Buying Guide for the Best 3D Printer

Best 3D Printers

The Best Cheap 3D Printers For Sale Well Detailed Review

For individuals who are planning to purchase the best 3d printer based on their specific needs and budget, we have thoroughly and honestly reviewed the best ones. You’ll surely pick the perfect one for your 3d printing needs after reading this guide!

There are plenty of reasons why it’s time to get yourself the best 3d printer. So, our 3d printer reviews will help you end up with the right 3d printer for all your 3D printing needs.

It’s undeniable that 3D printing development continues. With constant innovations, it’s no surprise that the 3D printing has limitless potential in bringing consumer-grade results.

Whether you are looking for the best 3d printer under 300 or the best home 3d printer, there’s the right one for you. Hobbyists, business owners, and 3D printing beginners can take advantage of the latest 3D printing technologies.

With 3D printers, you can print things that you usually but. In fact, you can create almost everything, such as safety razors, shower curtain rings, paper towel holders, smartphone cases, and so much more. This translates that you can reduce expenses at home while adding some personalized touch to your favorite stuff.

You have a chance to extend the longevity of your home appliances and furniture by making the necessary parts using a 3D printer. In creating any 3D objects, there’s no need for you to use special tools or additional machining. Making things instead of buying them can save you a lot, from transportation costs to shopping trip time.

To produce customized items and replacement parts, you have to use 3D modeling software. There are plenty for STL files of certain 3D models available online, while for the replacement parts for your everyday use, you need to create your own design.

By simply processing 3D objects for other people, you can earn a significant amount of money. All you have to do is to enhance your printing skills, display creative, and make an effort to market your 3D print products. Other than creating and selling designs and products, you can also start a 3D printing class.

3Dimensional printers allow you to create something new to learn. You can use 3D items to make the learning process more appealing to kids while providing them with hands-on learning. From plant or atom illustrations to puzzles, it’s a lot easier for kids to grasp abstract concepts.

See? You have plenty of interesting reasons why you need a 3D printer by your side. However, if it is you are a first-time buyer or new to 3D printing, buying the right printer can be challenging on your part.

During your decision-making process, you might be curious how much does a 3d printer cost, whether there is a cheap 3d printer available, or what the top-rated models of 3d printer for sale are. Buying the best 3d printer based on your needs can be overwhelming, especially if you have no idea about the key features you need to look for.

But, before you get frustrated throughout the buying journey, you can consider the buying guide along with honest, unbiased 3d printer reviews. We want to help you end up with the right 3 printers for your needs, so we carefully selected some of the best 3d printers that are available on the market today.

We know that you have a unique requirement that is why the buying guide we give you comes with different categories. We have sorted different 3d printer brands, and models tested them, and summarize the results to help you become a smart buyer.

In this buying guide, we gathered the top 12 best 3d printers in various categories, including best 3d printer under 500, best cheap 3d printer, best 3d printer for beginners, best 3d printer under 1000, best 3d printer under 300, best 3d printer 2019, and best 3d home 3d printer. That way, you can easily determine which product will match your requirements. We prepared a comparison table of the 12 2d printers for you to get a quick comparison of them, and check how much is a 3d printer. What’s more, we also give you a comprehensive buyer’s guide where factors to consider before buying a 3d printer are discussed and a FAQ section to improve your buying decision.

Editor’s Top Pick – Quick Overview

You might be now excited about the comprehensive reviews of the best 3d printers, let us first discuss the editor’s top pick when it comes to the best overall and the best budget 3d printer. So, let’s get to the top pick quick overview!

Best Overall 3D Printer

After spending countless hours printing, tinkering with a number of 3d printers, and debating among the team, the award-winning MakerBot Replicator+ 3D Printer got the best overall top pick.

Being the successor to the MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer, the MakerBot Replicator+ 3D Printer brought us some improvements almost in every part of it. This simply means that this 3d printer delivers a quieter and faster performance compared to the previous version. After several improvements are done, it successfully maintained its safety features and excellent design.

Additionally, it delivered us premium-grade prints using a 1.74mm PLA (polylactic acid) filament.  We find this 3d printer as a user-friendly option for hobbyists, home users, or even professionals.

