Ten years ago, a 3D printer costing just a few hundred dollars would be considered impossible. 3D printers were mostly industrial machines costing thousands, and the only cheap 3D printer was a RepRap 3D printer you made yourself for $500 — and even then it could be unreliable.
But now? We are spoiled with hundreds of great, low cost printers from dozens of 3D printer companies across the globe.
Therefore, we ranked the best affordably priced 3D printers, based on their reliability, ease of use, price-performance ratio, and a range of other factors. Some are DIY 3D printer kits, and most use FDM (fused deposition modeling), though a couple resin 3D printers also made the list.
- Note: you may instead be looking for our ranking on the best small 3D printers.
Recommended 3D printers are divided into three parts: best budget 3D printers under $300, under $500, and under $1,000. In order to stay independent we have included links to where the 3D printers we recommend can be purchased, which we earn a small commission on.
All the best budget 3D printers in 2020
|3D printer name and brand||Type of Printer||Build Volume (mm)||Price||Lowest price at:||Alternative purchase option|
|Monoprice Select Mini V2||FDM||120 x 120 x 120||$199||Amazon here|
|Anet A8||FDM Kit||220 x 220 x 240||$180||Amazon here|
|Anycubic Photon Zero||Resin / LCD||95 x 54 x 150||$149+||Amazon here||3DJake UK & Europe|
|Creality Ender 3||FDM Kit||220 x 220 x 250||$220||Amazon here||3DJake UK & Europe|
|ELEGOO Mars / Pro 2||Resin / LCD||120 x 68 x 155||$190-280||Amazon here||3DJake UK & Europe|
|Monoprice Mini Delta||Delta FDM||110 x 110 x 120||$179||Amazon here|
|Monoprice MP Maker Select||FDM||200 x 200 x 180||$389||Amazon here|
|Prusa Mini||FDM Kit||180 x 180 x 180||$349||Prusa Store here|
|XYZprinting Da Vinci Jr||FDM||150 x 150 x 150||$199||Amazon here||Gearbest here|
|Creality CR10 V2||FDM Kit||300 x 300 x 400||$499||Amazon here||3DJake UK & Europe|
|AnyCubic Photon S||LCD / Resin||115 x 65 x 165||$389||Amazon here||3DJake UK & Europe|
|Tronxy X5SA Pro||FDM Kit||330 x 330 x 400||$479||Amazon here|
|Monoprice Voxel||FDM||150 x 150 x 150||$449||Amazon here||Matterhackers here|
|QIDI Tech X-Pro||FDM||230 x 150 x 150||$499||Amazon here||3DJake UK & Europe|
|Prusa i3 MK3S||FDM Kit||250 x 210 x 150||$749 / $999||Kit available on Prusa store here||Fully assembled on Prusa store here|
|Flashforge Creator Pro / Pro 2 / Creator Max||FDM||115 x 145 x 150||$699||Amazon here||3DJake UK & Europe|
Part 1: Best 3D Printers Under $300
Bonus: 3Dsimo MultiPro 4-in-1 Printer Pen
- Price: $129, reduced from $179 for a limited time — Available on 3Dsimo Online Store here only
Though technically not a 3D printer so we’ll call it a bonus listing rather than a full-fledged budget 3D printer, the 3Dsimo MultiPro 3D pen bridges the gap and offers a lower cost alternative to those who don’t want to spend over $200 on a 3D printer, but still want to create fun 3D models.
- We also have a full ranking of the best 3D pens.
The difference between a 3D pen and a 3D printer is that a printer automatically prints, with very good accuracy, the 3D model as per the STL file you have chosen. With a 3D printing pen the results are down to your artistic skills; you physically move the pen and extrude the filament to create your own model.
3D pens are a great replacement for a 3D printer for kids and are great for artists, and some will find them more appealing than cheap 3D printers as they are lower priced. Both 3D pens and 3D printers use plastic filament, just you manually print with a pen instead of the machine printing your model on a 3D printer.
