The Best 5 3D Printers for Beginners in 2021

The best 3d printers for beginners

With the cost of 3D printers coming down, this tool is becoming accessible to more people. So if you fancy trying your hand at 3D printing, there’s never been a better time.

But choosing the best 3D printer for beginners is a big decision! You want a good, affordable 3D printer that is easy to use, but not every printer is suitable for beginners.

There’s nothing like creating your first 3D item from scratch with your printer. But if you go for the wrong printer, you could spend more time troubleshooting failed prints. And that can get frustrating very quickly.

So I created this guide to the best entry-level 3D printer to get you started successfully! I’ll summarize the essential features to look out for when shopping for a 3D printer.

We’ll get into the reviews of the best 3D printers for beginners. You’ll find something for every budget in this article, so read on to take your pick! 

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Top 3 3D Printers for Beginners: A Quick Comparison

If you’re short on time, here are my quick recommendations of the best 3D printers for beginners. You won’t go wrong with these products! 

Product NameANYCUBIC Photon Mono X
Best Overall 3D Printer for Beginners
Elegoo Mars Pro
Easiest 3D Printer for Beginners
Creality Ender 3 Pro
Best Starter 3D
Printer on a Budget
Size270 x 290 x 475 mm199 x 199 x 409 mm440 x 440 x 465 mm
Material 405 nm UV ResinResin
Max Build Volume192 x 120 x 245 mm 115 x 65 x 149 mm220 x 220 x 250 mm
TechnologyLCD-based SLALCD UV Photocuring (SLA)Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
ConnectionsUSB, WiFiUSBWiFi or SD Card

The Best Beginner 3D Printer for Beginners: My Reviews

ANYCUBIC Photon Mono X 3D Resin Printer

Best Overall Beginners 3D Printer for UV Resin

ANYCUBIC Photon Mono X 3D Resin Printer, Best Overall Beginners 3D Printer for UV Resin - best printer for begginers

(Image credit: ANYCUBIC)

If you can afford to splash out on your first 3D printer, the ANYCUBIC Photon Mono X is an excellent choice. While this printer is more expensive than many other beginner printers, it’s well worth the cost.

This printer produces excellent prints with one of the highest levels of precision. And not only that, but it prints fast, too. So, you don’t have to spend hours on a small model. 

The Photon Mono X is a great printer to get you started with using resin. It’s an investment, but you’ll get better results than with plastic. 

Another benefit of this printer is that it comes fully assembled and ready to go. As it’s made from robust aluminum, it feels very sturdy and hardwearing. It’s also compact, making it ideal for small homes or smaller workspaces.

Despite the small footprint, the print plate is large, so you can produce bigger models. It measures 192 x 120 x 250 mm, which is generous for 3D printers.

Plus, it comes with all the tools you’ll need. That includes everything from the spatula and funnel to gloves, so all you’ll need to buy is the resin itself.

Even better, this printer has one-year machine security to ensure it works correctly. And the company offers lifetime customer support, so you can get help if you run into any issues. That’s priceless if you’re new to 3D printing and need to troubleshoot any problems. 

The ANYCUBIC customer community is also active and helpful. You’ll find dedicated Facebook groups where you can get answers to your questions.

There is a learning curve with this printer if you want to get the best out of it. Resin isn’t the easiest to use and can get quite messy if you’re not careful. You’ll also need to master leveling the printer so that your prints come out as accurately as possible. 

But with a little dedication, you can produce fantastic models using this printer. While the software isn’t the most advanced, it does the job and isn’t too complicated to get your head around it. 

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use 3D printer that produces incredible results, you’ll love this one. It’s hard to beat this printer for intricate details, precise prints, and a great user experience.

  • Size: 270 x 290 x 475 mm
  • Material: 405 nm UV Resin
  • Max. Build Volume: 192 x 120 x 245 mm 
  • Technology: LCD-based SLA
  • Connectivity: USB, WiFi
  • A fast print speed with excellent accuracy
  • This printer can produce bigger models due to the large print plate
  • It’s compact and doesn’t take up too much space
  • You get great customer service in case of any issues
  • It’s very expensive for a beginner 3D printer

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Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer

Best Starter 3D Printer on a Budget

Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer, Best Starter 3D Printer on a Budget

(Image credit: Creality)

But not everyone can afford to spend so much on their first 3D printer. That’s especially true if you’re looking for a 3D printer for students who want to learn but need to save their cash. 

In that case, the Creality Ender 3 Pro is exactly what you need. It’s a fantastic 3D printer on a budget and good for anyone who’s looking for affordability. 

One thing worth noting is that it doesn’t come pre-assembled. In exchange for the low price, you’ll need to devote some time and energy to put this printer together yourself. You’ll need to assemble it carefully to get the best out of this product. A bad assembly will affect the quality of your prints.

But that doesn’t mean you should rule out the Creality Ender 3 Pro right away. It’s a great low-cost printer that can use various materials and produces accurate models.

