Looking for a cheap 3D printer? This article features a compilation of the best budget 3D printers for your creative 3D printing needs.
What is a 3D Printer?
A 3D printer is one of the most fascinating inventions that science has made possible over recent years. It has added another dimension to the world of art and design by allowing you to create sophisticated 3D models for all types of design projects right from the comfort of your home.
Thanks to the RepRap open-source 3D printing movement, 3D printers have evolved from the bulky and expensive machines that were once just restricted to factories and large corporations to these affordable and viable tools with utility that exceeds far beyond printing smartphone holders and other everyday projects.
Whether you are an experienced 3D artist or a designer, a 3D printer will help you bring the best out of your designs and artwork by bringing it to life.
To help you find the right tools for the job, we’ve ranked the best budget 3D printers that you can buy.
10+ Best Budget 3D Printers in 2021
Our list of the top 10 best budget 3D printers in 2021 is based on features, price, specifications, real-world performance, popularity, and user reviews.
- MakerBot Replicator+ — The best 3D printer in 2021 overall (Editor’s choice)
- Creality Ender 3 — The best budget 3D printer
- Voxelab Aquila — The best value 3D printer
- Elegoo Mars 2 Pro — The best SLA 3D printer
- Dremel DigiLab 3D45 — The most feature-packed 3D printer
- Anycubic Mega-S — The best budget 3D printer by Anycubic
- Creality Ender 3 V2 — The best 3D printer by Creality
- Anycubic Photon Mono — The best 3D printer for printing with resin
- FlashForge Finder — The best 3D printer for beginners
- 3Doodler Create+ — The best portable 3D printer
What is the Best Budget 3D Printer?
The MakerBot Replicator+ is our pick for the best budget 3D printer but check out the comparison table below to see what’s best for you.
3D Printer Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Budget 3D Printer
There are a ton of 3D printers available online, which can overwhelm you if you aren’t sure about what you are looking for. This guide includes a few technical aspects to consider before purchasing a 3D printer, such as:
There are three common types of 3D printers, each suitable for users with a varying level of experience. For example, many hobbyists use the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) printer. These printers heat and extrude plastic, known as a filament, to create 3D-printed objects, and it is the most affordable type of 3D printer available.
The second type is Stereolithography, where the printer uses ultraviolet light and photosensitive liquid to harden a model. Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) is the third type of 3D printer which uses lasers to melt the powder and make 3D objects or prints.
The resolution of a 3D printer is measured in microns—with FDM machines having a resolution on the lower end of 25 microns and resin-based printers on the higher end of around 100 microns.
The smaller the resolution, the more detailed your 3D printed objects will be. High-quality printers can print out up to 50 or 70 microns, and it is recommended to look for a printer that’s easy to adjust with a higher number of microns listed in the specs.
The most commonly used 3D printing materials are thermoplastics such as PLA (Poly Lactic Acid) and ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), which come as replaceable filament spools when your printer runs out of it. Higher-end models support more materials, such as TPU, Nylon, glass fiber infused, carbon fiber infused, metal fill, or even wood fill.
A print bed is the surface of a 3D printer where the print is created. The printing bed of a 3D printer can either be heated or non-heated. The ABS filament requires a heated beat, whereas you can use PLA filament with a non-heated bed. Using the right print bed is essential otherwise it could damage the end product.
A 3D printer works with heated plastics and could be dangerous if not handled with care, so it is important to buy a printer that comes with safety features. For example, an FDM printer might cool the nozzle and heated bed once you have completed printing. Some printers also move the nozzle away from the object when you pause the job or the print finishes, preventing damage from heat or excess filament from forming.
10+ Best Budget 3D Printers in 2021
1. MakerBot Replicator+ (Editor’s choice)
The best 3D printer in 2021 overall
Product Dimensions: 20.79 x 16.14 x 17.36 inches; 40.34 Pounds | Maximum Build Volume: 7.6” W x 11.6” L x 6.5” H | Resolution: 100 Microns | Technology: FDM
MakerBot has been a pioneer in the 3D printing space for over a decade and is one of the most popular brands for 3D printers today. Their flagship offering, the MakerBot Replicator+, a winner of the “red dot design award”, features all the connectivity features you will need for ease of use, including WiFi. It also has a full color 3.5” LCD Display with a control dial and an onboard camera to monitor the entire process.
