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Top 7 Best Cheap 3D Printers [Best budget for 2020]

Gone are the days when 3D printing was a luxury. With more and more consumer-level 3D printers released every year, getting a 3D printer is just as easy as getting a computer. And just like with any piece of technology, 3D printers are offered at multiple price ranges that target different customers and needs.

If you’re on a tight budget, your choices can get pretty limited, making it harder for you to find a suitable printer for your needs. To make things a little easier for you, we’ve put together some of the best cheap 3D printers you can find on the market today. Keep reading to take your pick!

Comparison Table Of Best Budget 3D Printers

ModelBuild AreaPrinting SpeedCalibration
Monoprice Maker Select v2200 x 200 x 180mm 70 mm/sManual
Monoprice Mini Delta⌀100 x 120mm150 mm/sAutomatic
QIDI Technology X-one2140 x 140 x 140mm150 mm/sManual
Flashforge Finder Lite140 x 140 x 140mm120 mm/sAutomatic
Creality Ender 3 Pro220 x 220 x 250mm200 mm/sManual
ANYCUBIC Photon Zero97 x 54 x 150mm30 mm/hManual
ELEGOO Mars UV115 x 65 x 150mm22.5 mm/hManual

7 Best Cheap 3D Printers in 2020

Without further ado, let’s explore each 3D printer’s capabilities in full detail and see what each of them has to offer.

1. Monoprice Maker Select v2

Monoprice Maker Select v2

The first 3D printer on our list is the Monoprice Maker Select v2. This 3D printer offers the best combination of functionality, weight, and cost. At just 1.41 ounces, the Monoprice Maker Select v2 is one of the most lightweight 3D printers in the industry, making it a great option for those who frequently need to move the printer.

The Monoprice Maker Select v2 supports a wide range of print materials, also making it an excellent choice for those who like to experiment with new materials and designs. The heated build plate allows you to build models using slower-cooling materials, with a maximum plate temperature of 240C.

Moreover, it has a build volume of 200 x 200 x 180mm, which is pretty large if you ask us. We also love how easy the Maker Select v2 is to assemble. You just need to tighten 6 screws, and you’re good to go.

Hardware Specifications of the Monoprice Maker Select v2
Build Volume200 x 200 x 180mm
Number of Extruders1
CalibrationManual leveling
Resolution100-400micron 
Printing Speed70 mm/s
ConnectivityMini USB, Micro SD Card
MaterialsABS-based, PLA-based, Foam, PET, TPU, TPC, FPE, Jelly, Felty, PVA, XT copolyester, and HIPS

The Maker Select v2 offers compatibility for both open-source and commercial software packages, like Cura, Repetier, and Simplify 3D, giving you more freedom when it comes to choosing the right program for you.

Furthermore, the Select v2 comes with a 2GB SD card that’s preloaded with printable models so you can start printing right away.

What We Like:

  • Large build volume
  • A wide variety of materials supported
  • Supports open-source and commercial software
  • Heated build plate
  • Comes with printable models and sample PLA filament
  • Easy setup

What We Don’t Like:

  • No Wi-Fi support
  • Limited printing speed
  • Manual bed leveling

Bottom Line

The Monoprice Select Maker 2 is a lightweight 3D printer that offers a vast build volume and lots of material choices for 3D printing enthusiasts who always like to experiment with new materials, and also one of the best 3d printers under $300.

2. Monoprice Mini Delta

Monoprice Mini Delta

The Monoprice Mini Delta is one of the most affordable 3D printers out there capable of producing high-quality 3D models. Not to mention, it features a compact design that makes it a good choice for anyone who needs a space-saving 3D printer that can fit virtually anywhere.

Moreover, setting up the Monoprice Mini Delta requires little effort since it comes pre-assembled out of the box. However, you’ll have to set up the software yourself, but that shouldn’t take up much time.

