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.
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.
- Check out our best printer buying guide
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
The best 3D printers in full
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The Original Prusa MK4 is one of our most hotly anticipated 3D printers to arrive this year and elevates the successful open-source MK3S with advanced features and impressive performance. The new Loadcell sensor ensures trouble-free first-layer printing, while the next-gen extruder (Nextruder) enhances ease of maintenance and safety.
All aspects of the machine have been enhanced, including the 32-bit heart of the machine that enables great flexibility for remote printing, quick-swap nozzles, and a customizable UI. The MK4 also supports various materials, from PLA and PETG to Nylon, ASA, PVA, and more. Reliablity, automatic first-layer calibration, impressive printing speed, and a host of safety features like filament sensors and power panic all make the latest Original Prusa MK4 the printer to own.
Review Coming Soon
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 its 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 quickly. And for those looking for the ultimate in customization, Bambu Labs provides templates for printing your custom side panels. The P1P allows up to 16 colors through its Automatic Material System (AMS). Control the printer with an onboard screen or connect with Bambu slicing software and mobile app.
Overall, This printer has wholly shocked us with its price for features and just how good of a printer this model is. We genuinely think this will disrupt the 3D printing market thanks to its price for abilities.
Read the full Bambu P1P 3D Printer.
Snapmaker, known for its exceptional three-in-one machines, introduces the J1, a dedicated 3D printer. This all-metal machine doesn't transform into a CNC or laser engraver but stands out as a unique 3D printer.
The J1 features an IDEX design, making it a dual-material machine with almost independent hotends for faster material swapping and printing. It offers fast, normal, and smooth print presets to suit various needs, with the smooth setting providing finer surfaces and better dimensional accuracy, ideal for prototyping. The J1's design is impressive, but a lid hinge for PLA printing could be a useful addition.
The Snapmaker J1 is an affordable, reliable, and fast IDEX printer with excellent print quality. Although there are cheaper dual-material options, the J1 excels in quality and ease of use, making it the best in its class.
Read the full Snapmaker J1 review.
The LulzBot TAZ SideKick 747, with over 50% 3D printed parts, demonstrates confidence in its Open Source heritage. This workhorse delivers precision, reliability, and exceptional print quality, catering to tinkerers and enthusiasts alike.
With a significant redesign under new ownership, the SideKick 747 feels more connected to the Open Source community than ever before. With LulzBot's outstanding support and plug-and-play capabilities via Cura LE, you can start printing quality objects right away.
The design, upgrades, and high volume of 3D-printed parts make it a versatile and customisable printer. The BL Touch sensor may require initial adjustments, but the machine runs smoothly afterwards.
While Wi-Fi connectivity and a touchscreen interface would be welcome additions, the SideKick 747 remains a fantastic choice for home or professional use. With multiple tool head options, it's a perfect base for those who love to experiment and expand their printer's capabilities. The LulzBot TAZ SideKick 747 is among the top 3D printers on the market.
Read our full LulzBot TAZ SideKick 747 Review.
Creality consistently enhances its 3D printers, and the Ender-5 S1 is no exception. Though resembling the Ender-5, its overhauled control board and hotend significantly improve speed and print quality. Priced in the mid-range, it competes with more expensive printers in terms of output quality.
The machine's assembly takes longer than the Ender-3, but the four columns provide a stable base. Its compact design encloses all components within the printer's perimeter, and two carry handles enable easy portability.
The advanced control board and tool head elevate the printer, while the potential addition of the Sonic Pad and a sleek casing make it a strong contender. The Ender-5 S1 appeals to enthusiasts, modellers, product designers, and anyone seeking top-quality prints from a moderately priced device.
Read our full Creality-5 S1 review.
The Anycubic Kobra Plus is a 3D printer that effortlessly combines large-scale printing capabilities with a wealth of features to empower your creativity. Its massive build volume might be the first thing you notice, but it's the printer's remarkable reliability and ease of use that truly set it apart in a competitive market.
At first glance, the Kobra Plus may seem daunting due to its size and weight; however, it's intuitive design and lightweight construction make it a breeze to set up and operate. Once assembled, you'll appreciate the seamless integration of features such as auto bed levelling, filament detection, and a user-friendly touchscreen.
The Kobra Plus doesn't shy away from delivering high-quality prints, ensuring your projects look exceptional every time. Its glass print bed may occasionally pose challenges when removing prints, but this minor inconvenience is overshadowed by the printer's outstanding performance.
Despite a few areas that could use refinement, the Anycubic Kobra Plus offers incredible value for its price. This 3D printer is an ideal choice for those who require a large-scale, reliable, and feature-packed machine to bring their creative visions to life.
Read our full Anycubic Kobra Plus 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a 3D printer?
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.
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.
What kind of materials does a 3D printer use to print with?
3D printers utilize a range of materials to print with. For filament printers, they utilize PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, Nylon, and Polycarbonate. While PLA (Poly Lactic Acid) and even ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) are the most popular, others are growing in their popularity as well.
Outside of plastics, there are 3D printers that are being used that utilize concrete, metal, and other construction materials, looking for a sustainable and quicker process to build things such as homes.
Do 3D printers use a lot of electricity?
This question really relies on what size 3D printer you have, what materials are being used and how long they are being used for. In general, Fused Deposition Modeling printers use the least amount of power among other 3D printers.
What is the most profitable thing to make with a 3D printer?
There are a wide range of profitable items that can be made with a 3D printer. These range from personalized items such as phone cases an others, to replacements parts, prototypes, and teaching tools. Any of those areas, if marketed correctly, could be quite profitable.
Is 3D printing worth investing in?
As with most things, 3D printing is worth investing in if you use it wisely. If you are planning on actually using the 3D printer to create useful things, then yes it is. However, if you are not planning on using it to create things for personal or business gain, then it may not be a worthwhile investment.
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).