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The Best Cheap 3D Printers for 2023

Discover top-value 3D printers that don't compromise on quality. Best-in-class budget options for creating amazing 3D prints with ease. Affordable innovation.

CR Staff
By Updated: 2023, Aug 31

Introduction to 3D Printing

Hello, fellow tech enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving headfirst into the fascinating world of 3D printing. Now, if you’re like me, the idea of creating anything from custom miniatures to functional tools in your own home sounds like a dream. And the cool thing? It’s not a dream anymore! Thanks to the proliferation of affordable 3D printers, this technology is now accessible to almost anyone, and I’m here to guide you through it.

If you are new to this field, you might be wondering what 3D printing is. Well, in simple terms, it’s a process of making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file. Yes, it’s as cool as it sounds. You create a design on your computer, send it to the printer, and watch it come to life, layer by layer. The possibilities are endless!

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get into the meat of the matter – choosing the right 3D printer for you. This is where things can get a little tricky, especially if you’re a beginner. But don’t worry, I’ve got your back!

What to Look for in a 3D Printer

When choosing a 3D printer, you need to consider several factors. First, think about what you want to print. Are you interested in small, intricate designs, or do you want to create larger, more complex objects? This will help you determine the size and capabilities of the printer you need.

Another critical factor is the printer’s resolution. Resolution is basically the level of detail a printer can achieve, measured in microns – the smaller the number, the higher the resolution. If you’re planning on printing detailed miniatures or jewelry, you’ll want a printer with a lower micron number.

Lastly, but certainly not least, is the issue of user-friendliness. Some 3D printers come fully assembled and ready to print right out of the box, while others require some assembly. If you’re a beginner, you might want to opt for a printer that’s easy to set up and use.

The Importance of Price in Choosing a 3D Printer

Now, let’s talk about one of the most important factors in choosing a 3D printer – the price. As with any technology, there’s a broad range of prices when it comes to 3D printers. You have high-end models that could set you back thousands of dollars, and then you have budget-friendly options that are perfect for beginners or anyone who’s just looking to experiment with 3D printing.

The good news is that being on a budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality. There are plenty of affordable 3D printers out there that offer great performance and value. And that’s exactly what we’re going to focus on in this article. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the list of top affordable 3D printers you need to know about.

Quick Summary

Image Product Description Price
1
Original Prusa Mini
Original Prusa Mini A compact and reliable 3D printer known for its quality prints and user-friendly features.
2
XYZprinting da Vinci Mini
XYZprinting da Vinci Mini An entry-level 3D printer with easy setup and operation, suitable for beginners.
3
Toybox 3D Printer
Toybox 3D Printer A kid-friendly 3D printer that uses a companion app to create and print fun designs.
4
htc-vive-pro-2
Anycubic Kobra 2 A versatile 3D printer with advanced features and precise printing capabilities.
5
Monoprice Mini Delta V2 3D Printer (2)
Monoprice Mini Delta V2 3D Printer A delta-style 3D printer known for its speed and accuracy in printing small objects.
6
Anycubic Vyper
Anycubic Vyper A high-performance 3D printer with a large build volume and advanced features.
7
htc-vive-pro-2
Creality Ender-3 S1 Pro An upgraded version of the popular Ender-3 with improved features and reliability.

The Research

How we tested?

In our quest to find the best budget-friendly 3D printers, we meticulously examined a range of models, putting them through rigorous testing to assess their performance, features, and overall value. Our evaluation encompassed factors such as print quality, ease of assembly and use, software compatibility, build volume, and durability. We printed diverse objects, from intricate designs to functional prototypes, to gauge the printers’ capabilities across various scenarios.

How we picked?

Our selection process involved a meticulous analysis of the available options in the market. We considered both expert reviews and user feedback to identify models with consistently positive reputations. Key factors in our decision-making included affordability, build quality, ease of use for beginners, availability of customer support, and the printer’s potential for expansion and customization.

Who should get this?

Our recommendations for the best affordable 3D printers are tailored to different user categories:

  • Hobbyists and Beginners: If you’re new to 3D printing and seeking an accessible entry point, our picks provide a balance of affordability and user-friendly features. These printers come with straightforward assembly instructions and user-friendly software to get you started quickly.
  • Educational Institutions: Schools and colleges looking to introduce 3D printing into their curriculum can benefit from the cost-effective options we’ve highlighted. These models offer a learning-friendly environment for students to explore the world of additive manufacturing.
  • Makers and Tinkerers: For those with a knack for experimentation, some of our selections offer room for customization and modification. This allows enthusiasts to explore enhancements and modifications, making these printers a fantastic starting point for innovation.
  • Small Businesses and Prototyping: Affordable 3D printers can be invaluable tools for small businesses and startups that require rapid prototyping or low-volume production. Our recommendations deliver a good balance between quality and cost-effectiveness.
  • DIY Enthusiasts: If you enjoy building and configuring your devices, a few of the printers we’ve highlighted are kits that require assembly. These can be rewarding options for individuals who relish a hands-on approach.

