10 Best 3D Printers to Get for Kids – Easy to Set Up and Use

From enclosed to open-frame options, we picked and reviewed ten 3D printers that a child can easily use and develop their creativity.
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Last updatedLast updated: July 22, 2021
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Are you thinking of introducing your kids to three-dimensional printing technology? Children love to let their creativity run free. 3D printing offers a relatively new possibility for this. Although this places higher demands on the user than 2D printing, there are some child-friendly models that are easy to use and affordable, enabling the young to realize their 3D printer projects.

Whether it is about making their own plastic toys or equipping your smartphone with a mobile phone case you have designed yourself – with the best 3D printer for kids, there are hardly any limits to the inexhaustible imagination of young users. From printers with FDM, FFF, or both printing technologies with child-friendly features, in our guide, you can find out what child-friendliness means for 3D printers and which devices are particularly suitable for young makers.

Top 10 3D Printers for Kids Review 2021

1.

QIDI Technology X-one2Editor's Choice

Features
  • Print technology: FDM
  • Build volume: 5.5 x 5.5 x 5.5 inches (140 x 140 x 140 mm)
  • Print speed: 50–150mm/s
  • Nozzle size: 0.4mm
  • Layer resolution: 0.05–0.4mm
  • Filaments: ABS, PLA, TPU, PETG

Very sturdy and easy to use, the QIDI TECH X-one2 offers good print quality. It also prints quite detailed objects in convincing quality, but it can get quite loud. It works quickly and reliably. Although this FDM printer does not have the largest print size, it has relatively good manufacturer support. The software is based on the free slicer program Cura (from the 3D printer manufacturer Ultimaker) and is adapted to the printer models from Qidi-Soft. The model to be printed can be loaded into the program via the Open File menu (Ctrl + O) or simply by drag & drop. The model then appears in the preview window.

The printer is specified for printing with PLA, ABS, TPU, etc. The open-source desktop device from QiDi TECHNOLOGY is probably the best kid-friendly 3D printer. Possible file formats are, in addition to 3D formats such as OBJ and STL, image files. When loaded into the program, the software prepares them for 3D printing by interpreting the images as heightmaps.

What makes it stand out?

  • We liked the ease of use of the printer. Changing the filament (don't forget to preheat the nozzle) is easy thanks to the intuitive menu guidance on the touch display. The advantage of using the card that comes with it is that the printer does not have to be connected to the PC. For example, it can be in the basement, the hobby room, or anywhere else, which can be an advantage that should not be disregarded, especially due to possible odor and noise pollution.

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • The printer could be equipped with an auto-level function. Also, the print bed could be designed to be removable. The non-removable print bed is criticized from time to time. But you could change that with an additional glass plate that you attach to it.
RELATED: 4 Best 3D Printers for ABS – Why to Print Only Images and Photos if More Can Be Done
2.

FlashForge Finder 3D PrinterPremium Pick

Features
  • Print technology: FFF
  • Build volume: 5.5 x 5.5 x 5.5 inches (140 x 140 x 140 mm)
  • Print speed: 40–200mm/s
  • Nozzle size: 0.4mm
  • Layer resolution: 0.1–0.5mm
  • Filaments: PLA, PETG

The FlashForge Finder is a premium child-friendly printer that uses fused filament fabrication (FFF) technology. The printer connects to your PC via USB cable, SD memory card, or Wi-Fi on your Smartphone, as you prefer. FlashForge Finder also has a 3.5 inches touch screen, which makes it intuitive and easy to use. You can remove the build plate and thus remove your models easily. Its printing is of great quality, with incredible resolutions of 0.10 mm. The machine is a cover printer type with no print bed. It has a large print volume that measures 14x14x14 cm.

The FlashForge Finder is a beginner-friendly printer like the FlashForge Adventurer. However, the latter is more recommended by users for beginners than the former. But the Finder is a bit more high-end device than the Adventurer.

Why did it make our list?

  • The 3D printer has a smooth user experience. You can print with PLA filament and the bed does not heat up. It comes already assembled. Just unpack it and start using it. It's also very quiet. The FlashForge Finder 3D printer is designed for indoor use and is a quite safe option for little ones. The manufacturer designed this not just for kid beginners but also for educators.