One unique feature of the MakerBot Replicator+ is that you can control it remotely through the MakerBot smartphone app available on Android and iOS. In terms of print quality, it offers unmatched detail and accuracy thanks to the MakerBot Replicator 3D Printing Platform. A point to remember is that the Replicator+ uses a custom MakerBot PLA Filament.
The Replicator+ is an excellent option for professionals looking for a feature-packed 3D printer that works flawlessly and without making much noise. It is suitable for any setting, from a home office to workshops.
|➕ Can be controlled and monitored remotely||➖ Not the most affordable option|
|➕ Lots of connectivity options|
|➕ Unmatched print quality and accuracy|
Latest Price on Amazon:
- Your purchase includes One MarkerBot Replicator, One 3D Printer with swappable Smart Extruder+ in Black, 1 PLA spool, 1 flexible build plate, power and USB cables
- Item's dimensions – 17.4" W x 20.8" L x 16.2"H | Build volume – 7.6” W x 11.6” L x 6.5” H / 573 Cubic inches | Power requirements – 100-240 V, 50-60 HZ | Material diameter – 0.069” |...
- Works with MakerBot PLA Material - Large Spool, Small Spool & MakerBot Tough Material - Large Spool, Additional materials such as bronzefill, copperfill, and woodfill
- The only 3D printer tested by NIOSH for environmental safety in the classroom or office space.Aluminum Casting and Extrusions for Motion Components
- Winner of PC Mag Editor’s Choice Award, iF Design Award, Techcrunch best Classroom 3D printer
The best budget 3D printer overall
Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 8.7 x 9.8 inches; 17.64 Pounds | Maximum Build Volume: 220 x 220 x 250 mm | Resolution: 0.1-0.4 mm | Technology: FDM
The Creality Ender 3 is a true trailblazer in the 3D printing space. There has never been so much hype for a low-cost 3D printer, and for good reason. It is a device that has been constantly tweaked with customer feedback to create the most bang for the buck and user-friendly 3D printer.
In terms of features, the Creality Ender 3 offers a sizable build volume of up to 220 x 220 x 250 mm and comes with advanced extruder technology that reduces plugging risk and bad extrusion. Another handy feature is the ‘resume printing function’ that allows you to resume printing even after a power outage or lapse occurs.
The prints created by the Creality Ender 3 are exceptional. It comes with open-source software, which means that you can constantly upgrade the software to improve the performance and efficiency of the device. Overall, the Creality Ender 3 is by far the best 3D printer today that you can buy right now.
|➕ Exceptional print quality||➖ Requires manual calibration|
|➕ Decent print volume|
|➕ Easy to assemble and has a compact design|
Latest Price on Amazon:
- Resume Printing Function: Ender 3 has the ability to resume printing even after a power outage or lapse occurs.
- Easy and Qucik Assembly: It comes with several assembled parts, you only need about 2 hours to assemble 20 nuts well.
- Advanced Extruder Technology: Upgraded extruder greatly reduces plugging risk and bad extrustion; V-shape with POM wheels make it move noiseless, smoothly and durable.
- Safety Protected Power Supply: Only needs 5 minutes for hot bed to reach 110 degree.
- Strict Test: Strict testing for key components before delivery and life-time technical supports available.
The best value 3D printer
Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 15 x 8.8 inches; 21.87 Pounds | Maximum Build Volume: 220 x 220 x 250 mm | Resolution: ±0.2 mm | Technology: FDM
The Voxelab Aquila is one of the best value for money 3D printers that you can buy. It has a 220 x 220 x 250 mm build volume, a simple and easy-to-use UI, a glass print bed, and open-source software that allows for flexible upgrades and various modifications. This semi-assembled kit is also equipped with a carbon crystal silicon glass plate for super quiet 3D printing with sounds of below 50 decibels.
