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Are you looking to buy a 3D printer for yourself? Yes, we agree it is not a difficult task anymore, but various options and models provide a variety of features. This is when it gets difficult to choose. We at WorkeryChamp worked and researched several hours to explore the printers and help you choose them from plenty of printers in the market.
However, usually, the inexpensive 3D printers are often used by those who are looking to get started and explore the technology of 3D printing for the first time.
They also buy it to add a little fun to their regular routine. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense that one should need to pay thousands of dollars for buying a 3D printer for professional setup and quality.
Since technology has advanced, these days, best 3D printers under $500 can effortlessly do a good job. Also, users who are just starting out or have a small company or even an individual looking to unleash their creativity can buy a 3D printer to accomplish their aim.
Below, we have listed down our top picks to help you choose if you’re in a hurry, however, if you would like to explore what each printer has to offer then keep reading.
Best 3D Printers Under $500
|Printer Name||Main Feature||Weight||Price|
|1. Comgrow Creality Ender||AlI In One||29.8 lb|
|2. Creality Ender 3||5 Minutes For Hot||17.64 lb|
|3. Nova3D Elfin||--||--|
|4. FLSUN QQ-S||3.2 Inch Touch Screen||29.5 lb|
|5. REPRAPGURU DIY Prusa||2004 LCD Included||15.00 lb|
|6. FlashForge Adventurer||Print Bed Temperature||26.6 lb|
|7. ADIMLab Gantry Pro||Titan Direct Extruder||24.3 lb|
|8. Silhouette Alta 3D Printer||Silhouette 3D Software||14.8 lb|
1. Comgrow Creality Ender
- Upgraded Mainboard:Ender 5 Pro 3D...
- Metal Extruder Frame:This upgraded metal...
- New and Improved Filament Tubing:suited...
- Super-large molding size:220 x 220 x...
Canon TR8520 replaces the Canon MX series. You can use the printer for scanning and faxing as well. It serves a range of purposes and fits in pretty much everywhere for your convenience.
The Creality Ender 5 Pro is pretty easy to build DIY kit and comes with pre-assembled axes, and all you have to do is attach the Z-axis to the base and plug in the printer to the wall socket that makes the printer ready to print.
The assembly of the printer should take less than an hour from start to finish.
The newer and improved filament tubing in the Creality Ender 5 Pro is really amazing to use. The filament is slid into the Bowden tube till it comes out of the preheated nozzle.
Apart from this, the wire management is the thing we really don’t like on this printer. It is exposed and is tied with just one tie-wrap and you may have to use more to route them out of the way with care.
The printing with the new Ender 5 Pro was generally on the easier side according to our experience. The settings were quite easy to tweak in Cura, therefore most of the problems you experience are not tricky at all.
The printer although lacks many amazing features like Automatic Bed-levelling, the durable print bed and a filament runout sensor.
However, we found that the main strength of this printer is that it is very hackable and can be easily upgraded with more amazing features.
When it comes to the printing performance, the printer did a great job even in the torture test we did. The Ender 5 Pro handled it quite well, however, there was a bit of stringing and the overhangs turn out to be looser than usual.
Moreover, the print performance also depends on different types of materials used, since the Ender 5 Pro works with materials like PLA, ABS, PETG and TPU. It prints extremely well with PLA material.
If you see overall, the machine is perfectly fine when it comes to details and giving out really smooth print models. The Ender 5 Pro really amazed us with the quality of the prints it printed and especially with PLA material. The smaller objects turn out to be much better than the bigger ones.
The printer lacks several connectivity options unlike the other printers in the same price range. The Ender 5 Pro comes with SD card as a connectivity option.
Apart from this, the printer has an LCD display with its single selection knob and is built-in with various pushbuttons.
The different types of menus are intuitive and are easy to use. Also, the best thing about the printer is that the speed, nozzle temperature and the bed temperature can be manually adjusted.
The Ender 5 Pro is really a heavy and bulky printer and the frame dimensions itself are around 552 x 485 x 510 mm and the printer weighs around 11.8kg.
It is surely not the printer that can be transported easily and moreover it requires a really good room on your desk to be placed.
Summing up the review, the Ender 5 Pro is a very solid machine and it does offer some more premium features like the new tubing system, the silent mainboard for quiet printing and a metal extruder frame.
The print models turn out to be good enough in our experience, also it offers reliability, build quality and the decent print volume it offers.
