It wasn’t long ago that 3D printing was seen as dramatic science fiction, but the world changes quickly these days. Not only are 3D printers now a viable option for manufacturing, but they’re accessible even for small business owners and even hobbyists. Whether you’re looking to turn your craft into a full service commercial operation or simply look for a new way to flex your creative talents, you can now find a 3D printer that suits your budget and your demands.
But it can be easy to get suckered into buying an inferior product. We’re here to help with that. We’re hear to shine a light on 10 of the best 3D printers under 300 bucks and provide a guide that can make you fluent in the terminology.
Quick Look: 10 Best 3D Printers Under $300
- Comgrow Creality Ender 3 Pro 3d Printer
- FlashForge Finder 3D Printer
- Best Value: Monoprice Mini Delta 3D Printer
- Comgrow Creality Ender 3 3d Printer
- Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer v2
- XYZ printing da Vinci Mini Wireless 3D Printer
- QIDI TECHNOLOGY X-one2 Single Extruder 3D Printer
- GEEETECH A10 3D Printer
- TEVO 2020 New Tarantula Pro 3D Printer
- JGMAKER Magic 3D Printer
1. Comgrow Creality Ender 3 Pro 3d Printer
Our choice for the best overall 3d printer under $300
There are two vectors that are of the utmost priority when we evaluate 3d printers for this list: level of customization and the quality of the results. And Comgrow's Creality Ender 3 Pro sticks the landing on both fronts. It can be easily hacked to produce more complex and original results, and the ability to upgrade it means that you can get in on the ground floor for a reasonable investment and scale up as your scope and ambitions grow. It's also relatively compact in size, so it allows you to flex your skills as a maker without having to create an entire workshop for your efforts.
2. FlashForge Finder 3D Printer
If you're looking to pick up the FlashForge Finder within the $300 price point, you may have to be patient. It normally retails for over $600, but savvy shoppers willing to wait for a deal will be able to reap the rewards of one of the best consumer grade 3D printers on the market. The interface is actually one of the easiest around with its clean and easy to read touchscreen interface, and a whole wealth of connectivity options make it easy to transition from your big idea into an actual finished product. It's also quiet and precise, although its size as a mini 3D printer reduces the scale of prints it can produce somewhat.
3. Best Value: Monoprice Mini Delta 3D Printer
You won't find many 3D printers that come in at $160 that will be worth your time, but the Monoprice Mini 3D manages it. This budget 3D printer is a far cry from a commercial 3d printer in terms of performance, but hobbyists just getting their legs will have a lot of fun playing with it. And while the USB connection can be a bit finicky, the controls are pretty simple and straightforward. And the print quality is actually rather impressive. It's also rather fast. Those two features combined make it worth a glance even if it might require a few workarounds to get working at peak capacity. In either case, the plug and play design makes getting it up and going a breeze.
4. Comgrow Creality Ender 3 3d Printer
You can think of the Creality Ender 3 as the base level alternative to the Ender 3 Pro, but in practical terms, they're pretty similar in both price and features. This Pro makes use of a sturdier base that offers more reliable printing than you'd find in this model, and for that reason, it garners a price tag of a few dozen dollars more. And the presence of a new and improved power supply allows it to run quieter. But if you're working on a limited budget, those issues are largely a matter of convenience more than necessity. The standard Ender 3 is still one of the best budget 3D printers available for both amateurs and hobbyists. And it's every bit as easy to assemble as its big brother.
5. Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer v2
The Monoprice Select is undoubtedly a serious step up in quality from the base level Monoprice Delta. Not only does this desktop 3D printer support every filament material you can imagine, but it also offers substantially larger builds and a significantly better speed. The color LCD screen is incredibly user friendly, and it comes with all the expected connectivity features for bringing your 3D models to life. Two separate fans keeping everything cool even under pressure, and it makes use of a simple extruder and plate. But its basic design works remarkably well, proving that sometimes simple is better for 3D printers.
