Techcommjournal.org – 3D printing technology has been around for some years, yet many people are still confused when it comes to buying a new 3D printer. Well, such confusion is quite normal as buying a 3D printer is not the same with buying a 2D printer. You might be familiar with such great names in 2D printer market as Epson and Canon, but even the number one 3D printer manufacturer has obscure name that you are mostly not familiar with. The confusion gets worse because just like you, most 3D printer customers have to decide whether to focus on affordability, quality or functionality. If you are looking for a cheap 3D printer, then you have to decide whether to sacrifice quality or functionality. You cannot get the three features altogether. No matter how smart you are as a buyer, you mostly have to pick only two among the three.
Table 1.0 10 Best 3D Printer 2017 – Based on Budget (Under $500 & $1,000)
|3d Printers||Filamen Types||Price Estimation||Shop for Best Price|
|QIDI TECHNOLOGY X-ONE - Editor's Choice for The Best Under $500||PLA, ABS||Under $500|
|Monoprice Maker Select V2||PLA||Under $500|
|XYZprinting da Vinci mini||PLA||Under $500|
|Monoprice Maker Select Plus||PLA||Under $500|
|Monoprice Select Mini 3D||PLA, ABS||Under $500|
|FlashForge 3d Printer Creator Pro - Editor's Choice for The Best Under $1,000||PLA, ABS||Under $1,000|
|XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 Pro||PLA, ABS||Under $1,000|
|XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 AiO||PLA, ABS||Under $1,000|
|ROBO 3D R1 Plus ABS/PLA||PLA, ABS||Under $1,000|
|XMachines Lorei||PLA||Under $1,000|
This guide is designed to help you find the best cheap 3D printer that you can buy on the market. The choice is tough due to the confusion we explain above, but with little yet careful research of the top 10 3D printers that you will see below, it should be easier for you to pick the best product. Because you are looking for a 3D printer with cheap price, we will focus on price range when selecting the best products to be included in our list. Here we are classifying the listed products into 3D printers under $500 and those under $1000. If you are a new user looking for an entry-level model, products listed in the former category can be your best choices. If you prefer to spend more to get better functionality and quality, search among the latter.
- 1 5 Best Cheap 3d Printers Under $500
- 2 5 Best Cheap 3d Printers Under $1000
- 3 Conclusion
5 Best Cheap 3d Printers Under $500
QIDI TECHNOLOGY X-ONE 3D Printer
QIDI TECHNOLOGY’s X-One 3D printer might not be the most eye-catching cheap 3D printer that you can find today, but it definitely looks sturdy and durable and performs satisfactorily. From the outside, X-One looks almost like an old computer case with simple design—something that you’d rather put in a garage than place on a fancy desk in your office. The body is also very heavy even for a 3D printer. Despite its rather mediocre look and heavy structure, the metal body looks and feels sturdy and durable.
Now we will talk about performance. Surprisingly, despite being an affordable 3D printer with bland look, QIDI TECH X-One performs rather excellently. With capability to create printing result with layer resolution ranging from 100 to 500 microns, X-One is able to offer quite accurate result. When printing simple geometries, the end result appears smooth and precise, though you shouldn’t expect 100% perfect result as tiny seams and ridges still appear on the print result. But overall, the print result is satisfactory enough, as long as you don’t use the printer to print highly detailed objects.
One thing of concern about X-One 3D printer is its noise. X-One is possibly one of the noisy 3D printers you can find on the market. Considering its unadorned design and noisy operation, you may want to store it in your garage and not somewhere else in your home.
Monoprice 13860 Maker Select 3d Printer V2
Monoprice 13860 Maker Select is a versatile 3D printer that is easy to assemble, easy to prepare, easy to use, and easy to upgrade. The first time you unbox the package, you will not see a fully assembled 3D printer, but separate components that you have to assemble yourself. Fortunately, assembly is very easy whether you use the included manual or you do the assembly job without the manual. Preparation and calibration is also easy as you only need to touch the calibration button once. When you are ready to use Monoprice 13860 Maker Select, you don’t have to be confused of whether to use ABS or PLA as the printer supports both. You can use ABS if you prefer stronger result or PLA if you want to print faster and eco-friendlier. Upgrade and modification are also easy to do as this printer supports most part models available in the market. If you want a smoother engine, you can switch its engine with NEMA motor. If you want multicolor printing, you can attach additional extruder. The only con of this printer is that it is not that capable to print highly detailed object, but this is a weakness typical of all cheap 3D printer models.