The Aquila can create great quality prints effortlessly, and the carborundum glass bed works particularly well with ABS and PLA filaments. It ticks all the boxes for what a beginner to printing three-dimensional objects would need in a 3D printer.
|➕ Easy to work with||➖ Poor filament loading|
|➕ Excellent levels of detail|
Latest Price on Amazon:
- Fast Heating and Silent Printing: The Aquila 3D printer equipped with carbon crystal silicon glass plate and super quiet printing designing, the printing model will not easily become warped and the...
- Resume Printing Function: Aquila 3D printer could automatically resume printing when power comes on. It won’t print from scratch once meeting filament breakage, saving time and avoiding waste.
- Semi-Assembled Kit: The easy-to-setup kit comes partially assembled, enabling you to learn about the basic construction of 3D printers as you finish putting it together.
- Fully Open Source: Aquila is a straight forward BD printer based on open source technology. It allows for flexible upgrades and various modifications. Meanwhile, you are able to choose your favorite...
- Warranty and Service: All Voxelab 3D printers provides Lifetime technical support and 12 months warranty, with 24 hours quick response.
The best SLA 3D printer
Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 11.4 x 11.1 inches; 13.67 Pounds | Maximum Build Volume: 5.08in(L)*3.15in(W)*6.30in(H) 129mm(L)*80mm(W)*160mm(H) | Resolution: 0.01-0.2mm | Technology: SLA
SLA resin 3D printers have become vastly popular because they produce high-accuracy 3D prints with detailed features and a smooth surface finish. The Elegoo Mars 2 Pro is one of the most popular options among the 3D printing community when it comes to SLA printers.
The Mars 2 Pro features an integrated air filter, a six-inch screen that can create a layer within just two seconds, and a 130 x 82 mm printable area that is enough to print small and medium-sized objects. It is one of the fastest resin printers around and prints highly detailed objects in a flash.
The Mars 2 Pro is perfect if you want a powerful and reliable SLA printer to build quick prototypes. As long as you won’t print large objects, the Mars 2 Pro is fantastic value for anyone with less budget.
|➕ Fast layer curing times||➖ Limited build area|
|➕ Integrated air filter|
|➕ Sturdy aluminum body and sandblasted build plate|
Latest Price on Amazon:
- 【Fast Printing and less maintenance】Mars 2 Pro comes with a 6.08 inch monochrome LCD of 2K HD resolution and only takes 2 seconds per layer exposure to cure resin, which could significantly...
- 【Outstanding prints and ultra accuracy】Brand new light source structure provides more even UV light emission and working together with 2K mono LCD, the printing details and precision are greatly...
- 【Sturdy build quality】CNC machined aluminum body makes Mars 2 Pro a very formidable machine. Newly-designed sandblasted build plate has a much stronger adherence during printing and enables...
- 【Multi language interface】Mars 2 Pro now supports 12 kinds of languages so customers across the world could operate the 3D printer more conveniently without barriers. The newly added 10 languages...
- 【Warranty and Service】We provide a 1-year warranty on the whole printer and 6-month warranty for the 2K LCD (FEP film is excluded). Mars 2 Pro comes with 2 extra FEP films for you to replace the...
The most feature-packed 3D printer
Product Dimensions: 24 x 23.75 x 19.5 inches; 50 Pounds | Maximum Build Volume: 254x152x170 mm | Resolution: 50-300 Microns | Technology: FDM
If you are looking to purchase a 3D printer for a professional setting and budget isn’t a constraint, it is highly recommended to look at the Dremel DigiLab 3D45. It has an in-built HD camera, an all-metal-hot end direct drive extruder (capable of heating up to 280°C), and a heated glass bed, offering a build volume of 254 x 152 x 170 mm and an excellent resolution of 50-300 microns.
The Digilab 3D45 also comes equipped with Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and USB connectivity and is compatible with any OS making it a comprehensive 3D printing ecosystem perfect for education. It might have been primarily designed for product developers, engineers, educators, and other professionals. Still, it is suitable for every type of user, from beginners to professionals looking for a simple full-fledged 3D environment.
|➕ User-friendly and easy to use||➖ Touchscreen isn’t very responsive|
|➕ Excellent print quality|
|➕ Prints via USB, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi|
Latest Price on Amazon:
- Includes the Dremel 3D45 printer, granted the PCMag 2018 Editors' Choice Award. Equipped with a heated build plate, all-metal hot end, 4.5 inch color screen, wifi connectivity, and much more, the 3D45...
