Afinia H480 3D Printer: Excellent out-of-the-box experience, great for educators.
Photo credit – Brian Kaldorf.


Price as Tested $1,299
Build Volume 140×140×135mm
Bed Style Heated perf board
Temperature Control? No
Materials Afinia PLA, ABS
Print Untethered? Unplug USB
Onboard controls? No
Software Afinia 3D
Slicer Afinia 3D
OS Mac, Windows
Open Software? No
Open Hardware? No

Afinia continues to live up to its “easy to use” reputation with their updated H-Series printer. The H480 printer may appear identical to the previous model, but it now includes automatic platform leveling and nozzle height detection.

Automatic Calibration

Leveling a print bed and setting the extruder height are two of the biggest challenges for beginners. The Afinia H480 uses a magnetically attached sensor to perform automatic platform level calibration. A sensor attached to the extruder probes the bed at 9 different points and a separate sensor determines the correct nozzle height. Even experienced users may be surprised at how reliable prints are when these important calibration steps are automated.

Simple Setup, Great Print Surfaces

The Afinia software is easy to use, providing all the essentials for slicing and printer control in an uncluttered interface. The software defaults create rafts and supports which, combined with the heated bed, gives great print results, although the built-in slicer didn’t fare well with very small positive Fine Features or Bridging.


– Load models and configure settings while preheating to save time.
– Use BuildTak to eliminate perforated print bottoms.
– You can’t turn off support completely, but you can minimize the support angle to 10° to eliminate most support structures. Use “Print Setup” menu (3D Print menu > setup)
Great surface finish with “fine” print settings. Automatic platform leveling and nozzle height detection remove beginner frustration. Good for educators, as reliable design and easy-to-use software mean successful prints with less training and support issues. Includes a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty, with an optional 1-year extension. Includes accessories kit.

It excels at producing high-quality Surface Finish and did well with the articulated robot Tolerances. Other printers may have flashier interfaces or larger build volumes, but the Afinia’s Surface Finish and ease of use keeps it in the top 10.

Now With (proprietary) PLA

The Afinia (and its Up brethren) lack user-controlled temperature settings and print ABS at a much higher temp (260°) than other printers. This requires Afinia-produced high-temperature filament to perform properly. Afinia has also begun to produce its own brand of specially formulated PLA, but color selection is (at press time) limited. It’s not recommended to use non-Afinia/Up filaments with this machine.

Not for Tinkerers

The same features that make the H-Series a top “Just Hit Print” choice will steer hardware hackers away. The closed design means that there are limited options to tweak or tinker with the machine. The Afinia software only allows limited choices for layer height, temperature and percent infill.


Overall, the updated Afinia H480 offers a reliable print experience that should appeal to the growing ranks of new 3D printer users.

Josh Ajima

Josh Ajima

Designer. Maker. Teacher.
K12 3D Printing Expert and passionate advocate for Making in the Classroom. Developer of the Makerspace Starter Kit.