3D printer under 50

The Best Cheap 3D Printers for 2022

While we'd hesitate to call 3D printing a mature technology, you might say it has reached its teenage years. Through their first decade-and-change, 3D printers have come down in price, grown easier to set up and operate, and become more reliable. And you may pay less than you expect: Many once-high-end features have migrated down to inexpensive models.

PC Labs has been reviewing 3D printers since 2013. Today, the state of 3D printing is strong, but that wasn’t always the case. For the first several years, it was often an adventure getting one of these printers up and running, let alone successfully through our testing regimen. Issues with filament-based—aka fused filament fabrication (FFF) or fused deposition modeling (FDM)—printers were abundant.

Filament feeders had to be coaxed into delivering filament from the spool to the extruder. Print beds had to be manually aligned. The extruder or hot end had to be positioned just right to minimize the gap between the nozzle and the build plate (the flat surface on which the object is printed). Objects frequently stuck to the build plate, and required careful, sometimes unsuccessful, efforts to pry them off. These and other issues required painstaking effort to resolve, often combined with calls to tech support.

Not so much anymore. While they can still be rebellious at times, 3D printers have grown up a lot, and achieving the 3D printer basics has gotten a lot less likely to end in a shouting match over small things. And they've gotten a lot more affordable, too, for curious DIY-ers and hobbyists to try.

If you're in the market for a beginner or low-cost 3D printer, it's important to know how lower-end models differ. Read on for mini-reviews of the top budget 3D printers we've tested. After that, we go into more detail on understanding the 3D printer specs and tech relevant to beginning buyers. Ready to take the plunge? Read on.

More About Our Picks

Original Prusa Mini

4.5 Outstanding

Best Overall Budget 3D Printer

Bottom Line:

It requires assembly and calibration care (plus shipping from the Czech Republic), but the Original Prusa Mini is a compact, open-frame 3D printer that consistently produces superb-quality output for a great price.


  • Top-notch object quality
  • Supports a variety of filament types
  • Useful, professionally printed user guide
  • Great support resources
  • Versatile, user-friendly software


  • First-layer calibration can be tricky
  • Only includes starter packets of filament
  • Requires monitoring if young children or pets are around

Read Our Original Prusa Mini Review

XYZprinting da Vinci Mini

4.0 Excellent

Best Budget 3D Printer for Schools, Community Centers

Bottom Line:

The XYZprinting da Vinci Mini is a consumer-oriented 3D printer that provides a winning combination of low price, ease of setup and use, solid print quality, and smooth, misprint-free operation.


  • Very low price.
  • Reasonably priced filament.
  • Good print quality.
  • No misprints in testing.
  • Easy setup and operation.
  • Quiet.
  • Prints over a USB or Wi-Fi connection.


  • Occasional problems in trying to launch prints.
  • Removing printed objects from the print bed is sometimes tricky.

Read Our XYZprinting da Vinci Mini Review

Toybox 3D Printer

4.0 Excellent

Best Budget 3D Printer for Children

Bottom Line:

The Toybox 3D Printer works well as a model designed for children, offering reliable printing from a browser or mobile device and a few thousand toys to print, plus creative options to output drawings or photos. Just bear in mind the tiny build area.


  • Reliable, misprint-free printing
  • Easy setup
  • One-touch operation
  • Well-composed help resources
  • Access to more than 2,000 printable toys and projects
  • Lets you create your own printable designs


  • Tiny build area
  • Not ideal for importing 3D files created elsewhere

Read Our Toybox 3D Printer Review

Monoprice Mini Delta V2 3D Printer

4. 0 Excellent

Best Budget 3D Printer for Beginners, Non-Techies

Bottom Line:

3D printing gurus will be intrigued by the Monoprice Mini Delta V2's use of the delta rather than Cartesian coordinate system, but beginners will just enjoy its low price, ease of use, and speedy printing.


