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The Best 3D Printer Under $500 in 2022

Tim Parry

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Best 3D Printer Under $500

Do you want to enter into the exciting world of 3D printing but don't want to break the bank? Then, you've come to the right place. While 3D printing can be a costly hobby, that isn't always the case. There are so many great printers under $500, which is the main focus of this article.

So whether you're new to the 3D printing process or seeking to enhance your collection with some low-cost workhorses, the selection below of the best 3D printer under $500 has something for you.

What is a 3D Printer?

Additive manufacturing technology has revolutionized the manufacturing industry. It was initially solely used by industrialists because it cost thousands of dollars. With technological advancements, it is now available for $500 or less, with various advanced features. The demand for low-cost 3D printers has risen since they are cost-effective, quick, and precise.

They are used in a variety of ways. Beginners, students, and home users will benefit from the 3D printers for under $500. It enables them to produce previously inconceivable items quickly and at a reasonable cost. In addition, these printers are used in schools to introduce students to advanced additive manufacturing technology as part of their studies.

Architects and engineers utilize these printers to generate a site, a building, a model, or a prototype to visualize their ideas better. Graphic artists and small enterprises purchase them to 3D print product designs for testing and customization. Finally, home users use these printers to 3D print small products like holders, keyrings, decorative items, and toys.

They are also used to fix kitchen equipment, water faucets, and other home objects. These printers are used by a variety of surgeons and clinicians to save and improve the lives of their patients. In addition, they are used to make unique surgical tools and prosthetics, medical equipment prototypes, and patient-specific organ replicas for testing and practice.

They are also used to fix kitchen equipment, water faucets, and other home objects. These printers are used by a variety of surgeons and clinicians to save and improve the lives of their patients. In addition, they are used to make unique surgical tools and prosthetics, medical equipment prototypes, and patient-specific organ replicas for testing and practice.

Jewellers use these to manufacture bespoke accessories for their customers in a precise and timely manner. Molding and casting are required in traditional procedures. As a result, they take longer to produce and have been supplanted by 3D printing. Hobbyists and enthusiasts who want to learn more about 3D printing but are on a tight budget are flocking at the best 3D printer under $500.

Which is the best 3D printer for under $500?

The Best 3D Printer Under $500

1. Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer with Removable Build Surface Plate

Sale
Official Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer with Removable Build Surface...
  • REMOVABLE BUILD SURFACE PLATE: Provide all-round protection to your 3D...
  • SAFE POWER SUPPLY: Ender 3 Pro comes with a branded power supply,...
  • RESUME PRINT FUNCTION: Ender 3 Pro can resume printing from the last...
  • SEMI-ASSEMBLED KIT: This easy-to-setup kit comes partially assembled,...
  • WHAT YOU GET: Ceality Ender 3 Pro 3D pinrter, lifetime technical...

Creality 3D Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer allows users to enhance their printing based on the source code and share their improvements with the community. As a result, everyone's experience improves. This semi-assembled kit 3D printer is an excellent gift for children, allowing them to learn about the fundamentals of 3D printing.

It encourages students' inventiveness and innovation while assisting them in discovering the wonders of all STEM subjects. Meanwell's branded power source offers consistent and sufficient power, allowing the hotbed to heat up quickly. The improved build surface protects your heated bed and makes it simple to remove the printing models once they've cooled.

The printing platform's stability has been improved thanks to a new 40*40 Y-axis frame design. After a power failure or other abrupt interruption, Ender 3 Pro can restart printing. The printing platform is quickly heated thanks to a branded power supply and a high-watt hotbed. Reduces the likelihood of clogged nozzles and poor extrusion.

PROS
  • This "pro" model is under $300, which is an excellent pricing point
  • The print quality rivals that of much more expensive printers
  • It's simple to put together and use
  • It has a very professional, solid, and secure feel to it
  • It is also bundled with the Slicer software
CONS
  • You'll need to buy more filament; there's enough to get you started for a day or two

2. Official Creality Ender 3 3D Printer Fully Open Source

Sale
Official Creality Ender 3 3D Printer Fully Open Source with Resume...
  • Resume Printing Function: Ender 3 has the ability to resume printing...
  • Easy and Qucik Assembly: It comes with several assembled parts, you...
  • Advanced Extruder Technology: Upgraded extruder greatly reduces...
  • Safety Protected Power Supply: Only needs 5 minutes for hot bed to...
  • Strict Test: Strict testing for key components before delivery and...

