People can get really creative with costumes, and 3D printing cosplay is an area where this creativity can really shine. However, it’s not that easy to bring your idea to life, you need a reliable 3D printer with a good set of features and a lot of knowledge.
You have to understand the size of the design, durability, and what materials can make it look as authentic as possible.
If you’re lost in the middle of all this, I’ve got your back. I’ve created this guide and made a list of the best 3D printers for cosplay that you’ll find on the market.
List of The Top 3D Printers for Cosplay:
- Creality CR-10S – Best Build Volume
- LulzBot TAZ 6 – Best for Control over Details
- Robo R1+ – Best for Versatility of Filaments
- Dremel Digilab 3D20 – Best for Beginners
- Creality CR-10S Prusa I3 – Best High-Resolution 3D Printer for Cosplay
|Printer||Price||Filament||Build Volume||Layer Resolution|
|Creality CR-10S||CHECK PRICE||PETG, PLA, TPU, ABS, and other special filaments||300 x 300 x 400 mm||1 – 0.4mm|
|LulzBot TAZ 6||CHECK PRICE||ABS, PLA, nylon, wood, metal composites, polycarbonate, and more||280 x 280 x 250 mm||50 – 500 microns|
|Robo R1+||CHECK PRICE||Nylons, ABS, PLA, metal-filled PLA, PET-G, Carbon Fiber Nylon, Magnetic Iron, PVA, HIPS, Polycarbonate, Glass Filled PLA, and many more||254 x 228 x 203 mm||100 – 300 microns|
|Dremel Digilab 3D20||CHECK PRICE||Proprietary Dremel PLA||230 x 150 x 140 mm||100 microns|
|Creality CR-10S Prusa I3||CHECK PRICE||PLA, ABS, PET, HIPS, Flex PP, Ninjaflex, Laywood, Laybrick, Nylon, Bamboofill, Bronzefill, ASA, T-Glase, Carbon-fibers enhanced filaments, Polycarbonates.||300 x 300 x 400 mm||50 microns|
The 5 Best 3D Printers for Cosplay
1. Creality CR-10S – Best Build Volume
One of the main issues you’ll face when you’re looking for the best 3D printer for cosplay is the limited build space. However, with the Creality CR-10S, you won’t face this issue as it comes with a 300 x 300 x 400mm build space. It also has plenty of flexible printing options and doesn’t break the bank.
When you’re building costumes that are meant to fit people, you’ll definitely want to work with larger prints, and that’s why its big build volume is so valuable.
Despite this, it comes with a small footprint and has smaller workspaces in mind. It’s made for home use, after all. Yet, it can work with many filaments, including PETG, PLA, TPU, ABS, and other special filaments. However, it has a rather big layer resolution that ranges between 1 – 0.4mm.
On the bright side, the Creality CR-10S has been tweaked to remove obstacles that might face you while you’re 3D printing. Like other models on the list, the CR-10S uses FDM techniques to print and work with diverse materials.
Out of the box, the Creality CR-10S is semi-assembled, where you only need to attach a few screws and connect the cables of its three sections: the upper frame, lower frame, and LCD control box.
Included with the 3D printer, you’ll get a micro USB and card reader, spare parts, assembling tools and a start guide, AC and USB cables, a filament holder, and PLA filament.
Make sure that the six barring wheels at the Z-axis move under the same force to make transitions of the print bed as smooth as possible during the 3D printing process. This also eliminates any wobbling and enhances print quality.
The CR-10S is a single extruder, which means you can swap nozzles of different sizes when 3D printing. Its swapping process is also quite easy and seamless. It can print at a speed of 200 mm/s and produce resolutions of 100 to 300 microns, which makes it quite versatile.
As for connectivity, you can run the Creality CR-10S offline using an SD card or use a USB hookup. You can even turn it into a wireless printer using the right software. Speaking of which, this printer works well with Slicr3r, Simplify3D, and Repetier host.
