3D printer holiday gift guide 2019

In this 3D printer holiday gift guide, we cover the main types of printers that are available: plug-n-play 3D printers for beginners, user-friendly 3D printers for kids, DIY 3D printer kits for makers, and more. We also provide a quick selection of cool 3D printing filament and other accessories!

What 3D printer to buy for Christmas?

Choosing the right gift to get for the holidays is often challenging. The good thing with 3D printers is that they can make a lot of different people happy, from creative makers and DIYers to designers and tech enthusiasts.

There are quite a lot of 3D printers available on the market today, and if you’re not too familiar with 3D printing yet, it can be tough to know which kind to get.

In this guide we cover different 3D printer user types with hand-picked product selections to help you make the right choice!

Important note: As fun as they might seem, 3D printers aren’t exactly suitable for kids, as these machines can potentially be harmful (extruders reach high temperatures!) and always require adult supervision. Other options exist, like 3D printing pens

 

Plug-n-play 3D printers for beginners (starting at $159)

For someone that's just starting to learn about 3D printing, a plug-n-play printer that is delivered fully assembled is a good choice.

Monoprice Mini Delta 3D printer for Christmas

Monoprice Delta Mini

  • Build volume: ⌀ 110 x 120 mm
  • Features: heated build plate, auto calibration
  • Price: $159

Buy on Amazon

The Mini Delta is one of the cheapest desktop 3D printers on the market. It offers an incredible value, delivered fully assembled and packed with features that make it easy to use.

This printer provides a relatively small build volume, but it’s definitely a great way to start 3D printing at home!

More information: Monoprice MP Mini Delta


Qidi Tech X-One 2 holiday gift guide 3D printers

Qidi Tech X-One 2

  • Build volume: 145 x 145 x 145 mm
  • Features: closed frame, heated build plate
  • Price: $288

Buy on Amazon

This closed-frame 3D printer has received numerous positive user reviews throughout the web. It’s easy to use, reliable, and offers an intuitive touch screen.

Qidi Tech is also known to provide excellent customer support.

More information: Qidi Tech X-One 2


Interested in this price range? Check out more best-in-class 3D printers under $300 (starting at $159).

 

User-friendly 3D printer for kids ($159)

Some features can make a 3D printer easier to use for children (even if adult supervision is required).

Creality CR-100 3D printer for kids for Christmas

Creality CR-100

  • Build volume: 100 x 100 x 80 mm
  • Features: auto bed leveling, remote control, kid-friendly
  • Price: $159

Buy on Amazon

Creality is one of the most prominent affordable 3D printer manufacturers. The CR-100 is one of their cheapest options, and it’s marketed as a “3D printer for kids”. Now, any child using a 3D printer will always need adult supervision and guidance, but the CR-100 does have more plug-n-play features that make it safer to use.

It has an easy filament feeder, a remote control, an SD card reader, automatic calibration, and– perhaps most importantly– a closed frame to keep your kid’s fingers from getting burned. The printer is shipped fully assembled and can be used out of the box!


3D printing-related toys

3D printing is a relatively complex technology and no matter how simple some 3D printers may look, they still bear hot components and fragile electronics. There are, however, other toys and 3D printing-related gadgets which can be great to introduce kids and children of all ages to additive fabrication. Here’s our selection!

Tech 4 Kids 3D Creation Maker ($29)

The 3D Maker solidifies drawings made from a special 3D Magic gel. Creativity is a bit limited though, as it is only possible to create flat drawings or use moulds for real three-dimensional shapes. This toy set is intended for children 5 years and up.

3Doodler Start Essentials 3D Printing Pen Set for Kids ($49.99)

This 3D pen allows kids to draw objects in 3D: both children and adults can create actual objects in different colors, and it really is like drawing in three dimensions! This full set is child-safe (8 years and over) and is a great learning gift to inspire creativity.

Toy Maker app for iOS and Android (Free)

Toy Maker is a smartphone app that gives you access to hundreds of toy STL files. It’s not a gift in itself, but it could be a fun project for the holidays if you already own a 3D printer!

Speaking of apps, you can also download a free 3D scanner app to 3D scan yourself or your favorite objects (and potentially 3D print them!).

Desktop 3D printers for DIYers (starting at around $300)

These desktop 3D printers are delivered as simple kits to be assembled (usually in less than an hour) and offer great results.

