Have the fun of printing things! But for that you must bring home the best 3D printers under 300-1000$!
These cheap 3D printers are going to open new window of possibilities for your kids & you.
It’s not long since Personal 3D printers have hit the market.
That’s why we have given it a thought and came up with these reviews that everyone can buy and use in their home & office. Even a year ago only a few models had a personal touch to it.
Editor’s Pick Top 5 Printers (Best Buy)
- Monoprice Select Mini – Best Selling 3D Printer
- FlashForge Creator Pro – For Professional Use
- Reprap Prusa I3 V2 – For High Definition Printing
- FlashForge Finder – Most Beautiful Printing Kit
- QIDI TECH 3DP-QDA16-01 – Perfect 3D Printer
Why don’t you check detailed reviews of these models that we have picked. Oh! Don’t worry, you can trust us!
Best 3D Printers under 300-1000$
Sorting out these models from a jungle of 3D printer makers was not an easy thing. But, we were determined to find the models that actually worked. Here is the at a glance review of them.
No-01. Monoprice Select Mini – Best Selling 3D Printer
If you ask to pick only one cheap printer for you then we’d tell you to go with the Select Mini. Monoprice has some of the best lower end models that you can buy. The first thing that draw our attention was the price.
It made us skeptical of the quality. Then when we found the product arrived pre assembled. Now, that was the first indication that the manufacturer cares for the customers. The unit seemed quite basic actually.
It was developed on Ardunio board and we think that is the reason of its being so cheap. If you check out the 3D Printing Kit DIYs then you will find that almost all the models cost around 300 bucks where you can avail this one for a very less price.
The extruder is 0.4mm and there is only one in the unit. This makes the printer good for printing regular things. But it might fail to come up high detailed complex designs. We have something else to warn you here.
The manufacturer says that this model is capable of handling many types of filaments but we think you should only stick to ABS or PLA otherwise you will have trouble. The printer is too sensitive in most of the cases. Whatever you print with it, never forget that It should be handled with extreme care.
The printer comes with a nice wonderful display with a heated build plate. It weights around 10 lbs and whole thing is compact enough to find its place on any table. We think that you won’t have too much trouble in operating the unit. If you do, take a little help from YouTube and things will be easy then.
At last we would say that it’s the perfect starter kit of your 3D printing experience. If you haven’t used any kind of 3D printing kit before then you should definitely go with this select mini.
- Best priced 3d printer under 300
- Nice Colorful Display
- Multiple type of filament support
- Compact desktop design
- No Protective Cover
- The Extruder jams or malfunctions after 20 runs or so ( you can get the spares or you have an warranty to spare)
No-02. FlashForge Creator Pro – For Professional Use
If you are in search of a printer that will actually print like a professional one then you should bring home models like this one. However our goal was to introduce you with the cheap models but we think that Creator Pro of FlashForge should also be on the list because it’s the best among the cheapest models ( where cheap means a below 1000$ margin )
Now, we should mark it as a model as a semi-professional 3D printing solution because it shares the features of a professional 3D printer. One of the greatest benefits you will get in the Creator Pro is that, it comes with two extruders.
Having two extruders really makes things easy for you. With it, you will barely have any limitations with the color and material which is the biggest problem with the cheap models. Now, another main area of concern is the build area which is huge in the Creator Pro.
A bigger building area means that you will get to print large and interesting things. This also makes the whole printer a little bit diffident from the compact desktop models. It covers nearly 40% area of an average table and weights little more than 24 lbs.
We think that size and the weight and the frame made of metal and glass makes the Creator Pro really stable. Stability is a huge playmaker when it comes to 3D printing. However, you might find it a little bit difficult to calibrate the build platform but that is the only issue people seem to have faced with the printer.
For every other problems there is a sweet thing called life time warranty. If you have too much trouble with your printer, they will send a new one. This is something you don’t get from all the models that are available on the market.
There’s nothing to talk about the print quality it’s just excellent. Although the control panel and display looked kinda cheap but with them, you might get the job done pretty easily. If you think that you are going to spare around a thousand bucks then this should be your best buy as most of the cheaper models come with their own drawbacks where this model has no mention worthy negative reports.
- Excellent Built Quality
- High Definition Finishing
- Safe & Stable
- Operations seem difficult for the first few times
- Tricky build plate calibration
No-03. Reprap Prusa I3 V2 – For High Definition Printing
If you think that you are not gonna go with the Select Mini and would raise your budget a bit higher then the Prusa I3 V2 is your best option. What we think it’s just a better version that would produce better 3D replication.
