Sometimes price is a huge factor in purchasing, something we all understand all too clearly. However, there are many 3D printers to be had at a price point of below $300. We’ll go over the ten best of the bunch and talk about what they offer you.
Alunar Prusa i3
Alunar’s Prusa i3 is named after the design it is inspired by. This 3D printer is not assembled when buying it, as it comes in a kit. Instead, you will need to do all of the assembling on your own. If you’re comfortable with doing so, there are plenty of tutorials out there to help you through it. If not, this might not be the right printer for you.
This printer has a great price that many will appreciate, while keeping the features and quality you want. It also has a high build volume of up to 8 x 8 x 8 inches. It also comes with a heated bed made of aluminum and features an LCD screen that makes operation of the printer simple.
XYZprinting Da Vinci Jr
This printer from XYZprinting has an extremely low price for everything it offers. It is well-designed and intuitive to use straight out of the box. It also doesn’t require a manual calibration so you can get right to printing as soon as you unbox it. That said, it can’t make sizable items, which may be a problem for some users.
The software for the Da Vinci Jr is easy to use and the printer does have card slot support so you can input your designs quickly. Honestly, with the price being what it is, it’s a bargain. You’ll have a very reasonable quality and the device seems quite durable.
XYZprinting Da Vinci Mini
Another great printer from XYZprinting is the Mini, which comes in a number of colorful options. The case will cover most of the machinery, but the print bed and extruder can be seen. Users will find an NFC card reader that identifies what filament is connected. This allows the printer to determine how much filament is left and what color is being used.
Setup is honestly easy with this printer. You have to peel tape that is holding various parts and remove a couple of plastic tubes. After that is complete, you simply install the filament, feed it into the print head and start printing. One thing to note is that this printer only works with PLA filament that comes from XYZ and won’t recognize anything else.
Monoprice Select Mini
The Select Mini is a budget 3D printer that will easily fit your desk at home. It has a heated print bed, is simple to use, and the prints you get are impressive. Files can be uploaded to the printer via microSD card or USB connection. It’s also compatible with numerous slicing software, including Cura, Repetier-Host, ReplicatorG, and Simplify3D.
This is a pretty impressive printer for the price and certainly excellent for an inexperienced user. It’s low-risk and low-price, making it a real catch. Those who are more experienced might want to look elsewhere, but honestly, Monoprice isn’t trying to cater to that demographic with this device.
Hictop Prusa i3
The Hictop Prusa i3 is based on an open source design and has been on the market for some time now. It’s been pretty popular and has a solid base of support and community around it. That said, this is a kit that requires assembly, which some may not want to deal with. It caters toward the enthusiast who doesn’t mind getting their hands dirty before doing printing.
This printer is customizable with users being free to upgrade, improve, and change every part of it. Many of the upgrades available can even be made by the printer itself. All in all, it provides great quality at a low price point for those who are open to building it.
New Matter Mod-T
Mod-T is an easy printer to setup. You will have to do a few things, however. It begins with snapping the surface in place and then seating the plate on the rods so the gears latch. After that you place the filament onto a spool holder and feed the filament into the printer. Then you tap a button to load the filament. Once the extruder is at the appropriate temperature, you feed filament in and attach the guide tube end.
Being a bargain 3D printer, this device only works with PLA. Users can purchase filament from New Matter or third parties, depending on need. The company also offers you software and information that you will receive by making an account on their website.
Printrbot Play 1505
The Play 1505 by Printrbot is an entry-level printer that sells at a low price point. However, the construction of the printer feels premium and users won’t feel as if they are bargaining by purchasing a low-quality device. It has a sturdy steel frame that comes in black or white, and many major assemblies also use sheet metal for durability.
When it comes to printing, users may find it hard to believe how good the quality is from a budget printer. Even when leaving the settings at default, it stands up to printers that are twice as expensive. That said, it does not have ABS printing or a heated bed so consider how much those matter to you before grabbing one up.
Tevo Tarantula i3
The Tevo Tarantula i3 is another kit that you build and assemble at home. That said, it seems that assembling is easier than many others and it requires little tuning once complete. For those who plan to purchase this machine, there is a Facebook group with a series of videos that walks you through the whole process of setting it up.
In addition, the printer is very stable and comes packaged in an organized manner. Users also get a few free spools of PLA filament, along with an SD card kit for untethered printing. It’s a great deal for those who want to assemble a kit on their own.
Anet A8 Prusa i3
The Anet A8 Prusa i3 is a very inexpensive printer that has plenty of features. The printer itself has great community support and offer help with setting up your printer. The printer itself is affordable and is perfect for someone new to printing who wants a quality device but doesn’t want to bust out thousands of dollars to purchase one.
There will be quite a bit of assembling required, so be aware of that going into it. That said, it’s not anything that’s very hard. In addition, it offers some great prints, even without any tuning. Another perk is that there are tons of mods and upgrades out there so you can improve the printer over time.
Monoprice Maker Select V2
The Monoprice Maker V2 requires little assembling and has a thorough instruction manual. After assembling, it will also require calibration but this is also fairly simple. One of the most loved aspects of the Maker V2 is that it works with tons of software. That said, the company does recommend you use Cura. However, it’s entirely free so that may not be such a bad thing.
When it comes down to it, you’ll get a durable printer that is easy to assemble. It also takes modifications. It’s not made for a beginner, though, and is best used by someone already familiar with 3D printing.
The biggest question at this point is whether you want a printer you assemble yourself or one that comes that way on its own. Thankfully, we found plenty of options on either side of that line, so you’re sure to see something that resonates with your needs.