-cost resin printers have hit the market. But the quality of these printers is highly variable. Read reviews before choosing.

2 Likes

Thank you all of you!!