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Apple’s iPhone 6s is finally here and it comes along with a new feature that you may not be familiar with. Today we’re checking out the best 3D Touch features. Some of you are probably thinking, how is this any different from a long press, right? Well its uses may not be very different at the moment, but the technology that makes this possible is a very different thing.

3D Touch will sense the amount of pressure your finger applies to the screen and trigger various actions. So instead of a short press or a long press, 3D Touch enables a soft press and a hard press. So you can “tap” on the display, but then you can go even further (quite literally) and press into the display at multiple levels. Once you’ve reached the amount of pressure to trigger an event, the iPhone will provide slight haptic feedback to let you know. So what can 3D Touch actually do?

Check out our 3D Touch top features video below:

Once you’re inside of those apps, there are a lot of 3D Touch features as well, but you need to know where to look. First off, any list style view will likely have 3D Touch features that go along with it. For example, the Messages app you can lightly press on a message thread to “peek” at the conversation quickly. You can release to go back to the previous screen, but if you see an arrow at the top of the screen and slide up with the peek window, you’ll have some addition options. If you press even harder, the message will “pop” open. The same is true for many other apps with a list-style view such as Notes. and the native Mail app, but hopefully more support for other apps will come through in the future.

Even image based apps like Photos and Instagram have a peek and pop ability with 3D Touch. It’s a super helpful feature to have, but I’m not sure if it’ll always save you time over the traditional way of taking a look at something quickly. The calendar app does this with events scheduled for different days as well. 3D Touch on a single day and you’ll be able to peek at the schedule.

If you’re inside of any app that utilizes a keyboard, there’s a very cool feature to help with your text edits. If you press hard on the keyboard, it’ll turn into a trackpad and allow you to easily move the cursor to another spot. You can also press and slide in from the side of the screen to access the app switcher view, or you can simply press harder on the edge of the screen for it. Both of them seem a little awkward though, but it’s there if you need it.

Apple’s iPhone 6s and 6s Plus cameras come along with a new Live Photos feature which will capture a second and a half of the action with audio before and after you take a photo and allow you to animate your photo by pressing into it. Along with that, you can set these Live Photos as wallpaper and even 3D Touch on the lock screen to animate them there as well.

One of my favorite 3D Touch features has to be with system-wide links. Most anywhere you see a link, you’ll be able to press hard on it and pop up a preview of that website. It works similarly on MacBook as well if you have a Force Touch trackpad. Either way, it’s super helpful and will save you some time if you’re unsure about the page being linked. This will allow you to quickly preview it before launching it in a full browser.

Also, check out our iPhone 6s and 6s Plus unboxing + impressions video here. 

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

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3D Touch Shortcuts For The Camera App

Whenever an awesome photo opportunity presents itself, I instinctively grab my iPhone, launch the Camera app and press the shutter button.

But boy, way too many times did I find myself in the wrong camera mode. One time, I would realize I was shooting video instead of taking a great picture. Other times I would snap a selfie, whereas I wanted to take a quick photo of my neighbor’s dog jumping in the air catching her frisbee.

3D Touch can help avoid such distractions when you’re in the middle of your photography moment. With a little help of 3D Touch shortcuts and gestures, iPhone owners will hopefully never miss that important shot again.

3D Touch lets you take a selfie or start shooting video from the Home screen, review the photos you’ve taken without leaving the Camera app, play Live Photos with a press and more. In this tutorial, we’ll take you through every 3D Touch-enhanced feature that’s available to iPhone photography fans in Apple’s built-in Camera app.

Snap a selfie, start shooting video and more, from the Home screen

With 3D Touch, it’s easy to shoot a video, snap a selfie or jump straight into a camera mode wit a press of the Camera icon. In the shortcut menu that appears, the following options are available: Take Selfie, Take Photo, Scan QR Code, and Record Video.

The Take Selfie shortcut launches the Camera app and activates your iPhone’s front-facing camera, so you can instantly take a selfie with a tap of the Shutter button.

