3D printers have improved a lot over the years in a few areas, like print quality, usability, and more. They’ve also gotten a lot quieter too!
While noise may not seem like a big deal, a loud 3D printer is pretty restricting when it comes to where you can put it. Moreover, you wouldn’t be able to put a loud 3D printer in your room where you sleep or study as it would be very distracting.
A silent 3D printer is much more desirable as you can put it basically anywhere without noticing it as much when it’s chopping away at a print.
Additionally, the sound output of a 3D printer can also affect the machine’s performance. That’s because sounds on a 3D printer are usually the result of vibrations, and the more vibrations that run through your printer, the more likely printing issues like ringing are to degrade the quality of your prints. As such, a quieter 3D printer can lead to improved quality of 3D prints.
With so many 3D printers out there, it can be hard to tell which ones are the most quiet, especially when most 3D printer manufacturers don’t list the average sound output (in decibels) of their machines.
If you want to learn about some of the quietest 3D printers that you can buy, look no further, as we’ve gone over the best options in the sections below!
Table of Contents
- Best 3D Printers for flexible filament At A Glance
- How to Make a 3D Printer Quiet?
- What to Consider When Buying a 3D Printer?
- 1. Creality Ender 3 V2 (Best Value)
- 2. Artillery Sidewinder X1 (Best Choice)
- 3. Dremel 3D45 (Almost Silent 3D Printer)
- 4. Monoprice Voxel (User Friendly)
- 5. Flashforge Finder (Best for Beginners)
Best 3D Printers for flexible filament At A Glance
How to Make a 3D Printer Quiet?
Before we dive into the list, though, it’s important to review what actually makes a 3D printer quiet.
The single greatest cause of noise on a 3D printer is the stepper motors, which move components like the printhead around on the machine.
To make a 3D printer quieter, you can use higher-quality stepper motor drivers, which are electronic components on the motherboard that controls how a stepper motor turns.
The higher the quality of the stepper motor drivers, the more precise the motor will be and the less noise it will make. TMC, the primary manufacturer of 3D printer stepper motors, ranks their available drivers with a four digit code in their name, such as “TMC2208” or “TMC2225”.
Typically, the higher the value of the four digits after “TMC” means the better the driver, so manufacturers and people who upgrade their printers use higher-ranked TMC drivers to make their printers quieter.
Check out our article on the best stepper motor drivers here for more info.
Another way manufacturers can make 3D printers more quiet is by using rubber feet, which are vibration-absorbent pegs that go on the base of the printer. These pegs help absorb any vibrations that run through the printer as well as prevent vibrations that are running through the table or stand where the printer is located from affecting the printer’s performance.
Besides these two main methods, there are also a handful of other ways that you can make a 3D printer more quiet.
In general, anything that smooths motion or reduces/absorbs vibrations is a feature that will make your printer more quiet. For example, using smoother motion systems (e.g. linear rails over pulley wheels) and greasing any bearings can also reduce noise output.
What to Consider When Buying a 3D Printer?
Of course, when looking for the quietest 3D printer, the features that reduce the printer’s noise output are perhaps the most important. However, as the machine still needs to actually produce 3D models, you should still look at the other basic characteristics of the machine.
The first thing to consider when buying a 3D printer is its motion system. Different FDM 3D printers move their components around in different ways, which can affect part precision, the price of the machine, and a handful of other things. Today, most 3D printers are i3-style or standard Cartesian, but some have more unique motion systems like CoreXY or belt-driven, and they all have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Secondly, you should consider the size of your printer. The build volume is the dimensions of the space that you can safely print 3D models on a printer. Depending on if you want to print large or small objects, you might want a different build volume. Check out our reviews of the smallest 3D printers here and the largest 3D printers here.
Third, don’t forget about the temperature capabilities of your machine. This is the main controller of what filament material you can use and is made up of the nozzle temperature and bed temperature.
Most 3D printers can reach the necessary temperatures for printing PLA, but if you want to print a higher-temperature material like PETG or ABS, make sure your printer can reach the required temperatures for the material.
Now that you know what to look for in a quiet 3D printer and a 3D printer in general, it’s time to get into the best quiet 3D printers!