On Amazon, Comgrow is the first vendor of Creality 3D. They have a technical staff of over 20 people who give expert technical support to all customers. Comgrow is committed to providing high-quality 3D printers at a reasonable price, as well as great after-sales service to all customers. It only takes 5 minutes for the heated bed to reach 110°C.

Even if there is a power outage or a power break, Ender 3 can restart printing. The upgraded direct drive extruder considerably decreases the possibility of clogging and poor extrusion. It moves quietly, smoothly, and reliably thanks to its V-shape and upgraded wheels. The printing platform is quickly heated thanks to a branded power supply and a high-watt hotbed.

High-precision printing allows you to create your environment by printing high-precision models. This 3D printer kit is an excellent present for kids since it allows them to learn about the basic structure of 3D printers.

PROS
  • Excellent value for money
  • Everything is bolted up and functional
  • It comes with spare components that are a thoughtful touch
  • A good array of applications for slicing and manipulating STL files is available
  • The fastener quality is adequate to get the job done
CONS
  • The illustrations are too small, and the explanations are inadequate

3. Monoprice 121711 Select Mini 3D Printer V2 With Heated Build Plate

Sale
Monoprice 121711 Select Mini 3D Printer V2 - Black With Heated (120 x...
  • The heated build plate and wide range of extruder temperatures allow...
  • Compact Desktop Design: Featuring a small footprint and basic, open...
  • Ready to Print: Unlike most other low-cost 3D printers, this printer...
  • We even include a MicroSDTM card with preinstalled models, so you can...
  • PC and Mac compatible. Compatible with Cura, Repetier, and other...

MP Select Mini 3D Printer V2 is not only fully constructed, but it has also been factory calibrated. First, confirm that the print bed is still leveled. Then, load the provided microSD card, add some filament, and print the preloaded model if it shifted during shipping. You won't find a 3D printer that is ready to print right out of the box at such a low price anywhere else.

The heated slide-in build plate and wide range of extruder temperatures allow this printer to work with any type of filament from any manufacturer. Additionally, the flexibility to use free, open-source software allows you to personalize your 3D printing experience. It has an all-metal nozzle, an insulated, heated build plate, enhanced cooling, a 3.7-inch IPS color screen, and Wi-Fi connectivity.

This printer is sent fully constructed and calibrated at the factory. Sample PLA filament and a microSD card with pre-configured models are also included, so you can start printing right away. It is compatible with Windows and Mac.

PROS
  • This printer arrives entirely constructed and calibrated from the manufacturer
  • A low-cost 3D printer that is ready to print right out of the box
  • This printer can work with any filament
  • It has a modest footprint and a simple, open-frame design that makes it suitable for any workplace
  • MicroSD card compatible with PC and Mac
CONS
  • This printer is difficult to disassemble for general maintenance

4. Elegoo Mars 2 Mono MSLA 3D Printer UV Photocuring LCD Resin 3D Printer

ELEGOO Mars 2 Mono MSLA 3D Printer UV Photocuring LCD Resin 3D Printer...
  • 【Fast Printing and less maintenance】Mars 2 comes with a 6.08 inch...
  • 【Outstanding prints and ultra accuracy】Brand new light source...
  • 【Sturdy build quality】CNC machined aluminum body makes Mars 2 a...
  • Multi language interface】Mars 2 now supports 12 kinds of languages...
  • 【Warranty and Service】We provide a 1-year warranty on the whole...

Elegoo has worked hard to provide high-quality resin that works well with most LCD 3D printers. The Elegoo Mars 2 MSLA 3D Printer is a 6.08-inch monochrome LCD 3D printer with a COB UV light source. It has an XY precision of 50m and a maximum print speed of 1.5-2 seconds per layer. From industrial parts to board game miniatures, extra build volume can suit most of your printing needs.

The 6.08-inch Monochrome LCD has a 2K HD resolution. As a result, it has a four-fold longer lifespan and two-fold quicker print speed than standard RGB LCD 3D printers. Additionally, it has improved printing efficiency, more consistent performance, and less maintenance. The new operating system now supports 13 languages: Chinese, English, Japanese, Dutch, Korean, French, German, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Turkish, and Portuguese.

It is much easier for customers all around the world to use Mars 2. It uses specific engineering polymers, is environmentally friendly, and can be degraded using a green Plastic Tank. You can replace your printer tank to extend the life of your printer based on your demands. Mars 2 is composed of CNC machined aluminum and has a high build quality and durability.

