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The 10 best budget 3D printers under $300 in 2018

What is the best cheap 3D printer under $300?

Finding a 3D printer on a low budget may prove to be challenging with the flurry of cheap 3D printers available on the market. So we scoured the web to find the 10 best cheap 3D printers under $300 and share our final selection in this article.

As in many industries, users are increasingly looking for affordable 3D printers and lately, we noticed a “race-to-the-bottom” trend where 3D printer prices are drivent down as a result of many startups and (mostly Chinese) manufacturers competing to make the cheapest 3D printers on the market. Low prices used to often be synonym with poor quality, however it’s no longer the case: the budget 3D printers in our list all provide a great value.

3D printers under $300 are typically not professional-grade machines and often require a good dose of technical knowledge and patience to be assembled and fine-tuned. Especially those coming as kits to be assembled are recommended for tinkerers, makers with 3D printing experience or entry-level users with a small budget (and a lot of patience!).

Here is a quick overview of which factors we based our list on:

  • Under $300 and available (no crowdfunding projects)
  • Metascore (our rating indexed from reliable sources)
  • Community feedback
  • Passes the YouTube test

After filtering through our comprehensive 3D printer database to get this list, we sorted the 10 best cheap 3D printers under $300 by metascore in the table below. Enjoy!

The 10 best cheap 3D printers under $300

3D printerMetascore*Build volume (in mm)BuildPrice (MSRP**)Buy
Qidi Tech X-One 24.6140 x 140 x 140Assembled$279
Geeetech A104.3220 x 220 x 260Kit$229
Creality Ender 34.2220 x 220 x 250Kit$239
FlashForge Finder4.2140 x 140 x 140Assembled$299
Monoprice Select Mini V24.0120 x 120 x 120Assembled$179
FLSUN Delta Kossel3.9Ø 180 x 300Kit$229
Anet A83.9220 x 220 x 240Kit$179
Geeetech E1803.8140 x 215 x 130Assembled$299
Monoprice Mini Delta3.4110 x 110 x 120Assembled$159
XYZPrinting da Vinci Mini Wireless+3.4150 x 150 x 150Assembled$179
This table shows our list of the 10 best cheap 3D printers under $300, ranked according to their metascore. It is possible to sort the products by price or build volume by clicking on the column title.

*Metascore: rating based on indexed review scores from reliable sources

**MSRP: Manufacturer suggested retail price

Note: if you would like to get a full overview of the 3D printer market, you can use our 3D printer comparison engine. Our database includes over one thousand 3D printer models, all in different price ranges. If you’re willing to invest a bit more into a 3D printer, we also have a list of the 10 best 3D printers under $1,000.

The Qidi Tech X-One 2 is the best 3D printer under $300 in 2018.

The Qidi Tech X-One 2 is #1 in our ranking of the 10 best cheap 3D printers under $300.




Overview of the best budget 3D printers under $300

 

Best DIY 3D printer kits under $300

The Geeetech A10 is among the best cheap 3D printers under $300.

Geeetech A10

  • Metascore: 4.3/5
  • Build size: 220 x 220 x 260 mm
  • Country: China
  • Price: $229
  • Seller: Amazon
The Geeetech A10 is the top rated 3D printer in the “to be assembled” category. This 3D printer kit is however very fast to build with only 3 main parts to assemble. The A10 is a cost-effective desktop 3D printer packed with features such as a high-adhesion build platform, a filament detector and a “resume print” function. With a large build volume and WiFi connectivity, the Geeetech A10 definitely earned its high metascore. Full specs: Geeetech A10
The Creality Ender 3 is one of the best cheap 3D printers under $300.

Creality Ender 3

  • Metascore: 4.2/5
  • Build size: 220 x 220 x 250 mm
  • Country: China
  • Price: $239
  • Seller: Amazon
The Creality Ender 3 is one of the top selling 3D printers under $300 (and one of the top rated too!). The Ender 3 is widely praised as a reliable and easy-to-use 3D printer, suitable for beginners willing to spend some time tinkering their machine and for advanced makers alike. Its advanced extruder reduces the risk of filament clogging and the Ender 3 also has the capacity to resume printing after a power outage. A very good all around 3D printer.

Full specs: Creality Ender 3

The best cheap 3D printers: the FLSUN Delta Kossel.