The 3Dsimo MultiPro 4-in-1 is one of the best 3D pens as not only is it very accurate and reliable, but it is also extremely versatile. As well as being able to print great, multi-colored models to unleash your creativity, you can also switch out the print head for a solder, wood burner or foam cutter. Create beautiful wood art or even decorate leather sneakers with the additional heads, shown above.
The 3Dsimo MultiPro is compatible with any 1.75mm 3D printer filament, for ABS or PLA, and ships with some filament to start you off with. The light weight (just 70g) means it will never strain your arms as you create a 3D model, and overall, we recommend it as the most versatile 3D pen on the market.
The pen is also reduced from $179 to $129 for a limited time, and we have been given a special offer by 3Dsimo exclusively for 3DSourced readers, offering 10% off all purchases over $100. Simply click the link in the bullet point above or click here and your code will be given to you to use at checkout.
16 — Monoprice Select Mini V2 — Best 3D Printer For $200 (and some change)
- Company based: USA
- Price: $199 — Available on Amazon worldwide here
- Print volume: 120 x 120 x 120 mm
You’ll notice more than one Monoprice 3D printer appears on this list, and that’s simply because they’re all so good. Monoprice create printers that work reliably, and keep the price down by not including anything you don’t strictly need. The result, a functional printer for just over $200 that’s perfect for beginners.
We could have included the original Select Mini Pro — available here for $199 if you are interested — and sold the fact that it costs less than $200, but the Select Mini V2 is noticeably improved. It also comes with 3D printer models installed, some 3D printer filament, and is small enough to fit on any desktop. These make it the perfect inexpensive 3D printer for those new to 3D printing.
The only drawback is that is it such a mini 3D printer — but those new to 3D printing (or those with little house space!) it shouldn’t be a deal breaker. Large parts can be printed in stages, and it works fine as a 3D printer for miniatures.
15 — Anet A8 — Best 3D Printer Under $200!
- Company based: China
- 3D printer price: $160 — Available on Amazon here
- Print volume: 220 x 220 x 240 mm
Anet are a Chinese 3D printer manufacturer who took the Prusa kit model and created their own low cost FDM 3D printer. While retaining the heated bed and the ability to print ABS and PETG, as well as Nylon, PVA, Wood, and PP, the Anet A8 only costs around $160 — compared to around $1,000 for the Prusa if you buy it assembled.
This cheap 3D printer is reliable for the low price. With a minimum layer size of 100 microns, the Anet A8 offers decent quality, too. For under $200 the Anet A8 offers a far larger print volume, at 220 x 220 x 240 mm. Overall, it’s another great 3D printing option, and unlike most small 3D printers, has a relatively large build volume.
14 – Anycubic Photon Zero
- Price: around $149 — Available on Amazon here / 3DJake UK & Europe here
- Print volume: 95 x 54 x 150 mm
Just when we didn’t think LCD 3D printing could get any more affordable, Anycubic have done it again. One of the cheapest resin 3D printers in the world, it has a slightly smaller build volume than the Photon and Photon S, and Z-axis resolution of up to 0.01 mm.
The Photon Zero is simple to get started, coming fully assembled and without too much to do to get it ready to print. Despite the low price, Anycubic have ensured adequate printing quality with a new and more stable Z axis with new screw motor and linear guide that will print crisper parts. It prints at 30 mm/hour, and connects via USB for printing. If you’re looking for a very low cost resin printer, the Anycubic Photon Zero could be the cheap 3D printer for you.
13 — Creality Ender 3 — Fantastic Affordable 3D Printer
- Company based: China
- Price: $229 — Available on Amazon here / 3DJake UK & Europe here
- Print volume: 220 x 220 x 250 mm
Chinese manufacturer Creality don’t just make the CR-10, but also the Ender 3, another fantastic yet inexpensive 3D printer. It’s cheaper than the CR-10, and has a smaller maximum build volume of 220 x 220 x 250 mm, but there are many similarities in design and print quality.