Hardware Specifications of the Monoprice Mini Delta
Build Volume⌀100 x 120mm
Number of Extruders1
CalibrationAutomatic leveling
Resolution50-200 micron 
Printing Speed150 mm/s
ConnectivityMicro USB, Micro SD card, Wi-Fi
MaterialsPLA, ABS

One of the features that make the Mini Delta stand out from the crowd is the automatic bed leveling. Instead of having to calibrate the bed after every project manually, the Delta will simply do it for you.

And because the Mini Delta has a heated build plate and extruder, you can print using both PLA and ABS materials, giving you more versatility with your models.

We also love the fact that this 3D printer has native Wi-Fi support. This makes the process of sending the designs to the printer a whole lot easier. Nevertheless, you can still use a USB cable or a micro SD card if you prefer.

What We Like:

  • Fast printing speed
  • Supports Wi-Fi
  • High resolution (max 50 microns)
  • Automatic bed leveling

What We Don’t Like:

  • Limited build area
  • Limited material selections

Bottom Line

The Monoprice Mini Delta delivers high-resolution printing, automatic leveling, and wireless support in an affordable package. It’s also a smart choice for those who need a compact 3D printer.

3. QIDI Technology X-one2

QIDI Technology X-one2

The QIDI Technology X-one2 is yet another affordable 3D printer with many tricks up its sleeve, empowering it to become extremely versatile.

For one, it sports a sturdy all-metal frame that provides the printer with high durability. Moreover, the high-quality aluminum plate is heated, enabling you to print models using various materials, including PLA, ABS, TPU, and PETG.

The QIDI Print Slicer is out of this world. It has an intelligent model segmentation technology that makes creating models a whole lot better. It also supports multiple powerful functions that enhance its user-friendliness.

Hardware Specifications of the QIDI Technology X-one2
Build Volume140 x 140 x 140mm
Number of Extruders1
CalibrationManual leveling
Resolution50-400microns
Printing Speed150 mm/s
ConnectivityWi-Fi, USB, Flash Drive
MaterialsPLA, ABS, TPU, PETG 

At a maximum printing speed of 150 mm/s, you can work on several projects daily without worrying about running out of time. Additionally, the printer is equipped with a 3.5” touchscreen display with a sleek user interface that ensures more accessible controls.

Furthermore, the X-one2 supports Wi-Fi, allowing you to wirelessly send your models to the printer in the blink of an eye.

What We Like:

  • Fast printing speed
  • Multiple material options
  • Supports Wi-Fi
  • Excellent slicer software
  • High printing resolution 
  • Heated aluminum plate

What We Don’t Like:

  • Manual bed leveling

Bottom Line

With a fast printing speed, Wi-Fi support, and an attractive price tag, the QIDI Technology X-one2 will definitely appeal to many 3D printing enthusiasts.

4. Flashforge Finder Lite

Flashforge Finder Lite

The Flashforge Finder Lite is a watered-down version of the original Flashforge Finder that offers many of its features at a discounted price.

To begin with, it features a sturdy metal frame with a medium-sized cube-shaped build area that allows you to create all types of models. Moreover, the printer is designed to ensure your safety by isolating all the heated elements and making sure that they stay out of touch.

Moreover, the extruder has a cooling fan that significantly reduces extruder jams. The Finder Lite also supports automatic bed leveling, which saves you the hassle of having to calibrate the print bed before printing.

Hardware Specifications of the Flashforge Finder Lite
Build Volume140 x 140 x 140mm
Number of Extruders1
CalibrationAutomatic leveling
Resolution50-400microns
Printing Speed120 mm/s
ConnectivitySD card
MaterialsPLA, Flexible PLA, Wood

We also love the printer’s quiet operation. It produces a maximum sound level of 50 decibels, which is just as loud as a refrigerator. Additionally, the layer thickness can be set to as low as 50 microns, ensuring that your models come out with fine details.

Furthermore, the slide-in build plate is drawable, making it much easier for you to remove your models after they’re printed.

