We are here today to see what are the best 3d printers under 500 $. The 3D printing market has seen a number of changes over the last couple of years. Within only the period of a decade, the barrier to entry has dropped from well over a few thousand dollars to under $200 in some cases. But, all entry and mid-level printers are not made equal. We have a few suggestions for prospective buyers and other information regarding options not located on this list.
To veterans of the 3D printing scene, this list may look like it lacks a few of the most frequently advocated printers for newcomers. That is by design. Our list only believes printers with tested components from proven, reliable sellers. That is the reason why we picked the Monoprice MP Mini v2 as our top choice –it is reliable and easy to use. We have prevented any printer from using a frame primarily manufactured from interlocking acrylic bits and whatever historically unreliable.
The Best 3D Printers Under 500 $ in 2021
The Most Bang for Your Buck: Monoprice MP Mini V2
- The heated build plate and wide range of extruder temperatures allow this printer to work with any type of filament, from basic filaments, such as ABS and PLA, to more advanced materials
- Compact Desktop Design: Featuring a small footprint and basic, open frame design, this 3D printer is compact enough for any desk.
- Ready to Print: Unlike most other low-cost 3D printers, this printer ships fully assembled and has already been calibrated at the factory.
- We even include a MicroSDTM card with preinstalled models, so you can start printing right out of the box!
- PC and Mac compatible. Compatible with Cura, Repetier, and other software.Max. Extruder Temperature: +482°F (+250°C)
- NOTE: Check User Manual in Technical Specification before use. Maximum Power Consumption 120 Watts
- Build Volume: 103.8 cu-in (1728 cc)
- Sturdy construction
- Relatively easy to use for its price
- Good customer support
- Huge community
- Small build volume
- Limited materials selection
- Flexible materials infeasible
- Fully manual calibration
The Monoprice Mini v2 is a ubiquitous entry-level printer nowadays, and at this price, it is not hard to see why. While its construct volume is one of the smallest on this listing, the Mini’s equilibrium isn’t understated. Equipped with a full metal frame and a stout base, the MP Mini is rock-solid compared to most of the less expensive machines at its price range that is inclined to make heavier use of plastic frame components, which makes for a leading out-of-box celebrity. Additionally, being from Monoprice provides the owner access to their excellent customer service and warranty.
The Monoprice Mini community is well established. It can offer lots of advice on simple modifications that increase the system’s longevity, to sources on replacement parts and enhancements. Its low-powered heatbed means it’s restricted to low-warp substances, and its distant extruder means elastic materials could be quite a challenge too. But, its primary goal is to print with PLA (or PolyLactic Acid), a secure, environmentally friendly material, and in that regard, it absolutely shines.
Biggest Build Area for the Price: Creality Ender 3 Pro
- REMOVABLE BUILD SURFACE PLATE: Provide all-round protection to your 3D printer build plate and ensure consistent temperature throughout the build surface. Easy to remove the printing models after cooling.
- SAFE POWER SUPPLY: Ender 3 Pro comes with a UL Certified power supply, protecting your printer from unexpected power surges, that can heat the hot bed to 110℃ in just 5 minutes.
- RESUME PRINT FUNCTION: Ender 3 Pro can resume printing from the last recorded extruder position after suffering unexpected power outages.
- SEMI-ASSEMBLED KIT: This easy-to-setup kit comes partially assembled, allowing you to learn about the basic construction of 3D printers as you finish putting it together. A fun STEM educational experience in mechanical engineering and electronics.
- WHAT YOU GET: Ceality Ender 3 Pro 3D pinrter, lifetime technical assistance and 24 hours professional customer service.
- Relatively large build volume for its size
- Quick and easy print removal
- Large community
- Wide variety of aftermarket upgrades
- Fairly rigid construction
- Must be assembled
- Bad customer support
- Quality Control not great
- Hit and miss out of the box performance
The Creality Ender 3 Pro is an update of the popular Ender lineup of budget printers, with a few modifications that enhance its reliability, and that in reality, make it eligible for this listing. The accession of a name-brand power supply means that this device’s power output has been examined and certified to be steady for home use, which offers a fair bit of calmness of mind over its predecessor.
Additionally, it adds a couple of welcome stability features and a magnetic build surface that can be removed from the printer to ease print removal. However, it is worth noting that Creality’s offerings have had quality control issues before, like parts coming damaged or tolerance mistakes from the factory, which makes for a challenging assembly.
