Starting with 3D printing and getting into one of the most fantastic adventures does not have to be expensive in 2021. Your best cheap 3D printer is somewhere waiting for you. Even when you are on a budget under $200 or $300, you can find many affordable solutions and buy your first machine at the lowest cost possible.
It is a great idea to see the 3D printed models and figurines made on various machines. The finished works speak more than words and can help you decide which best budget 3D printer suits your needs and expectations.
What is the best cheap 3D printer?
The concept of “cheap 3D printer” has its meaning for everyone. Someone is ready to spend less than $200 on their first machine, and others are willing to pay way more than $300. The main question is what to look for when searching for your best budget 3D printer.
These are the three main things to keep in mind while looking for the cheapest 3D printer in 2021:
- Type of machine;
- List of parts;
- Customer service.
The affordable 3D printer types are only desktop machines that print in filament or resin. All other devices are not cheap and cost way more than $200 or $300. Still, the cheap resin 3D printer or FDM (filament) machine can surprise you with accurate details and stunning 3D printing results. Both types are great for making cool figurines and models from video games, comics, movies and cartoons.
Each type of 3D printer has its advantages and disadvantages. Some machines move the bed over the Z-axis (the Ultimaker machines) and others over the Y-axis (the Prusa Mendel printers). The first type of machines is believed to boast higher 3D printing speed and better accuracy. Still, the second type is believed to be more comfortable to maintain and lever more weight. Also, it is better to choose a cheap 3D printer that is easy to calibrate and offers an automatic bed levelling option.
Besides, when an affordable 3D printer works, it shakes and might vibrate itself off the surface if there is not enough weight to keep it in place. Thus, it is essential to look at the list of parts. Better avoid getting a machine with a flimsy or thin metal frame with a thickness of under 3 mm (0.12 inches). Instead, choose a firm device with heavy aluminium or wood frames.
Your best cheap 3D printer is a machine that corresponds with your budget and expectations and offers reliable customer support through a forum, social group, phone, etc.
Cheapest 3D Printer
The list of resin and desktop filament 3D printers that become more accessible to the masses grows every year. In 2021, you can find your best cheap 3D printer for under $200 and slightly above $300. While most affordable machines cannot boast the quality of expensive 3D printers, they still deliver impressive results for newbies and advanced hobbyists.
Gambody made a selection of 10 cheap 3D printers along with images of fantastic models made on them. Hopefully, it will ease your choice.
1. Anet A8 3D Printer
This FDM machine is believed to be one of the cheapest 3D printers with excellent accuracy of 0.1 mm and stunning print quality for its price. The Anet A8 is an open-source budget device made by the Chinese company Shenzhen Anet Technology.
This budget self-assembly 3D printer features a bed of 220 x 220 x 240 mm (8.6 x 8.6 x 9.4 inches), LCD screen, simple adjustment with five buttons only. It supports an SD card, can print offline, has an auto levelling sensor, heated hotbed that goes up to 100 °C (212 °F). Its aluminium alloy frame is believed to be stable. And the compatibility with different types of filament (ABS, PLA, PP, HIPS, Nylon) makes it possible to bring the most impressive models and figurines to life.
You can find this cheap 3D printer for under $200. But meanwhile, enjoy the fantastic 3D printed DeLorean time machine tires made in Ninjaflex on the Anet A8 by talented Gambody enthusiast Paul Krupa.
2. Creality Ender-3 3D Printer
Creality Ender-3 is another lowest-cost 3D printer that has many fans worldwide. This open-source, all-metal frame machine requires assembly. But don’t worry because the necessary tools are included.
The printer coated bed is 220 x 220 x 250 mm (8.6 x 8.6 x 9.8 inches). You will love the ‘Resume Print’ feature designed to eliminate failed prints, improved MK-8 extruder and fast heating speed. It takes about 5 minutes to heat the surface to 90°C (194 °F), which can go up to 115°C (239 °F). The FDM machine can print with PLA, ABS, PETG and other filament types.
Often, it is possible to buy the Creality Ender-3 for as low as $175, and sometimes the price sticks to approximately $200. And, of course, be inspired by the stunning 3D printed models made by talented hobbyists Michal Morawski, Fabian Dobbeck and StudioAgrafka Sowiński on Ender-3. The level of details wows!
3. Creality Ender-3 Pro 3D Printer
If you are not happy with your Ender-3, you might want to spend some extra bucks to get an improved Creality Ender-3 Pro version. This budget 3D printer is offered at under $240.
The printing bed is the same as in Ender-3, 220 x 220 x 250 mm (8.6 x 8.6 x 9.8 inches). But the build surface plate in Ender-3 Pro is removable, making it easier to remove the 3D printed models. The bed can heat to 100 °C (212 °F) in just five minutes. And you can work with PLA, ABS and other FDM filaments.
There is no need to worry about unexpected power outages because the cheap Creality Ender-3 Pro will resume printing. Now, it is time to enjoy the photos of 3D printed models made by Kiri Sute, Kurt Prieto and Jeremy Jochman on Ender-3 Pro.
4. Creality LD-002R Resin 3D Printer
Not only FDM machines are among the cheapest 3D printers. You can also enjoy a cheap resin 3D printer offered by Creality. The LD-002R version can be purchased at $199. This lowest-cost machine has an active carbon air filtering system to remove odour from resin.