It has some great features, like the flexible build plate and removable hotbed. That ensures that you can remove models easily once they’re finished.

One benefit of the Ender 3 Pro is that it’s very quiet when in use. 

In this latest model, they’ve changed the fan position to prevent any scrap filament from falling on it. The improved cooling fan regulates the temperature for better quality prints.

The Creality Ender 3 Pro is ideal for beginners and intermediates. You can buy this printer as a complete newbie and continue to learn and grow your skills. 

It’s also easy to make adjustments and upgrades to this printer. For example, you could switch the magnetic bed for a glass bed if you like. 

The Ender 3 Pro isn’t for you if you want a pre-assembled printer out of the box. But if you want a cheap printer to make some cool models, it’s just what you need. Plus, it will grow with you as you improve your skills – there’s no need to upgrade from this printer.

  • Size: 440 x 440 x 465 mm
  • Material:
  • Max. Build Volume: 220 x 220 x 250 mm
  • Technology: FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)
  • Connectivity: WiFi or SD Card
  • A great budget 3D printer for students or anyone with less cash to spend
  • It produces precise, high-quality models
  • The improved cooling fan and nozzle make for better accuracy and stable printing
  • You’ll need to put it together from scratch
  • The customer service isn’t very responsive or helpful

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ELEGOO Mars Pro MSLA 3D Printer

Easiest 3D Printer for Beginners

ELEGOO Mars Pro MSLA 3D Printer, Easiest 3D Printer for Beginners

(Image credit: ELEGOO)

Next up is the Elegoo Mars Pro, a printer designed for a smooth and easy user experience. 

Elegoo has taken their popular Mars printer back to the drawing board and improved upon it. The result is a powerful and precise 3D printer that offers incredible value for money. 

This printer uses MSLA technology. Before, only large-scale, expensive 3D printers could harness this technology. But now, it’s readily available, thanks to printers like the Mars Pro. 

It uses LCD light to cure the resin, making it more precise than most FDM printers. As a result, you can print amazing, detailed models with superb accuracy. 

But this printer does have a smaller print plate, limiting the size of your models. So while it’s ideal for making small gaming models, you could find the maximum print size a bit restrictive.

Despite that, it’s worth considering if you want to make small but intricate models. This is one of the easiest and most reliable printers out there. You won’t waste hours troubleshooting problems or looking for solutions.

Instead, it’s dependable, fast, and comes with a powerful slicing program. The Elegoo Mars Pro is also built to last without losing any quality over time. You’ll rarely need to make adjustments to the build plate or anything else – it works like clockwork.

What’s more, it comes with a 1-year warranty and a 6-month warranty for the LCD. So, what’s not to like about this printer? If you’re looking for a simple 3D printer that won’t let you down, grab the Elegoo Mars Pro! 

  • Size: 199 x 199 x 409 mm
  • Material: Resin
  • Max. Build Volume: 115 x 65 x 149 mm
  • Technology: LCD UV Photocuring
  • Connections: USB
  • Fantastic value for money
  • Very easy to set up and print – a smaller learning curve than most 3D printers
  • It’s reliable, with stable printing and excellent precision
  • You can print detailed, accurate models
  • The maximum print size is quite small
  • It doesn’t come with any resin

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Amazon

Longer LK5 PRO

Best Beginners 3D Printer for Large Models

Longer LK5 PRO, Best Beginners 3D Printer for Large Models

(Image credit: Longer)

With many home 3D printers, you’re limited in the model size you can make. That can get a little frustrating! But with the Longer LK5 Pro, you can produce bigger models, which opens up more options.

So, if you’ve been planning out larger models, check out this affordable 3D printer. It has a maximum build size of 300 x 300 x 400 mm, which is very generous. You can use this printer to create all sorts of helpful and innovative items.

The good news with the LK5 Pro is that it comes mostly assembled, so you only need to add the finishing touches. I’d recommend skipping the instructions and going straight to the video tutorial. It’s much easier to understand and follow along with each step.

As this printer has a larger build, the triangular form and braces provide extra support. As a result, it looks and feels sturdy and durable. It’s also very quiet when in use.

You don’t need to be an expert to get started with the LK5 Pro. It’s pretty simple to use, and the software is a little basic but excellent for beginners. 

As you get more experienced, you may find the software limitations a bit restricting. But you can upgrade the software when you get to that point, rather than having to buy a whole new printer. 

The LD5 Pro has a great 4.3-inch touchscreen with a nice interface, making it easy to use. This model has several upgrades from previous versions, including an improved Teflon tube. 

The extruder can also withstand higher temperatures than earlier models. That cuts down on any material clogging it up. So, you won’t need to clean it out as often or worry about regular maintenance.

As for the lattice glass bed, it’s a fantastic addition. It’s a very stable and flat platform for printing on, and models are easy to remove and less likely to get stuck to it. 

But one factor to keep in mind with the LK5 Pro is its size. It’s bulky and will take up a lot of space, so make sure you have room for it in your home. 

