If you’ve come to this page you most likely fall into one of these categories:
- You’re tired of big-bottomed 3D printers hogging up your desk space. Now you’re looking for something smaller.
- You’re a beginner and you just want a small, inexpensive printer that gets stuff done.
- You have a child that you’re itching to get off your back, and after guitars, soccer, and books have failed, you’re hoping 3D printing would be a good distraction for them.
Well, no need to worry. We’ve reviewed the best small 3D printers in the market. And none of them require you to earn your mechanical engineering degree.
Table of Contents
- Top 9 Mini 3D Printers At A Glance
- 1. Monoprice Select Mini V2 (Best Choice)
- 2. Flashforge Adventurer 3 Lite (Best Value)
- 3. Prusa Mini+ (Premium Choice)
- 4. Monoprice Cadet (Best Introductory Printer)
- 5. Creality Ender 2 Pro
- 6. Phrozen Sonic Mini 8K (Highest Detail Quality)
- 7. Creality CR-100 Mini
- 8. Prusa SL1S Speed (Fastest Resin Printer)
- 9. Elegoo Mars 2 Pro (Budget Resin Printing)
- Printing Power in a Compact Package
Top 9 Mini 3D Printers At A Glance
1. Monoprice Select Mini V2 (Best Choice)
2. Flashforge Adventurer 3 Lite (Best Value)
3. Prusa Mini+ (Premium Choice)
4. Monoprice Cadet (Best Introductory Printer)
5. Creality Ender 2 Pro
6. Phrozen Sonic Mini 8K (Highest Detail Quality)
7. Creality CR-100 Mini
8. Prusa SL1S Speed (Fastest Resin Printer)
9. Elegoo Mars 2 Pro (Budget Resin Printing)
3D Printer Type: FFF | Materials: PLA, ABS, TPU, TPE, TPC & PETG | Build Volume: 120 x 120 x 120 mm | Print Resolution: 100-300 microns | Maximum Print Speed: 55 mm/s
The Select Mini V2 builds upon one of the best budget-friendly printers in the market – the Select Mini. And it surpasses its predecessor in the process.
Monoprice is a company that resembles Creality; they make affordable mini 3D printers that perform well. And the Mini V2 is a testament to this.
Unlike most mini 3D printers, it comes with a printer bed that heats. This prevents your prints from warping (which causes the corners of the print to lift and detach from the build plate) as well as improves upon adhesion. In addition, the V2 includes a special BuildTak Mat, making it easy to pop prints out after printing.
However, the temperature on the print bed only goes up to 60°C; one that is not ideal for ABS prints.
The Mini V2 has a miraculous way of 3D printing with near-perfect accuracy. The machine had a Midas touch, whatever we threw at it turned out pure gold, metaphorically speaking. Sure, you can find flaws if you use a magnifying glass. But at the price point, the print quality is amazing.
This small 3D printer is heavy, with an all-metal body. This helps the Monoprice stand strong and not budge during printing.
At 55mm/sec print speed, don’t expect the Mini V2 to beat Sonic the Hedgehog. If you’re an impatient sort, this printer is not for you. We recommend the Monoprice Mini Delta V2 instead if speed is your middle name.
- Check out more fast printing 3D printers here
That said, Monoprice Select Mini V2 has a great community, and you can connect with fellow owners in good ole Reddit at https://www.reddit.com/r/MPSelectMiniOwners/. Any questions that trouble you on your 3D printing journey can be answered there.
With a great cost-to-performance ratio, this 3D printer is ideal for those that want a great machine on a budget.
3D Printer Type: FDM | Materials: PLA, ABS, Metal & Wood | Build Volume: 150 X 150 X 150 mm | Print Resolution: 100-400 microns | Maximum Print Speed: 100 mm/s
Are you a new wanderer in this rich yet confusing world of 3D printing, and you can’t find your way around? Then pick up The Flashforge Adventurer 3 Lite to be a starter guide on your journey!
