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Best 3D Printers Under $500

Best 3D Printers Under $500 | 3D Printing Spot

Updated by

William Stone

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July 12, 2021

Are you thinking about getting started with 3D printing? We present you with a batch of excellent printers under $500 currently available in the market today.

The 3D printer market has received tremendous changes and growth over the past decade. As a result, the barrier to obtaining 3D printers has dropped, with various printers now costing under $500. However, not all printers are made equal; that’s why we present you with the best 3D printers.

Getting started with 3D printing can be daunting, with many printers available in the market. Currently, you’re able to get yourself a budget-friendly printer with features once found in high-end 3D printing models only. However, if you’re looking for top-performing 3D printer machines at affordable prices and several advanced features, you’re at the right place.

Additive manufacturing technology has dramatically impacted the manufacturing world for the better. But do you desire to create your art pieces, shoes, figurines, or even keychains? Owning a 3D printer can save you a lot of money and time in the long run. This article presents you with a batch of excellent 3D printers and everything you need to know about 3D printers under $500. In addition, we consider 3D printers from reliable and proven vendors and customer reviews on the printers.

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Factors to consider when choosing 3D printers under $500

You might be wondering why we’re first listing factors you need to consider when buying 3D printers. Well, before getting 3D printers below $500, you may want to consider some factors to help you choose the best printer that suits your budget and needs.

How much do you want to spend? Should you get the filament (FDM) or resin (SLA)? What 3D printer should you get? These are some of the questions you may want to ask yourself before getting yourself a 3D printer. Here are some of the factors you’ll consider before getting started with 3D printing.

3D printer application

The most vital factor to consider is the core application of the 3D printer for your desired purpose. For example, is the 3D printer for household use, specialized applications such as dental, hobby purpose, or industrial prototyping?

Different 3D printing technologies are suitable and specialized for various applications. Therefore, choosing the perfect 3D printer for your specific applications will enable you to get a successful printing experience.

Resolution

Resolution tends to affect the printing of tiny features directly. Therefore, a 3D printer with high resolution will effectively print the most miniature features and allow a smooth surface finish. DLP or SLA printers possess the most satisfactory resolution of about 20 microns. However, the resolution tends to change over time as technology undergoes continuous research.

Compatibility of materials

The material to be used must possess the appropriate properties needed to perform following the designed specifications. Choosing a 3D printing technology that offers printing materials similar to the printer’s application is the best option.

Cost and availability of materials

The material properties are different for every 3D printing technology. Therefore, analyzing the part-types you’ll need for future 3D printing and the required material is crucial to understand the technology that offers material best suited for your application.

The cost of material is also an essential factor to consider when purchasing a 3D printer. It would be best if you considered whether the printer could increase the prototyping exercise’s cost. An example of a material that costs higher is the powdered material used in SLM or DMLS printing technologies. In addition to being costly, powdered materials also exhibit limited shelf life.

Build volume

Build volume is the printing space in your printer. When selecting a 3D printer, keep in mind the most common sizes you are going to print. Experts indicate that buying an extra-large printer to accommodate all sizes may not be a viable option. The cost of 3D printers increases when you opt for a larger printer, and the quality of the delicate and smaller prints may also be tampered with when you use an extra-large printer.

What are the best 3D printers under $500?

Anycubic Photon S 3D Printer

Anycubic is a well-known company for its FDM printers. Anycubic Photon S 3D printer comes with a DLP technology, which captures the attention of many users. Moreover, being an updated version of the Anycubic Photon, it operates powerful UV rays to rectify plastic resin layers.

The printer is highly rated on Amazon, thanks to its quiet printing and high 3D print quality. It possesses a UV matrix and 10W more power. It also has a 4.5 x 2.5 x 6.4 inches print space. The printer is compatible with a photon slicer software and can be connected with a USB cord, not forgetting the 12-month warranty.

Pros

  • High print speed
  • The presence of an offline printing function
  • Has an exceptional printing quality
  • The printer comes when pre-assembled, thus great for complete beginners
  • It’s easy to configure and use

Cons

  • It can only be connected through a USB cord
  • It lacks an automatic bed leveling
  • Its housing tends to be flimsy

Features and uses

The Anycubic Photon S 3D printer is best suited for making small complex structures such as figurines and jewelry because of the printer’s precise printing and high resolution.

Compared to the original Photon printer that experienced the wobbling issue, the Photon S 3D printer has overcome it by offering an enhanced surface quality and stability.

It’s safe for use in small offices because it has a carbon air filter that helps eliminate odor and dust particles from the 3D printer.

