3D printing is a revolutionary concept that is making waves in Product designing and engineering. But a decade ago, owning a 3D printer was a distant dream to individuals and only industries could afford them as their costs were very high. But today the prices have come down that you can have a 3d printer under 300. In this article, we are going to look at the best 3d printer under 300 and the factors you need to consider before buying one.
1. Monoprice Maker Select V2
If you are looking for the best 3d printer under 300 that will give you enough to learn the basics of 3D printing, then better check out the Monoprice Maker Select V2. It is one of the best entry-level 3D printers under $300 in the market and comes with some impressive features for that low price.
The Monoprice Maker is a ready-to-use printer as you can start printing right away when you open the package. No need to go through user manuals to identify and assemble the parts. It comes assembles already in the box and all you need to do is tighten some screws here and there and you are ready for printing in less than 10-15 mins. There is also an SD card included with the package that contains some test models so that you don’t need to spend some time working on designing models using some CAD software. To test how printing works. Just use these test models and start printing and see how the printer works. It is a perfect printer for beginners with its hassle-free setup.
The Maker Select V2 comes with excellent build volume and you can easily print up to a maximum of 6 inches even though the advertised volume is 7.1 inches. The build plate can be heated quickly thus ensuring the right kind of temperatures required to process ABS and other filaments.
When it comes to the print quality with the Maker Select V2, it is quite impressive considering it is priced as low as under $300. Printing speed is also quite faster when the print size is small. When you go in for printing large models, then it takes some time.
The Make Select V2 also provides users with an active community where you can clarify all your doubts about using the 3D printer and its various settings. Even though the printer comes included with a user manual, it just covers the basics of 3D printing and you cannot find any information on how to optimize it, etc. But all this information can be found in the forums or the users in the community will lend a helping hand.
The 3D printer comes with an open structure that allows easy for modding. But if you want a beginner level 3D printer, then the Maker Select V2 performs quite excellent even with the basic configurations. It comes included with an SD card, the heated bed along with a user manual. Even though it doesn’t offer best-in-class 3D printing, you can’t find a better product for $300.
- Easy to assemble
- Start printing right away
- Plug-and-play design
- Comes included with a heated build plate
- Open structure perfect for modding
- Can print up to 6 inches
- Comes included with an SD card with test models
- Supports standalone printing
- Great print quality
- Unreliable customer support
- No touchscreen options provided
- No auto-leveling technology
Monoprice Select Mini V2
Next in our list of the best 3d printer under 300 is also from Monoprice and this time it is the Select Mini V2 that comes in 2 different colors including white and black. The 3D printer comes with a pretty decent and professional outlook. Monoprice is one of the renowned companies offering users with budget-priced 3D printers and the Select Mini V2 is another excellent product from them.
Similar to Maker Select V2, the Select Mini V2 also comes pre-assembled and ready for printing right from the word go. You just need to do some basic assembly or in other words, just tighten some screws to get the printer ready. Even though a touch screen interface would have been very helpful when you are getting a product for as low as $300 you cannot expect all such features. But the knob operated built-in interface is pretty much simple and easy to use.
The printer is extremely lightweight and comes in a very compact size, so you don’t need to allocate a lot of space in your room. It is specially designed to be used on a desktop and looks great on your work desk as you can easily carry out all your 3D printing jobs from your work desk itself. No need about worrying about special tools or equipment to print 3D models, as the printer is a single machine that takes care of everything to give you high-quality 3D printed models quickly.
But when compared to other 3D printers, the build plate is small, but it comes with a heating feature enabled. When you compare with other 3D printers in this range, you may need to spend some extra money in installing a heated build plate, but the Select Mini V2 comes with a built-in heated build plate. This ensures that you can even use for ABS for printing, but it better to start with PLA initially and slowly move on to ABS printing.
When compared to Maker Select V2, the Select Mini V2 is quite slower, but when you get a printer at such a low price, you cannot argue with the speed though. The Select Mini V2 is rather provided for users for educational purposes and is capable of printing for more than a hundred hours or so.
Overall, the Monoprice Select Mini V2 is one of the best budget 3D printers available in the market under $300. It is extremely easy to use, no assembly necessary and quite reliable too.
