3D printing is fun and gives the best sense of achievement when your design is in your hands. However, good 3D printers are expensive, right? Wrong.
You can find excellent 3D printers as cheap at $300 and lower, and we’ve done all the research for you. So, without further ado, here is a list of the best 3D printers under $300.
Our Top Picks for the Best Budget 3D Printers Under $300
|3D Printer||Creality Ender 3 Pro||QIDI X-One2||Creality Ender 5||Monoprice Select Mini||Da Vinci Mini W+|
|Printing Size (inches)||8.66×8.66×9.84||5.7×5.7×5.7||8.66×8.66×11.8||4.7×4.7×4.7||5.9×5.9×5.9|
The 5 Best 3D Printers Under $300
1. Creality Ender 3 Pro – Best Overall
Ender 3 Pro is not only one of the best 3D printers under $300, but it also is one of the best overall 3D printers. It can even be compared to other printers with much higher price points. Ender 3 Pro is filament universal, which means that it can accept most types of filaments and from third parties.
With the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) printing technology, it also features a CNC machining of the Y-rail mounting groove, which provides high precision when printing. In addition, its build-plate is magnetic which is something that a lot of people do not like, so we’d recommend you order a glass plate as a better option. Also, It prints at a resolution of 100-400 microns.
With a print speed of 180mm/sec, it is the fastest print speed on this list, and one of the fastest 3D printers under any price point. Its speed is truly unmatched. Also, its printing area is quite spacious, with dimensions of 8.66×8.66×9.84” (220x220x250 mm) that will give you enough freedom to print a variety of shapes. It also offers Patent Technology, which reduces plugging and makes it move smoothly.
It is compatible with Cura, Repetier, and Simplify 3D slicing software programs and can receive OBJ, G-Code, and STL file formats through USB, microSD, or WiFi connections.
The Ender 3 Pro deserved its place in the number one spot with its exceptional features, from its print speed of 180 mm/s to its lightweight of just 19 pounds. It is easy to set-up even though it’s only semi-assembled. Simply, one of the best on the market with minimal flaws.
2. QIDI X-One2 – Runner Up
QIDI X-One2 is almost as good as the Creality Ender 3 Pro. Its filament is also universal and can work with third-party filaments. Also, it can accept any slicing software, STL and OBJ file formats. Besides, it comes with an aluminum build plate that is much better than Ender 3 Pro’s magnetic one.
It is also quite fast when it comes to printing with a speed of 150 mm/sec and an exceptional layer resolution of 50-400 microns. With it, you will enjoy the FDM printing technology.
Its printing area is average but leaning on the bigger side with 5.7×5.7×5.7” (145x145x145 mm) dimensions. In addition, it comes with a responsive touch screen that displays information about your printings like the temperature of the print bed and extruder.
Its most prominent downside is its weight of almost 42 pounds that takes away from its portability. However, it comes pre-assembled, so that makes it a lot easier to set-up in spite of its heavy-weight.
Another downside is that it doesn’t support WiFi connectivity, only USB and SD.
If the X-One2 were lighter and with more significant printing volume, it would’ve easily taken the number one spot with its exceptional layer resolution of 50-400 microns. It is sturdy, easy to set-up and use with an interactive touch screen, and an aluminum build plate.
3. Creality Ender 5 – Massive Printing Size
Creality does it again, this time the Creality Ender 5, another excellent 3D printer that can be found under $300. Ender 5 provides an exceptional printing volume of 8.66×8.66×11.8” (220x220x300 mm) that is the largest printing volume on this list, so if you’re planning to print large shapes, you’re at the right place.
It also provides the outstanding 180 mm/sec of maximum printing speed like the Ender 3 Pro and FDM printing technology. Our product here comes with dual Y-axis motors and down-shift Z-axis for a precise and smooth printing experience. Moreover, it offers a layer resolution of 100-400 microns.
It can accept PLA, ABS, soft glue, wooden, and copper filaments and Cura, Repetier-Host, and Simplify 3D slicing software programs, and file formats of STL, OBJ, and AMF. Furthermore, it offers WiFi or SD card connectivity.
It is a little on the heavier side at 31.3 pounds that take away from its portability. Also, it arrives at semi-assembled.
