Even few years back the idea of 3D printing seemed almost impossible- how can you create a real physical object just from an image file?
The mystery has been solved and 3D printing is emerging as the next hot topic in the world or printing.
There are thousands of printers available in the market each making a different claim.
The price of the printers has also dropped and you can get a 3D printer under 500 dollars easily.
With so many cheap 3D printers in the market, it almost seems impossible to know which one to buy, especially if you are a newbie.
To help you out, today we are going to review the best affordable 3D printers from various brands.
So without further delay, let us disclose the best budget 3D printers of the time-
Best Budget 3D Printer Under $500
|Monoprice Maker Select 3d Printer 115365||3.9||Check Price on Amazon|
|Monoprice 13860 maker||3.6||Check Price on Amazon|
|XYZprinting da vinci jr. 1.0 Wireless 3d Printer||3.4||Check Price on Amazon|
|Alunar m505- 3d Desktop Printer Prusa i3||3.5||Check Price on Amazon|
|Qidi Technology New Generation 3d Printer||4.6||Check Price on Amazon|
|New Matter MOD-t Desktop 3d Printer||3.7||Check Price on Amazon|
|Jgaurora a3 [Prusa i3 DIY 3d Printers]||4.0||Check Price on Amazon|
|XYZprinting da vinci jr. 1.0 pro. 3d Printer||4.2||Check Price on Amazon|
|Monoprice Maker Select Plus||3.6||Check Price on Amazon|
|FlashForge 3D Printers||4.4||Check Price on Amazon|
Looking for the best 3D printers that you can buy? We take a look at some of your best options, keeping in mind all that you need – from your budget to your needs.
1. Monoprice Maker Select 3d Printer Review [Model 115365 v2]
Monoprice brings the best budget 3D printer which offers amazing quality of printing.
It’s perfect for beginners for its no hassle approach to printing and comes ready to spring to action.
The machine is compatible with various kinds of filaments like PLA and ABS and also plays well with materials like wood and metal composites. There is a heated aluminum bed for doing casting the prints and a fan keeps things cool.
Monoprice Select Mini is worth every penny of investment you make and great for small projects coming with a lot of useful features.
Monoprice Select Mini Features:
- USB connectivity and Micro SD card support means you can start printing right out of the box
- Convenient handling with quick release steel gear filament feeder
- The nozzle cooling fan maintains proper temperature for the machine
- Compact and small design making it easy to store and operate
- Comes fully assembled from the factory and doesn’t need any setup
- You get a sample filament to try out your first project right after you open the box
- Smart LCD panel displays the vital stats you want to access
- Supports both PC and Mac platforms
- Product ships with a one year replacement warranty to ease any apprehensions.
Question:What dimensions can you get with this affordable 3D printer?
Answer: The specific dimension that you can get is 4.7″ x 4.7″ x 4.7″.
Question:Can I use more than one color for the printer?
Answer: It is not possible to print in more than one color. It comes with only one extruder and prints in a solid color.
Question:Is it safe to use wooden filaments for this low cost 3D printer?
Answer: Use a low temperature and extended retraction to get the best results in case of wood filaments. And yes, it’s safe to use them.
Question: How much can I print with a kg of filament?
Answer: It will be around 2.2 lb of items, approximately.
- Best 3D printer under 500 giving you good quality prints
- Lightweight and compact with a small footprint
- User friendly navigation options with simple menus
- Works smoothly without any disturbing noise
- Supports a wide range of filaments including PVA, ABS, PLA, metal and wood composites.
- The sample filament is too short to do a complete project
- The printing speed is not very fast compared to expensive models
- The print size is small which makes the machine useful for beginners and enthusiasts.
2. Monoprice 13860 Review
Another great performer in the entry level cheap 3D Printers is the Monoprice Maker Select V2.
It comes ready to print and requires minimum of setup which involves tightening some screws. It is equipped with a heated plate that can print thermoplastic materials like PLA, ABS, XT copolyester and other materials. Slower cooling materials like ABS and others can be printed accurately thanks to the same heated plate.