- Best Budget 3D printer for beginners
- Compact Design
- Start printing right away out of the box
- Comes with a heated build plate
- Built using quality materials
- Responsive interface
- Customer support is not very responsive
- No touchscreen interface
- Small maximum build volume
XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0
If you are looking for a fully enclosed 3D printer at a budget price, then better check out the XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0. The 3D printer comes neatly packaged and it is a plug and play design which means you can start printing right out of the box. All you need to do is adjust some screws here and there and make some calibration for a few minutes and you are all set for printing your favorite 3D models. The only thing you need to ensure is there is the correct amount of distance provided between the print bed and the extruder.
The 3D printer is designed both for educational as well as personal use and comes with a cute little built-in interface with a set of buttons that helps to control the printer. The software that comes with the printer is extremely easy to use as you will get to know the options within a few hours of using the printer.
The major highlight of the 3D printer is the auto-feeding filament system along with the quick release extruder. The auto feeding filament system ensures that the filament is loaded perfectly, and the quick release extruder makes sure the extruder is released immediately. It also largely helps during extruder maintenance or replacement.
When it comes to the performance of the printer, it is indeed somewhat slow but quiet. But you can’t compare this with the speed of printer that costs more than $1000. For a 3D printer under 300, the speed is quite decent. The print quality is on the expected lines as it comes with the right amount of precision to create some detailed 3D models without any issues.
But the major disadvantage of the XYZprinting da Vinci Jr 1.0 is that you need to buy proprietary filament. It is almost similar like some photocopier machines that only work with a specific type of ink provided by the same company. And the filaments from XYZPrinting are pretty much expensive when compared with other filaments in the market.
Overall, the da Vinci Jr. 1.0 is a good beginner level 3D printer that comes at a budget price with some decent set of features. And since it comes with a fully closed build it is also perfectly used when kids are around.
- Fully enclosed design
- Easy to set up
- Auto-feeding filament system
- Quick release extruder system
- Good build volume
- Low noise level
- Need to buy proprietary filament
- No heated build plate
- Cannot print ABS, only PLA
- Slow printing speed
RepRap Guru DIY Prusa i3 V2
Nowadays the market is filled with a lot of 3D printers and some come pre-assembled and some require some assembly from your end. If you are quite some adventurous person who would love to assemble your own 3D printer, then the RepRap Guru DIY Prusa i3 V2 is the one you were looking for.
The printer comes neatly packed, but the difficult part is assembling the machine. But it comes included with an easy to understand and detailed manual with instructions and step by step guide on how to assemble the 3D printer. But the problem is that the manual included is only for the previous version of V1 and still not upgraded for the new features in V2.
It almost takes around 8-10 hours to complete the assembly and calibrating the machine. There are also some instructional videos available on the internet that will help with the installation and calibration process. But if you some electronics background and have already assembled machines before, then you can probably complete the task in about 6-8 hours. And that is the reason, the RepRap Guru DIY Prusa i3 V2 is only suited for people who are looking to do things on their own. If you are looking to print right out of the box, then probably this printer is not right for you.
But once you get the setup completed, everything after is pretty much straight forward. The printer is extremely easy to use, and it can run non-stop for many hours without any issues. It comes with a great build volume and you can print various types of 3D models. There is also a heated build plate included which ensures that you don’t need to spend more money to buy a heated build plate.
The RepRap Guru comes with an excellent customer support service who are always responsive and takes the extra effort to clarify all your queries. There are also some talks going around that the company is forcing to provide positive reviews about their product. The real fact is the company does ask customers to rate their products and rewards them with some free spool of filament. But it is entirely up to the customers whether to provide positive or negative reviews based on their experiences with the product.
- Good build volume
- Excellent print quality
- Heated build plate included
- Provides support for various filament types
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Great customer support service
- Instruction manual not updated
- Not suited for beginners
- Takes 8-10 hours to complete the assembly and calibration
- No main power switch included
Anycubic Kossel 3D Printer (Pulley)
If you are looking for a 3D printer that is much more than a beginner level printer, then you can go for the Anycubic Kossel 3D printer. It is basically for people who have some knowledge of 3D printing and have some time in their hands to assemble the printer on their own.
