Few technologies hold more promise than 3D printing. Whether you are new to turning digital files into cool 3D objects or you have been a 3D printing fanatic for years, you may want to own your printer. While printers can cost more than luxury automobiles, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a decent one. Still, not every affordable printer on the market today is worth your money. That’s where we come in. We have reviewed several 3D printers to identify the 10 best 3D printers under $500.
While 3D printers have been common for a long time, purchasing one can seem daunting without the right information. Use this review to determine which printer is right for achieving your 3D printing goals.
After considering our criteria, we have ranked the 10 best 3D printers under $500. We begin our list with an overall champion and runner-up. Then, we rank each printer in descending order, providing a rating.
1. Overall Champion: QIDI TECHNOLOGY X-ONE
The QIDI TECHNOLOGY X-ONE printer tops our list of affordable 3D printers. Capable of layer resolution between 100 and 500 microns, the X-ONE is one of the highest-quality printers we reviewed. If you opt for this piece of equipment, expect smooth, accurate renderings when printing simple projects. However, tiny lines and small seams sometimes appear with more complex projects. While this phenomenon is commonplace among printers under $500, buyers should know about quality issues with detailed print jobs.
Additionally, the X-ONE is strong and durable. With strength, though, comes heft. As such, this printer is not light or easy to move. Also, the X-ONE tends to be noisy when completing jobs. Still, the printer is a great all-around, affordable 3D-rendering device.
- Who will love this 3D printer: anyone who wants a reliable, good-quality 3D printer. For fast, relatively detailed results, the X-ONE gets the job done.
- Who will not love this 3D printer: anyone who cares about the look of a 3D printer. This boxy printer’s industrial appearance may seem out of place next to more stylish equipment.
Ready out of the box: QiDi 3D printer is a plug-and-play. You will have your printer up and running within one hour after unboxing. On arrival, the printer is pre-assembled; but you have to level the printing bed and feed the filament.
However, this printer does not have automatic bed leveling; you have to level the bed manually. This procedure is well explained in the step-by-step manual available in the package.
Easy to use: QiDi X-one2 is suitable for beginners still learning 3D printing. The printer provides a comprehensive 3D printing ecosystem with a 3.5” touchscreen interface, which is easy to use and features recognizable and responsive icons. Again, you can see the print bed temperature and printing progress from the interface.
In addition, the printer has an SD card with test prints to get you started. The slicer Qidi print software has many functional and easy-to-use features. Furthermore, with Qidi Tech X-One2, you can use your favorite slicer program since it’s open-source.
Heated bed: Qidi Tech X-One2 printer has an aluminum alloy and a PEI surface-covered heated print bed. It gives you the possibility to print temperature-sensitive materials like PETG and ABS.
Moreover, you will like the Qidi Tech X-One2 open material system; you can experiment with different brands and materials.
Enclosed body: enclosed printer body is essential for temperature-sensitive material printing like ABS. Again, the enclosed body protects the surrounding from harmful fumes and maintains a constant temperature.
However, this printer is not fully enclosed; but misses the top part cover. The semi-enclosed body is equally valuable, mainly to reduce accidental interference with the print from curious fingers. Plus, the casing protects moving parts from dust and other particles.
- Excellent print quality
- Easy to use
- Can use third party filaments
- The package comes with maintenance tools
- A bit hard to remove prints from the bed
- It does not have an enormous build volume
- One power cable
- 1 USB flash drive
- One filament guide tube
- One random color PLA filament
2. Runner Up: Monoprice 13680 Maker Select 3D Printer V2
Virtually tied with our overall champion is the Monoprice 13680 Maker Select 3D printer V2. This option is an all-around good printer, delivering good quality renderings on most projects. Like the X-ONE, the 13680 Maker Select struggles with highly detailed jobs, but this is an issue with all 3D printers under $500. Quieter and more stylish than the X-ONE, this printer looks better in a home office or den.