Best Cheap 3D Printer

Despite having a limited budget, you still desire for the best 3d printer that works best for your 3d printing needs. Not a problem! We give you the best cheap 3d printer that can help with all your 3d printing jobs.

The Comgrow Creality Ender 3 offers professional prints without breaking the bank. This 3d printer is all about an impressive set of features. It is designed with a heated print bed measuring 220 x 220 mm along with the Z-axis that can be extended up to 250mm. Even after losing power, it can resume a print, which is a big plus for us.

This best budget 3d printer has aluminum extrusions on the framing along with a single leadscrew that drives the Z-axis from the bed’s left-hand side. Then, you can expect fast and high-quality printing jobs.

Comparison of the Top 12 Best 3D Printer

Picture Brand Filament Type Rating Check Availability Today
MakerBot PLA, ABS 4.3
Comgrow PLA, ABS, Exotics 4.3
ANYCUBIC PLA, ABS, Exotics 4.3
FlashForge PLA, ABS, Exotics 4.3
Creality 3D PLA, ABS, Exotics 4.3
TEVO PLA, ABS, PETG, Flexible, Exotics 4.0
FlashForge PLA, ABS, Exotics 4.0
Snapmaker PLA, ABS 3.8
LulzBot PLA, ABS, PETG, HIPS, PVA, PETT, PCTPE, Polyester 3.8
Tiertime PLA, ABS, TPU 3.8
BEEVERYCREATIVE PLA 3.6
Monoprice PLA, ABS 3.6

Reviews of the Top 12 Best 3D Printer

With a wide array of awesome 3d printers on the market to choose from, it might take you time to pick which one is best for you. So, to eliminate your confusion or frustrations during your buying journey, you can take advantage of our comprehensive 3d printer reviews.’

Below is our unbiased and honest review of the best 3d printer. Check out which one captures your attention, and the one that matches your budget and printing requirements!

Best Overall 3D Printer – Editor’s Top Pick

Choosing the best 3d printer is a personal choice, so we give you our top pick, which we think suits everyone’s unique requirements. With its all-around printing features, you can always rely to its performance.

1. MakerBot Replicator+ 3D Printer

MakerBot Replicator+ 3D Printer

The MakerBot Replicator+ is the upgraded version of its predecessor, which means that it offers a larger build area, better speed, a new set of printing features, and better workflow solutions. It measures 16.2 x 20.4 x 17.8 inches while its build volume is 6.5 x 11.6 x 7.6 inches, making it 25% larger than the previous version.

On its back part, you can find a USB Type-A port that you can use in connecting it to a computer. There is also an Ethernet port. From the front panel, we were able to heat the filament, launch various print jobs using LCD and dial, and perform maintenance tasks.

Strategically, you can place the Smart Extruder+ feature within the printer for minimizing the potential of being burned by it. At the back of the printer, you can find the retractable drawer where you can fit the filament pool into it.

Since it is cloud-integrated, it’s a lot easier for us to both print and monitors any printing project using our browser. As we add the print from the CAD integration, we start printing in just a matter of 2 seconds. Being a user-friendly 3d printer option, we easily changed the consumables based on environmental safety standards.

We found out that the materials used for building MakerBot Replicator+ have been tested by the CDC National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). As a result, we found no issue in breathing within our printing area. This 3d printer is designed with a front-facing filament drawer, making it easier for us to change the material types and colors without flipping it around.

Interestingly, this 3d printer is equipped with smart technology, which allowed us to focus on the design, instead of the printing process. What’s more, it is WiFi-enabled and designed with smart sensors found on the extruder, onboard streaming camera, and auto Z-homing builds plate. So, it is not surprising that throughout our product test, everything seems quick and smooth.

This 3d printer comes with a free software called MakerBot Print. Upon using the software, we were able to streamline and optimize the entire printing process. Not only that, preparing, managing, and sharing our 3D prints were also enhanced.

Another terrific improvement that happened to MakerBot Replicator+ is its latest slicer algorithm. This print preview helped us to verify any design details before going straight to the printing process. For a cleaner surface, the included rafts are an advantage along with easier breakaway support.