What is not ideal about it?

  • We think the internal filament holder, which only supports 0.60 kg spools, can be designed to support more.
RELATED: 6 Best 3D Printers under $300 – New Technologies Don’t Cost a Fortune Anymore!
3.

Creality Ender 3Best Value

Features
  • Print technology: FDM
  • Build volume: 8.7 x 8.7 x 9.8 inches (220 x 220 x 250 mm)
  • Print speed: up to 200mm/s
  • Nozzle size: 0.4mm
  • Layer resolution: up to 0.1mm
  • Filaments: PLA, ABS, TPU

The Ender-3 is an FDM printer with a very solid frame. It is quite compact and could be transported reasonably well if you want to. Due to its design, it requires comparatively little space. Despite the Bowden extruder, flexible materials can be processed quite well. The “Power Resume” function is useful and also enables easy color changes. The print bed heats up very quickly due to the 24 V system used and the power consumption is low.

Creality Ender 3 is currently one of the most popular/hyped FDM devices for home users. And justifying its hype, it’s probably the BEST cheap 3D printer kit for beginners of 2021. The Ender-3 is a good tool. There is currently hardly any alternative for performance and quality. At the price, it’s almost a no-brainer for many interested parties. It’s more intuitive for beginners than the Creality Ender 3 3D and Creality Ender 3 V2 printers.

What are its best features?

  • The structure turns out to be relatively simple. The assembly animation on the microSD card, on the other hand, is a perfect aid. The device is therefore ready for use fairly quickly for beginners. Its operation is relatively quiet. Good prints are possible out-of-the-box.

What could be improved?

  • The device can tip over. Some users noticed a shaky floor frame due to a sloppy factory assembly. However, the problem is easy to fix (via the screw connections). Initially (after the first release), there were a few problems (e.g. connecting the coupler and Bowden tube). These have been fixed over time. We, therefore, are amazed by the fact that Creality 3D listens to the large community.
RELATED: 7 Great 3D Printers Under 500 Dollars to Make Budget Models
4.

Flashforge Adventurer 3Best FDM Printer

Features
  • Print technology: FDM/FFF
  • Build volume: 5.9 x 5.9 x 5.9 inches (150 x 150 x 150 mm)
  • Print speed: up to 100mm/s
  • Nozzle size: 0.4mm
  • Layer resolution: 0.1-0.4mm
  • Filaments: PLA, ABS

The Adventurer 3 from FlashForge is a plug-and-play desktop 3D printer with which your kids can print objects within a few minutes. A useful quick start guide is included. The Adventurer 3 can be operated via a touchscreen and the UI is pretty intuitive. The Adventurer 3 is not for hobbyists, but for those users who just want to start printing. It is child-friendly and could therefore also be used in schools.

The hotend, which by the way can be exchanged very easily without tools (using two locking buttons), has been revised by FlashForge. Before, it didn’t seem to like foreign filament. In-house material, on the other hand, worked well. With the current version, all filaments from third-party manufacturers work similarly well. Thanks to its closed design, PETG should also be printable. The device (however) has its problems with PLA. The culprit here is the non-optimal fan duct.

What makes it special?

  • We liked that the printer worked very quietly and printed quite well (and quite precisely), that is, immediately after commissioning. We liked the performance of the Adventurer 3 with ABS (especially due to the closed installation space). For this reason, some specifically recommend it for this purpose.

What cons did we find?

  • There is an elaborate method of leveling the bed more or less well, which many users probably do not even know, simply because it does not correspond to the "norm" (e.g., using wheels under the bed).
5.

VOXELAB Aquila 3D PrinterMost Silent 3D Printer

Features
  • Print technology: FDM
  • Build volume: 8.7 x 8.7 x 9.8 inches (220 x 220 x 250 mm)
  • Print speed: 30–180mm/s
  • Nozzle size: 0.4mm
  • Layer resolution: 0.1–0.4 mm
  • Filaments: PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, Wood

The Voxelab Aquila is a 3D printer that uses fused deposition modeling (FDM) technology. The build volume of this machine is 8.7 x 8.7 x 9.8 inches, and it has a print speed of 30 to 180 millimeters per second. The printer is compatible with PLA, PETG, ABS, TPU, and Wood filaments.

