It’s just a few more days until Christmas and i’ts time to really figure out what 3D Printer is the best gift to either spend on someone else, or let’s face it, yourself!
A 3D Printer is the best tech and design related Christmas gift ever. It’s a magnificent tool to let the creativity flow while teaching technology, engineering, design and so much more. If your kid, relative or special one really likes anything “techy” and creative here’s my Top 7 list on what 3D Printer to get them this Christmas.
Choosing 3D Printer Technology
Before we get started, did you read my guide explaining a bit more about what 3D Printer technology to get as a beginner? It’s a great tip to better understand what 3D printer technology to get as your gift.
In this guide We will be working exclusively on FDM (or FFF) 3D Printers as they are the cheapest ones in the segment, making sure you’re not spending all your savings on gifts this Christmas.
Disclaimer! I have personally not reviewed all of the machines below. With that said, I’ve picked out the 3D Printers I have close friends who use, have reviewed or in general are highly regarded 3D Printers. I’m not working with any of these manufacturers or are paid to promote any of their products.
Top 7 3D Printers for Christmas gifts
These 3D Printers are in NO particular order as they all have their own plus and cons. Be sure to check them all out before going with the cheapest one.
Table of content
- Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer v2
- Flashforge Finder 3D Printer
- Anet A8 3D Printer
- Creality Ender 3
- Geeetech E180 3D Printer
- Creality CR-10
- Flashforge Dreamer
- Gifts for 3D Printer users
- Cheapest possible gift – 3D Pen
Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer v2
The Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer v2 is considered a fantastic starter 3D Printer with specifications that orientate towards beginners. It’s fully assembled, so you can start printing directly after unwrapping it!
The printer is quite small in size (and price) and although the small print volume of 120x120x120mm (4.7″ x 4.7″ x 4.7″) might scare away some more ambitious designers it’s great for beginners. With lower build volumes you usually end up printing faster, with more reliability.
You can always glue multiple prints together!
A few other things to consider is that this machine has a heated bed. That allow for more advanced materials to be printed, and so easier (thanks to the small volume). The slicer works on Mac, Windows and Linux.
Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer v2 is great for uses at a younger age, who might not be ready to solder, assemble or build a 3D printer. The price point at $179-189 is also well within most parents christmas-gift-budget.
FlashForge Finder 3D Printer
I’ve talked about the Flashforge Finder A LOT! I’ve made a few articles about it, specially here when it was dropped to $299 in price. And maybe most commonly I made the review above that you might have seen. wow, it’s pretty old now (glas my video qualities have improved!)
I just love the Flashforge Finder due to it’s simplicity. It’s one of the most reliable machines out there and it’s perfect for beginners.
Kids, students, teachers, hobbyists and professionals! I’ve seen this used by many production-bureau to get productivity for a low price tag. That sais a lot about how good this machine is for it’s price point.
The Flashforge Finder is pre-assembled and although it’s a few years old it’s still very relevant with touch screen, WiFi (not always the best one though), filament detection sensor and semi-automatic leveling.
Having the Flashforge Finder run with Windows, Mac and Linux is also great if you’re unsure of whoever’s getting it.
The smaller build volume (140x140x140 mm) and that it doesn’t run “all filaments” is still something to consider depending on who’s getting it.
But the filament it do run, it run fantastic. The print quality is amazing!
Check out the awesome reviews here!
If you’re getting the Flashforge Finder in United States you can do it here for $299.
Anet A8 3D Printer
The Anet A8 3D Printer is one of those printers that “everyone” have tried. It’s a really cheap kit-3D-printer that offers a lot for anyone that enjoys being hands on with tech.
It’s like building your 3D printer with lego. Assemble all the parts, learn every square millimeter of your printer and finally you have a machine with so much modding-capabilities that you’ll get lost in it all.
The Anet A8 have been reviewed of most 3D Printing Youtubers out there and although you’re not getting any shortcuts, you’re getting a very capable machine (if you spend time with it).
Don’t give this to someone who’s impatient. It takes time to get it to be perfect, but boy is it fun to!
The Anet A8, among other kits are very hands-on and should assembled built with safety in regards. Make sure you activate thermal runaway protection. Shown how to by 3D Printing professor here.
The Anet A8 is as mentioned a 3D printer kit. You’re assembling pretty much everything yourself.
No soldering is needed and the tools needed to assemble should be included. Make sure you order filament as it’s not included in the box.
The printer can handle most materials as it has a heated bed. Remember this printer is only as safe as you build it, so avoid leaving it unattended for long periods of time.
The Anet A8 3D Printers low price of $187 gets you a printer that you (with invested time) can have perform like a $2000 3D Printer.
Creality Ender 3 3D Printer
I’ve never run the Ender 3 yet but I sure hope to soon. It’s been highly regarded as one of the “best 3D Printers under $200” by All3dp and TechRadar say it’s “nothing short of a simply amazing device”.
