Biggest cheapest 3d printer

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.

(Photo: Zlata Ivleva)

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

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.

What to Look for in a Cheap 3D Printer

The big difference is the change that has come to the cheaper models. Nowadays, many of those 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. 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).

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.

(Photo: 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.

(Photo: 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.

(Photo: 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

(Photo: 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.

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, Which Cheap 3D Printer Should I 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. Here we feature the best under-$500 3D printers we have reviewed. Also check out our guide to our favorite 3D printers overall.

BIG volumes starting at $310

Large 3D printers for consumers used to be hard to find. Today, there are many different low-cost brands that offer affordable large volume 3D printing. Check out our selection and large volume 3D printer buying guide below!

Table of contents

What’s the best large 3D printer when you’re on a low budget?

Big, affordable 3D printers under $1,000

CR-10 S5

Duplicator 9

CR-10 Max

Chiron (Kit)


X5S (Kit)


U20 (Kit)

Sidewinder X1

CR-10 V2



Structure: cartesian, delta, or CoreXY

Material support


Customer support


What’s the best large 3D printer when you’re on a low budget?

Build volume is generally an area where “bigger is better” if it’s within your budget. A large 3D printer will allow you to print anything from a TPU smartphone case to a full-sized stormtrooper helmet made from ABS.

As you can imagine, large build sizes are especially useful if you need to 3D print big objects. With a smaller desktop 3D printer, you’d have to break down your big 3D model into multiple parts and print them separately, to assemble or glue them together afterward. Big 3D printers are also great for printing a series of objects in one go.

Our guide focuses on 3D printers with a large build area that is available for under $1000. While some consider any printer beyond 250 x 250 x 250 mm to be in the oversized class for home use, our picks all exceed 300 x 300 x 300 mm.

Big, affordable 3D printers under $1,000

BrandProductBuild sizeCountryPrice

Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary by region, over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).

AlfawiseU20 (Kit)300 × 300 × 400 mm11.81 × 11.81 × 15.75 in$ 310316 €276 £44,908 ¥Contact
GeeetechA30320 × 320 × 420 mm12.6 × 12.6 × 16.54 in$ 330337 €294 £47,805 ¥Contact
TronxyX5S (Kit)330 × 330 × 400 mm12.99 × 12.99 × 15.75 in$ 360367 €321 £52,151 ¥Contact
Artillery 3DSidewinder X1300 × 300 × 400 mm11.81 × 11.81 × 15.75 in$ 399499 €356 £57,801 ¥Contact
JGAURORAA5S305 × 305 × 320 mm12.01 × 12.01 × 12.6 in$ 399407 €356 £57,801 ¥Contact
ANYCUBICChiron (Kit)400 × 400 × 450 mm15.75 × 15.75 × 17. 72 in$ 499509 €445 £72,287 ¥Contact
CrealityCR-10 V2300 × 300 × 400 mm11.81 × 11.81 × 15.75 in$ 519529 €463 £75,184 ¥Contact
ANYCUBICPredator370 × 370 × 455 mm14.57 × 14.57 × 17.91 in$ 588600 €524 £85,180 ¥Contact
WanhaoDuplicator 9500 × 500 × 500 mm19.69 × 19.69 × 19.69 in$ 649662 €578 £94,017 ¥Contact
CrealityCR-10 S5500 × 500 × 500 mm19.69 × 19.69 × 19.69 in$ 759774 €677 £109,952 ¥Contact
CrealityCR-10 Max450 × 450 × 470 mm17.72 × 17.72 × 18.5 in$ 1,1001 122 €980 £159,350 ¥Contact

Expand to see more specs

The products in the table are ranked by price (low to high).

ProductBrandBuild volumeBuild sizePrice

Approximate starting prices based on supplier-provided information and public data. Prices may vary by region, over time and do not include additional products or services (taxes, shipping, accessories, training, installation, …).