The 13680 Maker Select allows users to select either ABS or PLA mode, depending on quality and resource objectives. This printer is also upgradeable, making it a wise investment for those just starting with 3D printing. Still, the 13680 Maker Select requires some assembly, so it is not ready to use directly out of the box. Assembly is straightforward after consulting with the enclosed manual, though.
- Who will love this 3D printer: anyone who wants to save money on a reliable 3D printer.
- Who will not love this 3D printer: anyone who would rather not assemble an electronic device.
Get started quickly: this printer is a good choice if you begin 3D printing. On arrival, the printer is almost fully assembled. The only assembly you need is fixing four screws to the base to secure the frame firmly. Also, you will need to fix two screws to attach the filament holder.
Further, many users love that you will print immediately after assembly; the printer comes with a PLA filament sample and a Micro SD card with 3D printing sample files.
Software compatibility: Monoprice 13680 maker select can use both open source and commercial software, such as Repetier, Cura, or Simplify 3D. Making it compatible with Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux operating systems.
Build area: among many Monoprice 13680 maker select features that many users like is the large build area. This printer has a large 7.9 x 7.9 x 7.1” build area so that you can create larger, more complex models with precise details.
Resolution and filaments: with a resolution of 100-400 microns, you can be sure to get detailed prints. Also, users enjoy a variety of print materials depending on what they want to print. You can choose PLA, ABS, PVA, HIPS, flex, wood, conductive filaments, etc.
- Large build volume
- Supports a variety of print filaments
- USB and micro SD printing
- Straight forward manual
- Manual bed leveling
- A minor assembly is required
- Package details
- Two print bed mats
- Monoprice Maker Select 3D printer V2
- Filament Spool Stand
- Filament Spool Holder
- Mini USB Cable
- AC Power Cord
- PTFE Tube
- 4GB Micro SD Card with sample 3D files
- Two cable ties
- 6 Hex Bolts
- Hex Keyset
- PLA filament sample rolls (32”)
- One year limited warranty
Even though the Anycubic i3 Mega 3D printer is third on our list, we like this printer a lot. Similar in size and design to the Monoprice printer in the number two spot, the i3 Mega has perhaps the best program screen of any printer on our list. The printer delivers good quality results but struggles with complex or detailed projects. That is, the same ridges that are common with most 3D printers under $500 are present here as well.
The i3 Mega shines in the software department. The software is intuitive and easy to manipulate. Some users complain about bowing or warping. Since many 3D jobs require linear results, this can be a problem. Still, not everyone experiences this issue, so it may only appear during the printing of specialized projects.
- Who will love this 3D printer: Anyone who wants a multi-purpose 3D printer with advanced capabilities.
- Who will not love this 3D printer: Anyone who expects perfectly flat print jobs.
Excellent print quality: believe it, this Anycubic i3 Mega 3D printer will give you high-quality prints. Your prints will stick while printing, thanks to its Anycubic ultra base print bed. Plus, it’s equally easy to pluck off the prints after printing. However, some users prefer the regular PLA layer quality, which gives stunning print quality.
Affordable: Recently, the price of the Anycubic i3 Mega 3D printer was lower by almost a third. However, if you would like to spend more, QIDI TECHNOLOGY X-ONE is the best 3D printer you need to try. You can also consider getting Monoprice 13680 Maker Select 3D Printer in the same price range, which is equally good with some nice tricks.
Efficient: rather than a typical screen combo/ click wheel, this printer has a touch screen instead, which makes many users comfortable. Again, the touch screen is easy to read from a distance and very responsive while using.
In addition, this printer has an auto-resume feature, whereby the printer will automatically resume printing in case of power failure. This printer is among the favorites for users living within an un-impressive power line.
Printing woes: unfortunately, some users have received a slightly faulty Anycubic i3 Mega 3D printer. The print bed did not heat up with some people but remained at room temperature. However, after simple fixing, the printer works well to print high-quality prints.