- Start using the 3D45 right out of the box with 30 lesson plans included and ready to implement in your classroom.
- Teach students to solve open-ended problems by creating their own models and prototypes in Nylon, ECO ABS, PETG, PLA and more at up to 50 micron resolution.
- Introduce your students to the world of digital fabrication allowing them to visualize lessons and realize their own potential to create.
- Receive 4 hours of professional development credits after completing 3D printing course designed especially for teachers.File Types Supported: STL, OBJ
The best budget 3D printer by Anycubic
Product Dimensions: 16.14 x 15.95 x 17.83 inches; 24.25 Pounds | Maximum Build Volume: 210 x 210 x 205 mm (8.3 x 8.3 x 8.1 inches) | Resolution: 100 – 400 Microns | Technology: FDM
Anycubic Mega-S is one of the most affordable and powerful 3D printers available in its price range. Anycubic itself is a renowned and trusted brand famous for its wide range of value-for-money FDM printers, and the Mega-S is no exception.
The Anycubic Mega-S is an upgraded version of the i3 Mega Printer and comes with enhancements that add to its existing features and abilities. One of the new features is a mechanical filament sensor that automatically detects when your printer runs low on the filament. The newly designed extruder is now compatible with most filaments—reducing the clogging risk and improving printing accuracy.
Overall, the Anycubic Mega-S is a 3D printing machine that you can rely on to deliver high-quality prints consistently with great accuracy. It comes with modern features that are only offered by its much pricier counterparts at a pocket-friendly price.
|➕ Assembles quickly||➖ Can be a bit noisy|
|➕ Easy to navigate using the touch screen display|
|➕ Comes with lots of handy accessories|
Latest Price on Amazon:
- WORKS OUT OF THE BOX: 3 steps to set up ANYCUBIC Mega S 3D printer with 8 screws and 3 cables for minutes, not only meets fast assembly needs for expert users but also friendly use to beginners. The...
- UPGRADED EXTRUDER DESIGN: Titan extruder provides precise extrusion for your 3D printing with solid filament drive and overall mechanical design compatible with most filaments, greatly reducing the...
- RESUME PRINT & SENSOR DETECTION: Mega S 3D Printer can resume printing after power outage or any other unexpected stoppage.One click to resume from the last recorded position when suffering power...
- ANYCUBIC ULTRABASE: Patented 3D printer printing platform surface coated with patented microporous coating, with excellent adhesion when printing and then effortlessly falls off the bed when it cools...
- MORE FUNCTION: 1)TFT Touch Screen-As responsive as operating on the phone. 2)All ANYCUBIC 3D printers backed with lifetime technical support and 24 hours professional customer service.
The best 3D printer by Creality
Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 18.7 x 24.41 inches; 17.2 Pounds | Maximum Build Volume: 220x220x250 mm | Resolution: 0.1 mm | Technology: FDM
An upgrade to an old favorite, the Creality Ender 3 V2 offers significant upgrades to the widely popular Creality Ender 3 printer. So what has changed? It comes with improved hardware that includes a 32-bit mainboard, silent stepper motor drivers, a much cleaner appearance and design, and plenty of other, more minor touches that will enhance your 3D printing experience.
This easy-to-use 3D printer offers high precision prints at a competitive price. The upgraded motherboard with TMC2208 ultra-silent drivers allows for silent printing and low decibel operation without being loud, unlike other printers at the same price range.
|➕ Easy-to-use||➖ No touchscreen interface|
|➕ Ultra-silent printing|
|➕ High-precision prints|
Latest Price on Amazon:
- Self-developed Silent Motherboard: The Ender-3 V2 built-in self-developed silent motherboard, which has stronger anti-interference, faster and more stable motion performance, silent printing and low...