The Take Photo shortcut launches Camera and activates your iPhone’s rear camera so you can take a high-resolution image in the default Photo mode.

The Scan QR Code shortcut also takes you to the basic Camera to capture your code.

The Record Video shortcut takes you straight into Camera’s standard video capture mode.

RELATED: Turn off HDR photo duplicates to save space

Review, edit, share, favorite or delete the photos you’ve taken

Every time you take a photo, you can take a quick glance at it without launching Photos. Simply tap the photo thumbnail in the lower left corner of the Camera app. To get back to Camera, you must tap the Done button. So, two taps total. With 3D Touch, one gesture lets you preview the photos you’ve taken while you’re still taking new ones.

Press the thumbnail image in Camera and the last photo you’ve taken will pop up, along with a scrubber to help you navigate photos you took earlier. Without releasing the finger, swipe left and right to review your previous photos. Simply let go to continue taking photos.

To open the photo, press a little deeper to pop into Camera’s dark editing interface, seen above. From there, you share, edit, favorite or delete your image. To get back to the camera, tap Done, or hit All Photos to see everything in the Photos app.

3D Touch photo previews also work in landscape mode…

Play a Live Photo

Though not strictly a feature of the Camera app, iPhone owners can press the thumbnail image of the Live Photo to play it (if your device doesn’t have 3D Touch, simply touch and hold the Live Photo).

And when you set a Live Photo as the wallpaper on your Lock screen, you can press the display while on the Lock screen to play your Live Photo wallpaper.

Related 3D Touch tutorials

The following 3D Touch tips and tricks also might interest to you:

Best Battery Cases For Iphone 6S

In addition to regularly providing you with accessory spotlight posts, we’ve also been rounding up the accessories we showcase, so you can easily run through the list without having to search our database.

Anker’s Ultra Slim battery case is one of the thinnest on the market, at 13mm thick (though not as thin as Spider’s PowerShadow). It is also fairly lightweight as battery cases go, adding less than three ounces to the weight of your device. The 2,850 mAh battery can increase your usage as much as 120 percent. It is a two-piece case with a matte exterior for added grip. It is MFi certified and has a 3.5mm jack adapter so you don’t have to worry about whether your headphone jack will fit. It is available on Amazon for $43.

Mophie is probably the most popular battery case maker, and earlier this year, the company launched its first every waterproof case. The 2,750 mAh rechargeable battery provides double the juice of the iPhone 6s. It also features a pass-through charge and sync system (though the company does not claim it is MFi certified), so you can sync data with your computer while the case recharges. Its waterproof rating is IP-68 and it also has a Military Standards grade of 810G. It comes in black, white, and blue and is available on Amazon for between $97 and $130, depending on your color choice.

We would be remiss if we didn’t include Apple’s very own battery case. This year, the company launched the accessory, much to our surprise (and to some of our chagrin). The unusual design of the Smart Battery Case may have been a turn-off for some of us, but as Jeff Benjamin noted in his one-month later review, the benefit of that back hump is that it has ergonomic value. The battery capacity may seem small at only 1,877 mAh (as discovered by iFixit), but it can provide as much as 11 hours of extra talk and eight hours of extra web browsing to your iPhone 6s. The case itself is made from soft elastomer for ease of use, but it has an added benefit of providing extra grip. It comes in charcoal gray or white and is available at Apple retail stores for $99.

This two-piece case by i-Blason is made from polycarbonate with a rubberized anti-slip coating. It houses a 3,200 mAh rechargeable battery with a charging on/ off button. If you are done charging your iPhone, but want to reserve what is left of the battery pack for a later time, switch it off so it won’t continue charging as your battery drains. It is MFi certified to properly charge and can be connected to your computer (with the case on) to sync your data over iTunes. It is available on Amazon in a variety of colors for between $60 and $70. There is also a version for the iPhone 6s Plus for between $70 and $80.

