Best Cheap 3D Printer

Best Cheap 3D PrinterWhile 3D printers continue to gain popularity steam, they still carry a hefty price tag. Even hobbyists, with simpler needs, shudder at printers costing $1,500 to $2,500. Luckily, you can find a few cheaper 3D printers if you dig a little.

The cheapest 3D printers come as a printer kit and require assembly. If you can follow directions and know how to handle small tools, then buying a do-it-yourself kit can save you $100. For those not so handy with DIY might find paying the extra for the already made printer more to their liking.

We found five inexpensive 3D Printer options, all under $500, coming assembled and ready to use, and DIY build it yourself kits.


Some Tips Before You Buy a 3D Printer

Before you grab your checkbook or credit card, there are things to look for before buying 3D printers.

  • Table Size – When choosing a 3D Printer, the size of the bed or table determines how big the creation you print can be.
  • OS Compatibility – Open source software is the preferable option. Autocad software, necessary for operating your printer is expensive, costing up to $1,400 each year for Autodesk’s Cad software program. When using an open source program, you always have control over your 3D printing tools.
  • Polymer Type – The best thermoplastics are polylactic acid (PLA) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). PLA, made from sugar, which is biodegradable polymer with fewer chances of warping. PLA is the best choice when you don’t have a heated table. ABS thermoplastic has the strength and a slight flexibility but puts out an unpleasant odor.

Best 3D Printer Under $500

Each under $500 printer making our list comes ready to use, out of the box, no assembly needed. But, it’s important to remember that all the lesser-priced printers have limitations. Those lower price limitations include smaller build volume, no heated print beds, and a lesser print quality.

But if you don’t need the extras and have the patience for working with it, these less expensive models can serve your needs at an affordable cost.

Our Top 3D Printers Under $500


1. Monoprice MP Select MiniABS, PLA, Exotics120 x 120 x 120Read Full Review
2. XYZprinting da Vinci Mini
PLA
150 x 150 x 150Read Full Review
3. M3D Micro RetailABS, PLA, Exotics109 x 133 x 116Read Full Review
4. Mono Price Maker Select V2
PLA
200 x 200 x 175Read Full Review
5. Printrbot Play
PLA
100 x 100 x 130Read Full Review
6. New Matter MOD-t
PLA
100 x 100 x 125Read Full Review
7. XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro
PLA
150 x 150 x 150Read Full Review
8. Flashforge Finder
PLA
140 x 140 x 140Read Full Review
9. XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. Mix 2.0
PLA
150 x 150 x 150Read Full Review
10. Printrbot Simple
PLA
150 x 150 x 150Read Full Review

#1 Monoprice MP Select Mini 3D Printer

The Monoprice MP Select Mini comes in as our #1 choice for best 3D printer under $500. Don’t let the low price fool you; this impressive compact printer offers a filament feeder with stainless steel gear and quick release, heated build plate, a fan for nozzle cooling, and USB and microSD connection.

This impressive budget printer with its heated print bed has an easy operation while producing consistent, reliable prints.

The large range for extruder temperature and heated plate allows working with different filament types from the basic PLA and ABS to exotic and dissolvable materials.

Key features of the Monoprice MP Select Mini 3D printer:

  • Compact and open frame design for desktop use.
  • The heated build plate and temperature range for the extruder supports all filament types from basic PLA and ABS to advanced wood, metal, and dissolving PVA. Usable filament types include PLA, ABS, and Exotic.
  • An aluminum build plate nozzle with cooling fan lets you print different filaments.
  • Has a small build volume at 120 x 120 x 120 mm.
  • Fully assembled, ready to print and factory calibrated. The included PLA filament sample, MicroSD card, and bed scraper lets you print the moment you take it from the box.
  • PC/Mac compatible and works with Repetier, Cura, and other software.

You can find the Monoprice MP Select Mini 3D printer at Amazon for $215.

