Techcomjournal.org – Finding the cheapest 3D printer that offers excellent printing quality and versatility is not a big task nowadays. With budget printers emerging like mushrooms, 3D printing that used to cost thousands of dollars can now be done with the much smaller budget. Here we will show you that with no more than $300, you can fulfill your dream to do DIY 3D printing at home, class or workplace. This top ten list of 3D printers under 300 features the ten most popular 3D printers on the market that you can buy with your thrifty budget. Despite their cheap price, they offer usage convenience and quality that are comparable with those of their more expensive counterparts.
Don’t Miss It: 10 Best Cheap 3D Printers Under $500 & $1,000
Keeping $300 as the ceiling is reasonable as most 3D printer manufacturers, be they established companies or indie manufacturers relying on crowdfunding, try to remain in this price range in their budget printer competition. Some even go as low as selling 3D printers with 1 or 2-yard price tag. This is the reason why we also include 3D printer under 200 in this list. If you are looking for the most affordable 3D printer that will not disappoint you, one of the printers below might be your best choice.
With their cheap price, there is obviously some sacrifice that needs to make. Although the quality of all 3D printers under 300 that are reviewed here is considered decent, you might be disappointed if you force them to create an intricate model with many tiny meshes. You can, however, improve their printing quality by replacing some parts and performing some modifications prior to using them. We will talk more about that later. With correct adjustment and modification, every cheap 3D printer kit that you will see here can be the cheapest 3D printer with remarkable quality. Therefore, if you have purchased any of the following printers and you see some inconsistencies in the result, don’t be frustrated yet because there might be something that you can do to your printer to improve its quality.
Table of Content
- 1 Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer – The Best Seller 3D Printer
- 2 XYZprinting Da Vinci Mini 3D Printer
- 3 XYZprinting Da Vinci Jr. 1.0 3D Printer
- 4 New Matter MOD-t 3D Printer
- 5 ALUNAR Prusa i3 DIY 3D Printer
- 6 Anet A8 – Prusa i3 DIY 3D Printer
- 7 Anycubic Prusa i3 Desktop 3D Printer
- 8 HICTOP RepRap Prusa I3 MK8 3D Printer Kit
- 9 Loee DIY RepRap Prusa i3 3D Printer Kit
- 10 Anycubic Delta Rostock 3D
- 11 Conclusion
Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer – The Best Seller 3D Printer
Reliability, affordability, and flexibility are three words to describe Monoprice’s newest Select Mini 3D printer model. Monoprice is an established company that doesn’t rely on crowdfunding to release its 3D printer models, so it can always guarantee consistency in its models’ features. What is advertised at the time of the models’ release will be the same with what customers will get at the time of their purchase. This consistency makes Select Mini 3D printer and other Monoprice’s models quite dependable.
Monoprice Select Mini 3D printer is unquestionably an affordable 3D printer with decent quality. For a 3D printer that can maintain reliable printing quality, a 2-yard price tag definitely makes it one of the best cheap 3D printers on the market. In fact, in some store, you can even find it as a budget-friendly 3D printer under 200. There are indeed issues with printing quality that we will explain below, but overall, it is among the best budget 3D printers on the market for the price.
Users of this printer will also find it a truly flexible printer to use. The printer is fully hackable, meaning that you can upgrade it in any way you want. In fact, with little modifications, including changing its hotend, adding a layer of glass to its print bed, and upgrading its firmware, you can make this printer as reliable as a premium-grade 3D printer without spending much money. This printer also speaks normal G-code, meaning that you can work with it using any 3D software applications you are familiar with. The application’s compatibility with ReplicatorG, Repetier-Host, Simplify3D, and Cura is clearly stated in the brochure. Lastly, this 3D printer doesn’t use a chipped or DRM-protected filament, so it can use any types of filament that you currently have in your stock.
Of course, this 3D printer is not without weakness. Based on our test, the printer shows inconsistent hotend temperature due to the absence of PID autotune function—a major weakness that causes overhangs to appear on the print result. Its build plate, though heated, is not protected; however, this little flaw can easily be corrected by installing a layer of glass on it.
