Long gone are the times when the 3D printers were only used by scientists and engineers, which were priced at thousands of dollars. If looking forward to building a prototype of any component, you can do it at your workplace or even home now, thanks to technology.
Originated in 1980, 3D printing can now be seen in almost every field, from sports to classrooms. This market has seen quite a few changes over the last couple of years and the rise in popularity of 3D printers have made it possible to choose from a vast range of options instead of just a few.
These printers feel like something straight out of Nikola Tesla’s laboratory as they are built using raw materials such as photopolymers, nylon polyamide, and glass-filled polyamide.
Improvements in technology have led to a significant decrease in the prices of 3D printers, and now you can find some suitable printers in less than $500, that can meet both your needs and your budget. You can create absolutely anything, from games to shows.
Listed below are some affordable, yet powerful printers with the excellent printing quality, speed, design, and resolution for you to design your own personalized 3D modelling designs.
Top 7 Best 3D Printer Under 500
1. QIDI TECHNOLOGY Touchscreen 3D Printer
- Weight: 33.1 pounds
- Features: Wifi connection, Touch screen operation
- Warranty: 6 Months
- Brand: R QIDI TECHNOLOGY
The QIDI technology 3D printer comes with extensive features such as a Wifi connection and a touch screen which makes it easier to operate and use. This viable and affordable 3D printer is designed for a wide range of audiences, including schools, libraries, home users, as well as business institutions. It is perfect for institutions wanting to build and test a prototype without spending a lot of time and money on it.
The QIDI 3D printer has full metal support which makes it stable and reliable. It comes with a 3.5 full touch screen that supports six languages, including Chinese, English, German, French, Turkish, Russian, and Spanish. Users can conduct independent research and development.
The user interface is designed keeping a non-tech savvy audience in view and is large alongside being simple, high class, professional, and user friendly. It is also perfect to be used for long time printing as it is equipped with an alloy nozzle that ensures high accuracy, uniform heating, fast printing speed, and high stability. Users do not have to worry about plugging the nozzle frequently as the QIDI 3D printer has an optimized structure which ensures an evenly feeding.
A cooling turbo fan also plays it’s part in smooth printing as it increases the cooling area, which results in speeding up the cooling speed. The fan shuts if once the printing process is completed. It comes with a stable and heatable build plate that acts as a high quality heated bed that supports printing ABS. The build plate is made of Aviation aluminium, and CNC machined aluminium alloy and can be levelled easily by using a screw net. Users can take the dish out to get the finished model. Simply bend the plate and take out the model easily.
In the case of a power outage, users can resume their printing process instead of starting all over again. It is best to print with ABS or PLA, bit printing with filaments like HIPS or PET-G is also possible with some additional adjustments to the settings. It prints elegant and high-quality 3D objects.
- Support for third party filaments
- Resume print feature
- Powerful cooling
- Comes ready to use
- Limited build size
- Stock buildup plate has adhesion issues
2. Creality CR-10S 3D Printer
- Weight: 25.9 pounds
- Frame & Body: Imported V-Slot Aluminum Bearings
- Supports(OS): Windows/Linux/Mac/XP
- Warranty: 1 Year
- Brand: Creality 3D
Creality CR 10 S is the successor of CR-10, which was launched in 2016. This version of the 3D printer has several improvements, modifications, and upgrades.
This printer comes pre-assembled, and the users simply have to mount the Z-axis to the base and connect the cables, which does not take longer than half an hour. The Creality CR-10S offers consistent processing that improves the build quality by reducing the wobble in the prints. The design of the Creality CR-10S 3D printer is nearly the same as its predecessor. The size and the controller box are almost the same, but the Creality CR-10S comes with a filament sensor and dual lead screws. This version has enhanced parts and a better mainboard.
The massive build volume of this printer allows users to print large objects regularly. The filament sensor is proof that the manufacturer has thoroughly thought about the design and structure of this printer, and users don’t have to worry about running out of the filament. As soon as the full spool gets emptied, the printing process is stopped, and users get an alert to load a new reel.
The massive build volume produces very high-resolution objects, even if the designs are intricate.
Users can operate and experiment using several materials now, thanks to the heated bed in the Creality CR-10S. The glass bed can also be easily removed so the users can get the 3D printout. Users don’t have to use the typical adhesion tricks to make the prints stay glued on the board, since the print bed already has strong adhesion.
The best thing about this printer is that it allows users to recover the model if the power shuts down.
Coming towards the performance, the Creality CR-10S 3D can perform efficiently even in low settings. Once users get familiar with its features and working, it can work amazingly well. It can produce highly detailed and smooth models, unlike many of its expensive competitors.
The CR-10S takes a while to heat up, and the users might have to wait for a good 10-15 minutes before starting the work on it.