Its settings are easy to control through the extremely responsive color TFT touchscreen, making it an extremely user-friendly 3D printer. In addition, it has an auto-leveling feature that helps ease out tasks for the user.

The 3D printer can print detailed geometric models with 2560 x 1440 resolution at a remarkable speed. You can get the Photon S 3D printer at Anycubic site at an affordable price of $ 389.00 from the previous price of $479.00.  

HIEHA SQ 1

Are you looking for a DLP printer with precise results? Then, HIEHA SQ1 will definitely amaze you. The DLP 3D printer is a powerful machine that exhibits several outstanding functionalities.

HIEHA SQ1 3D printer varies between 0.02 to 0.2 mm, and its average speed per hour ranges from 10 to 40 mm per hour. The machine can easily be connected through WIFI, network cable, or USB. In addition, the printer is compatible with ChiTu slicers.

The 3D printer utilizes direct UV light to cure the resin. It is designed with a 115 x 65 x 100 mm build volume that is compact. In addition, the machine’s layer resolution is incomparable.

Pros

  • The printer is highly precise
  • Controlled by a remote
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Reliable
  • Factory calibrated
  • It has an automatic bed leveling
  • It’s compatible with ChiTu slicers

Cons

  • Its build volume is less compared to other 3D printers
  • Relatively high consumable cost.

Features and uses

HIEHA SQ1 is an excellent choice for small office or home use because it offers a quiet operation.

It allows the production of complex geometry structures with smooth surface finishes as well as precise details. It is commonly used by dentists and jewelry making where high accuracy of the small matter is needed. If you’re looking for a 3D printer for your small business, this printer is an excellent asset choice for you.

The 3D printer comes fully assembled, which allows the user to start printing within a few minutes after unboxing.

The machine has a VAT cleaning and an automatic resin mixing which eases the cleaning task to provide excellent results.

It also comes with an acrylic cover and a metal body that provides safety for kids or beginner users.

In addition, the printer allows recovery of power outages; it can stop or pause 3D printing in case of a power failure and resumes from where it stopped. You can get the HIEHA SQ1 3D printer at Treatstock.

Qidi Tech X- Pro

Qidi Tech is a Chinese manufacturer of X Pro, which comes with unique features that might astonish you. The machine’s technology is simplified and is simple to set up. Nevertheless, the printer can be fixed on any type of desk due to its compact nature.

The Tech X-Pro 3D printer has 230 x 150 x 150 mm print space, 100mm print speed per second, and a layer resolution that varies between 100 to 500 microns.

The printer is designed with an aluminum frame that minimizes vibration by offering sturdiness. It can be connected through a USB port, WIFI, SD card, or Ethernet.

Pros

  • The X-Pro 3D printer is designed with a magnetic build plate
  • It’s easy to assemble
  • It’s reliable
  • Produces above-average 3D prints in terms of quality
  • It’s affordable

Cons

  • Its proprietary slicer is not advanced
  • It has a manual bed leveling

Features and uses

It is designed with a dual extruder that makes the machine stand out from other 3D printers in the market. You can also print using two different colors using the X-Pro 3D printer.

Its enclosed chamber provides safety making the 3D printer ideal for home use and around children. In addition, the machine allows the use of sticky materials for 3D prints by maintaining a consistent temperature.

The printer also has a 6 mm flexible aviation-grade print bed. A magnet keeps the aluminum print bed in one place when printing. The plate can be bent to allow easy removal of the 3D prints.

It’s designed with an air blow turbofan, enabling the 3D printer to cool down the models from four different sides. You can get the Qidi Tech X-Pro 3D printing machine on Amazon.

Creality Ender 3 3D Printer

Creality Ender 3 printer has been enhanced from the Ender 2 3D printing machine, with enhanced 3D print output.

The printer is modestly designed with a 220 x 220 x 250 mm build area and a nozzle temperature of about 250 degrees Celsius. Its heated bed is quick and responsive and can heat up to 110 degrees Celsius.

The printer allows easy PLA and ABS printings, although the TPU flexible prints are not quite perfect. Nevertheless, it’s a superb 3D printer to start with as a beginner who looks forward to fulfilling your creative dreams.

The Ender 3 3D printing machine mainly targets new users, small businesses, teachers, and students. However, its affordable price makes it an excellent option for beginners and hobbyists looking forward to experimenting and having a satisfying experience with 3D printing.

Pros

  • It has a print resume feature
  • Offers great packaging
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Offers poor TPU printing
  • It lacks a glass bed
  • Presence of few test filaments

Features and uses

The newer version of the Ender 3 printer is fused with a plug to help prevent thermal runaway. In addition, it has a motion system design that is unique to offer quieter printhead travel.