- Works well with many materials
- Automatic print resume
- Responsive and fast user interface
- Filament sensor
- A bit noisy
- Partly automatic bed leveling as opposed to automatic bed leveling
- Anycubic i3 megabase, frame, and user manual
- PLA filament
- Spool holder
- Tool kit
- Rubber gloves
- Pliers and tweezers
- Removable drives
- Spares and extra Hotend
Just outside our top three 3D printers is the da Vinci mini 3D printer from XYZprinting. This option is the cutest printer we reviewed. It is also the most affordable. Even though this printer won’t bust your budget, it delivers relatively accurate renderings.
This printer features auto-bed leveling that makes 3D printing easier for novices. The da Vinci also eliminates complicated functionality that can confuse new users. Still, it has trouble with its Wi-Fi signal, and customers generally express displeasure with the included software. Nonetheless, the da Vinci stands out with a low price and effective performance.
- Who will love this 3D printer: Anyone new to 3D printing and wants a user-friendly tool. The da Vinci is easy to set up and simple to use.
- Who will not love this 3D printer: Anyone who enjoys toggling between various features on a 3D printer. Da Vinci is essentially a one-trick pony. What it does, though, it does well.
Design and features: XYZ printing da Vince Mini 3D printer measures 14.2 x 15.4 x 13.2” and weighs 24.3 pounds. Similar to other budget 3D printers. Again, the printer has an open frame with no door or windows in front. The printer build plate is on a carriage that slides in and out beyond the edge of the frame during printing progress.
However, the printer is safe to work with despite the open frame. The extruder nozzle is located behind the assembly, making it hard to reach.
Efficient: this da Vince Mini printer supports automatic print bed leveling. So if you print frequently, you can level the print bed after each print. However, some users find removing finished objects from the print bed hard.
Innovative cartridge technology: this technology helps detect low filaments that need replacement. This feature makes it similar to da Vinci Jr, like other low-priced 3D printers.
However, if you’ll need to print with another filament apart from PLA, you need to consider another 3D printer like QIDI TECHNOLOGY X-ONE.
Printing: you can get constant good quality prints with a good resolution. You will also have minimal operational issues and get high-quality prints. With other 3D printing experiences, some users find da Vince mini printer with better performance than other printers in the same price range.
- Good print quality
- Easy to set up and use
- USB and Wi-Fi printing support
- A bit tricky to get prints off the print bed
- Challenges in trying to launch prints
Another standout 3D printer is the Creality3D CR-10S High-Accuracy Desktop DIY 3D printer. This device delivers excellent results for simple projects. With more advanced ones, some distortion is common. This printer is an optimal choice for those new to 3D printing. The software is simple to understand, and the printer is quiet to use.
Unlike some other printers on our list, the CR-10S is customizable. This printer is fun with a moveable deck and decent printing speeds. A drawback of the CR-10S is its size limitations. While the printer is appropriate for small and medium-sized projects, it struggles with larger ones. Some purchasers reported stalls in the printing process, which are impossible to correct without scrapping the job and beginning anew. Also, this printer sells for close to $500, making it one of the most expensive printers on our list.
- Who will love this 3D printer: Anyone who is tech-savvy and wants a printer capable of tackling a variety of moderately complex projects.
- Who will not love this 3D printer: Anyone who wants to print large-scale jobs. While the CR-10S excels at smaller projects, it has difficulty with larger jobs.
Automatic print resume: Imagine waiting for your print and losing it due to power failure. It’s unfortunate, but this doesn’t happen with Creality3D CR-10S. This printer has automatic print resume features, which remember the last detail in a power failure. Your printer will not have to start all over again.
Filament detector sensor: this feature is new and most familiar with Chinese 3D printers. However, it would help if you ran the 3D printed sensor between the hotend and the spool. In case your printer runs out of filament, the mechanical sensor will pick up the information and pause the print so you can resume afterward.