The product comes with a 2 GB micro SD card which is preloaded with sample 3D models so that you can start experimenting right away.
The low cost 3D printer supports the use of both commercial and open source software.
Monoprice 13860 Maker Features:
- It comes fully assembled and ready to print with everything you may need
- The large heated plate of 8 x 8 inches with a vertical spacing of 7 inch gives you the freedom to go for large sized projects and complex prints
- Supports Mac, Windows, Linux, and software like Simplify 3D, Repetier and Cura
- Micro SD card slot makes it possible to print directly without connecting it to a workstation
- This affordable 3D printer is based on one of the most successful 3D printer kits out there
- The control panel and the power brick are built separately from the main body of the machine
Question:Can I use cheap 3D Printers like this to print in high temperature?
Answer: Normally the printer would not exceed 230 degrees for printing, but it can handle up to 260 degrees.
Question:Does the model ship with dual extruders like in other expensive models?
Answer: The printer is a 3D printer under 500 and does not have dual extruders.
Question:How long does it take to assemble the printer and begin printing?
Answer: You need to use some screws to set up the base and the frame and plug in the motors. The areas are marked with clear instructions which get the job done in 5 minutes.
- The large print area of 8 x 8 x 7 inches gives you room to print larger objects with ease
- Comes with one year replacement warranty so that parts are replaced for free
- Setting up printer is quick and hassle free
- Some users reported the cooling fan bearing to be noisy which was solved by lubricating the parts
- The separate control units and main frame can be a bit difficult to carry around
3. Monoprice Maker Select Plus
The products from Monoprice keep coming back to our list of reviews. Here is another great performer in the 3D printer under 500 category, and one of the best budget 3D printer.
The Select Plus is based on the earlier model of Maker Select 3D printer and comes with new features and improvements. It is a sleek and stylish machine which is compatible with all types of filaments starting from basic ones to metal or wood composites.
The wide heated build plate and makes room for larger projects and offers a wide range of extruder temperature. The open frame design makes working on the affordable 3D printer hassle free and simple.
If you want to try out complex projects or want more details in your prints, then this is the best Low cost 3D printer in the market.
Monoprice Maker Select Plus Features:
- Avoiding the practice of cheap 3D printers, this one reaches you fully assembled from the factory with pre-calibrated settings
- Supports PC and Mac workstations and all popular printing software
- User friendly touch screen for easy controls
- MK10 extruders ventilated with cooling fans
- Heated build plate allows use of various filament types
- Sturdy build with heavy duty bearing components
- USB connectivity and slot for SD card printing
Question:What is the specific dimension and weight of the 3D printer?
Answer: The accurate dimension of the product is 20 x 19.5 x 11.2 inches. It weighs around 29 pounds.
Question:Is the printer known to make considerable noise while printing?
Answer: It is not at all noisy and can be used without any tension.
Question:Can I use metal composites to print with this model?
Answer: It is not advisable to use this printer directly for metal composites as it can damage the nozzle head. You can replace the nozzle with metal hot end ones to do it safely.
Question: Does the printer support transparent printing?
Answer: You can use transparent filaments but your nozzle head may need a replacement faster.
- Wide printing area perfect for large scale and complex prints
- The compact design makes it space saving to fit on any table
- Easy to navigate touch screen with simple controls
- Setting up the printer can take some time especially for beginners
- You need to upgrade nozzle to print materials like wooden composites or transparent filaments
4. XYZprinting da vinci jr. 1.0 Wireless 3d Printer
xyzprinting da vinci jr. 1.0 wireless 3d printer
The da Vinci Jr. 1.0W is one of the marvels in the 3D printer under 500 dollars section.
It is full packed with features and comes with smart intuitive functions which give you top quality prints each and every time.
The affordable 3D printer doesn’t compromise in looks and sports a killer design.
The Wifi connectivity ensures that you can connect and print from any corner of your house.