The fact that it has to be assembled is also worth mentioning. While by all accounts not a particularly challenging construct, the Creality Ender 3 Guru doesn’t arrive from a fully assembled state and does need to be constructed by the user before usage is possible.
Big Build Area and Great Features: Monoprice MP10
- Easily Accessible Magnetic Extruder: The removable magnetic carriage provides an easy launch point for changing to an extruder system of your choice. Working on your machine is more convenient than ever.
- 2 Screw Hotend Removal: Access to your hotend is easy, making quick changes to the tool head possible. Switch from a 0.4mm to a 0.6mm nozzle without the hassle of actually changing the nozzle. Quick, convenient, and easy.
- Heated, Removable, & Flexible Print Bed: Capable of easily hitting 100 degree C, this large 300 x 300 print bed makes removing prints easier than ever. The magnetic platform also makes cleaning and removing the bed itself simple and straightforward.
- Assisted Bed Level Sensor: Leveling is easy with the level sensor. It will detect differences in the bed, which allows you to set an accurate Z offset to make first layers a breeze.Filament Diameter: 1.75mm
- Dual Y Gantry: The dual Y gantry provides a stable base for the printbed, minimizing wobble found in single Y gantry models of 3D printers. This results in cleaner prints and prevents the need to level over and over again.
- Massive build volume for the price
- Touchscreen interface
- Automatic calibration
- Removable magnetic bed
- Flexible materials more feasible
- Requires a large dedicated space
- Relatively small community
- Maximum print speeds are much slower
The MP10 is a feature 3D printer with a 300×300 heated, flexible, and removable steel spring build plate, and an all-metal extruder. It has an assisted flat sensor on its own magnetic extruder meeting, allowing easy changes to the offset in the menu to get easy and perfect first layers. Wiring isn’t a matter, as all of the components are already prewired and ready to go, together with the links hidden in the cable management convention. Above all, prints are crisp and clean.
The magnetic carriage provides a simple launch point for changing to an extruder system of your choice. Working on your machine is more convenient than ever.
Accessibility to a hot end is simple, making rapid adjustments to the instrument head potential. Switch from a 0. 4mm to a 0. 6mm nozzle without the hassle of actually altering the nozzle. Quick, easy, and simple.
Capable of easily hitting 100C, this big 300 x 300 print mattress makes removing prints easier than ever. The magnetic stage also makes cleaning and taking away the mattress itself simple and straightforward. It will detect gaps in the bed, which allows you to set a precise Z counter to make the very first layers a breeze.
The double Y gantry provides a stable base for the print mattress, minimizing wobble utilized in simple Y gantry models of 3D printers. This leads to cleaner prints and prevents the need to amount over and over again. Please see Moonrise’s site and search for’MP10′ Or Type part number 34437 from the search bar to see the product page and get the latest software and manual.
Best Resolution and Surface Finish: Anycubic Photon
- Ultra Fast Printing Resin 3D Printer, ANYCUBIC Photon Mono SE’s printing speed is 4X faster than ANYCUBIC photon, comes with a 6.08'' 2K Monochrome LCD and only takes 1 second per layer exposure to cure resin, rapid prototyping greatly improved printing efficiency and saved more time. Mono LCD has a much longer lifespan,which is 4 times longer than RGB color screen and can print over 2000 hours
- High Precision and Strong Stability, This LCD 3d printer adopts new upgraded matrix parallel light source, able to spread the UV light more evenly across the LCD, working together with dual Z-axis guide rail structure, the printing details and precision are greatly improved and the quality of printed models will blow your mind, it's a great sla 3d printer for printing cartoon characters and miniatures, etc
- Sturdy Build Quality: Metal frame and CNC machined aluminum body makes Photon Mono Se a very formidable machine, with sanded aluminum platform, greatly enhance the adhesion between platform and prints and enables consistent printing success, and double built-in active carbon maximally absorb the fume of resin and offer you a refreshing printing experience
- WIFI Control and Easy Leveling: Photon Mono SE adopts Anycubic 3d app through wifi, which can remote control your print operations, monitor printing progress and adjust print settings at any time. Our resin 3d printer comes with 90% pre-assembled, and leveling can be done in few simple steps; 1, loosen the platform, 2, Click "Tools" - "Move Z" - "Home" icon and auto adjusts, 3, Tighten the screw on the right side of the platform.Then ready for your printing
- Better Heat Dissipation System, Anycubic Photon Mono SE 's UV Cooling System has exclusive UV heat dissipation channel, efficient cooling, improving printing quality and service life. All ANYCUBIC 3D printers backed with lifetime technical support and 24 hours professional customer service
- Astonishingly great detail
- Easy to use
- Low maintenance
- Does not require host computer for operation
- Good manufacturer support
- Toxic resin fumes and byproducts.
