5 Best 3D Printer Controller For 2024


Introducing the ultimate guide to the "5 Best 3D Printer Controllers for 2023." As the world of 3D printing continues to evolve at an unprecedented pace, having the right controller becomes crucial to ensure efficient and high-quality prints. In this comprehensive review, we will explore the top five controllers that are set to dominate the market in 2023. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional, this guide will provide you with valuable insights, expert recommendations, and in-depth analysis to help you make an informed decision. Get ready to take your 3D printing journey to the next level with these cutting-edge controllers!

Overall Score: 8.5/10

The BIGTREETECH Mini12864 LCD Graphic Smart Display Control Board is an essential component for 3D printers. It features a multi-color backlight and supports 8 RGB colors, adding a cool aesthetic to your printer. With an SD card base on the back, you can easily store slicing files and select them for printing directly from the LCD display. The product also offers encoder parameter adjustment and file selection printing. It is plug and play on the RAMPS, but firmware modification may be required. The customer rating for this product is 4.3 out of 5, indicating its reliability and functionality. Overall, the BIGTREETECH Mini12864 LCD Graphic Smart Display Control Board is a great addition to any 3D printer setup, providing convenience and enhanced user experience.

Key Features

  • RGB multi-color backlight with 8 RGB support
  • SD card base for easy file selection and printing
  • Encoder parameter adjustment
  • Plug and play on RAMPS
  • Excellent after-sales service


  • Dimension: 2.36Lx1.18Wx1.18H


  • Vibrant RGB backlight adds a cool aesthetic
  • Easy file selection and printing with SD card support
  • Adjustable encoder parameters
  • Plug and play installation on RAMPS
  • Responsive after-sales support


  • Firmware modification may be required
  • Display may arrive with minor cosmetic flaws

The BIGTREETECH Mini12864 LCD Graphic Smart Display Control Board is a reliable and convenient addition to any 3D printer setup. Its vibrant RGB backlight and easy file selection make printing a breeze. While firmware modification may be necessary, the plug and play installation on RAMPS is straightforward. Additionally, the after-sales support provided by the manufacturer ensures any issues will be promptly addressed. Although the display may have minor cosmetic flaws upon arrival, its functionality remains unaffected. If you’re looking to enhance your 3D printing experience with a user-friendly control board, the BIGTREETECH Mini12864 LCD Graphic Smart Display Control Board is an excellent option.

Overall Score: 8/10

The BIGTREETECH SKR Pico V1.0 Controller Board is an entry-level 4-axis DIY motherboard that is perfectly compatible with the Voron V0.1 3D printer. It features the Raspberry Pi ARM Cortex-M0+ main control RP2040 microprocessor and supports the Klipper firmware. The board is designed with an upgraded heat sink for improved heat dissipation and utilizes Murata capacitors for enhanced quality. Its fuse is easy to disassemble, and the ID design is upgraded for a sleek appearance. With this board, you can experience great print quality and silent operation. However, setting up the firmware can be a bit challenging for beginners. Overall, it offers a fantastic upgrade for your 3D printer.

Key Features

  • Raspberry Pi ARM Cortex-M0+ main control RP2040 microprocessor
  • Supports Klipper firmware
  • Upgraded heat sink design
  • Murata capacitors for enhanced quality
  • Easy-to-disassemble fuse
  • Upgraded ID design with Raspberry-Pi board frame
  • Great print quality and silent operation


  • N/A


  • Improved heat dissipation
  • High-quality capacitors
  • Easy-to-disassemble fuse
  • Sleek ID design
  • Compatible with Raspberry Pi
  • Great print quality
  • Silent operation


  • Challenging firmware setup for beginners

The BIGTREETECH SKR Pico V1.0 Controller Board is a reliable and high-performance option for upgrading your 3D printer. With its improved heat dissipation, high-quality components, and sleek design, it offers both practicality and aesthetics. The print quality is excellent, with smoother curves and no noticeable artifacts. The silent operation is a game-changer, making it a joy to use. However, beginners may find the firmware setup a bit challenging, requiring some technical knowledge. Overall, it’s a fantastic choice for enthusiasts and experienced users looking to enhance their 3D printing experience.

Overall Score: 7.5/10

The 3D Printer Controller Kit RepRap is a comprehensive kit that includes a 2560 control board, the RAMPS 1.4 module, an LCD 12864 graphic smart display, and 5pcs A4988 stepper motor drivers with heatsinks. The 2560 control board is a microcontroller board with various input/output pins and connections for easy setup. The RAMPS 1.4 module is designed for expansion and easy service. The LCD 12864 display offers a user-friendly interface with an SD-Card reader and a rotary encoder. The A4988 stepper motor drivers provide reliable motor control. While the kit does not come with detailed documentation, it offers good functionality and is suitable for those with some experience in 3D printer assembly and setup. With a customer rating of 4.0/5, this kit is a budget-friendly option for upgrading or building a 3D printer.

