So are you looking for a cheap 3d printer that can help you get started with printing some really cool stuff? Don’t worry if you are a beginner or just a hobbyist, you can buy some of the best affordable 3d printers under $300.
- 1 What is a 3D Printer?
- 2 1) Comgrow Creality Ender 3 3D-Printer Aluminum DIY with Resume Print 220x220x250mm
- 3 2) FlashForge Finder 3D Printers with Cloud, Wi-Fi, USB cable and Flash drive connectivity
- 4 3) SainSmart x Creality Ender-3 PRO 3D Printer
- 5 4) ELEGOO Mars UV Photocuring LCD 3D Printer with Off-line Printing
- 6 5) ANYCUBIC Photon UV LCD 3D Printer with 2.8” Smart Touch Color Screen — AM Link —
- 7 6) Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer v2 – Fully Assembled
- 8 7) ANYCUBIC Mega-S New Upgrade 3D Printer with Extruder and Suspended Filament Rack
- 9 8) LONGER LK4 3D Printer DIY Kit
- 10 9) QIDI TECH Shadow 5.5 S 3D Printer – UV LCD Resin Printer with Dual Z-axis Liner Rail
- 11 What To Look At When Buying a Cheap 3D Printer Under $300
- 12 How To Use a 3D Printer?
- 13 Conclusion
What is a 3D Printer?
3D printing is a process whereby a 3D design from a digital file is turned into a real object. The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes.
In an additive process, an object is created by laying down successive layers of material with the help of software until the object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object.
The 3D printer works on the basis of software of slicing that slices the 3D design layer by layers and that is gradually mounted on the print plate either by resin or filament (depending on the choice of printer.)
1) Comgrow Creality Ender 3 3D-Printer Aluminum DIY with Resume Print 220x220x250mm
Creality Ender 3 is one of the most preferred printers at such a low price among its competitors. With all the features that the company is providing with this printer, you’ll feel worth every penny you spend on this machine.
The build volume of 220 x 220 x 250mm is decent for entry-level printing of 3D models that may be for your kids’ school project or smaller architectural designs. The model comes with a manual for assembling the printer once you unbox it. The Ender 3 has an upgraded extruder that is able to bring down plugging risk as well as a bad extrusion. Also, the V-Slot with POM wheels will make the device portable and durable.
The safety power supply allows the build plate to get heated up to 1100 C in just five minutes. You can use PLA, PETG, ABS, and other exotic filaments to get the prints just way you have thought in your mind. With an open-source slicer, you can use any online software from the community to get your desired design come to reality.
2) FlashForge Finder 3D Printers with Cloud, Wi-Fi, USB cable and Flash drive connectivity
FlashForge Finder is a perfect cube with its dimensions 16.5” x 16.5” x 16.5” that has a printing area of 5.5” x 5.5” x 5.5” on every axis making it a perfect printer for the beginners and hobbyist.
The FlashForge is especially known for its printing with non-toxic, biodegradable plastic filaments know as Polylactic acid (PLA) and that will let you avoid the need of a heated print bed and can use it in a live environment.
Making FlashForge an instant pick among your choices in the budget printer is the Intelligent Assisted Levelling System as this feature is not found in some of the high priced printers. The feature lets the users calibrate the distance between the nozzle and the print-bed plate.
The Wi-Fi connection and the USB flash drive lets you connect the printer to your system easily leaving you the hassle of monitoring your print job by staying near the printer. Also, the 4GB onboard storage lets you stay assures that your file won’t get corrupt which is a common problem with many 3D printers.
3) SainSmart x Creality Ender-3 PRO 3D Printer
Ender 3 Pro boost some high-quality print compared to Ender 3 with better and upgraded components and accessories. The compact Ender 3 Pro comes pre-assembled and will take a little time before you can start printing. It is considered the best pick for the beginners and hobbyist that just love to play and make some experimental models.
Ender 3 Pro offers you a decent print area that is rare even in the costly and high-end 3D printers, 220 x 220 x 250mm. A 40 x 40 aluminum extrusion gives it a sturdy feel for the Y-axis base. This also improves the overall stability of the printer. And with better quality bearing wheels, the dimensional stability is enhanced with reduced fiction.
