How Accurate are 3D Printers?

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Updated January 16, 2023

If you are new to the world of physical printing, you may wonder how accurate are 3D printers. Some of the best printers, after all, are 3D printers and these models require materials like filament to operate, leading many to wonder about accuracy. So, how accurate are the best 3D printers, and what can you do to increase accuracy? Keep reading to find out.


  • Generally speaking, 3D printing technologies are considered accurate though this depends on the printer itself and the design of the object being printed.
  • The best way to ensure accurate prints is to practice your 3D printing technique and printing method to increase dimensional accuracy with regard to pixel size.
  • Before making a print, you should also ensure the 3D model blueprint is of high quality.

3D Printer Accuracy

For instance, accuracy is extremely important if you are looking for the best dental 3D printer. Even those reading a beginner’s guide to 3D printing want to learn about accuracy, as it is the difference between making a glorified paperweight and something actually useful. Simply put, accuracy varies depending on a specific printer, user expertise, printing materials, and the blueprint of the printed object, even if you have just learned how resin 3D printers work.

Insider Tip

A good way to measure your printer’s accuracy is to make duplicates of the same design.

This accuracy issue sends many looking for the best 3D printer for jewelry, as certain tasks require greater accuracy than others. If you are wondering how big 3D printers are and whether size has an impact on accuracy, the answer is, well, maybe. Smaller printers may not excel with small details, even if you already have the best 3D scanner.

Tips to Increase 3D Printer Accuracy

There are several ways to ensure your prints are as accurate as possible, so you can wow coworkers, friends, and family.

Practice, Practice, Practice

The best way to increase your printer’s accuracy level is to increase your own expertise. There is only one surefire way to do this. Practice, practice, and then practice some more. Beginner makers always experience a drastic reduction in accuracy until they get the hang of things. 3D printing is complex and fraught with hurdles, unlike the simple world of 2D printing.

Carefully Compare Blueprints

Your print is only as good as the blueprint used to design the object. If you are finding some inaccurate objects after printing, take a good hard look at the blueprint itself. Only source blueprints from reliable locations to maximize the chances of getting a highly usable blueprint.

STAT: Because 3D printers depend on a myriad of moving parts and materials, the process will never produce parts that are 100% accurate. (Nor will any manufacturing process.) (source)

Materials Matter

Some types of resin and filament spools are more accurate than others. When shopping for building materials, read reviews thoroughly and pay special attention to print accuracy. Additionally, certain printers integrate better with certain materials.

3D Printer Accuracy FAQs

How dimensionally accurate are 3D-printed parts?

3D printing technologies have come a long way, so modern 3D prints are considered to be at an acceptable level of accuracy, though this depends on the 3D printer specs and the blueprint indicating the physical model.

How do warping and shrinkage affect accuracy?

Warping and shrinking of 3D prints is a huge strain on accuracy and a drag on the 3D printing process, leading many to perform tons of post-processing edits to get things perfect with regard to dimensional accuracy.

How do materials affect dimensional accuracy?

Materials impact dimensional accuracy in that some materials are better suited for certain 3D printing technologies and 3D models. As you build layer by layer, some materials decrease printing accuracy.
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