The Best 3D Printers for Kids in 2023 - Our Top Picks Tested and Reviewed
3D printing has become a fun and engaging educational activity that both children and adults can enjoy. These machines enable children to translate their imaginations into real objects in front of their eyes. However, with the wide selection of printers on the market today, determining the best option for children can feel overwhelming. This guide aims to demystify the selection process by examining some of the best budget-friendly, mid-range and high-end 3D printer models. Each design is designed with children's safety and independent use in mind, and a little parental guidance is needed to make the creation easy and fun.
By reviewing these most popular choices, parents can feel secure in providing for their children. The following printers are considered some of the best options for allowing children's natural creativity to blossom through 3D printing. Its durable design stands up to rigorous hands-on learning, while integrated safety features help protect curious minds. Whether just starting out or more advanced, these machines will open the imagination of every child. Read on to discover the perfect 3D printer to inspire endless creativity at home.
The Kingroon KP3S is an affordable 3D printer well-suited for introducing children to 3D design and printing. It has a compact build volume of 100x100x150mm, ideal for small toy-scale objects and models. Compatible with easy-to-use PLA filament, it offers adjustable layer resolutions from 0.1 to 0.4mm for varying levels of detail. Smaller prints under 5 inches are completed quickly within 60 minutes at speeds up to 60mm/s.
Nearly fully assembled right out of the box with only minor snap-together components, the KP3S requires minimal assembly. An intuitive accompanying app provides a simplified touchscreen-like interface for easily controlling and monitoring prints remotely. Its straightforward one-touch operation makes the entire printing process navigable even for young users.
While print quality with the KP3S may not match higher-priced machines, it achieves satisfactory resolution for basic shapes and figurines that appeal most to kids. Priced very affordably at under $200, it serves as a low-risk entry point allowing freedom to experiment without major cost. For introducing children to 3D modeling and printing, the Kingroon KP3S offers a suitable first machine that grows with their skills.
LONGER LK4 X
The LONGER LK4 X offers several major improvements over KP3S 3D printers, making it an excellent choice for enhanced functionality. A standout feature is its larger 220x220x250mm build volume, allowing for larger prints or multiple prints at a time. This expanded field offers more flexibility and opportunities for creativity. At 150mm/s, the LK4 X also boasts a faster maximum print speed, producing faster results. Whether dealing with complex small designs or larger projects, this printer can handle tasks relatively quickly.
Another notable upgrade is the heated bed feature. When the temperature reaches 100°C, the heated bed can handle a wider range of materials beyond PLA, such as ABS and wood. This ensures better adhesion and reduced warping for a higher quality end product. The convenient recovery feature allows printing to be restarted from any breakpoint, such as a power outage. The user does not need to start the entire job over, saving time and materials.
Although assembly only takes about 30 minutes, the lk4x's construction feels sturdy and can be printed for a long time. One useful observation is how its visual development keeps users engaged, especially younger users. Seeing a project come to fruition through the print process can facilitate learning, and for educational businesses in particular, ongoing attention is ideal. Together, these features make the LONGER LK4 X an excellent choice for enhanced 3D printing capabilities.
FAQs about the Kingroon KP3S and LONGER LK4 X 3D printers:
Q: What printing materials can it use?
A: The KP3S only supports PLA, while the LK4 X supports PLA, ABS and wood with its heated bed.
Q: How long does it take to assemble?
A: The KP3S requires almost no assembly, while the LK4 X takes around 30 minutes to assemble.
Q: What is the maximum build size?
A: The KP3S is 100x100x150mm, while the LK4 X is larger at 220x220x250mm.
Q: Can prints be resumed after power loss?
A: Only the LK4 X has a resume function to restart prints from interruptions like power outages.
Q: How fast can they print?
A: The KP3S prints at up to 60mm/s and the LK4 X is faster at 150mm/s maximum speed.
The Easythreed K7 offers families a reliable 3D printing choice. Constructed from an aluminum alloy frame, the durable K7 can withstand regular use to deliver consistent results over time. Its high precision is evident in the 0.1mm layer accuracy achieved through the 0.4mm nozzle. Further benefits include compatibility with common materials like PLA, TPU and ABS using the max 260°C nozzle temperature and 100°C heated glass bed.
