Over the last few decades, cosplay has reached new levels of quality and style. With cosplayers managing to bring fictional characters from video games, film, or comic books to real life. Replicating both their persona and most importantly, their looks. Whether it be the wacky characters you’d see across anime or the complex designs of Overwatch’s characters. Cosplayers have managed to do some incredible things in the art form. So, let’s get right into our list for The Best 3D Printer for Cosplay.
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Best 3D Printer for Cosplay Guide
With the secret ingredient to a lot of that work being the use of a 3D printer and since 3D printing is now so much more accessible, it means that almost anyone can become a cosplayer. But the problem is that there is so much choice out there, how can you possibly pick the right one? Well not to worry because in this list we’ve rounded up some of the best 3D printers that you can use to aid you in your cosplay journey. Whether this is your introduction to the world of 3D printing or you’ve decided to finally get an upgrade. This article is going to have something for you.
We’re starting this list off with this Monoprice Mini 3D printer for our first choice that beginners to the printing world should take a look at. This printer is a very small and lightweight 3D printer that isn’t going to be printing massive prints or anything like that. Though what it is good for is making smaller parts that can then fit together. Say if you want to make a badge that your favorite character wears or maybe some kind of hair clip. But if you want to make anything that is substantially bigger, you might face some issues. The 4.3” x 4.7” build plate is pretty small and doesn’t offer much real estate in terms of what you can actually make.
But this printer offers a few neat features that make it great for the aspiring printer. First up there is the previously mentioned lightweight, coming in at just 4lbs. Making this a fantastic choice if you’re planning on moving the printer around a lot or want to be able to travel with it for whatever reason. Next up is the support for USBs, SD cards and Wi-Fi. This means that you can send your STL files in whatever way you want and whichever way is most practical. There’s also a display on the front of the machine that’s easy to read, though the writing is a little small so that might be an issue for some. It also prints things very quickly and though in some cases this can mean a worse final product, fortunately, the quality here is great. Though since this printer is not an enclosed unit, there is that risk of danger and the chance that something could knock the print that is being made. Overall this is a fantastic printer that is a great and inexpensive first step into the world of 3D printing.
For our next option on this list, we’ve gone for something that is going to allow you to print a whole lot bigger, while still keeping it at the intermediate level. For these purposes, we’ve gone for this ANYCUBIC 3D printer which is going to be a great addition to your printing arsenal. Visually this printer looks extremely simple, with an open-faced style that consists of a bed for your prints and an arch holding the filament nozzle. The other thing to mention here is the build volume which is coming in at 11.8” x 11.8” x 12”. Which is a very big build area and it’s going to allow you to create some big prints and really have fun with what you’re making. From making busts of your favorite characters to making the parts to become your favorite characters.
Though with this space comes the trade-off with weight. This printer weighs in at 30.8lbs, which isn’t the heaviest printer around by any means. But it does mean that moving it around might be a little annoying. Though you can be sure that the print quality here is fantastic and anything you choose to print is going to come out great. It also comes with a nice touchscreen on the front of the unit which does the job just fine. The only real issues with this printer come down to whether or not you like the open style of it. Since it comes with a lot more danger and potential safety issues, versus an enclosed unit. But if you don’t mind that and the space you get here is more important, then really this is a solid printer for almost all printers out there.
Our next choice on this list is a fantastic option for those who would prefer to have an enclosed unit that offers great print quality. We’ve gone for this Dremel Digilab 3D20 printer for both its cool, sort of retro aesthetic and its great performance. This printer has a build volume of 9,.0” x 5.9” x 5.5” which is pretty respectable, but not massive. This isn’t the printer for those who need to make massive models, but it’s perfect for printers who want to make smaller models. It’s also pretty light too, weighing in at 15.43lbs, making it great for those who might need to move their printer around a lot. Visually the unit is a white and grey metal box, with a blue lid on top. Removing the blue lid will allow you to access the insides of the printer and the main access is through the front panel on the printer.
Which brings up the first issue of this printer, which is the lack of viewing angles. Because it’s an enclosed unit, you don’t get a full 360 degree view of the printing taking place. Instead you only get the view from the front panel. Which is annoying for those who want to get a good look at their printing. Though in most cases you won’t need to worry since this printer does a fantastic job at creating high quality models. Other features include great support for connections such as, USB, SD Cards and Wi-Fi. Allowing you to use whatever is most convenient at the time. It also has a touchscreen but it’s pretty small which might be annoying to some of you. Ultimately this is another fantastic choice for those who are just beginning their journey into 3D printing and it’s going to do a fantastic job with whatever you need it to print.
