A good 3D printer for kids needs to super safe, and as easy to use as possible. Kids are curious – sometimes dangerously so – and it is therefore integral to keep any hot, sharp or otherwise harmful parts away from them.
Simple and safe is better
We do not recommend any resin 3D printers for children, as they more complicated and the fumes from resin printing can be poisonous, and the finished prints can be irritant. We also do not recommend any 3D printer kits as assembling them can be technical, and any 3D printer for kids should be as simple as possible to set up and use.
The Best 3D Printers For Kids for All Price Ranges
|Name||Build Volume (mm)||Price||Where to buy for the best price||Other purchase option|
|3Dsimo Basic Slim 3D pen||--||$39 (limited discount)||3Dsimo Store here|
|3Dsimo MultiPro 3D pen||--||$139 (limited discount)||3Dsimo Store here|
|Flashforge Adventurer 3 Lite||150 x 150 x 150||$369||Amazon here||3DJake UK & Europe here|
|Dremel Digilab 3D20||230 x 150 x 140||$650||Amazon here|
|Qidi Tech X-Plus||270 x 200 x 200||$899||Amazon here||3DJake UK & Europe here|
|Dremel Digilab 3D40 EDU||255 x 155 x 170||$1,519 basic / $1,699 bundle||Amazon here|
|Ultimaker S3||230 x 190 x 200||$3,850||Dynamism Store here|
What makes a good 3D printer for kids?
- Closed enclosure: to filter out fumes and keep kids away from hot parts
- Simple to use: quick to set up, and simple to use 3D slicer software
- Auto calibrates: and features that prevent errors such as end of filament detectors, filament clogging detectors
- Lightweight and smaller size
Probably the single most important feature for a 3D printer for kids is a closed enclosure, especially if the printer has a heated bed. Heated beds make it possible to print tougher filaments like ABS and PC, but are very hot to touch and should be kept away from children.
Closed enclosures keep the hot parts of a printer away from kids, removing the temptation to touch and keeping them safe. They can also keep fumes from filaments like ABS away as they can be smelly and unpleasant. (No research has been conducted to ascertain whether ABS fumes are harmful, but we recommend printing with PLA anyway).
Advantages of a 3D printer for kids
There are so many key skills young kids and children can gain from 3D printing, that not only provide enjoyment but will also pay dividends long term when looking for a job:
- 3D design skills: if designing the model to be 3D printed instead of downloading it. By using simple and free 3D software modeling tools such as TinkerCAD or FreeCAD, kids learn 3D printing, spatial and shape skills, engineering and prototyping skills.
- Experience with rapid prototyping: rapid prototyping with 3D printers has become a mainstay in engineering, and early experience with creating models, tinkering with them and playing with them puts kids at a massive advantage.
- Having fun in real-life while learning: instead of spending hours on a screen, kids using 3D printers gain all these great skills, while seeing the effects of their designs appear in real-life, rather than just on a screen.
We also have an exclusive discount available only to 3DSourced readers: when using any of our links to buy 3Dsimo pens, spend over $100 and get a 10% discount! Click through any of the links in this article to receive your code. Disclaimer: to keep 3Dsourced independent, we receive a small percentage of commissions for 3D printers we recommend.
Part 1: The best 3D printers for younger kids
3Dsimo Basic Slim
- Price: $39 (for a limited time, usually $69) — Available on 3Dsimo Online Store here
Not technically a 3D printer, but able to print in the same way, this 3D pen is the best low cost printing pen for kids. 3D pens are different from 3D printers in that they need to be manually moved to create a handmade 3D model.
Arguably, this is better for a child to explore creativity, though the learning curve is steeper and it is hard to create accurate models. 3D pens offer a far cheaper entry into 3D printing however, and the 3Dsimo Basic Slim is perfect for that.
It charges fully in less than an hour and can be used wirelessly for between 2 and 3 hours, more than enough time to create a detailed model. It’s safe for kids as low melting point filaments (softer than PLA) are used, and many different colors can be used to create colorful models. 3Dsimo recommend the Basic Slim 3D pen for kids above 8 years old.
For learning 3D software and modeling and then 3D printing accurately you’ll want a 3D printer, but for basic shape learning and art, a 3D pen might be the right choice for you.
- You can also view our full best 3D pen ranking.
3Dsimo MultiPro (4 in 1)
- Price: $139 (reduced from $179) — Available on 3Dsimo Online Store here
If a 3D pen interests you, but you are looking for a higher quality and reliable 3D pen that can also perform other functions, then the MultiPro is perfect for you.
Not only is this extraordinary printing pen able to print any 1.75mm filament (including the same PLA filament used in 3D printers), but the tool head can be replaced with three other options: a solderer, burner (for burning art into leather or wood), and a foam cutter.
A truly versatile piece of kit, and weighing just 70g it is easy to hold precisely for longer periods of time while creating artwork. If you want to test the water before jumping into a more expensive 3D printer for kids, we highly recommend the 3Dsimo MultiPro.