Trainium Atomic S

Tranium’s battery charger case is made from polycarbonate as well. Its 3,100 mAh battery can add as much as 14 hours of talk or 10 hours of Internet browsing. It has shock resistant bumpers around the entire perimeter for additional drop protection. The front-facing speakers add a nice audio touch. The LED indicator lights on the back let you know how much juice the pack has left. The button on the backside lets you turn the charging feature on and off. It is available on Amazon for between $50 and $60, depending on your color preference. There is also a version for the iPhone 6s Plus for $60.

This two-piece polycarbonate case has a thin design, but is made with protection in mind. The case covers all ports and buttons and features a raised lip on the front to protect from screen damage when your iPhone 6s lays flat. The 3,000 mAh rechargeable battery can juice up your device from zero to 100 across four or five hours, but you can use it the entire time. It is MFi certified and has a one-year warranty. You can sync your device to your computer while the case is still on. It comes in a variety of colors and is available on Amazon for between $50 and $70. There is a version for the iPhone 6s Plus for $70.

Spyder’s version of the battery charger case is made from the same sturdy polycarbonate that the rest of them. This version is coated with an antimicrobial “Silver Seal” coating. It is unique because of its relative thinness. It measures only 12.5mm thick. The rechargeable battery is weaker than the others at only 2,750 mAh, which might be the reason. However, if thinness trumps extended usage in your life, this case may be what you need. It still manages to provide as much as eight additional hours of talk. It comes in a variety of colors and is available on Amazon for $100.

This powerful charging case doubles as a rugged case thanks to the four removable bumpers, which provide drop protection on the corners. The 3,100 mAh battery quickly juices up your iPhone 6s and automatically shuts off once it is fully charged. It is MFi certified, so you can sync data on your computer via iTunes while the case is still on. It also comes with a special 3.5mm pass-through adapter that makes it possible for you to fit any sized headphone into the jack. It is available in a variety of colors for as low as $35 on Amazon. There is also a version for the iPhone 6s Plus for only $45.

Check out our other accessory roundups

Best Iphone 6S Bumper Cases In 2023

Bumper cases are one of my favorite suits that I like to pair with my iPhone. Though I always prefer to offer the needed defense to the smartphone from drops, the covers that are a great blend of style and protection attract me a lot. If you are like me, you would appreciate this lineup of the finest iPhone 6s bumper cases.

Crave presents a slim bumper case for your iPhone. A lightweight profile ensures that your device easily slides into your pockets, purse, or bag.

Crave has used premium TPU material, which not only guards your device but keeps the flexibility and mobility you want in a heavy-duty case.

Apart from being an essential device, your iPhone is an investment, and therefore, the device needs full protection at a reasonable cost. This case safeguards your valuable investment from shocks, scratches and sudden drops.

For the smooth operation of your device, Crave has precisely designed this case. You can quickly access all the ports, buttons, and controls of your iPhone.

2. Spigen Ultra Hybrid

Sometimes simplicity creates a fashion statement, a case in point is Spigen Ultra Hybrid bumper case for iPhone 6s. The latest iPhones from the house of Apple need much care and protection, and therefore, Spigen Ultra Hybrid case is made of Air Cushion Technology so that even small drops of sweat or rains do not damage your coveted piece.

You can show the original phone design to your friends & colleagues with powerful transparency the case has. That’s not all; Ultra Hybrid cases are available in five attractive color variants including black, crystal clear, mint, rose crystal and space crystal.

3. i-Blason Halo Series

What if your brand new iPhone 6s meets with scratches or abrasion? Well, if you keep it exposed to all potential damages, your loved one will surely cry out of pain. Not anymore. Check this i-Blason Halo Series Hybrid Clear Case for iPhone 6s that has raised edges to protect the screen of the phone when you put it face down.

If you are traveling in a jam-packed tube, you don’t need to worry about your phone’s getting slipped off your hand; the anti-slip feature of the i-Blason case gives a better grip.

Enjoy access to all openings, sensors, speakers, cameras, and ports of your iPhone 6s with its perfect cuts. Moreover, you have seven charming colors to choose from including navy, green, pink, etc.