Key Features

  • 2560 control board with multiple input/output pins
  • RAMPS 1.4 module for easy expansion and service
  • LCD 12864 display with user-friendly interface
  • 5pcs A4988 stepper motor drivers with heatsinks
  • Simple setup with USB connection or power adapter


  • Color: 3D Printer Controller Kit


  • Comprehensive kit with all the necessary components
  • Affordable option with good functionality
  • Easy setup with USB connection or power adapter


  • Lack of detailed documentation
  • Some customers reported bent pins and incorrect orientation in the description
  • Requires additional research and troubleshooting for beginners

The 3D Printer Controller Kit RepRap is a budget-friendly option for upgrading or building a 3D printer. Despite the lack of detailed documentation, the kit offers good functionality and is suitable for those with some experience in 3D printer assembly and setup. It includes essential components such as the control board, RAMPS 1.4 module, LCD 12864 display, and A4988 stepper motor drivers. While there have been some customer complaints about bent pins and incorrect orientation, overall, the kit is a convenient and affordable choice for DIY 3D printing enthusiasts.

Overall Score: 8.5/10

The BIGTREETECH SKR Mini E3 V3.0 Motherboard is a powerful control board designed for 3D printers, specifically compatible with Ender-3, Ender-3 V2, Ender-3 Pro, Ender-5, and Ender-5 Pro models. It features a larger heatsink and three CNC fans, providing improved heat dissipation. With onboard TMC2209 drivers, this motherboard ensures quiet operation and maximum motor torque. It supports firmware updates for Marlin and Klipper, offering flexibility to users. Additionally, it supports various upgrades such as BLTouch, RGB lights, and TFT touch screens. The board is easy to install and offers a significant upgrade in performance and printing experience. However, it may not support SD card extension, and some users have reported issues with documentation. Overall, the BIGTREETECH SKR Mini E3 V3.0 motherboard is a recommended choice for 3D printing enthusiasts looking for improved control and quiet operation.

Key Features

  • Compatible with Ender-3, Ender-3 V2, Ender-3 Pro, Ender-5, Ender-5 Pro
  • Larger heatsink and 3 CNC fans for improved heat dissipation
  • Supports BLTouch, RGB lights, blocking detection, and shutdown function
  • Onboard TMC2209 drivers for quiet operation and maximum motor torque
  • Compatible with Marlin and Klipper firmware


  • Color: Red


  • Improved heat dissipation
  • Quiet operation
  • Supports various upgrades
  • Compatible with popular 3D printer models
  • Easy firmware update process


  • May not support SD card extension
  • Lack of documentation

The BIGTREETECH SKR Mini E3 V3.0 Motherboard is a reliable and powerful control board for 3D printers. It offers improved heat dissipation, quiet operation, and compatibility with popular models. The ability to support various upgrades and firmware options adds flexibility to users. However, it is worth noting that SD card extension may not be supported and there is a lack of documentation. Overall, this motherboard is recommended for those looking to enhance their 3D printing experience and achieve better control and performance.

Overall Score: 8/10

The BIGTREETECH SKR PICO V1.0 Control Board is a mini controller board designed for Voron V0 and V0.1 3D printers. It features the Raspberry Pi ARM Cortex-M0+ MCU PR2040 and has a stylish appearance with excellent performance. The board includes a fuse kit for easy disassembly and installation, a Type-C interface for main control communication, and a unique lateral design that perfectly matches the Voron machine's space characteristics. With TMC2209 mute driver UART mode, the board enables silent 3D printing. It also has an upgraded heat dissipation design, increasing the heat dissipation area and improving overall temperature control. The board is backed by satisfying after-sales support, ensuring any issues or questions can be addressed promptly. With its compact size and advanced features, the BIGTREETECH SKR PICO V1.0 Control Board offers a great upgrade for Voron 3D printers.

