You might have seen a 3D printer as a concept or a prototype lying in a lab. In this modern era, you and I can buy a best cheap 3D printer under 500 dollars due to latest advancements in technology. To pursue your 3D printing hobby you do not need to spend thousands of dollars to buy an expensive equipment.
What is the best 3D printer under 500?
We have done that hard work for you and have crafted this list of top ten best 3D printers under 500 bucks available in the market by great brands offering good models. Either pick a plug and play or a DIY printer you can pick the top-rated in your affordable budget.
Best 3D printers under 500
Before we begin exploring more about Best 3D printer, we can take a look on 3d printer parts and accessories.
See this comparison chart of top cheap 3D printers to see which one is perfect out of them.
3D printers Under 500 Reviews
|PRODUCT||CUSTOMER RATING||EXPERT RATING||PRICE|
|FlashForge Finder ||9/10||5/5|
|Geeetech Rostock M301||8.5/10||4.4/5|
|Printrbot Play 1505||9/10||4.5/5|
|New Matter MOD-t ||9.5/10||4/5|
|HICTOP Prusa I3||8/10||4/5|
|XYZprinting da Vinci mini||8.5/10||4.5/5|
|XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0||7.5/10||4/5|
|Monoprice Select Mini||8/10||4/5|
1) M3D Micro Best Budget 3D Printer Kits (Under $400)
Those excited about 3D printing might not like to go through a long set-up process. Then the biggest names in this line is Micro 3D printer which comes completely ready for you to print when you buy and bring it home. It’s the compact and fuss-free design which is attractive and perfect for beginners.
Its in-built auto calibration technology makes your life easier for making quality and consistent prints. It comes with a preloaded Windows compatible M3D software and with all this package you can simply start printing with just set-up time of 5-10 minutes.
A minor snag of this printer is its small build platform which is small enough that making any large object would not be possible but as a beginner, you do not need to deal with such big printing objects.
2) Monoprice 13860 maker select 3D printer V2
What about another plug and play Cheap 3D printers that is ready to print but this time a model offered by a different brand which is Monoprice 13860. You simply need to fix the frame and base with a few screws when it comes out of box remaining it comes pre-assembled.
Monoprice 13680 3d printer even comes with a handful of other things including 2GB Micro SD card which is pre-loaded with 3D models and sample PLA filament which allows you to print out of the box.
It heated plate print bed is perfect for thermoplastics like PLA, ABS and other types of filaments.The Monoprice 13860 3D printer is compatible with a number of software including Simplify3D, Cure, and Repetier.Similarly, it works with Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows.c
It also supports Micro SD card which keeps a copy of the print design and while printing the printer can do untethered printing without any interference because with WiFi connectivity printers sometimes the connection breaks which stops the printing.
It comes with a large printing area of 8 x 8 7 inches allowing you to build large objects with just a few clicks.
3) FlashForge Finder Best Budget 3D Printer
Some low price printers are really cheaply made plastic printers which do not even give a good printing job. But increasing the price tag eliminates the compromise on quality and that’s where FlashForge Finder Best Budget 3D Printer comes into play giving a high-quality printing at affordable price.
This stylish printer is capable enough to give your quality 3D prints, it’s compatible with Mac OS x , Windows 7/8/Vista Operating Systems. It uses the popular PLA filament for printing and doesn’t worry when the filament runs out, it’s in-built filament management system will warn your before it ends.
The semi-automated bed leveling by FlashForge will guide you for easy bed leveling. It also has another inbuilt feature of icing on the cake and can receive files over a USB cable or flash drive.
It has a medium level build area, not the smallest but not the largest something in between making it a great choice for newbies and for those who are looking to explore 3 D printing further.
4) Geeetech Rostock M301 Low Cost 3D Printer
For 3D printing tech geeks who love to build your printer from scratch need nothing but a Geeetech M301 3D printer. With its small footprint, it’s capable to give you excellent print quality using it’s latest printing techniques.
It features a 3-in-1 mix color printing hot-end which ends in a single nozzle to mix colors while your print. Either use your printers as a single extruder, 2-in-1 extruder or dual extruder it totally depends on you and your requirements.
You can also mix colors which give you an endless possibility of colors adding to your end product.Being a lightweight 3D printer due to its lightweight moving parts it delivers a greater speed of printing compared with other similar models.
This compact model is faster than many other printers with it’s Delta type construction. This printer is also compatible with most Operating Systems including Linux, MAC, and Windows.
5) Printrbot Play 1505 Best Cheap 3D Printer
Calling the Printrbot Play 1050 an all-round will not be a mistake as it’s suitable for a total newbie in 3D printing or one with some experience. This great best budget 3D printer model uses PLA filament and features a small footprint making it portable 3D printer.
