The world has changed with the invention of 3D printers, but even more so when manufacturers came up with budget options that you can get for quite a low price these days. Only a decade ago, you would have to pay thousands to have a single one of these devices. These days, you can get them for $500 or less, and still end up with a perfectly functional product that will serve you well for a long time. So, if you need an efficient, good-quality printer for your project, but you don’t want to pay a lot of money — allow us to present you with the best 3D printers for under $500, which you can buy right now, in 2019.
1. Qidi Technology X-one2 3D Printer
The first model on our list is Qidi Technology X-one2 3D Printer, which is also the one we consider to be the best, overall. It is incredibly cheap, and you can get it for less than $300. However, it is perfectly functional, and it will arrive fully assembled.
This printer features a rather minimalistic design, with not a lot on it that could divert your attention or make it difficult to use. It can be operated quite easily, which only adds to its brilliance. It is also quite durable, thanks to the fact that its housing is made of full metal. Sturdy as it is, it won’t get damaged by accident, and it can print all kinds of parts and items that can go up to 5.5 x5.5 x 5.5 inches in size.
This model also features a free software for the PC, which makes it easy to connect and control. However, it also has a 3.5-inch touchscreen display, which will allow you to set it up with even more ease. The UI itself is quite easy to understand and use, even if you are a complete novice when it comes to 3D printers.
There is a learning curve, as with any other product, but we do not expect that you will have a lot of difficulties when it comes to figuring it out. We should also mention that it is compatible with ABS and PLA filaments and that the 10MK nozzle and 10mm rod provide an excellent motor quality, which can continue working even under the temperatures over 100 degrees Celsius. In fact, 110 is its upper limit where you can operate it safely, so you don’t have to worry about issues with overheating.
All in all, it is a fantastic model, and we do not have much to criticize here. It is very user-friendly, and it will help you print pretty much anything, provided that it fits the size limit.
2. Creality Ender 3
The second on our list is Creality Ender 3, which is one of the cheapest models that you can find on the market right about now. It will only cost you around $200, give or take a few dollars, and it does a lot of things right, which comes as quite a pleasant surprise, considering the extra-low price.
Let’s start by pointing out that this model offers quite a large number of features. For example, it features a heated print bed, which measures 220 x 220, while its Z-axis remains even larger, at 250mm. Next, it has a very useful ability to continue printing after experiencing a loss of power. This is particularly useful, as sudden power outages are not too uncommon. With many other printers, something like that happening would destroy the part that the printer was working on at the moment. Creality Ender 3 will simply continue where it left off, which is a very rare feature in cheap 3D printers, as well as a very desirable one.
Then, there is its frame, which is comprised of aluminum extrusions, while a single leadscrew drives the Z-axis from the bed’s left-hand side. It is also worth pointing out that the printer arrives at your doorstep, mostly preassembled, which makes it an out-of-the-box solution. That way, you don’t have to spend hours studying the instructions and waste time on assembling it yourself. However, it still allows you to upgrade and mod it as much as you’d like, and the only real limit is your time, money, and patience.
In the end, we consider this printer to be an excellent investment — one that you definitely won’t regret making. It can do pretty much anything you could need from a 3D printer, within reasonable limits, of course.
3. Qidi Tech X-Smart
Then, we have a slightly more expensive solution, but still well below the $500-mark, which comes in the form of Qidi Tech X-Smart.
This model offers numerous capabilities, which is, once again, quite surprising for such low-priced models. It is also very easy to use, and it offers a 3.5-inch full-color touchscreen interface, similarly to our first entry. The interface is user-friendly, and it features quite intuitive icons, so you won’t end up in a situation where you don’t know what something does, or whether or not it is the right thing to press.
Its platform is an air-cooled, all-metal hot end, as well as fully-enclosed. It works with three filament types — ABS, PLA, and TPU, so you have plenty of options to choose from. It features aviation-grade aluminum construction, a removable heated build plate, as well as breakpoint printing and recovery.
It also comes with advanced tech for a printer, including Wi-Fi connection, 3D printer kit, and alike. Its window is transparent and dust-proof, and it also makes the printer very quiet, which allows you to keep it and use it in your house without bothering anyone.
All in all, it is an amazing model, and the slightly increased price (when compared to our previous entries) is definitely justified by all of its great features.
4. XYZprinting Da Vinci Mini 3D Printer
In the fourth spot, we have a very interesting and quite modern-looking da Vinci Mini 3D printer, which is wireless, and also so cheap that you can get it for less than $200. To say that this printer is cheap does not do it justice — it barely costs anything, compared to its high functionality and usefulness.
It is so user-friendly in terms of software that it actually impressed us, which makes it ideal for novices. Of course, experienced users can use it as well, and will have no problem finding their way around. Not only that, but the printer also works quite fast, and it has very smooth prints, which is definitely something you will appreciate once you see it in action.
It supports 1.75 diameter PLA filament, which is ordered from XYZ directly. However, the filament is also quite cheap, so it can be replaced easily if there is a need to do so. That makes for a pretty fair and decent compromise, especially if you keep the printer’s price in mind. Not to mention that you get some excellent results in return, so we believe you will be quite satisfied with this one.
Next, this printer also allows you to set up and adjust the overall printing resolution, which can go from 100 to 400 microns. In other words, the quality of service and attention to detail is the same as that of much more expensive printers, meaning that you get a great product for your money.