To control all of its operations, you get an LCD screen that sends out alerts to notify you when the filament is out and complements the filament resume feature.
The Creality CR-10S is an excellent budget 3D printer that outperforms a lot of other alternatives on the market. Have I mentioned that it has a build space that beats all the other options? Because that’s a huge plus that qualifies it to be the best 3D printer for cosplay.
Read also: Printers for 28mm Miniatures
2. LulzBot TAZ 6 – Best for Control Over Details
I definitely consider the LulzBot Taz 6 a high-end desktop 3D printer that’s equipped with everything you need to easily create high-quality 3D prints.
However, a major drawback is how you have to assemble it from scratch before you print anything. The process takes around 20 to 30 minutes on average.
The package you receive will include the LulzBot Taz 6’s components, which are a base, the Y-axis components, and the tool head. It will also include wires and cables, a helpful assembly and maintenance tool kit, a filament spool holder, AC and USB cables, and PLA filament.
Once it’s set up and ready to use, you’ll enjoy printing with the FDM technique. You can easily control processes via the LCD screen as well as a software app. I’d recommend using the app as the screen provides only major information such as print speed and level of completion.
The LulzBot Taz 6 can work with an impressive number of filaments (about 33 types). However, you should start with the included PLA filament to test out the printing capabilities.
As for the build volume, the Taz 6 can print up to 280 x 280 x 250mm items, which is large enough to 3D print most of the shapes you’ll need to bring your costume to life.
Moreover, it’s equipped with an automated print bed that has a huge role in the stability of the structures that the LulzBot Taz 6 produce. The changeable nozzle makes the whole printing process easier and reduces your need to worry about calibrating nozzle distance and heat-bed temperature.
The 3D printer has a maximum speed of 200 mm/s and can print layers between 50 and 500 microns, which is quite a diverse gap and which allows you to choose the speed-quality combination according to your preferences.
If you are a beginner, there are some pre-set 3D printing standards that you can choose from, including standard, high-speed, and great details. You’ll also enjoy its easy maintenance as after extrusions, the LulzBot cleans its nozzles automatically using a small felt pad.
As for the software, the LulzBot Taz 6 supports major 3D printing software applications but uses Cura as a default slicer.
You know the saying that goes, “Nothing that comes easy is worth having”? LulzBot apparently really wanted us to appreciate the value of the Taz 6 when they decided to leave the whole assembly process up to us. However, once this demanding step was over, I thoroughly enjoyed the operation and functionality of this 3D printer.
3. Robo R1+ – Best for Filament Versatility
The Robo R1+ amazingly combines a sleek design with great performance. Included in the package, you’ll find the fully assembled Robo R1+, a user manual and toolbox, power and USB cables, a spool holder, a spatula, an SD card, and a PLA filament.
The Robo R1+ works using the popular FDM technique, so it’s pretty simple to use. It has a build capacity of 254 x 228 x 203mm, which beats a lot of other options at the same price level and makes it an ideal choice if you are looking for a 3D printer for cosplay armor and accessories.
Moreover, it comes with automatic leveling and self-calibration features that make it incredibly easy to use and convenient. It’s also equipped with an automated print bed that actually works well without any need for external intervention.
The Robo R1+ is a single extruder with a 0.4mm diameter, so it executes its jobs quite efficiently. It also has a 50m/s printing speed and a layer resolution that ranges between 50 to 300 microns, which gives you further control over the speed of printing. Consequently, you get more control over how detailed your 3D models and prints are going to be.
In addition, the Robo R1+ enhances its versatility by being compatible with different filament types, including PLA, ABS, Wood, TPU, and up to 30 different filaments.
Make sure to screw the rubber feet onto the 3D printer as they increase the stability and provide a non-slip and firm base. They also act as a good buffer between the printer and your work table.
To print using your Robo R1+, you should feed your sliced models to it using the USB connection or standalone SD card.