XYZprinting da Vinci mini 3D Printer
The most difficult thing a buyer of cheap product must do is getting the best product with the cheapest price. We have mentioned above that if you focus on budget, you have to sacrifice either functionality or quality. When you buy Da Vinci mini 3D printer released by XYZprinting, one of the top manufacturers of cheap 3D printers, you don’t have to sacrifice too much. The mini 3D printer can truly show its excellent performance despite its cheap price. In a nutshell, Da Vinci mini 3D printer is a 3D printer under $300 that is comparably better than any other under-$500 models.
This 3D printer has some strong points. To begin with, the machine is surprisingly silent. Noises are heard, but they are not as notorious as those of other 3D printers within the same price range. Print quality is also excellent with the result showing reasonable accuracy and few to no misprints. This is undeniably a cheap printer that you can rely on if you want to start a small-scale 3D printing business.
Monoprice Maker Select Plus 3D Printer
Maker Select Plus 3D printer offers a number of enhancements to the already versatile V2 model. On paper, the Plus model is advertised as featuring 50% higher printing speed, tuning options on the fly, better and more enhanced anti-jam extruder, integrated control design, and smaller and sleeker design. There is around $70 price difference between the Plus and the V2 model, with the former being the more expensive. If you don’t mind to spend additional $70 for the new model and all advertised features that it offers, you can go for it. However, since you are already aware that the V2 model is easy to upgrade and modify, buying custom parts to improve it instead of buying a new model is also considered a sound decision.
You’ve read the advertisement, now let’s take a look at whether the advertised features are true. Based on our test, the new printer indeed works as advertised; however, in regard to printing speed, there is actually no significant increase. It does print faster, but it is not one and half faster than the V2 model.
Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer
The last in our 3D printer under $500 list is Monoprice’s Select Mini. Being the cheapest 3D printer in our list, this model proves that you can actually have a reliable and cheap 3D printer even if your budget is only $200. Being a cheap printer, however, it does have its own strong and weak points.
The biggest weakness of this 3D printer lies in its temperature control. The hot end of this printer cannot effectively control its temperature. As a result, melted filament may form bubble on the printed result. The bubble may cause inconsistencies in the structure of the printed object. Due to this problem, you may often see bumpy or uneven surface on the printed object. This 3D printer works reasonably reliably, but the result will less likely be as smooth as you expect.
Fortunately, just like the other two Monoprice models reviewed here, the Select Mini model is also easy to modify. If the problem with temperature control frustrates you a lot, you can always swap it with better hot end, such as the E3D V6 model.
5 Best Cheap 3d Printers Under $1000
FlashForge 3d Printer Creator Pro
The previous model of FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro looks outdated with plain body and so many exposed bolts. The newer model looks much more attractive with black color, glass windows, and revamped operational interface. You will love the overall look of the new model as it looks approximately like he Makerbot Replicator 2X.
One of the strong points of this 3D printer model is its dual extruders, which give a lot of advantages. With two extruders, you can work with different materials, such as ABS and PLA, simultaneously. The 3D printer will still work even if only one extruder is used, so if one of the extruders needs maintenance, you can still use the printer using the other extruder.
The printing area is designed to be reliable. The metal platform is definitely more heat-resistant than plastic. This machine includes LED light that illuminates the printing area. On the top, the Z-axis rod feels so sturdy that unnecessary vibration can be significantly reduced when the printer is at work, thereby improving the printing quality.
XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 Pro
XYZprinting is considered a top manufacturer of 3D printers, so if you buy its products, you will hardly be disappointed. Nevertheless, you still have to be careful as weakness is definitely present among its cheap 3D printer models.
On the paper, unlike many other affordable 3D printer models, which are categorized as entry-level, the Da Vinci min 3D printer is already classified as a professional printer. Therefore, it has the advantage of being better than other budget printers but cheaper than the majority of professional 3D printers. XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 Pro is the cheapest professional 3D printer in this list. If you are looking for a professional 3D printer under $1000 instead of one for pure hobbyists, XYZprinting’s Da Vinci 1.0 Pro is a good choice.