- View the full specs in our Ender 3 review
For the low price, you get a lot of clever technology when you buy this affordable 3D printer. Firstly, it’s been upgraded so it can resume printing after a power cut, as well as small updates to improve the 3D printer extruder so it doesn’t clog as much. There’s a reason why it’s currently the best-selling 3D printer in the world.
12 — ELEGOO Mars / Mars 2 Pro
- Company based in: China
- Original Elegoo Mars price: $190 — Available on Amazon here / 3DJake UK & Europe here
- Mars 2 Pro price: $280 — Available on Amazon here / 3DJake UK & Europe here
- Build volume: 120 x 68 x 155 mm
The first resin 3D printer on our cheap printer list, you may have seen us praising on one of our other 3D printer rankings before. It simply shouldn’t be as good as it is for such a low price. Thank LCD 3D printing, the innovative new resin printing technology that allows you to get the precision of SLA at FDM prices, which the Elegoo Mars does wonderfully.
- Elegoo also sell some of the cheapest resins on the market. You can buy them here.
As for accuracy, the minimum XY accuracy you can achieve with the Elegoo Mars is 47 microns — very precise. It’s got a 2K LCD projector and comes with CHITUBOX slicer built especially for resin printing. Overall, it’s a fantastic printer for such little investment — an almost unthinkably cheap price for a resin printer — and good 120 x 68 x 155 mm build volume.
- Why does it matter that the ELEGOO is a resin 3D printer? Check out our guide comparison SLA vs FDM 3D printing.
11 – Monoprice Mini Delta
- Company based: USA
- Price: $179 — Available on Amazon here
- Build volume: 110 x 110 x 120 mm
Monoprice make some of the best low cost 3D printers, and the Mini Delta is no exception. It’s a delta 3D printer and one of the fastest 3D printers in its price range — up to 150 mm/s — benefiting from the low weight on the print head that delta printers are known for.
It’s sturdily built for such an affordable 3D printer; the aluminium and steel frame making for good stability and durability, creating better quality parts as the solid frame is affected less by vibrations during printing. The heated bed means this mini 3D printer can print ABS or PLA, and unlike most delta 3D printers it comes fully assembled, so you don’t need to worry about your DIY skills.
Most impressive however is the 50-micron accuracy, extremely precise for such an inexpensive 3D printer. Features that make it an ideal 3D printer for beginners include printing remotely over WiFi, as well as by USB or SD card, and the printer is open source, which some will find advantageous. Overall, it’s a fantastic cheap 3D printer option for other who don’t mind a small 3D printer, and one of the best 3D printers under $300.
10 — Monoprice MP Maker Select
- Company based in: USA
- Price: $389 — Available on Amazon here
- Build volume: 200 x 200 x 180 mm
Monoprice are an FDM 3D printer manufacturer from the USA who have been hard at work making 3D printers since 2002. Their most recent cheap 3D printer is the Maker Select, costing just over $300. The Maker Select is a dual extruder 3D printer, capable of printing two colors or materials simultaneously.
Offering a minimum layer thickness of 100 microns, the Maker Select is an accurate yet cheap 3D printer. It weighs in at just 20lbs, and is small enough to fit on any desktop. In terms of 3D printer filaments, the Maker Select can print a fairly wide range, including ABS, PLA, PET, PVA, and HIPS due to its heated plate. With a print volume of 200 x 200 x 180 mm, the Maker Select is a versatile and affordable 3D printer which is perfect for beginners or educating children in 3D printing.
9 — XYZprinting Da Vinci Mini
- Company based: Taiwan
- Price: $199 — Available on Amazon here
- Print volume: 150 x 150 x 150 mm
One of the cheapest 3D printers on our list, the Da Vinci Mini is another highly rated and inexpensive 3D printer made by XYZprinting. Designed to be simple to use and print small objects quickly, the Da Vinci Mini has a minimum layer thickness of 0.1mm and retails at just $259!