- Low price
- Massive build volume
- Amazing print quality
- Good adhesion
- Filament sensor
- Print bed slow to heat up
- No enclosure
3. GEEETECH A20M 3D Printer
- Weight: 25.3 pounds
- Material: aluminum
- Supports(OS): Windows/Linux/Mac/XP
- Printing Speed: 180mm/s (max)
- Warranty: 1 Year
- Brand: Geeetech
The Geeetech A20M 3D printer comes with a wide range of extensive features, extra goodies, and fantastic results.
This printer might be a little hard to assemble for someone who is using a 3D printer for the first time.
However, the all in one construction is a proper development as everything can be assembled into a single unit. The aluminium frame ensures stability and its neat structure gives an exquisite look. The final build not just feels high quota but also provides smooth printing results because of its sturdiness.
The mix-colour capability of this 3D printer makes it the most intriguing of all. This feature was also available in the Geeetech A10M and the special nozzle provided with this printer is only available through Geeetech.
This nozzle can print two filaments in several blending degrees, producing eye-catching 3D prints. If the users slow the transition, this printer can provide a full spectrum effect. Users also have the option to print with a purge tower if they want a clean break between the two colours being used.
Users are allowed to use a variety of filaments in a 1.75mm diameter in this 3D printer. The nozzle is designed with mk10 threads and filaments to feed to one 4mm nozzle.
The heated bed is made of glass and heats quite fast. The protective layer on the top of the foundation leaves the pattern on the printed objects. When the 3D printing is completed, the nozzle moves away from the purpose automatically and allows the object and itself to cool down immediately.
The bed size for this printer is enormous (255 × 255 × 255mm). Even with more significant printers in the market, this size is considered to be the ideal size for printers used to print large as well as small 3D objects.
Quality and Additional Features
The Geeetech 3D printers come with a reset button which allows the printer to go back to the ordinary operation real quick. Similarly, the printer can resume the process from where it has been stopped.
This printer supports a wide range of filaments, including PLA, PETG, ABS, and much more. The printing quality is also amazing. Users can print absolutely anything, from big objects to tiny ones.
- Large build volume
- Supports multiple filaments
- Stable base
- One unit
- Bed wobble on delivery
- Takes a while to adjust the alignment if Y axis wheel
4. Creality Ender 5 Pro 3D Printer
- Shipping Weight: 29.3 pounds
- Material: Aluminum
- Print Speed: <180mm/s
- Print Size: 220×220×300mm
- Brand: Luxnwatts
The Creality Ender 5 Pro has a look similar to its predecessor and is very easy and straightforward to build. Users just have to attach Z-axis to the base and provide the power to make it fully ready to be used in a few minutes. It comes with a new cubic structure for a unique and appealing design.
It has a magnetic print bed that is flexible and can be detached. The adhesive feature of this print bed allows it to be mounted back on the build plate quickly. It comes with an upgraded motherboard, which does not produce any noise at all while printing the object. The Creality 3D 4-layer PCB is used in this motherboard for a stable performance. It also has thermal runaway protection enabled, which protects the printer if the temperature rises.
The bed gets heated quickly by the Meanwell 350W/24 V power supply. The printer also includes a 45 degree angled display screen that is attached to the side of the frame. Users need to level the bed manually, but it has been made relatively easy due to the large nuts situated below the print bed.
The metal extruded frame of this 3D printer provides stability and pressure while feeding the filament through the nozzle.
This printer also offers improved filament tubing. The inner diameter is 1.9mm + 0.05mm, which protects the filament from bending inside of the tube. It enhances the usability of the printer.
Coming towards the printing, users can print relatively quickly using the Creality Ender 5 pro.
Users can adjust the settings according to their requirements and also seek help from several online communities. Removing large prints is easy, but the magnetic bed can be difficult to clean after printing. It is capable of creating smooth prints with excellent attention to detail.
The interface is easy to find support and guidance for, as it may not be as user-friendly as the graphic one.
- Solid print quality
- Super quiet printing
- Bed levelling is tricky
- Does not come with a filament runout sensor
- Excessive wiring
5. Monoprice Mini 3D Printer v2
- Weight: 9.90 pounds
- Color: White
- Style: Mini V2
- Warranty: 1 Year
- Brand: Monoprice
The Monoprice Mini 3D printer V2 is a low budget printer that is perfect for beginners. This printer helps attain excellent print quality for small to medium-sized objects.
The print best is designed to build high-quality 3D images. Pre Installed build mat makes the printers vivid and impressive because of its high stability and rigidity levels. Users can use different filament types as the heated print bed supports several and produces fantastic prints. The insulation feature of this printer protects the furniture when the printer is placed on it.
Apart from the heated bed, the surface of this printer features a unique pad material that enhances the adhesion and makes it easy for the users to remove the parts after completion of the project. The build area of this printer is 120 × 120 × 120 mm, which is roughly the height of a can of any fizzy drink.
This printer comes with dual cooling fans. One can be seen on the extruder while the other on the mainboard. These fans maintain the temperature of the print bed in all the temperature settings.
