In recent years, 3D printers have become much more affordable. These lower prices make them accessible to more people, making it easy to get your hands on a 3D printer. But there is a huge variety of models available. Narrowing down all the options to find the best low-cost 3D printer is hard work! But not to worry. We’ve done all the legwork and research for you!
Here’s my detailed guide to the best 3D printers for under $500, as well as the best 3D printers for under $200. You’ll soon see that there’s the perfect printer for you, no matter what your budget is! First, let’s go over what to look out for when shopping for a printer. Then, I’ll share my top recommended products with you!
What is a Dual Extruder 3D Printer?
Currently, most 3D printers can only print in one color. They are also often limited to using one material at a time. That’s because they use fused deposition modeling to print. They do this by adding layers and gradually building it up. Of course, this is much cheaper.
A dual extruder 3D printer differs because it can handle two colors or materials at the same time. It has an extra printer head that allows it to do this. So, you can create a multi-colored product or incorporate various materials. Some dual extruders can even print two different parts simultaneously.
How to Choose the Best 3D Printer
There are a few things to look out for when shopping for a 3D printer. Keep these factors in mind, and you’ll be sure to buy the best product out there!
Ready-Made or DIY Printer?
Do you have the time and know-how to put together a DIY printer? If so, you could save some money, but you’ll need to put in the work yourself. You’ll have to be patient, as you won’t be able to get started with printing straight away! If you don’t have the skills or time to put a printer together, you can buy a ready-made printer instead.
You’ll need to think about how much space you have to store your 3D printer. If you’re tight on storage space, a smaller model will be better. But you should also consider the size of the prints you want to make. The build space can vary from printer to printer, so make sure to look carefully. Some 3D printers can only create tiny designs. In contrast, other models have more generous build platforms to allow you to get creative.
You want a 3D printer that is well made from sturdy materials so that it will last for a long time. But you also want it to print with precision and neatness, for a better result. Make sure to read reviews and find out what the printer is made from. All-metal printers tend to be stronger than plastic models. Some manufacturers also offer a limited 1-year warranty. This provides extra peace of mind.
Ease of Use
An important factor when choosing the right 3D printer will be your own experience. If you’re a complete beginner, ease of use should be a top priority. You’ll need a model that is user-friendly and not too complicated, or it could be too much of a learning curve.
But if you’ve already mastered the basics, you could go for a more advanced printer. These models will allow you to experiment with complex, advanced techniques. It’s your decision!
My Reviews: The Best 3D Printers Under 500 & The Best 3D Printers Under 200
Now you know what to look out for, it’s time to choose the best 3D printer for your needs. Here are the top models on the market today for under $500 and under $200.
So whatever your budget, you’ll find a printer here to suit your needs. Go ahead and take a look, and then make your choice.
For just under $300, the ANYCUBIC Mega-S is a fantastic, reasonably priced 3D printer. The latest model has a new and improved design. It comes with an updated titan extruder, solid filament drive, and better wiring.
Compared with other 3D printers, this one has an ample build space of 8.27 x 8.27 by 8.07 inches. So, you can get creative and produce bigger, more exciting products. Plus, the patented platform holds your designs securely while printing. But as soon as it has cooled down, they come away with ease.
This 3D printer can heat up to 260 C quickly for effective printing. Another benefit of this model is that it doesn’t take up too much space. It’s very quiet in action, too, so you’ll hardly know it’s there.
The set up of this model is straightforward, with just 8 screws to put into place. It’s also durable with all-metal construction, so you can work it hard. Also, ANYCUBIC is well-known for its excellent customer service. You get one year of after-sale service and ongoing technical support.
- Excellent print quality
- Strong build can withstand heavy use
- It’s not the fastest 3D printer
If you’re excited about resin printing or want to give it a try, this Photon Zero 3D printer is for you! It’s about as affordable as resin printers come, making it a great choice if you’re on a budget. Plus, it’s quick and easy to set up, and you can be printing within 5 minutes!
The Photon Zero from ANYCUBIC boasts a parallel LED and 16X anti-aliasing function. As a result, you’ll get smoother results and a much cleaner finish on your printed products! The cooling system is another excellent feature. It stabilizes the printing process for better overall performance.
This printer comes with everything you need. You get all the tools, masks, gloves, and paper filters required to get started. The scraper included is of strong metal, which is much more durable than a plastic scraper. All in all, the quality of construction and materials is impressive.