This feature is a saver for many users who take advantage of the printer’s large build volume and need to replace a filament spool halfway.
Easy to set up: You will often receive Creality 3D CR-10S pre-assembled, making it easy to set up and begin printing within 30 minutes. To complete the setup, you need to mount the Z-axis to the base, connect the cables, and start.
Heated bed: if you are a DIY lover or love trying out your creativity, this printer comes in handy. With a heated bed, you can experiment with many print materials. On the downside, this printer takes a bit longer to heat up. Also, although the printer is heated, it is not suitable for filaments like ABS because it lacks an enclosure (if need be, you can add)
- High printing accuracy
- Resume print function
- MK10 technology
- Filament sensor
- The printer takes a long time to heat up
- The printer is not enclosed
- Two pre-assembled frames
- Assembly tools
- Some spare parts
- Teflon rube
- Spatula to remove prints from the print bed
- Needle to clean unclogged nozzles
- PLA filament spool
- Filament holder
- AC cable
- USB cable
- Tape to stick prints to the bed
The Monoprice Maker Select Plus 3D printer is a more advanced DIY printer. This option has more features than the entry-level printers on our list. The obvious benefit of the Maker Select Plus printer is its printing speed. Capable of completing jobs in half the time, this printer is optimal for users who have several projects to get through.
The Maker Select Plus 3D printer has a sleek, compact design, which we appreciate. Nonetheless, some users report problems with renderings. While some lines are ridges are expected, this printer often produces deeper fissures than other affordable printers. These mainly appear during complicated projects, so they may not be a problem for users who print simpler designs.
- Who will love this 3D printer: anyone who wants a fast printer for basic 3D renderings.
- Who will not love this 3D printer: anyone who demands high-quality results. While the Maker Select Plus printer is effective for simple projects, significant lines are common on more complex ones.
Easy to set up and use: if you need to take your ideas and designs to the next level, this printer should be on your wish list. Unlike other 3D printers, which require experience, knowledge, and time to assemble, the Monoprice maker select plus 3D printer requires only six screws. Again, the printer package comes with everything you need to start printing.
Filaments: This printer supports all filaments, from primary filaments such as ABS and PLA to advanced filaments like conductive PLA, wood and metal composite, or dissolvable PVA.
The printer heated plate and various extruder temperatures make broad filament support possible. This printer is necessary for DIY lovers as you try out different materials for your projects.
Print speed: Monoprice maker select plus 3D printer has an incredible maximum printing speed with an impressive 150mm/s (higher than some high-end printers). However, users have observed that the print quality is low with a very high printing speed.
Simple connectivity: this printer has a straightforward design. You can connect via a USB port or SD card reader to load your models to the printer. With some models supporting Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, please don’t assume that they are better.
Monoprice maker select plus simplistic connectivity approach may not seem upfront, but it can mean fewer bugs and print errors caused by connectivity disruptions.
- Easy set up straight from the box
- Sturdy construction
- Upgrades options available
- Excellent touch screen features
- New 3D printer users require some patience
- You require some tinkering to improve print quality
- Monoprice maker select plus 3D printer
- AC power cord
- SD card
- Spool holder
- PTFE tube
- Hex Key Set
- Two cable ties
- 6 Hex bolts
- 10m PLA filament
- Print bed mat
- User manual
Mini 3D printers aren’t right for everyone. Some users want a larger printer that can print plus-sized projects. Nonetheless, the Monoprice Select Mini 3D printer is worth a mention. This small device prints comparatively high-quality projects. It is also easy to customize, giving users the flexibility to handle unique print jobs.
The biggest problem with the Select Mini printer is its temperature control. Many consumers report overheating issues that contribute to melted results. Even if a project isn’t completely ruined, imperfections and bubbles can weaken printed projects. They can also cause surface roughness and unevenness.