4. Spigen Neo Hybrid Crystal

Spigen’s Neo Hybrid Crystal flaunts an eye-catching slim yet highly protective design. So, you can showcase your iPhone elegantly without endangering the protection of the device.

Incorporated with the solid bumper, it’s fully capable of enduring shock. Beveled edge works as a reliable shield for the touchscreen. And with the ergonomic grip, you feel comfortable while holding the case in your hand.

As for colors, you have as many as six fascinating options like blush gold, gunmetal, jet black, etc. to pick from.

Here is something for ladies, who have developed discerning taste. MOSNOVO’s bumper case flaunts slim body and floral design. While you are enamored of its beauty, you should also note that the case features two layers of protection – a shock-absorbing TPU and a solid PC backplate.

The TPU frame guards your phone against drops and polycarbonate back protects your device from scrapes, bumps, and other damage.

MOSNOVO has created a perfect bumper case that reflects your feminine grace and protects your premium piece. The case is available in seven different variants; get one or all the seven to change the case each day of the week.

6. JETech

JETech’s bumper cover is second to none when it comes to making an adorable match with the iPhone. It looks pretty compact and lets your smartphone shine in full-fledged form. UV resistance prevents it from being yellow.

Beyond the attractive profile, it’s endowed with a highly durable construction powered by high-grade PC and TPU. Beveled edge keeps the touchscreen off when the device is placed face down to prevent scratch.

All the corners have been air-cushioned to absorb shock. Plus, there are attractive colors like black, gold, grey to select. That’s not all; you get a lifetime warranty on this bumper case.

7. iXCC

A shock-absorbing bumper case that keeps the style factor intact. iXCC has a transparent design and features a rugged frame. The soft TPU casing feels comfortable, while the exact cutouts help it fit the iPhone snugly.

The beveled edges lift the touchscreen off the surface to keep off scratches. Raised lip also guards the camera against scrapes. Besides, iXCC comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

8. SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Series

The material matters when you look for a strong yet stylish bumper case. Supacase Unicorn Beetle Series cases are made of soft thermoplastic polyurethane and hard polycarbonate materials. Dual-layered of construction can easily survive accidental drops.

The scratch-resistant coating further keeps scraping at a fair distance. There is also raised bevel to guard the screen against scratch. Besides, Unicorn Beetle Series is available in five good-looking colors like clear, red/black, etc.

9. LUVVITT ClearView

If a bumper case fits perfectly on your device, you would surely love this attachment between your iPhone and its accessory. A misfit will always create trouble in the case of the bumper case because it can cause damage to your phone.

Luvvitt has made a bumper case for iPhone 6s that fits like a glove; as if the case gives a warm hug to your iPhone and this gives your iPhone 6s its natural look. The soft and clear TPU edges on all four sides give extra protection.

Furthermore, ClearView is available in as many as 11 color variants so that picking a fine match for your device is not a big deal.

10. RhinoShield CrashGuard

RhinoShield’s CrashGuard looks handsome and provides military-grade protection to your smartphone. The bumper case is robust enough to withstand the impact of up to 11 feet. And with the useful front lip, the display has an uncompromised defense against abrasions.

Solid PC casing boosts the durability without adding any extra bulk. Courtesy matte texture, the smooth sides make it easier to hold the iPhone. As for colors, CrashGuard is available in coral pink, dark blue, and black.

That’s all, folks!

What’s your pick?

Now that you have taken a peek at the finest bumper cases, let us know which one has got all the ingredients to stand up to your special liking. And yes, don’t fail to tell us about the qualities you want to see in a top-notch bumper cover.

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Author Profile


Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of chúng tôi who has a keen eye for news, rumors, and all the unusual stuff around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting content on social media.

Ios Shortcuts: Using 3D Touch In Control Center

Apple first brought Force Touch, a pressure-sensitive touch technology, to the Apple Watch. But soon after Android phone maker Huawei released this feature in its new smartphones, Apple released and popularized its use on iPhone, first with the iPhone 6s.

