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3D printing, a revolution in the tech industry that is already changing the way we manufacture objects. From toys to tools to clothing and even in the medical field, 3D printers have certainly proved their worth.
Now, it might sound expensive because of its capabilities, but let me assure you, there are some models out there that are quite affordable. Heck, you can get 3D printers under 300 dollars.
There are a lot of good budget options at this price point that will let you learn the ins and outs of 3D printing, even if you have zero experience to begin with.
Top-rated 3D Printers Under 300 Dollars
Whether you want to print some figurines or print parts for DIY projects, here are some top recommendations for budget 3D printers.
ELEGOO Mars UV Photocuring LCD 3D Printer
If you frequently visit any of the 3D printing community, chances are you have heard about the ELEGOO Mars resin 3D printer.
It’s been everywhere lately and for good reasons. This is one of the cheapest entries in the SLA market and can provide you with some finely detailed models.
It’s a sleek looking printer with a small form factor and a sturdy structure. This printer is very user-friendly and won’t take up much space on your desk.
And, you can simply pop it out of the box, put some pieces together, and start printing all under 5 minutes. You could say it’s a semi-assembled printer.
At the core of this printer is a 5.4-inch 1440P smartphone screen that provides you with a 12×6.8cm print area. Along with it, you will also get 15.5cm Z-Axis, which should be more than enough for a build area.
One of the great features of this machine is its large touchscreen interface and a USB port for offline printing.
If you have worked with resin printers before, you know that the software is the most important part.
This one features ChiTu DLP slicer software, which is a lot faster than some open source printing software out there.
Overall, the ELEGOO mars is a high-detail, incredible resin printer, and you can’t compare it to any other machine that costs under 300 dollars.
Related review: Best 3D Printers under $500
Comgrow Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer
If you are looking for the high-quality 3D printer under 300 dollars, the Ender 3 Pro from Creality is the one.
It’s an extremely popular printer that provides you with outstanding print quality. It can easily rival a more expensive 3D printer out on the market. In addition to that, the community support is strong for this one.
The base model is pre-assembled while the pro model needs to be assembled. While most of the parts come pre-assembled, you will only need to add the vertical elements.
Compared to the base model, the pro version now comes with a CMagnet build surface/plate and upgraded power supply.
Furthermore, the surface plate maintains a consistent temperature all over the build surface and makes it easy to remove your printing models once it gets cooled down.
It also provides all-round protection to your printer. Thanks to this plate, the printing PLA has never been this much enjoyable.
One cool feature of this printer is the resume function. If you suffer unexpected power loss during your printing session, the printer can quickly resume from the last logged extruder position.
For less than 300 bucks, this one is truly a phenomenal printer.
ANYCUBIC Photon UV LCD 3D Printer
This ANYCUBIC Photon is an LCD based SLA printer that can easily rival the ELGOO Mars 3D resin printer in terms of printing quality and usability.
It’s very easy to use and super easy to set up. To start printing, simply follow the instructions to level, and you will be ready to start your first print.
The 2K LCD screen offers XY resolution of 47 microns that allows you to make tiny parts with incredible accuracy.
Because of this high-resolution screen, you will get much better quality and smoother detail than FDM printers. For durability, the printer features a standalone full metal body.
This industrial quality resin printer has flawless chamfers, bevels, and curves. Even the faces come with a perfect satin finish.
The high-quality CNC aluminum parts are solid and durable and will provide consistent performance in the long run. That’s not the only good feature of this printer.
It comes with a 405nm photosensitive resin printing material and has a printing volume of 115mm x 65mm x 155mm.
There is a large smart touch screen that is very user friendly, and the monitor even shows real-time data of your print. As for the software, this printer uses Photon Slicer/Workshop, which is fast and easy to use.
Related Guide: Best Printer under 100 Dollars
Comgrow Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer
I know what you are thinking, and no, it’s not the same product. It’s the base model of the popular Ender 3, which is around 100 dollars cheaper than the pro model.
And yes, that’s exactly why I’ve included this one on this list. It’s a pre-assembled kit and comes with everything you need to get start printing right away.
Same as the pro model, this too features resumable print function. The extruder has an upgraded design that reduces the risk of bad extrusion and clogged nozzle.
It’s very easy to level the bed and start printing. Won’t’ take too much time if you already have experience building a 3D printer.