It contains a powder-coated metal frame which handles the job of stabling the printer while auto calibration ensures that print bed is leveled perfectly for accurate printing.
It features a Cure printing software which is absolutely free and available to download online.
It allowing printing at 50 microns which is higher while compared with other printers. This great entry-level printer gives you a total choice of buying the printer unassembled or preassembled in the same price making it perfect for home or classroom use.
6) New Matter MOD-t Best Cheap 3D Printer (Under $300)
The New Matter MOD-t is yet another good-looking affordable printer which gives outstanding print quality. Being a low-cost doesn’t always means the device will compromise on quality, while the manufacturer does compromise on few features but this is not the case for every product.
The New Matter Mod-t is great for printing small items with its high-quality printing platform.
It follows a desktop 3D printer style but doesn’t take too much space and literally gives an apple-inspired compact design making it easy to use everywhere without worrying about its size.
It features an enclosed printing area which ensures safety while printing and also viewable from all sides which makes it a great classroom printer for doing experiments in front of students.
It allows you to only use PLA filament except for any other different types of filaments. Features WiFi connectivity which is mostly not possible for printers in this range.
It does quite printing while in action which makes it a great entry-level 3D printer and a fit choice for home or school which is affordable and easy to set up in different environments.
7) HICTOP Prusa I3 Best Cheap Desktop 3D Printer
If you are experienced enough to assemble a printer yourself then HICTOP Prusa I3 Best Cheap Desktop 3D Printer is a good choice for you. It allows a variety of filaments including PLA and comes with its own Cura software.
The benefit of buying an unassembled printer model like this is that you will be able to upgrade the printer for your 3D printing needs with more complex objects.
HICTOP Prusa I3 is lightweight as 17.64lbs and comes with an LCD screen which allows you to control the printer settings and adjust according to your desire, SD card support allows to store the print design in the printer to get untethered printing.
8) XYZprinting da Vinci mini Cheapest 3D Printer
You might get it a high-end 3D printer from its aesthetics and the features it incorporates but in fact it’s a mid-range cheap 3D printer known as da Vinci mini which comes plug-and-play and easy to use printing machine.
TO make small-scale projects it’s great for hobbyists and educators.It features a small build volume and weighs about 24.25lbs which you can transport easily. It uses a standard 1.75, diameter PLA filament and you can adjust the printing resolution from 100 microns to 400 microns depending upon your requirements for print. You might find this resolution in higher-end models which is available in the best 3d printer under 500.
It also comes with an embedded Wi-Fi feature which allows you to transmit the print files which will be printed directly from your computer. If it wasn’t enough, the printer has enough in-build storage space to get untethered printing.
9) XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Best Affordable 3D Printer
For those just getting started with 3D printing definitely need a quality printer which should help them create some small objects uring the printer. That’s what exactly XYZ Printing da Vinci Jr does third best budget 3D printer comes with a handful of features and good for beginners.
Being an affordable 3D printer it should offer decent features which it does giving bang for the buck. It’s plug and play and features an auto-leveling system which allows the precision printing.
It does feature an LCD screen to view the printer settings and change them easily according to your needs and the design you want. This navigation screen is very helpful for beginners.
SD card support allows the printer to avoid untethered printing.The XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. can print resolution of 100 to 400 microns which is not available mostly in this price range printers.
It comes with a free XYZ 3D design and printing software which is compatible with most OS including Windows, MAC, and Linux.
10) Monoprice Select Mini Best Cheapest 3D Printer Kit
This mini printer is small but not that, the compact 3D printer having a small footprint for making objects and doesn’t require much space on the desk. It comes fully assembled by the manufacturer and comes with a PLA filament and MicroSD card.
The Monoprice Select Mini uses 3D printer uses the heated aluminum bed for printing and features a cooling fan. It’s also compatible with MAC and PC platforms and also supports USB and MicroSD card connectivity.
3D Printers Buying Guide
Popularity of 3D printers
This current decade caused the popularity of 3D printers which were so expensive that only the well-heeled corporations and factories owners could afford them. Except a small circle surrounded by professionals the, these printing machines were unknown to the market. But with the continuous development of technology, an open-source 3D printing movement called RepRap introduced these amazing devices to the common users and consumers in affordable prices so that everyone including hobbyists, schools, engineers and designers can use them easily.
You just need to know how 3D printers differ from one another which will help you choose the right model for you from the market. You can pick a certain optimized unit for a particular kind of printing and audience as they come in a variety of styles. That’s why we jotted this 3d printer under 500 buying guide for you to help you pick the perfect model for your printing needs. These are the few considerations you should keep in mind while buying a 3d printer.