- Who will love this 3D printer: anyone who wants a small, cheap 3D printer. The Select Mini 3D printer is a good option for first-time 3D printers.
- Who will not love this 3D printer: anyone who needs smooth, perfect results. The temperature-control problems with the Select Mini 3D printer caused it to fall to the seventh position on our list.
Printer setup: Monoprice select mini 3D printer set up is relatively easy for everyone. Whereby you should be ready to print within a few minutes after unboxing. The printer has everything you need to set up on arrival, including a user manual with basic setup instructions.
You will have to use a full-color LCD interface with a click wheel to set up your printer. However, you can initiate the calibration process from the interface, preheating the hotend and loading your filaments.
Filaments: as you purchase a Monoprice select mini 3D printer, it’s important to note it doesn’t come with any filaments. So, it’s essential to ensure you have your favorite 1.75mm material spool ready. Also, you can order it together with the printer.
Print performance: on arrival, the Micro SD card is pre-loaded with a pair of models for printing; an elephant and a cat. This enables you to get started as you survey the printer performance.
However, although the printer has a good print performance, prints tend to fail once you don’t apply enough adhesive glue to the print bed. Also, it can happen in case the filament spool snagged itself.
Printer customization: There are no upgrade options for the Monoprice Select Mini 3D printer. But many experienced users are happy with the possibility of customizing the printer to enhance its performance.
Again, you can activate the printer’s wireless connectivity by downloading the original Malyan M200 firmware and installing it. However, ensure you are very cautious.
- Easy to operate
- Reliable prints at low speed
- Works with any slicer and standard filament
- A bit tricky to calibrate
- Inconsistent hotend temperature
- Monoprice select mini 3D printer
- AC power adapter
- Hex key
- Plastic spatula
- Micro SD card with 256MB storage
- Micro USB cable
The final three printers on our list are still good. Remember, hundreds of affordable 3D printers are on the market, so ranking in the last three spots isn’t bad. Topping the final three is the CoLiDo DIY 3D printer. This printer is simple to assemble, strong, and durable.
While the DIY printer delivers comparatively good results, it isn’t perfect. Some users report distortion, unevenness, and roughness in their print projects. This printer also doesn’t have a case, leaving its sensitive components vulnerable. Finding one can be tricky if you plan to purchase an aftermarket case for it. Also, the DIY printer is slow but reliable. If you have time to wait for project completion, you can expect this printer to handle hundreds of jobs eventually.
- Who will love this 3D printer: anyone who wants a 3D printer capable of handling high-volume print projects.
- Who will not love this 3D printer: anyone who needs fast results. The DIY printer offers slow and steady printing.
Unleash your creativity: CoLido DIY 3D printer allows you to make an intelligent machine independently. The only way you can release your creativity. From the box, this printer comes in parts with tools. You have to assemble to come up with an actual 3D printer. Okay, it’s not easy, but it’s worth it with bits of fun and play.
Large build size: this printer measures 20cm x 20cm x 17cm. The build size is enough to build most of the 3D projects you can think of. Many DIY project users love the printer since it’s easy to control, reliable, and stable, even entry-level users.
Print quality: many CoLido DIY printer users love it for its high-resolution quality for its class. The printer has up to 0.1mm layer resolution. Again, the printer uses high-quality CoLido filaments to build exemplary, accurate, and smooth 3D projects, outmatching other printers at the same level from other brands.
Built for fun: this printer gives you the space to dig into your joyful and fun world. The printer also is colorful with easy assemble parts; this makes it fun for both parents and kids. In addition, the printer is both fun and valuable in what it does, making it applicable in education, construction, DIY, and industry fields. Get this printer to explore your knowledge. You never know what you learn.