Guiding users intuitively is the 7-inch color touchscreen, providing clear, accessible guidance through the printing process for beginners. One standout feature is the automated calibration routines that eliminate troubleshooting needs for children. By ensuring proper calibration, print failures are minimized and success improved.
Offering great value at a mid-range price point, the Easythreed K7 explores the exciting world of 3D printing confidently through robust construction and precise capabilities. Compatible with various materials, user-friendly interface and calibrations make it suitable for both novices and experts alike. Families can unleash creativity through the exciting new hobby.
As one of the smallest 3D printers, the compact KOKONI EC1 is ideal for kids with limited desktop space. Measuring just 7.44x10.79x9.09 inches and weighing 6.83 pounds, the KOKONI EC1 occupies an impressively small space. It can easily be placed on most tables or shelves without being obtrusive. Despite its small size, it can print objects as small as 10 x 10 x 8 cm, which makes it suitable for printing small toys, trinkets and school project models.
This tool-free assembly printer is quick to set up, putting together a small number of lightweight parts in about 30 minutes. Wireless app connectivity from iOS and Android devices further simplifies the experience by providing an intuitive interface to remotely control and monitor printing. Intuitive boot setup and automatic bed level function handle many technical aspects for the user.
Depending on the manufacturer's maximum print speed of 80mm/s, the KOKONI EC1 is also capable of completing small basic prints, such as statues or accessories, in an hour or less. For young artisans and students who are just beginning to cultivate their creativity through makerspaces, it makes hands-on learning possible without requiring too much educational difficulty or a large investment. The compact yet capable KOKONI EC1 3D printer makes creation fun and accessible even for miniature artists.
FAQs about the Easythreed K7 and KOKONI EC1 3D printers:
Q: What materials can the K7 use?
A: The K7 supports PLA, TPU and ABS.
Q: How long does it take to assemble the EC1?
A: The EC1 takes about 30 minutes to assemble with tool-free assembly.
Q: What is the build size of the K7?
A: The K7 build size is 220x220x250mm.
Q: Does the EC1 have a heated bed?
A: The EC1 has a non-heated build plate.
Q: What interface do they have?
A: The K7 has a 7-inch touchscreen while the EC1 connects wirelessly to apps.
Kingroon KP3S Pro
For serious 3D printing enthusiasts, the Kingroon KP3S Pro satisfies. Upgrades include a larger 150x150x150mm build volume, precision 0.05-0.3mm layer settings, and support for more exotic materials like ABS, TPU and wood composites. The build volume provides ample space for intricate multi-part designs or architectural models. Key additions are the auto-leveling probe which compensates for uneven bed surfaces, 0.4mm high-temperature hardened steel nozzle for reliable extrusion, and fully-enclosed design. This limits noise and fumes to allow use even around younger family members.
The KP3S Pro utilizes linear guide rails and direct drive extruder for smoother movements and fewer printing errors. Combined with a stable triangular frame and eight-layer printed circuit board, these premium components guarantee high quality, detailed object reproductions. Its open-source firmware also invites older kids to explore the internal technology more deeply through custom code modifications if desired. Overall, the Kingroon KP3S Pro is designed for precision and long-term use.
Kingroon KP3S Pro S1
A further capability is the KP3S Pro S1 3D printer. As the flagship model, it has a wider maximum build size of 180x180x200mm. It utilizes precision machined optical slide Z-axis guides and profile linear guides for impressively accurate Z-axis motion of just 0.0125 mm on the X and Y axes. Linear tracks provide superior stability and rigidity in multi-day printing. They allow for micro-adjustment of positioning print heads and beds with micron level accuracy.
This impressive precision promotes highly precise layering, in which each new extruded layer is placed with optimal precision alignment. The Kingroon KP3S Pro S1 monitors a variety of environmental and machine factors. It then automatically compensates for potential problems such as bed warping or temperature fluctuations that gradually emerge during extended printing to optimize layer placement.
