3D printers for kids: The best picks and what you need to know

Best 3D printer for kids
Best 3D printer for kids (Image credit: Windows Central)

So you want to enable your child's creativity, or you want to bond with them more? That's great! There are many cheap 3D printers out there, but not all of them are good, especially for younger people, so we've come up with some of the best that kids will be able to pick up and that have ecosystems and accessories to back them up. Nurturing a kid's creativity is incredibly important, and a 3D printer could help you with that. It'd be unfortunate to buy one only to find out it wasn't what you'd hoped, though, so here are some 3D printers and accessories that you and your child can enjoy together.

Tips on 3D printing for kids

Safety is important, and when you are working with 3D printers, you are working with moving mechanical parts and high temperatures that can easily burn you, so picking machines and putting systems in place to minimize this will be good for you or your kids getting into the hobby. Enclosed printers will keep inquisitive hands out of the way of moving parts as well as the hot parts, and touch screen interfaces are easier to get people to learn and less likely to mess things up.

But safety isn't just physical; there will be unsavory places on the internet distributing files, so check out this article on how to get started for some of the safest places to find models for your 3D printer. Resin printers require a bit more safety than filament machines; with solvents, gloves, masks, and more, it's best to move on to those once you get the hang of FDM first. You can always check our article on resin or filament 3D printing to see which is right for you.

Great accessories to get you started

Source: Windows Central/ James Bricknell (Image credit: Source: Windows Central/ James Bricknell)

But why do you even need accessories? Don't these printers come with them? Well, not always, and they might not always be the ones you want if they do. A good pair of side cutters, a nice bed adhesive, some good Allen wrenches can really help. Still, the most helpful is a flexible bed. Instead of hacking at your bed with that scraper, you wait for it to cool and move the magnet, flex the bed, and it releases, nice and easy. Why wouldn't you want one, especially for the low upfront cost?

Our top 3D printers and accessories for kids

So, several printers and plenty of accessories, whilst I'd recommend buying all of the accessories, it'd be crazy to recommend buying all the printers! If you buy just one, it's hard not to recommend the Prusa Mini+ Kit. Sure it isn't the cheapest, but with it, you get a tested machine, with a great support system behind it, a very well-tuned slicer, a company that makes their own filament and tests it on their own printers using their own slicer. If you include the print repository of PrusaPrinters.org, there is even a place to find prints, so all your child has to do is enjoy.

The accessories, on the other hand, are well worth investing in. A nice pair of side cutters, A good socket set, a high-quality Allen set, and the rest will really up your child's experience. No one wants to have to do maintenance on their machines, but if you have to do it, you'd rather a tool just work than strip the head of a screw and ruin your tool at the same time. And as good as the build surfaces are on all the printers recommended, there is a reason we recommended Magigoo as well. Some filaments stick too well, and Magigoo will act as a release layer, and on some, the filament won't stick well enough, so it acts as an adhesive and a release layer. Neat right?

Domenico Lamberti
3D Printer reviewer