  • Sub-$200 price
  • Quick, nearly misprint-free printing
  • Easy setup and operation
  • Sturdy steel-and-aluminum frame
  • Supports multiple filament types


  • Tiny build area
  • So-so print quality
  • Mere one-year warranty

Read Our Monoprice Mini Delta V2 3D Printer Review

Anycubic i3 Mega S

3.5 Good

Best Budget 3D Printer With an Open Design, Big Build Area

Bottom Line:

The Anycubic i3 Mega S, an inexpensive open-frame 3D printer, produced decent-quality prints in our testing. To get the most out of it, though, may require precise calibration.


  • Modestly priced
  • Large build area for an inexpensive printer
  • Supports a variety of filament types
  • Generally solid print quality
  • Uses well-known Cura software


  • Finicky print-platform alignment
  • Supported coils of filament are small
  • Poorly placed spool holder

Read Our Anycubic i3 Mega S Review

Anycubic Vyper

3.5 Good

Best Budget 3D Printer for the Biggest Build Area Possible

Bottom Line:

Anycubic's modestly priced Vyper whips up large 3D prints on its open-frame design, and provides automatic print-bed leveling. Just know that some minor assembly is required—and printed objects may require a bit of cleanup.


  • Relatively large build area
  • Automatic bed leveling
  • Simple assembly


  • Short (one-year) warranty
  • Includes only a small starter filament coil
  • Using Cura software with the Vyper requires tweaking a couple of settings
  • Test prints showed some "hairy" filament residue

Read Our Anycubic Vyper Review

Creality Ender-3 V2

3. 5 Good

Best Budget 3D Printer for Tinkerers and DIY Types

Bottom Line:

Hands-on tweaking defines Creality's budget-price Ender-3 V2, an open-frame 3D printer that you build from a kit. It produces generally above-par prints, but its print bed can be tricky to keep leveled.


  • Inexpensive
  • Slightly above-average print quality
  • Good-size build area for its price
  • Supports several filament types


  • Manual print-bed leveling can be tricky
  • Setup instructions could be deeper, more legible
  • Questionable quality control on some parts

Read Our Creality Ender-3 V2 Review

Flashforge Finder 3D Printer

3.5 Good

Best 3D Printer for the Very Tightest Budgets

Bottom Line:

The Flashforge Finder 3D Printer is moderately priced and offers good print quality, but it proved tricky to get up and running in our tests.


  • Quiet.
  • Good print quality.
  • Connects via USB 2.0 cable, USB thumb drive, or Wi-Fi.
  • Reasonably priced.


  • Some objects pulled off the platform during testing.
  • Poor documentation.
  • Modest build volume.
  • Limited to printing with polylactic acid filament (PLA).

Read Our Flashforge Finder 3D Printer Review

Polaroid PlaySmart 3D Printer

3.5 Good

Best Budget 3D Printer for Dabbling in Small Objects

Bottom Line:

The Polaroid PlaySmart 3D Printer is a compact, stylish 3D printer with above-par overall print quality, but, alas, a tiny build area for the money.


  • Small, lightweight for a desktop 3D printer.
  • Easy to set up and use.
  • Supports PLA, PETG, and wood composite filaments.
  • Multiple-color support.
  • Wi-Fi camera monitors print jobs.
  • Prints from USB drives, SD cards, or mobile devices.


  • High price for its capabilities.
  • Small build area.
  • Too-brief warranty.

Read Our Polaroid PlaySmart 3D Printer Review

XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0 A Pro

3.5 Good

Best Budget 3D Printer With Closed Design, Roomy Build Area

Bottom Line:

The XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0 A Pro is a moderately priced closed-frame 3D printer with a large build volume and overall good performance, but a potentially balky filament-feeding system.


  • Spacious build area
  • Works with third-party filaments
  • Self-leveling print bed


  • Build plate is not heated
  • Limited to PLA- and PETG-based filaments
  • Guide tube is prone to detaching

Read Our XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0 A Pro Review

Monoprice Voxel 3D Printer

3. 0 Average

Best Budget 3D Printer for Cheap Filament

Bottom Line:

The Monoprice Voxel is an under-$400 3D printer that's easy to set up and use. It exhibits generally good print quality, but it was unable to print two of our test objects.