The Voxelab Aquila is a clone of the Ender 3 v2 and a cheaper version. At first glance, it is identical. It has the same structure and even the same hand strap tensioners. But keep in mind that Voxelab is a division of Flashforge. So, it is not a first-time brand, on the contrary.

What are its best features?

  • It's a very cheap Ender 3 v2 clone. The printer has an improved interface and a very decent print quality. It's a high-quality beginner-friendly printer that is sold at a low price. According to a satisfied user, it's like getting a Bentley for the same price as a Toyota. It’s also very quiet.

What could be improved?

  • The fans could be quieter. Although the drivers don't make noise, the fans do. In the development of printing profiles some basic settings need a bit of adjustment to get the most out of the quality, it can give. The long-term reliability is questionable and it requires fine calibration to get the best print quality.
RELATED: 6 Best Metal 3D Printers for All of Your Unique Projects
6.

R QIDI TECHNOLOGY i-MateLargest Enclosed Print Chamber

Features
  • Print technology: FDM
  • Build volume: 10.2 x 7.9 x 7.9 inches (260 x 200 x 200 mm)
  • Print speed: 30–150mm/s
  • Nozzle size: 0.4mm
  • Layer resolution: 0.05–0.2mm
  • Filaments: PLA, PETG, TPU and more

The Qidi Tech i-Mate is a good 3D printer that is ready to print as soon as it is unpacked (except for a leveling anyway). The printer is well thought out and Qidi Tech offers the same software solution just like they offer with the professional 3D printers. It has a Wifi function that allows the slices to be sent directly to the USB key without having to plug/unplug.

There is also the same S version (the Qidi Tech i-Mate S), which although is not a quieter version, but a version with a cover. It is better to take the S version if you want to print complicated materials with temperature differences. Asides from kids and beginners, the printer would be suitable for a designer, artist, or technician who needs to make prints of modeled files easily and quickly without hassle. On the other hand, if you are a geek and prefer to print shiny Batman busts and customize your printer, we don’t think this one is for you.

What are its best features?

  • What we liked most is the total plug & play, ease of use, the well-made compatible Apple / Windows software, TMC2209 drivers, a MeanWell power supply, the finish of the printer, and its accessories. It should also be noted that the printer is very easily transportable with its telescopic Spool Holder.

What could be improved?

  • The downsides which we think R Qidi Technology should work on are the classic button end-stop, the high noise (rail + ventilator) level that spoils the “silence” of the motherboard, its weight, and finally the USB port. With the Wifi option, we would have preferred an SD port or a hidden USB port without the snagging problems.
7.

ANYCUBIC Mega Zero 2.0Best Heated Bed

Features
  • Print technology: FDM
  • Build volume: 8.7 x 8.7 x 9.8 inches (220 x 220 x 250 mm)
  • Print speed: 20–100mm/s
  • Nozzle size: 0.4mm
  • Layer resolution: 0.05–0.3mm
  • Filaments: PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, Wood

The Anycubic model is specially designed for beginners who want to start printing. And it comes with a big difference compared to many models today. Anycubic’s Mega Zero 2.0 has a design similar to the Ender 3 and other similar printers. But the Mega Zero brings a subtle difference: it has a double Y-axis, which makes the stability of this model excellent.

The Zero 2.0 is an upgrade of the classic version which better meets today’s printing requirements. The main difference is the build plate that heats up faster and can reach a temperature of up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit in just 5 minutes. The earlier version however does not have a hotbed although it admits different types of filament. So, if you think you don’t want a printer that heats that much, for safety reasons, it would be better to opt for its predecessor, Anycubic’s Mega Zero.

Why did it make our list?

  • To calibrate, it is already equipped with those nice wheels at the bottom of the print base. And it comes with leveling aid, locating the four corners of the build platform. Unlike Anycubic's Mega Zero, it comes with a heated bed. This means that you could use ABS filament. Unlike before, the CURA program now supports this model. We also liked the print resume function.