During our product test, we also found some downsides of the MakerBot Replicator+ 3D Printer. We found the interface a bit clunky making it hard to sync with our smartphone. We tried the MakerBot Print software to our 32-bit Windows desktop, but it failed to work. So, we decided to use the 64-bit notebook to resolve the issue. Thus, this 3d printer is a bit pricey, and the warranty is limited to 6 months.

Key Features:

  • Automated Z-homing for quick setup
  • Easy-swap Smart Extruder+
  • Build volume of 12 x 8 x 6 inches to fit a single print of a dozen smaller prints
  • Accessibility to millions of free downloadable files
  • CAD integration
  • CDC NIOSH tested
  • Easy to replace flex build plate and Smart Extruder+
  • MakerBot Print software

Pros:

  • User-friendly and promote environmental safety within the printing area
  • No tinkering required
  • Tool-free maintenance
  • Reliable and faster printing
  • Faster and easier printing of high-quality concept models
  • Compatible with MakerBot Slate Gray Tough PLA filament Bundle
  • Easy to change consumables
  • Front-facing filament drawer for quick and easy changing of material types and colors
  • Streamlined and optimized 3d printing process
  • Fewer files to manage while eliminating conversion errors when converting files to the STL format
  • Prints stick to the print bed perfectly

Cons

  • A bit pricey
  • The interface is little clunky
  • Not compatible to 32-bit Windows desktop
  • Limited warranty of 6 months

Our Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

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Best Budget 3D Printer – Editor’s Top Pick

If you think having a 3d printer means you need to overstretch your pocket, then our best cheap 3d printer will change your mind. Let’s see if this one suits your budget!

2. Comgrow Creality Ender 3

Comgrow Creality Ender 3

The Comgrow Creality Ender 3 is among the top choices of many people who want to stick with their limited budget yet want to experience high-quality 3d printing results. Apart from its incredible low-price range, there are more outstanding features that we have discovered from this best budget 3d printer.

When compared to its predecessor Creality Ender 2, the CR-10 vibe, the single leadscrew that drives the Z-axis from the frames’ left-hand side, and the aluminum frame extrusions are retained. But, unlike the Creality Ender 2 that features a cantilever style leaving the X-axis rail project into thin air, the successor can complete the loop and then close out the frame.

We also tested whether this cheap 3d printed can completely recover as well as resume a print after getting disconnected or losing power, and it still worked. Then, we were impressed with the BuildTak-like print bed sticker found at the top of the platform because only a few prints came stuck from the bed mid-print.

What makes Comgrow Creality Ender 3 from previous versions is the LCD display with the control panel is being attached to the printer instead of making it a standalone component. For a budget-friendly and compact 3d printer, we were very pleased to see a number of free accessories like USB stick, small screwdriver, hex keys, wrenches, white PLA filament sample, nozzle cleaner, wire cutters, zip ties, extra nozzles, and spatula.

Additionally, the 3d printer’s build platform is built upon the integrated base unit containing the power supply unit and mainboard. As a result, we find the printer to be stable along with enough secureness to the frame and X- and Y-axis. Not only that, the mainboard that is tucked underneath helped us preventing wire spaghetti and provided us with sleek-looking 3d items.

This cheap 3d printer delivered us with smooth motion throughout the printing process, thanks to its V-slot wheels running along the aluminum extrusions. We only have one complaint with the design, which is the slight wobble on the base. Despite making an effort to adjust the printer’s base, we still experience some instabilities. To resolve this minor issue, we used a small paper wedge.

The Comgrow Creality Ender 3 also comes with an extruder system that is well-designed. Through the Bowden style combined with a tight path, the printer provided us with flexible filaments. Although we find the filament feed system to efficient, we found out that inserting some materials into the narrow route is a bit difficult. Then, the control panel provides a vast range of settings, however, is a little shaky at times. Not only that, the control panel itself has slight delays or freezes, while the dial used in choosing the settings sometimes clicks on other options or skips around. But, overall, the LCD display is a great addition to the Creality Ender series.

Although this one is also marketed to be a pre-assembled printer kit, you need to exert extra time and effort of tinkering before you will have it running. So, it is better to be called a semi-assembled 3d printer kit.