The only downside is that it has very few connectivity options and the wire management is quite bad. The print bed also tends to vibrate when we were testing it out.
Apart from this, the Ender 5 Pro is a solid choice to go for.
2. Creality Ender 3
- Resume Print Function: Ender 3 has the...
- Easy and Qucik Assembly: It comes with...
- Advanced Extruder Technology: Upgraded...
- Safety Protected Power Supply: Only...
- Strict Test: Strict testing for key...
The most appealing feature of the Creality Ender 3 apart from the performance is the incredibly low price segment. The Ender 3 is quite compact and the package is the same. For a 3D printer, we were quite amazed to see how small the box was for a semi-assembled machine with a fairly good build volume. Upon unboxing the printer, the Creality team includes a USB drive, various tool, sample white PLA filament, wire cutter, nozzle cleaner and a spatula.
Are you amazed now? Yes, for a $200 printer it is pleasing to see the extra accessories with the printer. Now coming to assembly part, to be honest, it took a lot of time even for a novice 3D printing expert of around 2 hours to complete.
Let’s jump to the printing performance of the Ender 3. We will certainly not sugar coat things here so, we got few failed prints and adjustments which had to be made before we got this 3D printer running perfectly well.
After assembling and levelling the bed, we printed the sample print on the given USB drive, which was a dog for some reason. However, we got the perfect quality print and a good amount of details and a very smooth finish.
The filament that comes with the printer out of the box, however, is not enough to print even the test file given. You need your own spool of PLA handy.
The only downside we noticed is that sometimes the print model doesn’t stick to the print bed and you will need to put in some adhesion to stick the print on the print bed. Apart from this, we really love the resume function in case of power cuts.
One main thing you definitely need to know about the Ender 3 interface is that turning the knob while on the “main info” screen will adjust the print speed. This feature is pretty handy as you can increase the speed of the print in the case where quality doesn’t matter. To be honest, it can be a downside for many users, because a single bump could screw up the whole print.
The print comes with an LCD screen to control the features of the printer and the printing process. Out of the box, the Ender 3 comes with a USB drive which includes the test print files and the Cura for Windows. Apart from this, the printer also supports SD card to print the models.
The Ender 3 has a build area of 220 x 220 x 250mm which really allows some impressively sized objects to be printed in it. The machine size itself is around 440x410x465 however, looks very compact in design. The Ender 3 weighs around 8.6kg which is portable and can be moved easily.
Overall the Ender 3 did a great job considering its price point. The print quality really exceeded our expectations and we must say that Creality Ender 3 is an extraordinary printer. It also happens to be the most popular machine currently in the market for a number of features. The tight filament pathway and power recovery mode making it even easier to print with flexible materials.
The speed of Ender 3 is amazing as well when compared to other 3 D printers around this price segment, or even the printers costing twice this, Ender 3 is fast and the quality exceeds our expectations.
There are of course many other 3D printers out there but since the 3D printing is still a steep learning process, therefore, Ender 3 is an excellent base from which you can easily start out on an amazing adventure.
3. Nova3D Elfin
The Nova Elfin 3D Printer comes in a solid and robust packing covered with protective foam inside around the box. Upon receiving the package, it weighs around 9 kgs in total which makes it easier to ship. Inside the box, you will find the kit to assemble the printer and a 4 pair of gloves to handle the reason. Along with it, you also get a USB stick however no sample resin was found in the packaging.
Setting the printer up after assembling is quite easy since the bed levelling is done at the factory itself. The printer is shipped with the bed fully levelled and that’s a great addition to details. You just have to remove the protective film between the resin vat and 2K screen on the printer to start using the printer.
Usually, we don’t discuss the slicer since many manufacturers don’t offer the custom slicers so you have to use the default slicers available like Cura, Simplify3D, etc. However, in the case of Nova Elfin, the manufacturer provides the custom made slicer called “NovaMaker” and it is amazingly faster than the other third-party slicer. Apart from being fast, it is even relatively easy to use making the beginners experience more fun in the 3D printing world.
In short, Nova Elfin provides us with the amazing print quality and we did expect it since it is a resin 3D printer. However, it is much more incredible than average resin 3D printers and obviously for printing more detailed models like the Miniatures Printing. Considering the price segment of the printer we must say this is an outstanding printer when it comes to quality.
