TOP 5 Best 3D Printers under $500 Review in 2021

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The birth of 3D printers is one of the big things that changed the technology industry today. They can print any large object in three dimensional from a digital file.

Not just that, they produce complex shapes using lesser materials than traditional methods.
Without a doubt, this kind of machine can bring your object to life.

With the increasing popularity of 3D printing technology, there are a lot of manufacturers that offer their own versions of this tool.

Since there are many choices to choose from, you have to know the right 3D printers under $500 that are available in the market.

Before buying, you need to consider many aspects, such as the size, price, and functionality of the printer.

There are so many things to talk about. And we’ll find out more in this article. So, just read on!

Top 3D Printers Under $500 Review in 2021

Given the variety of options on sale, it will be hard picking the perfect one for you. There are top 5 selections that will give you less headache in choosing. We’ve compiled this list to make it easier for you. So let’s get it started!

Official Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer

Official Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer

First on the list is a product from Creality, where you can enjoy making different kinds of design and printing. You are ensured that you won’t encounter any problem when using this one.

Creality’s Ender 3 Pro takes all the good features from its predecessor, the Ender 3. It has several upgrades that balance the quality, reliability, and affordability of a 3D printer.

Equipped with a magnetic removable bed, it ensures overall protection to your printer and consistent temperature throughout the build surface.

You can easily remove the bed surface, including the stock. The magnetic print surface can also be released from the hotbed without needing any spatula or blade.

This 3D printer guarantees you of fast heating and printing. It has a resume print function with a better extruder.

So if there are unexpected power outages, there’s no need to worry because printing will be resumed with the help of the extruder that records the last position.

Much more, the mechanical properties in this model are improved. A sturdier Y-axis assembly is redesigned to enhance printing stability.

Also, it has better bearing wheels to deliver more stiffness and less friction. With its rubber feet, it is sure to reduce the noise level and provide better dimensional stability.

A brand new power supply goes with this machine too. With this, the printer is protected from unexpected power shortages.

It delivers more power while ensuring lesser temperature fluctuations. This is crucial, especially when printing larger objects.Herewith, the bed can be heated up to 110°C in just 5 minutes.

If you want a budget-friendly 3D printer with notable features and good improvements, Ender 3 Pro should be your go-to machine.

PROS

  • Delivers high-quality prints
  • Easy to assemble and operate
  • Has a broad filament compatibility
  • Comes with a safety protected power supply
  • A one-piece structure machine with compact size

CONS

  • Print bed leveling is a bit tricky
  • Might need additional adhesion materials

Related Review: Best 3D Printers under $300

Qidi Technology High-end 3D Printer

Qidi Technology High-end 3D Printer

Are you in a tight budget but wanted to have something that is ideal for home use? Then Qidi Technology offers you the best home 3D printer under 500 dollars.

This device features a 720 HD camera that is built in the machine for real-time monitoring of the printing procedure.

Yes, it is installed inside the printer and all you have to do is to install monitoring software on your mobile phone.With this, you can check the printing situation from time to time.

Two editions of slicing software come with this 3D printer — the education edition and the professional edition.

The education edition is mainly for beginners, and the operation is made easy and simple. While the professional edition is for experts who want to customize or set-up complex geometries with their designs.

So whether you are still new to 3D printing or an expert, you can make use of this machine. You have two options to choose from when you want to design and built a 3D object. There is also a specialized manual that helps you learn many printing methods quickly.

Anyway, this printer is equipped with a breakpoint function that saves it from malfunctioning. If unpredicted power interruptions happen during the printing process, the function will automatically activate. consequently, saving the breaking point and letting you continue with the printing later.

Another feature is the 3.5-inch touch screen that helps you operate it easily. Qidi Technology made sure it has a friendly interface to give you more convenience when using it. This machine also enables printing through Wi-Fi to make it more precise and intuitive.

Furthermore, it has a curved metal plate that you can simply use often. This makes it easier to remove the finished product too.

There is no doubt why many users admire this machine, given all of these features it offers.

PROS

  • Excellent beginner-friendly 3D printer
  • Easy to use with its touchscreen and understandable manual guides
  • Comes with a power loss recovery feature
  • Automatic bed leveling

CONS

  • Can’t print with exotic filaments since it might cause jams
  • The build area is quite small

Anycubic Photon S 3D Printer UV LCD Resin Printer

Anycubic Photon S 3D Printer UV LCD Resin Printer

The Anycubic Photon S Printer offers good print outputs alongside unique features. With this product, you will surely have an extraordinary printing experience.

It is easy to set-up so you can use it as soon as you want to. The machine comes with pre-assembled parts, so you just need a slight build-up to get started immediately.

No other accessories or tools are needed for the set-up and installation, so there’s no need for separate purchases.

An upgraded LED array comes with the 3D printer too. With this lighting, the resolution of the prints is much better.

It also increases the accuracy of the printing process, making it fast while ensuring to output a high-quality object.