FLSUN Delta Kossel

  • Metascore: 3.9/5
  • Build size: 180 x 180 x 300 mm
  • Country: China
  • Price: $229
  • Seller: Amazon

The FLSUN Delta Kossel is among the most famous Delta 3D printers under $300. It is based on the Kossel open-source design, part of the RepRap project. Delta 3D printers typically offer faster 3D printing than standard cartesian extrusion 3D printers and deliver accurate prints. This 3D printer is open source and can therefore be tweaked and upgraded at will. The latest version of the FLSUN Delta Kossel has been upgraded with many features including a heated bed, a double fan cooling system and an aluminum frame.

 

Full specs: FLSUN Delta Kossel

The best 3D printers under $300: the Anet A8

Anet A8

  • Metascore: 3.9/5
  • Build size: 220 x 220 x 240 mm
  • Country: China
  • Price: $179
  • Seller: Amazon
The Anet A8 is a 3D printer kit based on the famous Prusa i3 design. This iconic 3D printer under $300 delivers fast and accurate prints without being too noisy. The Anet A8 assembly can take over five hours to complete but the included instructions are clear and easy to follow. The spool holder and nozzle-cooling mechanism come up regularly as problematic but they can simply be updated with a few 3D printed upgrades. Over the years, the Anet A8 has earned its status of legendary 3D printer and it’s a reliable workhorse for those who master ed it.

Full specs: Anet A8




Best assembled budget 3D printers under $300

Qidi Tech X-One 2

Qidi Tech X-One 2

  • Metascore: 4.6/5
  • Build size: 140 x 140 x 140 mm
  • Country: China
  • Price: $279
  • Seller: Amazon

The Qidi Tech X-One 2 takes the top spot of our ranking of the best 3D printers under $300, and it’s well deserved. This closed-frame, assembled 3D printer offers a flurry of features packed in a sturdy upgraded design. The latest version of the X-One2 includes an upgraded MK10 extruder, a heated aluminium print bed and a user-friendly touch screen. With a 4.6/5 metascore, the Qidi Tech X-One 2 is a perfect choice for any kind of users, from hobbyists to advanced makers looking for the best 3D printer under $300.

Full specsQidi Tech X-One 2

The FlashForge Finder, in the list of the best 3D printers under $300.

FlashForge Finder

  • Metascore: 4.2/5
  • Build size: 140 x 140 x 140 mm
  • Country: China
  • Price: $299
  • Seller: Amazon
The FlashForge Finder is a great plug-n-play 3D printer under $300. It is very easy to use with its assisted bed leveling and easy calibration, slide-in build plate and color touch screen. The WiFi connectivity and low noise emissions make the Finder the perfect choice for beginners looking for a basic and friendly desktop 3D printer to get started with 3D printing without all the hassle.

Full specs: FlashForge Finder

The best 3D printer under $300: the Monoprice Maker Select V2.

Monoprice Maker Select V2

  • Metascore: 4.0/5
  • Build size: 200 x 200 x 180 mm
  • Country: China
  • Price: $279
  • Seller: Amazon
The Monoprice Select Mini v2 is a very popular cheap 3D printer for beginners. This 3D printer comes assembled, calibrated and ready to print. Its metal frame and compact design make the Monoprice Select Mini v2 a perfect fit for users looking for a reliable, no-frills and performant desktop 3D printer.

Full specsMonoprice Maker Select V2

The 10 best 3D printers under $300: Geeetech E180

Geeetech E180

  • Metascore: 3.8/5
  • Build size: 140 x 215 x 130 mm
  • Country: China
  • Price: $299
  • Seller: Amazon
The Geeetech E180 comes already assembled and is among the best 3D printers under $300 currently on the market. Despite its limited build volume, the E180 is a really cool and easy to use 3D printer and its compact size is perfect to sit on a desktop. The WiFi connectivity and color LCD touch screen make the Geeetech E180 a good choice for hobbyists. The sturdy build provides stability and reduces vibrations. Overall a solid 3D printer under $300.

Full specsGeeetech E180
The 10 best 3D printers under $300: Monoprice Mini Delta

Monoprice Mini Delta

  • Metascore: 3.4/5
  • Build size: 110 x 110 x 120 mm
  • Country: China
  • Price: $159
  • Seller: Amazon
The Monoprice Mini Delta is a super affordable 3D printer, with a price tag of $159 only. It comes already assembled and offers a great value to all kind of users with features such as a heated print bed, automatic calibration and WiFi connectivity. The steel frame and durable design make the Mini Delta an amazing 3D printer under $300 (well, under $200 to be accurate!).