Another downside, the assembly process may sound simple since it is being detailed in the included small pamphlet, but your patience will be tested. There were some steps with a lack of explanation and other necessary detail, which took us a bit longer to set up and run the printer. So, if you are a beginner in 3D printing, it will take 1 to 2 hours to complete the assembly.

When it comes to the print jobs, our final 3d item came out almost flawless even at a layer height of 15mm. The printer yielded us tremendous 3d printing quality, although you might encounter some minor issues on the layers. But, once you perfected the settings and calibration, you will be impressed with how well your prints come out.

Key Features:

  • Resume print function
  • Advanced extruder technology
  • V-slot wheels for smooth, durable, and noiseless printing process
  • Safely protected power supply
  • Fully open-source
  • High precision printing
  • Perfect for STEM projects
  • Ideal gift for kids allowing them to discover the 3d printers’ basic construction

Pros:

  • Offers decent print volumes
  • Incredibly affordable
  • Compact design and comes with a number of accessories at a 3d printer cheap price
  • Achievable high-quality prints
  • Tight filament path to improve the compatibility with the flexible filament
  • More upgrades available on the 3D prints

Cons:

  • The flimsy bed requires to be re-leveled
  • The 3d printer needs a manual calibration
  • There are times that the necessary adhesion to get prints to stick to the heated bed
  • The 3d printer comes with an uneven base which delivers slight wobble

Our Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

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Best 3D Printer 2019

If you are curious about which 3d printer captured the attention of most 3d printer enthusiasts and experts, we give you the best 3d printer this 2019. This 3d printer is worth mentioning to our top 12 list due to its amazing set of features.

3. ANYCUBIC MEGA I3 3D Printer

ANYCUBIC MEGA I3 3D Printer

In less than $300, you can already own a high-performing 3d printer. Not to mention, ANYCUBIC MEGA I3 3D Printer comes with incredible features and advanced innovations.

The ANYCUBIC MEGA I3 Printer was introduced to the market in 2017 and loved by many 3d printer users due to its affordability and premium performance. But, aside from its cheap 3d printer cost, we have finally discovered why it stands out this year, making it the best 3d printer 2019 on our list.

We found out that despite considered as a 3d printer kit, the ANYCUBIC MEGA I3 Printer is partially pre-assembled. This translates that it’s a lot easier and more quickly for you to build and then calibrate the 3d printer in less than an hour. Not only that, it is designed with a touchscreen rather than a typical screen combo or click wheel. As a result, it became easier for us to achieve a more comfortable 3D printing operation. Even from a far distance, we can still easily read the screen, and it is very responsive.

In case of accidental disconnection or power supply interruption, the 3d printer’s automatic resume feature can finish the printing job after being powered on again. this means that if you are working on your 3D prints in a place with an unstable power supply, this one is a handy option for you.

Meanwhile, the ANYCUBIC MEGA I3 Printer is also designed with a dedicated sensor. This sensor is effective in detecting filament outage and then pausing the print job. In fact, this kind of feature is commonly found on expensive 3D printers. So, we were surprised upon discovering it. You may also like Best Spy Camera for Car.

This 3d printer has a base part made from sheet metal, while the wide footprint seems very stable at first glance. Atop the base, you will find the heated bed, which is already attached to the Y-axis rail. This means that no need for you to calibrate the 3d printer before doing your first print. So, it’s a plus feature for us.

On the base surface, you will see the USB plug, SD card slot, and power socket. During the unboxing of the 3d printer, there was a minor screen cosmetic issue, which is the paper’s small white flecks. Overall, the 3d printer works great despite having screen crud.

As for the 3d printer’s Z-frame, it is mounted to the base along with eight screws. The frame is consisting of extruder, X motors, end stops, and 2 rods. In fact, the Bowden drive extruded is also attached to its frame. Then, the wires were decently stowed away through a spiral cable wrap.

The ANYCUBIC MEGA I3 Printer comes with a spool holder that consists of a detachable rod and 4 acrylic parts. This holder can nicely hold the loose printing filament or regular one-kilogram spools. Besides, this 3d printer also comes with a toolkit that will provide you all the necessary tools for the printer’s assembly.