Key Features

  • Brand-new Version for Voron V0& V0.1
  • Perfectly match With Raspberry Pi
  • Mute Printing & Premium Capacitors
  • Upgraded Heat Dissipation
  • Satisfying After-Sales Supports


  • Dimension: 33.46Lx22.04Wx0.11H


  • Compact size and stylish design
  • Silent printing with TMC2209 mute driver
  • Improved heat dissipation for better temperature control
  • Easy disassembly and installation with fuse kit
  • Compatible with Raspberry Pi for enhanced functionality


  • Lack of documentation
  • Limited community support/adoption
  • Short UART and USB cable

The BIGTREETECH SKR PICO V1.0 Control Board is a highly capable mini controller board that offers significant upgrades for Voron V0 and V0.1 3D printers. With its compact size, stylish design, and silent printing capabilities, it provides an excellent choice for enthusiasts and hobbyists. The improved heat dissipation design ensures better temperature control, enhancing the overall printing experience. While the lack of documentation and limited community support might be minor drawbacks, the board’s advanced features and satisfying after-sales support make up for it. If you’re looking for a reliable and feature-packed control board to enhance your Voron 3D printer, the BIGTREETECH SKR PICO V1.0 Control Board is a great option.

Buyer's Guide: 3D Printer Controller

Are you ready to dive into the world of 3D printing? One important component you need to consider is the 3D printer controller. This device acts as the brain of your 3D printer, regulating its movements and making sure everything runs smoothly. With so many options available, choosing the right controller can be overwhelming. Fear not! We've got you covered. In this buyer's guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about 3D printer controllers, helping you make an informed decision.

Key Considerations

Before you start browsing through different controllers, it's essential to understand some crucial factors that can influence your decision. Take a look at these key considerations:

  1. Compatibility: Different controllers are designed to work with specific 3D printers, so it's important to ensure compatibility. Prioritize controllers that are compatible with your printer's model or have broad compatibility across various brands.
  2. Controller Type: There are two primary controller types: RAMPS (RepRap Arduino Mega Pololu Shield) and Smoothieboard. RAMPS is the most common open-source controller, while Smoothieboard provides more advanced features but at a higher cost.
  3. Features: Consider the features you need for your projects. Some controllers offer LCD displays, Wi-Fi connectivity, SD card slots, and additional ports for expansion modules. Decide what features are essential for your needs.
  4. Ease of Use: Look for controllers that have user-friendly interfaces and offer clear documentation. Some controllers might require programming skills, while others provide plug-and-play functionality.
  5. Community Support: It can be helpful to choose a controller that has an active and supportive community. This ensures you can find resources, troubleshooting tips, and expert advice when needed.

Controller Comparison

Here's a quick comparison of the two main types of 3D printer controllers:

  • RAMPS (RepRap Arduino Mega Pololu Shield)
    • Open-source and widely used
    • Affordable price point
    • Compatible with many 3D printer models
    • Requires additional components for full functionality
    • Suitable for beginners and enthusiasts
  • Smoothieboard
    • More advanced features
    • Higher cost
    • Suitable for complex projects
    • Easier to set up and use
    • Recommended for experienced users and professionals

Frequently Asked Questions about 5 Best 3D Printer Controller For 2023

What is the role of a 3D printer controller?

A 3D printer controller acts as the brain of the printer, receiving instructions and sending signals to various components to control the movements and operations of the 3D printer.

Can I use any controller with my 3D printer?

No, not all controllers are compatible with every 3D printer. It’s crucial to check the compatibility of the controller with your specific printer model before making a purchase.

Do I need programming skills to use a 3D printer controller?

It depends on the controller. Some controllers require programming knowledge, while others offer plug-and-play functionality with user-friendly interfaces.

Are there any additional features I should consider when choosing a controller?

Yes, there are several additional features to consider, such as LCD displays, Wi-Fi connectivity, SD card slots for standalone printing, and expansion ports for future upgrades.

Should I choose an open-source or proprietary controller?

Open-source controllers like RAMPS offer more flexibility, community support, and compatibility with various printers. However, proprietary controllers may offer more advanced features and customer service.

Can I upgrade my 3D printer controller later?

In most cases, yes. However, you should check the compatibility and availability of installation instructions for your specific printer model.

Is it worth investing in a more expensive controller?

It depends on your needs and projects. If you require advanced features, smooth operation, and better print quality, investing in a higher-end controller like Smoothieboard might be worthwhile. However, for beginners, an affordable controller can suffice.

How do I know if a controller has good community support?

You can research online forums, social media groups, and websites dedicated to 3D printing. Look for active communities that provide assistance, share knowledge, and offer regular firmware updates.

Can I build my own 3D printer controller?

Yes, if you have the necessary electronics knowledge and skills, you can build your own controller using open-source designs available online. However, this is recommended for advanced users and enthusiasts.

What if my controller malfunctions or stops working?

In case of a malfunction, consult the controller’s documentation or seek help from the community support channels. If the issue persists, you might need to contact the manufacturer’s customer service for further assistance.

Are there any safety precautions I should consider while using a 3D printer controller?

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding electrical safety, handling, and maintenance. Be cautious when handling electronic components to prevent electric shocks or damage to the controller.