What’s the best large 3D printer when you’re on a low budget?
Build volume is generally an area where “bigger is better” if it’s within your budget. A large 3D printer will allow you to print anything from a TPU smartphone case to a full-sized stormtrooper helmet made from ABS.
As you can imagine, large build sizes are especially useful if you need to 3D print big objects. With a smaller desktop 3D printer, you’d have to break down your big 3D model into multiple parts and print them separately, to assemble or glue them together afterwards. Big 3D printers are also great for printing series of objects in one go.
Our guide focuses on 3D printers with a large build area that are available for under $1000. While some consider any printer beyond 250 x 250 x 250 mm to be in the oversized class for home use, our picks all exceed 300 x 300 x 300 mm.
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- For more precise, detailed prints, you might want to take a look at affordable resin 3D printers (from $199).
- If printing big objects isn’t your primary concern, check out some of the best 3D printers under $300.
- We created a list of over 50 sites from which you can download free STL files.
- For professional applications where precision and premium features are key, we have a higher-grade large volume 3D printer selection.
Big, affordable 3D printers under $1,000
|3D printer||Build volume (mm)||Build volume (L)||Price||Buy|
|Creality CR-10 S5||500 x 500 x 500 mm||125 L||$719||Buy|
|Wanhao Duplicator 9/500||500 x 500 x 500 mm||125 L||$899||Buy|
|Creality CR-10 Max||450 x 450 x 470 mm||95 L||$959||Buy|
|ANYCUBIC Chiron||400 x 400 x 450 mm||72 L||$499||Buy|
|ANYCUBIC Predator||370 x 370 x 455 mm||62 L||$619||Buy|
|TronXY X5S||330 x 330 x 400 mm||44 L||$360||Buy|
|Geeetech A30||320 x 320 x 420 mm||43 L||$330||Buy|
|Alfawise U20||300 x 300 x 400 mm||36 L||$310||Buy|
|Artillery Sidewinder X1||300 x 300 x 400 mm||36 L||$459||Buy|
|Creality CR-10 V2||300 x 300 x 400 mm||36 L||$519||Buy|
|JGAURORA A5S||305 x 305 x 320 mm||30 L||$399||Buy|
*Build volume (L): numbers have been rounded up or down.
**Price: prices may vary over time and/or from one country to another (taxes, shipping, etc.).
Overview of the best large desktop 3D printers
Below you'll find more details about each large 3D printer.
Creality CR-10 S5
- Build volume: 500 x 500 x 500 mm
- Price: $719
Dual Z rod screws ensure excellent accuracy along on this open-source machine, and the hot end can handle PLA, ABS, and TPE. As it’s essentially a larger version of the CR-10S, you can expect features like a heated bed, auto-resume, and filament runout detection as well.
More information: Creality CR-10 S5
Wanhao Duplicator 9 500 (D9/500)
- Build volume: 500 x 500 x 500 mm
- Price: $899
The MK10 full metal hotend is another highlight of this printer. It can reach 300°C, which allows you to print with a broader range of materials. Automatic bed leveling and a heated bed with an anti-backlash rolling system are also great features.
More information: Wanhao Duplicator 9 500
Creality CR-10 Max
- Build volume: 450 x 450 x 470 mm
- Price: $959
Smooth prints on a large scale are possible with the CR-10 Max thanks to its unique Z-axis bracing system that Creality calls “the Golden Triangle”. Automatic bed leveling and the touchscreen-based UI are also great features to have on hand as well as the split-flow power supply, which heats up the bed in an instant.
More information: Creality CR-10 Max
- Build volume: 400 x 400 x 450 mm
- Price: $499
The ANYCUBIC Chiron keeps things simple with a classic design featuring a top-notch heated print bed and a 25-point leveling system. The single extruder and hot end are rated to work with ABS, HIPS, and TPU as well as PLA on this affordable big 3D printer.
More information: ANYCUBIC Chiron
- Build volume: 370 x 370 x 455 mm
- Price: $619
The Predator offers up one of the largest build areas of any Delta printer in this range. It sports a quick heating Ultrabase Pro platform that can reach 100°C and has a 37-point auto-leveling system. An integrated touchscreen and filament sensors are also features to appreciate with the ANYCUBIC Predator 3D printer.
More information: ANYCUBIC Predator
- Build volume: 330 x 330 x 400 mm
- Price: $360
The TronXY X5S is a CoreXY printer with a sturdy metal frame. That adds stability while you print and the auto-leveling system ensures accuracy. Filament runout detection, a heated bed, and a touchscreen are included, but their customer support isn’t quite up to the standards of other manufacturers in this class.
More information: TronXY X5S
- Build volume: 320 x 320 x 420 mm
- Price: $330
This large FDM 3D printer is a capable machine with an ample build volume and heated bed sporting a silicone carbine glass plate. Makers found the colorful 3.2-inch touchscreen a pleasure to use, although some had issues with software and offsets. Customer service and community support are both solid with this brand of 3D printer.
More information: Geeetech A30
- Build volume: 300 x 300 x 400 mm
- Price: $310
With a large build volume of 300 x 300 x 400mm, the Alfawise U20 can bring large creations to life whether you prefer PLA or TPU. It has all the standard bells & whistles, including a color touchscreen, but bed leveling is handled manually. Aside from a few awkward design decisions and a noisy fan, the U20 provides a lot of bang for your buck.