- Complex post-processing
- Care is needed in handling
- Resin has a high up-front cost
The AnyCubic Photon is notably different from the other printers on this listing. The other machines listed here belong to the FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) family of 3D printers, meaning that they use melted plastic pushed via a heated nozzle. The Photon falls under the LCD subset of this DLP (Digital Light Projection) class ) It utilizes light projected via an LCD to harden a vat of light-sensitive resin selectively.
This enables the Anycubic Photon to print at detail amounts anywhere from four to ten times higher than regular filament-based printers, but this does come with downsides. The main being that the liquid resin in its raw condition is quite poisonous, and thus, any photo-resin printer needs proper ventilation (preferably active in the form of a fan duct) constantly. But when looking for a printer to make figurines, jewelry, or for additional extremely high-detail functions, the Photon is certainly the best pick on this list. So, this easily can be one of the best 3d printers under 500 $.
Best For Speed and Reliability: Monoprice Maker Ultimate 2
- AUTO BED LEVELING: Eliminate the hassles of bed leveling with screws and springs. The built-in inductive sensor can automatically level the print bed, saving you times and aggravation. let makes the print bed absolutely level, ensuring that the first print layers is properly adhere to the build plate. Additionally, each printer is pre-levelled at factory before it ships.
- HEATED AND REMOVABLE GLASS BUILD PLATE: The glass build plate provides the flattest surface possible, ensuring that the first print layers are flawless. The build plate can be heated to 100C, which helps first layer adhesion with materials such as ASA and ABS.
- FILAMENT DETECTOR: With the Ultimate 2, you have no need to worry about running out of filament in the middle of a print. The built-in filament sensor detects when the filament has been consumed and automatically pauses the print, allowing you to load a fresh spool of filament to finish your print. Maximum Power Consumption is 200 watts
- FULLY ENCLOSED: Environmental factors can cause prints to curl, split, or otherwise fail, especially when working with more temperature sensitive filaments. The full enclosure helps maintain internal temperatures, ensuring that drafts, air conditioning, and other environmental factors have no effect on the print.
- INTERNAL LIGHTING: The full enclosure has the negative effect of making it more difficult to see your print, without using a flashlight or other spot lighting. The Ultimate 2 features a row of LED lights inside the enclosure, allowing you to easily monitor your print.
- Significantly faster than every other printer on this list
- Stable calibration
- Takes up relatively little space
- Simple initial calibration
- Material flexibility
- Reduced overall build volume
- Limited upgrade paths
- Lacks some comfort features
Yes, this is the third Monoprice printer within this list. In equity, Monoprice just serves as a go-between with those printers — in reality, all 3 devices on that are rebrands of other machines with one of two Chinese companies. Monoprice does feature heavily in this article due to its quality management requirements, customer support, and use of safety-rated power elements, unlike a lot of comparable brands.
I must also acknowledge a personal point of potential bias, namely the Maker Ultimate is my personal machine of choice. As of writing this article, my private Maker Ultimate has run for about 590 hours of printing. This 3d printer producing everything from trash cans, greeting cards, phone cases, model planes, and, most commonly, additional 3D printers. While it lacks automatic bed leveling, calibration is accomplished by means of a simple adjustment protocol. Due to its solid structure, this calibration tends to remain in place more than most of its rivals at this budget.
In addition, the Monoprice Maker Ultimate has one advantage over every other printer within this list: Speed. Owing to its design, a so-called”QuadRap,” where a small, square head goes on sets of intersecting rails, has a substantial advantage against the other printers listed below, all of which fall to the lateral bed or”bed-slinger” category.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the options in this price category. This should serve as a good primer on safe, reliable devices. Whether you’re looking for an affordable first machine to give to a curious child (or a curious adult as well), an affordable option to stock a lab with, or maybe you’re just looking for something new to enhance your own creativity. It would be hard to go wrong with anything on this list.