Best 3D Printers Under 500
All About The Best 3D Printers On The Planet
Are you the type of individual who likes to keep up with the latest technology? If so, there is a pretty good chance that you’ve come across 3D printers at some point or another. There are tons of great printers out there, but 3D printers are far different. As the name suggests, they’re capable of printing 3D objects. So, what are 3D printers all about and how should you go about purchasing one for yourself? You’ll be able to find out in this comprehensive guide.
What Is 3D Printing?
First and foremost, you should familiarize yourself with 3D printing. What is it? Well, it is the process in which materials are joined together under computer control. The end goal is to create a 3D object. 3D printing can be used for an abundance of purposes, but it is mostly used for additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping. Since 3D printing has become so common, new legislation has been put in place to protect consumers at large.
How 3D Printers Work
A 3D printer is capable of transforming a model of an object into a real version of the object in 3D. The 3D printer utilizes unique software to make this happen. The software converts the model in extremely thin layers, so the 3D printer can print them individually. This process gives the finished product a “stair-step” appearance, which is nothing more than mere layers stacked on top of each other.
These slices are then printed and the 3D model is complete. However, different 3D printers perform this process is different ways. For example, a 3D filament printer has a heater than melts a string of plastic, which is then distributed into a component, known as an extruder. This component operates in the same manner as a tradition printer head, moving back and forth depositing the material onto the print bed.
Some of the more expensive models utilize what is known as a resin or powder to form the finished 3D model. Of course, these models work in a similar manner as the filament printer.
Patience Is Needed
When you’re interested in buying one of the best 3D printers, you’ll need to be patient. Buying a conventional printer is pretty easy. Very little research is needed. 3D printers are much more complex, so you’ll need to put in more time and effort to research them. At the same time, you should know that many 3D printers are slow. It can take a long time to produce a single item. Therefore, patience is really a necessity when you’re buying or using a 3D printer. Nevertheless, the effort and wait will prove to be well worth it.
Each 3D printer will come with a specific building or working area. This is usually classified in XYZ dimensions. For instance, it could be 10 inches wide by 8 inches deep and 8 inches tall. If you need to print huge items, you’re going to need a printer with a larger working area. If you only intend to print small items, a smaller working area will suffice.
Number Of Extruders
The most basic 3D printers will only contain a single extruder. However, more expensive models may have two. With a single extruder, the machine will only be able to print using a single color or material at one time. With multiple extruders, it will be possible to use several colors and materials simultaneously. If you want to create very detailed works as quickly as possible, you should make the upgrade to a machine with at least two extruders.
Again, most 3D printers are very slow. However, a few machines are quicker than others. If you have the money, you should choose a printer with a speed of at least twenty mm per second. Of course, you may not be in a rush to get the job done. If not, you can likely save yourself a little bit of money by purchasing a slower machine.
Width Of Filament
When purchasing one of these printers, you’ll most like have to use a plastic filament. This is the most common filament type of consumer printers. The widths available can vary, but the most common include 1.75 and 3mm. Most modern 3D printers will use a filament with a width of 1.75mm. If it wise to stick with this type of filament, since it is easier to obtain and much cheaper.
Examining The Different Types Of 3D Printers
If you are in the market for a 3D printer you will without a doubt notice that there are a variety of different types available. Why are there so many varying types? Well, it really comes down to printer cost, printer quality, printer speed, capabilities, and user expectations. Some printers might only have the capabilities to print text, whereas other can print text and graphics. At the end of the day, it really depends on the type of printing and expectations that you have. In addition to this, the technologies and material that used to construct certain types can vary. So, which type is will best suit your need and expectations?
Stereolithography Technology (SLA) – One of the most widely known types of 3D printers available on the market are the SLA printers. These types of printers are widely known for their accuracy and precision. They have the capabilities to produce objects from a computer-generated program in just a few hours. These machines are also known for their attention to fine detail, as they can covert liquid photopolymers into solid 3D objects, using one simple layer at a time.
Digital Light Processing Technology (DLP) – DLP is one of the oldest types of printers available, as this technology was created back in 1987. These types of printers are somewhat similar to that of SLA, as they are designed to work with photopolymers. With that being said, there is one major noticeable difference between the two and that is the source of light. SLA type printers utilize an ultraviolet light. DLP models utilize more traditional light sources like arc lamps. This gives the DLP models the ability to provide users with a much more impressive printing speed.