The unique auto calibration ensures that you do not need to carry out any manual adjustments. The printer only used non toxic PLA based filaments and ensures that you always get eco friendly prints without harming the environment.
XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0w 3D Printer Features:
- Equipped with 9-point auto calibration system that intuitively adjusts the level of the print bed with the Z axis
- Uses XYZprinting’s non toxic bio-compostable PLA filament produced from natural elements
- Send 3D printing files wirelessly from PC, Mac and smartphones using Wifi connectivity
- Can print in high resolutions from 100 to 400 microns giving great quality results
- A simple LCD displays the printer settings for convenience
- The product ships with free design and printing software from XYZprinting
- Comes with fully enclosed non heated print tray
Question:Do you get any sample filament with this low cost 3D printer?
Answer: You will get a free filament worth 300 g from the manufacturer.
Question:Can I get good quality prints using fast settings on this printer?
Answer: The quality can suffer when you use fast speeds to print your project. If you need details and are handling a complex print, it is advisable to use slow settings for best results.
Question:Where is the product manufactured?
Answer: The best budget 3D printer has been manufactured in Thailand.
Question: Will I be able to use third party PLA filaments for printing?
Answer: By default, the engineering of the printer prevents you from using any other PLA filaments other than XYZprinting’s ones.
You can perform a hack to remove the restriction, though!
- Really affordable when you consider all of the features and functions making it value for money
- Unlimited email and phone support provided with one year warranty
- Fully enclosed printing area for better security
- Built-in LCD display for convenient navigation
- Customer service is not very responsive
- It requires regular maintenance
- Reports of update failure of firmware have been encountered
5. FlashForge 3D Printers
If you are sick and tired of cheap 3D printers and are ready to invest a bit more, the Falshforge Finder may be the right choice for you. It is still in the category of 3D printer under 500 dollars and gives amazing quality prints.
Coming in a box style enclosed design, the printer will be apt for beginners and enthusiasts alike.
The affordable 3D printer accepts only 1.75 mm PLA filaments with a build volume of 140 L x 140 W x 140 H mm.
It also features Wifi connectivity so that you can work from anywhere you want without the hassle of wires and cables.
FlashForge 3D Printers Features:
- Easy bed leveling thanks to the semi automated bed leveling feature
- Supports Mac OS X and Windows versions like Vista, Windows 7 and 8
- Noise free operation ensure no one is disturbed
- Files can be transferred to the 3D printer using Wifi, flashdrive or USB cable
- In-built filament management function which alerts you when you are low on filament
- Comes with intuitive color touch screen and slide-in build plate for greater convenience
- Heated parts are safely enclosed inside the box structure of the printer
Question:What is the weight of the printer?
Answer: The total weight of the product is 24.2 pounds.
Question:Can I get information about the length of the power cable?
Answer: The printer comes with a 3 prong power cable which measures 36 inches in length.
Question:How fast can the printer chalk out a project?
Answer: It can take from 30 minutes to 1 hour to print something depending on the nature and complexity of your project.
Question: Can I use wood or metal PLA for printing?
Answer: You can use both to print and get flawless results. But you may need to replace the nozzle head for better longevity.
- The plastic alloy material of the body is durable and sturdy
- Wireless printing and transfer with Wifi connection
- Comes with an intuitive user interface
- Advanced features like slide-out print bed and quiet operation
- Great quality prints makes it one of the best budget 3D printer
- Easy maintenance saves time and effort
- The PLA filament is the only type you can use to print
- Some users reported that the bed and extruder started to malfunction after a few months
6. Alunar m505 Review- 3d Desktop Printer Prusa i3
3d desktop printer prusa i3
This one is not really for beginners and newbies to 3D printing.
It is a DIY 3D printer kit, which means you have to assemble and set it up yourself.
It should not be a tough job for someone who has experience with such projects and the step by step instructions and tons of youtube videos provide all the guidance you needs.
All the parts and quality of the materials is top notch developed with environment friendly practices.