 


#2 XYZprinting da Vinci Mini 3D Printer

The single button printing design has five colored status LED lights to make this inexpensive 3D printer user-friendly. Get simple operation in the office, classroom, or at home over your network with Wi-Fi connectivity.

Like with other low price point XYZprinting 3D printers, the proprietary filament means buying more consumables through the manufacturer.

Key features of the XYZprinting da Vinci Mini 3D printer:

  • The single-button printing design helps streamline your printing jobs with one touch.
  • Colored LED light panel shows the different printing conditions.
  • Wireless printing throughout all areas of the home or office building when connected wireless to a network router.
  • When connecting to a network, the XYZware gives you computing efficiency with slicing precision for shorter prep time before printing.
  • The Mini only prints using XYZprinting’s specialized PLA filament. The non-toxic filament offers safety through laboratory tested heavy metal and DEHP-free material and comes in assorted colors.
  • Other non-toxic components include printer enclosure, cleaning and maintenance tools, power adapter and cables, and print bed tapes.
  • Free downloaded beginner XYZmaker 3D model design software package included.
  • Build area dimensions are 150 x 150 x 150 mm.

You can find the XYZprinting da Vinci Mini 3D printer at Amazon for $270.

 

 


#3 M3D Micro Retail 3D Printer

A Kickstarter debut, the M3D Micro 3D printer is the first 3D printer made for the consumer. The printer’s power comes from the innovative Micro Motion Technology. This premier technology is the next generation application that creates precision 3D printing for less than other 3D printers.

The M3D Micro Retail 3D printer is compact and comes in six color choices; black, blue, green white, orange, and purple. Perfect for indoor, small space use with its quiet printing operation.

Included with the printer is the user-friendly M3D software for Windows. Full touch screen ability with an easy-to-use interface organizes any downloaded 3D models into an easy viewing library.

Key features of the M3D Micro Retail 3D printer:

  • Get immediate printing with right from the box, plug, and play.
  • Download 3D models with the M3D Windows compatible software.
  • Non-heated print bed.
  • Print build volume of 116 x 109 x 113 mm.
  • Built-in automatic calibration technology for consistently high-quality
  • Uses PLA printing media.
  • Compatible with third party material usage.
  • USB connectivity.
  • The only consumer 3D printer made carrying a UL safety rating.

You can find the M3D Micro Retail 3D printer at Amazon for $270.

 

 


#4 Monoprice Maker Select V2 3D Printer

If your design ideas are ready for the move from CAD file to print, the Monoprice Maker Select 3D printer quickly starts you on your way.

Most kit printers take assembly time and experience, but the Maker Select printer is easy and comes with everything you need. The setup involves removing the printer from the box then tightening six screws. Just ten minutes and your 3D creations come to life.

The Mono Price Maker Select V2 comes in with one of the lowest price DIY printer kits and lets you print with any 3D filament. Easily enter the 3D printing world with little investment with this entry-level printer.

Price Maker is a replica of the open source Prusa i3 and a popular DIY 3D printer kit with consumers. The printer’s popularity comes from its ease of use with consistent results.

Unique design features include a control panel and power brick housed separately from the printer body. You get more building room with a generous 200 x 200 x 180 mm build volume making it an excellent value for the money.

Key features of the Monoprice Maker Select V2 3D printer:

  • Includes heated print bed.
  • Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X compatible. Other compatible software includes Simplify 3D, Cure, and Repeater.
  • Included Micro SD card slot for printing without connecting to a computer.
  • Large print build volume of 200 x 200 x 180 mm.
  • Uses PLA, ABS, and Exotic print media.
  • Printing controls on the printer.

You can find the Monoprice Maker Select V2 3D printer at Amazon for $330.

 

 


#5 Printrbot Play 3D Printer

For those looking for a budget-friendly printer, especially educators, Printrbot Play comes in first in popularity. It’s a reliable 3D printer with low cost and a durable metal construction.