This 3d printer does not only provide an 8GB SD card necessary for storing your files, but also comes with an extra USB SD card reader. If you wish to hook up the 3d printer to a Linux, Mac, or PC machine, you can use the included USB cable.

We find this 3d print kit very generous when it comes to spare parts. Apart from the spare screws and additional ed stop, you will also find spare hotend.

Key Features:

  • Two modules, and 3 plugs and 8 screws are required to plug-in
  • Equipped with 4 hand twists and Z limit switches for easy leveling
  • Patented heat bed for hassle-free sticker
  • TFT touchscreen
  • Filament detection
  • Resume print
  • Bed reaches 110 degree Celsius in 5 minutes
  • Print speed of 20 to 100mm/s
  • Supports data cable and SD card
  • Easy to clean ultra-base

Pros:

  • Works effectively with most materials
  • Responsive and fast user interface
  • Sturdy frame and quality components
  • Versatile and fast 3d printer suited for most materials
  • Spare parts included
  • Good documentation and offers decent 3d printing quality for a low cost

Cons:

  • Comes with loose cables
  • Somewhat noisy
  • Dirt specks under the printer’s touchscreen

Our Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

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Best 3D Printer Under $300

If your budget is under $300, then we give you a terrific3d printer option. This 3d printer is not only budget-friendly, but it is also designed and build to deliver excellent 3d prints. Let’s get familiar with the best 3d printer under 300 from our list!

4. FlashForge Finder 3d Printer

FlashForge Finder 3d Printer

Despite launched nearly half a decade ago, the FlashForge Finder 3d Printer maintained its relevance in the 3d printing world, thanks to its affordability, quality, and usability. Not to mention, this 3d printer got some recent fancy upgrade along with interesting features.

When compared to other budget-friendly 3d printer options, the FlashForge Finder 3d Printer is more sophisticated, combined with a color touchscreen and WiFi connectivity. Since it primarily prints on non-toxic PLA, this translates that no need to worry about the toxic fumes. Interestingly, the kit comes with all the necessary heated elements like nozzle which helped us practice safety.

The FlashForge Finder 3d Printer delivered us a quiet operation. Just don’t mind that chirping sound that lets you know that it on and fully ready to print. This means that you can print 3d objects without disturbing other people. By having an easy to remove build plate, it’s a lot easier for you to adhere to prints.

Being the best 3d print under 300, you can expect that its 3.5” touchscreen is easy to use and clear. As we first turn on the 3d printer, it gives off 3 options to choose from. Since it comes with other options, finding what you are really looking for is very intuitive and straightforward.

If you are a novice user, you will find the manual bed leveling complicated. The feature is being assisted by the retractable switch. As you find this feature not very reliable on your part, it’s better for you to go for a 3d printer that features an auto bed leveling.

For a compact 3d printer, WiFi connectivity is among the exciting features of FlashForge Finder 3d Printer. Having this feature means we were able to pick a print and then share it with the 3d printer. Not only that, we fully monitor the entire printing process. We find the connecting process of the printer to WiFi very easy. We also tried connecting it to our computer, and we find everything very simple, so we immediately proceed to the printing jobs.

We consider the FlashForge Finder 3d Printer fun to print and experiment with. It can deliver your reliability while guarantees decent prints. Other than that, it offers 3d prints with smooth surfaces and effective in handling fine details.

Since this 3d printer is also geared towards kids, you can expect that printing a number of toys will be fun and enjoying. Whether you wish to print PLA helicopters or more complicated PETG catapults, this 3d printer will give you no issue in producing different fun prints.

This 3d printer also comes with a software called FlashPrint. Although you need to encounter hassle in downloading the software, you will find it very easy to use. Using FlashPrint allows you to view, scale, rotate, move, and cut an object.

On the downside, this 3d printer is designed with the tiny print bed. This means that the size of prints can be substantially limited. Despite being an awesome printer, once you become eager to explore or experiment more, you might end up upgrading to something larger featuring a heated bed that is capable of handling more material types.