The Longer LK5 Pro is perfect for anyone who wants to create larger models at home. It offers great value for money for a mid-range FDM printer.

  • Size: 580 x 50 x 663 mm
  • Material: Consumer Materials (ABS, PLA, PETG)
  • Max. Build Volume: 300 x 300 x 400 mm
  • Technology: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
  • Connections: MicroSD, USB
  • A great printer for larger 3D models due to the increased maximum build size
  • It has upgraded features, from the extruder to the glass bed and Teflon tube
  • It prints quickly and quietly
  • The fan duct isn’t the most powerful and doesn’t cool the filament well
  • It’s very large and bulky, so you’ll need a lot of space for it
  • It’s not as precise or detailed as with SLA printers

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Amazon

Creality Ender 3 V2

Best First Mid-Range 3D Printer 

Creality Ender 3 V2, Best First Mid-Range 3D Printer for Beginners

(Image credit: Creality)

You’ve already heard about the Ender 3 Pro, but this printer is the next step up. Coming in only slightly higher price than the previous model. here’s what you need to know about the latest Ender.

Creality is leading the way in low-cost FDM printers. And now, they’ve funneled everything they know into the Ender 3 V2. 

It has an improved glass bed of tempered carborundum, which is a flatter surface for your prints. That boosts the print quality while making it easier to remove your models neatly.

The screen has also got an upgrade, and now you get an HD color screen for a better user experience. Although, a touchscreen would make it easier to navigate than with the dated click wheel.

That’s not all! The 32-bit motherboard is much quieter than previous models. So, your printer can work in the background without disturbing you. 

When you get the Creality Ender 3 V2, it comes semi-assembled. So, you’ll need to be practical enough to put the final parts together, but it’s quick and simple to do.

This printer is powered by a MeanWell power supply, packing more punch. That means it heats up quickly, and you won’t need to wait as long for it to start printing. 

The Creality Ender 3 V2 has many reasons that make it one of the best first 3D printers. It’s not the cheapest, but it comes with a few extra features that make it attractive. It’s effective, quiet, fast, and easy to use, with good print quality.

  • Size: 475 x 470 x 620 mm 
  • Material: TPU, PLA, PETG, ABS
  • Max. Build Volume: 220 x 220 x 250 mm
  • Technology: FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)
  • Connections: MicroSD, USB
  • It prints quietly
  • The Ender 3 V2 is more powerful and heats up quickly
  • This version has an improved glass bed for better model quality and easy removal
  • The screen isn’t a touchscreen and uses a click wheel to navigate
  • It’s more expensive than the Creality Ender 3 Pro – but not by much

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Best Beginner 3D Printer: A Buying Guide

Simple Assembly

As a beginner, you want a printer that is very simple to put together. Some will come fully assembled, while others are semi-assembled and need a little work.

But you can also find 3D printer kits on the market. These kits are very affordable and great for anyone on a budget. They do have a drawback, though – you’ll need to put the parts together from scratch. 

With a DIY 3D printer kit, how well it works will depend on your assembly. If you make a mistake or don’t get it perfect, it could affect the print quality. 

So, it’s worth considering how much time you want to spend assembling the printer. Plus, whether you’re handy and have experience putting kits together or not.

Detailed Instructions

The quality of the instructions can also affect your entire experience. A good 3D printer should come with clear instructions on putting it together. 

The instructions should walk you through the printing process. Ideally, they should also have some tips on how to get the best prints possible. 

But not every printer comes with a well-written, user-friendly manual. Check the reviews to see whether other users found the instructions helpful or not. 

Ease of Use

Once you’ve got the printer up and running, it’s time to start printing. But not all 3D printers are designed for beginners. Some will require more experience or your prints could be disappointing. 

That’s why it’s essential to look for a beginner-friendly 3D printer. All the printers reviewed here have been chosen for this factor, as they’re ideal for beginners.

Print Quality

It’s not just the user experience that’s important, though. A good 3D printer for beginners should also produce excellent print quality. 

You want your designs to come out looking neat and polished – just like with a professional 3D printer. The prints should look clean and accurate and come off the plate neatly. 

The print quality isn’t just down to the printer, though. You’ll need to learn to avoid some of the biggest problems that can occur when 3D printing. With a bit of experience and knowledge, you can produce amazing models.

The best 5 3d printers for beginners

Tip: save the image above to your Pinterest to re-read this article later!

The Wrap Up

So there you have a complete guide to the best 3D printers for beginners. Anyone can get started 3D printing with one of these great printers and have a lot of fun! 

This is a creative and rewarding hobby, as you can use whatever you make. It also challenges you to try new things and keep learning. 

Let me know which printer you chose and how you get on with your first attempts at 3D printing! 

Then, follow me on Pinterest for more resources for creative professionals and hobbyists. I’ll keep you up to date on the latest tools, tips, and tutorials you need. 

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, Proactive Creative may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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My name is Outmane, I am a designer and artist.

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