Another Creality product makes its way to the top 3. The Ender 5 offers a massive printing volume at an outstandingly high speed, as well as accuracy with its dual Y-axis motors. It can accept most filaments, slicing software programs, and file formats, even over a WiFi connection.
Check also: The Best 3D Printer under 500 in 2020
4. Monoprice Select Mini – Best for Beginners
The first Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) printing technology product on the list, the Monoprice Select Mini, is recommended for beginners, especially with its limited printing volume of just 4.7×4.7×4.7” (120x120x120 mm).
It is compact enough to fit on any desk, and it is ultra-lightweight at just 10 pounds. It arrives pre-assembled for easy set-up and use.
However, it is quite slow at just 55 mm/sec and with a print resolution of 100-300 microns.
It is compatible with all filament types, Cura and Repetier-Host slicing software programs, and STL and OBJ file formats through WiFi, Micro USB, and MicroSD connectivities.
Monoprice Select Mini is the recommended 3D printer under $300 mark for beginners. It comes pre-assembled; it is lightweight and accepts most filaments and printing software programs. However, it has a limited printing volume of just 120x120x120 and is quite slow.
5. Da Vinci Mini W+ – Auto-Leveling
The Da Vinci Mini W+ is an excellent cheap 3D printer that uses FFF printing technology and has a printing volume of 5.9×5.9×5.9” (150x150x150 mm). However, it has its limitations.
It only accepts filaments by XYZ(i.e. doesn’t accept third-party filaments), which means that when you run out of filament, you’d have to order from XYZ. Looking at the bright side, XYZ’s filaments are biodegradable and made from materials like corn or sugarcane.
Another limitation is that it only accepts the XYZMaker Suite slicing software program. While, yes, that is a free slicing software that is easy to use, it is still limiting you to only one software program.
However, the best thing about this product is its auto-leveling. Manual leveling can be annoying and making a small error can cause damage to the printing bed; therefore, auto-leveling saves a lot of time and effort.
Lastly, it has an average printing speed of 120 mm/sec and a layer resolution of 100-400 microns. It also offers WiFi and USB connectivities.
The Da Vinci Mini W+ is portable; its filament is biodegradable, and, most importantly, it provides auto-leveling. It is a great budget 3D printer, but it has its limitations. It doesn’t accept third-party filaments or slicing software programs.
How Far Will $300 Go For a 3D Printer?
While $300 is a very limiting budget, it can still get you a decent 3D printer that will exceed your expectations.
As you’ve seen throughout this list, some excellent 3D printers can even compete with ones in higher price ranges, especially the two Creality products.
Manufacturers these days are well aware that the demand for affordable 3D printers that can be used at homes is increasing, and so they’re developing 3D printers accordingly.
So, $300 can get you an excellent 3D printer that will fit in your office and is suitable for your small-to-medium projects.
What To Look For When Buying an Affordable 3D Printer?
There are multiple printing technologies, each has its own advantages as well as disadvantages. When printing in smaller volumes, printing technology is not the most crucial factor. However, you should be aware of what they are and what you’re working with to avoid any inconvenience.
Printing Volume and Speed
The last thing you’d want is to discover your printer is too small to print your designs. You should have a general idea regarding the designs you’ll be printing and double-check that your choice of 3D printers can afford it.
When it comes to speed, it’s not really a necessity to have a quick printing speed, it’s more of a luxury. However, anywhere over 120 mm/sec is a high printing speed that should do you well.
Auto-leveling is a real time-saver that you seriously need. Having to adjust your 3D printer every time manually is annoying. Also, making a small error in the adjustments can cause damage to your printer or printed objects. We can’t stress this enough, auto-leveling is critical, especially if you’re a beginner.
Here you have it, not only one but five best 3D printers under the $300 mark. If that seemed like too much information for you, here’s a recap of our top three 3D printers.
In first place was the Ender 3 Pro. It is lightweight at 18 pounds, and it offers CNC machining for increased precision.
Following up was the QIDI X-One2. It offers an outstanding minimum layer resolution of 50 microns, while still offering speed and is easy to set-up and use. In third place was the Ender 5 with its high printing speed, as well as high printing volume.