3D Printer Type: FDM | Materials: PLA, TPU, PETG, ABS | Build Volume: 220 x 220 x 250 mm
First up, the Creality Ender 3 V2 is a popular machine developed by Creality, one of the most well-known manufacturers of consumer-grade 3D printers. The Ender 3 V2 is the second and upgraded version of Creality’s original Ender 3, which hit the consumer 3D printing market by storm when it was released in 2018.
The Ender 3 V2 has a ton of features that make it an overall great 3D printer and yield excellent 3D prints.
First off, the Ender 3 V2 has a mid-temperature hot end, capable of reaching 250 °C, which is suitable for most filament materials like PLA, PETG, TPU, and ABS.
The Ender 3 V2 also has a full-color LCD for easy operation, integrated belt tensioners for improving part precision, and a micro-SD card slot that allows for speedy firmware changes.
Source: Youtube Just Vlad
What makes the Ender 3 V2 a great quiet 3D printer, though, is its stock motherboard, which comes with integrated TMC2208 stepper motor drivers that make stepper motor movements very quiet. Additionally, Creality allows you to easily upgrade to their “silent” V4.2.7 board which has even-more-quiet TMC2225 drivers.
The Ender 3 V2 also has a decently-smooth motion system and built-in rubber feet to further reduce the noise level.
Many reviewers of the Ender 3 V2 state that you can hear it, but only a little bit, which is just fine considering the machine’s amazing printing performance and sub-$300 price point. It’s clear that the Ender 3 V2 is one of the best value printers you can get and it’s great for those on a budget who want a non-distracting printer or those who want to easily upgrade their machine.
3D Printer Type: FDM | Materials: PLA, ABS, TPU | Build Volume: 300 x 300 x 400 mm
Second, the Artillery Sidewinder X1 is very similar to the Ender 3 in its i3-style construction, but it’s got a few differences that make it perform better in certain scenarios.
Most notably, the X1 has a direct drive extruder, meaning the extruder motor is placed directly above the hot end. This extruder configuration will yield higher-quality prints in flexible filaments, like TPU, and will cause less hot end jams in general.
Source: Youtube 3D Printing Nerd
The X1 might not have automatic bed leveling, but it features a full-color touchscreen interface that makes controlling the printer not only easy but also somewhat fun. The machine also has a usable print volume of 300 x 300 x 400 mm, which is large enough to print a wide variety of models like large trinkets and even some home decor models.
The printer stays quiet too through its motherboard which is rocking a set of TMC2100 drivers, rubber feet on the bottom of the machine, and its decently-quiet part cooling fans.
Many users point out that the X1 is virtually unnoticeable when it’s printing, making it well deserving of our “best choice” title. Overall, the X1 is a great option for those willing to spend a little more for a (almost) no-noise printing experience and those who want a decently-large printing space.
3D Printer Type: FDM | Materials: PLA, ABS, PETG & Nylon |Build Volume: 254 x 152 x 170 mm
Third, the Dremel 3D45 is a 3D printer developed by Dremel, the popular manufacturer of machining tools like rotary devices.
The 3D45 costs a lot more than the other printers on this list, with a price tag close to $2,000, but it has a handful of features that might make it worth it for you. Most obviously, the 3D45 has an integrated enclosure, that should make printing sensitive materials like ABS a lot easier and yield higher-quality prints.
We believe the 3D45 is one of the most silent printers one can get because the enclosure will help block out the sound produced by the moving printhead. Additionally, many users have personal experiences of the Dremel 3D45 being very quiet.
Source: Youtube Adam Savage’s Tested
Unfortunately, the exact stepper motor drivers used on the printer’s motherboard are unknown because the manufacturer didn’t list the ones used.
The Dremel 3D45 has a lot of other usability and performance features too, such as its onboard camera that you can use to remotely monitor your prints to ensure they are going smoothly. The Dremel has a well-built and sturdy frame that should ensure pretty-smooth motion, not only improving the print quality but also potentially reducing the printer’s noise output.
Lastly, the 3D45 has a very-adhesive build plate that should yield great first layers as well as a touchscreen LCD for easy machine operability.