- Ultimate flexibility with support for any types of 3D software, upgrade component, filament, and slicer
- Inconsistent hotend temperature due to the absence of PID autotune function
XYZprinting Da Vinci Mini 3D Printer
XYZprinting releases a number of Da Vinci models, with the Mini model being the company’s cheapest 3D printer and the most elementary in terms of features, yet this 3D printer can compete well with other 3D printers of its class and can even surpass them. One of the best features that it offers is its wireless printing support.
Finding a 3D printer under $300 that supports wireless printing is often a tricky quest, so when you get this printer, you are getting something of a rarity. XYZprinting da Vinci Mini 3D printer is special because it allows you to print your 3D design without having to persistently connect your computer to the printer. With its wireless printing, you can print your design without using cable. With the printer’s built-in storage unit, you can simply transfer your 3D design file using the printer’s USB port and then let the printer works on its own while your device is unplugged. XYZprinting Da Vinci Mini 3D printer is designed to be a mini standalone printer that can work independently.
Da Vinci Mini shares a number of similar features with its big brother, Da Vinci Junior, the most notable of which is its form factor. However, unlike Junior, Da Vinci Mini doesn’t feature built-in LCD panel and pressure-sensitive menu. Those exclusive features provide a more convenient access to functions that you can also access using XYZprinting’s proprietary XYZWare application. Therefore, you can still enjoy the full benefits of the printer even if you don’t have access to such exclusive features.
One significant weakness associated with this printer is that it only supports XYZprinting’s chipped and DRMed filament spool. The company argues that by using a chipped filament spool, filament monitoring can do more easily because the chip transmits filament usage data to the computer; however, whenever you run out of filament, you need to buy a new spool as there is no way to refill the filament without a new chip in the spool.
- More convenient printing process with wireless printing and built-in SD-card storage features
- Less flexible and affordable filament refilling due to the requirement to use XYZprinting’s proprietary chipped spool
XYZprinting Da Vinci Jr. 1.0 3D Printer
XYZprinting Da Vinci Jr. 1.0 3D printer is the bigger brother of the Mini model that we have reviewed above. As already mentioned, this printer comes with LCD panel and a pressure-sensitive menu that make 3D printing job easier to do. This model also features automatic calibration feature that effectively eliminates one of the most excruciating chores of preparing a 3D printer. With this feature, manual adjustment of
This model is released a while after its older brother, the AIO model, becomes available on the market. Although the Junior model doesn’t offer object scanning feature of the AIO model, it does include memory card storage feature, which the AIO model lacks. Therefore, although you cannot scan a 3D model using this printer, by saving your 3D design in a memory card, you can let the printer work independently without having to connect it all the time to your computer. The printer also supports wireless printing that further eliminates the need for a constantly wired connection between your computer and the printer.
This printer is designed to be the inexpensive 3D printer under $300 that is safe to use even for schoolchildren. The print area is fully enclosed in glass and the print bed is not heated. To make sure that the printed object stays in place, you can use the included double tape that you can attach to the surface of the bed. If you run out of tape, you can purchase a new one at a reasonable price.
The printer looks big from the outside, but don’t ever think that the printer can be used to print large object, especially because it includes a relatively small print bed. Printing job might be costlier because you have to use XYZprinting’s chipped proprietary filament and filament roll, though this proprietary component makes monitoring more convenient to do. Besides, many 3D printer manufacturers are actually looking forward to licensing their own filament, so in the near future, many 3D printers may be designed to use their own chipped filament.
- Wireless printing and SD-card support
- Convenient printer setting and operation with LCD panel and pressure-sensitive menu
- More expensive and less flexible printing with proprietary filament and filament spool
- Small print bed
New Matter MOD-t 3D Printer
New Matter MOD-t 3D printer is designed to be a simple and discreet printer with simple yet sleek design and almost noiseless operation. The Apple-inspired cube design with transparent enclosure gives a sleek look to the printer and makes it a perfect device to be placed at office and classroom. The size of the printer makes it an excellent device to be added to your desk without consuming too much space. There is only one button for starting and pausing printing job. With such simplicity, you can imagine how simple the setup, preparation and operation of this 3D printer are.
The printer is also known for its discreet operation. When it does a printing job, you will hardly hear any noise except the sound of its fans. If you are already familiar with the buzzing sound of your document printer and other electronics at your workplace, the low noise of this 3D printer will hardly distract you.