Now, it’s a open wide building area too. The building platform is made with borosilicate glass and has a single extruder of 1.75 mm that has a 0.4 nozzle. The print resolution in this thing comes down to 100 microns. These features make it a good starter kit that can come up with a better printer with consistency meaning that the extruder won’t cause you too much trouble. As you are getting a heated bed with this model so, you don’t have to worry that much.
It’s an American product. So, the customer support is excellent. And more than that there are some parts of the kit that you will get replacement for. If you don’t like certain parts, you might also get upgrades for that too.
Now, it may require some drilling but the whole thing has a big build area that will allow you to print big things. The manufacturer claims that it’s a good product for kids. But you should notice that it does not come with any sort of housings that makes this printer a bit risky for children. But if you want to make them enthusiastic of the 3D printing technology then this should be the model to pick.
This unit requires assembly and not that much ready to roll when it’s shipped in your home. You should be prepared for that. Other than these, use the product carefully and it will last very long. Don’t tamper with the power as you might fry the Ardunio board.
- Nice Built Quality
- Great Price
- Comes with a heated build plate
- Durable than its rivals
- No covers casings
- Lacks stability
No-04. FlashForge Finder – Most Beautiful Printing Kit
If you don’t want an ugly or too mechanical looking printer in your home and if you are a little tight on your budget then you should go with the Finder by FlashForge. The first thing to note about the model is that, it’s beautiful and has a really elegant and intuitive display.
The Finder is capable of constantly producing flawless replications of your digital designs that you can input via Wi-fi or USB connectivity. Now, there are many models of 3d printing kits that are available around 500$ but we have given it a spot in your list because it can flawlessly print objects, even with complex designs.
This can be a great first 3d printer for your kids. There are models that do not come with any protective covers and we think they are not that much suitable for the kids. However, this is a ready to print model and you don’t have to take the hassle of installation. This way your children will be deprived of the basic construction of the printer.
3d printing is a complex process. Even a slight vibration or a big blow of wind can ruin your object. That’s why a covered build area is better for making flawless high resolution prints. The Finder even has a bigger build area that can produce interesting things.
However, the only problem that we have found out with the unit is that, it does not have a heated build plate. We think you will have a slight problem in taking out the printed object from the printer. It weights a little more than 24 lbs that makes it a steady printer. We think it’s a good pick for everyone who’s looking for a decent 3d printing solution in cheap price.
- Looks beautiful
- Nice built quality
- Sturdy performer
- No hated build plate
No-05. QIDI TECH 3DP-QDA16-01 – Perfect 3D Printer
If you want a printer that you are going to use for a long time and expect high definition results each and every time then the 3DP-QDA16 by Qidi Technology should be your top pick. The most striking feature of the printer is its great heat management system.
This printer has all the necessary features that are required for high details 3D replication. More than that you will get dual extruders that is just awesome. If you see the difference between a single and dual extruder printed object, we are sure that you won’t be ordering a single extruder printer in home.
The printer has a print resolution of 100 Micron and a build area of 8.8 by 5.9 by 5.9 inches and the nozzle is 0.4 by 1.75 mm. Now, the numbers are perfect of printing good objects that most cheap printers can’t do.
We think that, it’s a printer that will not disappoint you. However, the looks of the printer is quite primitive. The display might not attract you that much but it’s really easy to operate. This printer supports both USB and SD card input.
We can assure you one thing; you will have a unique printing experience with this model. Because of its Sailfish 7.8 version, ATmega 2560, the advanced software for printing with triangle meshes and the 3D printing software that comes with the printer altogether is committed to give you a premium finishing.
- Cutting edge printing technology
- Great Price
- Nice cooling
- Dual extruders
- Things may feel confusing for the first few times
Now, what do you think about the models?
Well, the first thing that we should say about the models is that, these are the best 3D printers under 1000 that literally come up with a high detail ‘solid result’! You should also keep in mind that comparing the end result of these cheap printing machines with a professional 3D printer might not meet your hope.
Those extra thousand dollars certainly has an output! However, knowing this you should check out the next section of detailed reviews. If you think that you have some more times to spare then you can also check out the sections following it. This way, you will become an expert of 3D compositors and act like you know everything about them. (Your friends would not probably know these things! 😉 )
What is 3D Printer & How They Work?
