The best 3D printers have become more affordable, and the 3D printer market is growing at an explosive rate, with new brands and styles of printing making an appearance each year. Where many 3D printers used to be huge, expensive machines, developments in technology and production now mean that many of the best options you can buy are increasingly affordable and can sit on a desk in your home without needing dedicated workshop space.
As more products hit the market, the choice of 3D printers that cater to all sorts of user needs and budgets expands. While having more options brings more features and lower prices, picking the best 3D printer for your specific needs can be difficult. However, this guide can help, as we pick some brilliant 3D printers for all uses and budgets, with clear buying advice to help you determine which one you should buy.
Printing hardware has taken off in recent years, so while a handful of filament printers (otherwise known as FDM printers) were all that was once available, there's now a wide variety of different styles to suit your needs across a range of budgets.
Where office-style printers print ink onto paper, you can use 3D printers to build real-world objects made from plastic, metal, and wood digital models for straight-to-market products, spare parts, or prototyping. FDM printers now come in all shapes and sizes and are well-suited to prototyping and crafting larger objects. At the same time, resin-based (SLA, MSLA, and DLP) printers allow for much greater detail, typically at a smaller scale, making them a fantastic buy for anyone looking to design jewelry or create tabletop miniatures.
Whether you are a hobbyist looking to get started in the world of 3D printing or if your business relies on it, 3D printing is a method of creating physical products, unlike any other way we have seen. Printing in 3D is an easy way to create products through additive measures, meaning there is little to no waste. Additionally, the limits are near endless because you can theoretically 3D Print just about anything.
Whether you’re just starting to 3D print or are an expert, here are the best 3D printers we think you should consider. We've compared these printers across size, functionality, and use case, so there should be something for you, whatever it is you’re looking for. We also looked at their print resolution, build platform, filament type, and pricing.
Remember that the more expensive choices are better suited for professionals, while the best cheap 3D printers are ideal for those just starting.
The best 3D printers of 2023 in full:
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This affordable open-frame 3D printer is small enough to sit on your desk and easy enough to assemble yourself without expertise. It comes in kit form and uses FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) to turn popular modeling materials such as PLA, PETG, ASA, ABS, and Flex into printed products.
There’s a Network LAN and USB port for simple connectivity and a user-friendly interface. The 2.8-inch 65k color screen makes navigating the options and settings easy, and on first starting the machine, it takes you step-by-step through the setup process. This entry-level printer should be the first choice for crafters, modelers, and engineering enthusiasts.
The Original Prusa MINI+ is a replacement for the Original Prusa MINI (no +), with the key advantage being that it now comes with a superPINDA sensor, allowing the first layer calibration to be faster and more reliable.
Read the full review: Original Prusa MINI.
CEL-UK is a leader in 3D Printer innovation, with the original Robox printers introducing many new features to the world of FDM 3D printers. The RoboxPro comes with a feature set that reads like a 3D print wish list; auto filament loading, auto bed leveling, Wi-Fi, network printing, and swappable tool heads.
The main focus of the machine is quality and reliability, designed for anyone wanting a printer that can realize product ideas and get them to market. The enclosed design makes it an ideal choice for commercial and educational use.
There's a sizable touchscreen panel built into the front of the machine. It displays the current materials and can be used to navigate settings and print directly from USB or other external drives.
Read the full CEL-UK RoboxPro review.
Having a predecessor with a quality reputation instantly puts pressure on the new model to perform. From the small amount of initial construction needed to build the printer to the outstanding bed leveling technology, the Ender-5 S1 proves to be a worthy upgrade and on a completely different level of quality to the original Ender-5.
The cubed design might not be a true CORE XY printer, but the robust frame and tool head’s design and precision enables a print quality that pits this printer against models that are at least twice the price.
The design is refined, the tool head completely overhauled, and with upgrade options such as an enclosure and laser head, there is plenty of add-ons to expand your creativity. This is a printer designed for both enthusiasts and small business users alike.
Read our full Creality-5 S1 review.
This elegant delta design should get your attention if you’re looking for a professional 3D printer for fairly large and complex projects. It uses FDM technology to build 3D models from rolls of filament. Still, instead of the more common cartesian printers, the TRILAB DeltiQ 2 has a fixed round build plate with the extruder suspended between three arms that move the print head along three axis. It gives this model a fairly small footprint, while its high tower design ensures it can print some quite large pieces.
Unlike most 3D printers, it has two extruder options, one for standard PLA and PETG and the other for flexibles. It just requires a little retooling to swap between them. The TRILAB DeltiQ 2 uses some of the best components available in its construction, and the interface is a smartphone running a dedicated app. This handsome, high-end workshop printer would sit well in any laboratory, studio, or classroom.
Read our full TRILAB DeltiQ 2 review.
Prusa Research revolutionized the FDM 3D printer market, and this model looks set to do the same for SLA printers. While this printer uses stereolithography technology, it's a slight variant known as MSLA.
