Best Affordable 3D Printers

Cheap 3D Printer

3D printer technology has exploded. That’s great news for those who want to print three-dimensional objects at home, or who need an inexpensive method of prototyping, but it’s not without its drawbacks.

One of those drawbacks is the fact that the sheer number of options on the market makes it difficult to determine which 3D printers are actually worth your time.

Below, we’ll explore the best cheap 3D printers on the market, as well as their various pros and cons, to help ensure that you’re able to make an informed choice.

(For a further look into what 3D printing is, read this.)


RepRap Prusa Mendel Iteration 2 ($599)

Overview
Priced at $599 on Amazon, this 3D printer is actually a kit – not a completed printer. You’ll need to assemble it on your own.

Saying that, the price is right and with a little time spent on assembly, you can have a basic 3D printer for your home.

Technical Specifications

  • Print area: 7 x 7 x 5
  • Print height: 0.1 mm to 0.3 mm
  • Accuracy: 0.01 mm to 0.02 mm
  • Weight: 22 lbs.
  • Uses: PLA or ABS
  • Maximum size: 180 x 180 x 125 mm

Pros

One of the best things about purchasing the RepRap Prusa Mendel Iteration 2 Complete 3D Printer Kit is the service and help available. There’s a complete 25-part instructional video accessible before you purchase the printer. You’ll also find several forms of customer service available. Of course, the $599 price tag is another mark in its favor, as is its degree of customization.

Cons

The RepRap Prusa Mendel Iteration 2 Complete 3D Printer Kit is not without its drawbacks. Perhaps the most significant is also one of the factors that attract some buyers – it’s a kit. That means you have to build it yourself. This is one reason for the low price point, but it can be a problem for certain buyers.

What Amazon Customers Say…

From Andrew Scarff:

This kit included everything needed, plus some extra parts. It was very neatly organized, which made assembly much easier. I had a problem with one of my motors, and NWReprap sent me a replacement immediately and at no charge. I would not hesitate to buy this again.

From Don, Michigan Linux Guy:

The RepRap Prusa Mendel Iteration 2 kit from NWRepRap is great. All the parts were included and everything went together smoothly. NWRepRap has step-by-step videos that show exactly how to assemble and configure the printer. Customer service is great.

GET THIS 3D PRINTER


XYZprinting Da Vinci 1.0 ($499.99)

Overview
If you’re looking for a reliable 3D printer that comes already assembled, the da Vinci 1.0 from XYZprinting has a lot to recommend it.

It’s actually priced lower than the RepRap Prusa Mendel Iteration 2 Complete 3D Printer Kit, and there’s no need to get down and dirty with the hardware when it arrives.

It also boasts a large print area for its compact size. The printing area is enclosed, helping to prevent debris and dust from spreading.

Technical Specifications

  • Resolution: 0.1 mm to 0.4 mm
  • Cube print area: 200 mm
  • Weight: 52 lbs.
  • 468 x 510 x 558 mm

Pros

The $499 price tag is probably the most important benefit here, but the fact that it boasts a small footprint and a relatively large printing surface also weigh in its favor. You’ll also find the fact that it arrives fully assembled is an advantage over DIY kits.

Cons

While the da Vinci 1.0 does have its strengths, it also has a few weaknesses. One of those is the lack of much documentation. However, the manufacturer does offer a video series online. The software interface could also use some work.

What Amazon Customers Say…

From William Graham:

Got mine yesterday from Amazon… So far pretty happy with it. Easy to setup was printing a sample in 20 minutes. It’s a little slower than a Makerbot which I have owned but for $500 it cannot be beat.

From Chris Willetts:

I love my printer; it’s a very cost effective way of printing and testing your idea. There is so much more you need to learn to maximize your 3D printing abilities. The models are not as strong as injection molded plastic but you can change the printer settings and use different techniques.

GET THIS 3D PRINTER


Printrbot Simple Maker Edition Kit ($349)

Overview
A barebones 3D printer that nevertheless delivers in performance and size, you’ll find the Printrbot Simple Maker Edition kit is priced even lower than the competitors we’ve covered thus far, and costs $349 on Amazon now.

The Printrbot Simple Maker Edition is one of the best affordable printers for anyone starting in 3D printing.

Technical Specifications

  • Resolution: 0.1 mm and higher
  • Volume: 150 mm cube
  • Weight: 16 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 14 x 10 x 16 inches

Pros

One of the best things about this 3D printer is that it’s cheap. It’s also open source, which means modifications are simple, and you can print replacement parts right on the printer.

Cons

It’s a kit, which means assembly is up to you. It can also take a good deal of adjusting to get the print action right. Finally, it’s a little slow, with 80 mm/second the maximum speed.

What Amazon Customers Say…

From Anderson:

Holy moly I love this thing. I’m brand-spanking new to 3D printing, and this is a great machine for my first go around.

From Roi Jeric Bautista:

It’s not the fanciest machine out there, but it’s a great kit to start out with, especially if you don’t want to get in over your head with 3D printing. It’s a solid bot and I’m looking forward to upgrading it in the future.

GET THIS 3D PRINTER


These are three of the cheapest 3D printers on the market, but you’ll find many other models out there priced slightly higher, some of which come with even more capabilities and benefits.

For a list of more 3D printers at various price ranges, check out this guide.

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