U20 (Kit)Alfawise36 L300 × 300 × 400 mm11.81 × 11.81 × 15.75 in$ 310316 €276 £44,908 ¥Contact manufacturer
A30Geeetech43.01 L320 × 320 × 420 mm12.6 × 12.6 × 16.54 in$ 330337 €294 £47,805 ¥Contact manufacturer
X5S (Kit)Tronxy43.56 L330 × 330 × 400 mm12.99 × 12.99 × 15.75 in$ 360367 €321 £52,151 ¥Contact manufacturer
Sidewinder X1Artillery 3D36 L300 × 300 × 400 mm11.81 × 11.81 × 15.75 in$ 399499 €356 £57,801 ¥Contact manufacturer
A5SJGAURORA29.77 L305 × 305 × 320 mm12.01 × 12.01 × 12.6 in$ 399407 €356 £57,801 ¥Contact manufacturer
Chiron (Kit)ANYCUBIC72 L400 × 400 × 450 mm15. 75 × 15.75 × 17.72 in$ 499509 €445 £72,287 ¥Contact manufacturer
CR-10 V2Creality36 L300 × 300 × 400 mm11.81 × 11.81 × 15.75 in$ 519529 €463 £75,184 ¥Contact manufacturer
PredatorANYCUBIC62.29 L370 × 370 × 455 mm14.57 × 14.57 × 17.91 in$ 588600 €524 £85,180 ¥Contact manufacturer
Duplicator 9Wanhao125 L500 × 500 × 500 mm19.69 × 19.69 × 19.69 in$ 649662 €578 £94,017 ¥Contact manufacturer
CR-10 S5Creality125 L500 × 500 × 500 mm19.69 × 19.69 × 19.69 in$ 759774 €677 £109,952 ¥Contact manufacturer
CR-10 MaxCreality95.18 L450 × 450 × 470 mm17.72 × 17.72 × 18.5 in$ 1,1001 122 €980 £159,350 ¥Contact manufacturer

Overview of the best large desktop 3D printers

Below you’ll find more details about each large 3D printer.

The Creality CR-10 S5 is one of the best large scale 3D printer options in this class with a build volume of 500 x 500 x 500mm. With only a few sections, it’s also one of the easier machines to assemble, and the build quality is a nice upgrade over the base model CR-10.

Dual Z rod screws ensure excellent accuracy along on this open-source machine, and the hot end can handle PLA, ABS, and TPE. As it’s essentially a larger version of the CR-10S, you can expect features like a heated bed, auto-resume, and filament runout detection as well.

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Wanhao is one of the more popular brands with makers looking for an affordable machine, and the Duplicator 9 500 (D9 500) is a large 3D printer with an array of excellent features. It’s well-built with an extruded aluminum frame and easy to use thanks to an integrated touchscreen display and auto-resume.

The MK10 full metal hotend is another highlight of this printer. It can reach 300°C, which allows you to print with a broader range of materials. Automatic bed leveling and a heated bed with an anti-backlash rolling system are also great features.

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The CR-10 Max is another new addition to Creality’s arsenal and a printer worthy of being in the large format class for average consumers. The spacious 450 x 450 x 470mm build volume gives you plenty of room to work, and several areas of this machine have seen a substantial upgrade over standard models in the CR-10 lineup.

Smooth prints on a large scale are possible with the CR-10 Max thanks to its unique Z-axis bracing system that Creality calls “the Golden Triangle”. Automatic bed leveling and the touchscreen-based UI are also great features to have on hand as well as the split-flow power supply, which heats up the bed in an instant.

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ANYCUBIC has several impressive 3D printers in their lineup, and they recently jumped into the large scale range with the Chiron. Given its price point and the build area compared to some of the printers on our list, it’s certainly an option for one of the best large 3D printer under $1000.

The ANYCUBIC Chiron keeps things simple with a classic design featuring a top-notch heated print bed and a 25-point leveling system. The single extruder and hot end are rated to work with ABS, HIPS, and TPU as well as PLA on this affordable big 3D printer.