For under 500 bucks, the Robo R1+ comes with a wide variety of great features. Not only is it easy to use, but it’s also quite accurate and gives you plenty of space to control your printing settings. It’s one of the best 3D printers for cosplay out there.
4. Dremel Digilab 3D20 – Best for Beginners
The Dremel Digilab 3D20 is a superb entry point to the world of 3D printing. It comes at an affordable price and is super easy to use.
Without even unboxing the unit, you can tell that you invested your money in a good place with the level of professionalism of Dremel’s staff and how well-packed the printer is.
Inside the box, you’ll find the print assembled with an instruction manual, a quick start guide, a power cable, a USB cable, SD card, build tape, leveling sheet, tools, and a Dremel filament spool. The latter is needed because, unfortunately, this printer can only operate using Proprietary Dremel PLA filaments.
You could use other PLA brands that may be compatible, but then again, you’re limited to PLA as it’s the only material this 3D printer can work with.
Nevertheless, it’s a great choice if you’re starting out. The fact that it arrives pre-built allows you to start printing within 5 minutes of unpackaging is enough.
To produce your props and costumes, the Dremel Digilab 3D20 uses the popular Fused Deposit Modelling (FDM) that plenty of 3D printers use today.
It also comes with an interactive operating interface that consists of a touchscreen that allows you to track and control all the major functions of the 3D20.
Moreover, it’s equipped with a touchscreen that facilitates controlling printing processes and parameters and a single extruder that’s able to extrude filaments at a 230-degree temperature.
The Dremel Digilab 3D20 has a 230 x 150 x 140mm build capacity, which isn’t that large. And that’s a huge downside for a beginner as this means you’ll need to print bigger items as smaller pieces and weld them together later on. Welding points are more or less weak points, and the more there is of them, the less durable your 3D prints would be.
Furthermore, it prints at a speed of 100 mm/s and a layer resolution of 100 microns, which is a pretty solid combination.
Another drawback is how often you’ll have to manually level the print bed or remove unused filaments, despite the printer claiming to have a “remove filament” option.
Being a fully enclosed 3D printer makes it very safe to use, kid-friendly even. This is because it provides protection against heat and doesn’t let out fumes or chemicals.
Read Also: The 5 Awesome 3D Printers Under $300
If you’re new to the world of 3D printing and are looking for simple and budget-friendly 3D printer props and items, I’d highly recommend the Dremel Digilab 3D20. For casual use, a hobbyist will really enjoy what this 3D printer has to offer.
5. Creality CR-10S Prusa I3 – Best High-Resolution 3D Printer for Cosplay
The design of the Prusa I3 is completely open-source in terms of both software and hardware. It has a print volume of 300 x 300 x 400 mm, which is a pretty good 3D printer.
It enables you to produce a single print or split and join as many parts as you like. There’s even a resume printing option that allows you to resume prints from the last layer if the power is lost, which saves you a lot of time and minimizes filament waste. Especially when you’re printing a detailed model and the printer is taking its sweet time to produce it.
Moreover, it comes with upgraded dual Z-axis leading screws that provide it with high positioning accuracy, allows it to move smoothly, and print quickly.
It’s a pretty versatile 3D printer as it can work with PLA, ABS, PET, HIPS, Flex PP, Ninjaflex, Laywood, Laybrick, Nylon, Bamboofill, Bronzefill, ASA, T-Glase, Carbon-fibers enhanced filaments, Polycarbonates, and more.
The Prusa I3 is a pretty affordable option that suits both beginners and people who are more well-versed with the world of 3D printing.
The Prusa I3 is another great option for someone who’s looking for plenty of building space and also wants to add a lot of details to their 3D printed models.
How to Pick The Best 3D Printer for Cosplay
3D printers are very specific, and buying one for cosplay makes your purpose even more unique. With so many devices on the market, it might be a little tough to decide which one to get for printing cosplay pieces. That’s why I’ve cooked up this guide to help you understand exactly what you need in order to bring out the best in your cosplay costumes.