  • Easy to set up and use.
  • Budget price for printer and filament spools.
  • Supports PLA, ABS, and several composite filament types.
  • Versatile software.
  • Prints over Ethernet or Wi-Fi, or from a USB thumb drive.


  • Frequent misprints on certain test objects.
  • Slightly balky touch screen.

Read Our Monoprice Voxel 3D Printer Review

How to Buy a Cheap 3D Printer

The biggest changes to 3D printers over the last few years have come to the cheaper models. Nowadays, many of those classic, ornery 3D-printing issues have been resolved (most of the time, anyway), even for consumer and bargain-priced 3D printers. Automatic print-bed leveling is the norm, and you can usually remove 3D-printed objects from heated and/or flexible build plates with a minimum of coaxing. And most 3D printer manufacturers have either developed and refined their own software, or have adapted an open-source printing platform such as Cura(Opens in a new window).

(Credit: Zlata Ivleva)

What separates more expensive 3D printers from cheap ones ("cheap" defined as $500 or less, for the purposes of this article) is often a select group of features. These include the build volume, the type of frame, the varieties of supported filament, the software, and the connectivity mix. Let's run through those in turn.

What's the Right Build Volume for a 3D Printer?

A 3D printer’s build volume is the maximum dimensions (HWD) of a part that it can print. (We say “a part” because a 3D-printed object can consist of multiple parts that are printed, then glued or otherwise pieced together. ) While the smallest build volume of any 3D printer we have tested is 3.9 by 3.9 by 4.9 inches, we consider any build volume smaller than 6 by 6 by 6 inches to be small, any between that and 10 by 10 by 10 inches as medium, and any printer with at least one build dimension of more than 10 inches as having a large build volume.

(Credit: Molly Flores)

As a general rule, inexpensive 3D printers have small build volumes, while more expensive ones have larger build volumes. This depends in part on the type of printer. Closed-frame 3D printers—and most semi-open models, which have a rigid top, base, and sides but are open in front and, often, back—tend to have small build volumes, while open-frame printers, lacking as rigid a physical structure, often have relatively large build volumes for the price. You'll want to weigh the build volume against the kinds of objects you will print.

Should I Get an Open-Frame or Closed-Frame 3D Printer?

Which brings us to the frame "form factor" question: open-frame versus closed-frame. Closed-frame 3D printers are boxlike devices, with a rigid base, walls (with a see-through door in front), and top. Among their advantages? They muffle the operating noise, as well as reduce the odor from melted filament (which is potentially an issue with ABS plastic), and they provide some protection for people or pets who might inadvertently touch the hot extruder. A downside: They tend to have smaller build volumes than open-frame 3D printers, which have fewer (often, no) walls to constrict them.

(Credit: Zlata Ivleva)

Low-cost 3D printers include both open-frame and closed-frame models, as well as a few stereolithography printers. If a relatively large build volume is a priority, you’re likely to get more bang for the buck with an open-frame model. Open-frames do have some clear downsides by definition: They tend to be noisy, emit odors when certain plastics are melted, and provide little protection for someone who might touch the hot extruder.

(Credit: Molly Flores)

Also, recognize some potential negatives of open frames, depending on the model. Some require assembly, being essentially kits, and most require more setup care than a closed-frame printer, plus more maintenance to keep them running smoothly. Still, these very traits should not deter—and may even appeal to—hobbyists and DIY folks.

What Should I Look for in 3D Printer Software and Connectivity?

Gone are the days when tinkerers had to cobble together several different programs to get a 3D printer to run. Manufacturers either include their own 3D printing program or modify an existing platform such as the open-source Cura.

3D printing software performs three main functions: processing an object file (resizing, moving, rotating, and in some cases duplicating it), slicing it (into virtual layers, based on your chosen resolution), and printing it. These are almost universally combined into a seamless process. Some high-end printers have software that supports a wider range of settings you can tweak, but even the basic suites work at least reasonably well.