However, we do get only one downside that is the printing speed. We found out that the finer detailed builds took a lot more time compared to the less detailed builds. A finer build in our test took an average of 30 mm per hour and that is really slow. Apart from this, you can also check the properties of resin to be sure that it is not over curing if not the build can become brittle.
The printer is more preferable to be placed in the well-ventilated area since the fumes of the resin are really pungent and also toxic.
The Nova Elfin doesn’t stop on features, another great feature it offers is the wireless connectivity options.
It means you don’t have to tether the printer with the computer instead just connecting the 3D printer to your personal Wi-Fi network allows you to print and even connect to several computers without the hassles of wires.
It also supports the USB stick and has an impressive 8GB internal storage so the printer can hold files without having to be online. It comes with a colour touchscreen which makes the Nova 3D easily navigable and simplistic allowing users to track the controls and print progress.
The printer is sturdy when it comes to build quality but it doesn’t mean it should be bulky. The build volume of this printer is around 132 x 74 x 150 mm and that’s average making the overall build size of printer less. It weighs around 8kg out of the box and is compact and can be easily placed anywhere on the desk. Since it is a resin printer, you’ll need to place it somewhere well ventilated.
Summing up the review, the Nova3D Elfin has great features and the print quality is just incredible. We really loved the printer print quality and the multiple connectivity options. Apart from this, it also has 2K resolution LCD and the LCD screen can also be replaced effortlessly in a couple of minutes. The print is pretty quiet while printing the models.
If you’re looking for printing finely detailed prints and don’t really mind the fumes then this is the printer for you.
4. FLSUN QQ-S
- FLSUN-QQ-S Pre-assembled 3d...
- FLSUN-QQ-S Pre-assembled 3d...
- φ255X360mm printing size, big is the...
- Noise below 50 dB, wifi...
The newer FLSUN QQ-S comes with the amazing new features and when all combined makes this printer an extraordinary printer. The new QQ-S comes with the Titan Extruder and it allows the smooth feeding of filament and powerful extrusion.
The printer is set to handle the common print filaments of size 1.75mm such as PLA, PVA, ABS and wood. Apart from this, flexible materials are also supported.
The full metal frame allows for less wobble and therefore the accurate and precise prints. The printer body is made out of the stainless steel makes the less vibration and it does not feature an enclosed chamber, therefore depending on the materials used, you should take a look for toxic fumes which can be dangerous.
The FLSUN QQ-S has a non-removable bed, therefore, it can be hard to remove the prints. The printer supports the print pause and resumes function along with power out recovery which we really liked.
The printer did an amazing job in our test. The model turns out to be good and with a fine amount of details and smoothness. The printer did a great job with PLA filament while with other types of filament the model turns out to be brittle.
Overall the printing speed is really great and at the maximum, it can reach a speed of 300 mm/s but it depends on the settings and the material used as well. The more detailed the print model is the lower the speed will be.
FLSUN QQ-S 3D printer supports various connectivity methods such as USB, WiFi and SD Card. However, in the package, we didn’t get any storage device to store the print files. You will have to use your own. Since it has WiFi connectivity, the printer doesn’t need to be tethered to a computer before printing. It also features a touchscreen with few options on the screen to track the printing process and control the features of the printer.
The FLSUN QQ-S size is around 290 x 350 x 800mm and weighs around 12 kg out of the box making it big and not that portable. Also, it comes 90% pre-assembled and takes quite a good space on your desk. You also have to place it in a well-ventilated place since the printer doesn’t feature the closed chamber.
There are plenty of other known printers within this budget, however, the vast field of applications this printer provides along with impressive new features like 32-bit motherboard, cooling, titan extruder and lattice bed. Apart from this, the printer also did a great job in printing the models however the only downside we had is that the printer can’t print the larger model due to a smaller build area. Also, the print bed is non-removable making it harder to remove the model after printing.
If you’re totally okay with the above consideration and want to explore 3D printing then go for this printer.
5. REPRAPGURU DIY Prusa
- Usa customer tech support
- No soldering, cutting or drilling
- Borosilicate heat bed glass & 2004 LCD...
- Impressive 8"x8"x7" build area
- Can run 110v or 220v (comes with 110v US...
Before getting started with the performance of this device, we let you know that this printer is a DIY kit that needs to be put together all by yourself. Tinkerers love doing this stuff and DIY kits allow tinkers to build the final product from the scratch. The RepRap is another great affordable DIY kit which is very versatile in the operating system and filaments. As for the assembly, you know that this is not your typical plugin-in-and-go printer. After assembly, you will have to download the firmware and software then fine-tune the calibrations on the printer to fulfil your satisfaction.