- UL Certified MeanWell Power Supply: Equipped with MeanWell power supply, produced by the listed company with mature technology, meeting all the needs of fast heating and long-time printing. Moreover,...
- Effortless Filament Feed-in: Ender-3 V2 adds a rotary knob on the extruder, making loading and feeding filament process much easier; Brand new operation UI system and 4.3" smart color screen greatly...
- Resume Printing Function: Can resume printing from the last recorded extruder position after suffering unexpected power outages, saving your time and reducing waste.
- Carborundum Glass Platform: Enable the hotbed heat up quicker and prints adhere better without the warping. Ultra smoothness even on the first layer.
The best 3D printer for printing with resin
Product Dimensions: 8.74 x 8.94 x 15.08 inches; 9.35 pounds | Maximum Build Volume: 130 x 80 x 165 mm | Resolution: 0.01 ~ 0.15mm | Technology: LCD-based SLA
Stereolithography 3D printers that use resin as a filament are ideal for those artists looking for a high level of detail and accuracy on their prints. They’ve always been pricey, but thanks to LCD-based SLA printers such as the Anycubic Photon Mono, resin printing has become more accessible.
The Anycubic Photon mono uses a monochrome LCD to harden the resin, which means that it’s fast, accurate, and creates highly detailed prints. How fast? Anycubic claims that the Photon Mono is 2.5X faster than regular 3d printers. The smell of resin might not be too pleasant, but the Anycubic Photon Mono is an easy recommendation for a no-frills 3D printer at this price point.
|➕ Excellent print quality||➖ The build volume can be restricting|
|➕ Much faster compared to other 3D printers|
|➕ Great level of stability and precision|
Latest Price on Amazon:
- 2.5X Faster Resin 3D Printer,ANYCUBIC Photon Mono 3D Printer's printing speed is 2.5X faster than the regular 3d printers, rapid prototyping greatly improved printing efficiency and saved more time,...
- High Accuracy and Strong Stability, ANYCUBIC Photon Mono LCD screen Adopts matrix parallel light source 15 pcs lamp beads, is able to carry out uniform exposure, improve the quality of models, Z-axis...
- Outstanding Prints And Easy To Use, Off-line printing function with size 5.11"(L) x 3.14"(W) x 6.49"(H) / 130 x 80 x165MM, Photon Mono resin 3d printer uses a removable one-piece transparent cover to...
- The transparent cover blocks up to 99.95% of ultraviolet rays with a wavelength of 405nm, can be effective high resin solidification rate and ensure your success printing, reduce wasting of resin, New...
- After Sale Service, All of our 3d printers provide one month free return and exchange, one year warranty (exclude consumable parts like LCD screen & FEP film) and lifetime technical support, If you...
The best 3D printer for beginners
Product Dimensions: 16.54 x 16.54 x 16.54 inches; 24.25 Pounds | Maximum Build Volume: 140 x 140 x140 mm | Resolution: 100-500 microns | Technology: Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)
Specifically designed for use in kids’ rooms and classrooms, the FlashForge Finder is the most kid-friendly 3D printer in the market. It is built for safety and only uses non-toxic PLA on a non-heated build plate to protect from the risk of burns and dangerous fumes.
Despite having an average-sized printing space of up to 140×140 x140 mm, the FlashForge Finder comes with many advanced features that you would find in more expensive 3D printers; an auto-leveler, removable plate, filament sensor, and full-color touch screen. Additionally, the releasable nozzle makes it easy to clean and unclog the device.
The FlashForge Finder is a pocket-friendly and easy-to-use 3D printer and is perfect for those artists and designers that want to have their first taste of 3D printing without breaking the bank.