The simplest answer is, 3D printing is printing (perhaps building up something) on a three dimensional environment that involves X, Y and Z axis. A three dimensional printer takes a digital STL file as an input or mapping of the object that is to be created.
Based on the design, the object can be created in three to five different methods by different types of 3D printing replicators. We’ll talk about the types in the later section. So, 3D printing is basically a method or replicating or creating an object with a printer.
Most printers these days use the FDM or FFF method. It’s called Fused Deposition Modeling or Fused Filament Fabrication. This process is basically like the glue gun which is melting a filament of plastic and layer by layer building up the object from bottom to top.
From this, you should have some idea about the 3D printers. The printers that we have all seen so far could only print on paper or on sheets but the 3D ones are entirely differently. They are called printers as they work on the same principal of rails and heads. But these printers are not for printing on something rather they are for printing things with heated plastic and metal. Think, what to print on 3D printer first time!!!
Features to Look for in 3D Printers:
If you really want to have a 3D printer under 500 in your home then you should definitely know these things. The main thing is that there are a lot of difference in features between an entry level 3D printer and a professional one. That’s why we will not set the bar too high for personal 3D replicators.
Here are the points that you should take note of …
- Features Against The Price:
The personal printers are often seemed to struggle in a battle of features and price. Even there are some models that do not come with a sealed chamber. Say the 200$ models for example. They will get your job done and some models might come up with a good level of detailed replication but chances are you might burn your hand on the heated build plate and if there are children in the home then it could be deadly for them.
With this example we have come to our point which is, ‘you get what you pay for’. So, if possible try to raise your budget a bit and bring home a printer that actually prints and comes up with a design that actually prints without any problem.
- Printing Type:
The printing method of the printer is really important. Printers that use laser and resin to make the 3D objects are better than the extruder and filament based models. But, they will cost you more. We are talking about the cheap printers that everyone can have in their homes. Almost all of them are FDM or FFF models. So, in that price range you will not get many options to choose from.
- Printing Resolution:
The success of a [printer depends on the quality of its printing. Microns are the unit of measuring the thickness of the layers. The lower the micron count would be, the detailed things you would be able to produce in your printer.
Almost all the third dimensional printers aim at making high detailed replication. If your printer can’t come up with high detailed replication of your digital design then it should require a level of post processing to get a proper finishing.
But there are some printers that deliver a smooth and rich finishing and for that you will not be needing any sort of refining. For actual knowledge about the level of details you have to see the things that have been printed on them. Check for tough edges and smoothness also. Remember, post processing a 3D printed thing in home might not be possible every time. (Like you are going to have a sand blasting machine in home)
First of all the model of printers that you are going to bring home has the highest possibility of being a FDM machine and these machines have the reputation of being the slowest 3D printers. There is also another point here that we should consider. The speed of the printer also varies on the complexity of the digital design that you input. The printer must be able to handle the complex design also.
The speed of the unit also depends on the number of the extruders that do most of the job of the printing. If you get a printer that has more than one nozzles or extruder, be sure that it will be a fast printer.
Even after that there are some models that come up with an object faster than other printers. Check the review section if you want to individually know more about the speed of the printers.
- Types of Filaments
When you are ready to buy a FDM printer you should also take a look at the type of the materials that the printer can use. Most of the printers come with the capability of using both the PLA or Polylactic Acid and ABS or Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene.
These materials come in spools of different colors and have their own attributes. They are used for various purposes and their outputs are different too. ( we’ll talk more about the materials in different section )
Also, there are printer models that support more than one spool. However, you have to pay more than a thousand dollars for them.
- Software & Control Panel
The designing of a 3D printer can be done on the software that comes with the printer. If you want more details in your design then you should use software like CAD. The printer must be able to accept the design and software is not the only part that is the issue here.
A printer must come with a handy and easy user interface to execute the print command and do set up other necessary things. The control panel should be easy to understand, have a big display and be intuitive.
However, there are models that do not have a display. For them a good controlling command software is pretty much important.
Benefits of Buying a 3D Printer:
The 3D printers have become hugely popular for a year or two. Before it was only a part of a scientific lab or any institutions. However, they are now available at a price that everyone can afford. So, people are bringing them in their homes. Let’s see the reasons to buy a 3d printer.
- First of all, we should say that, with a 3D printing machine, you are bringing home the future. There are endless applications of them and you can only enfold them by practically playing with these printers.