Once we built and the calibrated the RepRapGuru 3D printer, it makes some amazingly high-quality prints. The prints tend to be smooth enough and showed fine details. The texture can be felt when you hold the prints. We cannot say that affordable machines cannot perform the best, as they certainly can. We were amazed and pleased to see how well the printer performed.
Apart from this, the printer is pretty customizable and it doesn’t just stop there. If you’re a beginner and then once you have mastered the 3D printing basics, you can then hack the printer by adding different parts and modification so that your printer can do whatever as you wish.
The ReRapGuru 3D printer operates with an SD card onboard. You don’t need cable connections or the wireless connection. All you need is the SD card loaded with the print files to start the print job. This is great as it helps to avoid having wired connections and eliminate the worry of losing connection to the computer and getting your prints destroyed. The RepRapGuru however, doesn’t have an LCD display to control or track the print progress.
The outer dimensions of the RepRapGuru are around 17” Wide, 18” Deep and 15” High making it weighs around 20 lbs. You can easily place it on your desktop table without much worry. Although it is not much of the nuisance to shift the printer since it weighs less and is not heavy.
We found out three major factors to recommend this printer to you i.e, Lower Price, Outstanding Customer Support and Hackability of the printer. It is a lot of fun to assemble this DIY Kit printer and to be honest you learn the nuts and bolt of the 3D printer. If it is your first time, yes there will be moments of frustrations while you assemble it but this is how you learn things.
Overall, the RepRapGuru DIY Prusa i3 3D Printer Kit provides a great performance considering the price point and is a great kick-starter for 3D printing enthusiasts who are very keen on building their first desktop printer.
6. FlashForge Adventurer
- Build Volume: 150 x 150 x 150 mm
- Layer Resolution: 0.1-0.4mm
- Max. Print Bed Temperature: 100°C...
- Filament Compatibility:...
- Maximum Nozzle Temperature: 230C
The FlashForge Adventurer 3 is another amazing 3D printer featuring the so-called “no levelling” mechanism, which requires a single calibration when setting up the printer. It is quite small in build volume with a 150 x 150 x 150 mm and can print in a resolution of around 100 microns. The best thing in the printer is the removable heated bed that can flex to remove the prints very easily and without scraping hassles. FlashForge Adventurer seems to be really quiet during the printer process. We also have an unexpected 2 million Pixel HD camera allowing users to monitor their prints remotely over cloud applications in real-time.
When it comes to printing, the quality, however, didn’t meet our expectation but it is somewhat lacking and is up to the par considering the price point and the other features involved. We also loved the 3D cloud platform which enhances the functions of FlashForge Adventurer 3 by offering free file storage, automatic slice print files, and gain access to a free model database.
To be precise, the machine is quite a good all-round performer with amazing handy features in places. The performance though isn’t top of the line, but there are not many printers out there competing for the price. This printer supports PLA and ABS filaments and the downside of the printer also lies in third-party filament issues. Apart from that, the printer is a solid machine and especially a very good starting point for beginners.
The adventurer3 offers multiple connectivity options and that is really amazing since a lot fewer printers do offer multiple options when it comes to connectivity. The printer supports USB, Ethernet, Cloud Printing and WiFi. Moreover, for controlling the features and to track the progress of the prints, it comes with a 2.8-inch Color LCD touchscreen which is fairly responsive.
The Adventurer is pretty small in the build volume as we told above, and therefore the printer size is smaller too. The printer size is around 388 x 340 x 405mm and weighs around 9kg which makes it compact and portable. It can snug on your desktop easily without any hassles and may save you some space too.
Closing up for summary, we would like to say that the printer has been reliable throughout testing and each time it didn’t fail. The slicer has two modes that are basic for the beginner while advanced for the experts. Apart from that, the software didn’t have any unwanted features. Although we agree that the adventurer might not be able to compete with industrial 3D printers, in terms of build size and handy features considering the price point it is an amazing printer one should get hands-on.
We recommend this printer to the newbies out there and we think that for professionals or experts, this printer might be very limiting to them.
7. ADIMLab Gantry Pro
“Instant Photo Printer“
- 90% pre-assembled 3d printer, dual...
- Titan direct extruder and dual fans...
- Lattice glass is on hot end, make it...