More likely to vary among the cheaper set is the array of connection options from model to model. Nearly all have a USB Type-A port to fit a thumb drive for printing from document files. Most also have a USB Type-B port for connecting directly to a computer, and some offer Wi-Fi, too (or as an alternative), while a handful let you connect via Ethernet to share the printer across a local network.

Some printers support storing 3D files on an SD or microSD card (which may also contain the printer’s system files). Most 3D printer manufacturers (even the discount ones) have a mobile app to launch and monitor print jobs, and a few provide access to cloud services from which you can print.

While high-end 3D printers tend to have an abundance of connection choices, discount models vary widely in their choices. Some are generous and some are basic, so it pays to assess what a given model offers.

What Should I Look for in Filament Support?

Filament support tends to be a key area that separates the cheaper models from the higher-end ones. (See our guide to understanding 3D printing filaments for more particulars.) Inexpensive 3D printers tend to support a limited number of plastic filament types, some of them only PLA and/or ABS.

Recommended by Our Editors

3D Printing: What You Need to Know

3D Printer Filaments Explained

(Credit: Molly Flores)

PLA (polylactic acid) is a biodegradable, plant-based polymer, while ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) is the same tough plastic that Legos are made from. Objects printed from ABS are durable and nontoxic, though the material can be tricky to work with. ABS can emit an acrid, unpleasant odor during printing, and the bottom corners of objects being printed with it have a tendency to curl upward a bit, especially if you are using a non-heated print bed. This can lead to unsightly prints, and/or prints prematurely pulling off the build plate, ruining them.

Many entry-level and low-price 3D printers stick exclusively to PLA. If you want to experiment with a larger variety of filaments—which include water-soluble filament, wood- and metal-laced composites, and both tough and flexible varieties—you may have to pay more, although a few discount models support a wide range of materials.

Should I Consider a 3D Printing Pen Instead?

Although they aren’t printers per se, inexpensive 3D pens are close kin to 3D printers—using the same filament types and a similar extrusion system—and we include them in the 3D printing category. Rather than tracing out a programmed pattern, you use the 3D pen much like a normal pen, except that you draw with molten plastic. You can trace a pattern or draw freehand, and even draw in three dimensions as the plastic quickly solidifies and hardens once extruded.

(Credit: 3Doodler)

Most 3D pens cost less than $100, and some cost $50 or less. At a glance, 3D pens may appear to be toys, but some artists and craftspeople have taken to them, as it is possible to make quite complicated and beautiful objects with them. If your aim in 3D printing is something closer to freehand design and free expression than computer-centric, structured, and repeatable output, you might give one a try.

So, What Is the Best Cheap 3D Printer to Buy?

Buying a budget 3D printer needn’t mean a world of sacrifice. Plenty of capable and reliable models sell at less than $500, and while they may not be as feature-rich as their more expensive cousins, there's no sense in paying for things you don’t need.

Many casual 3D-printing experimenters will be fine with printing over a USB cable or from a thumb drive, and sticking to PLA may be the best choice for a starter 3D printer. If you focus just on the features you want, you may be pleasantly surprised at what you find. Below, check out a spec breakdown of the best under-$500 3D printers we have reviewed, paralleling our picks above. Also, for a look at the broader market, see our guide to our favorite 3D printers overall.

The Best Cheap 3D Printers in October 2022 (For Every Use)

Ten years ago, a 3D printer costing just a few hundred dollars would be considered impossible. The only cheap 3D printer around 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 innovative 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. We’ve included both budget FDM and resin picks, and split our recommendations into each price range: under $200, under $300, $500, and $1000.


