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The best beginner 3d printers - chosen by Castle Ink

As a 3D printing enthusiast, I've spent a considerable amount of time exploring various models suitable for beginners. Here's my comprehensive guide to the best beginner 3D printers, including detailed insights on different models, their pros and cons, pricing, and purchasing options.

1. Creality Ender 3
- Pros:
- Affordable: Priced around $200, it's a great entry-level option.
- Large Community Support: A huge online community for troubleshooting and tips.
- Upgradable: Offers room for modifications and upgrades.

- Cons:
- Assembly Required: It comes semi-assembled, so some technical know-how is needed.
- Manual Bed Leveling: Can be tricky for absolute beginners.
- Price: Approximately $200.
- Where to Buy: Available on Amazon, Creality's official website, and other electronics retailers.

2. Anycubic i3 Mega
- Pros:
- User-Friendly: Easy to assemble with a touchscreen interface.
- Good Print Quality: Reliable print quality for its price range.
- Sturdy Build: Durable frame for long-term use.

- Cons:
- Noisy Operation: The stepper motors and fans can be quite loud.
- Limited Print Bed: Smaller than some competitors.
- Price: Around $220-$250.
- Where to Buy: Anycubic's website, Amazon, and major electronics stores.

3. Monoprice Select Mini V2
- Pros:
- Compact Design: Ideal for small spaces.
- Fully Assembled: Ready to print right out of the box.
- Versatile: Works with various filament types.

- Cons:
- Small Build Area: Limits the size of objects you can print.
- Less Durable: Some components may require frequent maintenance.
- Price: Approximately $180-$200.
- Where to Buy: Monoprice's website, Amazon, and select electronic retailers.

4. Prusa Mini
- Pros:
- High-Quality Prints: Known for its excellent print quality.
- Great Support and Community: Extensive online resources and customer support.
- Automatic Bed Leveling: Eases the printing process for beginners.

- Cons:
- Higher Price Point: More expensive than other entry-level printers.
- Wait Time for Delivery: Often has a longer lead time due to demand.
- Price: About $350-$400.
- Where to Buy: Directly from Prusa's official website.

5. FlashForge Adventurer 3
- Pros:
- Enclosed Design: Ideal for printing with materials like ABS.
- Quiet Operation: Less noise compared to open-frame models.
- Ease of Use: Features like a removable bed and built-in camera.

- Cons:
- Proprietary Components: May limit the use of third-party filaments.
- Costly Consumables: Replacement parts and filaments can be expensive.
- Price: Around $300-$350.
- Where to Buy: FlashForge website, Amazon, and various technology stores.

Each of these models offers a balance of ease of use, affordability, and quality, making them suitable for beginners in 3D printing. When choosing a printer, consider factors like build volume, ease of use, and community support, as these can greatly enhance your learning experience. Remember, the best 3D printer for you depends on your specific needs, budget, and the type of projects you're interested in. Happy printing!

About William Elward

Founder of Castle Ink, William Elward has 20 years experience in the printer industry. He's been featured on CNN Money, Yahoo, PC World, Computer World, and other top publications and frequently blogs about printers and ink cartridges. He's an expert at diagnosing printer issues and has published guides to fixing common printer issues across the internet. A graduate of Bryant University and Columbia's Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program, he's held various leadership positions at The College Board, Bankrate, Zocdoc, and Everyday Health. Follow him on Twitter at William Elward's Twitter Profile