Table of Contents
- Best 3D Printers under $300
- What to Consider Before Buying a 3d Printer
- 1. What exactly do you want to print?
- 2. Type of 3D Printer Should You Get?
- 3. Technology of 3D printers and how does it matters to you?
- 4. Size of Objects you want to Print
- 5. What 3D Printer Resolution Should You Consider?
- 6. Difference between Monochromatic, & Multicolored 3D Printer.
- 7. Additional Features:
Gone are the days when 3D printing was the sole enterprise of scientists and industries. Today, 3D printing has become accessible to everyone; people are using it to create personalized gifts, toys, arts & crafts, and marketable products, among other things.
One blogger in New Jersey is printing his own poker chips, whereas another in Minnesota is printing dragon-shaped goblets for Game of Thrones fans and make some money on the side.
In the past 5 years, 3D printing has exploded as 3D printers have become more affordable. You, too, can own a reasonably priced 3D printer to create home accessories and sustain your hobbies. It will save you a lot of money, and it is extremely fun!
This list contains 9 recommendations for the best 3D printer under $300. let’s cut through the noise and see which 3 printer is good for you in this specific range.
There are hundreds of models and thousands of features and it is easy to get confused, let me get everything straight and clear for you.
Best 3D Printers under $300
|Printer Name||Weight||Editor's Score||Price|
|1. Comgrow Creality Ender 3 Pro||18.96 Pounds||9.10/10|
|2. The Monoprice Select Mini||9.90 Pounds||8.50/10|
|3. TEVO Tarantula Pro||16.7 Pounds||7.50/10|
|4. Da Vinci Mini Wireless||22.1 Pound||9.30/10|
|5. Sparkmaker FHD||7.4 Pound||9.70/10|
|6. Anycubic Mega-S||33 Pounds||8.00/10|
|7. Flashforge Finder Lite 3D Printer||28.1 Pounds||8.50/10|
|8. ANET A8 3D Printer||7.70/10||9.5/10|
|9. QIDI Technology X-Smart||33.1 Pound||8.00/10|
Above table is a pretty good representation of my research. You can make your decision based on this table if you don’t want to do in-depth research.
However, if you want to really spend time and dig deeper into each model and study the nitty-gritty before you make your buying decisions. I am here to help. let’s start de-constructing each model and see how it means to you as an end user.
1. Comgrow Creality Ender 3 Pro
- REMOVABLE BUILD SURFACE PLATE: Provide...
- SAFE POWER SUPPLY: Ender 3 Pro comes...
- RESUME PRINT FUNCTION: Ender 3 Pro can...
- SEMI-ASSEMBLED KIT: This easy-to-setup...
- WHAT YOU GET: Ceality Ender 3 Pro 3D...
If you are looking for performance at an affordable price, then you won’t find a better option than the Creality Ender 3 Pro.
The Creality Ender 3 Pro is a semi-assembled version of the Creality Ender 3. It comes to an easy-assemble packaging that you can set up with minutes.
It is an FDM type 3D printer that offers a high resolution and adjustable speed for fine quality printing.
The most notable features of the printer include its removable surface plate, magnetic sticker, and print pause/resume feature.
The magnetic sticker is especially useful as it adheres to the object to the surface plate for greater accuracy. The built-in battery allows you to continue printing even when the power is switched off.
Additionally, the Ender 3 pro heats up quickly; it is hot and ready to extrude within five minutes of plug-in. The printer has easy to adjust levelers so that you can balance the surface for precise printing.
Creality Enders 3 Pro can only support one color at a time; however, you can switch colored filaments at any time.
This printer is a great option for beginners who don’t want to spend too much on their first 3D printer. For the price, this printer offers an exceptionally fine quality of print. It is great for hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts looking to create custom-made products.
2. The Monoprice Select Mini
- Support for All Filament Types: The...
- Supported operating systems windows 7...
- Compact Desktop Design: Featuring a...
- Ready to Print: Unlike most other...
- Sample Filament diameter- 1.75mm,...
The Monoprice Select Mini is a decent 3D printer for the price. Its most notable features include a pre-assembled 3D printer, heated bed, adjustable speed, and a high resolution (for the price).
The Monoprice Select Mini can be used out of the box; it is pre-assembled, so there is a minimum hassle when setting it up. Once you unbox this mini 3D printer, you just have to calibrate it to your specifications, and you are good to go.
It has a heated aluminum bed, which means that the object you are printing adhere to the surface but can be easily removed after printing is complete. The print speed is up to 70mm; although not very fast, this 3D printer produces great quality prints.