Product Reviews

Original Prusa Mini

Original Prusa Mini

  • What We Like?

    The Original Prusa Mini is a compact, affordable 3D printer that delivers excellent print quality and user-friendly features, making it ideal for beginners.

  • What We Don’t Like?

    The absence of a heated bed might be a drawback, especially for materials requiring high temperatures.

Product Specification

Build Volume 180 x 180 x 180 mm
Layer Resolution 50 microns
Technology FDM
Compatible Materials PLA, PETG, ABS

Pros

  • Excellent print quality
  • User-friendly features
  • Compact and affordable

Cons

  • No heated bed
  • Open frame design
9.2
Our Score

Our Verdict

Despite a few drawbacks, the Original Prusa Mini offers exceptional value and quality, making it perfect for beginners seeking a budget-friendly option.

XYZprinting da Vinci Mini

XYZprinting da Vinci Mini

  • What We Like?

    The XYZprinting da Vinci Mini is another excellent option for beginners, offering good print quality and affordability.

  • What We Don’t Like?

    The proprietary filament system limits filament options and may increase long-term printing costs.

Product Specification

Build Volume 150 x 150 x 150 mm
Layer Resolution 100 microns
Technology FDM
Compatible Materials PLA

Pros

  • Good print quality
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Proprietary filament system
  • No heated bed
8.7
Our Score

Our Verdict

Despite limitations like the proprietary filament system, the XYZprinting da Vinci Mini is a solid, affordable choice for beginners and entry-level 3D printing enthusiasts.

Toybox 3D Printer

Toybox 3D Printer

  • What We Like?

    The Toybox 3D printer is perfect for creative kids and beginners. Its user-friendly design and pre-vetted toy library make it a fantastic option.

  • What We Don’t Like?

    While the Toybox offers decent print quality, it may not match pricier models. The use of proprietary plastic can also increase running costs.

Product Specification

Build Volume 90 x 90 x 100 mm
Heated Print Bed No
Compatible Filament PLA
Connectivity Wi-Fi

Pros

  • User-friendly for kids
  • Pre-vetted toy library
  • Wi-Fi connectivity

Cons

  • Decent but not exceptional print quality
  • Proprietary plastic usage
8.4
Our Score

Our Verdict

The Toybox 3D Printer is an excellent choice for creative kids and beginners. Its easy-to-use features and pre-vetted toy library make it a top contender.

Anycubic Kobra 2

Anycubic Kobra 2

  • What We Like?

    The Anycubic Kobra 2 offers high-quality prints with its sleek design and auto-leveling feature. The printer’s versatility is also impressive.

  • What We Don’t Like?

    Assembly can be more complicated compared to other models, and the printer’s interface could be more user-friendly.

Product Specification

Build Volume 240 x 240 x 220 mm
Heated Print Bed Yes
Compatible Filaments PLA, ABS, TPU
Printing Speed Up to 80 mm/s

Pros

  • High-quality prints
  • Auto-leveling feature
  • Versatile filament support

Cons

  • Complicated assembly
  • User interface refinement needed
9.0
Our Score

Our Verdict

The Anycubic Kobra 2 is a solid choice for users willing to invest time in assembly. Its print quality and versatility are commendable.

Monoprice Mini Delta V2 3D Printer

Monoprice Mini Delta V2 3D Printer

  • What We Like?

    The Monoprice Mini Delta V2 offers good print quality, portability, and comes pre-assembled. It’s a great option for beginners.

  • What We Don’t Like?

    The small build volume might limit printing larger objects. The provided instructions could be more detailed.

Product Specification

Build Volume 110 x 110 x 120 mm
Heated Print Bed Yes
Compatible Filaments Various
Connectivity Wi-Fi, USB, micro SD

Pros

  • Good print quality
  • Portability
  • Pre-assembled

Cons

  • Small build volume
  • Instructions could be clearer
8.7
Our Score

Our Verdict

The Monoprice Mini Delta V2 is an excellent budget 3D printer that offers good quality and convenience for beginners.

Anycubic Vyper

Anycubic Vyper

  • What We Like?

    The Anycubic Vyper is a reliable and robust 3D printer that offers high-quality prints. The auto-leveling and filament detection features are user-friendly.

  • What We Don’t Like?

    The assembly instructions could be improved, and the printer’s operation might be a bit noisy for some users.

Product Specification

Build Volume 245 x 245 x 260 mm
Heated Print Bed Yes
Compatible Filaments PLA, ABS, TPU
Connectivity Wi-Fi, USB

Pros

  • Reliable and robust
  • Auto-leveling and filament detection
  • Good print quality

Cons

  • Assembly instructions could be better
  • Noisy operation
9.2
Our Score

Our Verdict

The Anycubic Vyper is an excellent choice for users seeking reliability and high-quality prints. Its user-friendly features make it a top contender.