The COB light source is a valuable addition that ensures flawless prints. From slicing STL files to installing supports, Chitu Box has been a handy companion while using Elegoo MSLA 3D resin printers. In addition, you can achieve a considerably smoother printing surface with the current 8-times anti-aliasing function.

PROS
  • It only needs a few seconds per layer exposure to cure resin hence faster printing
  • Mono LCD provides a substantially longer lifespan saving you money
  • The build plate has better adhesion during printing, allowing for consistent printing results
  • Mars 2 supports 13 different languages, allowing consumers all over the world to use it easily
  • It's simple to set up and use because there are fewer settings to fiddle with
CONS
  • The resin is messy at it transfers easily

5. Anycubic Mega-S New Upgrade 3D Printer

ANYCUBIC Mega S Upgrade FDM 3D Printer with Extruder and Suspended...
  • WORKS OUT OF THE BOX: 3 steps to set up ANYCUBIC Mega S 3D printer...
  • UPGRADED EXTRUDER DESIGN: Titan extruder provides precise extrusion...
  • RESUME PRINT & SENSOR DETECTION: Mega S 3D Printer can resume printing...
  • ANYCUBIC ULTRABASE: Patented 3D printer printing platform surface...
  • MORE FUNCTION: ①ANYCUBIC MEGA S is an all-in-one frame 3D printer....

The Mega S 3D printer is both inventive and functional. All you do is put the material rack together, screw in eight screws, and plug in three wires to make it operate. The use of a metal frame improves the stability of 3D printing. Anycubic Mega S 3D Printer has an integrated strong metal body that is compact and generous. It has rigid lines, solid materials, and a very sturdy structure.

It reduces body shaking during printing, resulting in better print quality. 210mm x 210mm x 205mm larger printing size. On the surface of the newly enhanced heating integrated lattice printing platform is a patented microporous coating. It has strong adhesion, is easy to take molds, heats quickly and evenly. It can be used again without losing performance once you resume printing.

The upgraded Titan extruder results from an optimal mix of the classic extrusion system and the straight-through V5 extrusion head. It ensures smooth feeding, is resistant to jamming and is compatible with flexible filament. Mega S 3D Printer features a 3.5" TFT Touch Screen. It has a user-friendly interface, simple operation, rich functions, smooth operation.

It has a one-key changeover between Chinese and English for a unique touch screen experience. The sheet metal components have been oxidized black and have a nice texture. Mega S 3D Printer has a simple and elegant integrated suspension design. The filament feeding is smoother, and storage and organization are easier than on other printers.

PROS
  • It is a high-quality 3D printer that is of an affordable price
  • The high-quality prints produced by the 3D printer are crisp and smooth
  • It is easy to use for beginners
  • It has strong adhesion and heats quickly and evenly
  • The use of a metal frame improves the stability of the 3D printer
CONS
  • The fans are a little louder than others

How to Choose the Best 3D Printer Under $500

1. Budget

When testing out 3D printing for the first time, it makes sense to choose a low-cost one. It's a brilliant idea to make a little investment in testing the waters with the option of reselling with little to no loss in value. Even for beginners, though, dirt cheap isn't always the most excellent option for 3D printing. The best 3D printer under $500 typically comes with trade-offs. It includes print quality, technological challenges, or, simply, limitations on what you may hope to print successfully.

Even a $100 increase in your budget can make a significant difference in your outcomes. The list above strikes a balance between affordability and quality. On the other hand, if the end product isn't important to you and you're more interested in the learning process to upgrade later, the least priced printer is a reasonable alternative.

2. Open Frame vs Enclosed Frame

It is preferable to use a printer with a closed frame design if you are a beginner or wish to use it with children. Enclosed chambers are safer because you won't get burned if you unintentionally touch the heated plate or hot-ends. On the other hand, open frames are excellent for learning since they allow you to see the entire printing process in detail.

3. 3D Printing Technology

Today, there are 11 different types of technologies. It would help if you first decided what you want to 3D print. Then compare various technologies to see which one best meets your demands. Newcomers commonly use FDM, FFF, SLA, and MSLA.

4. Assembly

Packaged 3D printers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are pre-assembled with just a few basic steps to get them ready to print. Others are delivered in pieces and require complete assembly. If you're new to 3D printing and aren't sure how to put one together, you might want to go for a printer that works right out of the box.

