As someone who has been 3D printing non-stop since 2012 and testing dozens of different machines for my YouTube channel, I thought I would share my insights here to help guide newcomers when it comes to buying a 3D printer, 3D pen, and other awesome tools for art and design. While needs and experiences may vary, these are my verified favorites!
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Here are my picks for standout hobby-level printers on the market. These are machines that combine ease-of-use, power, and reliability that can be appreciated by newcomers and veterans alike:
After enjoying and recommending the SV01 for many years, Sovol 3D followed up with this worthy successor that comes with several upgrades that further improve the accessibility of 3D printing.
Like the SV01, this Pro version is a reliable workhorse that can produce outstanding prints with minimal maintenance. The direct drive extrusion system means it can handle tricky filaments like flexible TPU and high temperature PETG, and of course my favorite, good old PLA. Upgrades to the SV01 include a metal auto-leveling probe, removable magnetic build plate, silent 32 bit board, and a large touchscreen control interface.
A few limitations to note are that this printer does not have an all-metal hot end, so while Sovol 3D advertises a top nozzle temperature of 260˚C, it’s probably wise to stay below 235˚C, or upgrade the hot end. The printer is also an open-frame model, so you made want an enclosure for materials like ABS that have a tendency to warp at room temperature. That said, this printer meets the needs of most hobby-level makers.
While I’m excited by the upgrades brought forward by the SV01 Pro, I still consider the original SV01 an absolutely worthy option. It offers comparable print quality and reliability, so if you’re trying to keep costs down and don’t mind a slightly noisier machine it’s a great option. It doesn’t offer automatic bed leveling, but after initial leveling it rarely requires adjustment, so I don’t consider that a huge issue.
Here are my standout hobby-level printers on the market. These are machines that I consider excellent for people new to 3D printing, with ease-of-use that can be appreciated by newbies and veterans alike, while powerful enough to accomplish whatever prints you throw them!
Mynt3D has created a clear industry leader with their Professional level 3D pen. This pen is comfortable yet reliable, and it uses the same 1.75mm filament that is standard for most 3D printers, making material options cheap and abundant. It features an OLED display that shows temperature and filament settings, making it easy to switch between PLA, ABS, and even more experimental filaments. You can adjust temperature up to 230˚C in 1˚ increments, and a smooth slider gives you fine control over the extrusion speed as well. I’ve pushed a lot of plastic through this pen and it just keeps working.
From my own experience and other user testimonies, this seems to be among the most clog-proof pens out there which is great for longevity!
This is my top choice for reliability and value!
If the Mynt3D Professional is out of your budget, their Super 3D Pen is nearly identical with one small trade-off. Instead of the OLED display and precise temperature controls, the Super uses a small dial that you rotate with a screwdriver to adjust the temperature. Besides that, everything else is just like the Professional!
If you plan on mostly sticking with one material for your 3D pen creations, the 33% discount might be worth it!
While many people getting into 3D pen art may want the most advanced model of 3D pen, some of us just want a cheap handheld plastic extruder that will fix and join 3D prints or want to try 3D pens without spending much. Luckily, even some of the cheapest 3D pens available work really well! While buying these cheap pens can be a gamble in terms of quality control, I’ve had the best results with the Scribbler V2 style 3D pens. Still, if you’re risk averse, check for a money-back guarantee!
The dichroic Wizard’s Voodoo by Fillamentum has a stunning Blue Purple shimmer that elevates any print.
The MatterHackers mascot, 3D Phil, shows off the fascinating effect of their Blue Raspberry Quantum PLA
Fillamentum Extrafill PLA is certainly among my favorite filaments to print with. The filament is wound immaculately on clear spools and prints like a breeze. The color choices are unique, plentiful and just some of the most stunning options around. Wizard’s Voodoo is an all time favorite. Note that these are sold as 0.75kg spools, so the price is higher than other options on this list, but the quality comes through in every print! Order directly from Fillamentum and use code MAKEANYTHING20 for 20% off your order through 2023
MatterHackers BUILD & PRO series PLA : MatterHackers provides excellent filaments in both the lower (BUILD) and higher (PRO) price range. Filaments come in a wide range of colors/materials to liven up your prints! Both BUILD and PRO PLA print equally great, but the PRO PLA seems to have more opaque colors, better color consistency, and a longer shelf life. Fast, free shipping in the US. (The Light Blue PRO PLA is my favorite blue for sure!)
GreenGate 3D 100% Recycled PETG : GreenGate3D has achieved something of a “holy grail” of 3D printing with their filament. It’s made of 100% recycled scrap plastic, sourced and manufactured in the USA, beautiful, versatile, and somehow still priced competitively. We partnered up to offer Devin Montes “Cool!” Grey PETG, the perfect ultra-light grey to bring out every detail in your prints.
Polymaker PolyTerra PLA : Polymaker took the 3D printing community by storm with this beautiful, sustainably produced PLA filament. PolyTerra comes in a wide variety of tasteful colors in a matte finish that suites many designs. I especially love the Marble variety. The cherry on top is that Polymaker plants a tree for every spool sold!
SpiderMaker 3D Matte PLA is another fantastic option for a filament with a beautiful matte finish. I’ve found it to print buttery smooth, though you may need to lower the tension slightly on your extruder to avoid biting into this softer PLA.
MatterHackers Quantum PLA offers a stunning effect with it’s coextrusion filament. Two colors are precisely combined on the spool to produce prints that seem to change color based on the viewing angle. Some might consider this a novelty, but I sure haven’t grown tired of it! My personal favorite combinations are the Blue Raspberry and Blue Yellow. (Select colors on Amazon as well)
My life is firmly divided into the period before I found E6000 and the time since. Let’s just say I’m happier these days.
It sucks and blows? Say no more fam
Besides 3D Printers and Pens, there are many tools that I consider essential for 3D printing and beyond. Here are some of my selections :
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