It has a cube-like design that is unique and pleasing to the eye. If you have kids, this is one of the safest printers to have in your house, as it is completely enclosed. A closed space also helps control the temperature (hence better printing) and keeps children safe from toxic fumes.
The sibling of the Adventurer 3 Lite, the Adventurer 3, has a camera – a feature the former lacks. So if watching your prints from afar is crucial to you, you may want to look into the latter.
The touchscreen UI is clean and simple to use.
With the right settings dialed in, the prints turn out fine, with layer lines being almost imperceptible. There was only minor stringing that I noticed on some of the pieces.
For the wanderers who don’t understand the 3D printing jargon above, suffice to say that print quality of the machine is great.
The Adventurer 3 Lite isn’t free from problems, however. Many users complained about loud noises as well as poor customer service.
Nonetheless, this compact 3D printer is perfect for ABS, unlike the Monoprice Select Mini V2 and the Mini V2. So if you want to print functional parts, there’s no better option than the Adventurer 3 Lite.
3D Printer Type: FDM | Materials: PLA, PETG, ASA, ABS, Polycarbonate, CPE, PVA/BVOH, PVB, HIPS, Polypropylene, Flex, nGen, Nylon & Woodfill | Build Volume: 180 x 180 x 180 mm | Print Resolution: 50 microns | Maximum Print Speed: 200 mm/s
The Prusa Mini+ is a small premium 3D printer that even 3D printing veterans sing songs about.
Due to its worldwide status and small size, this printer is superb for classrooms and laboratory environments. The machine has a unique look that is a head-turner.
The printer requires assembly, so this isn’t your standard plug-n-play small 3D printer. While beginners may object to this, potentially serious hobbyists will love learning about the machine during its set up.
Installing the machine takes around an hour and a half of your time. You’ll find the process rewarding thanks to the clear instructions given.
A welcome upgrade from the older MK3S is the touchscreen. It’s intuitive for a newcomer and shows print completion time, material in use, etc.
Like a typical human family, the Prusa is noisier than its elder brother MK3S (yeah printers can be dysfunctional too).
Print quality is just what you’d expect from a Prusa machine – freaking good. In fact, it’s almost as good as the MK3S (which is crazy considering that the MK3S is double the price).
The 3D printer comes with a medium-sized build volume of 180 x 180 x 180 mm vs the MK3S’s 250 x 210 x 210mm.
Coming from a company that builds fantastic printers, this is one small 3D printer that you’ll never regret buying.
3D Printer Type: FDM | Materials: PLA Only | Build Volume: 100 x 105 x 100 mm | Print Resolution: 100-500 microns | Maximum Print Speed: 150 mm/s
Are you looking to introduce yourself or perhaps your kid to 3D printing? Monoprice Cadet makes for an affordable first 3D printer.
Monoprice touts Cadet as the “world’s easiest to use 3D printer.” The machine comes with automatic leveling and Wi-Fi connectivity that are supposed to get you printing in 30 seconds.
In reality, you may have to put in a bit more effort. Don’t get us wrong, it’s easy to get started on Cadet. But the mobile Wi-Fi app is temperamental, so you may have to use a USB stick instead.
Once you do have everything set up, Cadet is a surprisingly adept printer. The print quality is quite good and you can even make functional parts and components. As long as those parts can be made with PLA, that is. Unlike Monoprice’s Select Mini V2, Cadet doesn’t have a heated bed. Its build volume is also tiny, so your printing options are rather limited.
Additionally, the machine itself is so small that it can’t hold a normal full-sized filament spool. You’ll have to either buy smaller spools or snip off a length of filament and wrap it around the holder.
But then again, if you don’t have much space available, the compact design is only a positive thing.
Really, Monoprice Cadet is a good printer as long as you temper your expectations. It’s not an advanced printing powerhouse, but it’ll serve you well as your first 3D printer.
