If you’re looking for a new toy, then a 3D printer can be an awesome choice. Not only are they fun to use for the first few times, but they can actually be quite useful, especially if you enjoy making things for around the house.
But generally, 3D printers are considered to be expensive and unaffordable for the majority – this was, until a few years ago. Nowadays, 3D printers are increasingly popular and with that, comes more options for those looking at getting a cheap 3D printer. Generally, even at the budget end of the market, 3D printers are going to cost a couple hundred dollars. But within that price range, which is the best option? Well, here are a few of the best options currently available.
Best 3D Printer under $300
|Product||Image||Best Feature||More Detail|
|QIDI Technology X-one2||Perfect for Beginners||Check Price|
|Anycubic 3D Printer||Step up from FDM||Check Price|
|Comgrow Creality Ender 3 Pro||Semi-assembled kit||Check Price|
|FlashForge Finder 3D Printer||Sturdy Build||Check Price|
|ADIMLab Gantry Pro||Easy to Upgrade||Check Price|
QIDI Technology X-one2
- Applicable to families,schools.
- Out of the box,only simple operate to printing.
- QIDI Technology single extruder,greatly reduce the risk of extruder clogged.
If you’re looking for a great 3D printer under $300 for beginners, then you might want to take a look at this QIDI technology X-one2. It’s a good option for beginners, but even more advanced users will be impressed with this printer.
What’s so good about it? Well, one of the main pros about this model is that it’s very simple to use, and with many 3D printers being complex, this is a massive plus. The LCD touch screen is intuitive and very easy for you to navigate through the menu. You can print your first object with the test file that comes with the printer, too.
The most important thing about a 3D printer is that the quality of the printer is sharp and well finished. It’s not the fastest 3D printer out there, but it’s definitely one of the better performers, especially when you consider it’s low price. Overall, this is definitely one of the best 3D printers under $300 that you can buy on the current market. If you’re thinking about getting one, then I’d advise that you opt for this model.
Anycubic 3D Printer
- ◆EASY TO USE◆：Easy to set up, leveling was a breeze. Software is relatively simple to use. Only 4 settings far fewer settings to adjust vs FDM printer.
- ◆INCREDIBLE RESOLUTION◆：Make tiny parts with accuracy, much smoother detail and quality than the FDM printer.
- ◆FAST SHIPPING◆: Multiple models on a build plate don't add to the build time. A larger miniature takes about 2-3 hours, 6 at once takes the same 2-3 hours.
Out of all the 3D printers that are currently available, the Anycubic Mega is one of the better options, if not the best. It’s available at just under $300, and let me give you a few reasons why you’ll want to consider this model.
The main thing that stands out about the Anycubic Mega is the print quality itself (tip – set it to extra fine for better results). Considering it’s price, it delivers a really decent end product. The machine itself feels high quality and if you look at the reviews online, you can see that it’s been long lasting for the majority of people. As well as this, it’s extremely easy to use and it’s fast and responsive! Not only is it fast in terms of creating things, but it’s also very simple and quick to use the menu and settings on the printer itself.
For beginners, you’ll be glad to know that it comes with a comprehensive manual that explains exactly what you need to do to get it working. It also has a few spare parts too, which is another important factor. The only negative thing that I can think about this model is that there aren’t as many upgrades for it in comparison to other 3D printers.
However, if you’re looking for something simple to use, but still high quality, then the Mega is probably the right choice for you.
Creality Ender 3 3D Printer – Best Cheap 3D Printer
- REMOVABLE BUILD SURFACE PLATE: Provide all-round protection to your 3D printer build plate and ensure consistent temperature throughout the build surface. Easy to remove the printing models after cooling.
- SAFE POWER SUPPLY: Ender 3 Pro comes with a UL Certified power supply, protecting your printer from unexpected power surges, that can heat the hot bed to 110℃ in just 5 minutes.
- RESUME PRINT FUNCTION: Ender 3 Pro can resume printing from the last recorded extruder position after suffering unexpected power outages.
If you’re trying to save as much cash as possible but still get a working 3D printer, then you’ll want to look at the Creality Ender 3. It’s an upgrade on the older models, and for the most part you can find it at less than $200, which is a real bargain for it’s price.
One of the best things about the Ender 3 is that because it’s one of the bestselling 3D printers around, it has a strong following and community behind it. You can easily find some of the best upgrades for the Ender by browsing online, as there’s a lot you can do for a budget 3D printer. It’s also very quick to put the Edner together, which is great for beginners. However if you are a beginner to 3D printing, then I’d advise that you take a little time to put it together, as any mistakes can be annoying to change later.
So for those on a tight budget, the Creality Ender 3 is the best choice. It has a decent enough print area for it’s price (220 x 220 x 250mm), it comes with some spare parts which will undoubtedly come in handy, and it’s extremely easy to use for beginners.
FlashForge Finder 3D Printer
- Slide-in build plate allows printed objects to be easily removed
- 3.5-Inch full color touchscreen with intuitive icons makes for easy operation
- Sturdy, plastic alloy construction ensures stable prints
If you’re looking for something a little more compact, then you might want to consider the FlashForge Finder. It’s another good option for those that want a 3D printer that works well, although it’s not without its flaw in my opinion.
The main selling point of the FlashForge is that you can connect it in a variety of different methods. You don’t need to use cables – it can work completely through Wifi, which is pretty impressive. It also has a decent print quality, which is obviously one of the most important things you’ll want from a 3D printer.