The resolution of the 3D printer is 0.05 mm give or take. For the price, this is a high resolution, which reflects in the fine quality of its prints. Additionally, the printer is great for small projects; it does not take much space and saves power.
On the downside, the heated bed heats up very slowly and then maintain a temperature of 70 to 80 degrees instead of the recommended 110 degrees. This defeats the purpose of a hotbed, and you often have to resort to methods such as printer’s tape or glue.
Another disadvantage is that the build area is very small; altogether, it is 4.75 inches cubed. To give you an idea, the max size this printer can print is the length and width of a 150 ml soda can.
Overall, the Monoprice Select Mini is great for beginners who need to print small 3D objects. It can be ideal for jewelry makers, home improvement objects, and small arts and crafts objects, etc.
3. TEVO Tarantula Pro
- LCD Screen – The LCD screen is...
- Metal Plates – On all of the brackets...
- Bed Size – Tarantula Pro 235 by 235 X...
- Volcano Hotend– The Tarantula pro 3D...
- Titan Extruder – Tarantula Pro...
The TEVO Tarantula Pro is an improved version of the TEVO tarantula. This Pro version has been able to rectify some of its predecessor’s mistakes to provide better quality prints and more user-friendly printing experience.
TEVO Tarantula Pro is an FDM 3D printer with a sturdy aluminum open frame. It has a large build area of 300 x 300 x 400 mm; it is one of the largest build areas among printers in this price range.
Users can operate the printer through an LCD screen, which is pretty average to be honest but it can get the work done. And even if you don’t want to use LCD, you can do it.
The printer is semi-assembled; it is easy to put together and will take you only 1-2 hours to assemble and calibrate the whole thing. However, there are some unnecessary hurdles in assembly.
For example, halfway through assembly, you will have to undo your previous work to fit in new parts. If these problems were removed, the assembly would be even quicker.
Their support seems to be really good and product manuals can help you to get a pretty good handle on how exactly you can assemble it. You can reach out to their support if there are any roadblocks along the way, they are very helpful.
3d Printers are highly sophisticated tools and it takes some time to set it up properly. it isn’t like a plug and play printer, so I’d recommend studying manuals and watch a couple of youtube videos before hitting their support. You can save yourself a lot of time.
The layer resolution is ± 0.1-0.35mm; this is okay for the price. Testing the print for quality revealed that the tarantula pro is able to create a decent quality 3D object. However, you will notice fine lines, zits, and visible infill marks that mar the overall look of the object.
However, given the low price of the 3D printer, we feel that this quality is decent and acceptable. Obviously, this is not meant for professionals, beginners and learners would benefit from this 3D printer the most.
I looked at amazon and reviews are pretty good for this printer, there are some complaints about parts shipping but their support seems to be really good and they solved the issue pretty quickly.
4. Da Vinci Mini Wireless
“Wireless Option ”
- 【Accuracy & Speed】— XYZprinting Da...
- 【Less Wait Time 】— XYZprinting Da...
- 【Print Dimension is not so mini】—...
- 【No Assembly Required Plug &...
- 【Buying with Confidence】—...
XYZ Printing’s da Vinci Mini Wireless 3D printer is a straightforward machine that can produce high dimensional accuracy objects at a low cost.
It is one of the most appealing 3D printers we have ever seen! The open frame of the printer is made from metal and has a sleek, shiny design that looks great sitting on any desktop.
However, given the compact size of the printer, its build area is quite sufficient. At 5.9 inches cubed, the build area is big enough to create reasonably sized objects.
This one can be a pretty good option if you don’t want to put wires here and there. It is wireless and you can set it up pretty quickly. it is good if you have a congested room and you don’t want to add more junk wires.
One of the most noticeable features of the da Vinci is its wireless connectivity feature; students and educationists would definitely appreciate this feature.
The wireless feature is often present in more expensive 3D printers; it is a pleasant surprise and a perk in a low-cost model like the da Vinci mini.
Additionally, you can pause printing in the da Vinci Mini, which is great! Although there is no LCD screen, you can push a lever to pause and resume printing.
It also has on-board memory, kind of like the ram of a computer, so when the design is downloaded onto the memory, you can unplug your laptop.
The da Vinci mini is semi-assembled, so setting it up is a breeze; you may face some resistance when trying to fix the filament, but a small push should take care of it. A bonus perk is that the printer is very quiet as compared to other 3D printers. You won’t hear it in the other room if the door is closed.