The Taiwanese company has been making waves in the industry for some time, creating some of the best low-priced 3D printers of the last few years. This mini 3D printer is no exception, combining its decent 150 x 150 x 150 mm print volume with adequate quality in a great 3D printer for beginners.
Part 2: Best 3D Printer Under $500
8 — Creality CR-10 V2 — One of the best low-cost 3D printers for 2021
- Company based: China
- Best price: $499 — Available on Amazon here / 3DJake UK & Europe here
- Print volume: 300 x 300 x 400 mm
There’s a reason the Creality CR-10 V2 keeps popping up in our year-end ‘best of’ lists every year — it’s fantastic! (This includes our complete guide to the 20 best 3D Printers 2021.) This reliable, inexpensive 3D printer is made by Chinese manufacturer Creality and is a great DIY 3D printer which we personally assembled and started printing in under 45 minutes.
One of the best 3D printers under $500, the Creality CR-10 V2 can compete with 3D printers which cost three times that price. This bargain 3D printer can print with a layer thickness of 0.05mm, and has a huge build volume for the price, at 300 x 300 x 400 mm. It offers a great build volume, and good reliability and precision, making it one of the most popular 3D printers for makers and hobbyists.
7 — Prusa Mini
- 3D printer type: FDM kit
- Price: $399 — Available on Prusa Store here
- Print volume: 180 x 180 x 180 mm
Following from the runaway success of the Prusa MK3 versions, their mini 3D printer version keeps most of the MK3S’ great features, but in a smaller package and at a lower price.
While you still keep the automatic calibration, 0.05mm layer heights, and up to 200mm/s print speed, the Prusa Mini reaches slightly lower extruder temperatures at up to 280C, restricting the filaments you can print. However, you still have a healthy range of filament options, including PLA, PETG, ABS, ASA, and flexible filaments.
The Prusa Mini also comes with a magnetic heated and removable spring steel build sheets, making it extremely easy to remove finished prints by bending the build plate. The Mini comes with PrusaSlicer for preparing any STL files for printing, and if you do have any problems, Prusa’s support team are on hand 24/7 to help, via live chat or email.
6 — AnyCubic Photon S
- 3D printer type: LCD / resin
- Price: $389 — Available on Amazon here / 3DJake UK & Europe here
- Print volume: 115 x 65 x 165 mm
Similar to the ELEGOO Mars, when it first came out people couldn’t understand that such a cheap resin printer could be so reliable and accurate. The original AnyCubic Photon proved doubters wrong, and the second iteration, the Photon S, builds on its strengths while also patching up issues.
- AnyCubic also sell resins. You can buy them here.
There are two main upgrades in the Photon S: the larger Z axis means you can build taller resin prints; and better stability, leading to better quality prints. The result is a reliable, accurate and precise cheap resin printer that can print well enough for almost any hobbyist’s goals. Overall, it’s an consistent and affordable 3D printer for resin printing without massive costs.
5 — Tronxy X5SA Pro
- 3D printer type: FDM 3D printer kit
- Price: $479 — Available on Amazon here
- Print volume: 330 x 330 x 400 mm
One area that resin printers cannot compete with cheap FDM printers on it build volume. Even an expensive resin printer cannot print the sizes that the Tronxy X5SA Pro can — 330 x 330 x 400 mm! — so we recommend the Tronxy to anyone looking for a large 3D printer.
- The standard Tronxy X5SA (not Pro) is also available for under $400 here.
It competes with the Creality CR10 in a similar price and size range, and we rate both printers highly. The Pro version of the Tronxy X5SA is more stable, due to being built out of stronger materials — mostly aluminium rather than acrylic — helping print more accurate prints. It’s accurate to around 125 microns so it can’t compete with resin printers for accuracy, but that’s the tradeoff when you go for a FDM kit rather than a resin printer.