Creality CR-10 mini 3D printer for Christmas gift

Creality CR-10 mini

  • Build volume: 300 x 220 x 300 mm
  • Features: big build size, auto resume, heated build plate
  • Price: $306

Buy on Amazon

Despite its moniker, this printer’s build volume is impressive at 300 x 220 x 300 mm. It also comes with all the standard features you’d expect, including auto-resume, a heated bed, and a memory card slot.

It should take about half an hour to assemble, and there are plenty of Creality 3D printer users online for you to share tips and advice with.

More information: Creality Cr-10 mini


Geeetech A20M dual extruder 3D printer for Christmas

Geeetech A20M

  • Build volume: 255 x 255 x 255 mm
  • Features: dual extruder, auto calibration, heated build plate
  • Price: $399

Buy on Amazon

The A20M is one of very few 3D printers in this price range to come with a dual extruder. That means it’s capable of making dual-color objects, and it can even mix two colors together to make cool gradients.

This low-cost desktop 3D printer has a filament detector, auto-resume, and the board is coded to accept auto-leveling sensors out of the box.

More information: Geeetech A20M


Looking for more options in this budget? Take a look at our selection of some of the best 3D printers under $500 (starting at around $300).

Big 3D printers for makers (from $360)

For those that like to 3D print big objects, a large volume 3D printer is a must!

Tronxy X5S which 3D printer to buy for Christmas

Tronxy X5S

  • Build volume: 330 x 330 x 400 mm
  • Features: auto resume, auto calibration, filament sensor
  • Price: $359

Buy on Amazon

This CoreXY style 3D printer offers a very big build size at an affordable price. It comes with automatic bed leveling, a clean mainboard design, and a filament sensor (pauses prints if there’s a jam). An auto-resume feature is also included, so your prints are safe in case of a power failure.

Since its first launch a few years ago, the X5S has received various upgrades– extruder, design, cooling fans, touchscreen– that make it a good value 3D printer. This 3D printer kit may be a bit more complex to assemble than others mentioned on this page.

More information: Tronxy X5S


ANYCUBIC Chiron holiday gift 3D printer

ANYCUBIC Chiron

  • Build volume: 400 x 400 x 450 mm
  • Features: huge build volume, auto bed leveling
  • Price: $499

Buy on Amazon

With the ANYCUBIC Chiron, your prints can be as tall as half a meter! This printer really does offer a big build volume, and it’s sturdy enough to print for several days straight.

The Chiron is one of the biggest 3D printers you can find in this price range.

More information: ANYCUBIC Chiron


3D printing filament: basic, metallic, multicolor, and other exotics!

Filament can be a great gift if your friend or family member already has a 3D printer.

Basic PLA

PLA is the most common 3D printing plastic. You can find entry-level PLA filament for as cheap as $15 a spool, while you can find more premium filaments for $50 a spool.

HATCHBOX sells 1-kg spools in a range of colors for around $20, and it’s more than enough for standard objects that aren’t too challenging to print. If you want to print more complex objects, you may want to go for a mid-range or premium filament to avoid stringing.

Also, most will find that for basic colors like white or black, cheap filament does the trick, but if you’re looking for a deep green or vibrant red, then the bigger brands like ColorFabb, Fillamentum, or Proto-Pasta are the best choice.

Silky and shiny filament

Silky filaments deliver mesmerizing surface finishes. MatterHackers has a very wide range of those (and other filament types too) on their website.

Some of them make your prints look like they were actually 3D printed in metal!

Silky shiny filament CC3D

Silky colors from CC3D.
Source: CC3D

Gradient multicolor filament

Single-extruder 3D printers can only 3D print with one color at a time. You can pause your prints and switch filaments mid-way, but it’ll definitely make things harder. Multicolor filaments allow you to get more colorful prints without the hassle (although you can’t precisely know how the rainbow will turn out).

Note: There are other options, too! More on that in our post on multicolor 3D printing (which is different from photorealistic, full-color 3D printing).

Other cool kinds of PLA filament

There’s a huge number of options out there when it comes to filament. Although there are many other nice-looking materials, here’s a quick list of some of the best ones:

Multicolor glitter filament

Multicolor glitter filament.
Source: RainbowME

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