Which 3D printer is suitable for printing figures?

I am a novice in 3D scanning and 3D printing. In fact, my needs are very simple. I want to scan objects in daily life, such as fruits, shoes, plates, ornaments, real people, etc., and print them out to make figures.

I have understood the basic process of 3D printing figures, modeling + data processing + 3D printing + coloring

Because I lack modeling knowledge, I chose a reverse 3D scanning method to obtain 3D data. After browsing the 3D scanners on the market, I finally chose MIRACO 3D scanner, which is affordable and easy to use. It can basically meet my daily needs, ranging from a cup of Coke to a human body. Below are some of the models I scanned.

Next, I need to perform subsequent operations such as printing. I have some questions:

  1. The model format I exported is STL (can be used directly for 3D printing), then do I still need to slice it?
  2. What type of 3D printer should I choose?
    I would be grateful if you have any good suggestions

Yes, you will still require slicer software in order to print the STL file. A slicer is what converts the 3D mesh into the code necessary for a printer to print. It won’t matter if you’re doing FDM, SLA, or any other method; they all require slicing software in order to print. Fortunately all slicers can print the STL format, so you will have a lot of flexibility.

This really depends on what you are hoping to get out of your models, so there’s not a one size fits all answer. Any of the Bambu Labs printers (A1, A1 mini, P1P, P1S, X1C) can all print with some pretty serious detail, especially when you combine them with a 0.2 nozzle. If you include the AMS, you can even print in color to some degree, which might be something you’d be interested in. Depending on what finished results you are hoping for, you may need to do some level of post processing to smooth and paint your prints if that’s the route you want to go with.

The most popular option for figurines is an SLA printer, as these provide the most resolution/detail and are best for complex designs. Quite a bit of a learning curve and you are dealing with resin which requires you to carefully handle with mask and gloves. Post processing requires you to clean with IPA and then cure with UV light. These also tend to have the smallest build surface and so you will probably be limited to how large you can print.

The most flexible and easiest to work with will be a FDM printer, so I’d generally recommend one of these printers. Regardless which route you go, your budget will play a huge factor in what options you will have available to you. If that’s not a problem, and since you are on a Bambu forum, I’d recommend the X1C with the AMS combo. It’s the most refined of their lineup and provides a lot of flexibility with what materials you can print. The build volume is also descent in size and will leave you with enough room for most prints. If money is a bit tighter, then the next best option would be the P1S combo. Quite a bit cheaper than the X1C with about 90% of the functionality.


If you’re expecting to make detailed miniature figurines like the one you showed in the image, you won’t get the kind of resolution needed with filament based FDM printing. For that you will need a resin printer. If you’re new to 3D printing, research resin heavily because it uses wet chemical bath that gives off noxious fumes if not properly vented. But it produces high resolution prints suitable for models.

Here’s what I might suggest. In addition to using one of your own scans, also go get an online model from one of the popular sites. Make sure it has a lot of details. It would be worth paying a few bucks to get a professional model. Then go to one of the online printing services and get a 3D printed model done in PLA and also in resin. Expect to pay over $100 for the combination of the two but what you’ll get in the mail is a great example of both technologies. Before I purchased my own printer, I used to use these services extensively.

Craftcloud was arguably the most flexible and easy to use. But bear in mind, they are a network of 3rd party companies, not a single vendor. Learn their interface to research which service will deliver a representative example. By that I mean, it does no good to get a sample from a $6,000 professional machine because it won’t represent what you will achieve. So for shop on the lowest price and you will likely get some guy printing from his garage. That would be a good comparison to a home setup you might experience.

Here’s an example of a high res model that I am referring to:

Here’s a fairly decent video comparing resin with FDM.

Here’s another fun video that shows the difference between a $350 resin printer and a $65,000 resin printer for use in printing figurines. It really shows the limits of the technology even where money is no object.


I think very helpful,thank you

thanks for you help yyyya

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SLA for the win, if you want detail and don’t care that the printing process is quite a bit more complicated/messy.

This print is 1.5" high.