Creality Ender-3 S1 Pro

Creality Ender-3 S1 Pro

  • What We Like?

    The Creality Ender-3 S1 Pro is a versatile and reliable 3D printer that offers high-quality prints. Its upgradable design is a highlight.

  • What We Don’t Like?

    Assembly might be challenging for beginners, and some users have reported issues with bed leveling.

Product Specification

Build Volume 220 x 220 x 250 mm
Heated Print Bed Yes
Compatible Filaments Various
Connectivity USB, micro SD

Pros

  • Versatile and reliable
  • High-quality prints
  • Upgradable design

Cons

  • Requires assembly
  • Bed leveling issues reported
9.5
Our Score

Our Verdict

The Creality Ender-3 S1 Pro is an excellent choice for those looking to take their 3D printing journey further. Its reliability and upgradability make it stand out.

Comparison Table

Feature Original Prusa Mini XYZprinting da Vinci Mini Toybox 3D Printer Anycubic Kobra 2 Monoprice Mini Delta V2 3D Printer Anycubic Vyper Creality Ender-3 S1 Pro
Image Original Prusa Mini XYZprinting da Vinci Mini Toybox 3D Printer Anycubic Kobra Monoprice Mini Delta V2 3D Printer (2) Anycubic Vyper Creality Ender-3 S1 Pro
Price $350 $249 $249 $349 $299 $319 $349
Build volume 180 x 180 x 180 mm 120 x 120 x 120 mm 150 x 150 x 150 mm 235 x 235 x 255 mm 120 x 120 x 120 mm 235 x 235 x 250 mm 220 x 220 x 250 mm
Printing speed 20-60 mm/s 10-60 mm/s 10-60 mm/s 0.8-50 mm/s 10-60 mm/s 0.8-50 mm/s 0.8-50 mm/s
Filament compatibility PLA, PETG, ABS, TPU PLA, ABS, Wood, Flexible, Metal PLA, ABS, Wood, Flexible PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, Carbon Fiber, Wood, Metal PLA, ABS, Wood, Flexible PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, Carbon Fiber, Wood, Metal PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, Nylon, Carbon Fiber, Wood, Metal
Auto bed leveling Yes Manual Manual Yes Manual Yes Yes
Connectivity USB, Ethernet USB USB USB USB USB USB
Warranty 2 years 1 year 1 year 1 year 1 year 1 year 1 year
Additional features SuperPINDA probe, PEI-coated spring steel removable bed Nozzle cleaning station Filament runout sensor Touchscreen display Removable build plate TMC2208 stepper drivers BLTouch

Buying Guide: Choosing the Best Cheap 3D Printer

Factors to Consider When Buying

When looking to purchase the best cheap 3D printer, it’s important to keep a few key factors in mind to ensure you’re making the right choice. Firstly, consider your own needs and skill level. Are you new to 3D printing, or do you have experience? This will determine whether you need a printer with user-friendly features or more advanced capabilities.

Next, assess the build volume and size of the printer. Think about the size of objects you plan to print and choose a printer with a suitable build area. Additionally, prioritize print quality by checking the printer’s resolution and layer thickness. A lower micron value indicates finer detail, which could be essential depending on your projects.

Don’t overlook filament compatibility

Whether the printer offers a heated print bed. These features affect the types of materials you can use and the quality of your prints. Consider the convenience of features like auto bed leveling and connectivity options such as Wi-Fi or USB. Reading reviews and seeking recommendations from other users can provide valuable insights into real-world performance. Lastly, stay within your budget range, but remember that a slightly higher initial investment could pay off in the form of better features and long-term reliability.

Conclusion

Finding the best cheap 3D printer requires a thoughtful evaluation of your needs, skills, and the features that matter most to you. Whether you’re a beginner, hobbyist, educator, or entrepreneur, there’s a budget-friendly option that aligns with your goals. By considering factors like build volume, print quality, filament compatibility, and connectivity options, you can make an informed decision that ensures your projects come to life with precision and efficiency.

It’s essential to strike a balance between affordability and functionality. While a lower price point may be appealing, investing a bit more in a printer with features like auto bed leveling, heated print beds, and versatile filament support can significantly enhance your printing experience. Additionally, taking advantage of user reviews, expert recommendations, and community insights can provide valuable guidance, helping you avoid potential pitfalls and identify the printer that best suits your requirements.

Ultimately, the world of 3D printing is within reach for those seeking cost-effective solutions. The right cheap 3D printer can unlock your creativity, enabling you to bring your ideas into the tangible realm and embark on exciting journeys of innovation and exploration.