The printer also comes with a resume functionality that enhances functionality by being a great saver for power outages. You can get the Creality Ender 3 printer on Amazon for $169.00.

JG Aurora A5S

Are you looking for a DIY 3D printer kit with a sleek design and a large build volume? Look no further! An A5S printer is a great option you might want to consider. The A5S 3D printer is an updated version of the A3 3D printer manufactured by JGAurora.

The JGAurora company came up with the updated version following consumer’s feedback on the previous model. The A5S printer comes in a 2.3-inch full-color touch screen and ample print space besides its power recovery abilities.

Its layer resolution lies between 0.1 to 0.3 mm, with a printing speed of 150 mm per second. Its nozzle’s diameter varies between 0.4 to 1.75 mm. The printer can easily be connected through a USB.

The 3D printer comes with one extruder and operates on FDM technology. You’ll be able to print a 3D structure with a maximum volume of about 305 x 305 x 320 mm.

Pros

  • Relatively easy to set up
  • Its touchscreen comes in intuitive color
  • It has a metal frame
  • Allows power recovery

Cons

  • It is not easy to operate
  • The machine is a bit noisy
  • It has an open frame

Features and uses

The machine’s touchscreen is user-friendly, and its ‘extrude’ option enables easy loading and unloading of the filament. The ‘fan,’ on the other hand, allows the cooling fan speed to be adjusted.

The A5S 3D printer allows the user to control several settings, from relocating the extruder to printing and pre-heating the print bed.

It allows you to 3D print using various filaments. Some of the filaments used include Wood, ABS, HIPS, PETG, and PLA.

Even though the machine is partially assembled, it is easy to assemble and set up and does not require any expertise.

It comes with a filament resume and over-detection feature that automatically pauses the printer if there is a power outage or in case the material runs out. It then continues printing from where it stopped when the power recovers or the filament is reloaded with materials.

The 3D printer possesses a print tolerance of about 0.2, and this feature makes it stand out from other similar 3D printers. You can find it on Amazon for $349.00.

Monoprice Voxel

Are you a new 3D printer user and inexperienced with 3D printing? Worry not because the Voxel 3D printer is designed just for you. Voxel is one of the 3D printers that has gained an excellent reputation from its consumers for the reliable 3D printing that it offers to its user-base.

The printer utilizes a 0.4 mm diameter nozzle and a 150 x 150 x 150 mm build volume. Its 3D printing speed ranges between 10 to 100 mm per second.

It comes with a remarkable touch screen with minimal setup requirements, facilitating easy operation during the 3D printing process, and more ideal for beginners.

The printer’s layer resolution ranges from 0.05 to 0.4 mm, and it provides an intuitive user interface through its 2.8 inches touchscreen.

Pros

  • Provides reliable 3D printing experience
  • Supports several materials
  • It comes with a heated removable bed
  • Relatively minimal setup required

Cons

  • Small 3D printing space

Features and uses

The Voxel 3D printing machine is designed especially for new and inexperienced users due to its ease of use, plug-and-play features, and advanced features.

Safe for 3D printing both in educational institutes and at home due to its enclosed chambers or frames.

The printer’s nozzle can easily be changed in a few seconds without the help of any tools. In addition, its filament sensor pauses printing when the filament runs out and resumes when the filament is refilled.

It can operate as a standalone printer due to its internal memory of 8GB, which also helps it store files without a memory card.

The machine also allows 3D printing with filaments that are temperature-sensitive such as the ABS. Working with temperature-sensitive filaments is achieved by the enclosed chambers, which maintain a consistent temperature.

You’re able to remotely monitor the whole 3D printing process through a Polar Cloud app and an inbuilt HD camera.

The 3D printer is flexible to allow easy removal of 3D models. It also comes with a heated print bed that enhances adhesion and minimizes warping. Check out the Monoprice Voxel printing machine on Amazon at $399.99 and save $50.00.  

Artillery Sidewinder X1 V4

Consumer reviews indicate that the X1 V4 3D printer keeps updating new features since the launching of X1 in 2018. X1 V4 being the fourth successor, it has a professional look, not forgetting its sleek element.

Its build volume is 300 x 300 x 400 mm, accompanied by a printing speed of 150 mm per second. It's quiet operation makes it suitable for home use, with many customer reviews describing the 3D printer as quiet and provides quality prints.

Pros

  • The machine comes pre-assembled
  • It comes with a filament run-out detector.
  • Offers quiet/silent operation
  • Provides quick heating of the build plate

Cons

  • It has a shoddy filament holder

Features and uses

The machine is suitable for 3D printing at home, schools, small offices, and libraries due to its ultra-quiet stepper drivers that allow silent operation.