6. XYZ printing da Vinci Mini Wireless 3D Printer
The da vinci Mini by XYZ Printing is more a beginner's tool for learning how printers 3D work, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't pay it any attention. It prints quickly, and it incorporates some incredibly easy to use software that makes it a great educational tool for amateurs and students, but it does require that you use proprietary filaments from XYZ Printing. T
hat said, their prices for filament are cheap, and they offer a wide variety of different colors. Calibration on this 3d printer is automated, including auto leveling, so you can forget about the semantics and just focus on the basics if you like. It also eschews controls on the printer for a completely software-based interface.
7. QIDI TECHNOLOGY X-one2 Single Extruder 3D Printer
Chinese company Qidi is known for producing exceptional budget 3D printers, but the X-one2 is arguably the best printer under 300 dollars for anyone who's just getting started in the field. This DIY 3D printer is exceptionally large considering its relatively small maximum size, but its laser offers some of the best results you'll find anywhere with a fairly basic 100 micron accuracy and supports a max speed above a lot of even its best contemporaries. This 3D printer under 300 dollars is also more serious than its contemporaries, allowing it to function for reliable semi-professional 3D printing in the long term.
8. GEEETECH A10 3D Printer
The Chinese market is pushing smart and innovative 3D printers to market at a pace that western competitors often can't compare to. While Geeetech may not be one of the best known manufacturers even in the community of DIY 3D printer makers, each review about about their A10 model is generating a lot of buzz. It makes a good case for the best 3D printer under 300 dollars by managing to replicate recent innovations in the market at a respectably lower price point.
The Geeetech builds off the open source tech that Creality has put out there, and that imprint is felt strongly. Printing is simple, and in comparison to the popular Anycubic printers, the product slips off the glass plates easily. It's a match for far more expensive models by stripping down some quality of life features: notably making Wi-Fi optional and making use of a basic LCD screen.
9. TEVO 2020 New Tarantula Pro 3D Printer
The TEVO Tarantula isn't the perfect 3D printer under 300 dollars, but it offers decent performance for a song, and it's one of the coolest 3D printer to look at in terms of design. This is a highly customizable 3D printer, and it has a great community behind it. If you want to really experiment with what you can do, there's a lot more flexibility here than a lot of other 3D printers under 300 dollars offer, but you'll have to learn on your feet. The Tarantula can be a bit overly complicated, and there's a steep learning curve, but it will do a lot to teach you the fundamentals of 3D design in the way that other models that hold your hands won't.
10. JGMAKER Magic 3D Printer
While the JGMaker isn't exactly a 3D printer that innovates, it does a lot right in terms of fundamentals for a 3D printer under 300 dollars. A spacious build surface and a fully aluminum extrusion frame are features of convenience that will appeal to a lot of makers, and this 3D printer will even resume work where it left off if there's a power outage. The build speed and quality sit right in the middle of the pack amongst other 3D printers under 300 bucks. In other words, it doesn't do a lot that's new, but this inexpensive 3D printer understands the fundamentals and gets them right essentially across the board.
3D Printer Under 300 Dollars Buying Guide
Our job is toll help you find the best cheap 3D printers, but you may feel lost and adrift if you’re shopping for a 3D printer under $300 with no guidance but a review. A lot of the terminology can be complicated, and it can be hard to know what to look for if you’re new to 3D printing. In the guide below, we’ll break down what the specs listed under each review actually mean and help you understand what features and qualities you should be looking for when you shop for a budget 3D printer.
It can be incredible how varied the market for 3D printers under 200 dollars has become. There are a relatively small number of moving parts in these devices, but manufacturers are really getting creative with their designs. A quick glance over these specs in a review can help you better understand what you’re getting into with each of these cheap 3D printers.
This is one of the easiest features to understand but also one of the most important. The build volume determines the maximum size of materials you can reasonably print. It can vary significantly from 3D printer to 3D printer, so you’ll want to look at this quality carefully to make sure it meets your DIY needs.
Also bear in mind that a larger build volume usually means a larger 3d printer. If you have limited space and you’re looking for a desktop 3D printer that you can wedge into your home office, you may want to take that into consideration during the comparison review process.
Almost all cheap 3D printers on the market are going to use filament 1.75 mm in width. Filament refers to the materials that are actually used to construct your final product, and investing in a model that supports 1.75 mm filaments will ensure that you have a lot of options to choose from when deciding what you want to make your items out of.