Flashforge Adventurer 3 Lite / Monoprice Voxel
- Price: $369 — Available on Amazon here / Available on Matterhackers here / 3DJake UK & Europe here
- Very similar to Monoprice Voxel — which is available on Amazon here
- Build volume: 150 x 150 x 150 mm
Similar to the Monoprice Voxel, which we have also linked to above, the Flashforge Adventurer 3 Lite is identical to the original Adventurer, just without the WiFi camera for monitoring your prints remotely.
It’s small, sleek and compact, doesn’t weight much and is perfect for kids learning 3D printing who want to take on small projects. It can print ABS or PLA with its heated bed, with the closed enclosure keeping any prying young hands from burning themselves.
The full-color 2.8” touchscreen makes printing easy, and for a cheap 3D printer the Flashforge Adventurer 3 has a few neat features, including a filament run out detector to avoid any print errors.
Overall, it’s a good starter 3D printer for kids who want to have a go at 3D printing without a large investment.
Dremel Digilab 3D20
- Price: $650 — Available on Amazon here
- Build volume: 230 x 150 x 140 mm
The first of two Dremel 3D printers featured on our best 3D printer for kids buyer’s guide, the Dremel 3D20 is easy to set up and use for kids (with the odd bit of help from their parents). It comes fully assembled and with 500g filament to start you off with.
For a closed enclosure 3D printer under $1,000 it has a very large build volume, so if size matters to you, and your kids plan to print huge action figures or other models, the Dremel could be the perfect printer for you. It’s reliable as a Dremel printer should be, and if you do run into problems, Dremel’s USA-based customer service will help you get your printer working again.
Another key advantage that makes the Dremel 3D20 one of the best 3D printers for kids is that it only prints PLA and does not have a heated bed. This further reduces the possibility for any danger or harm coming to any child while printing. The slicer is also very simple to use – Dremel use their version of Cura – and if anything does go wrong, you have a 1-year warranty.
Qidi Tech X-Plus
- Price: $899 — Available on Amazon here / Available on 3DJake UK & Europe here
- Build volume: 270 x 200 x 200 mm
The ideal 3D printer for kids is one that is safe, reliable, filters out any fumes, and is affordable .The Qidi Tech X-Plus ticks all of these boxes, which is why it also features on our best 3D printer for beginners guide.
The closed enclosure not only keeps your child safe from the hot extruder and print head, but also keeps the printing temperature consistent so finished prints have a smoother surface area and less warping. The standard extruder it comes with is perfect for just PLA and ABS printing, though you can refit it with another extruder if you want to print at higher temperatures for filaments like Nylon or PC.
For those who want a 3D printer for kids that is also precise, this is perfect. The solid frame weighs the printer down so vibrations don’t affect the print’s accuracy, and the printer itself is precise. The large 4.3” touchscreen is also great for kids and easy to use.
If you do have any problems, Qidi’s customer service pledge to respond within 24 hours, and the printer comes with a 1 year warranty. Overall, it’s very reliable, accurate, safe for kids to 3D print, and one of the best 3D printers under $1,000.
Part 2: Best 3D Printers for kids (more premium options)
Dremel Digilab 3D40 EDU
- Price: $1,519 without any education extras — Available on Amazon here
- $1,699 with all lesson plans and activities — Available on Amazon here
- Build volume: 255 x 155 x 170 mm
American tool-producing legend Dremel have ventured into the 3D printing industry and produced some of the best printers of the last few years. The Dremel Digilab 3D40 EDU is specially aimed at teaching younger kids about 3D printing in schools, so could be perfect for parents and their kids to have fun together while also learning basic engineering skills.
You can choose to buy the printer with or without the lesson plans and extra projects, with over 30 lessons included if you decide to go for the educational bundle. It’s also accurate down to a minimum layer height of 50 microns – even if it is focused towards kids 3D printing rather than industrial printing, it is still very powerful and precise.
Dremel 3D printers areknown for their reliability, and with the ability to print over WiFi and remotely using Dremel’s Cloud printing, it’s also very convenient. Overall, it’s a great, reliable 3D printer designed specifically for kids.
- Price: $3,850 — Available on Dynamism Store here
- Build volume: 230 x 190 x 200 mm
More expensive than the other 3D printers we recommend for kids, but the Ultimaker S3 is a premium machine capable of extraordinary things for those with an unlimited bankroll.
Firstly, unlike the other printers on this list, the Ultimaker S3 offers a dual extruder system, handy for teaching kids about printing two materials at once, or printing two different colors simultaneously. Moreover, it’s incredibly accurate, with up to 20-micron accuracy that is barely ever seen among FDM 3D printers.
The 4.7” touchscreen is not only large and therefore easy to navigate for 3D printing, but has also won major design awards. Unlike most printers the Ultimaker uses 2.85mm filament, but has an open filament system so you can use other filaments that aren’t made by Ultimaker. The source files or previous Ultimaker printers have been made available as per their open source 3D printing philosophy, so anyone who wants to tinker with their printer may find this an advantage, too. Ultimaker have not yet made the source files available for the S3 and S5 (as of May 2020) but previously made the Ultimaker 3 files available over a year after initial release.
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