The end result of the printer consists of high-accuracy prints that are impeccable in their resolution. The quality suffers slightly in designs with overhang and height. Similarly, it is not able to get the details of intricate designs.
Overall, it’s a great product for the price. It is great for hobbyists, students, teachers, parents, and DIY enthusiasts alike.
5. Sparkmaker FHD
“Best Value for Money ”
I can’t believe I am adding an SLA 3D printer in the under $300 category! The Sparkmaker FHD is truly a pleasant surprise because SLA printers are expensive, usually starting from $500.
Despite being low-cost, the Sparkmaker FHD is not a low-quality SLA printer. In fact, it is exactly right for the price point. Apart from being the most affordable SLA 3D printer, the Sparkmaker FHD has an adequate build area of 61.6 x 110 x 125 mm, which is big enough to print figurines, molds, home accessories, arts & crafts items, and toys, etc.
The printer creates an object with a 57μm XY resolution, which is parallel to the resolution of a 2K LCD screen! The details that this printer can capture are truly mesmerizing. You won’t get any of the fine lines and zits that are present even in the best FDM 3D printers.
Other excellent features include a 1080p LCD control screen, a user-friendly interface, and pre-assembled packaging. You can use the machine right out of the box! There is no need to waste time assembling the printer at all.
The Sparkmaker FHD supports printing with SD card and USB slots. You can even control the printer with your smartphone through an app.
Overall, the Sparkmaker FHD is a great printer that can be used for any project. We especially recommend it to teachers who want to demonstrate 3D printing to students, parents who create toys for their kids at home, engineers who want to create prototypes and hobbyists who produce high-quality figurines for commercial purposes.
6. Anycubic Mega-S
” Best for TPU/PLA/ABS”
- WORKS OUT OF THE BOX: 3 steps to set up...
- UPGRADED EXTRUDER DESIGN: Titan extruder...
- RESUME PRINT & SENSOR DETECTION: Mega S...
- ANYCUBIC ULTRABASE: Patented 3D printer...
- MORE FUNCTION: ①ANYCUBIC MEGA S is an...
Are you looking for an affordable yet performance-driven 3D printer? If yes, then the Anycubic Mega-S is an easy answer.
Apart from high-resolution end results, this model features an improved extruder that can now create with TPS filaments, a mechanical sensor that automatically detects when your filament is running low, and a power recovery special feature that comes in very handy.
The Anycubic Mega-S printer kit is easy to assemble; the instructions are quite clear, and the whole thing will take you 20 minutes at most! The open frame of the printer is made of aluminum, which is known for its strength and stability.
The heated platform plate works perfectly; it adheres to the first layer of the object so that it does not move while printing. However, it is very easy to remove the object once it’s complete.
A related feature is that the build plate heats up quickly; it only takes 5 mins for it warm up to the recommended temperature (110 degrees). Additionally, Anycubic Mega-S has a user-friendly touch screen control panel, which makes it easy to use.
Most importantly, the end result of this high-resolution 3D printer is astounding; you will get amazing details and a very finessed product. Most low-cost printers have belts or lines across the object but not this printer; the ends objects are always beautiful looking.
The loud fan is the only complaint I have from this printer; it can be too loud and can get on your nerves. I suggest closing the door and going to the other room to save your sanity.
Overall, it is a great printer for hobbyists and small business owners.
7. Flashforge Finder Lite 3D Printer
“Best in Touch Screen”
- Slide-in build plate allows you to draw...
- The patented nozzle structure has been...
- Finder Lite features an intuitive...
- out of the box,lower energy.A fun STEM...
- Flashforge 3d pinrter Finder Lite has 12...
The Flashforge Finder Lite is another aesthetically pleasing 3D printer. Available in canary yellow and fire engine red, this closed frame 3D printer is one of the best-looking printers we have seen.
The Flashforge Finder Lite is not only impressive in looks but performance as well; it has a good-sized build area of 5.9 inches cubed and a high precision of ±0.01 mm. The layer resolution is high as well; 100-400 mm, which means that the ends products are pretty high-quality products!
Other features include a removable build plate that can be pulled out and pushed in as required. However, the plate is not heated; therefore, you will have to use printer’s tape or glue for adhesion.
The Flashforge Finder Lite has a 3.5-inch touch screen, which makes the interface fun and easy to use. Additionally, the printer is extremely quiet; you won’t hear it whirring throughout the house.
As it is a closed frame printer, it is needless to say that it is very safe to use. The boxed enclosure covers the extruder and the inner mechanism completely so that you don’t burn yourself accidentally. It is ideal for parents with small kids, pet owners, and teachers.
