What is the best affordable 3D printer on the market?
Not so long ago, purchasing a 3D printer was quite expensive. Nowadays, there are plenty of affordable 3D printers available on the market. The reason? As often for consumer electronics goods, once the technology is mature enough, manufacturers can drive the production costs down, which translates to lower retail prices. That’s what is happening with 3D printing: after three decades of R&D and industrial applications, 3D printer manufacturers are now increasingly targeting consumers and launching affordable 3D printers.
This ranking of the 10 best affordable 3D printers covers the top-rated budget 3D printers under $1,000. We only focused on affordable, performant and ready-to-use 3D printers. This budget 3D printers ranking is based on the metascores we use on Aniwaa. Please see our methodology section below the table for more details. As always with this type of lists, it is not perfect but we hope it will help you find the best budget 3D printer for you!
All the 3D printers in this list follow the criteria below:
- FFF technology
- Under $1,000
- Available on the market
- Reviewed on YouTube
- Positive community feedback
The best affordable 3D printers under $1,000 in 2018
|3D printer||Metascore*||Build volume (in mm)....................||Country||Price (MSRP**)||Buy|
|Original Prusa i3 MK2||4.7||250 x 210 x 200||Czech Republic||$899|
|SeeMeCNC Rostock MAX v3 (Kit)||4.6||275 x 275 x 400||United States||$999|
|Qidi Tech X-One||4.6||140 x 140 x 140||China||$438|
|FlashForge Finder||4.5||140 x 140 x 140||China||$589|
|Monoprice Maker Select V2||4.1||200 x 200 x 180||United States||$313|
|Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus||4||200 x 200 x 180||China||$425|
|Dremel DigiLab 3D20||4||230 x 150 x 140||United States||$599|
|Printrbot Simple||3.9||150 x 150 x 150||United States||$599|
|Kodama Trinus||n/a||120 x 120 x 125||United States||$399|
|Creality CR-10 (Kit)||n/a||300 x 300 x 400||China||$370|
*Metascore: to calculate this metascore, we aggregate ratings from four reliable sources (3D Hubs, Amazon, Make:, Pinshape).
**Price (MSRP): manufacturer suggested retail price.
The Original Prusa i3 MK2 grabs the top spot of our best cheap 3D printer ranking.
Methodology: how we selected the best affordable 3D printers under $1,000
To be included in our list, the 3D printers must have at least one review on YouTube (similar to the reddit Youtube test). We estimate that this is an important criteria as it demonstrate that an actual person tested the product proving that it exists and it’s running.
Community feedback and customer service
For this list, we selected affordable 3D printers with an active online users community and that seem to have a decent customer service. We do realize that these two points are subjective and that it is hard to evaluate whether a brand can be considered reliable or not. However as we scroll the internet we find information and, in addition, we get feedback from users, partners, etc. and we try to summarize these informations into keynotes. Opinions may change over time and points of view can differ from one person to the other. So in completion of our lists and product pages, we still recommend looking for informations in forums, discussion groups, proprietary brands forums, etc. You can start with our list of 3D printing forums and discussion groups.
To calculate these metascores, we index 3D printers reviews and ratings from four trustworthy sources (3D Hubs, Pinshape, Amazon and Make:) and then calculate an average score for each 3D printer. To make sure the Amazon rating is relevant, we only included it when there were more than 5 reviews. Some 3D printers might have a very high metascore with only 5 reviews and others might have a metascore a bit lower with hundreds of reviews. However, a score with numerous reviews is more relevant than a score with just 5 reviews.
Under $1,000 and available
As indicated in the title, all the 3D printers from this list cost less than $1,000 and are available on the market. However all of the 3D printers of this list cost more than $300, to find cheap 3D printers under this price, read our best affordable 3D printers under $300 list. Most of them are available worldwide on Amazon and otherwise can be purchased directly on the manufacturer’s web site.
Overview of the best budget 3D printers under $1,000
Original Prusa i3 MK2
- Metascore: 4.7/5
- Build size: 250 x 210 x 200 mm
- Country: Czech Republic
- Price: $899
The Original Prusa i3 MK2 is an affordable 3D printer made by Prusa3D, a manufacturer based in Praha, Czech Republic. The Original Prusa i3 MK2 is the newest version of the famous Prusa i3 3D printer, packed with many improvements. All parts of this 3D printer are Open Source and are part of the RepRap project. The Prusa I3 design is well known for its reliability, robustness and upgradability. It is also easy to repair and maintain.
- Full specs: Original Prusa i3 MK2
- Metascore: 4.5/5
- Build size: 140 x 140 x 140 mm
- Country: China
- Price: $579
- Seller: Amazon
The FlashForge Finder is a cheap desktop 3D printer designed for kids and education. This affordable 3D printer is very simple to use and has a sturdy open frame. The wifi interface makes it easy to operate and the automatic bed leveling feature is a great help for entry-level users. Overall, a solid budget 3D printer which does not compromise quality for price.