This uses a monochrome LCD and UV LED to expose the resin, which is cheaper than precision lasers but just as accurate. The SL1S SPEED replaces the outgoing SL1, and as you might have guessed from that model name, it’s faster – around ten times faster and comes with a vastly improved print quality.
The SL1S's physical design hasn't changed a great deal over the SL1. It features the same touchscreen LCD on the front, which is again good and responsive.
The speedy new model looks set to lead the SLA market with support from the excellent PrusaSlicer software and a huge open-source community.
Read our full Original Prusa SL1S 3D printer review.
If you have ever wanted to get into the world of 3D printing, but it seemed too intimidating for you, the AnyCubic Vyper is a great intro level option. While perfect for beginners with its auto-leveling feature and minimal assembly, seasoned printing hobbyists will also appreciate what it can offer, albeit with a few adjustments.
As the 'automatic leveling' might imply, the AnyCubic Vyper removes the need to align your build plate manually should you want to move the machine to a different location. It's fast and accurate, saving time when setting up your first print, which makes setting up and getting started a breeze.
The touchscreen control panel is satisfyingly fast and easy to use, but we found that the estimated print completion time was consistently incorrect. Once the printer is properly optimized, you'll enjoy impressive print quality.
Read our full AnyCubic Vyper review.
3D printing has come of age, and machines like the Raise3D E2 bring high-end FFF printing to home, education, and business users. This dual extrusion printer goes head-to-head with the RoboxPro and will fulfill most companies' design and development needs with slick business and network integration.
The printer display is vast and detailed, and you can swiftly access all the printer settings through the fast and responsive touchscreen interface. You can print directly from a USB key, wired connection, network, or Wi-Fi, making it ideal if several people are utilizing the printer. You will also find many step-by-step videos for many of the printer's features.
Home and educational users will benefit from a simple interface and near-faultless reliability. The only drawback of this machine is its size and weight.
Read the full Raise3D E review.
A true 3-in-1 machine makes sense because 3D printers, CNC, and Laser cutters all use the same basic mechanics and technology. The original Snapmaker has a dedicated following, so it is no surprise that Snapmaker 2.0 builds on its predecessor's reputation and features.
The SnapMaker boasts excellent build quality and comes with clear assembly instructions. The assembly takes around 20 minutes. There's a 5 inch (720x1280px) touchscreen on the machine that can be used to select options, preview models, calibrate and open stored files. The touch screen is a powerful addition to the usability of the machine — it runs on Android OS and features a Quad-Core A7 CPU @ 1.1GHz.
The A350 is the largest of three Snapmaker models and proves proficient in all disciplines. Swapping between the three heads and beds does take time to reconfigure and calibrate, but for the price and features, it's worth it.
Read the full Snapmaker 2.0 A350 review.
For those looking to take a step up from entry-level 3D printers, the Bambu Lab P1P offers a customizable and advanced 3D printing experience. The P1P borrows from it’s larger siblings with 20000 mm/s^2 CoreXY acceleration, vibration compensation and pressure advance technology. The printer also has an automatic bed leveling sensor and a Direct-drive Extruder for better filament control.
With a fast setup time, you’ll be up and printing in no time. And for those looking for the ultimate in customization, Bambu Labs provides templates for printing your own custom side panels. Additionally, the P1P allows up to 16 colors through their Automatic Material System (AMS). Control the printer with an onboard screen or connect with Bambu slicing software and mobile app.
The Bambu P1P also offers users advanced parts that can be printed and assembled with electronics from the Bambu store. With an all-metal hotend, filament run-out sensor, power loss recovery, fans with speed feedback and semi-automatic belt tensioning, users are setup for success out of the box.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is a 3D printer?
A 3D printer is a machine that creates three-dimensional objects using computer-created designs (like a digital 3D or CAD model).
These machines rely on an additive manufacturing process to build objects layer by layer.
How to choose the best 3D printers for you?
To select the best 3D printer, you'll need to consider what you're going to do with it. If you're going to be printing small objects, then a small-size printer is apt, but a large printer is naturally the best option for bigger creations.
For printing high-quality objects with fine details, you'll need a high resolution printer, but these prints will cost more and take more time to get ready.
Look out for the printer's interface and the overall ease of use, along with other aspects like the kind of software it uses, the type of filament, build platform, and pricing.
The best 3D printers: How we test
3D printers are tested using a collection of bespoke benchmarks that help show the strengths and weaknesses of each model that, after time, can be compared against other products. These will differ depending on printer type, but a filament printer will be tested for stringing, bridging, and speed, as well as additional commentary on detail, achieved, and noise levels.
This will be done fairly, with dues given to different materials and printer types, with resin printers being subject to smaller, more detailed models to replace the stringing test. Design, price, and performance will also be explored as sections within the reviews.
All our tests are conducted from the perspective of the printers target market where possible, so expect to see a lot of tabletop miniatures and figurines alongside the usual 'benches' (test models that are also dubbed as 'torture tests' to see where a printer needs to be better optimized for future prints).