The company promises simple assembly and easy operation. This cheap resin 3D printer comes with 2k HD masking screen, powerful UV light to improve the printing speed for up to 4s per layer. You can build pieces up to 119 x 65 x 160 mm (4.7 x 2.6 x 6.3 inches) and print right from USB.
This cheap resin 3D printer can help you to breathe life into unique models. Look at the stunning Diablo figurine whose orange parts were made on LR-002R by Paul Krupa.
5. New Creality Halot-One Resin 3D Printer
The specs of the newest 2021 Halot-One resin 3D printer remind us of the LD-0002R. This cheap resin 3D printer boasts a bigger print size of 127 x 80 x 160 mm (5 x 3.1 x 6.3 inches), lower engine noise of under 60dB, 2k LCD screen, 5-inch colour touchscreen and stunning Z-axis positioning accuracy of 0.01 mm.
The 2021 Halot-One 3D printer of a new generation can work via Wi-Fi connection and offline via USB. Creality releases it in a fully assembled state, meaning you can make your first 3D prints right out of the box.
The machine adopts the principle of refraction and reflection of light. Thus, the Creality Halot-One resin 3D printer promises to distribute light on each model’s dimension. It will lead to high-precision 3D printing. Also, the air purification system helps to filter out some of the odours from resin.
Since the cheap Halot-One resin 3D printer is shipping sometime in May 2021, Gambody’s enthusiasts haven’t shared any prints made on it yet. But you can enjoy the Gambody and Creality Halot-One bundles for $259. So, go ahead and start testing your favourite Gambody models on this newest 2021 machine.
6. Creality CR-10 Mini 3D Printer
Creality manufactures many cheap 3D printers. Its CR-10 Mini machine is an affordable FDM 3D printer with many features of Ender-3.
You can enjoy the ‘Resume Print’ option, all aluminium frame, manual levelling and simple assembly. However, this best budget 3D printer comes with a bigger bed of 300 x 220 x 300 mm (11.8 x 8.6 x 11.8 inches). It has cut noise, an upgraded control board and higher printing accuracy. You can work with ABS, PLA, Wood, TPU, Copper and many other filaments.
Hobbyists 黃巽甫, Brian Nguyen and Jouko Salminen who print with CR-10 Mini enjoy fantastic results that well worth the machine’s price of under $240.
7. Monoprice Mini 3D Printer
This Monoprice Mini version is available for under $160. It is even cheaper than the V2 Mini, but its print bed is also smaller. It is only 110 x 110 x 120 mm (4.3 x 4.3 x 4.7 inches).
The budget 3D printer has an auto-calibration feature promising no issues with bed levelling, steel and aluminium frames, support for both online and offline printing, PLA and ABS. It comes fully assembled and can be turned on as soon as you unbox it.
The low cost should not scare you away. Hobbyist Kyle Reiach proved how amazing the Monoprice Mini can be in action and what great 3D prints it can build.
8. Anycubic Photon Mono Resin 3D Printer
Anycubic Photon Mono is another cheap resin 3D printer. You can find great deals on Amazon and other stores and get the machine for as low as $210.
The Photon Mono has a 6.08-inch 2K Monochrome LCD screen, impressive accuracy of 0.01 mm, offline-print support and other features. The possible print size is 130 x 80 x 165 mm (5.11 x 3.14 x 6.9 inches), and it takes about 1.5 seconds per layer to cure the resin.
The aluminium frame, upgraded UV light, excellent stability, fast printing speed make the device a perfect tool for hobbyists. Alex Schneider and Chuck Reaume who love working with resin achieved amazing results on this machine.
9. Qidi Tech X-Maker 3D Printer
With up to $300 in your pocket, you can pay attention to the Qidi Tech X-Maker. This cheap 3D printer often comes with excellent discounts and can cost $299.
The machine’s bed is 170 x 150 x 160 mm (6.69 x 5.9 x 6.29 inches). This device was designed for educational purpose. It promises low noise, Wi-Fi printing, touch screen, removable metal plate, special spool holder for easier filament running, etc.
The stable bed and easy bed levelling can help you make fantastic 3D printed models. The works by Gambody hobbyist Bill Mattes finished on Qidi Tech X-Maker can motivate your future creations.
10. Artillery Genius 3D Printer
If you search for a cheap 3D printer and have about $320 to spend on one, look at the Artillery Genius. This machine comes with a print bed of 220 x 220 x 250 mm (8.66 x 8.66 x 9.84 inches).
The Artillery Genius has an aluminium frame, 0.4 mm nozzle, direct drive extruder, USB and TF card support. It boasts a fast printing speed that can reach 150 mm/sec. It takes two minutes for the heated bed to reach 80 °C (176 °F) and five minutes to get to 110 °C (230 °F). Thus, it is compatible with ABS, PLA, TPU and other types of filament.
This budget machine can help to make nice-quality 3D prints just like this Groot figurine brought to life by Koldo Valle.
The list of cheap 3D printers is pretty long. You can also check many other budget machines, such as Phrozen Sonic Mini 4k, Creality CR-20 Pro, da Vinci mini w+, Monoprice Select Mini V2, Duplicator i3 V2.1 and others. Decide if you prefer FDM or resin printer and create lovely prints to make you proud of yourself. Make sure to join Gambody 3D Printing Community on Facebook to share your new works.