Best 3D Printer Under $500

Best Overall

ELEGOO Mars UV Photocuring LCD 3D Printer

ELEGOO Mars UV Photocuring LCD 3D Printer
  • Can be assembled in a matter of minutes
  • Some of the fastest printing at its price point
  • Hollow out your models for saving money
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Premium Choice

ANYCUBIC Photon S UV LCD Resin 3D Printer

ANYCUBIC Photon S UV LCD Resin 3D Printer
  • Great 2K printing resolution
  • One of the quietest budget printers around
  • Matrix UV lighting and high resolution screen
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Great Value

Monoprice Mini Delta 3D Printer

Monoprice Mini Delta 3D Printer
  • The cheapest 3D printer we're comfortable recommending
  • Automatically calibrates for less manual maintenance
  • Can print at up to 50 micron resolution
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The rise of affordable consumer grade 3D printers are one of the best examples we have of the prodigious rate at which technology develops. Once considered the cutting edge of manufacturing and a means to revolutionize the way we do business on a fundamental level, 3D printers are now available to just about anyone. And while consumer oriented budget printers aren’t going to match the models operating in a commercial capacity, they still provide a phenomenal way to create your own products from the comfort of your own home.

If you’re curious about what sort of value 3D printing can provide you, we’re ready to assist. Our best 3D printer under $500 guide can help you find the perfect model for your budget.

10 Best 3D Printers Under $500

Best Overall

1. ELEGOO Mars UV Photocuring LCD 3D Printer

ELEGOO Mars UV Photocuring LCD 3D PrinterHotRate Editors Choice

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ELEGOO boasts that their Mars UV printer can produce results at a tenth of the rate of most comparatively priced 3D printers on the market. That's a bold claim that makes this one of the best 3D printers available in this price range. And while the 3.5 inch color touch screen makes it easy to navigate the printing process, this 3D printer also makes use of the Chitubox 5.0 system for easy off-line printing as well. You can also hollow out your models before printing - a decision that can save you a lot of money on filament while also producing faster results across the board.

Key Features
  • Can be assembled in a matter of minutes
  • Some of the fastest printing at its price point
  • Hollow out your models for saving money
  • Supported by a full one year warranty
Printing Speed22.5 mm/second XY Resolution2560 x 1440 Accuracy0.00125 mm Build Volume4.72 x 2.68 x 6.1 inches Layer Thickness0.01 - 0.2 mm
Premium Choice

2. ANYCUBIC Photon S UV LCD Resin 3D Printer

ANYCUBIC Photon S UV LCD Resin 3D Printer

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The Photon S costs nearly $500, but this budget 3D printer is also one of the most silent models on the market today. The resolution here is exceedingly impressive with a promise of 25 to 100 microns. But just because this can produce some truly sophisticated models doesn't mean that it's difficult to use. You can acquire the fundamentals of operating this affordable 3D printer with little to no technical experience, and all the instructions are clear and concise regarding cleaning and operation. It's also an incredibly quiet choice for 3D printing due to the inclusion of dual fans that also reduce the risk of unpleasant odors during the printing process.

Key Features
  • Great 2K printing resolution
  • One of the quietest budget printers around
  • Matrix UV lighting and high resolution screen
  • Top shelf air filtration system
Printing Speed20 mm/second XY Resolution0.047mm Accuracy0.00125 mm Build Volume115 x 65 x 165 mm Layer Thickness0.05 mm
Great Value

3. Monoprice Mini Delta 3D Printer

Monoprice Mini Delta 3D Printer

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Even on a list of cheap 3D printers, the Monoprice Mini Delta occupies a place all its own. The $160 price tag is frankly ludicrous, and while it doesn't offer the best performance on our list, it's far better than its cost would suggest. It's also built with the needs of beginners in mind. An auto leveling system means that you won't have to worry about constantly configuring the platform, and the anodized aluminum the frame is built from can take a real beating without concern. But if you do decide you want to experiment with the configuration, the flexible temperatures of the nozzle will allow you to do that.