Apple calls this multi-touch capability 3D Touch. This adds an innovative way to open iPhone users’ most often accessed steps or functions. Use 3D Touch by pushing on the iPhone screen and holding the pressure. This exposes whatever shortcuts are available in the app being pressed.

Table of Contents

For example, 3D Touch is best known as a shortcut to app functions. Try using 3D Touch for the Twitter iOS app – one can quickly tweet, DM (direct message), or search.

Less well known is its value in the iOS Control Center, especially with the user’s ability to customize Control Center controls. Let’s then explore how to use some cool shortcuts this way.

3D Touch on Cellular Data

One of the built-in shortcuts in Control Center turns Cellular Data on or off.  You’ll find this control in the top left panel of the Control Center along with Bluetooth, Wifi, and Airplane mode.

When you 3D Touch (press and hold) on the Cellular Data icon, here’s what you see:

It’s worth noting that you can get this same expanded menu by 3D touching any of the four icons in this group. Let’s talk in more detail about the two new options.

AirDrop Shortcut

AirDrop is how Apple device users can wirelessly transfer files to close-by OS X and iOS devices. One can choose among several receipt modes, including Receiving Off to Contacts Only to Everyone. But if one sets the receipt mode to Everyone to receive a file from a known person close by, that setting remains until manually changed.

Personal Hotspot Shortcut

Personal Hotspot is a cellular setting that lets you create a WiFi hotspot using your iPhone cellular data connection. This will let you connect laptops and other devices to this network for Internet connectivity. This feature must be enabled by your cellular company, but all the major companies now support it.

Even though it eats up your cellular data and depends on your cellular network speed, adding Internet connectivity to your devices anywhere you have LTE is a great productivity enhancer. Plus, just using your iPhone to add connectivity for friends and business associates is bound to increase your popularity.

Anyway, use this shortcut to quickly turn this hotspot On (Discoverable) or Off  (Not Discoverable).

Note that for people to join, iOS requires the use of a password for these personal hotspots. You must go to Settings – Personal Hotspot – Wi-Fi Password.

Screen Record Shortcut

One can add the screen recording control to Control Center, as we explained in the previous post linked to above. Once Screen Recording is in your Control Center panel, use 3D touch on the icon, and voila!

Choose a destination for the recording.

Not long ago, one could save a screen recording only to the iPhone camera roll. However, now one can broadcast to Facebook Live directly from the screen record, and even the My Verizon iOS app wants me to broadcast the screen to its Diagnostics feature!  Note that the shortcut says Start Recording if destination is the camera roll, but Start Broadcasting, if to Facebook.

Do you want to speak while recording your iPhone screen? This button turns on the microphone to enable audio while recording the screen.

Note that the list of apps listed here will depend on what is currently installed on your iPhone. Since I have Facebook and My Verizon installed, those two apps show up. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a definitive list online of all apps that work with the screen recording feature in iOS.

Notes Shortcut

Another useful add-on to Control Center is the Notes control.  The main shortcut will open a new note, but if you often use the checklist feature in Notes, then 3D touching the Notes icon in Control Center will create a new note with a checklist!

The Best 3D Printers Of 2023

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Written By Edmund Torr

Updated Jul 6, 2023 11:26 AM

The 3D printer, when it first arrived, seemed right out of the future: you can create anything at all, crafted of a steady stream of plastic. Lost a chess piece? Print a new one. Need an adapter for the sink? Print one. The possibilities are endless. But sometimes, the choice of which model to buy can also feel endless. Here’s how to find one of the best 3D printers for you.

How we chose the best 3D printers

In coming up with our list of recommendations, we considered models from the leading makers of 3D printers. We looked for options that fit a range of circumstances, from beginners to pros. Ease of assembly, versatility, build volume, and price also figured into compiling our list of the best 3D printers.

The best 3D printers: Reviews & Recommendations

One of our picks should help you unlock your creativity. And while you’re at it, check out the best 3D printer filaments.

Best overall: Dremel 3D45

Why it made the cut: This award-winning 3D printer works with a range of materials and is a favorite of architects, engineers, and beginners alike.