|➕ Easy-to-use and set up||➖ No automatic bed leveling|
|➕ Great touchscreen display|
|➕ Removable build plate|
Latest Price on Amazon:
- Slide-in build plate allows printed objects to be easily removed
- 3.5-Inch full color touchscreen with intuitive icons makes for easy operation
- Sturdy, plastic alloy construction ensures stable prints
- Safe, non-heated build plate
- Wi-Fi, usb and flash drive connectivity.Positioning Precision: 0.0001 inch on Z axis, 0.0004 inch on XY plane Resolution: 0.004 inch
10. 3Doodler Create+
The best portable 3D printer
Product Dimensions: 4.45 x 3.15 x 10.79 inches | Filament Compatibility: ABS, FLEXY, PLA
The biggest hurdle with 3D printing could be the limited build volume or the lack of portability. 3Doodler Create+ is a creative tool that helps solve the problem by letting you create three-dimensional objects out of liquid plastic on any surface. Although it is not as accurate as a full-fledged 3D printer, the 3Doodler Create+ is incredibly fun to use to create 3D printed models.
To sweeten the deal, even more, you get free refill filaments, a stencil book, and a guide to help you get started and create amazing designs in no time!
|➕ Compact and portable||➖ The filament can be expensive|
|➕ Simple to use|
|➕ No restriction on the print size|
Latest Price on Amazon:
- [3DOODLER IS A NEW CREATIVE MEDIUM] The world is your canvas. Discover a new way to create art, design and personalize objects. This versatile tool can help you design solutions for everyday problems.
- [3D DRAWING EASY AS 1, 2, 3D] Extrude heated plastic that hardens almost instantly, so you can draw 3D structures, freehand or on stencils. Just plug the 3D pen in, insert 3Doodler Create plastic,...
- [WHAT'S IN THE BOX] This 3D Pen comes packed with 15 different colors of 3Doodler Create plastic refills & a comprehensive activity guide book.
- [SMOOTH 3D DRAWING EXPERIENCE] Get the best 3D drawing experience by only using the best & safest 3Doodler Create Plastic Filaments. The Create+ 3D Printing pen is compatible with 3Doodler Create 3mm...
- [ALL NEW DUAL DRIVE TECHNOLOGY] The world’s first in a 3D printing device. Featuring improved power, durability, and reliability for a superior doodling experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best monitor arms for a standing desk?
The iMovR Tempo Heavy-Duty Single Monitor Arm, iMovR Tempo Light Single Monitor Arm, and Ergotron LX Monitor Arm are the best monitor arms for a standing desk.
What is the best monitor arm for an ultrawide?
Designed for monitors weighing from 13.2 to 33 pounds, the Loctek Monitor Mount Heavy Duty Gas Spring is the best monitor arm for ultrawide.
What are the best monitor arms for heavy monitors?
Do monitor arms damage desks?
Monitor Arms have a weight limit set and, if you exceed that, they can damage the desk. However, if you mount the arm to the desk and only attach an amount of weight per the specifications, there won't be an issue.
What is the best dual monitor arm for gaming?
The Vari Dual-Monitor Arm is best for gaming as it offers all the ergonomic and gaming benefits of dual-screening. The height adjustment range is also pretty good, and you can easily rotate both the monitors horizontally and vertically.
- Best printers
- Best black & white printers
- Best scanners
- Best webcams
- Best ring lights
- Best microphones
- Best external hard drives
- Best monitors
- Best keyboards
- Best mechanical keyboards
- Best programming keyboards
- Best monitor calibrators
- Best mouse
- Best left-handed Mouse
- Best cameras for designers
- Best lightboxes
- Best trackpads & touchpads
- Best power banks
- Best in-ear earphones
- Best noise-canceling earphones
- Best Apple Airpods alternatives
- Best smart-watches
- Best wireless chargers
- Best USB flash storage drives
- Best USB hubs & docks
- Best Bluetooth speakers
- Best home stereo speakers
- Best computer speakers
- Best LED Printers
- Best smart-phones for designers
- Best Apple charger cable replacements
- Best lamps for designers
10+ Best Budget 3D Printers for Creatives in 2021
A 3D printer is a fantastic investment, especially if you are a 3D artist or designer. Some people say that “art has no boundaries”, and 3D printers are proof of that. They allow you to recreate your artwork in physical form.
The 3D printer industry is a lot bigger than it once was decades ago, which means that there are many great options to choose from. We have narrowed down the wide variety of 3D printers to the top 10 in this article to help you purchase the right 3D printer for your needs.