YouTube is an excellent resource if ease of assembly is a significant priority. The platform's abundance of unboxing videos extends to the 3D printing scene, with something for almost every 3D printer under the sun. There are even entire video assembly manuals available in some cases, with numerous manufacturers supplying official approved step-by-step guides.

5. Additional Features

If you only have $500 to spend on a 3D printer, you may have to sacrifice some features to meet your budget. Filament runs out sensor, automatic bed leveling, heated and adjustable print bed, intuitive touch screen are standard on these low-cost 3D printers. These attributes distinguish 3D printers priced under $500; Large-scale construction, Wi-Fi internet access, a solid and flexible frame, high-quality printing and a magnetic print bed. So when making a purchase, keep these features in mind.

6. What exactly are you looking to print?

It's easy to be wowed by a slick-looking 3D printer or to be seduced by intriguing new capabilities that may or may not be relevant in the future. So take a moment to consider what you want to do with your new 3D printer before committing to a machine.

A budget resin 3D printer is a better option if you can print figurines or detailed works of art. However, the amount of detail you can achieve from a machine is limited. Alternatively, any FDM printer would suffice if you want to make a bespoke case for your smartphone or prototype parts.

7. Build Volume

There are a few requirements to keep in mind with any 3D printer, especially inexpensive 3D printers. Check the build volume. It determines how huge of an item your machine can print. Although a few exceptions are under $500, even the best budget 3D printers rarely exceed 300 x 300 x 300 mm.

8. Print Speed and Resolution

Check the 3D printer's resolution and speed. The resolution of the layer height or minimum thickness of a layer created by an FDM printer during a pass over the plate. Printing speed is crucial, but only if you need to print parts quickly and don't care about the minor details. Printing too quickly might cause problems, so choosing the correct settings is more important than getting the fastest printer.

9. Compatibility of materials

The most common difficulty that frustrates creators who are new to 3D printers is material support. Aside from a handful of the cheaper printers, the most economical 3D printers in this category can print with PLA or ABS. Still, you'll have difficulties with some of the more unusual composites.

To correctly print with Carbon Fiber or other composite materials, the print head and build plate must reach specific temperatures, and a custom extruder or nozzle may be required.

10. Upgradability

One of the best aspects of 3D printers is that they can all be upgraded in some way. New users are frequently surprised by what a few hundred dollars can achieve for a low-cost desktop 3D printer, whether through official components and kits or third-party accessories.

Look at the frame, how the machine is made, and whether the manufacturer offers parts or upgrade kits. You can construct or buy an enclosure to keep your prints warm or swap extruders, but the frame or general build quality could hamper any upgrading ambitions.

11. Customer Service

Whether you're looking for a 3D printer under $500 or a huge professional 3D printer, having strong customer service is always a plus. Unfortunately, because some manufacturers don't have an official website, support is an area where the outcomes are mixed with budget-friendly 3D printers.

3D printers with excellent official manufacturer support always have an advantage, but community support should not be overlooked. There are also subreddits, websites, and forums dedicated to specific brands and machines. Community and customer service go hand in hand.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

1. What are the different types of 3D printers?

a) FDM (Filament Based)

The most prevalent type of 3D printing is FDM. It is used to create large-scale models in almost any category. It creates functional items like brackets and boxes and entertaining items like cosplay gear and 3D-printed outfits. Someone seems to be pushing the limits of what an FDM printer can achieve virtually every day. Get an FDM 3D printer if you want the most versatile 3D printer. They're also safer, so if you and your younger family members want to experience it together, this is a fantastic option.

b) Resin

Resin 3D printing differs significantly from the previously discussed FDM printer. Resin printing allows for a lot more detail in your print. It's ideal for gamers who wish to print miniatures, jewellery, or highly detailed statues. However, you will need to print these models using a liquid polymer, so be careful. It is harmful if you aren't careful.

2. Is PLA Used in All Low-cost 3D Printers?

Yes, however, some printers can also operate with different plastic filaments, such as ABS. Heated beds must reach 100°C to provide adequate adhesion with ABS and avoid warping. The hot end must reach 210°C for materials like TPU.

3. Do 3D Printers Under $500 function with any Software?

You may become bound to a company's software if you purchase a more expensive system. The best 3D printer under $500, on the other hand, will almost always work with open-source software like Cura.

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Tim Parry

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