The very best 3D printers underneath $500 for 2023

We might earn income from the merchandise obtainable on this web page and take part in affiliate applications. Be taught extra ›

Printed Could 18, 2023 5:00 PM

The very best 3D printers underneath $500 could also be laborious to think about for folks simply getting began. Shoppers who wish to purchase glorious high quality 3D printers generally fall into the identical lure: They assume the dearer the gadget or gadget is, the higher will probably be. However as a result of the 3D printer market continues to be very aggressive and the business continues to evolve, you’ll be able to typically purchase a mannequin for much less cash than its barely bigger brandmate. In different phrases, a printer that prices $450 may need most of the identical options discovered on a $750 mannequin that got here out a yr in the past. With that in thoughts, we’ve collected 5 of the perfect 3D printers underneath $500 that we advocate.

How we selected the perfect 3D printers for underneath $500

To compile the checklist of 3D printers we advocate for this information, we thought of a number of components. We prioritized well-built fashions that may final and develop with customers as their expertise enhance. Whereas many of those sub-$500 fashions work properly for newcomers, we don’t need customers to really feel restricted by them down the highway. We additionally require a 3D printer to make use of dependable, intuitive software program as a result of you’ll be able to’t print when you can’t get your design to the machine. Our picks are based mostly on a mixture of real-world expertise, spec comparisons, editorial opinions, consumer suggestions, and firm popularity.

The very best 3D printers for underneath $500: Opinions & Suggestions

You don’t should look far again to discover a time when 3D printers had been extraordinarily specialised items of apparatus past the attain of most informal customers. That has modified up to now decade, nevertheless. That progress comes (a minimum of partially) due to the RepRap motion, which helped forge the best way for the 3D-printing business to create merchandise that had been extra reasonably priced, straightforward to make use of, and based mostly on open-source expertise. The motion additionally helped standardize many facets of 3D-printing expertise, which advantages all shoppers and companies. The next checklist options our decisions for the perfect mannequin to purchase when you’re beginning out on the planet of 3D printing: 

Finest general: Unique Prusa Mini+ 3D Printer


  • Supplies Supported: PLA, PETG, ABS, ASA, 
  • Print Quantity (HWD): 7 x 7 x 7 inches
  • Connectivity: USB drive, Ethernet
  • Dimension: 15 x 13 x 15 inches
  • Weight: 9.9 lbs.


  • Glorious worth for the worth
  • Simple to make use of
  • Consists of 2.8-inch coloration LCD
  • Comes with an Ethernet port


  • Print quantity is smaller than Prusa’s flagship i3 MK3S+

Though the Prusa Mini+ is smaller than Prusa’s flagship i3 MK3S+, it nonetheless delivers a lot of the identical high quality and flexibility. Plus it’s inexpensive. So, you continue to get the identical high-quality outcomes when printing out objects. In some circumstances, you even get upgrades. As an example, Mini+ additionally comes with a coloration LCD, which is less complicated to make use of than the i3 MK3S. Insert a thumb drive with a suitable file, and the display screen will present you a preview of your print. Then, simply press the print button, and the machine goes on its manner. It’s quite simple in order for you it to be.

This printer helps a ton of various printing supplies, together with PLA, PETG, ASA, ABS, PC (Polycarbonate), CPE, PVA/BVOH, PVB, HIPS, PP (Polypropylene), Flex, nGen, Nylon, Woodfill, and different crammed supplies. The print head can be comparatively quick, contemplating the scale and value of this mannequin. Nonetheless, the i3 MK3S+ is bigger, permitting you to construct barely giant venture, and it’s additionally suitable with many extra supplies than the Mini+ is. However general, the Mini supplies glorious worth for the cash, which is why it’s the perfect 3D printer general for 3D printers underneath $500. 

See also  Greatest printers for Chromebooks of 2022

Finest for printing giant objects: Artillery Sidewinder X2

Artillery Sidewinder 3D printer


  • Supplies Supported: PLA, ABS, Versatile PLA, Wooden, PVA, HIPS
  • Print Quantity: 11.8 x 11.8 x 15.6 inches 
  • Connectivity: USB, TF card, USB stick
  • Dimensions: 21.65 x 15.94 x 34.25 in (with spool holder)
  • Weight: 28.4 lbs.


  • Offers a big print quantity 
  • Simple to make use of
  • Prints quietly


  • Coloration LCD could be a little glitchy

One of many standout options is that, for the worth, it has a really giant print space with the intention to produce objects which are bigger than a chess set piece. The construct quantity is 11.8 x 11.8 x 15.6 inches, offering extra flexibility in creating your designs.  