If you want to print huge vases or statues, definitely go for the Tronxy X5SA or Creality CR10 (or Creality CR10 MAX!). It’s a great kit printer, and one of the best 3D printers under $500.
Part 3: Best 3D Printer Under $1,000
4 — Monoprice Voxel
- Company based: USA
- Price: $449 — Available on Amazon here / Available on Matterhackers here
- Print volume: 150 x 150 x 150 mm
The Monoprice Voxel is another great yet inexpensive printer. Unlike most of the printers on this list, it has a closed chamber, meaning temperatures can be regulated more easily and therefore less warping occurs when printing. It’s also very accurate, with a minimum 50-micron layer height, perfect for 3D printing miniatures.
A feature we in particular found interesting was how easy it is to change the Monoprice Voxel’s print nozzle. Changing the nozzle requires no tools and takes just a few seconds; a far cry from some that can take 30 mins. The 150 x 150 x 150 mm is fine for all but the biggest prints, and overall we find the Voxel to be a consistent jack-of-all-trades machine and an effective compact 3D printer.
3 — QIDI Tech X-Pro
- Company based: China
- Price: $500+ — Available on Gearbest here / Available on Amazon here / 3DJake UK & Europe here
- Build volume: 230 x 150 x 150 mm
The QIDI Tech X-Pro is a dual extruder 3D printer that QIDI believe is perfectly suited for educating students on 3D printing. It can be easily connected to your WiFi to print wirelessly, or you can just plug in a USB — though it isn’t portable, weighing 23kg.
The X-Pro features a large 4.3-inch touchscreen, so navigating the options and using the printer is simple. Perhaps most importantly however, the printer comes with an innovative curved metal plate, making removing models post print far easier. Easier removal means less scarring to the print when scraping it off the build platform, and therefore better surface quality. Overall, it’s a stellar low cost 3D printer and one of the best 3D printers under $1,000.
2 — Prusa i3 MK3S
- Company based: Czechia
- Price: $749 as a kit — Available on Prusa store here / $999 fully assembled — Available on Prusa store here
- Build volume: 250 x 210 x 200 mm
This wouldn’t be a valid list without the inclusion of the Prusa i3 MK3S. The most successful and popular printer to emerge from the RepRap philosophy, the Prusa i3 sports a print volume of 250 x 210 x 200 mm, and weighs just over 6kg. For an extra $300, you can upgrade it with Prusa’s Multi Materal Upgrade Kit, allowing you to 3D print in up to 5 colors simulatenously!
- You can purchase the Multi Material Upgrade here.
Prusa 3D printers are meticulously designed to be as simple and effective to use as possible. Accurate up to a layer resolution of 50 microns, the Prusa i3 is a precise, cheap 3D printer which dominates its RepRap 3D printer competitors. You can either buy the Prusa fully assembled for around $999 or build your own for around $749.
It’s also fast, able to print at up to 200mm/s, and is famed for its reliability and durability. Overall, the king of 3D printer kits, the Prusa is simply marvelous.
1 — Flashforge Creator Pro / Creator Max / Creator Pro 2
- Company based: China
- Price: $699 — Available on Amazon worldwide here / 3DJake UK & Europe here
- Creator Max price: $879 — Available on Amazon here
- Creator Pro 2: $899 — Available on Amazon here / 3DJake UK & Europe here
- Print volume: 225 x 145 x 150 mm
Chinese 3D printer manufacturer Flashforge are well-known for making some of the best cheap 3D printers of the last few years, including the Adventurer 3, Dreamer, Hunter, and now the Creator Pro. This dual extruder 3D printer offers a number of upgrades on other models but still costs just under $1,000.
With a minimum layer thickness of 0.1mm, the Creator Pro is fairly accurate for the price. This cheap 3D printer also has a good print volume of 225 x 145 x 150 mm, easily enough for casual printing. The Flashforge Creator Pro is overall a consistent and reliable option for anybody looking for a dual extruder 3D printer.
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