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While a little smaller than the Chiron, the ANYCUBIC Predator is still one of the best big 3D printers under $1000. It’s just as capable as its larger sibling and is the perfect choice if you prefer Delta 3D printers to Cartesian-style machines.

The Predator offers up one of the largest build areas of any Delta printer in this range. It sports a quick heating Ultrabase Pro platform that can reach 100°C and has a 37-point auto-leveling system. An integrated touchscreen and filament sensors are also features to appreciate with the ANYCUBIC Predator 3D printer.

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TronXY is a company out of China that specializes in producing affordable machines. Their entry onto our list of the best large 3D printers under $1000 is the TronXY X5S. It’s a DIY kit with excellent reviews and a very stable structure.

The TronXY X5S is a CoreXY printer with a sturdy metal frame. That adds stability while you print and the auto-leveling system ensures accuracy. Filament runout detection, a heated bed, and a touchscreen are included, but their customer support isn’t quite up to the standards of other manufacturers in this class.

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Fans of the popular CR-10 will recognize this printer and appreciate the price. The Geeetech A30 is a big desktop 3D printer with a frame built from extruded aluminum parts. It prints materials like ABS, Nylon, and Woodfill with ease, which is ideal when you’re looking for a large 3D printer.

This large FDM 3D printer is a capable machine with an ample build volume and heated bed sporting a silicone carbine glass plate. Makers found the colorful 3.2-inch touchscreen a pleasure to use, although some had issues with software and offsets. Customer service and community support are both solid with this brand of 3D printer.

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The Alfawise U20 is a Gearbest 3D printer and a substantial upgrade over the previous model. It’s accurate and also one of the cheapest large 3D printers on our list, although missing a few features found on more expensive big 3D printers.

With a large build volume of 300 x 300 x 400mm, the Alfawise U20 can bring large creations to life whether you prefer PLA or TPU. It has all the standard bells & whistles, including a color touchscreen, but bed leveling is handled manually. Aside from a few awkward design decisions and a noisy fan, the U20 provides a lot of bang for your buck.

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Artillery has produced several popular printers over the past few years, including the Sidewinder X1. This sleek printer is quieter than other 3D printers with a large build area and has a heated bed capable of hitting its maximum temperature in around 2 minutes.

The Artillery Sidewinder X1 can print a wide range of materials with a direct drive extruder and Titan-style hot end. An extruded aluminum frame keeps the X1 stable regardless of your print speed, while the color touchscreen makes the machine a joy to use. Cable management and the synchronized Dual Z system are two additional perks of the X1.

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The Creality CR-10 V2 is one of the newest variants of the company’s extremely popular CR-10 3D printer. The new model shares plenty of similarities with the original but is a better option if you don’t need a printer quite as large as the CR-10 Max.

One advantage of the CR-10 V2 is the separate control box, which is ideal if you want to add an enclosure. The “Golden Triangle” design and aluminum frame ensure stability while 3D printing, and the dual-port hot end cooling fans help dissipate heat. Other noteworthy features include filament runout detection and auto-resume.

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The JGAurora A5S is a 3D printer that proves good things come in small packages. This machine leaves a smaller footprint behind than many of its competitors, but still has a large build volume for your creations at 305 x 305 x 320mm.

This 3D printer has a black diamond glass plate and a heated bed with a maximum temperature of 110°C. A 32-bit motherboard keeps things running smoothly, and we’re fans of discreet cable management system as well. Calibration is semi-manual, but the overall setup is quick and straightforward with the A5S.

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How to find the best large 3D printer for under $1000

There are a lot of exciting machines available at this price point, which makes it difficult to narrow things down. Here are a few key areas you’ll want to take into consideration before you choose your large 3D printer.


Build quality is important with any type of 3D printer regardless of the price. Well, it’s even more crucial with a large 3D printer as you’ll need a stable machine that can handle massive prints, which can take hours or days.

