3D Printers use to have an extremely high barrier to entry with the machines starting price points. As the 3D printing industry has grown and the machines have become more popular, companies are now producing great machines at a fraction of the cost.

Fortunately, these cost savings are trickling down to the customers in terms of prices and means a more affordable 3D printer. Now, remember, the cheapest 3D printer is not always the best one.

We thought it would be helpful to provide an overview of 7 of some of the most affordable options for 3D print applications.

The following is our top 5 recommendations for affordable desktop 3D printers, all under $500:

1. Creality Ender 3

Great Affordable Alternative
Official Creality Ender 3 3D Printer | Creality 3D Official

For most users, I recommend starting with this Creality Ender 3 Prusa i3 model here. It produces more consistent quality prints and is MUCH easier to assemble, let alone being more affordable. A clear choice for me.

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  • Ender 3 Price: The Ender 3 is one of the most affordable desktop 3D printers you will see out there, period. You can find it for under $200 through all the vendors you associate with 3D printers, including Amazon, Gearbeast, and Creality itself. It’s not only affordable, but it’s also accessible, and you’ll have a lot of outlets to shop around to ensure you’re getting the best of the best deal Check out the latest prices on the Ender 3 here on Amazon.
  • Ender 3 Assembly: You may still be wary after hearing the Ender 3 is a kit and not a fully assembled printer. So many 3D printers can pass themselves off as good deals because you’re doing all the work to get them going. But with the Ender 3, the assembly process is virtually painless. This good start to your experience gives you a boost to enjoy the rest of your printing sooner and with more understanding of how things work.
  • Ender 3 Size: Although the Ender 3 is by no means the largest – or smallest, if you’re into that – desktop 3D printer out there, its balance of print area and compactness makes it the golden ideal in its class. [size of printing area] is big enough for a large size range of personal projects, and you can always print pieces to assemble together into a larger finished object. And for the Ender 3, compactness is translated into putting a lot of great stuff into a package that doesn’t waste space. Desktop printing is always going to be a cramped market, so Ender 3 gives you plenty of room to do your thing without getting in the way of the rest of your life.
  • Ender 3 Print quality: It might take a little adjusting after your first few runs, but the Ender 3 gets what you want to do in terms of print quality and helps that happen well. One of the ways it makes a great finished product is with its tight filament path – with fewer twists and turns for the filament to go through when it’s getting to the extruder, the smoother the print is going to be, especially when you’re working with flexible filaments like nylon.
  • Open source software: The Ender 3’s upgrade system is the best we’ve seen in a kit printer. You’re not left alone to fumble with a system that’s going to be incompatible with everything else you want to use, and you’ll be able to take advantage of any (or all!) of Creality’s available updates. Those are growing by the day, as are the creative additions Creality users post for others to find and freely use on the internet. If you’re one to tinker around with code and put together something awesome, you can add your own ideas to the mix and get them out there for everyone to use.

Key Specifications

Printing technology

FDM 3D Printer

Print area (build volume)

220 mm x 220 mm x 250 mm

Printer size

440 mm x 410 mm x 465 mm

Printer weight

8.6 kg

Filament type

1.75 mm PLA, ABS, or TPU

Extruder Nozzle diameter

0.4 mm

Maximum print speed

200 mm/sec

Maximum layer resolution

0.1 mm

Print precision

+/- 0.1mm

Heated bed



SD card, USB

LCD screen


Further Reading:

2. Anet A8

Anet A8 3D Printer | 3D Printers Online Store

Easy installation, 5 keys 2004 LCD screen display, easy control, smart board, pause at anytime, best budget for DIY lovers.

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  • DIY Kit: The printer comes almost entirely unassembled when it arrives. This means you will have an unforgettable learning experience as you piece your 3D printer together. Step-by-step instructions come loaded on an included SD card.
  • Pre-Loaded Instructional SD Card: Within the files on the SD card, you will find links for instructional videos. Overall, the assembly process sounds like a fun experience, and it will give you a great sense of accomplishment when it is completed.
  • Design: We are big fans of the simple and sleek design of the Anet A8. An acrylic frame gives it a hand-made industrial feel, which looks great in your workspace. One of the best parts is the all-metal pulley system which means better performance and more durability. All rods, gears, bearings, and connectors are stainless steel parts, which allows for more precise and smoother printing.
  • Quick Release Feed Gears: Also, it comes with quick-release feed gears linked to the extruder for seamless filament feeding. Overall, the build and design of the Anet A8 are quite impressive for the price you pay. 
  • Easy to Follow InstructionsThe assembly process may be difficult for some of the more beginner users, but anyone can build it. We have heard the assembly process takes around 4 – 6 hours, but be sure to go slowly and take your time, patience is key when building this printer. Luckily, with such a large online following and support system you will have all the help you need.  
  • Multiple Filament Types: The Anet A8 is compatible with 6 different types of filaments, listed below in the key specs. Your options for printing and creating are almost endless. Everything from standard PLA to wood or even luminescent filaments will work on this machine. Through testing, we have heard the PLA seems to work the best when you first get the printer running.

