11 Best Cyber Monday 3D Printer Deals

It was hardly ten years ago that 3D printers burst on the scene in a big way — at least for hobbyists, artists, and others at the bleeding edge like entrepreneurs hoping to do fast prototyping. Some pundits predicted 3D printing would be utterly ubiquitous within just a few years, but printers remain too fiddly and niche to catch on in every home and be a great option for every consumer. But that’s ok. 3D printers continue to get better and better, and the latest models are the best ones ever made. Prices also continue to fall, and Cyber Monday is a good time to step up to your first, or a better, printer while saving in the process.

If you’re in the market for a 3D printer, this is a good time to be looking. Depending upon your needs, you can choose from among simple, budget models, printers that can work with multiple color filaments, create high-resolution prints with show-quality output, and more.

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The Limitations and Realities of 3D Printing

If you're new to 3D printing, it's easy to get excited about the potential for instantly printing things at home, but be pragmatic about your expectations. 3D printing isn't anything like what is currently depicted in sci-fi movies; printers can be slow and fiddly, and you'll need to create or find online the plan files for anything you expect to print.

A lot of variables factor into how successful any given print will be. The ambient temperature can affect your print, for example, and if your plan file isn't designed smartly, the print will collapse, deform, or have other problems while it prints.

The print material (ie, kind of filament), whether your printer has a heated bed, and how smart the software is (for example, doesn't it print supports to help prop us a weirdly shaped design) can all affect your results.

The bottom line is that you should read a lot of reviews before making your choice, and make sure you understand that good prints often require practice and trial and error so you're not disappointed and turned off by your early experiences with 3D printing.

Essential Resources if You're New to 3D Printing

If you've never used a 3D printer at all, or you're trying to get your kids into the 3D printing game, many libraries and maker spaces offer opportunities to test out the technology. 

For kids, it comes simply as they're likely already learning coding and other STEM skills in school. If your kids are little or you're a little kid at heart, 3D printing pens are a great way to test the waters without breaking the bank.

The Best 3D Printers for Home Use

If you're a hobbyist on a limited budget, you're probably printing small projects and you're not likely to drop thousands on a big machine. Still, you want to have reliable results. 

The Monoprice Mini is less than $300. It's an open frame desktop printer and is compatible with both PC and MAC software. The daVinci Mini Wireless 3D Printer is another great option that's upgradable if you opt to move from regular filament to metallic and carbon fiber filament. It's less than $300.

When Are Resin 3D Printers the Right Choice?

Often it comes down purely to price point and simplicity. Resin printers can create prints that are visually stunning, with far better quality than what you get with a traditional Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) printing. But the decision might also come down to project size -- most resin printers have a workspace no larger than a smartphone, and you'll have to approach your prints very differently since they require more supporting structure during the print.

For more information on resin printers and knowing if and when to make the switch, check out the article When Does Moving to Resin 3D Printer Make Sense?

Are Large 3D Printers Worth the Price?

Of course, it depends on what you intend to print. Recently, the University of Maine 3D printed a boat. While we doubt you're looking at something quite that large, you might want to know whether it's better to buy large, or purchase multiple small printers. 

Maker Hacks, for example, recently explored the question in the article Should you buy one, big 3d printer or multiple, smaller printers?

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