It is not just another low cost 3d printer, the results and performance is going to amaze you. You will always get smooth printing experience with high levels of precision required for complex projects.
The Alunar affordable 3D printer can be used for business, education of pursuing your hobby.
ALUNAR m505 3D Desktop Printer Prusa i3 Features:
- Option of pausing while printing is going on
- The 0.4 mm metal nozzle makes it durable and last for a long time
- Comes with an updated mainboard and high quality power supply
- Imported step motor which can work uninterrupted for 1000 hours
- Heavy duty brass nut and lead screws make the product sturdy
- Easy to read LCD screen with 5 key user friendly controls
- Supports wide range of 3D filaments through a heated build plate and extended band of extruder temperatures
- Maximum print size of 8.66 x 8.66 x 9.06 inches makes it possible to go for complex and large scale prints
Question:What is the nozzle head made of in this printer?
Answer: You get a brass nozzle by default which is shipped with the product.
Question:From where can I access the assembling instructions for my printer?
Answer: You will find the manual loaded in the SD card or download it from the internet. You can also watch and follow Youtube videos to set up your printer.
Question:Can I connect the 3D printer with my Mac platform?
Answer: You will need to download the drivers from the manufacturer website to successfully print using your Mac platform.
Question: Does the product ship with a spool holder?
Answer: Yes, you are provided a spool holder to assist you in operating your printer.
- One of the best self assembled 3D printers which gives high quality prints with great details
- Comes with a lot of features that makes printing effective and easy
- Easy to set up following the instructions of the manual and videos
- Made with durable material which lasts for a long time
- The extruder thermostat has been found to malfunction after few months of use for some users
- It can be challenging for a beginner to assemble and use this product
7. Qidi Technology New Generation 3d Printer Review
qidi technology new generation 3d printer review
It is a mid price level affordable 3D printer that has proved itself worthy of being in the list.
It is durable being built of metal parts and comes in a metal housing.
It has a minimalist look and can blend in with your workplace easily.
There is a SD card provided with user manual, tutorials and test files and you can use the same to store and print other objects.
It has a 6 months warranty and according to users, one of the best budget 3D printer in the market.
QIDI TECHNOLOGY X-ONE 3D Printer Features:
- Heated aluminum build platform comes with metal supports and compatible with PLA and ABS filaments
- 6mm thick CNC machined aluminum alloy build plate ensures pure flatness
- High quality 10mm guide road for precision and smooth printing
- High tech precision extruder provided with extra turbo fan for superior cooling
- Intuitive menus with an easy to operate 3.5 inch full color touch screen for better controls
- Proprietary developed Qidi Tech mainboard with M 3 series chips
- Comes with top notch 10mm 10MK nozzle for great print quality
Question:Can I connect the low cost 3D printer using wireless connection?
Answer: No, you have to either use the USB cable or transfer printing files to the SD card for printing.
Question:Can I store the files in directories on the SD card and use them to take multiple prints?
Answer: You are allowed to store as many files as you want on the SD card and get prints. The list of files show up on the display and you can select specific ones. But you must keep them on a main directory and not in separate directories. It does not read sub-directories.
Question:Can I use it right out of the box?
Answer: You need to calibrate the bed before you can start printing. It is also suggested that you check if all the screws and parts are securely fastened.
- Metal build ensures the printer is stable and free from vibrations
- It is very easy to level the build plate which is also quite durable
- Once leveled, the plate stays in place for multiple printing sessions
- You get 1 kg of free PLA filament with the product which is more than other brands
- The touch screen is responsive and intuitive
- Tool kit provided for maintenance and repairs
- Responsive customer service with prompt resolution of issues
- The printer is a bit bulky and needs some space on your desk
- Some users encountered feeder jam while unloading the filament
- Z axis motor creates a bit of noise when it adjusts itself before printing
8. New Matter MOD-t Desktop 3d Printer Review
new matter mod-t desktop 3d printer review
Launched by a promising startup, the 3D printer under 500 dollars comes with a lot of features. It sports a sophisticated look with clean design and straight lines and the main unit is housed inside a transparent box.