3D printers might be sophisticated to assemble. The method can really feel like a venture in and of itself. Fortunately, nevertheless, this printer comes 95 p.c assembled and could be very straightforward to arrange. You possibly can stand up and print shortly with out a whole lot of fuss.

It has different options that may be useful throughout the 3D printing course of. It has a filament runout detection and restoration system so that it’ll know when there’s no extra filament and cease the print, however it would additionally resume printing as soon as extra filament is equipped to the unit. Additionally, if energy is misplaced, you’ll be able to resume the venture from the final layer, saving money and time. Plus, it’s suitable with a number of completely different slicer apps.

Finest for DIY initiatives: Creality Ender 3 V2 Neo

Creality Ender 3 V2 neo 3D printer


  • Supplies Supported: PLA, ABS, PETG, 
  • Print Quantity (HWD): 8.7 x 8.7 x 9.8 inches
  • Connectivity: Micro USB, transflash reminiscence card
  • Dimension (HWD): 17.2 x 16.7 x 18.6 inches
  • Weight: 21.60 lbs.


  • Cheap
  • Its redesign improves the general expertise of it
  • Quicker than predecessor 


  • Studying curve might be steep for some

Creality has a historical past of manufacturing some high-quality 3D printers, however as many reviewers have identified, they’ll require some tweaking and upkeep to maintain them printing appropriately. Nonetheless, that shouldn’t be an issue when you’ve got a DIY spirit. That additional little bit of elbow grease will get you an incredible worth on a really succesful printer.

The brand new iteration of this 3D printer consists of some spectacular enhancements to an already solid-performing 3D printer. It has a CR-Contact characteristic, as an illustration, which gathers the mattress deviation knowledge by touching a number of factors within the mattress and compensating for them accordingly, permitting for hassle-free mattress leveling. It now comes with a full-metal Bowden extruder, which the corporate says makes for easy feeding via the system. It additionally comes with a brand new 4.3-inch consumer interface, which is less complicated to learn. Creality has additionally up to date the construct plate: The PC spring metal magnetic construct plate has good adhesion to the mannequin and allows fast removing of the print with only a slight bend of the platform.

Finest price range: Monoprice MP Cadet

Monoprice Cadet 3D printer


  • Supplies Supported: PLA, PLA Professional
  • Print Quantity (HWD): 3.9 x 4.1 x 3.9 inches
  • Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi, microSD card
  • Dimension: 8.3 x 8.3 x 11.4 inches  
  • Weight: 6.6 lbs.


  • Small, compact, and light-weight
  • Fast set-up time
  • Comes with auto-leveling characteristic


  • Small print quantity
  • Not as versatile as different fashions

Though there are many 3D fashions you’ll pay some huge cash for, there are additionally a good variety of cheap 3D printers, like this mannequin from Monoprice, which makes it an incredible mannequin for newcomers and college students. 

The Monoprice MP Cadet has a easy however elegant interface that enables newcomers to stand up and working shortly. Regardless of its small dimension, it’s a strong performer: It may print comparatively shortly. It’s additionally suitable with two slicer apps: Ultimaker Cura, an open-source slicing utility for 3D printers, and Wiibuilder softare. Most of all, this printer delivers decent-quality prints persistently. Nonetheless, because it’s a price range mannequin, it’s not as versatile as another, extra feature-packed 3D printers.

See also  Get a free $50 Amazon present card once you purchase a brand new Google Pixel 6a

Finest for teenagers studying about 3D printing: 3Doodler Create+ 3D printing pen

Peripherals photo


  • Supplies Supported: PLA, ABS, FLEXY, Wooden
  • Dimension: 4.45 x 3.15 x 0.2 inches
  • Weight: 0.11 lbs.


  • Very straightforward to make use of and arrange
  • Safer than most 3D printers
  • Intuitive controls
  • Cheap


  • Presents fewer options and capabilities than 3D printer

The 3Doodler Create+ Pen isn’t a 3D printer. So, it doesn’t provide the sturdy set of options that you simply’ll discover on a 3D printer. Nonetheless, what it does do is give teenagers (14 years previous and older) entry to creating objects utilizing a course of that’s similar to the “additive 3D printing” course of discovered on 3D printers.

What’s good about this pen is that it’s well-designed and consists of very intuitive controls, so that you’re up and working shortly. When you’ve set it up, you should utilize the pen, which extrudes heated plastic like a 3D printer. One of many major variations is that your creation isn’t based mostly on a digital CAD file. The pen comes with 15 completely different colours of 3Doodler Create plastic refills & a complete exercise guidebook.

Whereas it’s all the time tempting to purchase the largest, baddest 3D printer on the block, that’s not all the time the perfect name. You could waste cash, filament, and time getting the unsuitable machine. Listed below are some important variables to grasp and contemplate earlier than you deliver a 3D printer into your property workshop.