These enhancements allow the KP3S Pro S1 to achieve resolutions as low as an incredible 0.05mm, with almost no visible streaks between layers. Even complex elements and fine details are clearly and sharply reproduced. The fully customizable 7-inch touch screen and automatic functions provide a very user-friendly experience. 3D printing is simplified with intuitive options for the touch interface. For young people interested in pushing the limits of technology, high precision and customization offer a high ceiling.
LONGER LK5 Pro
As one of the largest 3D printers under $300, the LONGER LK5 Pro and other LONGER 3D printers occupy a build area measuring 300x300x400mm. This expanded printing volume allows designers to scale up their ambitions and print larger, more complex projects beyond basic objects. Kids can challenge their skills with multi-piece assemblies and architectural blueprints. The LK5 Pro features a stable triangular frame made of machined aluminum for maximum structural integrity and rigidity, as seen in other LONGER 3D printers. This ensures precise movements within the oversized build chamber. Its large build volume also accommodates more intricate designs that would otherwise need to be split into multiple parts on smaller printers.
The LK5 Pro utilizes TMC2208 silent stepper motor drivers and features dual 5015 part cooling fans to keep noise levels low. Even during extended all-day print sessions, it achieves whisper-quiet operation of under 50dB, on par with normal conversation. This allows printing to be done discreetly anywhere in the home or office without disturbance. To further boost precision, the LK5 Pro incorporates linear rails on all three axes. This linear guide system contributes to its high repeatable accuracy of 0.1mm from layer to layer.
Heated bed temperature reaches up to 100°C, firmly adhering a variety of materials that can be troublesome such as ABS. The printing surface utilizes a coated glass plate for optimum adhesion and release. Compatible with 1.75mm PLA, PETG, and flexible filaments, the material choices provide opportunities to experiment. Resume functionality and automatic Z-axis homing further aid the user experience. If a power outage or filament runout occurs, prints restart efficiently from the stop point. Its 90% pre-assembled construction simplifies setup. Combined with the overall build quality and features, consistent high-accuracy results emerge immediately from the box. Overall, the LONGER LK5 Pro unleashes imagination on a grand scale within an affordable budget.
FAQs about the Kingroon KP3S Pro, KP3S Pro S1, and LONGER LK5 Pro 3D printers:
Q: What are their build volumes?
A: KP3S Pro is 150x150x150mm, KP3S Pro S1 is 180x180x200mm, and LK5 Pro is 300x300x400mm.
Q: What materials can they print?
A: They can all print PLA. KP3S Pro and S1 also support ABS and TPU, while LK5 Pro supports PLA, PETG and flexible filaments.
Q: Do they have auto-leveling?
A: KP3S Pro and S1 have auto-leveling probes and touchscreens, while LK5 Pro has automatic Z-axis homing.
Q: What kind of frames do they use?
A: KP3S Pro and S1 use triangular frames, while LK5 Pro uses a stable triangular frame.
Q: How much assembly is required?
A: KP3S Pro and S1 require full assembly, while LK5 Pro is 90% pre-assembled.
Features to Consider
When choosing the right 3D printer, there are several important specifications and qualities to check. Build size is one of the main factors, depending on your intended project. Larger printers allow for larger models, but take up more space and materials. Most desktop printers are between 6-12 inches in size, while larger machines are suitable for larger sizes. Consider your project ideas and available workspace.
Print quality is related to layer thickness, nozzle diameter and speed. Thinner layers produce a smoother surface at the cost of time. Higher-end models offer better accuracy through adjustable setting temperatures, retractions and other adjustments to maximize detail. Look for enclosed printers with dual extruders and direct drive feed consistent results. When making multiple materials or complex objects, pay attention to the gaps listed.
Ease of use should not be overlooked. The intuitive interface makes setup and operation straight out of the box. Touch screens are often good at guiding novice users. Automatic leveling bed simplifies the tedious work of manual leveling. A remote connection via WiFi or a mobile app allows you to monitor ongoing printing and transfer digital files from anywhere.
Safety is of Paramount importance to children. The fully enclosed chamber prevents contact with hot parts and insulates fumes from certain materials. The weighted platform provides stability to avoid printers that are prone to tilt, especially in lively homes. PLA poses the least problems, but ventilation is helpful for any material.