The printer supports standard 1.75-mm PLA filament, which is considered the most common and the cheapest 3D printer filaments on the market. Neither operational cost nor filament license are thus not a concern if you use this 3D printer.
New Matter MOD-t 3D printer can only print objects that are already uploaded to the company’s online marketplace. The printer’s software is also available there. This means that whenever you want to use your 3D printer, you need to be connected to the network. The printer doesn’t have built-in storage feature, so it can only print designs uploaded to the printer’s marketplace.
Designed to work online, this printer is well integrated with an online community where users can share or even sell and buy designs. You can send messages to other users while accessing the printer’s online marketplace. Although you normally need to use offline CAD software to create your design, MOD-t’s online realm also includes simple 3D design editor that you can use to fine-tune your design before printing it.
- Simple design and operation
- Integrated online interaction and sharing feature
- Cheap and easy access to filament
- Printing can only be done while online
- No onboard storage
ALUNAR Prusa i3 DIY 3D Printer
Prusa i3’s affordability, reliability, and versatility have given rise to a number of clones that attempt to adopt its superior features. This Alunar’s 3D printer is one of them. With its striking Prusa i3-inspired design, Alunar Prusa i3 attracts DIY enthusiasts who enjoy tinkering with their printer even since they unbox it. As a DIY printer, it comes out of the box in modular pieces. If you prefer a fully prepared 3D printer the first time you unbox it, this printer is not for you, but if you enjoy the patience of building up your own cheapest 3D printer from scratches, you will love this printer. Besides, you don’t actually build from scratches as manual and instruction videos are widely available.
There is no filament in the box when you buy the printer, but don’t be disappointed because you indeed have to buy the filament separately. Despite this small annoyance, Alunar’s Prusa i3 is actually one of the best 3D printers in terms of filament management. To start with, this 3D printer works with a large assortment of filaments. If you are a beginner, you can use this printer with PLA filament. If you prefer less brittle filament, you can go with ABS. If you want the beautiful wood finish, you can use wood polymer. This printer also supports nylon filament, which is known as the strongest, the most flexible and the most durable filament. Although this printer doesn’t come with included filament, you will be amazed by how plentiful the choices are when you shop for new filament for this printer.
This 3D printer includes heated print bed to prevent warping, but based on our test, slight warping is still apparent on the printing result.
This printer works with major operating systems you are familiar with. 3D designs to be printed can be stored in an SD card as the printer supports one or transmitted through USB connection. This printer includes an LCD panel but doesn’t support Wi-Fi connection.
- Flexible and versatile with ample filament selections
- Great for DIY enthusiasts who wish to build their own 3D printer
- Slight warping on print result
- No Wi-Fi connection
Anet A8 – Prusa i3 DIY 3D Printer
This is another Prusa i3-inspired 3D printer that you must build and calibrate yourself before you can use it. Fortunately, the preparation process is regarded by many as so easy and straightforward that even newbies should find no problem building and calibrating the printer. The trickiest part of the printer preparation is inserting filament to the extruder hole, but even this tricky step is still manageable with a little patience. Basically, this DIY 3D printer will satisfy the tinkering desire of both beginner and more skilled users.
The design of this 3D printer appears very much the same with that of other Prusa i3-inspired printers. Even the placement of each component can be considered standard for such printer. There is an LCD panel on the top that allows you to monitor printer’s operation.
Quality-wise, this low cost 3D printer under $300 can work excellently if assembled and calibrated properly. With some modifications, including adding a sheet of glass panel to the print bed that tends to dip toward the center, replacing the plastic belt with more resilient rubber belt, adding custom PTFE tubes, adding more nozzles with varying sizes, and adding thermistor, heater and heater block, the printer can even compete in quality with its much more expensive counterparts. These small modifications will not make you broke as all of those extra components only cost about 1 to 2 bucks each. Once you correctly adjust the printer and perform the necessary modifications, you will find this printer to be the cheapest 3D printer to compete with premium ones. Despite some small and ignorable flaws, the print result appears perfect for an affordable 3D printer like this. Even intricate designs like Eiffel Tower look reasonably accurate with this cheap printer.