Key Specifications

Build Area  8.6” x 8.6” x 9.5” 
Print Speed  100 mm/s 
Filament Types  ABS, PLA, Wood, Nylon PVA, PP, Luminescent 
Layer Resolution  100 – 300 microns 
Layer Thickness 0,05mm – 0,35mm
Positioning Accuracy 12 x 12 x 4 microns
Max Extruder Temperature 500 °F / 260 °C
Max Heated Bed Temperature 205 °F / 96 °C
Dual Extruder No 
Nozzle Diameter  0.4 mm 
Print Bed Leveling Manual
Print Bed Details  Heated bed with aluminum surface
Display LCD Screen
Firmware Open Source
Warranty  None 
Our Score  8.4/10 
Price  $163.99 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here)

3. CoLiDo DIY 3D Printer Kit

CoLiDo DIY Printer | Amazon

Assemble manually, best for educational use. Do-it-yourself assembly - Ideal for hobbyists. Large build size – 7.9″ x 7.9″ x 6.7″

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  • Easy To Assemble: This kit is fairly easy to assemble, best for educational use and hobbyists. You can do it yourself and you will start printing in about 15 minutes. The package comes in six modules with easy instructions as well as an instructional video (added on the included USB)
  • Huge Print Bed Size: The max print size is 7.9 x 7.9 x 6.7 inches, thus, you can make large prints (large 3D printer) with great print resolution with the CoLiDo DIY 3D Printer. It doesn’t have a heated bed so it supports only PLA filament, however, you can easily upgrade to a heated bed if you want to start using other types of filament.
  • Solid Construction: Made with quality materials such as steel rods, brass nuts, and molded plastic parts.
  • High-Quality Print-Rite’s Extruder: The extruder has a standard 0.4mm nozzle, a cooling fan, and a quick release lever that allows you to quickly and easily change the filament. If you want, you can also upgrade the printer, It’s very easy to replace the print head with readily available parts.
  • USB And SD Card Slot: On the motherboard side there is a USB and SD Card slot.
  • Precise Printing: The printer uses dual stepper motors, ball bearing supports on the Z axis and lead screws which significantly makes the performance of the prints very precise and steady.
  • Small, lightweight, quiet and odorless

Key Specifications

  • Print Technology: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
  • Build Volume (L x W x H): 200 x 200 x 170 mm (7.9″ x 7.9″ x 6.7″)
  • Layer Resolution: 0.1 – 0.4 mm
  • Layer Thickness: 100 microns
  • Filament Material: PLA
  • Filament Diameter: 1.75 mm
  • Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm
  • Operation Temperature: 15-32°C (60-90°F)
  • Supported File Type: STL, G-Code
  • Operating System: Windows 7 or Above, MAC OS X
  • XYZ Positioning Precision: X/Y: 0.011mm; Z: – 0.0025mm

The first printer on our list, the CoLido DIY Printer, is a great tool for any hobbyist. This printer comes as an unassembled kit, which allows the user to fully understand the ins and outs of a 3D printer as the piece it together. It is one of the lowest priced 3D printers available, but it sure doesn’t print like it’s the cheapest. Since it is a DIY printer, you can easily customize, and upgrade just about any hardware or software to truly make this printer your own.

The 7.9″ x 7.9″ x 6.7″ is rather large when it comes to desktop 3D printers, especially at this price point. With its minimalist design, the entire printer will not take up much more desk space than the build area making it ideal for tight work environments.

Don’t let the DIY aspect scare you away. The printer is easy and quick to set up. All you need to do is follow the assembly manual and in almost no time at all, you will be ready to print.

This printer only handles PLA at first, but you can upgrade different parts to use different materials. An out-of-the-box layer resolution of up to 100 microns competes with many of the more expensive 3D printers.

Overall, if you need an easy to use and affordable 3D printer for under $200, the CoLiDo DIY is a great option for you.