Build volume: 6.7 x 10 x 6 inches

Weight: 42.8 pounds

Compatible materials: Nylon, ECO-ABS, PETG, PLA


Designed for commercial use

Comes with intuitive touchscreen

Has built in HD camera that allows for remote printing



Dremel’s 3D45 printer is at the top of the heap for home 3D printers. It’s right on the line between a home 3D printer and a professional printer, but what allows it to claim this title as the best home 3D printer is its impressive software and ease of use. It relies on a version of the open-source Cura software, with a nice big touchscreen, which makes it surprisingly simple for beginners, given the extremely high print quality.

Best for kids: Toybox

Why it made the cut: This easy-to-use 3D printer comes with a catalog of more than 1,000 toys for kids to create.


Build volume: 7 x 8 x 9 centimeters (2.7 x 3.1 x 3.5 inches)

Weight: 6.6 pounds

Compatible materials: PLA plastic


Easy to use

New toys added to catalog every day

Uses non-toxic and compostable PLA



Smaller build space

Depending on age and experience, kids and teens may prefer a typical, “adult-centric” 3D printer. But the Toybox is designed for younger kids, with lots of safety options (like non-toxic materials) and a super easy-to-use app for selecting and printing all kinds of fun toys.

Best small: FlashForge Finder 3

Why it made the cut: This compact printer is easy to assemble, quiet, and has good build volume for its size.


Build volume: 190×195×200 millimeters

Weight: 34.39 pounds

Compatible materials: PLA, ABS, HIPS, PETG, PETG PRO, TPU


Can use right out of the box

Glass platform is removable 

Quiet and small


Only works with Linux

The FlashForge Finder 3 is a well-priced, diminutive 3D printer, but it doesn’t skimp on the features. It has a leveling system that guides you through the oft-annoying process of making sure the built platform is aligned properly. Plus, the build plate slides right out, which makes removing your printed object much easier. It also boasts a touchscreen for easy operation, and the build platform is designed to be cold, for safety reasons.

Best professional: Creality Ender 3 Pro

Why it made the cut: This high-end printer is an upgrade from the last model, with an aluminum extruder for stability and a magnetic printing surface that allows users to remove models more easily.


Build volume: 8.66 x 8.66 x 9.84 inches

Weight: 2.2 pounds

Compatible materials: PLA, ETG, ABS


Comes semi-assembled

Magnetic printing bed that allows for easy product removal

Aluminum extruder proves extra stability.


Not designed for beginners


The Creality Ender 3 Pro is known for its high-quality prints, and the company does a great job of leading owners through the assembly process. It’s fully open-source, and there are lots of options for upgrading individual parts later, which makes it a great base for learning about 3D printing. It’s also surprisingly affordable! It isn’t the easiest 3D printer to use, but if you’re building a printer yourself, that’s likely okay with you.

Best budget: Monoprice Mini Delta V2

Why it made the cut: This affordable printer comes fully assembled.


Build volume: 110 x 120 millimeters

Weight: 2.2 pounds

Compatible materials: PLA, PLS+, ABS


Easy to use

Small footprint



Small build volume

As far as affordable 3D printers go, we love the Monoprice Mini Delta V2. It’s insanely cheap but includes a touchscreen, wireless printing, solid build quality, and it’s even compatible with open-source tools like Cura.

What to consider when purchasing a 3D printer

Today’s offerings, the best 3D printers, are generally designed for two markets: home and office. Home 3D printers tend to be more affordable—lately, some of the best beginner 3D printers have been getting down under $300, which is a far cry from the thousands they used to cost. These are great for toying around with, teaching yourself (or your kids) modeling software, and seeing what kinds of crazy stuff you can create out of seemingly thin air.

Professional 3D printers are much more expensive but show the full capability of this moment in time in the 3D-printing world. Architects can quickly build out perfect scale models. Manufacturers can skip the entire go-to-the-factory tour and spit out a prototype in minutes. 