What We Like:

  • Durable metal frame
  • High printing resolution
  • Automatic bed leveling
  • Drawable build plate
  • Quiet operation

What We Don’t Like:

  • No built-in Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Can’t print ABS models

Bottom Line

There’s a lot to love about the FlashForge Finder Lite. From the automatic bed leveling to the low operation noise and the drawable build plate, you just can’t go wrong with it.

5. Creality Ender 3 Pro

Creality Ender 3 Pro

The Creality Ender 3 Pro has what it takes to create virtually any model you can think of. With a build volume of 220 x 220 x 250mm, the Creality Ender 3 Pro is designed for those who need to work on large, multi-part projects like cosplay costumes and firearms.

The Ender 3 Pro features an all-metal frame that provides it with the rigidity it needs to ensure precise material extrusion. Additionally, this printer can print at a speed of 200 mm/s, making it one of the fastest 3D printers in this category.

Moreover, the material choices are pretty diverse. You can build models using PLA, ABS, TPU, Copper, Wood, and Carbon Fiber. 

Hardware Specifications of the Creality Ender 3 Pro
Build Volume220 x 220 x 250mm
Number of Extruders1
CalibrationManual leveling
Resolution100-400microns
Printing Speed200 mm/s
ConnectivitySD card
MaterialsPLA, ABS, TPU, Copper, Wood, Carbon Fiber

Another cool feature of the Ender 3 Pro is its “Resume Printing” function that allows you to continue from where you left off in case of a power outage.

Furthermore, the build plate is removable, making it much easier and safer for you to detach your model after it’s fully printed.

What We Like:

  • Huge build volume
  • Fast printing speed
  • Removable build plate
  • Easy setup
  • “Resume Printing” function
  • Multiple material choices

What We Don’t Like:

  • Manual bed leveling
  • No Wi-Fi support

Bottom Line

The Creality Ender 3 Pro boasts an impressively fast printing speed and a massive build volume, which is more than enough for you to make a decision; that is to purchase, of course.

6. ANYCUBIC Photon Zero

ANYCUBIC Photon Zero

Unlike the other 3D printers on our list, the ANYCUBIC Photon Zero is a resin-based 3D printer that uses 405nm photosensitive resins as print material.

One of the biggest advantages of resin 3D printing is that it’s capable of producing higher-quality, stronger 3D models.

Thanks to the 16x anti-aliasing functions, you can easily create high-detailed 3D models. Furthermore, the sanded aluminum build plate ensures that your model stays in place while it’s being printed.

Additionally, the uniformly distributed UV lighting drastically improves the precision of your prints.

It’s also worth noting that you can print up to 8 different models and still be able to adjust the resin exposure time for each individual model.

Hardware Specifications of the ANYCUBIC Photon Zero
Build Volume97 x 54 x 150mm
Number of Extruders1
CalibrationManual leveling
Resolution100-200 microns
Printing Speed30 mm/h
ConnectivityUSB, SD card
Materials405nm photosensitive resins

ANYCUBIC’s proprietary slicing software offers several perks that make the whole model creation process much more fun, including Slicing, Text Fitting, Model Hallowing, and Model Cutting.

The only problem with this printer is that it’s quite slow compared to other non-resin printers, but it shouldn’t be a problem if you don’t need to print lots of models in a short time.

What We Like:

  • High-quality modeling
  • Excellent slicer
  • Sanded build plate
  • UV lighting for enhanced precision
  • Adjustable exposure time for each individual model

What We Don’t Like:

  • Slow printing speed
  • Limited build volume
  • No Wi-Fi

Bottom Line

The ANYCUBIC Photon Zero is an excellent resin-based 3D printer capable of printing highly-detailed models thanks to its anti-aliasing function and easy-to-use slicer.

7. ELEGOO Mars UV

ELEGOO Mars UV

Just like the ANYCUBIC Photon Zero, the ELEGOO Mars UV is a resin-based 3D printer that can produce some very high-quality 3D models.

