11 Best 3D Printers for 2022
Updated: August 02,2022
3D printing is a fun and exciting development! But there are options for professionals, hobbyists, and educators - how are you supposed to find the best 3D printers for you?
That’s where we come in. We’ve looked at the top 10 best 3D printers available in 2022 for beginners and pros and evaluated them for:
- 3D printer price
- Style of printing
- Suitability for different tasks
- Print quality
Our 3D printer reviews and guides are here to help you get the best 3D printer for you.
1. Dremel DigiLab 3D45
20.25" x 16" x 15.9" / 40lbs
10" x 6" x 6.7" (402 in³)
Looking for the best FDM 3D printer? The Dremel DigiLab is an excellent option. It has all the connectivity you need, excellent resolution on those prints, and the closed box design - it's handy, safe and relatively quiet. Its user-friendly and powerful software only adds to its already impressive specs. It’s also in contention for the best ABS 3D printer. One of the top 3D printers for all-round functionality.
2. Original Prusa i3 MK3S
19.6" × 21.6" × 15.7" / 17lbs
9.84" × 8.3" × 8.3" (678 in³)
One of the best DIY 3D printers, Prusa has a loyal hobbyist fanbase and for good reason. The i3 MK3S is roundly considered one of the best rated 3D printers at its price point. It’s ideal for those that like to tinker with their hardware as it comes in a cheaper set or a $999 pre-assembled set. Its supported filaments are endless, and you can run the machine extra quietly in stealth mode.
3. MakerBot Replicator+
20.8" x 17.4" x 16.2" / 50lbs
11.6" x 7.6" x 6.5" (573 in³)
MakerBot Replicator+ is what you need, if you’re looking for all round functionality. It has full connectivity options, great software, and although it is open frame, the frame itself is sturdy and unlikely to lead to any accidents. It also has a large build volume making it suitable for professionals. It has become the best 3D printer for architects according to many other reviewers.
4. Ultimaker S3
15.5" x 19.3" x 25.1" / 32lbs
9" x 7.4" x 7.9" (526 in³)
Ultimaker is quickly becoming a leading brand in 3D printing and the Ultimaker 3 might just be considered their flagship. Its dual 3D printer extruder allows you to combine colors and even types of filament for detailed and unique designs. Furthermore, it has top of the line resolution and loads of filaments supported. It’s also able to do all of this relatively quietly, making for one of the best 3D printers still on the market in 2020.
5. LONGER LK5 PRO
22.8" x 21.2" x 26.1"/29.8lbs
11.8" x 11.8" x 15.75"(2193 in³)
Want large 3D prints but most devices seem expensive? LONGER LK5 PRO is your knight in shining armor. It has a large build volume and some nice extra features such as the filament run-out sensor and color touchscreen display. This device offers a perfect balance between DIY and top 3D printers on the market.
6. Monoprice Select Mini V2
13.5" x 11.3" x 7.5"/9.9lbs
4.7" x 4.7" x 4.7" (103.8 in³)
The concept of taking an often-cumbersome manufacturing process and miniaturizing it has become a huge success for Monoprice and its Select Mini V2. This high resolution FDM 3D printer is one of the best 3D printers for beginners who want to 3D print at home or teachers who want an easy to use printer that can fit on a desk. And, at just $219.99 these are simply the best budget 3D printers on the market.
7. Creality Ender 3 V2
22.44" x 14.9" x 8.07"/ 17,2lbs
8.6" x 8.6" x 9.8" (724.8 in³)
Arguably the best beginner 3D printer, the Creality Ender 3 V2 should be high on your list if you also have a tight budget. Unlike the ‘mini’ models on the 3D printing marketplace, this is practically full size and can produce a respectable 100 microns resolution. It’s easy to set up and you’ll get good print quality out of the box. Overall, one of the best 3D printers under 300 dollars!
8. da Vinci Color
23.6 x 22.9 x 25.2 / 70.5lbs
7.8" x 7.8" x 5.9" (358.9 in³)
There is a reason why this printer is named after one of the greatest painters of all time. The da Vinci Color 3D printer is all about color variety. Ii is most certainly the best 3D printer for that purpose. but it offers so much more. With full connectivity by USB, thumb drive, or Wi-Fi, an assortment of filaments including carbon fiber, and useful auto calibration, and a modern interface and intuitive software, it certainly presents a winning formula.
