One of the hottest products in today’s markets are three-dimensional (3D) printers. Even though they have been around for several decades, they are finally making this printer affordable for use at home, schools or even your place of work. There are even some of these machines that are perfect for children because they’re beginner models. Beginner models are simple to understand and operate. A three-dimensional printer is known as an additive manufacturing and desktop fabrications; however, they mean the same thing. 3D printers create three-dimensional objects from a computer. When using one of these printers, you need to think of an object that you’ll want to print and then get a 3D model of an image as a two-dimensional file to print from. It’s that simple. Once you do that, then you can start printing your object. Most printers have 2D files that are free from the manufacturer’s website or you can use a downloadable app. There are hundreds of various objects that children can experiment with and enjoy for hours.
If you’re not sure how these printers work, we’ll break it down for you. If you’re going to print a flat image in 3D, a special kind of material will be needed, not just regular toner or ink. With the first printing, the material lifts the image higher than the file surface. The additional layer is printed on top of the other one, but it’s raised. After doing this nearly hundreds of times, the 2D images becomes a 3D object. These objects can be held in your hand. It makes your objects feel like they are coming to life by doing this.
We feature what is the hottest of 10 products in today’s three-dimensional printer market. Most of the models that we chose are easy for children to assemble and use, except for two. Those two are DIY-–do it yourself kits–that must be assembled when you receive them. But these DIY kits provide an additional enjoyable mental activity for kids. Below you will find our top choices for the best 3D printers reviewed for children in 2018
Our Picks of The Best 3D Printers for Kids Rated & Reviewed in 2018
Criteria Used In Evaluation of the Best 3D Printers for Kids
Easy for kids to operate, understand, and put together
We looked at printers that were universal for everyone. What’s great about the ones that we selected is that these printers are easy for children to operate and put together. Of course, for the DIY (do it yourself) printers, these include user guides that can make it a bit more complicated than the rest and your child might need your assistance. Just watching one of these printers create that three-dimensional object from a computer image is remarkable and mind-boggling. Your child will love it!
Works well, is durable, and creates 3D objects
Many overwhelmingly positive reviews have noted that these printers work well, are durable and long lasting. They create superb 3D objects. Most stated that they would purchase the product again or even upgrade their printer because they are completely satisfied with their purchase. Customers have even said that they would have printed hundreds of three-dimensional objects that are available through the manufacturer’s websites with their printers and are happy.
From reputable companies that are professional 3D makers
Very well-known manufacturers of three-dimensional printers have been in business for decades are makers of these 3D printers. Companies like Monoprice, FlashForge, and XYZprinting are some of the best-known manufacturers. These companies put their top-notch expertise into these designs to offer you and your children fun and enjoyment. These 3D printers come with guarantees or warranties backing up the item for your satisfaction.
The best-rated and most-purchased 3D printers online
Each product on this list is the best 3D printer according to buyers online. They are also the most-frequently bought 3D printers as well. The reviews and ratings overwhelmingly choose these items as the ones that have pleased consumers the most. We choose our item list based on these facts from customers just like you who want the best product for their money. We diligently sort through all of the product descriptions and feedback from reviewers to come up with this list of the best 3D printers for your review.
Helpful hints on 3D printing and downloadable programs:
The focus of three-dimensional (3D) printing is to make something that you can’t get anywhere else. It can be used to replace parts and items you lose or want that can’t be found, such as the back plate of the remote control. Missing parts or pieces to games and toys can be replaced in seconds by printing them with a 3D printer. For instance, if you lose several pieces of your favorite Monopoly or chess game, then you can easily replace them with a duplicate piece you have printed. Possibilities of these creations are endless and give us an idea of how 3D printers can and will help us in the future. Before you print anything with your new printer, you must find a 2D image from computer software or software programs. When using your computer and these programs, you will find thousands of objects. One of the best programs out there is Tinkercad. It is very user-friendly and perfect for beginners to 3D printing. A few other free programs where you can find models of objects to print would be Google Sketch Up, 3DTin, and Autodesk 123D. It’s also possible to download files from the internet for your objects. Whatever the case, some of the files are free or have a small fee to download the file.
Information on 3D materials:
For beginner 3D printing, two filament materials will be used mostly in your objects. These are ABS and PLA. These are known as thermoplastics because once they are heated and reach a particular temperature, they become bendable and soft. Once these substances cool down after you have made your object, they will turn into hard material again. It is at this point that you can hold the object you created with your printer. Both of these filament materials are obtainable in bags of 2.2 pounds. This amount can make plenty of objects.
ABS filament material is a plastic that is petroleum-based. It is more suitable for interlocking parts/objects or complex pieces because it is more flexible and stronger than PLA. It is good to replace such building parts like LEGO bricks. It does take longer for this substance to cool down than PLA, so it could result in objects that may warp in the cooling process. Because it is petroleum-based, it does give off a nasty odor when it is being used.
On the contrary, PLA material is made from the natural ingredient of cornstarch. It cools down quickly, so it is good for beginners to use, plus warping issues are minimized. The finished object will warp, however, if this substance is heated too much. Unlike, ABS filament, PLA is not good for objects like LEGOs that have pieces that connect, or lock together.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long will one spool of filament last (1kg)?
A: A reviewer answered this question stating it would make up to 2.2 pounds of items.
Q: Are these printers noisy?
A: Yes, they are. Customers say they got used to the noise quickly though.
Q: Can you put two colors in at one time to make objects with two colors?
A: No, only one color can be loaded at a time, so products will be all one color, whatever you make.
Q: Can hollow pieces or products be printed?
A: Yes, most printers can print hollow pieces. However, the proper settings must be correct for the filament type you use, plus there may be supports that are removable to use. They come with the printed item.
Q: What do you do to add more filament if it runs out in the middle of a project?
A: CURA lets you know how much to use for a given project before you begin, so just make sure you have enough before you start.
Q: What is the ideal way to remove the item from the printing bed? Do you let it cool off first? How do you remove extra filament stuck in the pipe if you want to print with other colors?
A: You could use a flexible putty knife. You must heat the extruder, then guide the extruder backward to remove the filament from the extruder.
Q: Just to get an idea of how much filament is needed for certain items, how much filament would be needed for an average-sized chess piece?
A: With one kg, you could print an entire chess set and lots more.
Q: Do these printers come with the design software?
A: No, you must download the 3D design software from Autodesk.