The company claims that any average person can set it up and start printing in 20 minutes.
It is indeed easy to use and one of the best cheap 3D Printers to be used at school or home.
Mod-t 3d Printer Features:
- Equipped with wireless network connectivity so that you can print directly from mobile, tablet and computers
- Fine prints with resolution of 50 microns can be taken for detailed projects
- Supports eco-friendly PLA filament
- Comes with sleek design and easy to use web interface
- The transparent protective cover keeps your prints safe and the noise levels down
- The removable build platform features easy parts replacement and no preparation
- Servo motors are high quality delivering great performance all the time
Question:What is the size of the print area?
Answer: The total print area is 6 x 4 x 5 inches or 150 x 100 x 125 mm. You can print parts separately and piece them together to create big objects.
Question:Are there any controls or touch screen on the printer?
Answer: The main unit of the printer only houses a power button. All the controls are performed from the desktop or other devices.
Question:What is the period of warranty on the printer?
Answer: You get a warranty period of 90 days from the date of purchase.
Question: Does the model use a heated print bed?
Answer: It does not come with a heated print bed.
- Sleek and attractive printer which is guaranteed to win some looks
- You can use software like Cura to take your prints
- Auto calibrating and leveling works like a charm
- High success rate in printing due to considerable print adhesion
- Easy to use and operate
- You can really start printing within 20 minutes of unpacking itEasy to use and operate
- The company has an excellent customer service
- The printer can be noisy if you remove the transparent cover
- There are no controls on the printer itself
- The print carriage does not have a manual control to address issues while printing
9. Jgaurora a3 Review [Prusa i3 DIY 3d Printers]
Prusa i3 DIY 3d Printers
Coming in a simple and durable build with almost all metal parts, this low cost 3D printer can be used for various purposes from education to industrial.
The model features a heated print bed and capable of offering resolutions of up to 100 microns.
You can use a computer or the 8 GB SD card that is delivered with the printer. All the instructions for setting up the affordable 3D printer are loaded on the SD card.
That being said, it is a DIY 3D printer kit and you have to assemble it itself before you can print anything.
It should not be a difficult task if you have some technical know-how and can be done in a few hours.
JGAURORA 3d Printer Prusa i3 Features:
- Supports PLA, ABS and even high grade filaments like wood or nylon with its heated print bed
- Prints can be taken using a SD card or computer
- Patented MK8 extruder system delivers high resolution and improved filament extrusion
- High quality thread rod motor and screw rod for high precision printing
- Imported bearings ensure smooth printing without disturbing noise
- Printing platform controlled by knob which is more convenient and accurate
- Top standard motor for accurate XY axis position and improved printing
- The LCD display makes it possible to use the printer for standalone printing with SD card
Question:Does this printer have auto bed leveling?
Answer: It does not have automatic calibrating option. You must level the printing bed yourself before taking a print or changing filament.
Question:What is the build volume of the printer?
Answer: The build volume of the printer is 200 x 200 x 180 mm.
Question:What is the maximum printing temperature for this printer? Can I use it for ABS filament?
Answer: The printing temperature of the printer ranges from 180 degrees to 250 degrees C. You can use ABS filament with the heated print bed and get fine prints.
Question: What operating systems are supported by it?
Answer: It is compatible with Windows 7, 8, XP and Mac OS X.
- The metal build and frame makes it a sturdy structure for smooth printing without vibrations or tumbling
- The assembly process is straightforward and simple for most people
- You get high accuracy and great quality prints with high success rates
- Comes with 6 months warranty
- Some users found the assembling instruction confusing
- There can be some leveling problems with the print bed
10. XYZprinting da vinci jr. 1.0 pro. 3d Printer Review [Model 3F1JPXUS00B]
xyzprinting da vinci jr. 1.0 pro. 3d printer review
The da Vinci Jr. Pro model 3F1JPXUS00B packs many features from expensive 3D printers and turns out to be a great 3D printer under 500 dollars.