The interface is simpler to use. This printer can work with all types of software that translate a 3D design into instructions that the printer follows. The screen also has been improved to 3.7 inches, which makes printing fun. It makes this printer highly functional as users are allowed to control every action from the colour screen. Printing can also be done through Micro SD card, USB cable, or Wifi.
The Monoprice mini printer is compatible to use with Windows operating systems and MAC OS.
Users can print different types of filaments, thanks to the metal hot end extruder. The 3F printing experience can be improved by using open-source software. Different printing materials such as ABS and PLA can be used since the printer supports a wide range of temperatures. Simply set the temperature according to the project, and you’re good to go!
This printer is also easy to maintain because of its small size and lightweight.
- Good quality print
- Colour LCD
- Easy to operate
- Small print bed
- Produces noise
- Does not support high-speed printing
6. JG MAKER A5S 3D Printer
- Weight: 30 pounds
- Material: Alloy Steel
- Print speed：10-150mm
- Warranty: 1 Year
- Brand: JG MAKER
The JGAurora A5 is a big printer that is capable of producing prints as big as 305 × 305 × 320 mm. This printer includes standard features just like its predecessor, which provides for filament runout detection and in case of power loss, it can resume the printing right from where it left. The filament runout sensor pauses and uses a load-unload filament feature.
It comes partially assembled in two main parts, that is the base and the frame. Users can set the whole thing up very quickly. It takes about 20 minutes to configure and run the entire thing up.
This printer has a black diamond glass heated platform, as the manufacturer calls it. It is a glass plate with an additional coating, and a rough black surface is virtually similar to the one of Creality Ender 3 Pro. Users don’t have to apply any glue or printer’s tape to make the prints stick because of this feature. It also makes the removal of 3D printed objects very easy. The print tolerance of this printer is 0.2.
The metal frame of this printer is light in weight. The 2.8″ full touch display screen allows the users to adjust settings like ‘heat’ and ‘print’ easily. Users can also preheat the bed using these options and even change the speed of the fan.
To improve the usability of this printer, manufacturers have added some additional features including the USB stick. The USB stick is faster while writing the G Code to the drive. They are also easy to use and harder to lose. The durability of the components has also been increased by replacing the 3D parts with the injection moulded parts.
The MOSFET tube and a silent motor drive enhance the heat dissipation.
- Full metal construction
- Full touch screen
- Film run out sensor
- Power off recovery
- No automatic levelling
- The printer can be loud if the extruder fan is set at 100%
7. Monoprice 121666 Mini 3D Printer
- Weight: 10.20 pounds
- Material: Aluminum
- Style: Delta Mini (110 x 120 mm)
- Compatibility: Windows and Mac OS X
- print speed: Up to 150mm/sec
- Warranty: 1 Year
- Brand: Monoprice
The Monoprice mini delta uses a print head at the end of three motor-driven arms, which makes the design exceptionally unique and appealing. This printer comes with a lot of extensive features that make it stand out from its competitors.
This printer does not need any hectic assembling. Once it is out of the box, users can simply plug it in and start using it. It is usually used by beginners who have not worked with a professional 3D printer before. For software settings, users can install the Cura open-source package and then input the settings for the printer.
This printer can handle both ABS and PLA print materials as this printer comes with a combination of heated print bed and extruder. Any 1.75mm filament can be used that include wood or metal to produce the prints.
The maximum printing speed for this printer is 150mm per second. It features a 50-micron layer resolution that helps provide users with high-quality prints. Users can also carry this printer around, which means that it allows users to print anywhere they want. For portability, this sturdy printer is equipped with a carrying handle.
Keeping in view the portability, manufacturers have also introduced the feature of auto-levelling, which can level the plate in seconds. Allows the users to print without having to wait for long.
This printer doesn’t come with a lot of controls to master. It just has a 3-inch screen and three buttons to scroll and select options. The display also doesn’t have any complicated features. It has basic operations such as starting the print, settings, and loading filament.
This printer is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X, is open to upgrades. It is also faster than a lot of other low-cost printers such as XYZ da Vinci Jr Mix 2.0. However, it produces noise and buzzing while working, which can get very annoying.
- High-quality prints
- Durable and Portable
- Small print size
- Filament fibres stick to prints.
With several choices available in the market, it can be hard to choose a 3D printer that gets the job done efficiently while being cost-effective and not costing a fortune. Not all 3D printers are for everyone, as some are complex to use.
If you are looking for an affordable 3D printer that can provide good quality results and is reliable to use, we have listed our top preferences considering the results as well as the price. These 3D printers are loaded with extensive features that can make your work easier, especially if your approach is iterative.
However, suppose you don’t have any previous experience with 3D printers and are looking for a printer that can provide you with high-quality results without doing a lot of work. In that case, we suggest the Monoprice 121666 Mini 3D Printer. This printer does not need assembling and is ready to use straight out of the box. Moreover, you can carry it comfortably everywhere!