What is not ideal about it?

  • We wish Anycubic had kept the no-hot-bed design that they had with the previous model. Also, the Cura profiles included in the SD card don't work for some users. We also think the printer can be quieter.
8.

Artillery Sidewinder X1Largest Build Volume

Features
  • Print technology: FDM
  • Build volume: 11.8 x 11.8 x 15.75 inches (300 x 300 x 400 mm)
  • Print speed: up to 150 mm/s
  • Nozzle size: 0.4mm
  • Layer resolution: 0.1–0.5mm
  • Filaments: PLA, ABS, flexible PLA, TPU, wood, PVA, HIPS

The Sidewinder X1 is the first extraordinary model from the relatively new manufacturer Artillery / EVNOVO. The pre-assembled kit is particularly easy for beginners. This can be seen in the fact that it is ready to print in under 30 minutes.

In contrast to the Creality CR-10, a direct drive extruder is also used. Pretty much all materials can be printed well with it. Especially flexible materials can often not be processed using the Bowden extruder principle. If a filament change should be necessary, this can be done without errors in seconds thanks to the excellent extruder-nozzle interaction. The use of larger (and of course smaller) nozzle diameters is also possible, for example, to print large objects faster. The standard is 0.4mm in diameter.

Why are we impressed?

  • The setup is quick and easy. Calibrating the print bed is pretty easy with the touchscreen, bed-level wheels, and a sheet of paper. The cable management is superb. Everything looks very tidy. This FDM printer has a large build space (300 x 300 x 400 mm). High-quality materials have been used and the build quality is excellent. The frame is built to be extremely stable.

What negatives must you be aware of?

  • Some reviewers have criticized the ribbon cable connection points (risk of fire), other users the lack of strain relief on the heating bed (something which occurs more often with China printers). However, both problems can be resolved. The whole device also weighs a little high. A disadvantage of its Anycubic ultrabase-like (silicon carbide) print bed surface is that after cooling down, for example, due to a pause in printing, a print object can lose some of its adhesion
RELATED: 7 Great 3D Printers Under 500 Dollars to Make Budget Models
9.

Kingroon 3D PrinterEasiest to Upgrade

Features
  • Print technology: FDM
  • Build volume: 7 x 7 x 7 inches (180 x 180 x 180 mm)
  • Print speed: up to 100 mm/s
  • Nozzle size: 0.4mm
  • Layer resolution: 0.1mm
  • Filaments: PLA, ABS, TPU

The Kingroon 3D printer works with FDM technology. It’s one of the best 3D printers you can buy when you’re on a budget. It comes with assisted bed leveling, preloaded 3D models, an LCD touch screen, and can restart printing after power failure.

This 3D printer is great for beginners with its simple calibration, touchscreen, and assisted leveling. With some 3D printers, installation alone before printing can take a long time; therefore, the Kingroon is a wonderful alternative to save time in the general procedure. Beginners, teachers, and professional designers would love this 3D printer very much.

What are our favorite features?

  • One notable part of this printer which we liked is that it is quiet and doesn't get too hot, thanks to its double cooling fan. Quiet printing is a wonder because 3D printing versions take a while to complete. Only the best 3D printers allow you to restart jobs after a sudden shutdown or power failure. The Kingroon printer can restart printing at any time and does not need a complete restart of a job.

What could be better?

  • On the other hand, its small, compact dimensions can become a problem if a person wants to create larger 3D models. This has a build volume of 7 x 7 x 7 inches (almost 180 x 180 x 180 mm), which is roughly 18cm in each direction of the total printer. On the contrary, a lot of people will be happy with this magnitude of printing distance, and it's really common with newer 3D printers.
10.

Monoprice VoxelBest for Small Tasks

Features
  • Print technology: FDM/FFF
  • Build volume: 5.9 x 5.9 x 5.9 inches (150 x 150 x 150 mm)
  • Print speed: 10–100 mm/s
  • Nozzle size: 0.4mm
  • Layer resolution: 0.05–0.4mm
  • Filaments: PLA, ABS

If you’re looking to get started with 3D printing or want a printer that your kid can use, the Monoprice Voxel Printer is a great option. It delivers high-quality prints without costing you a fortune. The Voxel is fast too. The printing speed is 10 to 100 mm/s, something we generally see from more expensive devices. Beginners will especially appreciate the heated build deck, which means more reliable prints when using materials like ABS. The top of the print bed also slides out and can be folded, making removing prints a breeze.