Given the fact that it is a cheap 3D printer for professional use, you shouldn’t expect it to work flawlessly. It can indeed print a reasonably smooth object with simple shape and rather big size, but for printing intricate objects like Eiffel tower, there is a possibility that it may fail to complete its task.
XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 AiO All-in-One
With a 3D printer, you can create a physical object from a digital 3D model that is stored in your computer, but in order to create the 3D model, you often need to have stellar 3D designing skill. What if you don’t have such skill? What if you simply want to duplicate a physical object that you already have? This all-in-one 3D printer is can give you the best answer for those questions.
As an all-in-one 3D printer, da Vinci 1.0 AiO is capable not only to print 3D object, but also to scan physical object and to generate digital 3D model from it. You can then edit the scanning result and reprint it. This all-in-one function makes 3D designing and printing activity an exciting one.
This 3D printer supports multiple filaments with different colors. Therefore, it can be used to replicate the shape of the scanned object, but also its color. There are currently 13 different colors that this 3D printer can use, so the colors of the printed object can be compared to those of a crayon drawing, as a box of crayon normally includes 12 colors. All colors are guaranteed to be vivid and bold, so your printer object will look great regardless of the color that you choose for printing it.
ROBO 3D R1 Plus ABS/PLA 3D Printer
ROBO 3D R1 Plus is a versatile 3D printer with sturdy design and reliable printing accuracy. As a versatile 3D printer, it can be used with a large variety of materials. Whether you want to use plastic filaments (ABS or PLA) or flexible filaments, this 3D printer will work excellently. Its design is robust and sturdy and its all-metal hot end is the reason for its support to different materials. This 3D printer is capable to print with resolution at 100 microns, which is considered impressive for a cheap 3D printer with price that barely touches the $1000 ceiling. The printing area and platform are rather spacious and allow you to print a substantially large-scale object. ROBO 3D R1 Plus also has versatile software environment. It supports a large assortment of 3D designing software and operation using the ROBO 3D’s accompanying software is rather straightforward to do.
Read Also : Qidi Tech I 3D Printer Review
On the negative side, this 3D printer includes only one extruder, making it capable only to print in one color at a time. The build platform is indeed heated to make sure that the printed object can be constructed with optimal stability, but removing printed object from the platform is rather difficult due to the material from which the platform is made.
XMachines Lorei 3D Printer DUO DIY Kit
XMachines Lorei DUO DIY Kit is one of the most compact yet versatile 3D printers currently available. The machine’s build is made to be so compact that it will not occupy much space on your desk. When you receive this printer, it is not assembled yet, but assembly is quite straightforward. You will know immediately which component must be attached to which component even without reading the manual.
What is great about this compact cheap 3D printer is that it includes 2 hot ends, allowing you to print two objects simultaneously or to print one object faster. Despite its compact design, this 3D printer features a spacious printing area that allows you to print a substantially large object. Atypical of a 3D printer, XMachines Lorei allows you to swap its gantry and module system, making it a truly versatile machine for various DIY scenarios.
The compact design of this 3D printer causes the printing area to be fully exposed. As a result, during the printing job, you may want to stay away from the printer to avoid the hot temperature and the unpleasant smell of the melted plastic. Apart from this small inconvenience, there are not many problems that you need to be concerned with when using this printer. If you are looking for a compact and versatile 3D printer that you can afford, XMachines Lorei can be one of the best picks for you.
We have shown to you that you can actually do 3D printing, either as a professional or as a hobbyist, even with your limited budget. Although the best 3D printers cost thousands of dollars to buy, there are cheap 3D printers that are quite reliable to use. Of course, in terms of quality or functionality, those printers are not as powerful as their more expensive counterparts, but they are still reliable enough to print objects with generally simple design.
Don’t Miss It: 10 Cheapest 3D Printer Under $300
What we have shown to you above are ten affordable 3D printers that offer great usability for the price. Most customers classify budget 3D printers as those with price under $500; however, there are customers who don’t mind spending more to enjoy better quality and functionality. This is why we include both under-$500 and under-$1000 models. In general, 3D printers in such price range are categorized as entry-level printers, but based on what you have seen above, you can see that there are also some professional models that you can still afford with your limited budget. Happy shopping!