1. Ease of Use
The process of 3D printing is pretty complicated and requires some skills. But if you get a 3D printer that’s essentially easy to use, you might spare yourself some hassle. It also depends on whether you’re the kind of person that wants to get down to business right away or if you’re the type that enjoys a learning curve.
You should also consider how easy the printer is when it comes to assembly, installation, and dealing with the software. Another thing to consider is how easy it is to monitor and adjust the parameters, including print speed, available filament, and temperature, as these factors control how smoothly your 3D printing is.
For this reason, I loved the plug-and-play Robo R1+ and Dremel Digilab 3D20. The latter also comes with an interactive LCD control screen that displays a prompt to monitor the 3D printing process in real-time.
2. Build Volume
The build volume of a 3D printer focuses on the capacity and size of the platform on which you’ll build your props.
As your costumes and props get bigger, you’ll need more build space or volume to develop them. So, it’s very critical that you get a 3D printer with enough build volume for the sizes you measured. Otherwise, you’ll be throwing your money away.
Naturally, if you’re printing weapons like hammers, swords, or arrows, you’ll have to print multiple pieces and cold weld them together later. But, it’s always better to reduce the number of welds by getting a printer with a bigger build volume.
In this area, the Creality CR-10S and the LulzBot Taz 6 do a great job as they come with a 300 x 300 x 400mm and a 280 x 280 x 250mm build volume, respectively.
3. Types of Filaments
In the world of 3D printing, there are numerous filaments and materials that you can work with, and each gives you certain characteristics. Which printer to get depends on the materials you work with, and you should decide this according to the props that you’re going to print out.
For example, if your costumes need a metallic finish or glowing features, you have to choose the filaments that give off this effect, and consequently, you must choose a printer that can work with these filaments.
Look for a printer with enough versatility to allow you to print with the standard filament types -PLA, ABS, and other thermoplastics- and decorative filament types such as metal, ceramics, and wood.
The more filament types that your 3D printer can work with, the more functional it would be, and the more realistic your costumes and props would look.
For a high degree of versatility, the LulzBot Taz 6, Creality CR-10S, and the Robo R1+. These are equipped with the ability to print up to 30 filaments types and give you plenty of options.
4. Technical Features
There are a bunch of features that play a role in how accurate and quick your printer is. The better these are, the fewer errors and prototypes you’d have to make before you get it right.
These include resolution quality, print speed, and more. However, those are pretty obvious things. The less obvious ones would be an automated print bed that comes with self-leveling features and adjustable temperatures. Again, the LulzBot Taz 6, Creality CR-10S, and Robo R1+ are all great options.
You can’t say 3D printing without post-processing. And for costumes and props, you’ll need a great deal of post-processing. This step gets easier when you don’t print out many pieces and weld them together, so it’s related to the build volume of your printer.
Post-processing includes smoothing, polishing, painting, and much more.
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It’s a little hard to come to a final decision as to which of these options is the best 3D printer for cosplay, props, and accessories, but some combine a solid set of features that make them stand out.
For one, the Creality CR-10S is an amazing choice for anyone that’s looking for the maximum build space to bring their cosplay ideas to life. It also has a decent print resolution and works with plenty of materials.
The LulzBot Taz 6 is the ideal option if you’re someone who’s looking to add a lot of details to their props and costumes, and it also gives you plenty of room to control the print resolution.
Finally, if you’re looking for an affordable option that’s easy to use and suits beginners, you should opt for the Dremel Digilab 3D20.
Fascinated by science from an early age, Jason has always been drawn to learning and experiencing technology. From learning about light through his passion for photography, building out PCs, and printing 3D models life couldn’t be better. When he isn’t writing about all things 3D printing related he enjoys reading, watch soccer and enjoy with his family.