Creality Ender 3 V2

Reliable 3D printer for under $300

New upgraded version with key improvements

Simple to set up and get started with

Available at:

Creality hereAmazon here


Anycubic Photon M3

Great quality low-cost resin printing

Speed improvements to create figurines faster than ever

Better surface finish than FDM

Available at:

Anycubic here


Prusa i3 MK3S+

Wide filament choice (including tougher filaments like PC)

Super reliable & a workhorse

Trusted by 130,000+ makers

Available at:

Prusa here

So, you want to buy a cheap 3D printer

Well, you’re in the right place. There are some lower priced 3D printers out there that do a fantastic job, reliably printing precise models in a variety of different materials.

However, the lower price you go, the less features, precision, and reliability you get. The cheapest 3D printers we recommend start at around $200-250, though there are options below this, but we have not found any that reliably print to the level we would recommend.

At a certain level, it is worth paying an extra $30 for the peace of mind and to avoid the headache of an inconsistent, often faulty printer. Therefore, we have included cheap 3D printers that still offer good reliability, quality and are not too difficult to use.

All the best budget 3D printers

3D printer name and brandType of PrinterBuild Volume (mm)PriceLowest price at:Alternative purchase option
Creality Ender 3 V2FDM Kit220 x 220 x 250$249Creality Store hereAmazon here
Anycubic Photon M3Resin163 x 103 x 180$299Anycubic here
Voxelab AquilaFDM220 x 220 x 250$169Amazon here
Anycubic KobraFDM Kit220 x 220 x 250$299Anycubic hereAmazon here
ToyboxFDM70 x 80 x 90$299Toybox Store here
Creality Ender 3 S1FDM Kit220 x 220 x 270$379Creality Store hereAmazon here
Prusa Mini+FDM Kit180 x 180 x 180$399Prusa Store here
Creality Ender 5 PlusFDM Kit350 x 350 x 400$579Creality Store hereAmazon here
Flashforge Creator Pro 2FDM200 x 145 x 150$699Flashforge hereAmazon here
Prusa i3 MK3SFDM Kit250 x 210 x 150$749 / $999Kit available on Prusa store hereFully assembled on Prusa store here

3DSourced is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Best 3D Printers Under $300

Creality Ender 3 V2 — Fantastic Affordable 3D Printer

  • Price: Check latest price at Creality here / Available on Amazon here
  • Print volume: 220 x 220 x 250 mm

Creality make some of the world’s most popular low-cost 3D printers, including the CR-10, Ender 5 and Ender 3 range. The Ender 3 is cheaper than the CR-10 and has a smaller maximum build volume of 220 x 220 x 250 mm, but we feel it’s the overall better buy (and it’s cheaper!).

The upgraded Ender 3 V2 is not too dissimilar from the hugely popular original: for $60 extra you get an improved carborundum glass bed for better print adhesion and print quality, and this bed also makes removing prints easier — lessening the chances of damaging the model during removal.

The new HD screen is also a nice touch, and a pleasant extra to have. And if you would rather save the $60 and get a standard Ender 3, you can do that too.

For most makers looking to buy a cheap 3D printer, you want reliable, adequate printing on a machine that doesn’t give you a headache with its constant errors and faults. The Ender 3 V2 certainly fits the bill, with good quality printing that can generally be relied upon.

It’s also versatile, with a number of Ender 3 upgrades available, and the printer itself has had its 3D printer extruder improved so it doesn’t clog as much, for a less stressful 3D printing experience. There’s a reason why it’s currently the best-selling 3D printer in the world.

Voxelab Aquila – Cheapest 3D Printer in the World (that actually works well)

  • Price: Check latest price on Amazon here
  • Build Volume: 220 x 220 x 250 mm
  • Minimum Layer Height: 100-400 microns
  • Premium Features: Carborundum glass build surface

3D printing is a pricey hobby, from the printer to keeping a stock of good quality filament, so we always perk up when a manufacturer produces a machine that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. The risk is that cost-cutting will make the printer a shoddy product, causing more hassle than quality prints, but the Voxelab Aquila.

It’s very cheap, but has everything you need to embark on your 3D printing journey in style. It has an average 220 x 220 x 250 mm, 100-micron minimum layer height, easy assembly, and, remarkably, for such a low-cost printer, a carborundum glass build surface that delivers super first-layer adhesion.