The Monoprice Voxel is, so to speak, a “relaunch” of the well-known Flashforge Adventurer 3. It has a completely closed build chamber, bed leveling, a removable print bed, integrated memory, and WiFi connectivity.

What do we love it for?

  • We recommend the Monoprice Voxel as the best 3D printer for continuous and low-budget jobs. It produces attractive prints at the speeds you would expect from more expensive models, and it is a very strong and performing machine. We can say that it is a workhorse. Its structure and design are strong enough to work for continuous hours without losing quality in its printing. Its ease of use is also a great plus that we consider very important when recommending it.

What were we disappointed with?

  • Some users have problems with connecting it to Wi-Fi. Its price is a bit higher than most of the previous recommendations, but this is because this machine is designed to print quickly and continuously. Nevertheless, it's still considered the best 3D printer for kids under $500 by many parents.

Things to Consider

Like conventional children’s toys, a 3D printer should also bring joy to the youngsters, be easy to use, and, in the best case, promote creativity and skill. Criteria such as ease of use, safety (including health compatibility), and quality must be taken into account when selecting a device. The price is not entirely unimportant, but you should attach little importance to it compared to the other factors. In this section, we will give you all the information you need when you need to buy a children’s 3D printer.

What Kind of 3D Printer You Can Get for Your Kid?

10 Best 3D Printers to Get for Kids – Easy to Set Up and Use

While trying to purchase the best learning 3D printer for kids, some of the basic considerations should be ensured.

  1. Easy to Assemble: The young makers want to get started right away and not wait for mum or dad to have time to assemble the printer and then connect it to the PC, which is a laborious process. User-friendly plug-and-play devices that no longer need to be assembled are ideal.
  2. Easy to Use: The child needs to unpack his or her printer and start creating 3D objects and toys from the first hour. Therefore, the 3D printer for children is oriented to immediate use, without cumbersome assemblies or expensive calibrations that would make them lose their patience.
  3. Affordable: Like any other household and home device or toy, the 3D printer for the youngsters should have a good price-performance ratio and generally not be that expensive. Most parents set a limit of 50 to 500 dollars for gifts for children’s birthday parties. Therefore, inexpensive models for less than 500 dollars are most likely to come into question. A cheap 3D printer doesn’t offer as many features as more expensive models. If you cannot find anything suitable in this price range, it may be worth taking a look at the used equipment market. Second-hand purchases are often much cheaper, at best for less than 500 dollars.

Features to consider before you buy a 3D Printer

In addition to getting you started in model making and 3D printing, the rest of the article also includes tips. What criteria should be considered when purchasing this type of device?

Technology

Above all, FDM and FFF devices like the Flashforge Adventurer 3 or the Artillery Sidewinder X1 are relatively easy to finance for private users. SLA printers Trusted Source The Ultimate Guide to Stereolithography (SLA) 3D Printing Learn about the different stereolithography (SLA) 3D printers, materials, applications, and how SLA compares to other types of 3D printing technologies. formlabs.com were theoretically also possible, but for the most part, they are too expensive for toys. This results in certain material restrictions. Metal objects cannot be produced with this method. An alternative would be 3D printing services, where your child can upload their model and then receive the finished product.

FDM printers are ideal for a start. With these, printing is relatively inexpensive and post-processing is easier than with the other two variants. For example, you don’t need any special aids such as alcohol to clean the objects or a UV chamber for curing. In addition, due to the popularity of these devices, more user experiences can help your child with problems.

When choosing the device, make sure that the materials required for the application can be printed with it. All you need to do is compare the temperatures of the print bed and nozzle with the values required for the plastics. The more that can be used (pay attention to safety!), the better.