Software plays an important role in functionality. Open source options like Cura provide user-friendly presets. Cloud-based slicing simplifies preparation and wireless printing. Check for expected compatibility and community support throughout the machine's life cycle.
The total cost is more important than the list price. Take into account that consumables, such as filaments, vary by material, brand and quantity required. More versatile printers may lead to long-term cost savings through wider availability. Reliability and durability directly affect the cost of continuous replacement. Guarantee Provides guarantee for major components. Through in-depth research, find an option that meets your current and future project aspirations.
Best Pick per Price Range
The Kingroon KP3S and other Kingroon 3D Printers is an excellent choice for those looking for an affordable entry into 3D printing. It can be purchased for under $150, making it the most budget-friendly option on this list and a great value for students or families to learn the technology. Despite its low price, the KP3S offers reliable performance through features like its durable Titan extruder, resume printing function after power outages, and compact quiet design ideal for personal use in a classroom. Thorough video assembly instructions make putting it together straightforward, allowing newcomers to get started with 3D printing quickly and easily using Kingroon 3D Printers. An active online user community provides useful guidance and inspiring project ideas too. While it has a modest build volume and capabilities compared to pricier models, the KP3S is difficult to beat for the value it provides at such an affordable price point for education.
In the $200 range, the KOKONI EC1 is a top pick. It uses precision linear guides on all axes for enhanced print quality and accuracy. Its build volume of 120x120x120mm is large enough to print many general hobbyist projects. Integrated automatic bed leveling removes another common point of frustration for beginners. Perhaps its biggest selling feature is the near-silent printing - at only 40dB, it will not disturb others even when running overnight. The open-source firmware allows easy customization for technical users too. The EC1 offers everything needed for reliable 3D printing at this mid-tier price bracket in a user-friendly package perfect for curious kids and students. Community support online provides troubleshooting assistance when needed as well.
The Easythreed K7, priced between $250-300, also delivers excellent value. Its solid metal construction provides durability, while the all-metal hotend and direct extruder drive enable it to produce prints with consistent detail and quality layer by layer. An enclosed design minimizes noise, keeping prints quiet throughout the process. With slightly better specs like larger build volume and build area than the EC1 but still attractive pricing, the K7 is a top pick for those seeking reliable performance on a tighter budget than high-end options provide. Regular firmware updates also help it keep running smoothly for longer.
Stepping up to around $400 gets you the LONGER LK5 Pro, one of the higher-end budget options. Its build volume is impressively large at 300x300x400mm, allowing complex projects to be printed without needing to split them into multiple pieces. Features like linear guides on all axes, a robust direct drive extruder, and automatic bed leveling come together to deliver professional grade results. An aluminum frame imbues durable stability during long print jobs of over 24 hours. An enclosed design reduces noise and provides thermal insulation too. While more expensive than other picks, the LK5 Pro enables advancing hobbyists, students, and makers to print much larger and more intricate designs with greater precision and higher quality than lower priced machines. Extensive online documentation and assembly videos simplify initial setup and use.
In conclusion, the Kingroon KP3S offers an unbeatable price for those taking their first steps into 3D printing simply to learn the basics of design and production. The KOKONI EC1 and Easythreed K7 then provide reliable yet accessible mid-range options well-suited for education and personal exploration. Finally, for those pursuing more advanced projects like mechanical components or architectural models and willing to invest more, the LONGER LK5 Pro has the capabilities needed to take their 3D printing skills to the next level through larger scale prototyping. Each printer offers the best price to performance ratio currently available within their respective budget categories.
Maintenance and Upkeep
Proper maintenance is important for keeping a 3D printer running at its best. Regular care and cleaning can help prevent issues down the road. It's a good idea for parents to do basic upkeep tasks with children to teach safe handling practices and build responsibility.
Cleaning the nozzle and heat block is important. Over time, debris can accumulate and cause poor extrusion or jams. This should be done periodically by removing the nozzle and wiping away any residue with isopropyl alcohol on a cotton swab. Making sure these components are clear helps prints come out smoothly. Checking the print head assembly for any loose screws or worn parts is also recommended. Replacing damaged components early can avoid future errors.