The design and construction are made to be simple. It has a footprint of 220x220m and a height of 400mm, so it just takes a little space in your room.

A small LCD touch screen is positioned on the front of the printer so you can navigate and operate the settings conveniently.

Much more, this is built with a platform that is suspended upside down. It is simply small, but it is made of metal, so it is very solid. You can hold it in place using a thumbscrew, which makes it easier to remove if ever you need to.

Along with the base is a resin bath that can be released quickly. This enables you to clean it every after printing with ease.

Also, it allows easy pouring of the resin to the object’s layer when it is exposed. You also have the option of replacing the sheets of the resin bath when needed.

Adding to its feature is the dual Z-axis rail that makes the 3D printer stable. You will be worry-free about the bed movement that might shift in the middle of the printing process.

Given all of these features, you can surely reap all of these benefits if you opt for this product.

PROS

  • Simple to operate
  • Produces excellent quality prints
  • Incredibly cheap
  • Simple and compact design

CONS

  • Bed leveling is needlessly fussy
  • Might encounter some problem with quality control
  • Requires cleaning between prints

Related Guide: Best Printer under $100

ADIMLab Updated Gantry Pro 3D Printer

ADIMLab Updated Gantry Pro 3D Printer

If you want an incredible machine that is cheap but equipped with good features, look no further than this ADIMLab Gantry Pro. It is one of the greatest 3D printers in the market. Let’s get into details why.

This printer comes with pre-assembled parts, so you do not need to mount the frame to its base.

Brackets can be attached to the base by hooking up the control box and connect the labeled wires. The set-up is so easy and does not require you much extra work.

Much more, a glass heating bed is already included therein. It is capable of holding objects up to 310 by 310 by 410 mm.

This is an excellent choice if you want to make large objects. You can create plenty of objects with this given size.

The bed temperature is managed by a control unit. It can work at a temperature ranging from 0 to 100 degrees Celsius.

On the other hand, the extruder can work at a temperature ranging from 0 to 260 degrees Celsius. Given this wide range of working temperatures, you can freely create almost anything you want.

ADIMLab ensures that this product is not made of flimsy materials, rather it is made of constructed with aluminum.

With this, you are assured that it has a sturdy build and it won’t break easily. For sure, this 3D printer can withstand frequent use.

Other impressive features about it are its nozzle light and motor silencer. Having a light on its nozzle makes you track the progress and see any issues in the printing process.

A motor silencer minimizes the noise while the printer is operating, which gives you more comfort.

You can design objects and let the printer do its job after. Thanks to the instructions booklet that comes along with this machine.

With the correct software, you can splice the object, set it to the right temperature, insert the filament and you’re good to go.

PROS

  • Easy set-up
  • Has a sturdy built
  • Great when printing larger objects
  • Issues while printing can be tracked and fixed

CONS

  • Might have some temperature issues

FlashForge Adventurer 3 Lite FDM 3D Printer

FlashForge Adventurer 3 Lite FDM 3D Printer

To complete our list is a product from FlashForge. You should never miss the opportunity to own one of these just pass by.It has lots of amazing features that you will surely love.

The Adventurer 3 Lite boasts its solid connectivity. It is equipped with a Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and USB port, which makes you transfer files easily.

Plus, you can make use of the FlashForge’s 3D cloud print application on your phone to manage your machine remotely.

It comes in an enclosed solid design to have a constant temperature inside during the printing process. The filament spool is also being kept in a closed space to avoid some overruns.

Getting prints off the build platform is sometimes tricky, but you won’t encounter that problem with this 3D printer.

Its platform is removable and flexible so after completing the process, the prints would just pop right off. This makes removing the finish object hassle-free.

A detachable nozzle is equipped in this machine. This helps you remove and install it easily when you need to clean it.

Not just that, it can heat up quickly to 200 degrees Celsius in just 50 seconds. With that, you can use it as soon as you powered the printer on.

There will be no errors and malfunctions that might occur whenever printing is stopped due to a broken filament, or you run out of it.

Thanks to the auto filament loading system, which handles this issue. It detects the amount of the filament and ensures that printing will continue if there will be any problem.

Quiet printing is an underrated feature, but this product gives you that. You can achieve working in a quiet atmosphere with this 3D printer. It operates on a 45-decibel noise level, which provides you a pleasant printing experience.

These qualities make it deserving of our list. And it is something worthy of your investment, for sure.

PROS

  • Ready to print right out of the box
  • Outputs good print quality
  • Equipped with good connectivity technologies
  • Enables you to print in a quiet process

CONS

  • Doing tests might get tricky sometimes

Features to Look Before Buying

Purchasing a 3D printer is an intimidating task especially when you’re doing it for the first time. A little research is advisable for you to be knowledgeable enough to choose the appropriate printer for your needs.

You may have to consider a few factors that will lead you to the 3D printers. Here are the few features you need to look for in a printer before making the final call.

Performance and Reliability

Performance and Reliability of 3D printer

These two areas are essential factors when you want to know the best options. A 3D printer with a good performance level and reliability will help you develop objects with high-quality.

