Gone are the days where 3D printing was beyond the skills of the average fan. Even budget 3D printers can be easily used by young children, and parents are increasingly turning to 3D printers for kids to help them get ahead in engineering and math, while also having a great time!
A good 3D printer for kids needs to super safe, and as easy to use as possible. Kids are curious – sometimes dangerously so – so it’s extremely important to keep any hot, sharp or otherwise harmful parts away from them.
Simple and safe is better
All our recommendations are plug’n’play FDM 3D printers you can get straight to printing within 15 minutes of opening the box.
We haven’t recommended any resin 3D printers for kids. They’re more complex, and the resin materials and fumes can be irritant. We also don’t 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 (In Every Price Range)
|Name||Build Volume (mm)||Price||Where to buy for the best price||Other purchase option|
|Toybox 3D Printer||70 x 80 x 90||$299-399||Toybox Store here|
|3Dsimo Basic 2||--||$39 (limited discount)||3Dsimo Store here|
|3Dsimo MultiPro 4in1||--||$139 (limited discount)||3Dsimo Store here|
|Monoprice Voxel||150 x 150 x 150||$449||Amazon here||Matterhackers here|
|Dremel Digilab 3D20||230 x 150 x 140||$679||Amazon here|
|Qidi Tech X-Plus||270 x 200 x 200||$799||Amazon here||3DJake UK & Europe|
|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.
- We also have a ranking of the best enclosed 3D printers.
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).
Reasons to teach kids 3D printing
There are so many key skills young kids and teenagers alike can gain from 3D printing:
- 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. Engineering is one of the most lucrative careers around, and this experience is hugely beneficial.
- 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.
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Best 3D printers for younger kids
Toybox 3D Printer
- Price: Starter Bundle $299 / Deluxe Bundle $349 — Available on Toybox’s site here
- Print volume: 70 x 80 x 90 mm
The ideal 3D printer for kids is super simple to use and navigate, completely safe to use, and creates hours and hours of educational fun.
Enter Toybox 3D printers, the pint-sized printer designed to get you started as simply as finding your favorite model, and pressing print!
When you buy a Toybox 3D printer for your kids, you get access to their extensive toy library, so if you ever want to print some fun Easter egg-related goodies, mini F1 cars or tanks, you can do so for free, all at the press of a button. You can even print Batman action figures for Batman fans worldwide!
Starting at $299 for the starter package, the Toybox offers great value for teaching your kids about design, color theory and the basic principles of engineering, while printing their entire toy collection from their 3D printer! Their PLA filament is cheap to stock up on, and you can even design your own models via their iOS and Android apps.
3Dsimo Basic 2
- Price: $35 (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: $129 (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.
Monoprice Voxel — Simple 3D printer for kids under $500
- Price: $499 — Available on Amazon here / Available on Matterhackers here
- Build volume: 150 x 150 x 150 mm
- Company based: USA
- Flashforge Adventurer 3: Available on Amazon here
The Monoprice Voxel is almost identical to another popular 3D printer kids, the Flashforge Adventurer 3 Lite, so feel free to use the names interchangeably.
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, and most importantly for safety, 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 — Safest 3D printer for kids
- Price: $679 — 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 you want to print big projects like huge action figures or other 3D printed toys, 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 its safety. It only prints PLA filament, and therefore doesn’t have a heated bed — so there’s no risk there for your child to burn themselves. The 3D printing software 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: $799 — 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 your model’s surface finish, improving an already accurate 3D printer. 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.
Best 3D Printers for kids (more premium & advanced)
Dremel Digilab 3D40 EDU — Fantastic educational 3D printer for kids
- 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 legendary tool-producing company Dremel have recently 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 3D printing in schools, making it perfect for parents and their kids to have fun together while also learning about engineering and making things.
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 at home 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 / Available on Matterhackers here / 3DPrima Europe 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 a bigger wallet.
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. Overall, it’s a simple, sleekly-designed and extremely accurate printer for kids who want to test the limits of their abilities.
You may also like:
- The best 3D printers for miniatures
- The 7 best 3D printers for schools and education
- Our top 10 3D pens
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