Key Features
  • The cheapest 3D printer we're comfortable recommending
  • Automatically calibrates for less manual maintenance
  • Can print at up to 50 micron resolution
  • Open source design for greater experimentation
Printing Speed150 mm/second XY Resolution0.05 to 0.3 mm AccuracyNot disclosed Build Volume4.33 x 4.7 inches Layer ThicknessNot disclosed

4. Comgrow Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer

Comgrow Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer

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The Comgrow Creality Ender 3 Pro isn't designed to look good, but that's contrary to the point. This is a 3D printer that fits comfortably in the middle of our price range while delivering above average performance. The UL certified power supply is designed to prevent the risk of power surges, and if there is an issue with a power outage, it will automatically resume printing once the situation is resolved. The build surface plate is fully removable for easy cleaning and extraction. This isn't a pre assembled kit, but you can put it together in just a matter of minutes and get a greater understanding of how a 3D printer works in the process.

Key Features
  • Includes a resume print function
  • Backed by a 12 month warranty
  • Comes with lifetime technical assistance
  • Upgraded extruder design for reliable performance
Printing Speed200 mm/second XY Resolution0.1 mm Accuracy0.03 mm Build Volume220 x 220 x 250 mm Layer Thickness0.1 to 0.4 mm

5. Creality 3D Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer

Creality 3D Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer

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The fundamentals of the Creality 3D Ender Pro 3 are the same as the Comgrow Ender Pro 3. Fortunately, those fundamentals are incredibly strong. This 3D printer was a revelation when it was first released, and it still achieves the trifecta of high-quality performance, great pricing, and the ability to customize it to your heart's content. But even if you're not trying to optimize this 3D printer, it's easily one of the best models on the market. And it builds off of the core features of the Ender Pro by creating a better sense of stability that's well worth the slight increase in price.

Key Features
  • Magnetic build surface ensures consistent build quality
  • UL certified power supply protects against surges
  • Can be assembled in 10 minutes
  • Incredibly stable and durable design
Printing Speed200 mm/second XY Resolution0.1 mm Accuracy0.03 mm Build Volume220 x 220 x 250 mm Layer Thickness0.05 to 0.4 mm

6. QIDI TECHNOLOGY X-one2 Single Extruder 3D Printer

QIDI TECHNOLOGY X-one2 Single Extruder 3D Printer

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The bright blue and red design of the X-one2 from Qidi Technology may make it look like a toy, but it's anything but. It can produce quality results with both PLA and ABS materials, and the 3.5 inch LCD screen is natural and responsive to the touch, so you don't have to acquire any sophisticated skills to navigate this 3D printer under $500. The aluminum plate is one of the best in its price range in terms of reliable results due to the incredibly smooth surface which provides a level of consistency at conducting the heat from the printer itself.

Key Features
  • Comes packed with PLA materials
  • Heating platform works with both PLA and ABS
  • Easy to navigate touch screen display
  • Backed by responsive customer support
Printing Speed150 mm/second XY Resolution0.1 to 0.4 mm Accuracy0.1 mm Build Volume140 x 140 x 140 mm Layer Thickness0.1 to 0.4 mm

7. ADIMLab Gantry 3D Printer

ADIMLab Gantry 3D Printer

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If the ADIMLab 3D Printer looks a lot like the Creality 3D Ender 3, that's because it is. Both printers are built off the same fundamental design, but the ADIMLab comes with some neat features that distinguish it from the competition while providing the reliable performance of one of the best models around. That includes a larger bed to work with, and the aluminum design here has been swapped out for a glass surface. That gives you plenty more room to work with. It also makes use of a sturdy aluminum railing to hold the plate in place for a higher level of stability.

