The Best 3D Printers for Kids: Reviews of Our Top Picks for Young Creators
In recent years, 3D printing has become an increasingly popular and accessible technology, even among younger makers. A 3D printer allows kids and teens to turn their ideas into physical objects and brings their creativity to life in a tangible way.
From designing toys, games, jewelry and more, 3D printing opens up exciting new STEM learning opportunities. It enables hands-on experience with 3D modeling, prototyping, and digital fabrication. By empowering young people to create real-world objects themselves, 3D printing can boost confidence, problem-solving skills, and interest in engineering.
However, with so many 3D printers on the market, it can be daunting for parents to choose the right model for their aspiring young inventor. Key factors to consider include safety, ease of use, print quality, print size, filament type, and beginner-friendliness.
In this comprehensive guide, we review three highly-rated 3D printers suitable for kids and teens – the Easythreed K7, Anycubic Photon M3, and KOKONI-EC1. We break down the key features, performance, pros and cons of each printer to help you make an informed decision. Let’s explore the best 3D printers to ignite creativity and passion in the next generation!
Easythreed K7 – Best Plug-and-Play Pick for Younger Kids
The Easythreed K7 stands out as an ultra user-friendly 3D printer that’s ideal for younger beginners. It excels in three key areas – safety, simplicity, and print quality.
● Compact Desktop Size: 235 x 175 x 270mm footprint perfect for tight spaces
● Enclosed Frame: Works only with non-toxic PLA filament for safety
● Print Technology: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM extrudes heated filament)
● Single 0.4mm Nozzle: With 0.05-0.4mm layer height options
● Modifiable Print Speed: Variable from 10 to 30 mm/sec
● Print Bed: Removable magnetic heated bed for adhesion
● Connectivity: SD card and USB thumb drive (no WiFi)
● Controls: Simple button control interface
Impressive Print Quality for the Price
Despite the low cost, the Easythreed K7 can produce detailed prints with resolution down to 0.1mm. The all-metal extruder provides consistent filament feeding, while the enclosed frame prevents cooling drafts that can affect print quality. Most budget printers under $200 don’t offer this level of precision.
Perfect for Younger Beginners
The Easythreed K7 keeps the entire printing process straightforward for kids. Setup takes just minutes to get printing. The compact design is easy to find workspace for. Loading and unloading filament couldn’t be simpler.
The removable magnetic print bed makes removing finished 3D prints effortless by flexing the surface. Leveling the bed is a cinch and explained well in the manual. The intuitive buttons make navigating menus and options a breeze. Just load a model via USB or SD card and press print!
While the lack of WiFi connectivity means prints cannot be started remotely, the simplicity and reliability make the Easythreed K7 an exceptional first 3D printer for younger users around ages 8-12 with basic supervision.
Vital Safety Features for Kids
Safety is paramount when operating 3D printers around children. The Easythreed K7 encloses the printing process and heating elements. It prints only using non-toxic PLA filament, producing minimal fumes. The hot components are well-protected from curious fingers. Power and temperature settings cannot be adjusted. For safe operation, kids should always have adult supervision.
With its focus on safety, ease of use and surprisingly good print quality, the Easythreed K7 is a young beginner's dream 3D printer! For under $200, it delivers an incredible starter printing experience for kids dipping their toes into the world of 3D printing.
Anycubic Photon M3 – Best Precision 3D Printer for Teens
For teens seeking more advanced printing capabilities, the Anycubic Photon M3 delivers extraordinary precision through digital light processing (DLP) technology paired with a 4K LCD panel.
Print Technology: DLP (screens cure resin layer-by-layer)
● 4K Monochrome LCD: 3840 x 2400 pixels
● Build Volume: 7.1 x 6.4 x 4 inches
● Rapid Print Speed: Up to 50mm per hour
● Ultra High Precision: 51 micron XY resolution (0.051mm)
● Light Source: UV integrated LED
● Connectivity: USB interface
● Intuitive Touch Screen: 2.8” color interface
Astounding Print Quality for Miniatures
Harnessing the power of a 4K LCD screen, the Anycubic Photon M3 achieves phenomenal 51 micron resolution for superb detail and smoothness. Models boast crisp features, sharp edges, intricate patterns – perfect for miniatures.
Making full use of the DLP technique, each layer of photopolymer resin is precisely cured by LED UV light exposure to build an object from the vat up. The resulting print quality surpasses most FDM printers.