Your 3D Software
While it is possible to download 3D models online, you’ll also want to create your own. Therefore, you’re going to need to find a 3D modeling software. There are plenty to choose from, but it is best to stick with something free and easy to use. Some of the best include 123D Make, Wings 3D, and SketchUp Make. Blender is another good choice. Be sure to experiment with several programs, until you find the one that works best for you.
10 Best 3D Printers Under 500 Dollars You Can Buy in 2018
It seems like 3D printing is going to become a serious deal. Everyone seems to be talking about it these days, which isn’t a surprise considering that these machines can be used to make all kinds of items we use in everyday life.
A regular 3D printer can be used for creating pretty much anything, from different kinds of materials. You can use it to make all sorts of plastic tools, children’s toys, or even furniture. Some 3D printers also work with ceramics, allowing you to make different cups, vases, or whatever. You can even use some printers to make cakes, cookies, and other culinary wonders.
You would think that such a machine costs millions of dollars, but the truth is that 3D printers are quite affordable these days. Of course, not all of them are cheap. Actually, you would need to do a proper research in order to find a quality 3D printer that doesn’t cost too much.
Luckily, there’s an alternative. You can let us do the hard work. Actually, we’ve already done it. We have picked out 10 products that we believe are the best 3D printers under 500 dollars that you can buy in 2018. So, here they are!
Apart from being among the cheapest 3D printers on the current market, FlashForge Finder is also pretty good at its job. In fact, the printer is pretty precise, thus capable of creating high-quality items. Its positioning precision is between 100 and 500 microns.
Another great thing about this printer is that it’s also very easy to use. Speaking of that, we need to mention that the printer features a Wi-Fi, but also a USB plug, making it very easy for you to connect it to your PC, laptop, or even a mobile device.
This printer seems suitable for use for both adults and school children. The reason is not just that its touchscreen allows you to set it up pretty easily, but also because this machine is very safe. It uses nothing but PLA, a type of thermoplastic that’s not toxic to humans. On top of that, each part of the machine that gets heated during the printing process is safely encased.
- Positioning precision of 100-500 microns
- Multicolor touchscreen
- Intuitive functions
- Wi-Fi and USB connection
- Safe to use
- Sturdily built
- You can only use it to make plastic (PLA) items
Why Should You Buy FlashForge Finder?
If you have no experience with 3D printers, FlashForge Finder seems like a perfect machine to get you introduced to this kind of technology. It’s very easy to use, super-safe, and above everything, it doesn’t cost much. All considered, this printer seems like the ideal choice for newbies!
This printer allows you to do all kinds of 3D projects made either of ABS or PLA materials. The items you create with this machine are gonna be packed with amazing details which isn’t a surprise knowing that XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 Pro is a very precise 3D printer.
It’s also very easy to use. You can set it up pretty easily, after which, all that’s left to do is lay back and let it do its magic. You can connect it with your computer easily, using either Wi-Fi or USB connection. This 3D printer can also be connected to a smartphone using wireless, for which you need to use a special application that you can download from the official website of the printer’s manufacturer, XYZprinting.
The final reason why XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 Pro is one of the best 3D printers under 500 dollars is the fact that it is very safe to use. It’s mostly because of its construction. Basically, the machine case is made of aluminum; a metal that’s great at dispersing heat, meaning that there’s no way you can get yourself burnt if you touch the printer while it’s working.
- Very precise
- Suitable for all kinds of 3D printing projects
- Easy to use
- Great at heat dispersion
Why Should You Buy XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 Pro?
Why you might be interested in getting this 3D printer is that it can be sued for all kinds of projects. So, if you feel like exploring the world of 3D printing, XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 Pro will let you express yourself.
3. Monoprice Maker Select 3D Printer v2 – Affordable Machine Capable of Dealing with All Kinds of Projects
One of the main reasons why we decided to include this machine on our list of best 3D printers under 500 dollars is that its built plate is surprisingly large. You might not think that 8 x 8 x 7 inches is too big, but we assure you that there aren’t too many 3D printers that can print larger models than Monoprice Maker Select 3D Printer v2. This includes even the printers that cost several times as much as this one.
Apart from allowing you to construct big objects, the printer also lets you choose the level of details, as well as the construction material. Monoprice Maker Select 3D Printer v2 can work with different kinds of plastic, including ABS, PLA, and their blends.
In order to get started with a project, all you got to do is put in an SD card that contains the project’s G Code files. Alternatively, you can send the instruction to the printer using your computer. You can connect the two using either a Wi-Fi feature or USB connection.