The Printrbot Play build area comes in on the small size with a 100 x 100 x130 build volume, making it a portable solution for educators. The Y axis lets you extend the print build area by adding a heated bed. Its user-friendliness makes it good for kids and comes with a hot end protection cover to protect hands from burns.

Printbot Play comes fully assembled with a print bed with the auto-leveling print surface. The open source software connects to the computer with the included Micro-USB cable. An optional Micro-SD card allows disconnect from the computer giving you untethered printing.

Key features of the Printrbot Play 3D printer:

  • Durable metal construction and compact size make it lightweight for easy moving.
  • Great for children’s use with an extruder cover and fan shroud to prevent touching hot components.
  • Uses PLA material.
  • Non-heated print bed.
  • Software and hardware are open source.
  • USB and SD card connectivity.
  • Small build area of 100 x 100 x 130 mm.

You can find the Printrbot Play 3D printer at Amazon for $419.

 

 


#6 New Matter MOD-t 3D Printer

The high-quality, elegant and simple New Matter MOD-t 3D printer goes from home to classroom to office with easy to use reliability. The clear, protective build cover ensures quiet operation with top-notch safety features, making it a perfect choice for professionals, consumers, and students.

This 3D printer is easy to set up and use with a straight from the box setup, no assembly needed. Simple online setup has you printing in just twenty minutes. Reliable and intuitive software and hardware allow simplistic operation with Wi-Fi connection for direct customization and printing from all devices.

Key features of the New Matter MOD-t 3D printer:

  • Easy, straight from the box, twenty-minute setup.
  • Reliable and high-quality printing with a high print success rate and 50-micron resolution.
  • Uses PLA printing material in a variety of colors.
  • Nice build area size of 150 x 100 x 125 mm.
  • Third party material
  • Wi-Fi connection for wireless setup and printing from all devices.
  • USB connectivity.

You can find the New Matter MOD-t at Amazon for $300.

 

 


#7 XYZPrinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro 3D Printer

The newest XYZprinting consumer model, da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro comes with top level features and third party filament support and faster print speed. This high-value package also includes a closed in build chamber and cooling duct, auto-calibration, and the ability to add a free, upgraded 0.3mm nozzle for high detailed prints.

Da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro has resolutions of 100 to 400 microns designed for adding an auto-feed filament system. The additional filament system extends the PLA filament all the way to the extruder, ensuring proper filament loading. Jr. 1.0 prints in heavy metal-free PLA and DEHP-free filament only.

Key features of the XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro 3D printer:

  • The free software package includes XYZprinting STEAM 3D printing curriculum, XYZware printing software, and XYZmaker 3D design software.
  • Uses XYZ non-toxic, DEHP-free and Heavy metal-free PLA plastic filament.
  • Good build area size of 150 x 150 x 150 mm.
  • Non-heated platform.
  • No time-consuming calibration with easy z-offset calibration that allows easy print bed adjustment.
  • LED on-screen printer controls.
  • Optional upgradeable print speed with a maximum printing speed of 100mm per second.
  • SD card and USB connectivity.

You can find the XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro at Amazon for $200.

 

 


#8 Flashforge Finder 3D Printer

The newest 3D printer, Flashforge Finder, is not only easy on the wallet but is a plug-and-play user-friendly machine. Straight from the box, Flashforge Finder comes loaded with easy-to-use features for the office, the kid’s room, and the classroom. The finder comes in as the number one 3D printer choices for educators and novices.

The new Flashforge comes in a compact and open-face design and has a medium sized build volume area of 140 x 140 x 140 mm. This printer sports a color display with USB and Wi-Fi connectivity and includes a free USB stick and start filament, everything you need for printing the moment you get it.

Key features of Flashforge Finder 3D printer:

  • Slide-in build plate.
  • Full color, 3.5-inch touch screen.
  • Non-heated build plate.
  • Uses PLA material.
  • Wi-Fi, USB, and flash drive connectivity.

You can find Flashforge Finder 3D printer at Amazon for $500.