All of the key components– especially the mainframe– should be made from metal (ie. aluminum). Plastic 3D printed parts on budget-friendly printers are common, but can easily be reprinted and replaced whereas frames and aluminum parts are far more expensive to upgrade. Buying a printer that’s built like a tank is never a bad idea.

You also need to keep the overall size of the printer in mind, as 3D printers with large build areas are going to have a larger footprint. Check the dimensions of each machine if you are short on space, and keep in mind that some of them have separate control boxes that take up extra room.

Structure: cartesian, delta, or CoreXY

If you’re looking for a 3D printer in the $200 to $300 range, you’re typically limited to one style of printer. When it comes to large 3D printers under $1000, there are three main styles to choose from: Cartesian, Delta, or CoreXY 3D printers.

  • Cartesian (Prusa i3 type) – These machines are the most common, popular, and easy to alter. In this price range, they also tend to be the ones that offer the biggest volumes. The print head moves up and down, and from right to left, while the build bed goes forwards and backward.
  • Delta – This triangular type of 3D printer provides a cylindrical build volume, and is, therefore, taller than they are wide. The print head has more freedom to move as it is mounted at the center of three “arms”. The print bed stays in place, which eliminates wobbling issues that you can potentially find on an i3-type printer.
  • CoreXY – It is a kind of cartesian 3D printer, but it looks like a cube. The printer itself takes up less room than a Prusa i3 type 3D printer since the fixed bed doesn’t require space to move back and forth. These printers can be tricky to assemble and tweak.
Types of big FFF 3D printers, from left to right: cartesian (Prusa i3 type), CoreXY, and delta.

Material support

Material support comes down to two things – the hot end (nozzle) and the print bed. That means you need to consider the type of hot end that’s included with the printer as well as the temperatures it’s capable of reaching.

An all-metal hot end is the best choice for printing at higher temperatures or using exotic materials like LAYCeramic or Proto-Pasta’s conductive PLA. Nowadays, all-metal nozzles are a relatively standard feature on many large 3D printers.

However, if you do choose a printer with a brass nozzle, you won’t be able to print abrasive materials like carbon fiber without seriously damaging the hotend. Ordering a new nozzle and swapping the old one out isn’t too complicated though!

You will also find a heated bed find on the best big 3D printers, but how well they work and how quickly they will reach optimum temperatures can vary. A heated print bed will allow you to print with a wider range of materials too (TPU, Nylon, …) whereas without heating the platform you can pretty much only print PLA.


With smaller machines, it’s not uncommon to find things like Wi-Fi connectivity or a dual extruder, but you won’t find either of those on large-sized 3D printers under $1000. These kinds of features generally don’t make the cut in order to help keep the price down.

That said, there are some other nice features that you can find on big 3D printers in this price range. Many of them are equipped with a touchscreen and SD card slot, and some also boast automatic or semi-automatic bed leveling.

Customer support

Excellent customer support is crucial when purchasing any technical device. Even the most highly rated machines can have issues, which is where a good customer support system comes in handy.

Given the fact that almost all of the largest 3D printers under $1000 come from China, it’s essential to know who will handle any issues if they arise with your new printer. Smaller brands may not have the best customer support but often make up for it with active users and forums or Facebook groups where you can find help quickly.


How big can 3D printers print?

In the commercial range, there are printers with build volumes measured in meters, not millimeters. Printers with the big build size in the consumer class under $1000 typically come in under 500 x 500 x 500 mm.

Can I print with Carbon Fiber filament and other composites using a large 3D printer?

As long as the hot end meets the manufacturer’s recommended requirements for the filament, it’s possible. How well that exotic material actually prints depends on your machine and how well it’s dialed in, however.

How heavy is a large format 3D printer?

Great question, but it depends on the model. On average, you can expect the big 3D printers on our list to weigh between 24 and 35 pounds fully assembled.

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