The most frequent question I get is, “Which 3D printer should I buy?”
Now, normally I would add a bunch of caveats about there being plenty of options that will work, and it really depends, and you have to make that decision for yourself, yada, yada, yada.
(To make a recommendation even more difficult, I also have this… issue, where I just can’t pick favorites. I can do Top 3 lists all day long, but as my wife will readily attest, trying to pin me down to my favorite movie or meal or song, or day of the week for that matter is nearly impossible.)
But with 3D printers, as of this moment in time, I don’t need any caveats or qualifications or any of that.
The printer I would recommend hands down over any others is the Prusa Mini.
(My mind is screaming “But they need to understand there are other options!”. I’m keeping it quiet for now.)
So, before I go further, I want to clarify that I am in no way compensated by Prusa (I wish) nor do I get any kind of kickback or special favor or any of that. (I’d happily accept it if offered.)
I’m just a geek who hates buying stuff that I don’t end up using. And we’ve all been there! We’ve all felt that sinking regret in our stomachs when we look over at the [air fryer/sorbet maker/exercise machine/fully functional fortune teller machine from the movie BIG/etc.] and realize that it may have been a mistake. Or maybe it’s just me.
I want to help you avoid that feeling.
So the main reason I recommend the Prusa Mini is this:
A 3D printer is only useful if you actually… you know… USE it.
As pretty as it is to look at, a 3D printer sitting on a shelf does you no good if its constantly causing problems and you’re spending more time tinkering than printing.
And to be clear, every 3D printer out there will require a bit of tinkering. You're going to get your hands dirty.
They will all clog at some point. They will all need a replacement part. They will all need some adjusting, or tweaking of a belt, or tightening of a screw. We aren’t quite at the place where you walk into a BestBuy, pick a 3D printer off a shelf, plug it in and it just works every time.
That being said, the Prusa Mini will give you the best overall chance of avoiding those potential challenges, and when they do happen, the fix is often easier with the Mini than other models.
The Top 4 reasons I’d recommend the MINI:
- Reliability – it just works. Again, tinkering is part of the game, but understanding that, the MINI is a printer you can rely on without needing to be fixing it constantly. There are quality of life features that make the overall process much more predictable and reliable than other brands.
- Performance – The MINI has a wonderful balance of cost vs performance and the print quality you’ll get is right up there with printers that cost 2-3x as much.
- Longevity – Prusa as a brand is committed to continual improvement of their hardware and firmware, and aside from the cost of replacement parts, nearly all improvements or adjustments are free. So, you can rest assured that you won’t be stuck with a printer that is quickly outdated by the latest and greatest.
- Support – The last thing I’ll say, and probably the thing that really solidifies my recommendation is that Prusa as a company has been excellent to deal with, both in terms of purchasing printers and filament, and providing support along the way. We have quite a few printers of various types, and the level of support we’ve had from Prusa has been exceptional.
There are plenty of other great things to talk about, but others have done that better than I ever will. If you want a deep dive review of the Mini, the specific features, and why they matter, head over to this review by Tom’s 3D.
I hope this has been helpful and gives you the nudge you need to finally get that printer you’ve been thinking about. And once you do, be sure to head over to our subscription page and take advantage of our digital downloads. All those designs aren’t going to print themselves!
May 30, 2023