 

 


#9 XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. Mix 2.0 3D Printer

While the da Vinci Jr. Mix 2.0 offers the same basic features of the other XYZprinting 3D printers; it has one feature that makes it stand out. The Mix 2.0 gives you a two filament printing ability for mixing varied color gradients.

Even with the high-end two filament feature, the cheaper 3D printer comes with a downside. The da Vinci Mix filaments are not interchangeable with 3rd party filaments. You must buy your replacements through XYZprinting directly.

Key features of the XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. Mix 2.0 3D printer:

  • Get varied color gradients with 2 filament color feature.
  • Build volume base is 150 x150 x 150 mm.
  • Uses PLA proprietary filaments, bought only through XYZprinting.
  • Non-heated platform.
  • Print controls on the printer.
  • SD Card, USB, and Wi-Fi connectivity.

You can find the XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. Mix 2.0 3D printer at Amazon for $392.

 

 


#10 Printrbot Simple 3D Printer

Printrbot Simple comes fully assembled with a black powder-coated all-metal frame made from aluminum and steel. The open platform has an average size print bed measuring 150 x150 x 150 mm.

Aluminum and steel print bed protects against warping and includes an auto-leveling probe for use with the user’s preferred software program, giving your creation a level surface for printing.

The Printrbot Simple delivers a fully assembled 3D printer that not only cheap but fuss-free. This 3D printer also supports upgraded components like a heated printer bed or extended build volume.

Key features of the Printrbot Simple 3D printer:

  • Increased durability with steel and aluminum construction.
  • The auto-level probe is compatible with user software for level printing surface.
  • Build volume base is 150 x 150 x 150 mm.
  • Heated platform is an optional feature.
  • Uses PLA print media.
  • Open source software and hardware.
  • USB connectivity.

You can find the Printrbot Simple 3D printer at Amazon for $490.

 

 


Best 3D Printers for $500 to $1,000

If you want a few more bells and whistles with your 3D printer, then these machines deliver and keep costs under $1,000. While these printers have budget-friendly pricing, they still have a few problems that only go away with the costlier higher end models.

Even the top priced models we list here can have loud operation, are prone to software bugs, and come with expensive filament replacement and high maintenance costs.

Our Top Five $500 to $1,000 3D Printer List


1. Monoprice Maker Select Ultimate

ABS, PLA, Exotics

120 x 120 x 175

$700

2. ROBO 3D R1 Plus

ABS, PLA, Exotics

254 x 229 x 203

$620

3. Robo C2

PLA

127 x 127 x 150

$800

4. FlashForge Creator Pro

PLA

140 x 140 x 140

$900

5. Dremel Idea Builder

PLA

230 x 150 x 140

$775

#1 Monoprice Maker Select Ultimate 3D Printer

Designed with professional features like a non-warping aluminum print bed and user-friendly interface software, the Monoprice Ultimate gives the novice professional 3D printing. The durable all metal frame delivers a print platform that’s stable, allowing higher print speeds at 150 mm per second.

This top of the line cheap printer stands out above the rest in two important areas. The first is the discontinued setup of the Bowden tube, used for direct drive extrusion. This feature removal should give the user reliable operations. But, the benefit of less failed printing jobs may come at the price of lower speed from the heavier print head.

The second benefit of the Monoprice Maker Select is lower cost for many of the same features on the top tier 3D printers.

Key features of the Monoprice Maker Select Ultimate 3D printer:

  • Supports super-fine layer resolutions of 20 microns for high-quality printing with fine details and smooth surfaces.
  • Anti-jam feeder ensures filament feeding reliability avoiding ruined print jobs from extruder feeding failure.
  • The heated print bed with an all-metal extruder allows multifilament types use including PLA and ABS plastic and exotic materials like wood and metal.
  • Build volume base is 200 x 200 x 175 mm.
  • Uses ABS, PLA, and Exotic print media.
  • Third party material
  • Print controls on the printer.
  • USB and SD card connectivity.