From a negative perspective, the FlashForge is quite significantly smaller than the other 3D printers I’ve listed. It’s around 50% smaller than the Creality Ender and the Anycubic, which is a massive drawback in comparison and will limit your abilities to build larger things. The Flashforge is also a bit more difficult to set up, especially when you compare it to the Ender 3, which you can set up really quickly. So although it’s not the worst option out there, it’s more suited to those that have used a 3D printer before.
ADIMLab Gantry Pro
- 90% pre-assembled 3d printer, dual Z-axis motors and dual Y-axis tracks, supply eccentric nuts to fasten the X/Y/Z pulleys or carriages, make the movement more stable and accurate
- Titan direct extruder and dual fans to cool the hot end, make the extruder system more stable and wear resistant. The operation is more convenient and concise, easy to change filament, and the extrusion is smoother and more precise
- Lattice glass is on hot end, make it easy to leveling and first layer stick and get off, the connector for the bed wire will be strong enough to withstand reciprocating motion
The last entry to the list is the ADIMlab Gantry, which provides another alternative to the ones I’ve already mentioned. Is there a massive difference between this model and the models I’ve already talked about? No, but it does have a few differences.
One of the best things about this particular model is that it’s really fast at printing, even if you compare it to other more expensive printers. If speed is extremely important for you, then this might be a good choice for you. You will have to put this printer together yourself however, which is relatively normal for a cheap 3D printer, but can be a little confusing if you’re a beginner.
Overall, this is undoubtedly another good option if you’re looking for a cheap 3D printer that works well. It is quite cheap, and sometimes you can find it on sale, which is something to look out for online.
What to Look for in a 3D Printer
If you’re going to purchase a 3D printer, then before you do, you’ll want to know exactly what it is that you should be looking for. So, here’s a quick run through of the things that you should consider before purchasing a 3D printer.
FDM over Resin
For those on a budget, an FDM 3D printer is going to be the better choice. There are many different types of printer, but under $300, you’re only going to find these two different types. Whilst a resin printer works by using a laser to solidify the resin itself, an FDM printer works by heating the thermoplastic filament, which then layers plastic as you’ve instructed. This is the better choice for beginners, so all of the printers listed here are FDM.
Another thing to take into consideration is the size of the 3D printer itself. Depending on what you’re after, different 3D printers will tend to come in different sizes. Much if this will depend on just how much space you have on your worktop, which is another important factor of buying a 3D printer.
The price aspect definitely has to come into play – this is especially true if you’re a complete beginner. If you have a little more cash, then you might want to consider opting for something higher quality. But at novice level, $300 is a good amount to spend on a 3D printer. This way, you can see if you’re really going to use it to it’s full potential.
What’s the 3D printing process?
If you’re new to 3D printing, then you’ll want to know the process behind it. Usually, I like to break down the 3D printing process into 5 different sections.
- Design (CAD) – the initial part of creating an object for 3D printing is actually designing the object yourself. Depending on how you’re going to create the object – you might scan it, but generally you’re going to use CAD software to design the product yourself. When you’ve designed your object in CAD, then you’ll have to convert it to STL.
- Check errors – After you’ve created the object itself, you’ll then need to check that it doesn’t have any errors before you print it. You can check out some of the best STL software tools here, which will enable you to check for any errors.
- Slicing – Before you can actually print your object, you’ll need to slice it – in laymans terms, this is essentially helps to enable your 3D printer to understand the design. Don’t worry, these are usually free downloads online (slic3r.org is a good place to start!).
- Printing – Then, you’ll have to print the 3d object yourself, which is another part of the process. The printer will use the slices and layer them down to form your object, which can take a while – but all you need to do is sit back and relax!
- Finish – When the object is printed, you have the option of finishing your object off, or you can leave it as it is if you’re happy with it.
Common Questions about 3D Printers
What should I know before buying a 3d printer?
Before you buy a 3D printer, there are a couple of things that you should probably know beforehand. Of course, you’ll need to consider the type of 3D printer that you’re purchasing as you can see, I advise that you opt for a PDM 3D printer at first. As well as this, you’re also going to want to consider the price, the materials you’re going to use to print and the overall quality of the printer itself.
Are cheap 3d printers any good?
If you’re worried that spending less than $300 on a 3D printer isn’t going to be enough, then it really depends on what you’re looking to do. For those looking for the best quality possible, then yep – maybe it would be better to spend a little more on a 3D printer. But for those just getting started, then you don’t need to spend any more than this to get yourself a pretty competent 3D printer.
Can you make money with a 3d printer?
Of course, one thing that attracts many people to 3D printers is the possibility that you’ll actually be able to make some money from it. This is possible, as you can use your 3D printer to create objects that you can sell commercially.
Is it cheaper to build or buy a 3d printer?
If you’re just getting started, then I’d advise that you buy a cheap 3D printer rather than build your own. When you’re a little more experienced, then you might want to build your own 3D printer instead, as this can allow you to get a better 3D printer for a cheaper price.
What is a heated print bed?
A heated print bed is essentially a module that can be added to your 3D printer to make it more controlled in it’s cooling process. This helps to give a better object overall, as the cooling process is an important part of 3D printing. This generally tends to help prevent warping, and will help the layers of the object stick together better.
Overall, a 3D printer can be a great addition to your household. Although a lot of people still think they’re not a necessity (and they’re not), 3D Printers can often be a worthy addition to your household – especially if you like tech stuff.
Last update on 2020-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API