4. XYZPrinting da Vinci Mini W

da Vinci Mini Wireless 3D Printer | Amazon

The da Vinci Mini streamlines its printing function through a single-button print design as well as providing different colored LEDs to indicate printing conditions.

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  • Compact: The da Vinci Mini W weights less than 18lb which means you can easily transport it to wherever you go around the house or office.
  • Large Print Size: The 5.9 x 5.9 x 5.9 inches aluminum print bed allows you to create big high-quality prints (reliable print quality).
  • Print In No Time: Everything comes pre-tested, calibration has been done and all the print settings are calculated so you can start printing quickly after getting in touch with the printer.
  • Easy Maintenance: The printer comes pre-assembled and it has auto-leveling software which makes the initial setup and maintenance straightforward.
  • Environmentally Friendly: The da Vinci Mini W uses biodegradable and DEHP-free PLA print material.

Key Specifications

  • Print Technology: FFF(Fused Filament Fabrication)
  • Build Volume / Print Volume (L x W x H): 5.9″ x 5.9″ x 5.9″ (150 x 150 x 150 mm)
  • Layer Resolution: 100 – 400 microns
  • Filament Material: PLA / Antibacterial PLA / PETG / Tough PLA
  • Filament Diameter: 1.75 mm
  • Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm
  • Operating Temperature: 15 – 32 °C / 59 – 89.6 °F
  • Supported File Types: .stl , XYZ Format (.3w), .3mf , .obj
  • Operating Systems: Windows 7 or Above, MacOS 10.10 / 10.11 / 10.12 / 10.13 / 10.14
  • XYZ Positioning Precision: X/Y: 12.5 microns; Z: 0.001 mm

The XYZ Printing da Vinci Mini W(wireless) is our next choice for a great, affordable 3D printer. This is the first of two printers from XYZ Printing on our lists. This company has made a name for itself by producing some amazing machines and offering some of the cheapest in the industry.

The da Vinci Mini W was designed with the beginner in mind. It features a streamlined design with single-button printing and wireless connectivity. As well it utilizes the easy to use XYZprinting software to allow for easier print setup, which means more time printing.

This printer is limited to only XYZprinting’s bio-compostable PLA. While limited, you can rest assured you are not hurting the environment when using this filament.

The da Vinci Mini W has an average-sized build volume (print volume) of 5.9” x 5.9” x 5.9”, which is typical for “mini” models. You will also get a fairly standard 100 – 400 micron layer resolution with a max print speed of 120mm/sec.

The da Vinci Mini W doesn’t come with any eye-popping features. But it is reliable, sturdy, and consistent machine with a very friendly price tag.

Overall, I highly recommend this 3D printer for anyone who is new to the 3D printing world. Check out the full review here.

5. Anycubic Kossel Kit

Anycubic Delta 3D Printer | Amazon

Modular assembly: You just need put 7 modular parts together. The assembly time decrease to 2-4 hours depends on your experience.

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  • Large Print Size: 7.1 x 7.1 x 12.6 inches (180mm x 180mm x 320mm)
  • Strong frame construction: Upgraded to European standard 2020 aluminum profile which allows for stable high-quality prints
  • All metal composites printing hot end which has two cooling fans that are conducive to higher precision and quality prints
  • Easy install and operation
  • Durable metal extruder:
  • High Torque Stepper Motor which has rotating speed and uniform extrusion force, thus feeding filament smoothly

Key Specifications

  • Print Technology: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
  • Build Volume / Print Volume (L x W x H): 7.1 x 7.1 x 12.6 inches (180mm x 180mm x 320mm)
  • Layer Resolution: 0.1-0.4 mm
  • Filament Compatibility: PLA, ABS, HIPS, Wood
  • Extruder: Single
  • Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm
  • Extruder Temperature: 260ºC Max
  • Heated Bed Temperature: 100ºC
  • Supported File Types: STL, .OBJ, .AMF, GCODE
  • Interface: LCD display
  • Connectivity: SD Card, USB line
  • Operating Systems: Windows 7 or Above, MacOS 10.10 / 10.11 / 10.12 / 10.13 / 10.14

The Anycubic Kossel Kit 3D FDM printer is another DIY printer for our list. I really like the unique circular design of this printer as it allows for a taller build area, 7.1” x 7.1” x 12.6”. This kit takes a little more time to setup than the CoLiDo DIY Printer. But most users reported having the machine completely built and printing in a few hours. While it may be a little difficult, you will surely feel accomplished once you begin printing.

