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The best 3D printer for beginners and budget creators to buy for 2020 – CNET

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The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how versatile 3D printers are and has highlighted an urgent need for expertise about them. Large corporations such as HP and Formlabs as well as indie 3D model makers have been using 3D printers to design and create PPE-like face shields, clips for masks (surgical and homemade) and even hands-free door handle add-ons to help in the fight against COVID-19.

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I procured an XYXPrinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0 A Pro after several weeks of working from home without access to a 3D printer. Right away, I made a few fasteners for homemade cloth masks and then tackled some face shields.

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The 3D-printed hook holds my home-made cloth face mask in place.
Dan Ackerman/CNET

My interest in 3D printing technology and 3D design started back in 2018, when I got pretty deep in the weeds, creating everything from phone stands to tabletop game accessories to a sweet mini Millennium Falcon. Since then, I’ve doubled down, getting into 3D scanning and even laser cutting, which lets you sculpt real-world designs from wood and leather.

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Thanks to growth in the 3D printing industry, here are plenty of 3D printing options to choose from, so finding the best 3D printer that meets your needs and is within your price range can be tricky. That’s why we’re here to help. We’ve considered the pros and cons of each consumer 3D printer, along with printing speed, print quality, noise level, design, resolution, print volume and more. These creative tools, which range from affordable (under $300) to high end (over $3,000), are awesome 3D print gifts for a creative person in your life — or even better — they’re great for you to craft your own personalized 3D modeling designs.

Once you find the best 3D printer and you end up getting completely addicted to 3D printing, don’t blame me. (But if you do, here’s a handy 3D printing FAQ that should answer some of your questions). This list is updated periodically.

Best for multifunction printing

XYZPrinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0 A Pro

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The ambitious da Vinci Jr. 1.0 A Pro is a step-up 3D desktop printer with a big 6.9-inch square build surface and optional add-ons for both laser engraving and using specialized printing material like a carbon-fiber filament type. It’s $450 with just the standard equipment, or $580 with the extras. That said, the lack of built-in Wi-Fi on this printer is a major hassle, and for this price a nonheated bed is a serious omission. Some of the company’s printers are locked to proprietary filament, but fortunately, this 3D print model is not (which is good, because the sample roll of PLA included in the box wasn’t great).

Despite some extra troubleshooting required during setup, I liked the modular nature of the, its big, easy to use buttons, and frankly, the cheerful bright orange color.

Best 3D printer for the price

Monoprice Select Mini V2

Sarah Tew/CNET

Despite the low price, this is a pretty damn full-featured 3D printer, and a favorite affordable 3D printer for testing the 3D printing waters. Print quality and print speed are excellent. Just be sure to purchase extra filament for this cheap 3D printer since you’ll use up the sample filament very quickly.

Best resin 3D printer

Anycubic Photon

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you’re set on a resin printer, this is the best desktop 3D printer for you. Resin printers are the next step up in rapid prototyping design technology when you want your print job to look as high quality as any industrial 3D printer or anything assembled in a factory. Just be warned: The resin is harder to work with, and printing with resin requires good ventilation.

Best 3D printer for ease of use

Flashforge Adventurer 3

Sarah Tew/CNET

This is my go-to best 3D printer for the 3D printing enthusiast for balancing price, easy use and print quality. Setup is easy, and I had it assembled and was ready to start printing my in less than 30 minutes after opening the box and gathering materials for my 3D printed object.

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Best 3D printer for easy replicas

SOL Desktop Laser 3D Scanner

Sarah Tew/CNET

Recreate pretty much anything by putting it on this 3D scanner, where a rotating base and built-in camera create a 360-degree copy, which is then editable in any 3D program and printable on your 3D printer. Simply scan the object, import the scan into your slicing software for cleanup and print. The included software alerts you of next steps in the printing process with either sound or texts. Scan quality and print quality resolution are great with this 3D printer, and printer setup is easy.

Best 3D printer for big spenders

Glowforge 3D Laser Printer

Sarah Tew/CNET

Printing technology doesn’t get much better than what comes with this 3D model printer. Glowforge laser cutters can sculpt projects from wood, leather, lucite and other materials, making it an interesting printing alternative to filament-based 3D printers. Even better, what would take an FDM printer hours to do, takes just minutes in the Glowforge.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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