At its price, the FlashForge Finder 3d Printer lacks some essential features like filament detection. Lastly, it lacks auto bed leveling, so as mentioned, it is necessary for beginners to have this feature.

Key Features:

  • Slide-in build plate to easily remove printed objects
  • 5” color touchscreen combined with intuitive icons to promote smooth operation
  • Sturdy allot construction for stable prints
  • Flash drive, USB, and WiFi connectivity
  • Precise and easy calibration
  • Quiet the entire operation with less than 50 decibels
  • Supports 3D cloud function

Pros:

  • Quiet and reliable
  • Easy to use with clean design
  • Ideal for kids
  • Clear, sophisticated touchscreen
  • Good visibility of prints
  • Handy overhead light

Cons:

  • Handles PETG but only for small parts
  • Too small filament cartridge
  • Non-automatic bed leveling
  • The bed is not head which sometimes causes warping
  • Very small build volume

Our Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

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Best 3D Printer Under $500

After discussing the best 3d printer under $300, let us now dive into the best 3d printer under 500. We also prepare you with 2 options in this category. At the price of less than $500, you can expect better features or even higher level of printing performance.

5. Creality Ender 5 3D Printer

Creality Ender 5 3D Printer

Oftentimes, Creality Ender 5 3D Printer is tagged under $200. But, due to its quick rose through high ranks by producing high-quality prints, it now the best 3d printer under 500. But this also means that similar to FlashForge Finder 3d Printer, the price range might change. But you have nothing to worries since these 3d printers are still suitable for users on a tight budget.

The Creality Ender 5 3D Printer is designed with a large box-shaped frame made from aluminum metal that can be expanded. Having a 220 x 220 x 300mm build volume and 440 x 410 x 465mm means you will need a bit large workbench. Despite having similar X-and Y-axis measurements with Creality Ender 3, this one has more room for Z-axis. While the Y-axis motor is driving both gantry sides to achieve smoother movement, the Z-axis is being attached in the middle of the bed along with an 8mm rod. Also, check out Best All Around Canon Lens.

This 3d printer gave us a sturdy impression. Through its Meanwell power supply of 350W/24V, it allows you to heat up the bed up to 100˚ faster. Other than that, you can also find the cable management very decent since there’s no loose end involved. Then, you can run this 3d printer using a modified Marlin firmware.

When compared to Creality Ender 3 or Ender 3 Pro, building the Creality Ender 5 3D Printer is much easier. The axes are already pre-assembled, which means that you only need to focus on mounting the Z-axis to the printer’s base and then wire it up. In fact, it will only take you half an hour to assemble the printer. You can use the included documentation booklet for more useful information.

However, we discovered an issue in terms of connectors. The thermistor cables intended for the heated bed and the hot-end look identical, and they come in Chinese lettering. If not changed to another lettering, we wish that the manufacturer could use varying colors for the connectors.

When it comes to tools, the Creality is also generous with the essential accessories. In the box, you can get some pliers, a spatula, a screwdriver, a wrench, a USB cable, a 4mm nozzle cleaner, and an SD card along with an SD card reader. Besides, the kit also comes with a spare nozzle and 200-gram PLA filament that you can use in your first prints.

Using the transport mechanism, you can feed the filament into the Bowden tube. However, this task is not as easy as you may think. Once the material is slightly bent, it ends up resisting the feeding into the Bowden tube’s very small entry. To resolve this issue, you can try cutting the filament into a steep angle to feel the material quickly.

One of the tests we’ve done with the Creality Ender 5 3D Printer is the PLA Polypealr Tower. In this test, we decided to use the Prusament PLA Galaxy Black. With some few dropped loops below the bridges, overall, the print job turned out great.

The provided SD card can hold a Cura 3.4.1 or Cura 15 version, but only available for Windows. Since there are no Linux or Mac profiles, you can opt for downloading the Cura directly from the Ultimaker site. Then, you need to enter the profile data and all the measurements.

Overall, the Creality Ender 5 3D Printer may not be perfect, but with some practice and a little care, it produces great prints you are expecting for. This 3d printer is an affordable and interesting tool for tinkerers, hobbyists, and makers.