Looking like an object straight out of a science fiction movie, the printing bed and main parts come in an enclosed box housing a LCD panel and the controls.
Both beginners and experts can take advantage of the sensor driven print bed leveling which is done in a jiffy.
The alumni print bed makes it possible to take fine quality prints at high temperatures by distributing the heat evenly.
You can start printing instantly using the free 3D printing software from the company.
Da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro 3F1JPXUS00B Features:
- On board displays and control gives greater convenience
- Uses PLA filament made of non chemical substances, also supports third party filaments
- Revolutionary wind duct design for great printing experience
- Proper feeding of filament using the auto-loading filament function
- The nozzle can be upgraded to 0.3mm for intricate and complex prints
- You can print at fine resolutions of 50 microns
- 9 point auto calibrating feature accurately adjusts the print bed for optimum accuracy and positioning
- Comes with UL safety certification for tension free printing
- Compact and stylish design
Question:Can it handle filaments other than PLA?
Answer: No, you can only use bio-composite PLA filament made from non toxic materials.
Question:Where can I get the upgrade for the 0.3mm nozzle head?
Answer: You can purchase the upgrade replacement separately from the website of XYZPrinting.
Question:Do I need to make any modification or tweak to use third party filaments?
Answer: The Da Vinci Jr. is designed to be compatible with third party filaments without the need of any modifications or adjustments.
Question: Can I replace the printing bed with a heated bed to print with ABS?
Answer: It is not possible to replace the in-built printing bed with a heated one.
- The most easy to operate among all cheap 3D printers
- Auto print bed leveling makes it convenient for anybody to use it and delivers accurate prints
- Great for beginners who want to start printing right after taking it out of the box
- You will not get any disturbing noise during the printing
- The enclosed design protects the objects being printed and keeps your children at a safe distance from hit and moving parts
- You do not get a heated printing bed
- The sample filament provided with the product is of low quality
A Complete Buying Guide for Cheap 3D Printers
Looking for a 3D printer under 500 dollars can be a difficult task if you don’t know what to consider. Buying an affordable 3D printer does not mean you have to compromise on quality.
You just need to consider the following things-
Determine your Purpose
You must first decide what you want to use the printer for- as a hobby or using it at school. You can also find a low cost 3D printer which can have some professional uses but they are rare.
These types of budget 3D printers are perfect for beginners and enthusiasts and you should look for professional models if you want it for industrial use.
Print Speed and Resolution
Different brands and makes come with different printing speeds and resolution. Unlike a normal printer, resolution of 3D printers is measured in microns depending upon the thickness of the layers.
The lower the count of microns, higher is the precision of the printer. It can create more fine layers delivering a higher level of detail.
The speed of the printer will depend upon the nature of your project and the type of filament being used. It generally takes more time to take a print of a detailed object.
If you are looking forward to print a project with lot of precision, then you need to go for higher printing speeds. Generally the resolution and printing speed can be adjusted for best results.
Types of Filaments
Filaments act as the ink of traditional image printers. It is the material which is used to carve out the object by the printer. PLA is the most commonly used filament type made from biodegradable and starch based materials.
ABS is stronger and more resistant to heat and best for printing objects which can meet some rough use. Various models support different filaments and you need to choose one that is suitable for you.
Ratings and Reviews
The internet is a great place to find genuine reviews from customers and ratings given by experts in the industry. You need to adopt some caution to identify the true one, but with practice it gets easy.
Check out tons of reviews from every source to determine the quality and performance of cheap 3D printers. Do not go for a printer which has very low ratings or a lot of negative reviews.
We have listed the best budget 3D printers that can be purchased right now. All the features, pros and cons of each model have been listed for your convenience.
You can follow our buying guide and reviews and pick the perfect low cost 3D printer for yourself. Each printer has its own set of unique features and can help in your project in different ways.
So without any waiting further waiting let us wish you best of luck for your affordable 3D printer shopping.