- Full specs: FlashForge Finder
Monoprice Maker Select
- Metascore: 4.1/5
- Build size: 200 x 200 x 180 mm
- Country: USA
- Price: $399
- Seller: Amazon
The Maker Select offers a very good price/performance ratio and is one of the most recommended products under $400 on Reddit. This 3D printer is able to 3D print many different materials such as: ABS-based, PLA-based, XT copolyester, PET, TPU, TPC, FPE, PVA, HIPS, Jelly, Foam and Felty.
- Full specs: Monoprice Maker Select
SeeMeCNC Rostock MAX v3 (Kit)
- Metascore: 4.6/5
- Build size: 275 x 275 x 400 mm
- Country: USA
- Price: $999
- Seller: Amazon
The SeeMeCNC Rostock MAX v3 (Kit) is a delta large volume desktop delta 3D printer made by SeeMeCNC. This 3D printer boasts an impressive 3D printing volume. The SeeMeCNC Rostock MAX v3 won the Best Of Budget 2017 award from 3D Hubs and the Staff Pick award from MatterHackers validating that it’s one of the best 3D printers on the market. This 3D printer is sold in kit to build yourself. An assembled version of the same model is available at $1,899.
- Full specs: SeeMeCNC Rostock MAX v3
- Build size: 120 x 120 x 125 mm
- Country: USA
- Price: $399
The Kodama Trinus is an affordable and multifunctional DIY/Kit desktop 3D printer. This 3D printer is simultaneously a 3D printer and (in option) a laser engraver. Other options include a heated print bed, an enclosure and a LCD screen.
- Full specs: Kodama Trinus
Buying guide for 3D printers under $1,000
There are many budget 3D printers under $1,000 and even if a thousand dollars isn’t much some affordable 3D printers can offer pretty good results. Some aspects are more important than others: here are some indication and guidances.
The big majority of cheap 3D printers under $1,000 uses FFF/FDM technology, only a few inexpensive resin 3D printers are available today at this price such as the Wanhao duplicator 7 DLP. We expect however more companies to try to come on this market of cheap SLA/DLP 3D printers. All the 3D printers included in this table use the FFF/FDM 3D printing technology. This technology is mainly used to make small plastic objects or prototypes. The 3D printing quality relies mainly on two factors: the layer thickness and the XY accuracy. You can use our side-by-side comparison feature to compare all 3D printers of our database.
Desktop 3D printer assembled vs DIY
All the affordable desktop 3D printers in this ranking are already assembled except the SeeMeCNC Rostock MAX v3 and the Creality CR-10, available in kits. But then, what are the benefits of assembled 3D printers compared to kit 3D printers?
Assembled 3D printers are simply easier to use as you don’t need to build it yourself. DIY 3D printers need a bit more knowledge and DIY ability to be built. Therefore for beginners we advise to buy a pre-assembled 3D printer.
Closed frame vs open frame
Most of the 3D printers in this list have an open frame. What are the benefits of a 3D printer supporting a closed frame?
- Protecting the users from the 3D printer heatness, for example protecting the students in a classroom and impeaching them to put their hands in the 3D printer while 3D printing.
- Maintaining a specific temperature in the closed 3D printing chamber to prevent the 3D print to wrap.
The build volume is one of the most important criteria when looking for a 3D printer, it has to fit your needs. If you want to print large 3D models or big prototypes, you might want to select a large volume 3D printer. The Creality CR-10 and the SeeMeCNC Rostock MAX v3 (Kit) are two cheap large-volume 3D printers under $1,000.
3D print resolution
The FFF 3D printer’s resolution depends on the layer thickness. You can use the filters on our 3D printers comparison engine to find a 3D printer matching your needs.
As you can imagine, low prices tend to lead to a high volume 3D printers sale and to large users communities. This can be a good or a bad thing.
A good thing because, as the users communities can be pretty large and active, users can help each other out and for certain specific models, specialized forums and conversation groups can be found. We built a list of the best 3D printing communities, where one can find many information about 3D printers.
However, a large volume of sold 3D printers also means that the manufacturer might not be able to handle all of the after-sale customer requests.
More 3D printing resources
- Do you want to compare all existing 3D printers? Check out our 3D printers comparison engine, we have over 1,000 3D printers listed.
- Overall, what is the best 3D printer? Here is our definitive list of the best 3D printers on the market.
- Looking for the best resin 3D printer? Find out which SLA 3D printer is #1 with out ranking of the best resin (SLA/DLP) 3D printers.