Anycubic’s Kossel 3D printer can print with the best of them with a much friendlier price tag. Once you assemble the printer, you will be able to create objects with a 100 – 400 micron layer resolution and print at speeds up to 80mm/sec.

Right out of the box this is a fairly versatile machine. It will print with ABS, Nylons, PLA, and Wood filaments. With a few upgrades and tweaks, you can print with much more and customize the machine any way you want.

Overall, I believe this a good and affordable 3D printer budget option. I am even considering purchasing one myself. If you are looking for a hands-on experience with your 3D printer, the Anycubic Kossel Kit may be just the one for you.

6. XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro

da Vinci Jr Pro 3D Printer | Amazon

Print with any 3rd Party Filament: The da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro has adjustable temperature settings for the extruder nozzle, making it compatible with 3rd party 1.75mm PLA filaments.

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  • 3rd Party Filament Compatibility: It has easily adjustable extruder nozzle temperature settings which makes it compatible with 3rd party PLA or PETG filaments. Additionally, with its auto-loading filament system, it ensures that the filaments are fed properly.
  • XYZware Pro Software: Having this software will allow for faster slicing and increased control.
  • Auto-Calibration: The printer uses a 9-point calibration detection system which helps to determine the distance between the print bad and the extruder more accurately.
  • Convenient Design: The 19.88″ x 23.15″ x 18.7″ (505 x 588 x 475 mm) size of the printer makes it an ideal desktop 3D printer.
  • Wide Range of Material Use: The printer is compatible with many filaments which are listed below.
  • 0.3mm Nozzle: Although this doesn’t come included with the printer you can easily purchase this upgrade separately. It is well-suited for complicated print jobs. The 0.3mm extruder can create smoother prints with a resolution of 50 microns.

Key Specifications

  • Print Technology: FFF(Fused Filament Fabrication)
  • Max. Build Area (L x W x H): 5.9″ x 5.9″ x 5.9″ (150 x 150 x 150 mm)
  • Layer Resolution: 50 – 400 microns
  • Filament Material: PLA / Antibacterial PLA / PETG / Tough PLA / Wood / *Premium Metallic PLA / *XYZ Carbon Fiber (*Option Extruder)
  • Support 3rd Party Material: Yes
  • Filament Spool Storage: Internal
  • Filament Diameter: 1.75 mm
  • Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm/ 0.3mm (optional)
  • Operating Temperature: 15 – 32 °C / 59 – 89.6 °F
  • Supported File Types: .stl , XYZ Format (.3w), G-code, .3mf , .obj
  • Operating Systems: Windows 7 or Above; MacOS 10.10 / 10.11 / 10.12 / 10.13 / 10.14; Linux 14.04 / 16.04
  • XYZ Positioning Precision: X/Y: 12.5 micron; Z: 0.0004 mm

As promised, we have our second XYZprinting printer, this time it’s the da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro. This printer is described as “a compact 3D printer for professionals” and that is exactly what it is. The da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro has all the capabilities and features of the more advanced high-end 3D printers but is available for under $400.

You’ll get all you need and more with the da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro. It comes as a fully-enclosed print bed environment, 5.9” x 5.9” x 5.9” build area, 3rd party filament compatibility, and an upgradeable nozzle to 0.3mm diameter size.

With the smaller diameter nozzle, you will be able to create higher resolution parts up to 50 microns. Typically, you need to give out thousands of dollars for that level of detail.

The layer resolution isn’t the only mind-boggling spec of the da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro. This affordable machine can reach print speeds of 250mm/sec. This is easily the top performing 3D printer in terms of specs on this list. And with a cheap 3D printer price tag, you’d be crazy not to purchase this 3D printer.

Overall, this is easily one of my favorites for an affordable 3D printer. The da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro will get you the most bang for your buck when it comes to 3D printers. Check out the full review here.

7. Flashforge Finder

Best Overall
Why Go With the Flashforge Finder? | 3D Printers Online

The Flashforge Finder is the perfect combination of approachability and reliability to be a great classroom performer. Not too big or complicated to overwhelm, but also consistent with no "open source" finicky customizations.