Things get more complicated when you start to talk about the types of filaments available. Listing all of the varieties that a particular printer supports would dwarf the 3D printer review in comparison, and giving a proper analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of each material would dwarf the main guide altogether. We suggest you determine what materials are right for your printing needs and use that as a guide post when shopping for the best 3D printer for you.
Even the best 3D printer requires a software interface to work, and you need to make sure that the compatible software for each printer works with your machine. Al of the cheap 3D printers we’ve highlighted support all three desktop operating systems through their software, but if you decide to shop beyond our list, exercise caution and make sure the 3D printer you choose is compatible with your computer.
Max Print Rate
Let’s make one thing clear. Even the best 3D printer under 300 dollars isn’t going to produce manufacturing level speeds. A single object can take hours to print out in consumer grade 3D printing, and that can become even longer when you start talking about more complex products. But the difference between 100 mm per second and 150 mm per second can mean a big difference.
If you’re a maker just looking to experiment with prototypes every once in a while, slower max print rates will probably be okay for you, but more prolific makers should prioritize the print rate listed on each review.
Consumer level 3D printers have become pretty accurate, but none of them are going to produce products to the absolutely exact specifications that you have designated in your blueprints. Dimensional accuracy is used to measure how closely the final product matches the dimensions in your blueprint. Fortunately, most 3D printers can produce results within a fraction of a millimeter of what you’ve designated, and that should be more than enough for most casual consumers.
Not all manufacturers have dimensional accuracy listed for their product. Measuring dimensional accuracy can be a highly complicated task, but we’ve provided the proper specs where they’re available.
Do you want a 3d printer that works right out of the box, or are you okay assembling it yourself? The latter tends to be cheaper and allows you to better understand the ins and outs of how 3D printers work, but there are also plenty of 3D printers available that you can just plug in and use in minutes.
3D printing is a fairly complex process, but the parts that make up a 3D printer aren’t outside the understanding of casual consumers. If you’re doing DIY printing, these are the components you need to know about so you can make an educated purchase.
The frame holds everything together. A weak frame will shudder and shake, potentially throwing off the accuracy of the object you’re printing. Many older models made use of wood for their frames, but most modern options are made of acrylic or metal. The latter is easily the best model if you want quality results. Also look for 3d printers with an enclosed or semi-enclosed frame, as these can protect your 3D products from dust and other particles.
You can think of the extruder as the paint brush or the tattoo needle for a 3D printer. It squeezes the filament and applies it in the shape that you’re trying to make. You don’t need to dig too deeply into the quality of the extruder when shopping for a 3D printer, but if you decide you want a model that supports more advanced 3D printing, you may want to seek out models that support a double extruder. They allow you to use two filaments at once without having to swap out colors or materials.
The print bed is the surface on which your finished product is constructed. It’s the canvas on which the extruder performs its work. Both heated and non-heated print beds are option with the latter being pretty common in all but the best 3D printers under 300 dollars. A non-heated bed should work fine for most materials you’ll be working with, but those that require a higher temperature necessitate a heated print bed.
In terms of materials, print beds for a 3D printer are usually either made from aluminum or glass. The former is more prevalent in heated print beds because they heat up much faster. Glass beds, by contrast, are simpler to maintain and flatter. Each offers their own distinct pros and cons.
Print beds may employ either a manual or auto leveling system. The former uses knobs to adjust the height of the bed, while the latter will perform the task for you. Auto leveling can save you a lot of hassle in the 3D printing process especially if you expect to use your 3D printer regularly.
The build plate sits on top of the print bed, and the quality of its design and material determines how well your final results will stick to the surface and how easy it will be to remove. Sticky build plates are usually preferable as they allow you to just pop the final product off of the surface, but you should definitely check the quality of the build plate when checking out a review for a 3D printer. A slide in build plate is ideal because it allows you to easily pop the surface out of the printer and manipulate it on your own.
Learning 3D printing can be a fun way to teach kids STEM education, an entry way to an enthralling personal hobby, or even a way to pick up a new professional trade. And they’re not less expensive than ever before. Check out our reviews carefully to track down the 3D model that’s right for you. All of the 3D printers we’ve featured represent the best options in their class, and we hope you’ll find something that you’ll love.