Key Features
  • Decent precision of 100 microns
  • Incredibly stable surface area
  • Supports a 4 GB SD card
  • Makes use of a glass plate
Printing Speed150 mm/second XY Resolution0.05 to 0.3 mm Accuracy0.1 mm Build Volume310 x 310 x 410 mm Layer Thickness0.05 to 0.4 mm

8. FlashForge Finder 3D Printers

FlashForge Finder 3D Printers

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Convenience is the name of the game with the FlashForge Finder . It sports a slick design and a detail oriented extruder that can produce some of the best models around, but it also comes with a wealth of connectivity features that make it easy to bring your AutoCAD designs to life. You can connect it to the USB port on your computer, but it also offers support for flash drives and a Wi-Fi network. And this printer is designed to be safe even for the most unpracticed users. The slide in plate of the FlashForge is easy to slot into place and extract, but it's also non-heated to prevent risk of burning yourself. The FlashForge only accepts PLA filaments.

Key Features
  • Smart 3.5 inch touch screen display
  • One of the safest printers to use
  • Tons of connectivity options
  • Operates at a nearly silent 50 dB
Printing Speeds200 mm/second XY Resolution0.1 to 0.5 mm Accuracy0.01 mm Build Volume420 x 420 x 420 mm Layer Thickness0.1 to 0.4 mm

9. LONGER SLA 3D Printer, Resin 3D Printer

LONGER SLA 3D Printer, Resin 3D Printer

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The build quality of the LONGER is immaculate. This printer combines an acrylic cover with a metal body to produce consistent results regardless of the detail you put into your designs, and it's a great choice for prototyping new ideas that can then be produced on a more heavy duty machine. But regardless of the quality of the work here, this is an easy printer for beginners to pick up and use. The interface is smartly designed, making use of a responsive touchscreen with intuitive icons, and it will automatically pause or stop your print if temperature levels become unsustainable and automatically resume once things are safe.

Key Features
  • Made from high-quality materials
  • Temperature warning functionality
  • Above average maximum print size
  • Incredibly easy to use interface
Printing Speeds200 mm/second XY Resolution854 x 489 Accuracy0.02 mm Build Volume118 x 65 x 110 mm Layer Thickness0.02 to 0.1 mm

10. EPAX X1 UV LCD Resin 3D Printer

EPAX X1 UV LCD Resin 3D Printer

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If you're looking for a resin-based alternative to a traditional PLA printer and aren't willing to spend a little more, you're sure to love the EPAX X1 . This resin printer makes use of 50 LED lights to create a consistent level of quality over the entire print surface, and the TFT touchscreen is a spacious 3.5 inches in size for easy navigation. It's also an incredibly tough printer. The metal build quality is sturdy enough to survive just about anything, and it provides an exceptional level of stability that goes well beyond most models within this price range.

Key Features
  • Arrives calibrated and ready to print
  • Support for anti-aliasing
  • Incredibly strong levels of stability
  • Makes use of 50 LED lights
Printing Speeds200 mm/second XY Resolution47 AccuracyNot listed Build Volume115 x 65 x 155 mm Layer Thickness10

3D Printer Buyer’s Guide

The technology behind 3D printing is still relatively new, and the rise of consumer models is fresh. Cheap 3D printers are a new phenomenon, and that means that you might not have a clue where to start when shopping for one. That’s what this guide is for. We’re going to provide you with information on what each of the most important key specs mean and provide you with a beginners guide to the key factors to look for so you can better assess each review on our list.

The Three Axes

Before getting into the actual specs, we need to understand the three dimensions that a 3D printer works in. The standard terminology refers to them in terms of the x, y, and z axes. If you’re looking at the printer head on, the x axis refers to the direction of left and right, the y axis refers to forward and back, and the z axis refers to up and down. These can also be seen in terms of width, length, and height.

Printing Speed

The simple fact of the matter is that even the best 3D printers under $500 aren’t going to offer anything on the scale of an industrial model. You aren’t going to use a 3D printer under $500 to produce anything on a serious consumer retail model, so you need to adjust your standards accordingly. The bare minimum you should look for in a review of cheap 3D printers is the capacity to print plastic models at 20 millimeters per second, but most of the best 3D printing technology, even on the budget level, offers results of 100 millimeters per second or greater.

That may sound like a lot, but you have to recognize that these specs assume the best conditions. More complicated models with a lot of complex edges will produce a significantly lower print speed, and the results can vary depending on whether you’re using traditional PLA or other plastic materials to construct your models. And the higher the detail you want to get out of your model, the slower you can expect your 3D printer to run.