Bed leveling also needs to be checked regularly, as the printing surface may shift slightly over many heat cycles. Leveling ensures good adhesion during prints. Worn flexible build plates or powder-coated/glass surfaces should also be replaced when they start affecting prints. Keeping the platform level optimizes print quality. Running auto-leveling routines frequently or manually re-tramming the bed whenever surface screws are adjusted further maintains precision.
Keeping the work area clean is another responsibility. Spilled filaments and debris left around the printer can cause accidents if they're ingested or get inside components. Wiping down surfaces prevents residue buildup. Proper vacuuming removes harmful particles from the air. Occasionally cleaning exterior frames and chassis seams with compressed air blows out dust accumulation.
Manufacturers often release software updates containing new features, stability fixes, and other improvements. Downloading and installing these as available ensures the printer stays up-to-date. Performing regular tune-ups through the various checking and replacement tasks helps 3D printing remain an enjoyable hobby. With proper maintenance, printers can provide years of reliable service.
Many extra resources can augment what students learn from 3D printing and spur even greater making. Consider supplementary materials and services to maximize the learning experience:
Having different colored filaments opens up opportunities for self-expression and learning about properties like opacity. The variety of filament colors including primary colors along with metallics allows for creativity in personalizing designs. Wood, carbon fiber and glow-in-the-dark PLA expand the sensory experience beyond basic shapes and colors. Geeetech's PLA 3D printer filament line features many creative color options accessible for classroom projects. Non-toxic flexible filaments made of materials like TPU and TPE inspire exposure to different textures and the possibility of snap fitting parts for functional prints. The accessibility of multiple filament types at low costs makes bringing 3D printing to education practical and engaging for students.
Sites like Thingiverse, Printables and MyMiniFactory provide an endless selection of ideas across all skill levels. Educational designs teach principles of engineering, science and math through hands-on making. Popular character files build familiarity with franchises. Sorting by license ensuresFiles are approved for personal use.
YouTube channels dedicated to 3D printing publish multi-part project tutorials broken into clear, digestible steps suitable for following independently or together with a parent. Colorful timelapse videos demonstrate techniques in real-time at an accelerated speed. Active communities on platforms like Instagram and Reddit provide support, inspiration and a sense of belonging through shared experiences. Popular podcasts regularly interview fascinating professionals working with cutting-edge applications of the ever-evolving 3D printing technology.
Outsourcing large whitespace models, multi-material designs or complex multi-part assemblies that require joining or assembly supports ambitious engineering projects beyond a typical home printer's build volume or material capacity limits. Fully printed personalized gifts demonstrate impressive achievements and creations to share pride with friends and family. Professionally finished outputs printed at public libraries or third party print shops with higher resolution machines inspire students to raise the technical standard and precision of their own prints.
Attending in-person meetups at libraries, community centers or local makerspaces fosters valuable connections with other creative technologists passionate about learning. Expert members are eager to provide guidance and technical advice to youth. Informal show-and-tell exchanges allow ideas to spread through witnessing diverse projects. Introductory workshops introduce new skills like 3D modeling software skills, basic electronics, laser engraving or CNC techniques to continually increase the knowledge base. Periodic competitions motivate students to stretch their talents through more complex, challenging goals.
Summer camps hosted by places like TechShop or local makerspaces equip youth with access to industry-standard tools like 3D scanners, laser cutters, and large format 3D printers over intensive multi-day sessions. Private instructors or after-school programs provide structured learning paths customized to different experience levels and ages. Formal courses award completion certificates, digital badges or credentials for curriculums progressively covering 3D modeling workflows, engineering principles, material properties and more advanced topics.
By thoughtfully selecting extra offerings tailored to interests and safety levels, 3D printing achieves its full potential as a catalyst for lifelong learning through making. The supply of online and real-world resources ensures children stay challenged and engaged over many rewarding projects.
By guiding kids through the responsible, practical use of an accessible 3D Printer For Kids, they gain exposure to 3D printer's concepts from a hands-on, creative angle. Choosing models optimized for safety, ease of use and durability matched to needs ensures positive early interactions. With supervision and through developing healthy maintenance habits, children can nurture independence and problem-solving abilities through 3D Printer For Kids for years to come. It cultivates both functional skills and an appreciation for the endless innovative possibilities of technology.
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