Shipping is FREE within the US!

What’s the Best Kind of Printer for 3D Printing Miniatures?

Are you interested in 3D printing miniatures, but not sure what kind of printer to get? In this post, I compare miniatures printed on a resin printer vs. ones printed on a filament printer. For testing purposes, I’m using a Winter Wolf model designed here in the Magic Shoppe following this excellent tutorial by Grant Abbitt. The model is fairly simple, with only a few supports needed, and includes detailed areas to really test the printers.

Clicking on any of the Amazon Associate links in this article would be a great help–it will help me pay the bills, and write more articles!

The Printers

We have a variety of 3D printers here at the Magic Shoppe. For the filament print for this article, I used my (heavily modified) Ender 3 and Sunlu PLA+ filament. For the resin print, I used one of our AnyCubic Photon Mono X printers with our special Simon’s Strengthening Solution resin blend. Both have a similar layer height and print resolution.

Filament vs Resin 3D Prints

The wolf on the left was printed in gray PLA+ filament, while the one on the right was printed in Simon’s Strengthening Solution resin.

3D printed miniature wolves.  The first is printed in gray filament, and the second is printed in gray resin.  There is a 12 sided die between them.
Filament vs Resin Winter Wolves

Both models have a comparable level of detail. Both have some faint layer lines, although they are slightly more pronounced on the filament print. The biggest issue is support damage–as few supports as this wolf needed, they still left their mark on the filament print, while they broke off much neater from the resin print. The filament print also has a little bit of stringing and even some glops. Overall, the resin wolf is a much cleaner print and will require much less post-printing work to get it ready to paint.


After adding some black primer to the wolves, the differences between the figures are less clear. I’ve spent a little bit more time with the filament print, sanding down some of its rough edges. The primer can’t hide all the problems, but the print is starting to look much cleaner. The resin print, on the other hand, suffers a bit because of the primer. The thin primer ends of highlighting the resin print’s layer lines.

The two prints are harder to tell apart after a coat of black primer.
Left Print: Filament. Right Print: Resin.


A simple silver paint scheme leaves the two miniatures almost identical. Both have some minor flaws, but both have a high level of detail too.

Paint goes a long way towards bringing these two wolves together!


Both Resin and Filament 3D printers are capable of a high level of detail and can make great miniatures. Filament printing does have some limitations with such tiny figures though, especially when supports are needed, and given that most tabletop gaming miniatures have delicate details like capes, weapons, or tails that all require supports, a resin printer is the best choice for miniatures. But If you’re able to find supportless models–and if you have the time to give your minis at least a quick paint job–a filament printer can still produce quality miniatures.

With its larger print bed and a greater variety of colors and materials that it can print in, tying up your 3D filament printer with tiny miniatures seems like a waste. Unleash your filament printer and let it print large items, like this dice tower, vase or even this working Ukulele!

These designs were all found on

Here at the Magic Shoppe, we keep our filament printer busy printing display stands and terrain pieces. Don’t write off the detail level of filament printers–they can produce high-resolution prints too!

Filament Rogue vs Resin Rogue. These support-less models are available through

Was this article helpful? Become a Patreon or buy me a coffee and I’ll write more!

About the Author

Audrey Hawkes

I paint little figures and play Dungeons and Dragons. I also manage the website and most of the business tasks at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You may also like these