This next entry on our list is a step up in terms of functionality and performance. This is the printer for those who are serious about printing and really want to take their creations to the next level. This QIDI TECH 3D printer is capable of giving you an amazing printing experience by combining everything that made our previous choices great. Firstly, this is an enclosed unit, so you aren’t getting the safety risks you would get with an open-faced printer. The unit in question is made out of a black metal casing with a transparent front panel and a transparent, plastic lid. It, unfortunately, has viewing angle issues since you can only view it through the front panel.
Though you do get a great amount of build volume here, around 11.8” x 9.8” x 11.8”. Which means you shouldn’t be too limited by size and can make a larger amount of different sized models. You can expect this printer to be pretty heavy as a result, weighing in at 50.6lbs, so you’ll have a tough time with it if you need to be able to move your printer around. Other features on this printer include a very nice touchscreen display that is 4.3”, offering a great amount of clarity. As well as generally fantastic printing quality which is very important at this point. Especially if you’re getting this printer to aid you in cosplay. Generally, this printer combines everything that makes some of the other entries on this list fantastic and puts them all into one machine. This is a wonderful choice for those who are starting to get serious about 3D printing and want to be able up their game. Though for those who are already at that level and something even better, maybe our next choice will do that for you.
For those who are already in the field of cosplay and have already been dabbling with 3D printing, our next choice is the one for you. Though this Dremel 3D45 printer doesn’t have the biggest build volume on this list at 10” x 6” x 6.7”. It is still more than plenty for those who are using 3D printing for cosplay. Though if you are upgrading from a printer that does have a bigger max volume, it might be an annoying transition.
With that said though, the smaller volume also means that the weight is a little lighter as a result, coming in at 42.8lbs. This means it’s still quite hefty and could be a pain to move around, but as long you have someone to help or you’re pretty strong it should be fine. Visually this printer has a very sleek and clean look, made out of black metal with two transparent panels on the front and on top. Meaning that unfortunately, it suffers from poor viewing angles.
Performance-wise this machine prints at a fantastic level of quality. You can be sure that anything you want to print with this machine is going to turn out great. It also supports PETG, ECO-ABS, and Nylon filaments besides the usual PLA. Allowing you to have plenty of control over the materials you decide to use. Another cool feature that eases the issues caused by the poor viewing angles is that this printer has a built-in HD camera for viewing the printing process. Meaning you can watch it all happen from your phone after you’ve connected them up. The 4.5” touchscreen is another bonus here that is welcomed as it simply makes the general experience a lot better.
If you’ve managed to come all this way and still have no idea about what 3D printer to get or what you can even do with a printer, we’ve got you covered. In this section we’ll go over some extra tips and advice to help you make your decision.
How does 3D printing work?
The process of 3D printing is an interesting one and it has quite a few steps. The first and most important thing to have is a decent PC. Whether that be your gaming laptop or your work desktop, just make sure that it can handle some 3D modelling software. These include, but aren’t limited to:
There’s tons of software out there and a lot of it is pretty good and will do what you need it to. Now the performance of your PC is going to be what decides how well these programs run. It’s important that your specs either meet the recommended requirements or exceed them. The last thing you want is to wait a lifetime for the software to open, get stuttering every 30 seconds, and finally after about an hour your printing. No one wants that, so let’s use the Solidworks system requirements as a gauge:
16GB RAM (minimum)
32GB RAM (recommended)
At least 20GB of free space on a hard drive or SSD
So these requirements are not the most taxing in the world and chances are that you already have a good enough PC to run something like Solidworks. But if you don’t there are numerous ways of getting a machine with these specs for a decent price. After you’ve done all of that, you’re ready to get started with some printing.
What can you make with 3D printers?
The simple answer to this question is anything. Now obviously you won’t be able to make absolutely anything that the mind can think of but 3D printers can make a lot. If it’s a shape or an object that adheres to the laws of physics then yes you can probably make it. When it comes to cosplay, 3D printing is an essential part of making these costumes come to life. Some cosplayers’ outfits are made entirely out of 3D printed designs. Which let characters like Samus Aran or Iron Man walk the halls of Comic-Con in the first place. If you’re into cosplay, from the point of view of making it and you don’t have a 3D printer yet, it should be next on the list. Simply due to the fact that it opens up what you can do tenfold.
3D Printer Buying Tips
If you’re just starting out with 3D printing, do not go for the most expensive option simply because it’s the best. Find a cheaper alternative that is still going to do a great job and allow you to learn about the whole process first.
Keep an eye on the supported filament materials for your printer of choice. The more materials it lets you use, the more choice you’ll have when making your prints.
3D printing an entire outfit is a long and time-consuming process, so if that is why you are looking into getting a 3D printer make sure to do tons of research. Know exactly what it is you want to do and how you’re going to do it before committing to this piece of tech.
We’ve come to the end of our list for ‘The Best 3D Printer for Cosplay in 2020’. We hope it’s helped you out on your 3D printing journey and kickstarted your adventures with cosplay. Thanks for reading!