Finally, the Flashforge lite is easy to use and easy to assemble; it is almost assembled when you take it out of the box. You just have to calibrate the printer to your desired settings, and you are ready to print!
8. ANET A8 3D Printer
“Compatible with Windows XP/7/8/10”
- 220 x 220 x 240mm printing volume：220...
- support ABS / PLA / Wood / Nylon PVA /...
- Unassembled DIY kit：It is unassembled...
- Operating system&Working...
- Widely used：Suitable for a wide range...
The ANET A8 is one of the most popular budget 3D printers. The printer has a very active online community that is always working on modifying and improving the printer. The hackability of the printer and its low price make it a popular 3D printer among DIY enthusiasts, small businessmen, and students.
The first thing you will notice is the big build area; at 8.7 x 9.3 inches, this 3D printer has one of the biggest build areas among budget-friendly 3D printers.
The second appealing feature is the heated aluminum build plate. Yes, I admit that aluminum is a cost-effective choice, and glass plate would be a better option, but given the price, aluminum is acceptable.
The print quality of ANET A8 is pretty decent; it is not the best quality printer we have reviewed in this list, but it does perform better than most. Above all, we have included it in the list because with modifications, this printer becomes absolutely amazing.
However, when taken out of the box, it gives an okay performance. End products may have bolts or streaks running across them or small pockmarks that ruin the overall finesse of the product. However, tweaking the calibrations and modifying the settings can give you improved results.
On the downside, the assembly is a royal pain; although it is a kit printer, the instructions are abysmal, and it takes a lot of time to assemble the product. Moreover, I don’t like the exposed wiring of the finished printer. It is not safe, and you should always use it carefully.
Overall, its best for tech-savvy DIY enthusiasts and craftsmen.
9. QIDI Technology X-Smart
“Comes With Metal Frame Structure”
- X-Smart 3D Printer features advanced...
- 3D printer kit, equipped with single...
- The enclosure and allow you to print...
- With transparent window, dust-proof and...
- Backed by with One-to-one QIDI TECH...
Qidi Technology is a Chinese company that is well-known for manufacturing budget-friendly 3D printers. The X-smart 3D printer is a classic example of 3D printing excellence at a low cost.
The Qidi tech X-Smart is a great option for beginners, especially teachers, students, engineers, and small business owners.
The X-Smart has some great features that appeal to a diverse consumer group. The first noteworthy feature is the large build area; at 160 x 150 x 150 mm, this build space is ample to produce any type of object. This is a standard object size that is very welcome in a low budget 3D printer.
Secondly, the printer is a closed frame printer made from high-quality aluminum alloy. It is completely enclosed so that you get maximum safety; no need to worry about accidentally touching the hot extruder!
Another excellent feature is a heated and removable build plate; the plate heats up quickly and evenly so you can start printing without delay. The easily removable feature allows you to take the plate out and carefully remove your finished object from the plate.
The resolution of the printer is very good for the price; you may see some fine lines and marks on the finished product. However, that is to be expected from a printer of this price.
The Qidi Tech printer has a 1080p touchscreen and supports a variety of filaments. It is an easy to use desktop 3D printer that can be used right out of the box!
Overall it’s a great option for a variety of users, including educationists, students, homeowners, businesses, and engineers.
What to Consider Before Buying a 3d Printer
1. What exactly do you want to print?
The first question you should ask yourself is, what do you want to print? Your purpose will guide the types of 3D printers that you should purchase.
For instance, are you a small businessman who needs to print product parts? Or are you an educationist that wants to demonstrate 3D printing at school? Or perhaps you are a hobbyist that wants a 3D printer to create arts & crafts projects.
Your purpose will dictate the features that you should look for in a 3D printer. If you are not sure of what you want, you may end up purchasing a 3D printer that is useless to you.
Once you are sure of what you want to print and at what scale, then consider the questions discussed below.
2. Type of 3D Printer Should You Get?
Several 3D printing technologies are available in the market today. Technology determines the quality, capacity, and sophistication of a 3D printer.
Obviously, 3D printers used in industries and for scientific purposes are of the best technology. However, they are not suitable for the general consumer because those printers are very expensive, and they are made for large productions.
