When it comes to 3D printing, one of the most common questions we get asked is "What are the best 3D printers for beginners?" So we've put together this blog containing what we believe to be two of the best 3D printers for beginners.
There are a few things to look for when trying to decide what printer would suite you best.
- Ease of use
We have two 3D printers that we believe are the best for beginners, the Flashforge Adventurer 3 and UP Mini 2 ES 3D Printers. Now we will go through our four main points that make these printers so good for beginners.
Ease Of Use
The Flashforge Adventurer 3 is lightweight, compact, fully enclosed, and has an highly portable design.
Build Platform - Unlike its predecessors, the Adventurer 3 does not require bed levelling, it comes pre-levelled.
Nozzle - The new nozzle assembly makes changing and cleaning the nozzle a breeze. Since being updated the Adventurer 3 now has the option to purchase additional nozzle types for more experimentation.
Spool Holder - For greater portability, Flashforge have added a built-in filament spool holder eliminating the need for a special hanger or holder.
Removable Platform - The Adventurer 3 uses an easily removable, flexible platform that makes removing your model easier and quicker.
Software - Flashforge provides their own official slicing software called FlashPrint. Not only is it a simple slicer for beginners but it's also a complete and highly adjustable software for advanced users by allowing the users to toggle between basic and advanced mode. Easily prepare models with repositioning, rotating, cutting and scaling options and use a step by step process to take you through the settings like the temperature speed etc and then finally print.
In the basic mode there are only the crucial functions and settings with no extra-settings. An advanced user will have a more complex set-up and full functionality of the slicer.
UP Mini 2 ES
The UP Mini 2 ES is a great little printer, with its lightweight, portable, clean, sleek white design.
Built-in Handle - To add to its ultra portable design, the UP Mini 2 features a retractable handle for easy relocation.
External Spool Holder - Carry spools easily on the UP Mini 2 ES with the 500g external spool holder.
Filament Compatibility - With its included higher temperature nozzle, the UP Mini 2 ES is able to print with a much wider variety of filament including TPU, PC, PETG, PLA-CF, PETG-CF.
Software - Over the years, UP Studio’s rich feature set and ease-of-use have gained a loyal following. Unlike the Flashprint software, the UP Studio software does not split its function into a basic and advanced mode, instead all of the more advanced settings are hidden in the menus to avoid confusion for beginners, still allowing the advanced users to access them. These advanced options include things like the supports editor, advanced supports options, top and bottom surface options, easy peel option etc.
The Adventurer 3 comes pre-levelled and does not require bed levelling. It does however require a nozzle calibration, that measures the nozzles distance to the bed at 9 points on the bed to reduce the field of error. On machines that do require bed levelling, it is a constant task to give you the best possible outcome of your print.
With its easily interchangeable nozzle system and new assembly, you will find far less external filament build up (clogging). If it was to clog, you can simply remove the nozzle with a push of two buttons and clear it out with the clogging tool. Other machines in the Flashforge range and other brands also, require you to dismantle the extruder head.
Once you have the correct settings, keeping your machine going becomes a breeze. After that all you have to do is clean the base regularly and keep the nozzle clear of any build ups.
UP Mini 2 ES
Like the Adventurer 3, the UP Mini 2 ES comes pre-levelled and does not require bed levelling. All that is required is the sae nozzle calibration process which once done, is all that will be required for a while.
There are two different build platforms included with the UP Mini 2 ES;
The UP Flex platforms, that are recommended for lower temperature filaments and the Perforated platforms, that are recommended for the higher temperature filaments.
The PERF board platforms are recommended for higher temperature filaments because the Perf board surface has holes in it allowing filament to sink in and give it a much stronger grip.
The Adventurer 3 has a current cost of around $690 inc GST and the Up Mini 2 ES has a current cost of around $1165 inc GST. Both printers have FREE Freight and take around 5-7 days for delivery.
Should something go wrong with your machine, included in both available 3D printer bundles is a guide based around 3D printing failures that will give you advice on the most common issues had with 3D printing.
Feel free to also give us a call for over the phone support. If we can't solve your problem over the phone then we will start a support ticket and work through the problem with you. If your machine requires repairs and you're not comfortable to perform the repairs yourself then you can have your machine returned to us and we will do the repairs for you.
Flashforge Adventurer 3
The draw backs of the Adventurer 3 comparing to the UP Mini 2 ES are as follows:
- It has a lower max extruder temperature meaning that the UP Mini 2 ES can work with a wider variety of materials such as TPU which is a flexible filament but the Adventurer 3 can not.
- The max print speed of the machine is 100mm/s as apposed to 200mm/s which means that the UP Mini 2 ES can print a lot faster.
- The UP Mini 2 ES has a slightly higher print resolution which means that depending on the settings used it can print more detailed models.
- The UP Mini 2 ES includes 2 types of build platforms; The UP Flex which is the same type that's included with the Adventurer 3 and the Perforated Print Board (Perf Board). This print board has little holes covering the surface helping your prints grip better to the bed. The Adventurer 3 however only has a standard grip surface making it more likely for your print to come unstuck.
- The Adventurer 3 is a slightly bigger and square machine that requires both hands in order to lift it to relocate. Where as the UP Mini 2 ES features a smaller design with an Aluminium Handle for easy transport.
UP Mini 2 ES
The draw backs of the UP Mini 2 ES comparing to the Adventurer 3 are as follows:
- There is a substantial difference in price, the UP Mini 2 ES has a current cost of around $1165 inc GST where as the Adventurer 3 has a current cost of $690 inc GST.
- The print volume is 120 x 120 x 120mm where as the Adventurer 3 is 150 x 150 x 150mm.
- It requires the use of an external spool holder meaning it may take up more space on your desk where as the Adventurer 3 has its spool holder built in to the main body with a removable cover for access.
- There is no way of connecting to your printer via an online system such as Flashcloud and Polarcloud which is usable with the Adventurer 3. This can be used to print, check printer status and even to use the Adventurer 3s onboard camera to observe the printer in action and check that it is printing correctly. The UP Mini 2 ES also, does not include an onboard camera.
- The UP Studio software requires the printer to be switched on and connected in order to export a printer project where as the Adventurer 3 software FlashPrint will let you go through all of the settings and export to a thumb drive without the need for it being switched on or connected.
Which One Should You Get?
After personally using both of these machines I preferred the Flashforge Adventurer 3. I thought that the software was easier to use due to the basic mode removing the least used and more complicated features. Although there may be a few draw backs on the machine in comparison to the UP Mini 2 ES you are also gaining some great features that outweigh those draw backs.
So if you're looking for a small low cost printer with simple functionality in both the hardware and software that gets rid of a few of the more common printing issues, get the Adventurer 3.
If you don't mind the extra cost, more complicated software and want a more precise printer that can print faster and in a wider variety of materials then get the UP Mini 2 ES.