For all its merits, the Voxelab Aquila is still a budget printer and is light on features. There’s no automatic bed leveling, it features a Bowden extruder system rather than a direct drive, and the build quality is a far cry from even printers a few hundred dollars up the pricing scale.

If these are must-have features, you might be better off with something a bit more decked out, like the Anycubic Kobra or the Ender 3 V2. But, if the price is the top driver in your decision-making, then the Voxelab Aquila is a gusty printer capable of shepherding you through the first year or two of your 3D printing journey.

We would say that this is the cheapest 3D printer that you can actually rely on. Many other sub-$200 3D printers aren’t great, but the Voxelab Aquila and Ender 3 are rare reliable cheap printers.

Anycubic Photon M3 – Best Budget Resin 3D Printer

  • Price: Check latest price at Anycubic here
  • Build Volume: 163 x 103 x 180 mm
  • XY Resolution: 40 microns
  • Minimum Layer Height: 10 microns

For a very cheap pick, you can still pick up the standard Photon Mono, but for a bit more we recommend upgrading to the Anycubic Photon M3, with the larger build volume and 4K LCD screen.

Resin printers cure entire layers at once, unlike FDM, so the larger 163 x 103 x 180 mm build volume is a bigger advantage than ever: you can print a handful of tabletop minis at once, and at the same speed it would take to print just one. The extra height is also great for figures up to 180mm tall.

The Photon M3 is our pick for best cheap resin 3D printer, over the Photon Mono 4K, with the M3’s larger 7.6” screen for the larger build volume. You sacrifice 5 microns of XY resolution (40 microns vs 35), but this is barely noticeable even on the more intricate resin projects, and personally we prefer the larger size. 

The 4K is a notable upgrade on the standard Photon Mono’s 2K LCD, which delivers good detail on even fairly complex D&D figures and other designs. The print speed is 50mm/h which is fairly fast, too, so you can print 28mm minis in just over half an hour.

Anycubic Kobra – one of the cheapest 3D printers with auto-leveling

  • Price — Check latest price at Anycubic here / Amazon here
  • Build Volume: 220 x 220 x 250 mm 
  • Minimum Layer Height: 50-300 microns
  • Premium Features: LeviQ automatic bed leveling, direct drive extruder system, touchscreen

The Anycubic Kobra emerged somewhat out of nowhere in early 2022, wowing both us and makers worldwide with a range of premium features that simply hadn’t been seen on a printer under $300 before. You can read our full hands-on Anycubic Kobra test for the details.

The running theme behind the Anycubic Kobra is to deliver a hassle-free and user-friendly introduction to 3D printers – but it might not have enough to satisfy the needs of more demanding makers.

It achieves this with features like dead-easy automatic bed leveling, a direct drive extruder system that allows for excellent flexible prints, a responsive and smooth touchscreen, and one of the best textured PEI-coated build platforms we’ve seen under $300.

If you’re looking for a first printer or are looking to replace an aging Ender 3 with something teeming with modern comforts, the Anycubic Kobra is the best budget printer currently available.

Toybox 3D Printer – the best cheap 3D printer for kids and absolute beginners

  • Price: $300 — Available at Toybox store here
  • Build Volume: 70 x 80 x 90 mm
  • Minimum Layer Height: 200 microns
  • Premium Features: Wi-Fi

While gimmicks are always a little hit or miss, the Toybox 3D Printer is undoubtedly a success. It aims to provide absolute beginners and young budding makers with a compact, easy-to-use machine that allows users to channel their creativity free of the time-consuming and technical aspects that usually weigh down 3D printing.

It’s very much a complete package and ensures the printing process is enjoyable from start to finish. Few printers make it quite so simple to jump in with little to no printing experience.Using the black PLA during our test of the Toybox.

The Toybox 3D Printer does, however, come with a set of limitations that mean it isn’t suited to more ambitious projects. Chiefly, the small 70 x 80 x 90 mm build volume is tiny, and the Toybox 3D Printer is only compatible with PLA, limiting your options for experimentation with other materials.