Compatible Filaments

The resin used in the SLA/DLP process is quite toxic. Therefore, you should rather choose models like the Kingroon 3D Printer that use the FDM method for your offspring. A wide variety of plastics are now available. Unfortunately, not everyone is safe and suitable for children here either. As EPA researchers discovered Trusted Source EPA Researchers Continue to Study the Emissions of 3D Printers | US EPA EPA researchers are studying the characteristics and health effects of 3D printer emissions to protect users as the market for these printers grows. www.epa.gov , these printers emit a relatively high concentration of nanoparticles that can accumulate in the body. If you want to protect your child more or less well against it, make sure that the device has a HEPA/carbon filter and has a closed construction.

Wireless printing is an even better option. With this option, the device can be in another room. This means that your offspring is not only safe from the nanoparticles, but also from any vapors that might escape.

Make sure that the room is well ventilated to avoid a (possible) accumulation of toxic fumes! Here is something you should know about some typical plastics:

  • Polylactides / polylactic acid (PLA): Polylactic acid is relatively harmless to health. It is not for nothing that PLA filaments are one of the most popular 3D printing materials in the FDM area. PLA consists of renewable raw materials (corn starch) and, unlike most other plastics, is biodegradable. It works well for beginners.
  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS): This material is known, for example, from Lego bricks. If you let your child play with them without hesitation, you can also use ABS for printing. But be aware that the processing of ABS creates harmful fumes. Another disadvantage compared to PLA is that it is not biodegradable.
  • Polyethylene terephthalate (PET): PET is food safe. It is therefore ideally suited for printing objects that come into contact with food. This plastic gives off no odor when printing, can be 100 percent recycled, and is cheap to buy. For 3D printing, PET is often modified with glycol. In this case, the name PETG is common. Due to the simple handling, it is also suitable for beginners.

Print Size

All 3D printers have a limit on the 3D print sizes they can create. The print bed surface and the distance the printer needs to travel to the print head determine the size, usually given as cubic inches. The individual size of the machine also determines the size of the 3D print the device can produce

Print Speed

3D printing, without a doubt, is slow and, as of now, there are no “fast” models, especially for kids. You should expect that the 3–4-inch models will typically take 6–12 hours to print, depending on the print quality you choose. This is how 3D printing works: printing is made up of layers. The thicker the layers, the faster the print is produced, but the lower the quality because the layers are more visible. So there’s a balance between print speed and print quality. If you need a 3D printer that prints fast, we recommend the FlashForge Finder, which can print up to 200 mm per second.

Print Quality

10 Best 3D Printers to Get for Kids – Easy to Set Up and Use

Among other factors, the print quality depends on the software, the device, and the experience of the user, for example on the print parameters and settings selected by him. The device should be built to be robust and stable.

The fewer vibrations the frame material or construction allows, the better the printing results. If your child would like to process flexible filaments with an FDM printer, a device with a direct drive extruder is recommended instead of a Bowden extruder. Misprints can be reduced by features such as a filament sensor and an automatic print resume (e.g., after a power interruption), a function you can find in Anycubic’s Mega Zero 2.0.

Good bed calibration and adhesion also help. FDM printing is also more reliable when there are as few hot-end blockages as possible. So far, these cannot be completely avoided. In addition to the print quality, keep an eye on the processing quality, of course.

High-quality parts such as a frame made of steel or aluminum are preferable to cheap materials such as acrylic. This is in contradiction to the fact that a 3D printer should be as inexpensive as possible for children. However, the availability of cheap, relatively good devices for young makers has so far been very limited. Security has its price.

Print Bed

Concerning the mechanics, you should above all make sure that body parts, skin, hair, and clothing are protected from moving parts.

For the well-being of your child, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the print bed heated or not?
  • Does the printer offer sufficient protection through a (preferably) closed design?
  • Is it possible to stop printing? Does the printing even stop automatically when the door is opened? Or is the door locked until the end of printing?

Printers with no hotbed are the safest for kids but there are limited filaments they can process. A removable, flexible print bed can be removed from the printer and simply bent, which makes it much easier to remove the prints. “Ultrabase” print bed surfaces (silicon carbide, for example in the Anycubic – I3 Mega) are also very user-friendly. If such a print bed is hot, the objects adhere well to it. If the bed cools down, they can be easily removed. A spatula is only required in exceptional cases.

