Best 3D Printer For Students Of All Ages. K-12th grade.


For older students 3D printing might come easy like printing a piece of paper but in a 3D space. Some students will only need a small amount of guidance to program and run a 3D printer. 

Best 3D Printer For Young Kids (Kindergarten – 4th)

There aren’t many 3D printers on the market that are even remotely friendly for younger kids. In general 3D printers can be a pretty dangerous tool for those who are not familiar with the technology and for a young child they could get seriously burned if they aren’t taught proper 3D printing etiquette.

The 3D printers that are made for children typically have safeties set in place to ensure that the 3D printer does not have any easily accessible hot components such as a heated bed or an exposed hot end.

There is only one 3D printer on the market today that I suggest for kindergarten through 4th grade kids and that is the ToyBox 3D printer.

Best Overall – ToyBox

Cheapest Price: Amazon

Source: toybox.com

The ToyBox 3D printer is one of the easiest to use 3D printers on the market today and the best part is that it only costs around $250. Any kid with a small amount of instruction can easily use the ToyBox 3D printer. 

ToyBox has an extensive directory of preprogrammed 3D models so a young kid can simply select the model they want to print out on the ToyBox website and click print.

The ToyBox 3D printer does not have a heated build plate and also has a pretty well enclosed hot end. It is designed for exclusively 3D printing PLA which is a non-toxic and semi-eco friendly filament.

The ToyBox 3D printer does have a smaller than average build volume of 90x80x100mm but that is still plenty for printing toys and gadgets. The ToyBox 3D printer is not only very functional but also a great introduction to 3D printing.

  • Over 2000 Pre-Programmed Models
  • 90x80x100mm build volume
  • Rigid level bed
  • Cloud Printing (ios, android, or web)
  • Flexible Build Plate
  • Quick Detach Nozzle
  • 180° nozzle max temp
  • No Heated Bed

It is always advised that an adult supervise when using any machine that has heated components so keep that in mind when letting your child play with the 3D printer.

Best 3D Printers For Middle School and Jr High (5th – 8th)

By the time a child has reached 5th grade they are old enough to understand that they shouldn’t touch hot surfaces and they will also have general computer skills. 

The main difference between a printer like the ToyBox and a more advanced 3D printer is that a more advanced printer will require the student to use slicing software to program the 3D printer.

Using a slicing software is really not that difficult, it is comparable to many very basic CAD softwares but there are a few decisions that the programmer will have to make such as orientation of the model, whether or not to use supports while printing, and also bed adhesion techniques such as a brim or a raft.

Best Overall – Flashforge Adventurer 4

Cheapest Price: Amazon

Source: flashforge.com

The best 3D printer for that is easy to use for middle school and Jr High aged students is the Flashforge Adventurer 4. For around $800 the flashforge adventurer 4 comes with a fully enclosed printing chamber, quick change nozzle, auto bed leveling, remote wifi printing, and a built in camera.

  • 200x220x250mm build volume
  • Auto bed level
  • Air Filtration
  • Cloud Printing
  • Onboard Camera
  • Flexible Build Plate
  • Quick Detach Nozzle
  • 265° nozzle max temp
  • 110° bed max temp
  • Fully enclosed

The flashforge machines simply work, all you have to do is plug the printer in, run through the bed leveling procedure and start printing. The Adventurer 4 is not gimmicky at all and does not require tons of upgrades like an Ender 3 or an Aquila.

Flashforge also has its own software for slicing models that is easy to use and can connect to the printer via wifi for remote printing as well as remote monitoring with the on board camera.

Best On A Budget – Flashforge Adventurer 3 Lite

Cheapest Price: Amazon

Source: flashforge.com

The Flashforge Adventurer 3 Lite is a very capable and fairly affordable machine, coming in just under $350. The Flashforge Adventurer 3 Lite has a decent 150x150x150mm print volume, cloud printing, an onboard camera, flexible build plate, and a quick detach nozzle. 

  • 150x150x150mm build volume
  • Rigid level bed
  • Cloud Printing
  • Onboard Camera
  • Flexible Build Plate
  • Quick Detach Nozzle
  • 230° nozzle max temp
  • 100° bed max temp

This is a great machine for starters that will ease them into the world of 3D printing. The Adventurer 3 Lite does not have any kind of bed leveling and is level with a rigid build plate out of the box and shouldn’t need any adjustment.

Best 3D Printer For High School (9th – 12th)

High schoolers can handle more responsibility which typically looks like better and more expensive technology. 

When it comes to hundreds or thousands of students sometimes the cost can really stack up if you are wanting to buy multiple printers, but if you dont want to spend a ton of time troubleshooting issues you really want to buy a printer that is reliable as well as high quality.

Best Overall – Flashforge Guider IIs

Cheapest Price: Amazon

Source: flashforge.com

The Flashforge Guider IIs is essentially an industrial machine. It can print virtually every filament on the market and is just as easy to use as any other flashforge 3D printer. This printer can print nylon and polycarbonate as well as all of the standard 3D printer filaments such as PLA, PETG, ABS, and TPU.

  • 280x250x300mm build volume
  • Assisted Bed Leveling
  • Air Filtration
  • Cloud Printing
  • Onboard Camera
  • Flexible Build Plate
  • 300° nozzle max temp
  • 120° bed max temp

This is a great machine for beginners as well as experts. It is the printer that we use at the machine shop that I work at, and we use it for many industrial applications such as assembly tools and machine jaws.

If you are on a budget you can always go with the cheaper Flashforge Adventurer 4 or the budget Flashforge Adventurer 3 Lite.

Best On A Budget – Flashforge Adventurer 3 Lite

Just like the middle school and Jr high category, the Adventurer 3 Lite is a great budget printer to introduce 3D printing to students.

Conclusion

There are many 3D printers on the market that are great for students but not many that are safe enough and simple enough. All of the 3D printers on the list should always be used with adult supervision in a safe environment.

There are many Flashforge 3D printers on the list and the reason for that is the printers work so well and are very reliable and simple. Flashforge is not a sponsor of this blog post at all by the way.

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