Discover strategies of 3D printing

Proper now, fused deposition modeling (FDM) represents the most typical technique for 3D printing. All of the 3D printers on this roundup depend on FDM. An FDM printer depends on a small heated nozzle that lays down skinny layers of plastic fabricated from melted from a spooled filament. These machines are known as fused filament fabricators or FFF. Whereas we largely advocate FDM 3D printers, you can even discover different applied sciences. These embody stereolithography (SLA), which makes use of a resin-based technique to print, or different strategies.

Study 3D printing supplies

You’ll want filament if you wish to print since you want a fabric. Two of the preferred are polylactic acid (PLA) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABD). Most 3D printers can solely print one coloration at a time, particularly at this value level, nevertheless it’s a tough rule. Before you purchase tons of filament spools, be certain the kind of filament you’re shopping for will work along with your printer. You’ll want the proper dimension and materials to verify issues go easily. Experimenting with completely different supplies is enjoyable, however losing cash on tousled prints is decidedly not.


As soon as you recognize what you’ll primarily be printing, you’ll be able to resolve how huge of a printing space you want. The most important printer on this checklist can deal with prints as much as 11.8 x 11.8 x 15.6 inches, however most are a lot smaller. Getting a printer that’s too giant will typically decelerate your manufacturing course of and take up pointless house in your house or store. Nonetheless, going too small means you’re restricted in what you’ll be able to print. The hot button is discovering stability.


Decision is measured in microns (a decrease quantity is extra detailed), with the default on many printers being 200 microns. Nonetheless, some can print at 100 or 50 microns. Typically talking, larger decision results in smoother prints, however that’s not all the time the case. You’ll need a well-rounded machine. Excessive-res prints received’t do you a lot good in the event that they take manner too lengthy or often mess up.

See also  Greatest resin 3D printers of 2022

Open or closed body?

3D printers which are closed are safer in terms of pets or different random objects invading your print house. Open-frame 3D printers are typically bigger in dimension.

Software program

You’re going to wish software program to truly ship designs to the printer. These applications are known as slicers, and there are a number of on the market. You’ll wish to test which titles are suitable along with your machine. Some work simply high-quality with open-source choices, whereas others very a lot want proprietary software program. Some titles embody PrusaSlicer, from Prucer, and Cura, from Ultimaker. 


Q: Are 3D printers costly to purchase and to make use of?

Though you’ll be able to nonetheless discover 3D printers which are very expensive, these fashions are typically focused at industrial markets. By and enormous, most 3D printers for residence use have come down in value, and yow will discover some very succesful fashions for lower than $1,000, even as little as $200. However with a purpose to get a clearer image of what your value of possession of the 3D printer will probably be, you’ll wish to consider the way you’ll truly be utilizing it. You’ll wish to assess how a lot you’ll be printing, which implies you’ll additionally want to seek out out the worth of alternative spools of filament or different further supplies to your 3D printer.  

Q: What are 3D printers used for? 

Right now, 3D printers are utilized in many various industries throughout the globe, together with healthcare, automotive, building, manufacturing, the meals business, training, and within the manufacturing of various client merchandise. At residence, 3D printers can produce numerous {hardware} objects, like hooks, hangers, coasters, clips, numerous forms of desk organizers, and so forth. Or they can be utilized for extra inventive pursuits, like cosplay.

Closing ideas when shopping for the perfect 3D printer

Only a decade in the past, 3D printers underneath $500 weren’t very spectacular and even obtainable. Now, nevertheless, you’ve got a ton of choices obtainable to you. Many of those machines provide superior options and strong construct high quality that may churn out items for years to return. For those who’re prepared to spend some additional money, you’ll be able to improve to the perfect 3D printers underneath $1,000 for larger prints, extra materials choices, and extra superior options. However when you’re a newbie, fanatic, or aspiring professional, any 3D printers on this checklist ought to fit your wants simply high-quality.

Why belief us

Widespread Science began writing about expertise greater than 150 years in the past. There was no such factor as “gadget writing” after we revealed our first situation in 1872, but when there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for on a regular basis readers means we’d have been throughout it. Right here within the current, PopSci is absolutely dedicated to serving to readers navigate the more and more intimidating array of gadgets in the marketplace proper now.

Our writers and editors have mixed many years of expertise protecting and reviewing client electronics. We every have our personal obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video video games to cameras and past—however after we’re reviewing gadgets outdoors of our fast wheelhouses, we do our greatest to hunt out reliable voices and opinions to assist information folks to the perfect suggestions. We all know we don’t know every part, however we’re excited to reside via the evaluation paralysis that web procuring can spur so readers don’t should.