The printer’s settings can easily be controlled through its color touchscreen with a 3.5 inch.

It’s designed with large ribbon cables accompanied by an extruder to provide adequate flexibility for the 3D printing of large parts. This feature makes the 3D printer stand out from others.

It minimizes warping and offers better adhesion due to its built ceramic glass plate that heats up fast by utilizing the AC heating mode.

You can find the Sidewinder X1 V4 printer at Amazon for $419.00.

Creality CR-10S Pro

CR 10S Pro 3D printing machine is based on FDM technology and has been advanced from the CR 10S version. It comes semi-assembled with a 0.4 mm diameter nozzle.

The 3D printer has a 300 x 300 x 400 mm build volume, an aluminum frame, and an inbuilt steel build plate. In addition, the machine can be connected through a USB and an SD card.

Pros

  • It comes with a filament detector
  • Has three power supplies
  • Its print feature can automatically resume
  • Provides easy leveling
  • Compact, intuitive touchscreen to aid in communication with the printer

Cons

  • Its extruder placement is poor

Features and uses

Its outstanding feature includes using a third-party filament, and 3D printing can be completed with Flexibles, PLA, PETG, and ABS.

The CR-10S Pro 3D printing machine is designed with auto and assisted bed leveling features, which gives it an edge over other 3D printers. Its hot end can be easily positioned in 16 different points allowing automatic leveling of the bed.

Its 12-volt power supply helps increase the hot end heating and builds the plate. In addition to the power supply from the heated bed, there’s a stepper control that lowers the level of noise and a control board to enhance accuracy.

The printer’s Bowden extruder allows the use of Carbon, ABS, Nylon, and PC. It also has a reliable double gear extrusion mechanism that helps smoothen the filament feeding. You can find the CR- 10 S on the Creality shop for $485.

Monoprice Maker Ultimate

If you’re looking for a 3D printing machine with an affordable and professional look and of high quality, the Maker Ultimate from Monoprice company is definitely a choice to consider.

The Monoprice Maker Ultimate printer has a professional look accompanied by a black anodized metal frame. The machine also allows you to add a cover if needed, which makes it reasonably practical.

It has a 20-micron layer resolution and is compatible with user-friendly software such as Cura, Simplify3D, ReplicatorG, and Repetier Host. In addition, the printer can be connected with a USB and SD card.

It has an exceptional 3D printing speed of 55 mm per second, and its build volume is 200 x 200 x 115 mm.

Pros

  • Its print bed is removable
  • It has a sturdy frame
  • It has a flexible design
  • Presence of enclosed chambers

Cons

  • Its build volume is small
  • The machine is a bit noisy

Features and uses

The 3D printing machine is designed with an inbuilt LED light to enhance visibility inside its enclosed chamber.

The printer’s enclosed chamber allows maintenance of constant temperatures inside and provides safety for use around children. The inside of the printer can be accessed through the front door or the top.

Its covers can easily be removed for consistent airflow to simultaneously cool 3D prints for accuracy. It also has a filament detector that enables easy replacement of filament once it runs out during 3D printing.

Another great feature is the heated print bed that allows better adhesion of layers and will allow you to work with several filaments, such as some metals.

Although the printer has an integrated extruder, the nozzles can still be easily swapped within seconds due to its quick-release feature.

Check out the Monoprice Maker Ultimate at Amazon at $399.99 and save $100.00.  

Monoprice MP 10 3D Printer

Despite the MP Maker 3D printing machine replicating the Wanhao Duplicator D9 in several ways, it’s based on FDM technology and has many offers to its users. For example, in addition to its aluminum frame design, it comes pre-assembled.

The printer’s speed is 70 mm per second, and its build volume is 300 x 300 x 400 mm. The machine is also compatible with Cura.

Pros

  • Relatively large build volume.
  • Presence of an auto bed leveling
  • It has a sturdy frame
  • It’s user-friendly

Cons

  • It has an open frame
  • Its 3D printing speed is low
  • Not designed for tricky materials

Features and uses

The main target for the MP Maker Pro 3D printing machine is mainly designers, institutes that teach their students about 3D printing, small businesses that need large build volume, and 3D print hobbyists.

The printer detects when the filament runs out and resumes the 3D printing process once the filament is replaced. In addition, its LCD screen ensures an intuitive user interface.

The machine is designed with an auto-calibration and a removable magnetic print bed that eases out the task for new users.

It can create functional prototypes and parts for various industries such as the jewelry and aerospace industries.

Printing with third-party filament is possible because the MP Maker Pro 3D printer is compatible with PETG, ABS, and PLA.