Leveling

Choose a printer with easy to use bed leveling system. It ensures the bed is level so that the distance between the nozzle and the build plate surface is precise enough. The printer can come with a manual or assisted leveling system.

Software

10 Best 3D Printers to Get for Kids – Easy to Set Up and Use

Among other factors, the print quality depends on the software, the device, and the experience of the user, for example on the print parameters and settings selected by him.

With FDM printing, in particular, the software has a major impact on quality. Since proprietary software is often limited in its possibilities. Also, pay attention to the usability of open-source slicer software.

Children may for the first time become familiar with 3D design software necessary for printing, so if the program is the brand’s own it would be better because they are more intuitive and easier to use. On the contrary, open software is a bit more complex but not for that reason impossible to handle for the children of the digital age.

User-friendly Features

So that the installation of the printer does not pose any major problems for your child, clarify the following questions:

  • Which connections are available? Can the device be used wirelessly?
  • Can the software/slicer be used intuitively? Is there an app available?
  • For FDM devices, is there an automatic calibration? Does the printer have a filament sensor? Can filaments and nozzles be changed easily?
  • Is the printer light enough for a child?

When buying, make sure that the product includes complete instructions in at least a language that you understand. Ideally, this should contain answers to questions about typical problems or a reference to an FAQ page available online.

Also, keep an eye on the time for preparation and follow-up. Children often lack patience. Long post-processing times in particular can quickly lead to frustration and disinterest. The less there is to do after the print is finished, the better. In this regard, FDM offers advantages over SLA and DLP.

However, printing itself is a bit more difficult, as the interplay of filament (material properties), pressure settings (temperatures and speeds), and the device (object cooling, vibration, etc.) must work.

Basically, in the FDM area for beginners, especially for children, devices with a Cartesian drive system are recommended rather than delta 3D printers, as they are easier to calibrate manually. Dual extruders are also less suitable as they are also more difficult to calibrate and use

Warranty

Kid-friendly printers aren’t expensive but they can sometimes come with defects that come from the manufacturer. Warranty coverage can protect you and the printer in this case.

Most three-dimensional printers like the VOXELAB Aquila 3D Printer come with a limited warranty of one year. Sometimes, you could have an option to extend further at an additional cost.

FAQ

Kids can produce their toys, gift items, furniture, with a 3D printer. They can make gliders, townhouse toys, a Lego castle, a model railway, and more.

Generally, kids should be able to start their 3D printing at age 8. At this age, they should be able to know how to operate technical devices but they will still require supervision.

Yes, there are. Asides from YouTube tutorials, children can learn how to design 3D on TinkerCad for example.

With the right supervision from an adult designer and by choosing the best printer suitable for kids, these devices will be safe for your kids. We recommend the models with no hotbed if safety is a concern for you.

Our Verdict

The QIDI Technology X-one2 is our Editor’s Choice. Rated 9.9, it is very sturdy, easy to use, and offers good print quality. The software is based on the free slicer program Cura (from the 3D printer manufacturer Ultimaker) and is adapted to the printer models from Qidi-Soft. It is therefore our overall best 3D printer for kids.

Our Premium Pick is the FlashForge Finder. Rated 9.8, the FlashForge Finder is a premium child-friendly printer that uses fused filament fabrication (FFF) technology. The printer connects to your PC via USB cable, SD memory card, or Wi-Fi on your Smartphone, as you prefer.

The Creality Ender 3, also rated 9.8, is our Best Value Pick. It is an FDM printer with a very solid frame. It is quite compact and could be transported reasonably well if you want. Due to its design, it requires comparatively little space.

References

1.
The Ultimate Guide to Stereolithography (SLA) 3D Printing
Learn about the different stereolithography (SLA) 3D printers, materials, applications, and how SLA compares to other types of 3D printing technologies.
2.
EPA Researchers Continue to Study the Emissions of 3D Printers | US EPA
EPA researchers are studying the characteristics and health effects of 3D printer emissions to protect users as the market for these printers grows.
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