Plus, you even get a 1-year warranty and lifetime tech support from the company. This provides that extra peace of mind when you’re spending $200+ on a new product! The Photon Zero is a superb investment for any beginners. Buy this model if you want to dabble in resin printing, without the high cost.
- Very easy to assemble
- Great quality and performance
- The build plate is quite small
The ELEGOO Mars UV printer is affordable and comes with the latest technology. This efficient 3D resin printer has an advanced touchscreen and fast slicing software. It’s also cost-effective because you can hollow out your designs and use less resin, saving money.
The 2K HD masking LCD allows you to create designs that are more precise than ever before. As a result, your products will look neat, tidy, and true to life. You can get creative and won’t be held back by machine limitations. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, you’ll have fun with this printer!
As far as the construction, the Mars UV printer is robust with a strong steel build. The steel ball design is a great addition, making it easier to get started printing. Plus, you’re covered by a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer.
- A very reliable and user-friendly printer
- It prints with impressive precision and detail
- Printing with resin is quite messy
This compact printer is small on size but offers plenty of advanced features. With the Monoprice Select Mini, you can print with a range of different materials. You can use anything from PLA and ABS to more complex materials. So, it’s both versatile and has a small footprint, which makes it ideal for anyone who’s tight on space.
Another massive benefit of this model is that there’s no assembly required. It comes all set up and ready to go so that you can be printing in minutes. With pre-installed models on the included MicroSDTM card.
It has a simple, open-frame construction made from quality materials. Plus, it’s built to last. The extruder can heat up to different temperatures, depending on your needs.
- A sturdy, durable printer that can fit in any house – compact size
- Extremely user-friendly and versatile
- The build size is tiny, limiting the designs you can make
The Adventurer 3 is a reasonably priced 3D printer that is a fantastic choice for beginners. The design is minimalist yet durable, and the software is very user-friendly. This printer comes ready-made, so there’s no fiddly setup involved. Plus, it has some handy features like the detachable nozzle and removable build plate. This makes cleanup and removal of your prints quick, simple, and straightforward.
The touchscreen makes it easy to operate the FlashForge Adventurer 3. It also displays the status of the printing process when in use. With a 45 Decibel noise level, this printer is pretty quiet. The auto-filament loading system is a nice touch, as is the leveled build plate.
It’s true that the FlashForge Adventurer 3 is the most expensive printer on my list. But it’s still well worth the investment. And at around $450, it’s still very affordable compared to 3D printers that cost upwards of $1,000!
- Great for beginners
- Has lots of useful features
- Quite expensive
Here’s another excellent product from ANYCUBIC at an affordable cost. Coming in at just over $200, the Photon UV printer is a good option if you want to create small designs. While the printing size is fairly limited, you can’t beat this printer for detail and precision!
What’s more, it’s ideal for the complete beginner. There are only four different settings for you to get your head around. With the small learning curve, you can be printing your designs in no time. Plus, there’s no setup involved – it’s ready to use straight from the box.
From the extruder to the LCD screen, every component is high quality, sturdy. It’s constructed to withstand frequent use. You also get a 1-year warranty from ANYCUBIC. If anything goes wrong with your printer, they will repair or replace it for you, free of charge.
- Made from durable aluminum with a quality LCD touchscreen
- One of the best 3D printers for beginners
- The build size is very limited
The Ender 3 is a high-quality printer that works effectively. It has a sturdy, rigid frame, a magnetic plate sticker, and a tempered glass bed. This magnetic build surface is a nice feature, especially if you’re using PLA. The latest edition also has an upgraded, safety-protected power supply that heats up fast.
As this printer is a DIY model, you’ll need to put it together yourself. So, you should be aware that this printer is quite difficult to put together and set up. You can find handy online videos to walk you through the steps, as it’s tough to do yourself. The user guide isn’t very detailed or easy to follow.
So, this model might not be the best option for anyone who wants a pre-assembled printer. But if you want a budget 3D printer and can spare the time, it’s a fantastic option.
- Affordable price
- Strong rigid frame
- The bed could be flatter – it’s not very smooth
The Wrap Up
So there you have my guide to the best 3D printers around. These models are some of the best options out there if you’re on a budget! They are suitable for everyone from beginners to the experienced. With these top 3D printers, you can get creative and produce your own designs.
Plus, these tried-and-tested printers are durable and won’t take up too much space, either. Take your pick and order today, so you can start having fun and experimenting with your creations!
Let me know if you have any comments or think I left out another great 3D printer – I’d love to know! Then, make sure you subscribe to the Proactive Creative newsletter. I’ll keep you updated on the best resources, tips, and reviews for creative people!
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