Home users need small scale 3D printers that are affordable and easy to use. Two technologies are commonly used consumer-oriented 3D printers.
a. Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
FDM printers create objects by heating the filament, feeding it through a tube, and extruding into shape along the X, Y and Z-axes. To dumb it down, the filament is heated to its melting point and then forced out in precise vertical and horizontal layers to construct the 3D object of your choice.
b. Stereolithography (SLA)
3D printers operating on the SLA technology also create 3D objects in a layer by layer formulation; however, unlike FDM, they do so by a photochemical process by which light causes photosensitive resins to solidify into the desired 3D objects.
Simply, the photosensitive resins are heated up to a melting point and then forced out where it is cooled down under an ultraviolet laser beam and then eventually hardens into the 3D object.
3. Technology of 3D printers and how does it matters to you?
FDM printers are cheaper than SLA printers. Therefore, if price Is your primary pain point, then consider FDM printers. But if the price is of no concern, then choose SLA printers because they offer a more high-quality end product.
Although of less quality than SLA, FDM printers also provide a reasonable quality of finished 3D objects. Hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts often prefer FDM because of their precise layering and affordable cost.
4. Size of Objects you want to Print
Purchase a 3D printer that is capable of printing objects in a size you want. Consider the build area of each printer before making your purchase. A build area is the maximum size of an object that a printer can print.
Build areas are measured in height, width, and depth. Every 3D printer has its own specifications; some 3D printers can create tall 3D objects while others can create short but wide objects, and so on.
You have to consider the size of the object you want to print before making a purchase. In our review, we have included the build area for your information.
5. What 3D Printer Resolution Should You Consider?
Resolution means the detail a 3D printed object contains; the higher the resolution, the more details your object will have.
To understand this, simply consider a photograph. A higher resolution image is clearer and more detailed than a low-resolution image. For example, compare a picture you took from iPhone 5 back in the day and a picture you took from iPhone 11 today.
The pictures will be strikingly different from each other because the new cameras have a higher resolution and so they are able to capture tiny details like color, shapes, and forms more clearly.
Similarly, a higher resolution 3D printer will create a better-looking object with finer details than a low-resolution printer.
The resolution of 3D printers is measured in microns; the lower the micron count, the higher the resolution is going to be. Resolution can range from 20 microns (the best) to 200 microns (decent-quality).
Typically, 3D printers with resolutions between 100-200 microns are considered good quality.
6. Difference between Monochromatic, & Multicolored 3D Printer.
Another important question is to ask yourself whether you need a 3D printer that can print in more than one color?
Most 3D printers can only print in one color; these are the most affordable ones. Some printers can create dual-colored 3D objects; each color is being supplied from different filaments to create the duo-toned design.
More sophisticated printers can create multicolored 3D objects with as many numbers of filaments.
However, multicolored designs can only be created from files that have been specifically coded/designed for multicolored 3D printing.
7. Additional Features:
a. Open Frame Vs. Closed Frame
Open Frame 3D printers do not have a cover; the print area and the extruder are easily accessible. They are often more affordable than closed frame printers.
On the other hand, closed frame 3D printers have glass or metal walls that cover the print area.
They are safer for homes with kids or pets; they reduce the chances of accidentally touching the hot extruder and reduce noise when printing.
Slow and steady is best for 3D printers; you cannot rush a 3D print job. A fast 3D printer will not produce as good a quality as a slow 3D printer.
You will have to determine what trade-off between speed and quality you are comfortable with.
The most common speeds are:
- Slowest – 40-50mm/s
- Average – 80-100mm/s
- Fastest – 150mm/s
The 3D printer technology is ever-evolving; it is possible that some manufacturer is offering a high-speed printer that has a higher resolution and higher quality as well. In this article, we have discussed the most common scenarios.
The surface on which you will print your 3D object is extremely important; a good surface should be sticky enough to hold the object in place while it is printing, but it should be easy to remove once the printing is complete.
There are two popular surfaces:
A non-heated surface is a plain glass or metal surface covered in printer’s tape or glue for adherence. On the other hand, a heated surface is a heated glass that keeps your 3D object warm, so it is easy to remove once completed. It also stops the edges of the figure from curling; it is especially useful if you are working with ABS filaments.
How do you want to connect to the printer? There are a variety of printers, and each has its connectivity specifications. Most popular are:
- Printers that have USB slots
- Printers that have their own internal memory
- Printers with wireless connectivity
- Printers with Ethernet connectivity
Most printers feature a combination of these specifications; most commonly, printers have USB slots and internal memory options.
e. After Purchase Services
It is possible that you may need post-purchase service support when using your newly bought 3D printer.
The filament may not be working, or the surface may not be heating up, or any number of other problems could occur.
Therefore, it is better to purchase from a known brand that has good customer service.