Basically, the Kossel 3D printer comes in two versions including the Pully and the Linear Plus version. The one that is priced under 300 is the pulley version and the Linear plus is priced well above $300. So we will be looking at the pulley version in our review here. Even though the Linear plus is way ahead in terms of performance when compared to the pulley version, but still you can get some decent performance for the price you pay. The build space is quite small when compared to the Linear plus version.
The Kossel 3D printers are manufactured in China and come neatly packed and unlike other printers, they are not pre-assembled. Yes, you need to free up some time to take care of putting it together. Depending upon your experience with electronic products and your knowledge with 3D printers, the assembly along with the calibration of the printer can take anywhere between 5-10 hours.
The instruction manual that is provided with the printer gives you detailed instructions on how to go with assembling the machine. The setup is also quite straight forward too. The package includes every item you need to set up the machine and if at any point you face any difficulties during the assembly, you can always seek the help of the Anycubic customer support team. The support is quite incredible as they are all ears to your problems and gives you the right kind of support or guidance to help you with setting up the machine.
For a budget price of just under $300, the Anycubic Kossel 3D printer works exceptionally well and gives you some outstanding print quality. It is certainly a notch higher than other cheap 3D printers available in the market. Even though the advertised build size is much larger, in reality, it is quite smaller, so you need to make sure to provide the settings based on the actual build size.
The printer doesn’t come included with a heated build plate and hence you can only print PLA filaments. If you are looking to print ABS, wood and HIPS filaments, then you need to spend some money to install a heated build plate and make some modifications to the printer.
To summarize, the Anycubic Kossel 3D printer is one of the best budget 3D printers that is a notch higher than beginner level printers. It is better suited for people who have some previous knowledge with 3D printing and have the time and patience to set up the machine.
- Great instruction manual
- Standalone printing supported
- starter filament included
- Excellent print quality
- Great Customer support service
- Good packaging
- Smaller build size
- Not great for beginners
- Print only PLA filaments
- Manual bed leveling
Things to Consider while buying a 3D Printer
When you are looking to buy a 3d printer under 300, remember there is not enough room left for many choices. But still, there are companies that provide good quality printers at a budget price. All you need to do is be careful when selecting the printers. Make sure you consider the following factors before buying the best 3D printers under 300:
3D printers available under the price of $300 comes only with extrusion 3D printing technology. If you are looking for a resin 3D printer then you may spend more than $300. But when you are looking for a beginner level 3D printer, then FF/FDM technology is best suited for beginners and comes with a user-friendly interface as well.
Pre-assembled or DIY 3D Printers
If you want to start printing right out of the box, then you should probably go with printers that come pre-assembled. All you need to do is adjust some screws and leave some time for calibration and you are all set to print 3D models. It takes anywhere between 15-30 minutes to get started with printing with pre-assembled printers. On the other hand, if you for DIY 3D printer kits, you need to spend almost 5-10 hours for assembling the machine and calibrating it at the end. Even when you miss just a screw, or a small misconnection can keep you frustrated for a lot of time. But DIY 3D printer kits are perfect for people who like to learn how a 3D printer works.
Open or Closed Structure
It is entirely up to you to decide whether you need an open or closed frame 3D printer. But remember when you buy a 3D printer, you also need to be ready to stand the melted plastic smells. And if you have kids running around, then it is always better to go for the enclosed frame design. Even though you can place carboards or create some makeshift protection around the open frame 3D printers, it is still not enough like a closed design. When compared with closed frame designs, the noise while printing is much higher in open frame 3D printers.
When you are buying products at such a lower price, there is every chance some might not work initially. This requires you to seek the help of the customer support people as they will help with the issues. And if you are buying a FIY 3D printer kit, then there is every possibility that you will get stuck at some point and you definitely need to seek the help of the professionals. So better look for companies that provide quality customer support. Browse through their support forums to see what kind of support they provide and how customers react etc.
One of the important things you need to consider while buying a 3D printer is the build volume. If you are just buying one to learn the basics of 3D printing, then the build volume doesn’t matter much. But if want to build products in bigger sizes, then you definitely need to consider the build volume.
Another important aspect while buying a 3D printer is the calibration. Even though you calibrate when you unpack the machine, it is important that it comes with automatic calibration capability so to level the print bed automatically. Or else if the printer is not calibrated, then it will lead to poor results in your printing. Even though some printers allow you to manually calibrate the print bed, it requires a lot of accuracies and be time-consuming as well.