- Yes, playing! These printers are ideal toys for people of any ages. You can just make a good hobby out of it and the hobby might pay off if you know how and what to produce in your printer.
- The printers can be a good learning experience for your kids. They will get to know the basic of thermoplastic, making designs on CAD and what not. All these learning might help them in the future.
- If you have one of these in home, you can just print whatever you need instead of buying them. Say, you need a spare part of something and that particular thing is not sold individually. In that case, having a printer in home in the home will really save you from a lot of trouble.
- Instead of buying toys for your kids, you can just print it to them. If you know the right toys to make a replication of, you will not only be saving money but make things more fun and interesting.
- Who says you can print toys only? The objects that you use everyday can also be printer out from the printers. So, you see. These things might cost a bit but they are real money savers.
- You can gift people things like bumpers for their mobile handsets, jewelry, action figures, anything you like. If you can come up with some interesting ideas and things, you can also start your own business and sell them.
- Don’t think that your lower end printer is not going to come up with something good. Just check online and you will be amazed to see what people have done with the cheap 3D Printers under 500.
Best 3D Printer Buying Guide:
Buying the best cheap 3D printer is not that difficult. The only thing that might cause you trouble is that, there are wide verities of models that you have to choose your printer from alongside some common problems of 3d printers.
Hold on, we are here for that. We have set up a special set of questions that is your buying guide in disguise. Why don’t you take a look at the questions and you might get the printer that you have been looking for all along.
- Exactly how much are you going to spend behind the printer? (You get what you pay for. The features of a third dimensional printer vary entirely on its price. If possible make a budget over 1000$ and you might get some of the most promising printers)
- What kind of things are you going to print? (if you are going to print ordinary things then a regular printer will do just fine. But soon you get the heck of 3D printing, you would want to make complex things. A cheap printer might not be able to cope up with that.)
- Depending on the users, there are printer categories like starter, plug and play, kit, amateur, enthusiast, professional, where do you belong? (we are sorry to say that, if you are a professional or an enthusiast then this article is not for you)
- What type of software are you comfortable with? (depending on the type of the software, you should select your model.)
- What type of material is easy for you to use? (you should know the supported material types so that you can use the printer in your own way)
- Space is also another issue to consider. Check out how much space you have available on your desk or on the place you want to keep the printer on. Depending on that you should check the dimensions of the product before you buy it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here is a list of sample questions that are frequently asked around by the owners and to be owners of 3D printers. We hope that they will come handy for you too.
Q. Do I have to be a 3D model Designer to print?
Certainly not. It was pretty difficult to use a third dimensional printing kit even two or three years ago but things have changed a lot now. Thingiverse has changed everything. There are almost 800,000 digital designs there. You can just download and put it in your printer to get a 3D replication.
So, if you are still thinking that you still have to be a designer then you are very wrong. But becoming a designer (which is not difficult at all) comes with its own benefits
Q. Do I have to design an object every time before print?
It depends on you actually. If you want a new object that was never printed by anyone before then you might have to do the designing every time. But there will be a great possibility that someone has already printed the thing before. In this case, you will get the whole digital design prebuilt. You just have to download the digital file and place it as input in your 3D printer.
This way, you will get the object ready in no time.
Q. Can I make colorful objects in the printer?
Yes, but only in the top end models. The lower end FDM machines are not that much capable of producing colored designs. However, LOM is the best kind for making colorful 3D stuffs but the FDMs are keeping up the pace with them by adding multiple spools of colored thermoplastic threads.
These things are really great for printing colorful things and things that have more than one type of materials. However, these printers with multiple thread spools and extruders come with a high price tag that is not suitable for everyone but they surely can make high detailed 3D replications.
Q. What safety measures should be taken while using a 3D printer?
The issue is quite important. We have seen people getting overwhelmed with the possession of a 3D printing kit. But there are some basic safety measures that should be taken. Here is a short list of them,
- Always use the printer in a well ventilated place
- Never touch the building plate while it’s hot
- Never touch the object while its being created
- Only use the supported thermoplastic materials
- Don’t let children operate the printer all by themselves. Be around while they are doing it.
- Make sure that the object is cooled down before you take it out.
- Maintain constant supply of power while the object is being created
- There are also some other things that you might find in the user manual that comes with your printer. Read it before you use the unit.
So, what are you waiting for? We hope that these reviews of the best 3D printers under 300-1000$ of 2017 & the buying guide will help you in bringing home the product.