If you’re comfortable with these limitations and understand the printer targets a very select user base, then the Toybox 3D Printer is nothing short of a joy to use. Check out our hands-on review for more details and our take on this mini, kid-friendly printer.

Best Low-Cost 3D Printers Under $500

Prusa Mini+

  • Price: $399 — Available on Prusa Store here
  • Print volume: 180 x 180 x 180 mm
Cheaper and more compact than the MK3S+, the Mini still offers Prusa’s great precision and workhorse-like reliability.

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+ can only reach slightly lower extruder temperatures at up to 280°C, restricting the filaments you can print compared with the Prusa MK3S. 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.

Best 3D Printers Under $1,000

Ender 3 S1 – one of the best 3D printers under $500

  • Price: Check latest price at Creality here / Amazon here
  • Build Volume: 220 x 220 x 270 mm
  • Minimum Layer Height: 50 microns
  • Premium Features: Direct drive extruder, automatic bed leveling

Creality is a household name in 3D printing circles, and with good reason, thanks to the Ender 3’s success. The Ender 3 S1 is the most recent in a long line of Ender 3s and is regarded as the best yet.

With the classic Ender 3 now available for under $180, the question is whether the Ender 3 S1 is worth the extra money.

In our opinion, it’s a resounding yes.One of our first prints with the Ender 3 S1 Pro version (not the standard S1, but for PLA it would have made no difference).

Creality has implemented more than a few features – automatic bed leveling, the excellent Sprite direct drive extruder, and fantastic build surface – that should suit those put off by the DIY upgrades that usually come hand-in-hand with owning an Ender 3. The Ender 3 S1 is a sharp and smart upgrade of a superb printer, and that’s worth every penny.

For those that want something even more sophisticated, it’s also worth considering the Ender 3 S1 Pro. It takes all the best features of the Ender 3 S1 and latches on an improved all-metal extruder with a titanium alloy tube and heat block that opens the door to a maximum extruder temperature of 300°C.

This means access to a broader range of materials such as metal and wood fill filament. Elsewhere, the Ender 3 S1 Pro features a spring steel PEI magnetic build plate, a larger touch screen, and some fancy, if unessential, LED light strips.

And if you want more firepower, the Ender 3 S1 Pro does everything that little bit better – and you can read our full Ender 3 S1 Pro review here.

Ender 5 Plus — Best Cheap Large 3D Printer

  • Price: Check latest price at Creality here / Amazon here
  • Build Volume: 350 x 350 x 400 mm 
  • Minimum Layer Height: 100-400 microns
  • Premium Features: Large build volume, BLTouch bed leveling, touchscreen

If you’re looking for a large-format 3D printer that prints accurately and doesn’t break the bank, the Ender 5 Plus ticks all the boxes. It’s the cheapest large-format printer on the market, and the best cheap 3D printer with a large build volume.

The Ender 5 Plus is designed to suit all those large-scale projects that simply aren’t part of the deal with most budget printers. It can print projects that most can’t, such as full-sized helmets, large cosplay pieces, oversized household items like tower-like vases, and all kinds of small-to-medium-sized parts and models. Therefore, you pay for versatility, a hot commodity in 3D printing.

Aside from the massive build volume, the Ender 5 Plus impresses with a BLTouch automatic bed leveling probe, a pleasantly responsive touch screen, a tempered glass build surface, and a dual Z-axis to ensure stability throughout its large build volume.

If large-format printing is top of our list of requirements and you have a bit more budget, it may be worth taking a peek at the Anycubic Kobra Plus and Max. Both are modeled on the excellent Kobra but with much larger build volumes suited to bigger projects like those possible with the Ender 5 Plus. Overall, it’s one of the best-value 3D printers for larger prints.

Prusa i3 MK3S+ – Best Value 3D printer

  • 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
Costing under $1,000, the Prusa i3 printers are some of the best cheap 3D printers around.