9. Ultimaker S5
19.5" x 23" x 30.7"/45.4lbs
13" x 9.4" x 11.8" (1442 in³)
Ultimaker can’t seem to make bad 3D printers and the S5 is probably the best of the bunch. It achieves 6.9 / 6.9 / 2.5 micron resolution on XYZ respectively. Print quality itself is nothing short of exceptional and you can combine different filaments for more detailed designs. It's arguably the best 3D printer for flexible filament TPU. The remote printing via the open source Cura 3D printing software is another great bonus that makes S5 stand out.
10. Formlabs Form 3
15.9" × 14.8" × 20.9"/ 38.5 lbs
5.7" × 5.7" × 7.3" (237 in³)
Stereolithography (SLA) is not so common in three-dimensional printing but many proponents argue that it produces better results. The Formlabs Form 3 is the perfect example. With a high 25-micron resolution, their patented resins are capable of creating everything from dental models to detailed figurines. In fact, it could be considered the best 3d printer for jewelry. The Form 3’s introduction of low force printing improves what was already a great printing quality.
11. Peopoly Phenom
20.7" x 15.6" x 30.7" / 92.6lbs
13.2" x 7.6" x 15.7"
It looks great, it’s affordable, and it’s deservedly rated as the top SLA, or more accurately, MSLA printer on the market. Meet the Peopoly Phenom. It’s exceptional because it uses LED lighting to flash completed layers at the resin tank via an LCD not a projector. It also has a good build volume, great user interface, and for the price the print detail is exceptional. If you’re going the resin route, then this is one of the best 3D printer brands.
The Best 3D Printers for Beginners and Pros in 2022
- •Dremel DigiLab 3D45 – Best professional 3D printers for engineers and designers
- •Original Prusa i3 MK3S – Best DIY 3D printer kit
- •MakerBot Replicator+ – Best 3D printer all-rounder
- •Ultimaker S3 – Best dual extruder 3D printer
LONGER LK5 PRO - Best budget 3D printer for large builds
- •Monoprice Select Mini V2 – Best cheap 3D printer
- •Creality Ender 3 V2 – Best budget 3D printer
- •da Vinci Color – Best multicolor 3D printer
- •Ultimaker S5 – Best resolution 3D printer
- •Formlabs Form 3 – Best professional 3D printer for dental and jewelry
- •Peopoly Phenom – Best SLA 3D printer
What Is 3D Printing?
3D printing can be better understood as simple product manufacturing. It’s just that because of emerging technologies it has reached the consumer level. On this page we deal with the consumer level rather than large-scale manufacturing, on-demand printing and Electron beam melting, etc.
Whereas your normal computer printers print ink on to paper, a 3D printer prints plastic filament, resin, or other materials on to a special surface into a 3D shape predefined by its associated software or ‘slicer’. 3D printing compatible files can be downloaded from the web and manipulated to your liking to varying degrees of detail before printing.
The most common type of 3D printing is known as Fused Filament Fabrication (FDM). Here a spool of plastic filament gets extruded through a hot nozzle, where it melts and is drawn on to the print bed before cooling. The filament looks like a thick string, comes in different colors, and is stored in spools that it essentially wraps around. Spools are attached to or otherwise positioned nearby the printer and the filament is fed through the extruder or multiple extruders.
Depending on the printer, you may control it with buttons and dials on the side, a touchscreen, or a mobile app. Various sensors monitor print jobs, how much filament is left, whether a job has failed or should be paused and adjusted etc.
SLA and MSLA printers replace filament with liquid resin that is hardened by a laser or LED, sometimes called laser printing.
3D printing allows individuals, educational institutions, small manufacturing businesses, and product developers to easily and affordably create small 3D models to varying degrees of detail and quality. You can also just find the best 3D printer for figurines that you like.
From volumetric printing to entire building printing, the future for 3D printing is bright.
What Can You Create With a 3D Printer?
The possibilities are endless, but the detail and complexity depend on the quality of the printer itself. A lot of people like to print fun figurines and models, not too dissimilar to the toy soldiers of years gone by or model cars and planes. If you’re looking for the best 3D printer for printing miniatures, we have something for you in our reviews.
Some like to test the limits of their printer with complex 3D geometric patterns and this is often part of the calibration process, much like a test print on a home computer.
You can create ornaments, plastic plates and utensils, phone cases, jewellery, shoes, product prototypes, and even important models in medicine or dentistry. People even search for the best 3D printer for cosplay accessories.
Most shapes can be 3D printed within reason, so what you can create is up to your own creativity.
