Cosplayers have moved beyond the needle and thread into 3D printing technology, which allows creators to bring their favorite characters to life. Today, creators are using the 3D printing technology to adapt intricate designs from movies and video games. The first step is choosing the right 3D printer, and we're here to help you with that decision.
Melissa Ng’s The Dreamer’s Regalia and Imperator Furiosa’s prosthetic arm are two noteworthy examples of how 3D printing is bringing versatility, accuracy, and quality to the world of cosplay. Let’s not forget Yasu Tano (of hirocreations) who was curious about all the 3D printing fuss, fell in love with the tech, and ended up 3D printing a Fallout power armor: a 7-foot T-60 armor that consumed 54kg of PLA filament and took 140hours to print. The life-sized 422 pieces beauty weighed around 38 – 41kg and earned him recognition in a comic convention.
These are just a few of many other creative artists who are using the 3D printing tech to raise the bar on quality cosplay and craftsmanship. He is among those responsible for the sleek outfits, armor, helmets, and futuristic devices that cosplay fandoms carry to comic conventions.
Before purchasing the optimal 3D printer for cosplay, enthusiasts must first identify what it is they want to print. Part of knowing what you want to print is understanding the size of the design, the durability required, and the usage of the print. This makes it easier to decide whether you should go for print volume or resolution, for example.
Typically, Cosplay requires a large build volume because you will be mostly making pieces to be worn. Your home 3D printer will unlikely accommodate large prints, but it may come in handy when you want to print fine details. Printing a large object on a small build area means you will require more welds, and welds are usually a weak point.
There are tons of 3D printing machines out there that come with a variety of features, but here are the things to put into consideration when picking a 3D printer for cosplay:
Now that we’ve covered the most important factors that a cosplayer should look for in a 3D printer, let’s look at some of the best 3D printers for cosplayers on the market.
Note: We will split the printers into two categories: Affordable (below $1000) and Professional (over $1,000).
Let’s start with affordable:
The Original Prusa i3 MK2S is a bang for the back considering its technical features. The printer has a large community and is an excellent entry-level machine for beginners. 3D printing hobbyists find it a reliable printer that edges out some of the expensive 3D printers for cosplay in the market.
The MonoPrice Maker Select PLUS is affordable and shares several characteristics with the Anycubic i3 Mega. It will print any 3D filament after you assemble it using only six screws. It does not require advanced knowledge when assembling, unlike other kit-based printers.
The Creality CR-10S prints with more than 30 filament types and will give you the versatility that you require for your projects. The printer will mostly come pre-assembled and has a filament runout sensor installed to pause your print in case your filament runs out. The parts have been ramped up compared to the Creality CR-10. Its price is fair for its print volume, and it has a large community that is supportive.
The Wanhao Duplicator i3 PLUS is easy to work with and powerful enough to be used by both amateurs and professionals. The printer comes with a customized version of CURA and can still work with other slicing software like MatterControl or Simplify3D. This Wanhao printer is a leap forward from the earlier versions and has all the qualifications of a 3D printer for cosplay.
The ROBO R1+ is a plug and play 3D printer that stands out for its ease of use and excellent performance. In addition to printing quickly and accurately, the printer is affordable and can be used by almost any open-source software and a range of materials. The ROBO R1+ comes with a customized version of MatterControl to ensure you get the most out of your machine.
The Dremel Digilab 3D20 is user-friendly and gives you full functionality right out of the box. It has “proprietary” technology and may not be modified to your liking, but it guarantees consistent results and is surprisingly quiet.
The Ultimaker 2 Extended+ is one of the simplest and dependable printers to operate. Even a novice can commence printing expert parts with this machine just minutes after unboxing.
The skyscraper-like gmax 1.5 XT+ is featured among ALL3DP’s best large 3D printers of the 2018 summer because of its enormous build volume. The printer is made using high-quality metal components and is compatible with Simplify 3D, Cura, and other opensource slicing software. This printer is attractive to cosplayers because it also has a Facebook community that is constantly discussing cosplay props; so, you are assured of getting constant community support.
In addition to its generous print volume, the LulzBot Taz 6 is easy to use and highly accurate. The printer is easy to set up and has a reliable and consistent printing performance. If you’re looking for a workhorse 3D printer that will print out armor from sunrise to sundown, the Taz 6 will get the job done.
The Ultimaker S5 has the largest build volume in the Ultimaker family. Its ideal for small businesses and professionals because of its ease of use and its capability to deliver industrial-grade parts, over and over and over.
With the Raise3D Pro2 Plus, you get plenty of room to work on the Z-axis. The fully enclosed printer comes with an enhanced motherboard that maintains high-speeds while allowing for accuracy. The motherboard and frame are manufactured using industrial grade components, making this printer as professional as they get.
The BCN3D Sigmax is a powerful dual extrusion printer that combines the IDEX, mirror, and duplication features to boost productivity. This is one of the most versatile printers in the market that perfectly qualifies as a 3D printer for cosplay because it is reliable for big complex parts and offers dual extrusion capabilities.
License: The text of "3D Printer for Cosplay – What to Consider & Which to Choose" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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