Get the MP 10 3D printer at Amazon for $359.99.

Anycubic Chiron

Anycubic Chiron is a DIY desktop 3D printing machine that stands out from its competitors due to its large build area. If your goal is to format 3D prints, you’re likely to fall in love with this 3D printer. Chiron 3D printer has a single nozzle with 0.4 mm diameter and a print speed that ranges between 20 to 100 mm per second.

Apart from being fast, the printer offers decent accuracy and is based on FDM technology. Its sleek yellow and black extruded frame body is made of aluminum. Its accuracy ranges from 0.05 to 0.3 mm, with a 400 x 400 x 450 mm build volume. The printer can be connected through a memory card or a data cable.

Pros

  • It has a large build volume
  • It’s compatible with a wide variety of materials
  • It has a tidy, neat, and sleek design

Cons

  • Not beginner-friendly
  • Requires expertise to assemble
  • Customer reviews indicate falling screws when unwinding

Features and uses

Allows 3D printing of large volume structures at relatively low cost compromising the 3D print’s quality. If you’re a designer, you’ll have plenty of space to play around with various designs.

The printer comes partially assembled with an instruction manual to help you assemble. It also has a build plate with an ultra-base coating to keep the structure firmly attached to its print bed.

It enables 3D printing of several filaments, including TPU, HIPS, ABS, PETG, and Wood. you can find the Chiron 3D printer on their Anycubic shop for $389.00.

Anycubic Photon Mono UV resin

Are you a 3D printing enthusiast who wants to obtain smaller prints with extremely great details? Worry no more Photon Mono UV resin printer is a perfect fit for you. This 3D printer will allow you to create detailed miniatures.

The printer uses UV and is enclosed with a UV-blocking top cover to offer you adequate safety during the 3D printing process. It also has a fast printing speed and large build volume. The printer is fairly priced, and you can find it on Amazon at $259.99.

Pros

  • Allows great detailing and creativity
  • Large build volume
  • High-precision printing

Cons

  • Not designed for large 3D prints

Monoprice 121711 Select Mini 3D Printer v2

While getting a low-cost 3D printing machine can often result in a poor printer, this printer is the complete opposite. It is already calibrated and pre-assembled from the factory. All you need to do is run a quick check to verify whether the print bed is appropriately leveled or has shifted during shipping.

This printer is compact for any type of desk and can be connected with WI-FI connectivity. In addition, the 3D machine is compatible with Mac and PC. It’s compatible with software such as Repetier and Cura.

The 3D printer has a build area of 120 x 120 x 120 mm, a speed of 55 mm per second, and a resolution that ranges between 100 to 300 microns. It also works with several types of filaments, including PLA and ABS. You can check out its price at Amazon.

Pros

  • It comes pre-assembled and calibrated
  • The ability to use open-source software allows you to explore your 3D printing experience.

Cons

  • Its heated bed is not protected
  • Notable temperature differences at the printer’s hot end

Features and uses

The 3D printer’s heated build plate is accompanied by a wide variety of extruder temperatures, making it compatible with any filament.

It also has a compact desktop design that features a small footprint with an open frame design, making the 3D printing machine great for any desk.

FAQs

What is the best 3D printer? A closed-frame or a closed-frame?

When choosing a 3D printing machine, it’s essential to understand your needs. Both 3D printing frames have their advantages and drawbacks.

The closed-frame 3D printers have the advantage of reducing the operating noise and the odor that comes from the melted filament. They also provide some protection, making them ideal for home use around children, pets, or small offices. However, their downside is that they tend to have a smaller build volume and are constricted than the open-frame 3D printing machines.

The open-framed 3D printers, on the other hand, are designed with a larger build volume than closed-frame 3D printers. As a result, they emit odors when certain filaments are melted, and most of them are noisy. They also tend to offer very little protection for an individual likely to touch the hot extruder.

The 3D printing experts advise buyers to pay attention and recognize the potential negatives based on individual models, as they may vary.

What’s the importance of 3D printing?

3D printing is nowadays widely utilized in various businesses and industries, and it is also becoming more popular among hobbyists who are 3D enthusiasts and like exploring. Industries and companies that have taken this route claim that 3D printers are worth their investments. 3D printers are widely preferred to other industrial methods due to their cost, speed, and flexibility benefits that make them superior.

About THE AUTHOR

William Stone

William Stone

William has spent 20 plus years in the custom manufacturing industry as a COO, CEO and Owner of various custom product businesses. His experience has exposed him to all types of manufacturing from die cast, die struck, injection molding, CNC machining, laser etching, engraving and of course 3D printing.

Learn more about William Stone

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Best 3D Printers Under $500

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