3D printers are fantastic machines that can be quite a bit of fun. That’s why they work so well for both adults and kids. That being said, a fully-fledged out printer isn’t going to work for young children.
There are quite a few different kids’ 3D printers out on the market, but they are not all made equally. Here, we’ll take an in-depth look at some of the best by going over key traits like price, durability, and safety. That will then help discover the best option for the kid in your life.
- The Flashforge Finder is a budget 3D printer that works great for kids. It utilizes a semi-enclosed frame as well as an intuitive full-color touchscreen. It comes fully assembled too.
- Kids who want something a bit more hands-on will love the SainSmart x Creality. This option is precise and easy to use and simple to put together. The interactive LCD screen is nice as well.
- Those that want a smaller machine for their kids will love the Labists Mini Desktop Printer, This mini kit heats up quickly and can be quickly put together. It’s also silent and intuitive.
Who Should Get This?
These models listed here are specifically made for kids. If you have or know a child that’s interested in 3D printing, or if your kid is interested in electronics, these can make a great present or gift.
They teach skills and help children engage in something hands-on. The different options, as they have simple designs, are also great for beginners or people just getting into the 3D printing space.
Best 3D Printer for Kids: What to Consider?
When looking at 3D printers for kids, you need to focus on design. Always ensure the printer has a closed enclosure when possible, especially if the printer has a heated bed. That will keep the hot parts away from your kid’s hands and make the device safer to operate. In addition, try to get something with a simple, eye-catching design. Kids are much more likely to work with the printer if it looks fun and accessible as opposed to convoluted or overcomplicated.
Ease of Use
Going off of simple design, you also need to ensure that your kid’s 3D printer is easy to use. Remember, just because a model looks simple to you doesn’t mean your child will be able to easily get the hang of it. Do your research and get something that’s truly accessible. LCD screens go a long way here, and you also want convenient features that simplify each part of the printing process.
The other big aspect when getting any type of electronic device for children is safety. Each model on this list has specific mechanisms that cut down on accidents and prevent any unfortunate injuries. As mentioned, models that keep hot parts hidden are great for this. Ones with less moving parts are also key because that lessens the chance of something bad happening. For safety, simple is always better.
Best 3D Printer for Kids: Our Picks
If you’re someone who wants a safe kid’s 3D printer that won’t break the bank, look no further than the Flashforge Finder. This affordable machine provides you with a lot of excellent features and ensures your kid will stay safe no matter how much they use it. That’s largely due to the plastic, semi-enclosed frame and non-heated print bed that actively cuts down on accidental burns.
Kids will also love this printer because of how easy it is to both use and operate. Where some models are much too intimidating, the Finder utilizes a 3.5-inch full-color touchscreen that has plenty of easy-to-read icons. That means anyone can get the hang of it right away. You can also use the smart assist leveling system to make sure your prints come out perfect each and every time.
What We Like:
- Excellent safety features
- Semi-enclosed design
- Slide-in build plate
- Easy to use
- 3.5-inch touch screen
What We Don’t Like:
- Could have a larger build size
Though not directed for kids only, the SainSmart x Creality is an affordable printer that beginners of all ages can use without any issues. This device has a compact design, which makes it portable and perfect for smaller hands. Even so, it also has a large build volume and gives users the ability to print a wide range of different products. It’s secure and heats up quickly.
The other reason the SainSmart x Creality is so good for children is because of how easy it is to use and put together. It comes semi-assembled out of the box and can be fully built in no time at all. In addition, the interactive LCD screen enables kids to follow along as they print. That makes this an intuitive, hands-on experience. The model also has a small price tag, which makes it a good way to go if you’re looking to save some money without losing quality.
What We Like:
- LCD display
- Easy assembly
- Low clogging rate
- Large build volume
- Extremely precise
- Heats up quickly
- Great customer support
- 1-year warranty
What We Don’t Like:
- Lacks a wireless printing option
The Labists Mini Desktop Printer is a kid’s device through and through. Not only is it incredibly compact, which makes it much less intimidating for newcomers, but it can be put together quickly. If your child enjoys building, this is the way to go. The bed is also unheated in order to ensure nobody gets accidentally burned as they work, and it’s flexible to cut down on sharp edges.
If you’re worried about your kid being able to use this mini printer, don’t be. It comes with a unique button system that’s both intuitive and easy to understand. Your kid will be able to control all of the parts of the printing process in no time. The Labists Desktop Printer also heats up quickly (3 minutes) and saves energy. It’s also quiet, which is always nice to have in a household with kids.
What We Like:
- Doesn’t take up too much power
- Quick-heating nozzle
- Quiet while working
- Detachable magnetic plate
- Unique button system
What We Don’t Like:
- Only supports PLA filament
- Smaller build area
Useful Tips and Information
3D printing takes a lot of learning, especially for children. Even if you have a background with the machines, teaching kids is no easy task. Luckily, this article will give you a good starting point.
Remember, just because your kids are the ones working with their printer doesn’t mean you can’t do some 3D printing of your own. If you want to fully engage your kid in the process, projects like this one can get them even more interested in the machines.
It’s easy to assume that 3D printers are only for adults, but, as the above sections show, there are some amazing kid-friendly models as well. The one you get depends on what your child likes, their age, preferences, and technological know-how. If you know what they want and what they’re able to do, you’re sure to find something special.
Does your kid have a 3D printer? What do they like to make with it? Let us know in the comments below!