Before you buy any printer you need to ask yourself few questions like why do you want to print in 3D? What do you want to print? Are you a trendsetter who enjoys showing his latest gadgetry to his friends? A consumer looking for printing toys and household items? An educator who wants to install a 3D printer in the library, classroom or in a community centre? Or seeking for some experiments with the latest technology on new projects? An architect, engineer or designer who is interested to create prototypes for new products, structures or parts?
Because 3D printers are such amazing devices which designers, engineers or artists use to explore the creative potential of fabricating 3D objects. Similarly, manufacturers who are looking to print plastic items which could be used for a short span of time.
The very basic answer to these questions can be your primary need and how to plan to use it.Because 3D printer differs for different types of audience like schools and consumers want a model that’s easy to setup and don’t have to do much maintenance also should give reasonably good print quality.On the other hand, the artists and hobbyists are looking for special features in the printers like the ability to print objects with more than one color by using multiple filament types.Similarly, we have professionals and designers are looking for outstanding print quality.
Some shop owners tend to make short-run manufacturing need a large build area which allows printing multiple objects at once. Individuals or businesses are seeking to show off the wonders of 3D printing to their clients and friends so they need a handsome and reliable machine.
In this buyer guide, we will focus in 3D printers under 500 dollars range, targeted at schools, consumers, product designers, hobbyists, engineers, professionals, and architects.
In this price range vast majority of printers tend to build objects using successive layers of molten plastic, which is most popular as a Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) technique, sometimes called Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), a term trademarked by Stratasys. Many call it stereolithography which was the very first 3D printing technique developed in which ultraviolet (UV) lasers trace a pattern on a photosensitive liquid resin, hardening the resin to form the object.
You need to be clear about the 3D printer’s build area and it should be large enough for the kind of objects that you are trying to print with it. For your information, the build area is a three-dimensional space which allows the largest objects that can be printed in the given printer. Typical 3D printers feature a build area which lies between 6 and 9 inches square, but they have a maximum capacity of few inches up to more than 2 feet on a side, you might see few exact squares. You might have read about the build areas in inches, in height, width and depth in above given 3D printers under 500 reviews.
Majority of lower-priced printers which includes printers under 500 or even 300 bucks use FFF technique, in which spools of plastic filament are melted and extruded and then after that solidified to form the object. The two most common types of filament that are used popularly include acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polylactic acid (PLA) each of these are almost similar or have slightly different properties. Like ABS melts at a higher temperature as compared with PLA which is more flexible, but emits fumes when melted which is unpleasant for many users and also required a heated print bed. On the other hand, PLA prints look smooth.
Similarly there are other materials used in FFF printing like high-impact polystyrene (HIPS), bronze, wood, copper composite filaments, nylon, Tritan polyester, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), UV-luminescent filaments, polyethylene terephthalate (PETT), conductive PLA and ABS, polycarbonate, PC-ABS and plasticized copolyamide thermoplastic elastomer (PCTPE). These exotic filaments are limited to printers designed for them because each of them has a different melt point, there are printers which do have their own software that allows the consumers control the extruder temperature.
There are two diameters filaments comes in which are 1.85mm and 3mm, where you might see most models using the smaller-diameter filament. Filaments are sold in spools in different prices. There are a number of generic spools available which many 3D printers will accept but we have seen propriety spools or cartridges for some companies 3D printer. Just clarify the filament is the right diameter for your printer and also the spool is the right size. You also have the option to buy or make your own 3D print of spool holder which will fit various spool sizes.
Stereolithography printers are capable to print at high resolution and eschew filament in favor of photosensitive (UV-curable) liquid resin, sold in bottles with the limited color palette. Main colors are gray, black, white or gold. In the finishing process, the liquid resin and isopropyl alcohol both are used but can go messy sometimes.
A 3D printer shapes multiple thin layers of molten plastic following the instructions coded in the file for the object to be printed. For 3D printing resolution and layer height are one thing. Resolution is measured in microns being 0.001mm, lower the number of microns the higher the resolution is.
Which means the thinner each layer is, the more layers will be required to print any object, which will result in the finer details that can be captured. You can think of increasing the resolution like increasing a digital camera’s megapixel count. Sometimes higher resolution helps in print quality but doesn’t guarantee good print quality.
Today’s all 3D printers are capable to print a resolution of 200 microns which will help to produce decent-quality prints or even batter with 100 microns, which will definitely
Few are capable to print at a higher resolution like 20 microns but you have to go beyond into custom settings and preset solutions to enable resolutions finer than 100 microns.
You need to pay a heavy price for higher resolutions, as such type of resolutions are possible with premium printers with a resolution higher than 100 microns. A minor snag to increasing the resolution is that it can add to print times. Dividing the resolution will almost double the time to print a given object. But for professionals extra time will be worth who require the highest quality in the objects they print.