- Large build plate (8 x 8 inches) and vertical space of 7 inches
- Can be used for projects made of ABS, PLA, as well as their blends
- SD card slot
- Wi-Fi, USB connection
- The printer might not be great at heat dispersion as the previous two printers on our list
Why Should You Buy Monoprice Maker Select 3D Printer v2?
If you want a 3D printer that would allow you to create larger models that are full of tiny details, Monoprice Maker Select 3D Printer v2 might be exactly what you need. You can make all kinds of projects with it, using several different kinds of plastic.
With the build volume of 5.5 x 5.5 x 5.5 inches, this printer can’t make as large models as the previously-discussed Monoprice Maker Select 3D Printer v2. However, it’s not about the size when it comes to X-One2, but about the print quality. This machine can print PLA models with a really high level of detail.
But being precise is not the only great thing about this printer. Actually, what makes it definitely one of the best 3D printers under 500 is the fact that it’s incredibly easy to use. It comes fully assembled, with installed software. What this means is that you can start printing as soon as you unpack it!
The printer is also very safe to use, considering that its shell does not get too hot while it’s working. This means that there’s no worry that you might get injured while handling it. It also means that the printer won’t break easily. In fact, the manufacturer is giving a half-year warranty on this machine, so even if something goes wrong, they will have to fix it free of charge.
- Comes ready-for-use
- Very precise printing
- Safe and durable
- Good at dispersing heat
- Its build area could’ve been larger
Why Should You Buy QIDI TECHNOLOGY X-One2?
If you are a newbie in the world of 3D printing, you surely don’t want to waste your time assembling a printer and/or installing software. That’s why the best solution might be buying QIDI TECHNOLOGY X-One2, a ready-to-use printer that’s full of super-useful features that will help you make cool models without losing your nerves.
The main advantage of this machine is that it’s extremely easy to use. This makes it suitable for the newbies in the world of 3D printing. So, if you have absolutely no experience with this kind of printing, XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro seems like a perfect device to show you how it goes. The same is the reason why this printer might be exactly what your kid needs.
This 3D printer has adjustable software settings, which means that it can be used for different projects. The best thing is that setting it up is very easy. Everything can be done with just a few clicks of the right buttons.
Of course, when it comes to shopping such things for kids, there’s the question of how safe it actually is. You’ll be glad to hear that XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro is made of sturdy materials, with a shell that keeps the dangerous parts away from reach. It’s also very good in terms of heat distribution, meaning that there’s no way you would get burned if you touch it by accident while it’s working.
But, none of these things are actually the main reason why XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro is definitely one of the best 3D printers under 500 dollars. The real reason is that this device is unbelievable precise. In fact, its resolution is 50 microns!
- Superb precision
- Very easy to use
- Very safe
- Small build area
Why Should You Buy XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro?
Because it’s awesome! This 3D printer is guaranteed to satisfy your needs, especially if you’re a beginner or a hobbyist.
6. REPRAPGURU DIY RepRap Prusa I3 V2 – Just Assemble Your Printer & Start Using it for a Variety of 3D Printing Projects
This is actually a kit that you need to assemble on your own in order to get a fully functional 3D printer. This may sound too complicated to some, but we assure you that it’s not that difficult as it seems at the first look. You just need to follow the instructions laid out in the instructions’ manual and there won’t be any problems.
A great thing about this 3D printer is that it’s super-easy to use once you’ve assembled it. Unlike many other devices, this one does not require you to cut, drill, or in any other way alter the plastic mass before you place it inside the printer. Instead of letting you waste your time and energy, REPRAPGURU DIY RepRap Prusa I3 V2 does all the hard work on its own.
Another reason why this printer is a very good choice is that its build area is 8 x 8 inches, which is pretty large, especially when compared to other devices in the same price range. Furthermore, the 3D printer is also fairly precise, so you’re guaranteed to get impressed with the items it creates.
- Large build area
- Easy to use
- You might not find it easy to assemble this DIY 3D printer
Why Should You Buy REPRAPGURU DIY RepRap Prusa I3 V2?
Because this kit allows you to understand how 3D printers actually work. While assembling it, you will be able to see exactly which parts are used for which purpose.
The first good thing about this printer is that it has a pretty decent build area. Its dimensions are 6.3 x 6.3 x 6.3 inches, which seems pretty large. If you’re a hobbyist, you surely don’t need anything bigger than this. It’s large enough to let you make all kinds of plastic tools, toys, and whatnot. Speaking of plastic, this 3D printer uses either ABS or PLA.