Luckily, some of the best home printers are also some of the least expensive 3D printers. After all, the needs of a home user are not quite as particular as a professional in an engineering lab. That doesn’t mean you’ll be skimping on features, though; these 3D printers, no matter how affordable, can do some truly amazing stuff.

Some of the professional 3D printers require some experience with CAD design—yes, we know, the “D” stands for design already—software, which can feel overwhelming for newbies. But there are plenty of machines that are beginner-friendly, enabling you to download designs and print them right out.


The best home 3D printers—meaning, not a professional system designed for businesses—are typically smaller, ideally a bit cheaper, and hopefully, come pre-assembled. Home 3D printers should be able to connect via a simple USB cable to your computer, although WiFi connectivity is a nice option to reduce the amount of cord clutter around your home. 

You’ll also want to look at print resolution. This metric is measured in microns, and the smaller the number is, the sharper the image. You can think about it like you’re building out of LEGO blocks: if you only use a few larger blocks, you’ll have a very blocky, rough sculpture. But use a lot of smaller blocks, and you can create more natural-looking curves and shapes. For a home 3D printer, look for around 50 microns in resolution.


Many 3D printers, including the Prusa i3, come in two versions: one is pre-assembled, and one, for a discounted price, requires assembly by yourself. In general, we don’t love the assembly-required versions, as they can be very finicky and tricky to put together. This isn’t quite an Ikea couch; these gadgets are complex, and any errors in construction can totally mess up your final prints. 

Once you go down into the less expensive units, you often won’t find any assembly-required options at all. These are more grab-and-go printers, designed for ease of use, and frankly, we like that. Especially because using these printers as an educational toy for kids is one of their best attributes, and the assembly is often too difficult for them. Instead, grab a kid-friendly, pre-assembled unit.


3D printers can vary in size from a small shoebox to, well, literally house-sized. The smaller 3D printers are often a great option for those with a limited amount of desk space, or perhaps for those with no need to print anything all too large. 


Given that many 3D printers can cost thousands of dollars, you’d be forgiven for looking at a less expensive printer with some suspicion. You’ll definitely be sacrificing something, but the nice thing about cheap 3D printers is that you can choose what you want to give up. Are you okay with a slightly lesser printing resolution? Or would you rather sacrifice how large the printed objects can be? Or do you want to build the printer yourself, opting for more barebones kits to save some cash? All of those are possibilities.


If you really want to get in the weeds, and we’d understand if you do, a 3D-printer kit is a great way to both save some money and to really start to understand the intricacies of how these machines work—because you’ll have to build them. 

It’ll take you a few hours to put these kits together, but there are tons of helpful tutorials on YouTube, and you’ll get the same kind of satisfaction that you might get from working on a car. If something goes wrong, you’ll know what, because you constructed the entire project. And the rewards for creating something that then creates something else? It’s fun wrapped in a riddle.

FAQs Q: How much does a decent 3D printer cost?

You’d be surprised at how little a decent 3D printer costs these days. Today, you can find really fun, easy-to-use printers, often with formerly high-end features like touchscreens and WiFi connections, for under $500—sometimes even half that. 

Q: Is getting a 3D printer worth it?

Whether a 3D printer is worth it depends on your use case. They’re great educational tools, and can be really fun toys, too: it never gets old to download some plans and then have them manifest as a physical object, right there at home. They aren’t necessarily practical for home use, in that you’re not going to be printing too many high-end sculptures or tools, but if you know that going in, you can really enjoy yourself.

Q: Which is the best 3D printer to buy?

The best 3D printer to buy will vary from person to person, depending on what you’re looking for. If you’re just curious about the tech and want to mess around with some gadgetry, we like Monoprice’s offerings for their combination of budget price and great features. If you’re really getting into it, the Dremel 3D45 offers some of the best print quality on the market.

The final word on the best 3D printers

The best 3D printers—whether they’re home printers, 3D printers for kids, detail-oriented kits, or even budget-friendly options—can be a truly mind-blowing home gadget. It’s incredibly satisfying to watch these machines spool plastic with such precision, creating something that you want seemingly out of thin air.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.

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