With this machine, you can print nylon, ceramic, flexible and PLA filament. As for the printing quality, it’s incredibly.
At this price point, nothing even comes close to this 3D printer. It’s very accurate, and you won’t even see the layer lines. That’s not the only good part.
It’s very compact, which allows it to print at a fairly high speed. So, you are getting an incredibly accurate print, no visible layers, and high-speed printing.
What more do you want? I mean, it’s a budget printer for crying out loud. And because of its affordability and performance, I strongly recommend getting this one.
LONGER LK4 3D Printer DIY Kit
The LONGER LK4 is a solid printer at a great price that comes with all the main parts pre-assembled.
This means the build time is significantly lower and won’t take more than an hour. The instruction manual has pictures for each step and is very well documented.
As for the quality, the aluminum extrusion is very sturdy and should hold up well. In terms of print quality, I would say it’s comparable.
It’s certainly better than a lot of budget printers out there. The controls are easy to use, and you can print immediately after you have finished building the printer.
You can print PLA, ABS, and even PETG. I really liked the design. It’s clean and features a glass bed.
The fact that it’s an inexpensive machine and comes with a glass bed really blows my mind. How the hell are they even making any profits? On a side note, they did cut some corners to cut the cost.
On the other side of the glass bed, there are rough surface stickers. The full-color LCD touchscreen has a good user interface, which is very user-friendly.
There are some drawbacks, though. It’s noisy and has an enclosure issue. The knobs for leveling the bed are also very small.
Things to Consider Before Buying
Lower end budget 3D printers are ideal for beginners who are thinking about getting into 3D printing technology.They are mostly used for hobby stuff like creating toy things, models, etc.
However, there is also the risk of getting some janky printers in this price range. I mean, the manufacturers will have to cut costs somehow to make their models affordable to the consumers.
This means you need to figure out what you want to do with the printer first and buy the models that suit your needs.
There are some models that will give you out of the box experience, meaning you don’t have to assemble them.
Those will generally be cheaper. And there are others that will require assembling. Apart from that, there are other factors that will need to pay attention to.
There are a lot of great options under 300 bucks. You just need to know which one to get.
Since the budget is limited, you don’t have much room for pickiness.
That’s why I’ll only cover the most important aspects that should help you narrow down your search.
Buying Them As a Kit Vs. Pre-assembled Printers
Printers that are in this price range are an excellent platform to learn on. You will also get the flexibility to modify them or upgrade them as you need.
Now, for first-timers, and also if you are not mechanically inclined, it’s best to buy them pre-assembled.
If you have no experience, I wouldn’t recommend you try to build one from parts. On the other hand, a kit will be a great out-of-the-box solution as you don’t have to worry about part selection or the design.
Not only will you get instructions on how to use them, but you will also get calibration help from the manufacturer.
If you don’t want to go through all the trouble of assembling and want to print things out of the box, go with pre-assembled printers.
There are a lot of factors that can interfere with 3D print quality. For example, an open frame works well for FLA prints.
On the other hand, you will need a bit more controlled environment if you want to do ABS 3D printing.
Room drafts and temperature change can also interfere with the print quality, and if you want to avoid that, go with closed frame design.
That way, you can prevent any interference and also reduce noise and particle emission from melted plastic.
If the level of the print bed is not properly calibrated, the accuracy of the print can easily be thrown off.Even a slightly unbalanced print bed can ruin the whole printing process.
For that reason, some 3D printers feature automated bed leveling. Don’t worry if the printer of your choice doesn’t have that. Manual calibration isn’t very hard to do.
However, having an automatic calibration can help save some time in the long run.
Another important factor to consider is the build volume. Generally, on a budget 3D printer, the maximum printing size will be limited.
If your purpose of buying a printer is only for experimental purposes, then the build volume won’t matter that much.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are just starting out with 3D printing and want to get a feel for it, budget 3D printers are definitely worth buying.
With any machine, there is a learning curve, and 3D printers are no exception. You need to learn the basics first and learn what each component does.
Only getting to know the basics should be enough to start 3D printing.
The printer that utilizes SLA printing technology is called a resin 3D printer. You can find more details on this link.
The benefit of getting 3D printers under 300 dollars is the low cost of entry. At some point, if you think 3D printing isn’t for you, you can easily just walk away without losing much.
If it turns out that you love it, you can easily upgrade to a better model while knowing about all the ins and outs of these printers.