Where Can I Find 3D Models for Printing?
There are many online sources for finding the files needed for your home 3D printer. Certain 3D model file types will only work with certain 3D printers, but the most common type is STL. Here are some of the best free sites in 2022 that we can recommend for a good starter 3d printer.
- ThingiVerse.com – ‘Digital Designs for Physical Objects’. Home to over 2.8 million STL files.
- CGTrader.com – Nearly 230,000 3D printable models can be found here.
- PrusaPrinters.org – Aimed mainly at the model of 3D printer itself, this site has over 20,000 models.
- YouMagine.com – Partnered with the Ultimaker 3D printer brand, this site has 17,000 free models to download.
If you have a particular idea for an object you’d like to print, Googling it followed by ‘3D print model’ will usually turn up a free or reasonably priced solution.
What Should I Know Before Buying a 3D Printer?
Buying a good 3D printer can be a costly endeavor. Here are some common things to consider so you can compare 3D printers:
Before you buy 3D printer products, most aren’t cheap, so you are going to need to drop at least $1,000. If you don’t have that budget, you might consider the best entry-level 3D printer like the Monoprice Select Mini V2 or Creality Ender 3 V2, both under $300.
Just like regular printers you are going to have to often buy more filament, resin or other materials to print with. Standard PLA is upwards of $25 per kg, while nylon can be as high as $95. How often you buy new material also depends on how often you print.
You also need to consider replacement parts from your chosen printer’s manufacturer in case something breaks or gets worn out.
In our reviews, we have listed the dimensions of the printers themselves and the build volume, which is the size of the object the printer can create. Before buying a 3D printer you need to consider where you will store it and if it’s big enough for the models you wish to print.
3D printing is a noisy process. If you are in an environment where you could receive noise complaints, seek out a 3D printer that is quieter than most or has a quiet setting like the Original Prusa i3 MK3S ‘Stealth Mode’.
All of the printers in our list are high quality else they wouldn’t have made it, but a closer read will reveal those that are particularly high-end. One measure to look out for is resolution, known as Microns. In this case, the smaller the number the better the resolution.
Kit or Assembled?
A lot of 3D printers can be purchased in kits for cheaper than you assemble yourself. However, if you are looking for the best beginner 3D printer it would be better to go with assembled. Perhaps the best first 3D printer that comes as a kit or assembled is the Original Prusa i3 MK3S.
Safety is important when 3D printing, especially if you are in a workplace or educational environment. Material and components get heated up, so you must be careful not to touch things when a printing job is running. Some models are considered safer because they are enclosed behind a screen or door, while others are entirely open and can easily burn an errant child’s hand. Watch out for cabling and where you will put it, in case anyone is prone to trip. The best 3D printer for kids due to safety and classroom use is the Monoprice Select Mini V2.
Many 3D printers give off fumes, so it is important to operate them in a well-ventilated area. Purchase extra fans and funnels if things get too overwhelming.
User-Interface and Software
Most people who can operate a computer or smartphone and basic tools in programs like photoshop can operate a 3D printer. Be sure to look out for reviews about how user-friendly the printer’s interface and associated software and digital modeling and fabrication are.
Before buying your printer it’s also wise to check the associated online community or official website for a knowledge base in case you need to get your questions answered.
A Beginner's Guide to the World of 3D Printing - Terms Explained
When searching for the best 3D printer for beginners you must be aware of the following terms:
What is RepRap? – RepRap is a self-replication project where users build kits that form a 3D printer. That printer can then 3D print its own parts to do it all over again – a self-replicating machine.
What is Open Source? – Open Source refers to software whose code is open to the public and allows input from other developers and use within applications. Cura is an open-source 3D printing software.
What is STL? – Standard Triangle Language (STL) is a file format used in 3D printing. You can download an STL file that contains a 3D model for printing.
What is a slicer? – In 3D printing, a Slicer is a software program that converts 3D models into the correct format for your printer to begin the printing process.
What is a Micron? – The measure of resolution in 3D printing is called a micron, this can also be viewed as its accuracy. The lower the number the more accurate the print.
What is Resin? – A liquid material used in SLA and MSLA 3D printing methods. The process hardens the resin into the desired shape. Sometimes this is done via continuous liquid interface production.
What is SLA? – Stereolithography or SLA is a form of 3D printing that uses layering and hardening or resin.