XY Resolution

The XY resolution refers to the most precise movements the extruder can make in two dimensional space. A higher power 3D printer will sport a smaller XY resolution, since that means it can produce more detailed work. We recommend that anyone seeking out the best 3D printing machine should look for an XY resolution of .1 millimeters or under, but if you’re looking to create more complex models, the lower the number, the better.

Layer Thickness

The layer thickness is to the z-axis what the XY resolution is to 2D space. As a result, it’s also often referred to as vertical resolution. It tells you the minimum (and sometimes maximum) thickness of a layer on a single pass. It’s just as important as the XY resolution in determining how detailed the models you can create with PLA filament. Somewhere in the range of 0.2 to 0.3 millimeters is typical here, but many models offer a layer thickness significantly lower. Just keep in mind that the lower the layer thickness, the more time you can expect your printer to take.

Build Volume

Build volume refers to the maximum size of a model you can produce and is distinct from the actual size of the tray. Measured according to the x, y, and z axes, this is one of the most important traits you should look for, since a larger 3D printer under $500 will allow you to create more complex results. But also bear in mind that many of the templates you’ll find allow you to create multiple components from PLA filament and combine them together, so this doesn’t need to be the be all and end all spec to look for when evaluating a 3D printer review.

Accuracy

While the resolution and layer thickness help determine how detailed the results are along the three axes, there is a margin of error there. Fortunately, any 3D printer worth its salt is going to deliver an accuracy rating under a fraction of a millimeter. Ideally, you want an accuracy rating of .1 millimeters or under, but given the fact that budget 3D printing doesn’t require incredibly accurate results, you shouldn’t discount a review just because it bears a lower accuracy rating. These entry level pre assembled machines can still produce reliable results with PLA filament, and unless you’re producing industry grade equipment, you don’t need to concern yourself too much with the 3D printing accuracy.

Filament

You should pay close attention to what types of materials your 3D printer can use. Plastic is the most common of materials accepted by a 3D printer, and PLA (polylactic acid) plastic is the standard in 3D printing at any budget point. The best 3D printing technology can accept a wide range of different filament, but PLA is the standard that should be sought out by most customers looking for the best 3D printer on a budget.

The great thing about PLA is that filaments from different manufacturers are going to be compatible in practically any 3D printer under $500. While there are a few exceptions, you should pay close attention to what size PLA filament the extruder on your 3D printer is compatible with.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Best 3D Printer Under $300?

We’re partial to the Creality 3D Ender 3 Pro. It comfortably occupies a price right at the middle of our review standards for this list but is well regarded as one of the best models on the market. It’s a significant improvement over the original Ender 3, but it offers impressive performance that goes well beyond the technology usually packed into a budget printer.

What is the Best 3D Printer For the Money?

We love the FlashForge Finder. It’s not the cheapest printer on our list, but it does offer the best value. The FlashForge Finder offers some of the most impressive specs you’ll find on a budget, but it also sports an exceptional interface that’s easy for even amateurs to understand and an incredibly safe design. The user interface experience is simply the best in the business.

What is the Best 3D Printer For Home Use?

That really depends on what you’re trying to use your printer for. We’re confident in all of the printers on our list, but we suggest you read up on the key specs above and evaluate each review closely to determine the standards you’re looking for. Once you’re more confident in what you can do, you may want to invest in a DIY 3D printer that you can customize to better suit your needs.

How much does a good 3d printer cost?

None of the 3D printers you’ll find for under $500 are going to meet the needs of professionals, but most good printers for consumer use fall in the range of $250 or higher. The one exception is the Monoprice Mini Delta which you can find for less than $200.

Final Thoughts

3D printers offer some of the coolest technology on the market today, so it’s exciting to see them finally become accessible to consumers on a budget. But that doesn’t mean that every printer is a home run. We’re certain that most customers will be satisfied with a majority of the printers on our list, but if you’re looking for something a little cheaper, be sure to check out our guide to the best 3D printers under $300.