At the end of the day, although the Dremel 3D45 has a hefty price tag, it’s equipped with a lot of features that improve quality-of-life, performance and make the printer easy to use. So, if you’re looking for quality in a very quiet printer and aren’t super concerned about the price, then the Dremel 3D45 is a great choice.
3D Printer Type: FDM | Materials: PLA & ABS | Build Volume: 150 x 150 x 150 mm
Fourth, the Monoprice Voxel costs under $450 and is another printer with an integrated enclosure, but this feature is a lot rarer for machines in this price range.
The enclosure will insulate your print space to allow for printing sensitive materials like ABS and ASA with high print quality. The enclosure also helps reduce the machine’s noise output because the sound made by the printhead’s movement will be partially blocked by the machine’s acrylic enclosure panel.
Source: Youtube RoXolid Productions
The Voxel also has a full-color touchscreen interface where you can start and stop prints, control temperatures, and more. The ease-of-use of the interface makes the Voxel super user-friendly. The machine also has a Wi-Fi-enabled motherboard with a built-in camera positioned to face the print space, which allows you to remotely monitor your prints to keep your mind at rest while your Voxel is printing when you’re not there.
The printer also has a few other features too that are worth mentioning such as the assisted bed leveling system, quick-change nozzle mechanism, and magnetic removable build plate. All of these features further make the Monoprice Voxel a great option for those who want a smooth and easy printing experience while having a silent, but deadly 3D printer.
3D Printer Type: FDM | Materials: PLA, PETG, Wood | Build Volume: 140 x 140 x 140 mm
Next, the Flashforge Finder was developed by Flashforge, a popular and reputable manufacturer of beginner-friendly 3D printers.
The Finder is an excellent machine for those new to 3D printing who want a quiet machine because it’s very simple to operate. Moreover, the Flashforge Finder has a pretty basic construction with a touchscreen LCD with a smooth graphical user interface so you can easily control your 3D printer and start prints.
What makes the Flashforge Finder particularly quiet is its use of conduit rails for the X/Y motion of the printhead. This motion style is pretty quiet and keeps vibrations to a minimum. The same is true for the Z-axis bed motion, which also runs on greased conduit rails for low noise output.
Source: Youtube Just Vlad
Unfortunately, the specific model of stepper motor drivers used on the Flashforge Finder isn’t known, but users state that the machine is pretty low-noise overall.
The printer also comes with some other great features that improve other aspects, such as its onboard Wi-Fi module that allows you to start prints remotely and the patented high-power extruder.
While the Flashforge Finder has a pretty small maximum print volume of 140 x 140 x 140 mm, it’s worth mentioning that the printer has an integrated filament spool holder that’s enclosed to prevent moisture from degrading the quality of your filament.
The Flashforge Finder costs under $400, which is very impressive considering how many ease-of-use features it comes with, like its full-color touchscreen LCD and Wi-Fi-enabled motherboard. Because of this, we suggest the Finder for beginners and those new to FDM 3D printing who want to achieve high-quality prints without much maintenance or tuning.
As you probably can tell, you have a decent number of options when looking for the best quiet 3D printer. However, the different machines we discussed are best for different types of users and different purposes.
If you’re looking for the least expensive option, the Ender 3 V2 is probably the best option as it has the lowest price tag. The Ender 3 V2 is probably also the best option if you’re looking for the best value per dollar. However, on the other side of the spectrum, if you’re looking for the least noisy printer and don’t care how much it costs, the Dremel 3D45 is the one for you as it’s packed with features, is pretty quiet, and has an expensive price tag.
If you’re looking for a quiet printer that offers the highest print quality, you should check out the Artillery Sidewinder X1 because it had a good mix of noise-suppression features with performance and usability features and doesn’t break the bank.
Finally, if you’re looking for a printer that’s easy to work with, you should definitely make sure to check out the Monoprice Voxel as it has many features geared toward providing an easy printing experience. On a similar note, if you’re new to 3D printing and want a quiet printer that’s suited for your experience level, the Flashforge Finder is the one for you.
No matter what printer you choose, though, you should definitely have a fun…and quiet printing experience and we wish you luck along the way!