More information: Alfawise U20
Artillery Sidewinder X1
- Build volume: 300 x 300 x 400 mm
- Price: $459
The Artillery Sidewinder X1 can print a wide range of materials with a direct drive extruder and Titan-style hot end. An extruded aluminum frame keeps the X1 stable regardless of your print speed, while the color touchscreen makes the machine a joy to use. Cable management and the synchronized Dual Z system are two additional perks of the X1.
More information: Artillery Sidewinder X1
Creality CR-10 V2
- Build volume: 300 x 300 x 400 mm
- Price: $519
One advantage of the CR-10 V2 is the separate control box, which is ideal if you want to add an enclosure. The “Golden Triangle” design and aluminum frame ensure stability while 3D printing, and the dual-port hot end cooling fans help dissipate heat. Other noteworthy features include filament runout detection and auto-resume.
More information: Creality CR-10 V2
- Build volume: 305 x 305 x 320 mm
- Price: $399
This 3D printer has a black diamond glass plate and a heated bed with a maximum temperature of 110°C. A 32-bit motherboard keeps things running smoothly, and we’re fans of discreet cable management system as well. Calibration is semi-manual, but the overall setup is quick and straightforward with the A5S.
More information: JGAurora A5S
How to find the best large 3D printer for under $1000
There are a lot of exciting machines available at this price point, which makes it difficult to narrow things down. Here are a few key areas you’ll want to take into consideration before you choose your large 3D printer.
Build quality is important with any type of 3D printer regardless of the price. Well, it’s even more crucial with a large 3D printer as you’ll need a stable machine that can handle massive prints, which can take hours or days.
All of the key components– especially the main frame– should be made from metal (ie. aluminum). Plastic 3D printed parts on budget-friendly printers are common, but can easily reprinted and replaced whereas frames and aluminum parts are far more expensive to upgrade. Buying a printer that’s built like a tank is never a bad idea.
You also need to keep the overall size of the printer in mind, as 3D printers with large build areas are going to have a larger footprint. Check the dimensions of each machine if you are short on space, and keep in mind that some of them have separate control boxes that take up extra room.
Structure: cartesian, delta, or CoreXY
If you’re looking for a 3D printer in the $200 to $300 range, you’re typically limited to one style of printer. When it comes to large 3D printers under $1000, there are three main styles to choose from: Cartesian, Delta, or CoreXY 3D printers.
- Cartesian (Prusa i3 type) – These machines are the most common, popular, and easy to alter. In this price range, they also tend to be the ones that offer the biggest volumes. The print head moves up and down, and from right to left, while the build bed goes forwards and backwards.
- Delta – This triangular type of 3D printer provides a cylindrical build volume, and are therefore taller than they are wide. The print head has more freedom to move as it is mounted at the center of three “arms”. The print bed stays in place, which eliminates wobbling issues that you can potentially find on an i3-type printer.
- CoreXY – It is a kind of cartesian 3D printer, but it looks like a cube. The printer itself takes up less room than a Prusa i3 type 3D printer, since the fixed bed doesn’t require space to move back and forth. These printers can be tricky to assemble and tweak.
Types of big FFF 3D printers, from left to right: cartesian (Prusa i3 type), CoreXY, and delta.
Material support comes down to two things – the hot end (nozzle) and the print bed. That means you need to consider the type of hot end that’s included with the printer as well as the temperatures it’s capable of reaching.
An all-metal hot end is the best choice for printing at higher temperatures or using exotic materials like LAYCeramic or Proto-Pasta’s conductive PLA. Nowadays, all-metal nozzles are a relatively standard feature on many large 3D printers.
However, if you do choose a printer with a brass nozzle, you won’t be able to print abrasive materials like carbon fiber without seriously damaging the hotend. Ordering a new nozzle and swapping the old one out isn’t too complicated though!
You will also find a heated bed find on the best big 3D printers, but how well they work and how quickly they will reach optimum temperatures can vary. A heated print bed will allow you to print with a wider range of materials too (TPU, Nylon, …) whereas without heating the platform you can pretty much only print PLA.
With smaller machines, it’s not uncommon to find things like Wi-Fi connectivity or a dual extruder, but you won’t find either of those on large-sized 3D printers under $1000. These kinds of features generally don’t make the cut in order to help keep the price down.
That said, there are some other nice features that you can find on big 3D printers in this price range. Many of them are equipped with a touchscreen and SD card slot, and some also boast automatic or semi-automatic bed leveling.
Excellent customer support is crucial when purchasing any technical device. Even the most highly rated machines can have issues, which is where a good customer support system comes in handy.
Given the fact that almost all of the largest 3D printers under $1000 come from China, it’s essential to know who will handle any issues if they arise with your new printer. Smaller brands may not have the best customer support but often make up for it with active users and forums or Facebook groups where you can find help quickly.
How big can 3D printers print?
In the commercial range, there are printers with build volumes measured in meters, not millimeters. Printers with big build sizes in the consumer class under $1000 typically come in under 500 x 500 x 500 mm.
Can I print with Carbon Fiber filament and other composites using a large 3D printer?
As long as the hot end meets the manufacturers recommended requirements for the filament, it’s possible. How well that exotic material actually prints depends on your machine and how well it’s dialed in, however.
How heavy is a large format 3D printer?
Great question, but it depends on the model. On average, you can expect the big 3D printers on our list to weigh between 24 and 35 pounds fully assembled.
More 3D printing resources
- Looking for even more affordable printers? We have a selection of 3D printers under $300, too.
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- Resin 3D printers offer great details and precision. See our list of the best SLA/DLP/LCD 3D printers to find out more.
- We also have guides on 3D scanning, drones, and virtual, augmented, and mixed reality.