Therefore, you can print confidently without having to worry about any errors to occur.
Regardless of any brand, these two must remain an important factor to consider.

Size of the Print Platform

Considering the size of the platform where you will build your object will also help you determine the size of the 3D printer you need. A big 3D printer comes with a much wider platform, and a small one offers limited space.

If you need to develop larger prints, then you must have a big 3D printer to have a bigger print bed or platform. Otherwise, prefer having a small one.

This is important because setting up the printer might be time-consuming, so you better do one print run at a time.

Calibration

Having a good calibration helps ensure that your printer will just use the right amount of filament. When it uses only the filament it needs, your machine will surely print more accurately.

Some 3D printers require you to calibrate the platform manually, which usually takes time to complete.

While there are also printers that are equipped with automatic calibration that provides more convenience to you.

Ease of Use

The 3D printer that you must buy should be set-up easily. It must operate smoothly and give you convenience upon working with it.

Some machines come with features that offer you versatility when you use it. You must look for a model that can provide output without giving you a hard time.

Price

One of the reasons why 3D printers are popular is their market price. If you have the range of how much you are willing to spend, then you can narrow down your choices and eliminate pricey items. Besides, there are a lot of 3D printers.

Different Types of 3D Printers

Different Types of 3D Printers

3D printing technology comes with different types, processes, and materials available. Each type has its notable features, strengths, and limitations.

You need to determine what type is more suitable for your printing needs to get a perfect output.

Stereolithography

Stereolithography (SLA) is the first 3D printing technology introduced. It works using the idea of a light source and mirrors to build up the object layer by layer.

Most SLA printers use a point laser that takes long to trace. Because of this, DLP is developed.

Digital Light Processing

Digital Light Processing (DLP) prints faster than SLA since each layer is scanned at once. A digital light projector is used to flash at a single image, but if the object that you are building is large, multiple flashes occur.

This type of machine is usually used in jewelry, dental, and hearing aid applications.

Fused Deposition Modeling

If you are printing an object related to electrical housing, form and fit testings, or investment casting patterns, then you must use a 3D printer with Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology.

This is the most common and cheapest 3D printing technology since it uses the process of Material Extrusion.

Selective Laser Sintering

A Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is also a 3D printer that uses Power Bed Fusion technology. As industrial methods expire, this type becomes increasingly popular since it comes at a cheaper price.

This is used when making complex objects with hollow designs and complicated geometries.

Sand Binder Jetting

Sand Binder Jetting is another 3D printer type that works similarly to SLS. The only difference is it can produce colorful models using acrylic powder. This is a low-cost type for producing sand cast molds and cores.

Material Jetting

Another 3D printer type is Material Jetting. It works the same way as a common inkjet printer. The only difference is multiple layers are built to create an object instead of printing a single layer of ink on a sheet of paper. Using this, you can produce objects from different materials with a variety of colors.

Drop on Demand

Drop On Demand (DOD) is a type that uses a material jetting process too. It follows the process for jetting material to create cross-sectional areas of an object layer by layer. If you want to build full-color prototypes, then you must use this one.

Metal Binder Jetting

If you’ve been fabricating a metal object, then Metal Binder Jetting is what you need. It allows the production of structures with complex geometries that are beyond the abilities of traditional manufacturing techniques.

Direct Metal Laser Sintering and Selective Laser Melting

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) and Selective Laser Melting (SLM) are also printing methods that use Metal Powder Bed Fusion.

They only differ with the metal parts they are using. DMLS uses metal alloys, while SML uses parts from single elements to produce an object.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use a 3D Printer?

Whether you are a beginner 3D artist, hobbyist, or business owner, you can create items with minimal material used when you have a 3D printer.

It does not only allow more designs but also complex customization on your designs. With 3D printers, you can ensure having no material wastes when creating objects.

How big an object can I print in 3D printers?

This depends on the 3D printer you are using. Each printer type has a maximum build volume, but the typical maximum size for desktop 3D printers varies from 150 to 300 mm per side.

What resolution do I need for my 3D printer?

In 3D printing, resolution equals the layer height. Resolution is measured in microns. And it is higher when microns are lower.

Most 3D printers today can print at a resolution of 200 microns and 100 microns. Having this resolution, the 3D printer should output good-quality prints.

How can I connect to the printer?

Most 3D printers can be connected from a computer through a USB connection. Others require an internal memory, which has an advantage in case the computer will shut down or get disconnected. Wireless connectivity such as Wi-Fi can be used too to connect to the printer.

What software do I need?

Today’s 3D printers are Windows-compatible. But they can work well with macOS and Linux too.

Nevertheless, when you purchase a 3D printer, it includes a drive or disk that contains the software for the printer itself.

Final Words

It’s proven that purchasing the 3D printer is not an easy job. You need to allot more time to do some research to narrow down your choices so you will end up with the perfect one.

Hopefully, this article helps you find the 3D printer that will give you an exceptional printing experience.

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