- Supply resume print and filament run...
- ADIMLab Gantry Pro 3d printer...
The ADIMLab 3D Printer out of the box comes pre-assembled however, you still have to mount the frame onto the base with screws yourself which are provided in the box. Apart from this, you attach a few things more like a control box, brackets and wires which are all labelled. It’s easy and quick to do and certainly doesn’t require any extra work.
After the assembly part, you have to plug it in and make sure the bed is levelled. The main thing here is the printer must be hot before you level it, therefore, using the control box, set the temperature. It sounds difficult but the instruction provided with the printer makes it easy.
Coming to the performance of the printer, the ADIMLab 3D printer can print larger design and making it an excellent choice for the one who wants to make large models. However, this feature makes the machine larger and requires extra space. If you do have extra space, then this printer is a great choice and you have more opportunities to take a variety of projects.
Although according to our test, the ADIMLab 3D printer is quite fast compared to the most other 3D printers and since the large objects take much longer to complete, the speed of this printer impressed us in the given price range. The printer also supports a wide variety of filaments including the PLA, Wood, Flexible PLA, HIPS, TPE, ABS and PC. Hence, there are no limitations between projects.
The prints turn out to be amazing and detailed. Most importantly the printer churns out the final product much faster than other printers. We do find little uneven texture is larger prints but that’s fine and the printer did a great job in the given price point.
The printer doesn’t offer much connectivity option but it offers SD card and USB. These connectivity options are more than enough for many users. Although some users do prefer Wireless connectivity, but in this printer that’s not the case. To control the features and track the progress of the print model, you get the 3-inch LCD display. Also out of the box, you do get a 4GB SD card to store the print files and print right away.
As discussed above the printer is quite large in size that is around 520 x 550 x 620mm and can weigh around 10 kg. It is quite a compact in design and snug on your desktop easily enough. However, it requires little more space since it is bigger in size.
The ADIMLab 3D Printer is easy to use the printer and is affordable. It can be a good choice even for beginners.
It features an easy assemble process and high-quality construction along with extra features like the nozzle light and motor silencer. However, we do have temperature issues with the bed but overall it creates reliable prints and is affordable. It is often a good choice for beginners, even for hobbyists and professional users.
8. Silhouette Alta 3D Printer
“Best Feature-rich Printer“
- Made in China
- Package length :13.0 "
- Package width :13.3 "
- Package height :24.1 "
This Alta 3D printer is made for crafters in mind but it also does the 3D printing just fine. The Silhouette comes with amazing software that lets you design and slice within the same software itself. With most other 3D printers, you need a software for designing and then for slicing. Therefore, with the software included with Silhouette, it makes the process much easier and convenient.
The printing part for the Alta is definitely the easiest part, you just have to send the print files over to the printer and all you have to do is wait till you get the final product. The printer managed to print a fairly good amount of detailed models and the speed was good enough too. However, we cannot say that the final print turns out to be perfect, but it does the job perfectly.
Apart from this, the Alta offers even more features like it can print custom designs that you can create from scratch. It is a versatile printer and the software is just powerful. If you’re a crafter and this 3D printer might open the 3D printing world for you. This printer also allows you to print .stl and .obj formats. You can use any standard 1.75mm PLA filament with this Alta 3D printer.
The Alta comes pre-assembled and also the bed is pre-calibrated and all you have to do is plug-n-play making it extremely easy for even the beginners. It is small and minimal set-up is required along with the adjustable print settings.
Surprisingly the printer doesn’t have much to offers in connectivity options and it only accepts the USB cable option to connect directly to the laptop or PC. Also, it lacks the display, therefore, everything from settings to tracking the progress of printing can be done from the software itself.
The printer is way too small in size when compared to the rest of the 3D printers. The print volume is 124 x 124 x 130 mm and the unit size is around 9.8 x 9 x 18.7 inches making it just weigh around 4.5 kg. It can be very easily placed anywhere on your desk or work station.
Summing up the review, we were impressed with Silhouette Alta and recommend it mostly to all who are vinyl cutting fans. However, if you are looking at this printer to do the 3D printing then it’s build volume is too small and you can print good quality miniatures only. Overall, the machine itself is well built and mostly aimed at beginners. Moreover the software allows you to get creative and it does outperform other 3D printers at this price point.
If you’re a total beginner and getting started with 3D printing and don’t want to spend much on the printer then this is surely a good choice for you to get started.