You can find the Monoprice Maker Select Ultimate 3D printer at Amazon for $700.

 

 


#2 Robo 3D R1 Plus 3D Printer

Robo R1 Plus has new improvements delivering consistent, quality performance made possible with the lead screws and linear motion. The improved system for filament feeding makes use easier with the quick release extruder for faster change outs.

A massive 254 x 229 x 203 mm print build area is one of the biggest 3D build volumes available for under $1,000. Add to the generous print volume, a 9-point leveling system and you get a level and adjustment free bed.

Add a six-month warranty and 24-hour tech support, and you have an excellent, under $1,000 3D printing option.

Key features of the Robo 3D R1 Plus 3D printer:

  • All new, lead screws and linear motion for consistently high-quality
  • Feeding system for filament material, giving you easy, quick release extruder change out.
  • Large build volume area of 254 x 229 x 203 mm.
  • Plug-and-play for printing straight from the box.
  • Heated build platform.
  • Uses ABS, PLA, and Exotic print media.
  • On printer print controls.
  • USB connectivity.

You can find the Robo 3D R1 Plus 3D printer at Amazon for $620.

 

 


#3 Robo C2 3D Printer

The fully featured Robo CS is compact and boasts blazing fast print speeds of 300 mm per second and a decent build volume of 127 x 127 x 150 mm. It’s one of the most compact 3D consumer printers on the market but delivers the same print speed as the bigger models and with a 20-micron resolution for smooth and detailed printing.

The Robo C2 has more connectivity with Wi-Fi and a new print app for 3D printing from all iOS devices. You can print, edit and monitor from your phone or tablet and the C2 connects to Chromebook through a slicing feature.

Key features of the Robo C2 3D printer:

  • Monitor and print through the iOS mobile app.
  • 127 x 127 x 150 mm build volume.
  • Non-heated platform.
  • Uses PLA print material.
  • Print controls on the printer.
  • Built-in Amazon Alexa integration.
  • USB and Wi-Fi connectivity.

You can find the Robo C2 3D printer at Amazon for $800.

 

 


#4 Flash Forge Creator Pro 3D Printer

A close copy of the Makerbot Replicator 2X, the Flash Forge Creator Pro offers high-end features like the dual extrusion ability and an enclosed chassis and metal frame. The printer has a system for platform leveling with a build plate that’s metal and guide rod for durability and stabilization. The heated build platform and a generous, 225 x 145 x 150 build volume round out the outstanding features of this consumer machine.

Key features of the Flash Forge Creator Pro 3D printer:

  • Metal frame for stable operation.
  • Build plate made from aviation grade aluminum with a 6.3 thickness for a non-warping flat surface during heating.
  • Movement on the Z axis is precise using metal platform support and a 10mm guiding rod.
  • ABS print protection from enclosed chamber insulation.
  • 225 x 145 x 150 mm build volume.
  • Uses PLA, ABS, and Exotics print media.
  • Heated platform.
  • SD card and USB connectivity.

You can find the Flash Forge Creator Pro 3D printer at Amazon for $900.

 

 


#5 Dremel Idea Builder 3D Printer

The best thing about the Dremel Idea Builder 3D printer is its ease-of-use. A plug-and-play setup, straight from the box and the fully enclosed machine makes it a good contender in the consumer 3D printer market.

The Dremel has extra features usually found on commercial models, like print control from the color touch screen and a large 230 x 150 x 140 print volume. The only high-end feature this 3D printer doesn’t have is a heated print bed.

Key features of the Dremel Idea Builder 3D printer:

  • Quick and simple 3D model customization with the easy-to-use software.
  • Object previews with the color touch screen.
  • 230 x 150 x 140 mm build volume.
  • Non-heated platform.
  • Print controls on the printer.
  • Uses PLA print media.
  • SD card and USB connectivity.

You can find the Dremel Idea Builder 3D printer at Amazon for $775.

 


What’s important to you when it comes to a 3D Printer? Share with us in the comments!

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