Looking at it with my experienced eye’s, and seeing the prints made I can really understand why. Although it’s not always priced under $200 (depending on sales I assume) it offers a great feature pack for a low price.
You’re getting a great almost-assembled 3D Printer with features like Auto-resume that save your print if you’ve unplugged the cable or had a power-outage.
It’s running quietly on higher quality parts and end up being a very well performing printer with great print results.
The build size of 220x220x250 in this price range is really good and combining that with a heated bed you’re set for printing in most exciting materials out there.
The Creality Ender 3 3D Printer is an amazing machine and can be bought locally here.
Geeetech E180 3D Printer
The Geeetech E180 also sports a power-failure system that recovers your prints in case of a power outage.
This machine offers great reliability and with solutions like removable extruder you can service the printer very easily.
A touchscreen and good interface really targets the beginners, something that their support (via Facebook, WhatsApp and Skype) really confirms.
This pre-assembled 3D Printer is great for beginners and offers a stylish look on the desktop!
Geeetech E180 3D Printer is usually best bought here.
Creality 3D CR-10 3D Printer
No list is complete with the Creality CR10 3D Printer. It’s a super popular 3D Printer that are available in several versions that offers slight changes in size and build quality.
This version still offers a massive 300x300x400mm (12″ x 12″ x 15″) build size that will fit most projects out there.
It still isn’t enclosed, so even though there’s a heated bed, you might have issues printing the largest parts in advanced materials (that often warp). But printing PLA in that massive build volume is amazing!
You’ll have to do some assembly yourself, but it’s nothing too complicated. With some technical interest you should be up and running an hour or two after you unwrap this baby.
The CR-10 is mostly known for being a surprisingly well-performing machine in a huge build volume. There’s not a ton of magical features or amazing software. It’s a very solid basic machine that impress it’s users by how well it performs.
The CR-10 is a bit more expensive on our scale, but also the one with largest build volume. See prices and get yours here.
Flashforge Dreamer 3D Printer
Finally I thought I’d add one of my favorite 3D Printers for more advanced users. The Flashforge Dreamer. Check out my old review above!
It’s unique in this list since it has 2 extruders, or two nozzles. That means you can do more creative models with 2-colors (or two types of materials).
The Dual extrusion (that’s what printing with 2 extruders is called) isn’t the easiest of things to do with a 3D Printer so I can’t promise perfection. You can however (with some patience) learn the skill
The Dreamer comes pre-assembled and has a heated bed (and enclosed build chamber) that makes it possible to print complicated materials like ABS much easier.
You can print up to 230x150x140mm with on nozzle (slightly smaller with two).
It’s “rated” for printing with interesting materials like ABS/PLA/HIPS/PVA/Flexible Filament and much more.
The Flashforge Dreamer is usually around $1000 if not on sale (as it currently is) so stay away from the cheaper single-extruder ones. Here’s the current sale and avaliabiliy.
The perfect gift for someone who already has a 3D Printer?
If you made it down here I’m happy to offer some tips on what to give friends and family who already have a 3D Printer.
The most common thing is to give Filament, The plastic that you use in a 3D Printers. It’s important to figure out if the person uses 2.85mm or 1.75mm. Most 3D Printers use 1.75, but as they are not compatible with each other you might want to check.
To find out what diameter the machine is using you can check the spool of plastic wire (called a filament spool) that’s usually attached to the 3D printer and see what the “filament diameter” reads.
I recommend getting some type of PLA filament. It’s the safest best as “all” 3D printers can use it.
There are hundreds of types of PLA available out there and usually anyone with a good number of positive reviews, priced below $40/kg is suitable to buy. Getting too cheap might not always be the best, but that’s a subject for another article and day.
Check out great filament on Amazon US here (fast shipping!) and Amazon UK/EU here.
3D Printer Toolkits
You can also give a 3D Printer toolkit as a gift! it’s the perfect addition to a 3D Printer an will help the user tackle any types of issues.
I recommend either the AMX3d 40-piece kit here for finishing of prints. It does not include a lot of tools for fixing a 3D-printer, but a lot of tools to make the printed models look fantastic.
This helps cleaning tough clogs that my cold-pull methods can’t handle!
The “analog” 3D Printer – a 3D Pen
If your kids, relatives or friends just aren’t old enough to get into 3D Printing just yet, you can always give them a 3D Pen.
A 3D pen is like a glue gun, but much cooler and you can create more functional plastic parts by hand!
When it comes to 3D Pens, I’ve tested a few but there’s just too many to give a good recommendation.
Have a look at these ones and pick one that has good reviews and look good!
If you can get some filament with it that’s always great!
Let me help you choose 3D Printer
I’m a tech reviewer and 3D consultant by trade. I thrive on picking great 3D Printers for individual users!
Have a merry merry Christmas (and holidays!)