3D Printer Type: FDM | Materials: PLA, TPU & Wood | Build Volume: 165 x 165 x 180 mm | Maximum Print Speed: 100 mm/s
Think of Ender 2 Pro as the big brother of the Creality CR-100 Mini. It’s from the same family, it has just grown up.
Ender 2 Pro doesn’t come pre-built, but you don’t have to be an engineer to get it running. Just tighten seven screws and you’re in business.
And what business it is.
The print quality of Ender 2 Pro is great. It has a heated print bed, which reduces the warping issues that haunt the CR-100 Mini. Unfortunately, the bed doesn’t heat hot enough to print ABS. You can print PLA, TPU, and wood composites, though.
Ender 2 Pro is easy to use, with simple calibration and quick setup. You can start printing basically out of the box after the assembly.
This FDM 3D printer is affordable, which is great because that leaves you money for customizing it. The basic model’s performance is good for beginners but probably won’t carry you all that far. That is, until you start swapping parts for what you’d prefer.
We wouldn’t necessarily recommend Ender 2 Pro as your first 3D printer, though. It can be a bit fiddly and the online community is small, so support might be difficult to find.
As another notable downside, the printer is pretty loud. It sounds like a microwave when it runs.
But Ender 2 Pro is a great machine for those looking to move beyond their first printer.
3D Printer Type: LCD | Materials: 405nm UV Resins | Build Volume: 165 x 72 x 180 mm | Print Resolution: 22 microns | Maximum Print Speed: 80 mm/h
If first-class detail quality is what matters to you the most, you only have one option to consider. Phrozen Sonic Mini 8K produces resin prints with absolutely mind-blowing accuracy.
Armed with a 7.1” 8K resolution LCD screen, an XY resolution of 22 microns, and a layer thickness of 0.01 mm, Sonic Mini 8K prints professional-level detail. To put that in simpler terms, even the tiniest details of your miniatures or other prints will come out crisp and clear.
Although Sonic Mini 8K is still a small printer, it has a well-sized build volume of 165 x 72 x 180 mm. But you won’t have to wait long for it to fill the chamber.
Phrozen Mini is an even faster resin printer than the Elegoo. It creates stunning prints in record time.
But be warned; all that power isn’t easy to harness. There’s a steep learning curve if you want to get the best possible results. Be prepared to tweak the settings and produce failed prints as you experiment.
The second big thing to consider is the price. Sonic Mini 8K’s high quality comes at a high cost.
But should you need the ultimate quality, you’re probably ready to pay for it. And make no mistake, Phrozen Sonic Mini 8K has print quality in droves.
Check out our article on the best 8K 3D printers here if you want to learn more about the highest print quality resin printers.
3D Printer Type: FDM | Materials: PLA Only | Build Volume: 100 x 100 x 80 mm | Maximum Print Speed: 180 mm/s
The CR-100 Mini is Creality’s attempt at taking over the best small 3D printer market. And it has successfully fought its way into our list.
Right out of the box, this printer is ready to go. Setup is effortless – just add the spool, plug the printer into the socket and watch your creativity come alive (in plastic).
Using the 3D printer is effortless; the printer comes with a touchpad with three functions – one to start the print, the other to stop, and one to regulate the temperature. No more complicated dials.
The CR-100 Mini works well without a heated bed (surprisingly). Parts pop off quickly once you’re done printing. This means that you don’t need to waste precious time waiting for the printer to heat up or cool down.
However, you do lose the ability to print ABS it requires a heated bed to be printed well.
But not all parts turn out like the Mona Lisa. Some of our trial prints did have warping issues. However, they were minor, and only a veteran 3D printing hobbyist would consider it unforgivable.
If you have kids, they’ll have a great time with the machine. Just make sure that they don’t climb on it, thinking it’s a truck!