With a maximum resolution of 10 microns, you can create models with an exceptionally high detail level. The UV lighting allows for an even higher level of precision.

Hardware Specifications of the ELEGOO Mars UV
Build Volume115 x 65 x 150mm
Number of Extruders1
CalibrationManual leveling
Resolution10-200microns
Printing Speed22.5 mm/h
ConnectivityUSB
Materials405nm UV resins

The ELEGOO Mars UV features an innovative steel ball design that makes it easy to calibrate your printer. Just set the Z-axis back to zero and lock the leveling screw to start printing your model right away.

Additionally, the 3.5” inch color touchscreen display makes it quite easy to control the printer’s settings. Thanks to the intuitive ELEGOO CHITUBOX 5.5 slicing software, it can take as little as 1 minute to slice a 30mb .stl model.

What We Like:

  • High-quality 3D modeling
  • Excellent user interface with 3.5” touchscreen display
  • Easy calibration
  • UV lighting

What We Don’t Like:

  • Slow printing speed
  • Doesn’t support Wi-Fi
  • Limited to resins as a printing material

Bottom Line

With a maximum resolution of 10 microns, the ELEGOO Mars UV is definitely a great choice for those who want to print highly-detailed models.

Things To Know Before Buying a Cheap 3D Printer

Before buying a 3D printer, there are a few things that you have to keep in mind to ensure that it’s suitable for your needs.

Build Volume 

The build volume you’ll need mainly depends on the type of models you want to create. For miniatures and other types of small models like keychains and toys, you won’t likely need a big build volume. However, for bigger projects like cosplay costumes, you’ll need a larger build area. 

Even if you intend to print small models, it’s always a good idea to get a 3D printer with a larger build volume just in case you need to build something bigger in the future.

Printing Speed

If you need to print several models per day, make sure you pick a printer with a high printing speed. This is also true if you run a 3D printing business since you’ll want to deliver your customers’ orders on time. A minimum printing speed of 150 mm/s would be good enough for users who prioritize speed.

Calibration 

3D printers either have manual or automatic bed leveling. There’s no doubt that automatic bed leveling is the preferred choice since it saves you the time and effort of leveling the bed yourself constantly.

Build Plate

Your 3D printer’s build plate is where your model comes to life. Glass and aluminum build plates are the most popular type of build plates. They are stiff, provide a consistently flat surface, and allow for an even heat distribution.

Heated build plates give you more material choices since some of them take a little while longer to cool down. Moreover, removable build plates make the process of removing your model much more convenient.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Cheaper To Build a 3D Printer?

While building your own 3D printer can be a time-consuming and challenging task, it’s definitely an excellent way to save some cash. It’s also a perfect opportunity to better understand how a 3D printer works and each part’s function.

However, for a first-timer, expect a few setbacks while building it. Buying a pre-assembled 3D printer guarantees more reliable performance.

Are Cheap 3D Printers Any Good?

Yes, a cheap 3D printer is definitely a great investment, especially for beginners with zero experience in 3D printing. An affordable 3D printer would make an excellent starting point for anyone who wants to learn 3D printing from scratch.

Once you gain enough skills, you can later invest in a more professional 3D printer and make a buck out of it. Not to mention, cheap 3D printers are also a good choice for STEM students who need to work on some unusual, exciting projects.

Final Thoughts

Our top pick as the best cheap 3D printer is the Monoprice Maker Select v2. It has a decent build volume, a heated build plate, and it supports an insane number of printing materials.

If you want a 3D printer with a large build volume, then the Creality Ender 3 Pro would be your best bet with its massive 220 x 220 x 250mm build area.

If you’re on a strict budget, consider getting the Monoprice Mini Delta. Despite having a small build volume, it’s still a competent 3D printer with lots of features to love, including automatic bed leveling and built-in Wi-Fi.

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