- High print quality
- The printer is upgradable
- Assembly required is relatively easy
- Excellent after-sale support from CoLido
- Full assembly required
- This printer lacks a heated bed
- CoLido 3D printer parts
- Software and instructional videos in a USB flash drive
- 500g PLA spool of filament
- Assembly tools
The Anet A8 3D printer is an exciting addition to our list. This printer can handle a variety of jobs, delivering fast results. Even better, the quality of projects is comparatively high with the Anet A8. To take full advantage of this printer, you can’t rely on its included parts. Purchasing upgraded components is the only way to achieve high-level results with this one.
Unfortunately, the A8 is not easy to assemble or calibrate. Many users complain about the technical nature of the manual. Once you get this machine going, it delivers a remarkable performance.
- Who will love this 3D printer: anyone who wants high-quality results from a capable 3D printer.
- Who will not love this 3D printer: anyone who has difficulty setting up a complicated device. The Anet A8 doesn’t offer many educational resources to help beginners figure out how to calibrate the device.
Printing speed: although the Anet A8 3D printer is a budget printer, expect a high printing speed; up to 100mm/s. With this, users enjoy getting prints within no time. Again, this printer prints layer by layer which generally should take time, but it will always surprise you with less than the estimated time.
Print quality: Some users talk of average print quality. You can continually improve quality; by ensuring the bed is set correctly and the nozzle is at a proper distance.
The printer nozzle temperature affects the final print quality; if it’s too hot, you will notice filament strings between separate parts. It can also result in malformation when building tall prints.
Fortunately, you can reduce the hot nozzle effect by including a 1cm cube on the opposite side of the build plate to allow cooling by removing the hot nozzle from the print.
Glass print bed: this printer has a glass surface print bed. Some users complain of poor print adhesiveness on the print bed and the surface. The print starts to move away with time, causing wrapping in the final product.
Sometimes it’s so bad that the print bed can get displaced because of the nozzle, and the print is left halfway. Fortunately, there is a temporary solution to prevent the print drifting; you can put double-sided tape to hold the prints to the base and get more long-lasting prints.
Printing filaments: Anet A8 3D printer provides several printing options. Since it’s compatible with six different types of filaments; PLA, ABS, nylon, PP, wood, and luminescent, some users prefer using PLA for printing, which gives fine prints. Again, you might experience some struggle at first, but it’s worth it.
- Open filament system
- Features a heated print bed
- Easy to upgrade
- The package comes with all tools needed for assembly
- No proper printed instruction manual
- Bed leveling can be a bit frustrating
The Geeetech E180 3D printer has similar capabilities to the Monoprice Select Mini, the seventh printer on our list. The major difference is the input mechanism, which is better than the Monoprice printer. Nonetheless, the E180 produces lower quality results, causing us to rate it lower.
The major benefit of the E180 printer is its stop-and-start feature. If you begin a project, you don’t have to put your life on hold, waiting for it to finish. On the contrary, you can pause the job until you are ready to resume it again.
- Who will love this 3D printer: anyone who wants a flexible, entry-level 3D printer.
- Who will not love this 3D printer: anyone who expects high-quality results from a 3D printer.
Design: if you are looking for an exquisite and elegantly designed 3D printer, the Geetech E180 3D printer should be on your wish list. This printer has a white and classic black comparison giving it a touch of elegance and simplicity. Again, the printer architecture features a stable endurance and vibration resistance, giving you quiet operations for an extraordinary printing experience.
Small build: Geetech E180 3D printer has a compact design with a 130mm x 130mm x 130mm build volume; enough for your creativity and to produce tangible and practical items. Again, the printer allows you to fit it on your home or workplace desktop.
High printing accuracy: this printer adopts a ceramic craftsmanship nozzle. Giving you a smooth extrusion and eventually avoiding jamming or clogging. Many users enjoy excellent printouts with smooth surface finish, structure, sleek contour, and fine details. You, too, can enjoy this juice once you get this printer.
Remote control: The remote control is among the unique Geetech E180 3D printer features. This feature is the most popular with printer users. The printer has self-developed 3D Wi-Fi to provide a cloud solution. You can directly control the printer anywhere, anytime via EasyPrint 3D App.