Full specsMonoprice Mini Delta

The 10 best 3D printers under $300: XYZPrinting da Vinci Mini Wireless

XYZPrinting da Vinci Mini Wireless+

  • Metascore: 3.4/5
  • Build size: 150 x 150 x 150 mm
  • Country: Taiwan
  • Price: $179
  • Seller: Amazon
The da Vinci Mini w+ (wireless) is a very affordable compact and plug-n-play 3D printer under $200. It is the latest model from the now classic and top selling da Vinci Mini series of low-cost, entry-level 3D printers. The da Vinci Mini Wireless+ comes ready-to-print and it is a perfect choice for those looking for an easy-to-use 3D printer. This desktop 3D printer offers automatic leveling and WiFi connectivity, along with access to an online gallery of more than 4,500 3D models for printing.

Full specsda Vinci Mini w+

Buying guide for cheap 3D printers under $300

What to look for when buying an entry-level, low-cost 3D printer? In the under $300 price range, there is not much room for pickiness, but there are still a few aspects that are important to consider when making a decision.

Print technology

Under $300, the only technology available is currently extrusion (FFF/FDM) 3D printing. Some resin 3D printers have been developed at prices under $1000, but they cost more than $300. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, since FFF/FDM technology is by far the less complicated and most user-friendly 3D printing technology.

Print quality highly depends on layer thickness and XY resolution; with our comparison engine it is possible to compare these characteristics side-by-side for different 3D printers. To learn more about different 3D printing technologies, here is a list of 3D printing technologies and processes.




Unassembled Anet A8 parts.

Pre-assembled 3D printers vs kits and DIY

Cheap 3D printers are often delivered as kits to be assembled– much like a well-known Swedish brand’s furniture. After assembly, even if it seems that everything has been perfectly put into place, there is still the possibility that the 3D printer will require further tinkering. Just one loose screw can generate messy prints, so it’s important to keep calm and not get frustrated!

DIY 3D printer kits can often be upgraded with 3D printed extra parts. 3D printer kits are great for learning more about how a 3D printer works- but they can be intimidating for newbies. This being said, we included a few pre-assembled 3D printers under $300 in our list, for those who don’t feel like drowning in anything too technical. Those are ready to print almost right out of the box.

Enclosed versus open frame

One must learn to tame 3D printers to get decent 3D prints, especially with open-framed machines. Many things can interfere with 3D print quality, such as ambient temperature and room drafts. For basic protection it is possible to add makeshift “walls”, with cardboard for example, around an open-framed 3D printer. Closed frame 3D printers protect the 3D printing process, prevent smelly fumes (yes, melted plastic unsurprisingly smells like melted plastic) and help reduce the 3D printer noise.

Community support

As one may assume, low prices lead to high volumes of 3D printers sold, which often translate into large and active user communities. This can be a good and a bad thing. The negative side to this is that manufacturers may not be able to handle many after-sales customer requests, so it is important to check out their website and comments to get a preview.

On a brighter note, help and frequently asked questions can be found on specialized forums and dedicated discussions groups for specific 3D printer models (there are plenty on Facebook). Our list of the best general 3DP communities provides extensive information about those forums and groups.




Build volume

The build volume, or maximum size of a 3D print, is an important spec to consider. If the goal is just to discover and experiment with 3D printing then the build size isn’t too critical, unlike if specific parts need to be printed with certain dimensions. For those who are looking for bigger build sizes, we have an article on the 20 best large volume 3D printers.

Automatic calibration

3D print accuracy can easily be thrown off if the print bed is the teeniest bit lopsided. Some 3D printers offer automated bed leveling, but a lot of others require manual calibration. Manually making sure that the bed is perfectly leveled can be challenging and time-consuming but it is something that gets better with habit.

What about all of the Prusa i3 clones?

The Original Prusa i3 MK2 by Josef Prusa, one of the best 3D printers available on the desktop 3D printer market.