That’s not all — this printer is also quite portable thanks to its low weight, which is at around 24.25 pounds. You can easily carry it from one room to another. Also, thanks to the built-in Wi-Fi, you can do just that, and not have to worry about the internet connection. Further, it is very easy to send files from the computer to the printer. After that, all you need to do to start a printing process is to press a single button, and you’re done.
As you can tell, this is a model that offers a lot and costs very little, which is why it definitely deserves a place on a list such as this.
5. Geeetech A10
After Creality Ender 3 was introduced, it became a highly popular model. As a result, Geeetech decided to try and come up with its own solution, which would bring something new to its models. The end result is Geeetech A10, which really does come with a few differences that allow it to stand out from the rest.
The first thing to point out is that it is very easy to build so that you can do it yourself with no difficulties, whatsoever. Furthermore, it has a bigger build volume than Creality Ender 3 — 220 x 220 x 260mm. Finally, it features a so-called ‘Super Plate,’ which Geeetech created after being inspired by Anycubic’s Ultrabase.
For all its strengths, this model has only a single drawback that we managed to find, and that is manual calibration. However, after you are done with that, you are pretty much done, and you can print anything you want. Not bad for a printer that will cost you only a bit over $200. It even has a Wi-Fi dongle, which is a nice touch.
All in all, we believe that this model is another excellent solution that definitely deserves your attention, so do consider it if you are after a great, cheap printer that doesn’t require much work to set up.
6. Anycubic Photon
Another excellent model comes in the form of Anycubic Photon, which is a 3D printer that specializes in the creation of miniature masterpieces. In fact, it is one of the best choices for such kind of work, as it can replicate even the finest details, all the way down to only a few micrometers.
This is possible thanks to the fact that it uses UV LCD technology, which allows greater precision. It is also very sturdy, with a well-built chassis, and a tilting build platform which is fully enclosed.
The printer is very easy to set up, while its software is also relatively easy to use. There are 4 settings that you need to properly adjust it, and it works very fast.
Other than that, there is not much more to say about this model. It is excellent for creating smaller items, with great precision, and great quality of the final product. We are sure that you will find it quite satisfactory if you need a printer for that kind of work.
7. Monoprice Mini Delta 3D Printer
Another 3D printer that is strongly praised for its capabilities, as well as for an extremely low price, is Monoprice Mini Delta. This is a perfect solution for budget buyers who need a smaller build volume, and Mini Delta definitely delivers in that regard.
Let’s start off by saying that it arrives fully assembled and ready to be used from the moment you take it out of the box. It features three arms on rails, which can easily move up and down, and are completely independent of the print head. As for the plate, the model features a 110 x 120mm build volume plate.
The printer will keep self-calibrating with each new print that it performs, which means that you do not need to do anything manually. It is a perfect solution for novices who are not tech-savvy, and who might find the technology complex and difficult to understand.
With a wide range of numerous different heat temperatures, this printer can easily work with multiple materials, such as ABS, PLA, and even wood/metal composites. Next, when it comes to its software, you can download an open-source software that can then be used for selecting a print. Different prints can be delivered via a USB stick, SD card, or simply via a Wi-Fi connection. After loading, it is very easy to adjust specific options on the front display.
Printing speed is also quite quick, with around 150mm per second. There are faster printers out there, but most of them do not come at a price that even comes close to this. However, even if it is not the fastest one out there, the fact that it mostly prints small items means that it can be done within half an hour or less.
8. 3Doodler Start Essentials 3D Printing Pen
Finally, we would end the list with a very interesting model known as 3Doodler Start Essentials 3D Printing Pen, which is an excellent choice for kids. This is a very cheap printer that you can get for less than $50, and it is a perfect present that will stimulate children’s’ creativity.
3Doodler Start Essentials 3D Printing Pen allows kids to create pretty much endless 3D possibilities, and it is suitable for eight-year-olds and older. In fact, the manufacturer created this model especially for younger users, and they made sure that there are no external components that would get heated, meaning that there is no danger for the child to receive burns.
Additionally, during printing, the filament is quick to harden, meaning that the products of children’s creativity will be ready as soon as the printing process ends. This greatly reduces the need for parental help with each print. The model also features an ergonomic design, which helps kids with proper positioning. In other words, the printer is easy and comfortable to use.
There is also no harmful odor, thanks to the non-toxic filament, which makes the device very eco-friendly as well. The pen itself is also quite precise, and it won’t leave a trail of excess material if removed too quickly. Finally, the printer also features an automatic clear function, which can reduce any potential for filament jams. Meanwhile, the auto-feed feature is present as well, and it removes the necessity to continuously press the button that would make filament flow.
The model uses a rechargeable battery in the form of a USB, meaning that it also doesn’t require a power cord. This makes it even safer, as well as portable.
All in all, we believe that this is a perfect gift for imaginative kids and that it will allow them to bring their creations to life. With this device, a child can always have a new toy to play with and learn how to handle a 3D printer at the same time.
With that, we end our list of the best 3D printers that you can buy for under $500 in 2019. There are many excellent models that will not cost a lot, but they will still be useful for all kinds of different projects and needs. All that remains is for you to browse the list and pick the one that seems the most interesting to you.