The new C-MAG is a magnetic printer bed in Ender 3 Pro is another unique feature. The bed is easily removable and flexible and can adhere to the platform very easily. Once you are done printing, remove the magnetic upper from the lower and bend or flex the print surface pop off the model from the printing surface.
The MeanWell Power Supply technology incorporates the safety and faster heating of bed and that too for long hours of work. The Resume Print features let you continue printing even at power lapse.
4) ELEGOO Mars UV Photocuring LCD 3D Printer with Off-line Printing
ELEGOO Mars is a widely accepted printer for its convivence of using for beginners and professionals. Mars is one of the most accepted in the entry-level low budget 3D printers. ELEGOO Mars is far better in consideration when it comes to its photocuring technology. You can now enjoy your 3D printing with premium quality printing and budget-friendly too.
The latest version of CHITUBOX Slicing Software takes only 1 min to slice 30Mb .stl model files which the other open-source slicing software will take normally 5 to 10 mins. The hollowing of the model before slicing and this saves the resins and prevents the wastage. These features make ELEGOO Mars extraordinary.
The built platform with a steel ball balancing structure is very easy and you can start printing in just a few minutes after assembling the printer. The built-in 3.5 inch LCD with touchscreen feature and integrated computer board will let you truly print the offline from the USB port.
ELEGOO Mars uses a 2560×1440 2K HD masking LCD as to provide accurate printing with XY axis resolution of 0.00185inches / 0.047mm.
5) ANYCUBIC Photon UV LCD 3D Printer with 2.8” Smart Touch Color Screen — AM Link —
ANYCUBIC Photon comes with UV light to make the resins photoreactive and that makes it the first DLP printer. Print details up to the accuracy of 25 microns can be achieved with 2560 × 1440 HD masking LCD screen.
With easy to set up, the ANYCUBIC Photon is an easier option, to begin with. The printer comes assembled so all you do it just install and print.
The entire layer of the design is flashed at one go with the UV LCD array of the Photon, completing prints up to 8x faster than laser SLA printers. Creating an entire layer at once makes the ANYCUBIC Photon capable of being used for the short series manufacturing. The multiple parts are created on the build area and that makes it a more convincing printer in the market of its competitors.
The detailed 3D printing ability of this printer is something worth praising when you are looking to buy a cheap 3D printer under $300. Offer at such a low price, this machine is packed with micro reading and writing ability that allows you to print tiny parts with utmost accuracy.
If you are planning to printer large miniatures then it can take up to 2-3 hours. However, its ability to 3D print multiple models on the same plate without adding up build time. As a result, it takes the same 2-3 hours for building multiple miniatures.
The printer comes with its in-house designed slicer software latest version that gives you precise and extraordinary user experience. The printer delivers the high-speed printing of 20-30mm/h regardless of the workplace.
With so many integrated features and easy-to-use software without a doubt, ANYCUBIC Photon UV is the best 3D printer under 300 dollars for perfectly build 3D models with fine detailing.
6) Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer v2 – Fully Assembled
The Mini 3D is most appealing with its compact desktop design. The sturdy metallic frame makes it robust with all the electronics protected by a folded metal sheet that will prevent any damage during transportation or delivery. The printer comes with a built area 120 x 120 x 120mm and 100-micron resolution with a print speed of 55mm/sec.
Mini 3D comes fully assembled, unlike other printers in the same category, and is factory calibrated so you can unbox it and start your print job without wasting much of your time. The printer comes with sample PLA filament and a MicroSD card with preinstalled models, so you can start printing right out of the box.
The open-source software for slicing is used by Mini 3D and that means you can Cura, Repetier-Host, ReplicatorG, and Simplify3D as the compatible software. The printer supports all the type of filaments. The heated bed and wide range of extruder temperatures let you use different kinds of filaments from basic like ABS, PLA to advanced materials, such as conductive PLA, wood and metal composites, or dissolvable PVA. The software compatibility is from Windows 7 onwards to Mac OS X, Linux.
7) ANYCUBIC Mega-S New Upgrade 3D Printer with Extruder and Suspended Filament Rack
Mega-S is an upgrade of it i3 Mega from ANYCUBIC and still kept it budget friendly. With its desktop size, Mega-S is quite easy to use as an office printer with a build size of 210 x 210 x 205 mm. And with dual Z-axis design, you’ll get a better quality printing with greater stability and accuracy.