Faster Print Speeds Than Competitors
While resin 3D printing can be slow, Anycubic's new matrix LED array cures models 25% faster than previous generations, up to 50mm per hour. This enhanced speed produces detailed prints quicker.
Advanced Yet User-Friendly Operation
Despite its professional-level output, the Anycubic Photon M3 retains intuitive controls and interface for teens to master. The responsive 2.8” color touch screen streamlines navigation and configuration. One-click filter replacement keeps maintenance straightforward.
Though resin printers require more supervision for teens, the Anycubic Photon M3 makes the process as simple and safe as possible. Enclosures reduce mess and odor. Anycubic resin is engineered to be non-toxic and lower odor. Proper PPE is still essential.
For teens seeking cutting-edge print quality to explore their creativity, the Anycubic Photon M3 is an exceptional choice under $500. Miniature models come out with jewel-like precision to impress any hobbyist.
KOKONI-EC1 – Best WiFi-Connected Smart Printer for Teens
Offering smart device control and monitoring, the KOKONI-EC1 stands out as our top pick for tech-savvy teens who want to print wirelessly. The free app adds exciting new functionality.
● Print Technology: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
● Filament Type: PLA (non-toxic, biodegradable plastic)
● WiFi Connectivity: Control via iOS & Android apps
● Print Bed: Non-heated aluminum platform
● High Print Speed: Up to 80mm/sec
● Compact Footprint: 7 x 11 x 9 inches
● Precision Nozzle: 0.4mm nozzle, 0.0025mm precision
● Monitoring: Live print progress via app
Intuitive App Controls for Smart Devices
Te KOKONI-EC1 app enables wireless printing through iOS and Android smart devices. Teens can remotely transfer model files, start prints, check live progress, and control printer functions from a phone or tablet.
Being able to wirelessly print projects provides exciting creative freedom. Teens can start models before bed and check completion in the morning. The app expands possibilities.
Reliable PLA Printing
While the open filament system allows using any standard 1.75mm PLA filament, KOKONI’s custom PLA engineered for the EC1 yields smoother, clog-free printing. PLA is non-toxic and biodegradable.
Space-Saving Compact Design
At just 7 inches wide and less than 9 inches deep, the KOKONI-EC1 can sit comfortably on desktops without occupying too much valuable workspace. The modern, low-profile aesthetic looks great in any bedroom.
For tech-savvy teens who want remote creative control, the smart connectivity of the KOKONI-EC1 makes it a versatile first 3D printer. User-friendly yet packed with features, it can grow with a child’s skill level.
Empower Young Minds with 3D Printing Magic! Shop the Finest Selection of Kid-Friendly Printers at GearBerry. >>>
Key Buying Considerations for a 3D Printer for Kids
With an overview of our top recommendations, here are some key factors for parents to consider when selecting the right beginner 3D printer for their child:
● Age and Skill Level: How experienced is your child with 3D printing? Young beginners need maximum simplicity and safety. Teens may crave more complexity and functionality.
● Print Quality: Entry-level printers often produce lower resolution prints sufficient for novices. Higher print quality offers realism and intricacy for designers.
● Materials: PLA plastic is common for home printing due to low toxicity and temperature. Photopolymer resins allow superb detail but need caution.
● Print Size: Build volumes range from a few inches to larger sizes. Consider the types of objects your child will want to create and ensure the printer can accommodate them.
● Safety Features: Look for printers with enclosed frames, filament types that emit minimal fumes, and features that prevent accidental burns or injuries.Connectivity: Decide if you prefer a printer with WiFi connectivity for wireless control and file transfer or if offline options like USB or SD card are sufficient.
● Budget: Set a budget that aligns with your expectations and your child's needs. Entry-level printers can be found for under $200, while more advanced models may range up to $500 or more.
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Selecting the right 3D printer for your child is an exciting decision that can foster their creativity and interest in technology. The Easythreed K7 offers a safe and user-friendly experience for younger kids, while the Anycubic Photon M3 provides exceptional precision for teens interested in detailed prints. For tech-savvy teens, the KOKONI-EC1's smart connectivity offers wireless control and monitoring. Consider the key factors mentioned above and choose the printer that best suits your child's age, skill level, and creative aspirations. With the right 3D printer, your child can embark on a thrilling journey of imagination and creation.
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