Many, many DIY 3D printers are based on or are clones of the Original Prusa i3, a design developed by Josef Prusa in 2012. The Prusa i3 is part of the RepRap (replicating rapid prototyper) project whose initial aim was to develop a low-cost 3D printer able to replicate most of its components using 3D printing. Since its debut in 2005, hundreds of international contributors have joined the project to keep upgrading and optimizing 3D printing for everyone. Since the blueprints are open source and patent-free, many manufacturers “cloned” and rebranded the Prusa i3 to sell the, as kits ready to be assembled. Josef Prusa is also part of the business too and selling 3D printers under his own brand. Here are some of the best Prusa i3 kits available online around $150:




Methodology: how we selected the best affordable 3D printers under $300

All of the budget 3D printers listed in this article follow the criteria below.

Under $300 and available

As indicated in the title, these are entry-level 3D printers under $300; their cheap prices make 3D printing accessible to more consumers including schools. Most of them are available on Amazon, otherwise these 3D printers are purchasable directly via the manufacturer.




Aniwaa's meta-rating system for 3D printers.

Metascore

This is an essential factor- we index overall 3D printer review scores from four reliable sources (3DHubs, Pinshape, Amazon and Make:) to calculate a metascore.

YouTube test

To be included in our list, the 3D printers must be the subject of at least one reliable review on YouTube (similar to the reddit Youtube test). We feel that this is an important benchmark, as it is reassuring to see an actual person “proving” the existence of the 3D printer and demonstrating its capacities.

Community feedback

We selected 3D printers that have an active online community of users. We realize that it is hard to evaluate wether a brand is reliable or not. However, we get feedback from users, partners and 3D printing YouTube channels and websites, so we do our best to summarize these observations and incorporate them into our lists.

Opinions may change over time and not everyone has the same point of view, so we always recommend looking for information in Facebook groups, Google+ circles, proprietary brand forums, Reddit, etc. to avoid lonely despair in the 3D printing world. For starters we have a list of the best 3D printing forums.

What about low-cost Kickstarter 3D printers?

Some Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects advertise 3D printers at crazy low prices, sometimes under $100! We chose not to include them in our ranking as they are only available by pre-order, and it is never 100% sure that they will be functional once delivered (or even delivered at all). And many of those 3D printer Kickstarter projects have proven to be scams… See below some of the top 3D printer fails on crowdfunding platforms!

Top cheap Kickstarter 3D printer fails

3D printer startups tend to promise amazing products through expensive marketing campaigns to get as many pledges as they can. This is not an unusual goal, but when too much effort is put into advertising there is not much left for logistics, if the business model is not well prepared.

TIKO 3D Tiko

  • Price: $199
  • Amount pledged: almost $3M in March 2015
  • Number of backers: 16,538
  • What happened<: they simply promised too much for too little and found themselves left with no more funds to fulfill their orders. The first backers received their 3D printers, but many remained Tiko-less.
  • More information: Tiko 3D Tiko

Rinnovated Design Peachy Printer

  • Price: $100
  • Amount pledged: over $650,000 after its launch in September 2013.
  • Number of backers: 4,420
  • What happened: one of the two founders embezzled about half of the Peachy Printer funds to build himself a house, forcing the company to lay-off its workers and collapse.
  • More information: Rinnovated Design Peachy Printer

Pirate3D Buccaneer

  • Price: $300
  • Amount pledged: just under $1.5M, and an additional $2M by private investors
  • Number of backers: 3,520
  • What happened: Pirate3D drowned in their initial success with too many products to deliver and not enough staff. They roguishly started to retail-sell their 3D printer before trying to own up to their backers (which they didn’t).
  • More information: Pirate3D Buccaneer
When gathering information for this article, we took into consideration Maker’s Muse’s nice take on Cheap 3D Printers THAT DON’T SUCK $350 and under. Angus is one of the most famous 3DP reviewers on YouTube and we highly recommend subscribing to his channel !

For more videos, see our list of the best 3DP YouTube channels.

We hope that we have provided helpful information for anyone who wishes to leap into 3D printing without spending too much money, or for those who are simply curious about what is available on the market.

FAQ

What is the best 3D printer for beginners?

The best choice of 3D printer for beginners is an assembled, plug-n-play 3D printer such as the da Vinci Mini w+ or the FlashForge Finder. Such 3D printers are easy to operate and offer a great first experience with 3D printing.

Best cheap 3D printer kit?

The best cheap 3D printer kit (to be assembled) is the Geeetech A10, with a metascore of 4.5/5 on Aniwaa. It is easy to assemble and offers great print quality and reliability.

Cheap 3D printer for sale?

There are plenty of affordable 3D printers for sale on Amazon, with prices starting under $200 for assembled 3D printer.

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