How Much Do 3D Printers Cost? – Price Ranges and Categories

So how much do 3D printers cost? The answer varies, but fortunately prices have been trending downwards in recent years. In this article we will be looking at the various price groupings and categories of printers. The aim is to help a potential owner figure out where their priorities are based off of 3D printer cost and expected functionality. Below each category heading you will find a helpful table for you to review the core features of each printer in the respective price category.

Just briefly, here are some general price guidelines:

Basic Desktop Printer $500-900
Advanced Desktop Printer  $1200-4000
DIY 3D Printer Kit $300-600

Basic Desktop Printers

The first category – and most affordable category – of 3D printers is your basic desktop printer. Most of these machines are aimed at beginner to intermediate level printers on a budget. Since 3D printers can quickly become prohibitively expensive, these are among the most popular 3D printers on the market. They are leading the way in making 3D printing affordable for regular people and small businesses.

Certain features just won’t be found on these basic printers, although they are probably enough for the home printer. Don’t expect to see any “dual extruders” in this price range – for example – as this tends to add a substantial amount to the price tag. Dual extruders (essentially dual nozzles) allow you to print in more than one color variety.

Similarly, the layer resolution for this price range tends to cap out at around 100 microns. For very detailed and/or ornate projects, this might be an issue. The higher up the price range you go, the more detail you can expect.

What you do get is a good entry point into 3D printing. Some of these budget machines are actually quite capable and reliable, although always be prepared to get your hands dirty at any level with still emerging market of 3D printers.

Prices in this category range from the downright affordable Da Vinci 1.0 at $499 to around $900. You can view our table below for the exact specifications and prices.

Brand/ModelBuild AreaMax Print SpeedFilament TypesLayer ResolutionExtrudersNozzle DiameterOpen/Closed SystemOur RatingPrice
XYZprinting Da Vinci 1.0
7.8" x 7.8" x 7.8"150mm/secABS or PLA100-400 micronsSingle0.4mmClosed8.1/10$499 here
UP! Mini
4.75" x 4.75" x 4.75"
100mm/secABS or PLA200-400 micronsSingle0.4mmClosedNone Yet$599 here
RepRap Prusa Mendel
7" x 7" x 5"customizablecustomizablecustomizablecustomizablecustomizableOpenNone Yet$599 here
XYZprinting Da Vinci 2.0 Duo
6" X 7" X 7.8"150mm/secABS or PLA100-400 micronsDual0.4mmClosedNone Yet$649 here
Solidoodle SD-3DP-4
8" x 8" x 8"200mm/secABS or PLA100-400 micronsSingle0.4mmClosedNone Yet$680 here
Cubify Cube - 2nd Gen
5.5" x 5.5" x 5.5"15mm/secABS or PLA200 mcironsSingle0.4mmClosedNone Yet$640 here

Advanced Desktop Printers

In the advanced category of desktop printers, you will be getting enhanced functionality, reliability and precision for a higher entry price point. This category is ideal for someone who has at least limited experience with basic 3D printing or who has a strong desire/drive to learn the nuances of 3D printing. These tend to be more expensive – and hence a bit riskier – investments. Many of these printers are being used in small enterprises and design studios. The industry is evolving rapidly, so many of these advanced desktop printers are doing what only industrial printers could do 3-4 years ago, just at a smaller scale.

At this price point dual extruders become more common and layer resolution increases significantly. In many cases the layer resolution can be lower than 100 microns while print speeds can top out at higher rates. For more precise, ornate, and detailed products, these are the best machines.

In this category, you get what you pay for.

There is a wider price range in this category. Expect to pay north of $1200 for a mid-range advanced desktop printer, capping out at around $3000 for the top of the range. Check out the table below for an overview:

Brand/ModelBuild AreaPrint SpeedFilament TypesLayer ResolutionExtrudersNozzle DiameterOpen/Closed SystemOur RatingPrice
FlashForge Creator
8.9" x 5.7" x 5.9"40-100mm/secABS or PLA100-500 micronsDual0.4mmClosed7.7/10$977 here
Flashforge Dreamer
9" x 5.9" x 5.9"30-200mm/secABS, PLA, or PVA100-500 micronsDual0.4mmClosedNone Yet$1299 here
FlashForge Creator Pro
8.8" x 5.7" x 5.9"30-160mm/secABS or PLA100-300 micronsDual0.4mmClosedNone Yet$1349 here
MakerGear M2
8" x 10" x 8"80-200mmABS or PLA10-250 micronsSingle0.35mmOpen8/10$1775 here
LulzBot TAZ 4
11.7" x 10.8" x 9.8"200mm/secABS, PLA, HIPS, Wood, Stone, Nylon, and Rubber75-350 micronsSingle 0.35mmOpenNone Yet$2200 here
MakerBot Replicator
9.9" x 7.8" x 5.9"80-100mm/secABS or PLA100 micronsDual0.4mmClosedNone Yet$2899 here
MakerBot Replicator 2
11.2" x 6" x 6.1"
80-100mm/secABS or PLA100 micronsDual0.4mmClosed7.8/10$2989 here

DIY 3D Printer Kits

Another popular category of 3D printers are DIY kits. DIY printer kits are usually more affordable and more customizable than the pre-made versions. For tinkerers and experimenters, 3D printer kits can be the perfect solution. Adventurous builders will also be able to push their machines to the limit in terms of functionality and performance.

The downside is that there are risks associated with building things on your own. If things go wrong, you likely won’t have a factory warranty to fall back on or customer service to walk you through solutions. However, for a smaller up front investment, this risk can easily be worth the reward.

3D printer kits come in many shapes and sizes. All of the systems are – by default – open source systems from software to hardware. This means that most everything is able to be custom-fitted as needed. Looking for a larger build volume? No problem!

Of course, within the 3D printing kit spectrum there are some kits that are easier to build and more complete systems than others. If you are truly looking to build a 3D printer from scratch, you will have to source your own materials. The nice thing about DIY kits is that everything you need for a basic functional printer comes in one box with instructions.

Price ranges are all over the place, starting at around $300 to $600 per kit.

Brand/ModelBuild AreaPrint SpeedFilament TypesLayer ResolutionExtrudersNozzle DiameterOpen/Closed SystemOur RatingPrice
RepRap Prusa Mendel
7" x 7" x 5"customizablecustomizablecustomizableSinglecustomizableOpenNone Yet$599 here
Velleman K8200
8" x 8" x 8"120-300mm/secABS or PLA200-500 micronsSingle0.5mmOpenNone Yet$699 here
Aurora RepRap Prusa I3
7.8" x 7.8" x 7"100mm/secABS or PLA100-400 micronsSingle0.4mmOpenNone Yet$460 here

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