Community support is huge, so it should not be hard even for beginners to unleash the ultimate power of this 3D printer. This is one of the greatest perks of having a Prusa i3-inspired 3D printer instead of the one with the prefabricated build.
- Excellent choice for DIY 3D printer users
- Superior quality with correct adjustment and some modifications
- Huge community support to help adjust the printer
- Difficult insertion of filament to the extruder hole
- Manual assembly and adjustment required
Anycubic Prusa i3 Desktop 3D Printer
3D printing of even the smallest models mostly takes hours to complete. During such lengthy printing process, accidents, such as power out, may happen. If you use a 3D printer that doesn’t support printing resume, you’ll be a disaster. This Prosa i3-inspired 3D printer made by Anycubic is designed to counter this problem. If accidents occur and the printing process is interrupted, you can resume the printing job later.
Just like other Prusa i3 3D printers, this cheap 3D printer kit also comes in pieces. You need to combine all modular components and then to adjust and calibrate the printer before you can use it. If you find the included manual insufficient to help you assemble the printer, you can find support from the online community, which is ample and quite useful in helping you gain ground. This low cost 3D printer is designed to be easy to assemble. One elderly customer reports that he has no problem building the printer due to the intuitiveness of the manual and because Anycubic has included necessary tools to assemble the printer in the box.
Most Prusa i3-inspired 3D printers don’t include filament spool in the box. Anycubic is quite generous in this case as it includes 1 kg of black PLA filament spool in the box, so you can put your 3D printing skill into practice immediately after you assemble the printer.
To achieve optimal quality, some parts that come with the printer might need to be replaced with custom parts that you separately buy. The short PTFE tubes that come with the printer might be too short and may cause leakage. You can purchase replacement tubes for only 1 to 2 USD. You might want to replace the included belt tensioner as well.
Once you assemble and adjust the printer correctly and—if needed—do some modifications, you should expect the printer to work excellently. Printing result is quite accurate even when used for printing highly detailed objects.
- Great DIY 3D printer
- PLA filament included
- Manual assembly required before usage
- Some parts may need replacing if you want to achieve trouble-free printing process and superior printing quality.
HICTOP RepRap Prusa I3 MK8 3D Printer Kit
Although the filament spool of your 3D printer is mostly located in an exposed area, you’ll never know when you will run out of filament. If the spool becomes empty in the middle of a printing job, you will be in trouble if the printer doesn’t stop the printing process. HICTOP RepRap Prusa i3 MK8 3D printer kit is a smart 3D printer that will stop the printing process when there is no filament left in the spool. The printer is capable of resuming the printing process after you refill the spool.
To ensure uninterrupted printing process, this 3D printer also comes with SD card support. The wired and wireless connection between your computer and 3D printer may be disrupted by certain conditions. If you store your 3D design in the SD card, interruption caused by bad connection will not become a concern.
If you are curious about the type of filament that this 3D printer supports, you will be glad because this printer is designed to support many types of filament, including—but not limited to—PLA, ABS, wood, and nylon.
This printer shares some common flaws with other Prusa i3 3D printers. With slight modifications and replacement, they will not be problems anymore. The included filament tubes might be too short and prone to leaking. You can replace them with longer ones to prevent leaking. The aluminum print bed is also prone to warping when heated, so you certainly want to add a sheet of glass on the top of the bed to deal with this problem. One specific flaw that is only found in this printer and not in other Prusa i3 printers is the flaw in the design. The filament holder support seems to obstruct the SD card slot. If you report this problem to the manufacturer, they will send an STL file so that you can create the replacement yourself. All of those problems are considered minor and easy and cheap to solve.
- Smart filament detection ensures uninterrupted printing process.
- SD card support
- Filament holder support obstructs SD card slot.
- It shares some common flaws with other Prusa i3-inspired cheap 3D printers.
Loee DIY RepRap Prusa i3 3D Printer Kit
If you don’t like the monochromatic look of your 3D printed object, Loee DIY RepRap Prusa i3 3D printer kit should be the best cheap 3D printer to buy. This 3D printer supports multicolor printing, so if you want to create a colorful building blocks or toys for your children, you can use this 3D printer without having to paint the result.