Now don’t expect to make huge prints with this CR-100 (or any machine in this list for the matter). To state a rather obvious point – small 3D printers don’t have enough build space to create life-like replicas. At best, they’re suitable for miniatures. But look on the bright side, you’ll save up plenty of room in your house.
The CR-100 Mini does an excellent job in the mini 3D printer department, and I highly recommend it.
3D Printer Type: MSLA | Materials: 405 nm UV Resins | Build Volume: 127 x 80 x 150 mm | Print Resolution: 50 microns | Maximum Print Speed: 1.4 s/layer
You want top-notch resin prints and you want them fast. But neither the Elegoo nor the Phrozen printers are fast enough for you.
That’s when you turn to Prusa SL1S Speed.
SL1S is a pro-level resin 3D printer that produces quality prints at lightning-fast speed. With a print speed of 1.3-2.4 sec/layer, this speed demon leaves both of the other resin printers on this list in the dust.
But even that speed is pointless if fiddling with the printer eats up all the time savings. That’s not something you have to worry about with SL1S, though. This machine is automated to a very high degree. As a particular highlight, print bed leveling is an incredibly smooth experience — just lightly loosen or tighten one bolt and the machine takes care of the rest.
The tradeoff for speed is detail quality. Although SL1S still trounces FDM printers, it has lower accuracy and resolution than the Elegoo and Phrozen.
And then there’s the price. We said Phrozen was expensive — SL1S is even more so. Granted, you get a highly automated printer with pro-level speed for the price, but it’s still a lot of money.
If you’re ready to pay the ultimate price for the ultimate speed, though, no other printer can catch Prusa SL1S.
3D Printer Type: LCD | Materials: 405nm UV Resins | Build Volume: 129 x 80 x 160 mm | Print Resolution: 50 microns | Maximum Print Speed: 30-50 mm/h
All of the above printers were suitable for ABS or PLA only. But if you’re looking for a resin printer, then the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro is a great affordable solution.
The Mars 2 Pro comes with a 6.08 monochrome LCD with a 2K HD resolution. Tech mumbo-jumbo aside, this just means that the printer is faster, more efficient than regular RGB LCD resin printers.
The build quality is solid, with a CNC machined aluminum body. Because of this, all movements in the machine are steady, which leads to precise prints.
Prints created by the Elegoo Mars 2 have fine details and a high resolution. Resin 3D printers have better accuracy and resolution than standard FDM printers. Their prints feel smooth to touch and have a premium feel to them.
- Check out our reviews of the best 3D resin printers here
- and the best high resolution 3D printers here
Is speed an important quality while looking for your future partner? (sorry, um..printer?) The Mars 2 Pro is quick, losing only to the Phrozen machine.
This mini 3D printer is quiet.
Approach resin 3D printing with caution, the fumes generated are toxic. Ensure that there’s sufficient ventilation in your room. Otherwise, the fumes can a) irritate your lungs and b) cause skin allergies.
Luckily the Mars 2 Pro comes with a carbon filter that protects you from some of the fumes during 3D printing. Despite this, we still suggest taking necessary precautions to protect yourself from harmful fumes.
Tabletop gamers and comic book fans would be happy to know that the printer is excellent for building miniatures and action figures.
The Elegoo Mars 2 Pro is a high-quality machine that is popular worldwide and is one of the better printers on this list.
Printing Power in a Compact Package
Whether you’re looking for your first 3D printer or just want a compact machine, any of these printers will serve you well. All in all, they all serve at least good printing capabilities in a small package.
Consider what you want from a 3D printer and compare your list to the pros and cons of each machine. But if you’d like some recommendations, here are our favorites:
- For the best balance of cost and quality, pick Flashforge Adventurer 3 Lite.
- Monoprice Cadet lets you easily introduce your kid to 3D printers.
- Prusa Mini+ offers excellent quality and features.
- Elegoo Mars 2 Pro is your stepping stone to resin 3D printing.
- For the ultimate print detail, you can’t beat Phrozen Sonic Mini 8K.