Another great thing about Mecreator 2 is that it’s very precise, with its precision rating being as awesome as 50 microns. What this means is that this printer will enable you to build small objects full of tiny details.
On top of that, it very easy to use, especially thanks to the fact that you can use an SD card to upload printing instructions. Of course, you can also connect the printer directly to your computer using the USB connection.
- Decent build space
- Can work on different types of plastic
- Easy to use
Why Should You Buy GIANTARM® 3D Printer Mecreator 2?
Because there aren’t many better 3D printers out there! The mere fact that we had problems finding a single bad thing about this device shows how awesome it actually is. Everything about GIANTARM® 3D Printer Mecreator 2 seems amazing; from the fact that it makes amazing items, to the fact that its price is pretty low.
As you’ve probably already figured out on your own, XYZprinting is a company that’s a true leader in the production of 3D printers. We have already dealt with a couple of their products and now it’s time to discuss XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0, which is, without any doubt, one of the best 3D printers under 500 on today’s market.
First of all, XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 is not an ordinary 3D printer. Actually, it’s a 2-in-1 device. Not only can it be used for 3D printing, but this machine is also a real 3D scanner. Whatever you use it for, it won’t disappoint you.
When it comes to printing, XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 has a pretty decent precision rating, not to mention that it’s very easy to use. On top of that, the printer also features a pretty large build area, meaning that you will be able to deal with all a big number of different printing projects. If you buy this 3D printer, you will be able to download a large number of projects from the official site of the manufacturer, completely free of charge.
- 3D printer & 3D scanner
- Decent build area
- Decent precision
- Easy to use
Why Should You Buy XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0?
You can’t go wrong if you decide to buy one of the 3D printers made by this manufacturer. However, if you’re looking for a reliable device that can be used both for 3D printing and 3D scanning, XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 is the right one for you!
Here’s another amazing 3D printer manufactured by XYZprinting. The reason why we decided to include this model on our list of best 3D printers under 500 bucks is the fact that it comes ready-to-use. Not only is it fully assembled but the printer also has the necessary software installed. What this basically means is that you can start printing as soon as you take it out of the box.
Another reason why this 3D printer is great is that setting it up to start working on a project is very easy. There is an LCD screen with intuitive commands, meaning that you won’t have any problems starting a project. Speaking of 3D printing projects, if you buy this printer, you will be able to download them for free from the official website of XYZprinting.
The build area of this printer is 5.9 x 5.9 x 5.9 inches, which isn’t too large but should be sufficient for most 3D printing projects. In fact, if you’re a hobbyist, you probably don’t have too much need for a larger device.
- Ready-to-use 3D printer
- Intuitive controls
- Decent size of the build area
- Only PLA plastic can be used
Why Should You Buy XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0?
If you are new to the world of 3D printing, XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0 will ensure nothing goes wrong with your projects. You will be able to use it right after you unwrap it from the box, with plenty of printing projects available for you to download at the website of the manufacturer.
The first reason why SainSmart x Anet A8 Prusa i3 is one of the best 3D printers under 500$ is that it has a very large build area. In fact, its total build volume is 8.66 x 8.66 x 9.45, inches, which is much more than what most of its competitors have to offer.
Another great thing about SainSmart x Anet A8 Prusa i3 is that it’s compatible with all kinds of materials. In fact, you can use plastic filaments, such as those made of TPU, ABS, or ABS, but also polymers like dissolvable PVA, or even wood!
The final reason why SainSmart x Anet A8 Prusa i3 seems like one of the best 3D printers at affordable price is that it’s very sturdy and durable. In fact, the printer comes with a 6-month warranty given by the manufacturer. But, the chances are high that even after the warranty is gone, the printer is going to work fine.
- Large build space
- Compatible with many different types of filaments
- Built to last for a long time
- Newbies might not find it easy to operate this 3D printer
Why Should You Buy SainSmart x Anet A8 Prusa i3?
The answer to this question is that SainSmart x Anet A8 Prusa i3 is a real bang for the buck. You probably won’t be able to find a better 3D printer at such affordable price.
There you have it – our top 10 picks for the best 3D printers under 500 dollars. We are sure that if you choose to buy one of these, you won’t get disappointed. Each of these printers is reasonably precise, meaning that you will be able to make awesome objects with a high level of detail.
On top of that, all of these printers are made by reliable manufacturers, who used nothing but top quality materials for their constructions. What this means is that even though these printers are cheap, they aren’t cheaply made. You can be sure that they’re gonna serve you well for a long time.