This 3D printer is a Prusa i3 3D printer, meaning that it has the fairly similar build to that of other Prusa i3 3D printers and that you have to assemble its parts and adjust the 3D printer first before you can use it. Assembling the printer is indeed a tedious job that requires your patience, but it is a relatively easy job that even beginners can do with no trouble. The included manual provides you with a comprehensive guide to build your printer from scratches and to do all necessary calibration.
- Qidi Tech I 3d Printer Review
- Lulzbot Mini Desktop 3d Printer Review
- Qidi Tech X-One 3D Printer
- Makergear M2 3D Printer Review
- FlashForge Dreamer 3d Printer Review
- Lulzbot Taz 6 3D Printer
The components of this 3D printer are protected by 3-month replacement warranty, so if you find some flawed components during the assembly process of this cheapest 3D printer, you can ask for replacements. If you find some flawed component after the printer is assembled, you can either ask for a replacement or an STL file for such component so that you can print it yourself.
As mentioned above, this 3D printer supports multicolor printing; however, don’t think that this process is straightforward. To change color, you need to insert new filament with new color manually. This must be done cautiously so as not to accidentally move the stepper motor, which may adversely affect the printer’s accuracy. Because the model is printed layer by layer horizontally, color changing can be done only between different horizontal layers, so printing a model with stripes with a different color that runs vertically on its side is almost an impossible task. You need to understand this before you try the multi-color printing capability of this 3D printer.
- Multicolor 3D printing support
- 3-month warranty protection for printer’s parts
- An excellent choice for DIYers
- Multicolor 3D printing is still complicated due to the need to manually replace filament and because color transition can be done between horizontal layers.
Anycubic Delta Rostock 3D
When you plan to buy the cheapest 3D printer, what you frequently see is the linear guide model with printing head that runs along the x coordinates of a horizontal beam. This horizontal beam also runs along the z coordinates of a pair of horizontal beams that are perpendicular to it. Both beams run vertically along the y coordinates. All of those beams are usually long, so a linear guide model is mostly large. Do you know that you can actually get a slimmer 3D printer model if you buy a pulley version? Anycubic Delta Rostock 3D printer is a pulley-operated 3D printer that you will love to have if you prefer to have a compact 3D printer on your desk.
The mechanism of this printer is rather simple. The pulley allows the head to move gracefully along the x and z coordinates. This 3D printer uses three vertical beams to guide the pulley to move vertically along the y coordinates. With this construction, the printer is not only compact but also simple to operate, although assembly and maintenance might be slightly fiddlier than that of linear guide models.
Print quality is admirable especially if you print objects without a corner. Printing circles and curved objects using this 3D printer will result in better product compared to printing with linear guide model in the same price range.
This 3D printer comes in parts, so you need to assemble them first and to calibrate the printer before you can use it. As mentioned above, the pulley-operated 3D printer is slightly more difficult to assemble. To make things worse, the manual that comes with the printer is written in rather incomprehensible Chinglish, so unless you can understand the illustrations in the manual, you may need to resort to YouTube guides.
Overall, if you need to buy the good cheap 3D printer with compact design and admirable printing accuracy but rather tricky setup, you will find this printer one of the best printers to be used in your office, class or workshop.
- Compact and minimalist
- Better than linear guide 3D printer especially when printing objects without sharp corner
- Rather difficult to assemble and to calibrate
- Manual is difficult to understand because of broken translation.
From the list above, you should already understand that there are actually many great choices if you plan to buy the inexpensive 3D printer. You can decide whether to buy a build-up 3D printer that you can use immediately after purchase with only little adjustment, a Prusa i3 3D printer that is great for DIYers who love tinkering with their devices, or a pulley-operated 3D printer with its compact design. You can also buy the best affordable 3D printer that supports either monochromatic or multicolor printing. There are many choices available and it should not be very difficult for you to make your best pick once you know the characteristics of each model.
As we have mentioned earlier, there is some sacrifice to be made. Therefore, although you want to know all advantages that each model offers to you, we suggest that you put more focus on their weakness. Your love to your 3D printer will be pure and unconditional if you can accept its flaw, so make sure that you check the pros and cons of each model so that you can find the cheapest 3D printer that will not disappoint you. We have provided all necessary information about each model to help you make the best decision.