This wouldn’t be a valid list without including 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. Beyond standard filaments like PETG, PLA and ABS, you can also print trickier materials like Polycarbonate. Overall, it’s the king of 3D printer kits, and the Prusa is simply marvelous.

Flashforge Creator Pro 2

  • Creator Pro 2: $649 — Available at Flashforge Official here / Available on Amazon here
  • Print volume: 200 x 145 x 150 mm

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, Finder, Hunter, and now the Creator Pro range. The newest versions, the Creator Pro 2 and Creator Max 2, expand into new territory: IDEX 3D printing.

Whereas the original Creator Pro already had dual extruders, they could not move independently. Now on the Creator Pro 2, two print heads each feature their own extruder so they can each print concurrently, offering a range of new applications and opportunities.

With a minimum layer thickness of 0.1mm, the Creator Pro 2 is fairly accurate for the price. Owing to the new IDEX 3D printing system, this cheap 3D printer has a slightly smaller print volume that the original Creator Pro, at 200 x 145 x 150 mm, though still 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.

Buying Guide – Things To Consider When Buying a Cheaper 3D Printer

Buying a cheap 3D printer isn’t so much about what you get, but what you don’t get. We’re talking about the extra niceties that you sacrifice in paying less, which would make your printing experience that much more enjoyable and, to an extent, hassle-free.

Here’s a quick breakdown of where the cost-cutting generally takes place and the extras you might not get when choosing a lower-cost 3D printer.

Auto Bed Leveling

Auto bed leveling is very often the first feature to go when manufacturers look to keep costs down. It is by no means essential but makes calibrating a printer much more straightforward than manually turning a set of knobs under the bed to compensate for natural blemishes and inaccuracies on the surface.

However, some low-cost 3D printers do feature auto-leveling, such as the Anycubic Kobra and Prusa Mini.


Cheap 3D printers are few and far between because penning a printer into a more or less sealed chamber is expensive. The lack of an enclosure won’t be an issue for most only looking to dabble in PLA, PETG, and flexibles, but if you want to print ABS, you’re best opting for a 3D printer with an enclosure – or buying or building an enclosure for your printer.


Shipping a fully-assembled, ready-to-print machine costs time and money, so manufacturers often opt to ship their 3D printers semi-assembled or in kit form. The time and effort required to put them together varies, but expect to spend at least 30 minutes to an hour setting up before you can print.


Though less of a luxury than they used to be, touchscreen interfaces on cheap 3D printers are another comfort that often goes out the window when it comes to cutting costs. They are generally replaced by rotary knob controls that while functional don’t have the intuitive appeal of a touchscreen.


SD card and often USB connectivity are relatively standard across most of the best cheap 3D printers. On the other hand, Wi-Fi isn’t and generally comes with a hefty premium. As a general rule, don’t expect Wi-Fi on 3D printers priced under $300, except in rare cases.

How Much Is a Cheap 3D Printer?

3D printer is widely considered a cheap 3D printer when the price falls under $300 to $400, dropping as low as under $200 for the lowest-cost options. Any higher, the cost pushes the printer into the mid-range portion of the 3D printer market.

Is a DIY 3D Printer Cheaper?

Not necessarily. Because manufacturers produce at scale, they’re able to keep the cost per unit of the best 3D printers low, meaning you’ll likely pay much more for parts to build a from-scratch equivalently specced machine if you take the DIY route. As for semi-assembled or kit printers, they are generally cheaper than their pre-assembled counterparts.


What Is the Best Cheap 3D Printer?

Some of the best 3D printers under $200 are the Ender 3 and Voxelab Aquila. Below $300, we’re looking at printers like the Anycubic Kobra, while under $500, the best 3D printers include the Ender 3 S1 and Prusa MINI.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also like:

  • The Top 10 Large 3D Printers
  • The 10 Best Cheap 3D Scanners
  • 10 of the Best SLS 3D Printers

Top 20 Inexpensive 3D Printers ($199 to $1000)