Mega-S has the upgraded extruder to make it more compatible with flexible filaments like TPU and it’s one of the major upgrades compared to other few cosmetic changes compared to the previous model. Mega-S has open-source slicing software that is compatible with much available software online.
The unique Ultrabase print bed is an outstanding feature of Mega-S. The Ultrabase is a perfectly flat glass bed covered in a microporous coating. It doesn’t require the use of any glue or tape for prints to stick. Let the bed cool after the printing and the print will just snap off the bed without any issues. The Filament sensor not only detects the system if you run out of filament but also sets the alarm for it. The Resume printing feature after the power cuts will not let you waste your prints unnecessarily.
The other spottable feature that is changed from i3 Mega is the built-in filament holder. The new filament holder is well-positioned to make filament changes easy and accessible.
8) LONGER LK4 3D Printer DIY Kit
The sturdy aluminum frame of LK4 does what its best at, reducing the vibrations and less wobble of the Z-axis, assuring the smooth printing with better quality. With the build space of 8.6” x 8.6” x 9.8” it gives sufficient space for printing your various designs. The parameters of the build area give enough room to create larger designs. This gets you rid of constantly re-leveling of the bed.
LK4 comes partly assembled and that sets your free from assembling complicated parts like a cantilever, gantry, and nozzle saving you a lot of time and tech-savvy knowledge for assembly.
The Bowden type extruder leads to minimal Z-axis wobble as it is mounted on the printer frame and lets you use PETG, Wood PLA, and ABS filaments for a smoother and better printing job. With a feature of the Filament run-out detection system, the printing will be suspended automatically when the system runs out of filament. You can also change the filament to switch to different colors.
The resume printing feature will not let you get bothered about the power cuts in between the printing and will resume after the power is restored back. The other user-friendly feature is a 2.8 inch fully colored touchscreen for better navigation and to check the build progress and preview the files loaded prior to printing.
9) QIDI TECH Shadow 5.5 S 3D Printer – UV LCD Resin Printer with Dual Z-axis Liner Rail
Shadow 5.5 is built sturdy from all body anodized aluminum that provides greater stability while printing. The machine’s red and gold print gives a kind of look of Iron Man character. The dual Z-axis rails add more to the stability and accuracy of printing. The build volume of Shadow 5.5 is 115mm(L) x 65mm(W) x 150mm(H).
The 3.5” color TFT touchscreen allows fast navigation and easy access to the USB drive files. The Shadow 5.5 S features a 2K LCD (2560 x 1440 pixels) with matrix-style LEDs that provides faster curing of the design. The pixel density and LCD size put the X- and Y-axis resolution at 47 microns, again a market standard.
Shadow 5.5 comes with ChiTuBox slicer Software that is fast enough than any other open-source slicer. The other’s will take a long time which ChiTuBox can do it in a minute saving your time and resin used. The printer is equipped with a dual-fan mechanism and activated carbon air filter bags that will reduce the particle and fume emissions for order-less 3D printing experience.
What To Look At When Buying a Cheap 3D Printer Under $300
Buying the 3D printer is not an easy job especially when you have a lot of options available in the market. However, the following parameters should be kept in mind and that will be decided according to your requirement.
It is one of the most important factors and that decides on what’s your requirement like you are an educator or a professional miniature designer.
Enclosed versus Open frame
Now, this is a common feature that is available with budget printers. Some printers come with protective covering mostly of acrylic in the UV photocuring printers while the open frame is mostly for filament-based printing. A closed one saves from accidentally touching the hot print bed while an open printer lets you monitor the printing process.
A wide variety of filaments are available in the market. The only challenge you’ll face is the melting temperature as some filaments have a different melting temperature. You can either limit yourself by solely using filaments that are compatible with your 3D printer or you can invest in a 3D printer that has the software to control the extruder temperature.
If you are a beginner and want to try your hands at your creativity with printing then you should go for automatic calibration as it will save your time and you don’t be messing up your prints just cause of manual calibration.
How To Use a 3D Printer?
Here is an easy-to-understand video tutorial based around Creality Ender 3 that will help you understand how a 3d printer works and print 3d models.
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3D printers are the demand of time and with new technology and with many companies providing wider options, you can have a small portable budget-friendly 3d printer for your office use or your personal use, for education or making your miniature designs.