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Core Features of the Flashforge Finder 3D Printer

  • Non-Toxic Plastic Filament: Specifically designed to print models using biodegradable plastic filaments know as Polylactic acid (PLA). This removes the complication of needing a heated print bed to work with more problematic (and toxic) materials like ABS
  • Intelligent Assisted Leveling System: This is a feature mostly found on expensive printers that allow the user to precisely calibrate the distance between the nozzle and the build plate. I
  • Wired and Wireless Connections: The 3D printer features a 2nd generation Wi-Fi connection as well as support for a USB flash drive and direct connection with a computer.
  • Filament Management System: This key feature that allows this printer to be a perfect cube in size is its excellent filament management system. The filament is contained inside a cartridge that slides into the back of the printer.
  • 3.5” HD IPS Touchscreen: Finder sports a touch screen at the top of the printer, allowing for easy operation of the printer. It is also able to show previews of the model files before you start a print, as well as a real-time view of printing status.
  • Plug and Play: One of the main selling points of the Flashforge Finder is that it is a plug and play printer. Anyone can start 3D printing immediately and there is no need for test prints. And that is exactly what this printer delivers.

Key Specifications

  • Printing Tech: FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)
  • Build Volume: 5.5” x 5.5” x 5.5” (140 x 140 x 140 mm)
  • Layer Resolution: 100~500 microns
  • Positioning Precision: XY: 11 microns, Z: 2.5 microns
  • Printing Speed: 40 ~ 200 millimeters per second
  • Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm
  • Product Dimension: 16.5” x 16.5” x 16.5” (420 x 420 x 420 mm)
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi Network, USB Cable, USB Flash Drive Stick
  • Operating Systems: Windows 7/ 8 / Vista Mac OS X
  • Software: FlashPrint

The Flashforge Finder is the latest, greatest, smallest in the long line of high-quality 3D printers from Flashforge. It contains most of the great features the other Flashforge models have just on a smaller scale, which also means its a more affordable 3D printer than its counterparts.

This printer comes equipped with an easy to use 3.5” color touchscreen display, a slide-in build plate for easy removal of final products, and multiple connectivity options. You can connect it to your home network and print from anywhere in your home or office.

Also, with the Finder, you will get a 5.5” x 5.5” x 5.5” build area, and it can reach layer resolutions of 100- 500 microns. Unfortunately, this one is limited to PLA only filament and it may be tricky to try and upgrade any parts.

Overall, the Flashforge Finder is aimed at beginners with its easy price tag and simple design and features. If you need a quality 3D printer from a well-known 3D printing company, this is a great option. Check out the full review here.

Cheap 3D Printers to Avoid

The five printers mentioned above are all solid value for the price. We are very comfortable recommending them to readers as we have used them ourselves! However, there are some other cheap 3D printer options that you should steer clear of.

In our experience, these 3D printers are inexpensive for a reason and you will be more frustrated with your investment in the long run. Some of these companies are just going through “growing pains” so it is entirely possible that later iterations will be much better. As it stands now, stays away from the following models:

Cubify Cube 3D Printer (2nd Gen): We were pretty excited when this printer was released as it had the appearance of the polished machine. What you get – however – is a printer that looks nice as a paperweight, but is barely functional as a 3D printer. There are many and a wide variety of complaints about it.

1) First, it has a very difficult time printing with ABS material. ABS and PLA are the two industry standards for printable material. Almost every printer can use both effectively. The worst part is that the machine advertises that it does – in fact – print ABS when this is clearly not the case.

2) Secondly, the replacement cartridges are vastly overpriced. I’m assuming this is part of the business model, much like what HP does with traditional “authorized” ink replacement. This might be acceptable if the rest of the 3D printing industry behaved this way. The truth is that many of the open systems and even some of the closed systems offer flexible cartridge fulfillment from various affordable suppliers.

3) Lastly, the machine is built on simplicity. Normally this would be a nice thing as an introductory model for beginners. However, the machine is simple and stupid! It is needlessly slow – slower than many of its competitors – while also being marginally reliable in terms of production print quality. Even the WiFi capability is tricky to configure. All in all, this is a poorly executed product.

It’s a shame that the core product is so poor because we found the customer support to be very helpful and courteous, as much as they could be given the circumstances. Just to reiterate, we do NOT recommend trying to save a few bucks with this 3D printer. You will be much better served by selecting a model from the table below, even if you aren’t a 3D printing enthusiast (yet).

Affordable 3D Printer Model Comparison Table

The table below details the best budget 3D printers. If you are looking for a broader overview of the different best 3D printers by categories, check out this page.

Attention: The internal data of table “2” is corrupted!

Further Reads on Other Cheap 3D Printer Options