This app is a valuable aid and gives you nine print categories to choose from. Also, from the app, you can share your designs with other 3D printing hobbyists. However, you need the 3D Wi-Fi module separately.
- Automatic print resume function
- Environmental friendly filament
- Intuitive 3.2” full-color touch screen
- Metal extruder, not easy to block
- The printer only uses PLA filaments
- No automatic bed leveling
There is a great deal of affordable 3D printers on the market today. Of course, not every printer is worth your time or money. Before purchasing a 3D printer, you must be certain to consider a few factors.
The first consideration must be quality. As is clear from our rankings of the top 10 best 3D printers under $500, not every printer delivers top-notch results. Even if you want to purchase an affordable printer, you don’t have to sacrifice quality. Before purchasing a printer, be sure you look at some sample renderings. The best printers minimize lines and ridges, common in lower-end 3D printers.
It would be best if you also thought about your printing style. Avoid large, bulky printers if you need to move your printer frequently. If you want to accomplish various print jobs, be sure your printer has high-volume capabilities. Either way, by understanding exactly what you need your printer to do, you can likely eliminate options outside your printing goals.
Finally, it would be best if you considered your technological prowess. 3D printers aren’t necessarily the most user-friendly devices. Some printers require significant know-how to set up and calibrate. Others feature plug-and-play potential that makes them perfect for beginners. Some printers are customizable, while others are impossible to upgrade. While it may be tempting to purchase a basic printer, you may outgrow it quickly.
You can likely choose the perfect 3D printer for your printing needs with effort. Remember, there are hundreds of good 3D printers on the market. Our list of the top 10 best 3D printers under $500 should help you narrow your search. Identify your 3D-printing objectives and invest in the right printer for you.
Before we share the best 3D printers under $500, let’s look at some advantages of owning one.
The main benefit of owning a 3D printer is quicker production than subtractive production and injection molds. Designing and printing your 3D creations is much faster if you own a unit you can use at the click of a button. It makes sense to purchase a 3D printer if you’re eager to test out a new object or business idea. You have a tangible object to hold and analyze in just a few hours.
A 3D printer enables you to unleash your creativity and full potential. These units are powerful and intelligent enough to bring your ideas to life without the hassle of using expensive equipment. They’re also more reliable and generate exceptional results that you couldn’t achieve without a printer – unless you have a large budget to suit.
These units allow you to create 3D objects without wasting valuable materials. Fortunately, 3D printers only use the materials needed for printing and nothing else. Alternatively, if you were to create 3D objects yourself, you’d have more waste, which would cost your company unnecessary money.
Allow technology to handle the finicky, unsafe tasks. By standing away from the machine and enabling the 3D printer to take over the creation tasks, you’re reducing your risks of injury than if you were to use equipment and accessories to create the results yourself. If you’re working to a deadline and creating the work manually, you’re more likely to rush and make mistakes. However, a 3D printer is designed for such stress.
When looking for the best 3D printer under $500, we carefully reviewed each device, considering details and specifications. Because we want to provide you with the best information possible, we evaluated printers based on functionality, print quality, compatibility, availability, and value. Of these criteria, we emphasize the following three:
Print Quality: Affordable printers have developed a reputation for delivering low-quality results. Still, a cheap printer that does not print well is not useful. Therefore, once we determine that a printer costs less than $500, we immediately consider print quality. If the affordable printer does not deliver, we rank it low on our list or remove it completely.
Compatibility: A good, inexpensive printer isn’t much use if it isn’t compatible with your existing technology. As such, we carefully evaluate the compatibility of the 3D printers on our list. Those that are user-friendly or plug-and-play ready rank higher than those that require you to purchase additional equipment.
Affordability: While all the printers on our list retail for under $500, we thoroughly research deals, rebates, specials, and other offers to determine the most affordable. The cheaper the printer, the higher it ranks.