What is PLA? – Polylactic Acid (PLA) is a plastic and the most common type of filament, bought in spools, for 3D printing.
What is Dual Extrusion? – Extrusion is the process in which the 3D printing material is heated and comes out the nozzle on to the print bed to take shape. Dual extrusion simply means there’s two of these for more efficiency and often to help with multiple color filament.
What is Direct Drive? – This is when the extruder is mounted on the print head and pushes the filament directly into the nozzle. This puts strain on the print head.
What is Bowden? – This is when the extruder is mounted on the printer’s frame and is often faster, quieter, and higher quality in output.
What is an Extruder? – The part of the 3D printer that ejects the material out of a nozzle to create the shape.
What is a Hot End? – This is the part of the printer that melts the filament ready for extrusion.
What is a heated bed? – In some 3D printers the base where the material lands and takes shape is heated to further help the model take shape.
What is G-Code? – This is the internal language used by 3D printers. What you press on the interface inwardly commands the printer in this code.
What is Filament? – Filament is the catch-all term for the material you are using in your FDM 3D printer, like ink in a PC printer.
What is FDM? – Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) is the most common type of 3D printing and is good for the best intro 3D printer. FDM refers to the process of feeding filament through an extruder. This is a trademarked term.
What is FFF? – Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) is the generic term for the above FDM.
What is DIY? – This refers to do-it-yourself 3D printing; the process of sourcing the parts to build your own 3D printer. The Original Prusa i3 MK3S is one of the best 3D printer kits.
What is AMF? – This is another file format used by 3D printing software and stands for Additive manufacturing file.
Whether you are looking to test out 3D printing as a hobby, want to start a manufacturing business, need to build prototypes as a product developer, or want to introduce 3D printing into the classroom, we can help. Our reviews and information will point you to the best 3D printers for your requirements.
What are you waiting for? Jump right in!
You may also be interested in:
What is the best 3D printer for home use?
If you want to use a 3D printer at home in a ‘computer room’ type setting, that isn’t too noisy and doesn’t take up too much space - the Creality Ender 3 V2, or the Monoprice Select Mini V2 are the top choices. If you have a larger dedicated space like a basement or garage, any from our list are suitable as the best 3D printer for home use.
What is the most popular 3D printer?
Some of the most popular 3D printers in terms of sales and online communities from our list include the Original Prusa i3 MK3S, which is known as the best 3D printer for D&D miniatures. The Monoprice Select Mini for its size and portability, Peopoly Phenom for resin, and the Creality Ender 3 V2 as the best value 3D printer. Although it was beyond the scope of these reviews, the best all in one 3D printer goes to the Snapmaker.
What is the best 3D printer under $500?
The best 3D printers under $500 are the Creality Ender 3 V2 at $269, and the Monoprice Select Mini V2 at just $219.99.
Can you make money with a 3D printer?
While the best consumer 3D printers are aimed at individuals they can easily be incorporated into the manufacturing process of a business. E.g. dental models are made using many regular 3D printers. If you are creative enough to make objects that people will buy or if you incorporate it as part of an existing product development business for prototyping, you can absolutely make money.
Are cheap 3D printers any good?
We chose the best inexpensive 3D printers to review because they have high-quality output and useful applications in spite of their cheap price. In many ways, they are as good as more expensive printers. Many other cheap 3D printers produce acceptable results for hobbyists but are perhaps not good on a professional level. A good tip is to search for the best 3D printers under 200.
Do more expensive 3D printers print faster?
There is no hard rule between the price and print speed of 3D printers. In fact, some more expensive 3D printers do the process slower because they are taking more care and adding more detail. It’s better to read reviews to learn more about the speed of any particular 3D printer.
What is the best 3D printer in 2022?
So, you want the best 3D printer in the world? If budget is no issue, the overall best 3D printer for consumers in 2021 in terms of performance, capabilities, and user-friendliness goes to the Dremel DigiLab 3D45. For enthusiasts and hobbyists with the budget, the Original Prusa i3 MK3S comes a close second. Read our reviews to find the best 3D printers based on numerous criteria and a list of 3D printer manufacturers.
Deyan has been fascinated by technology his whole life. From the first Tetris game all the way to Falcon Heavy. Working for TechJury is like a dream come true, combining both his passions – writing and technology. In his free time (which is pretty scarce, thanks to his three kids), Deyan enjoys traveling and exploring new places. Always with a few chargers and a couple of gadgets in the backpack. He makes mean dizzying Island Paradise cocktails too.
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