Key Features:

  • Dual Y-axis synchronization for flexibility and reliability
  • Downshift Z-axis to move more smoothly and prevent points of failure
  • The stable power supply of 350W for longer stable printing
  • Adapted the classic Cartesian design
  • Print speed of ≤180mm/s
  • 1-year warranty
  • Easy leveling method
  • Automatic storing of print record after power off
  • Continue printing after power on
  • Industrial-grade circuit board

Pros:

  • Delivers high quality prints
  • Easy to assemble
  • Upgradable and hackable
  • The magnetic bed allows easy removal of prints
  • Provides higher print speed of 80mm/s without quality issues

Cons:

  • Manual print bed leveling
  • Tricky filament loading
  • Printer menu lacks a few functions
  • The magnetic bed is not quite durable and is flimsy

Our Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

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6. TEVO Tornado 3D Printer

TEVO Tornado 3D Printer

If looking for the best 3d printer under 500, then you can consider trying the TEVO Tornado 3D Printer. This 3d printer has a decent reputation in the market and known for its high ratings in terms of affordability, build quality, and print quality.

The TEVO Tornado 3D Printer takes pride in its durable aluminum frame, and its E3D Bowden extruder is full metal and long-distance to achieve more creativity. At the price of less than $500, you can enjoy a lot of features along with impressive specifications.

This 3d printer was created as a rival of CR10 3D Printer but had a few additional features. The heat bed of TEVO Tornado 3D Printer can heat up more quickly compared to other models like Anet E12 or CR10 because it uses AC voltage instead of the mainboard. The printer can heat up in 3 minutes or even less, and its insulating capacity is known to be energy-efficient.

We find this 3d printer very to assemble and only requires a few tools. In the box, a sharpened scrapper and Allen wrenches are including. What’s more, you can also find a spare build tack sheet and a pre-tested print.

This 3d printer under 500 has a 150mm/s maximum print speed while its printing volume is 300 x 300 x 400mm. Its layer resolution is made up of 50 to 300 microns. The printer is designed with a platform board that is coated with aluminum and features an LCD screen. Although this 3d printer does not come with a layer fan cooling and is not pre-assembled, we still consider is among the simplest 3d printers to assemble. You may also like Best Nikon D3400 Memory Card.

As you enter the world of 3D printing, the assembly should be one of your main concerns. Once you purchased a 3d printer that is complicated to assemble or comes with incomplete instructions, the quality of your 3d objects can be impacted.

We find the assembly of this 3d printer very simple because it only comes with 3 large components such as the control box, the base, and the X- and Y-axis. You will only need 12 screws to assemble the entire 3d printer, which will give you an extremely stable printer assembly. It is also worth mentioning it offers an easy to follow instructions, combined with extra online resources for improved assistance.

When it comes to the print quality, the 3d objects produced by TEVO Tornado 3D Printer is exceptional. After picking the filament type that best suits the 3d design, you can enjoy clear and precise creations.

The files being included on the printer’s SD card are considered as basic. Although a free copy of Repetier Host software is a bit outdated, it is still somewhat helpful. Other parts of the printer are in STL and Gcode format. From the user’s guide, you will find URLs intended for free software and the configuration for Slic3r software, as well as the user-friendly manual in pdf format.

Key Features:

  • More accessible and easier printing
  • Silicon heat bed
  • Complete with step-by-step manual, unpacking guide, and toolkit
  • Improved Y-axis mounts for the faster setup process
  • Wireless printing
  • LCD controller screen
  • Print via SD card
  • Maximum print speed of 150mm/s
  • Full aluminum frame design
  • Bowden style Titan extruder
  • Improved hotend design
  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • File print format of STL and Gcode

Pros:

  • High accuracy 3d printing quality
  • Very stable structure
  • Prints larger items
  • Quick heat time
  • Attractive 3d printer price
  • Titan extruder is designed to print with different filaments
  • Very easy to assemble

Cons:

  • Takes a long period to boot
  • Some surfaces have slight warping
  • Lack of spool holder

Our Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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Best 3D Printer Under $1000

In the amount of less than $1000, you can purchase a 3d printer that can meet your high expectations. However, you need to keep in mind that price is not the only deciding factor, and an expensive 3d printer does not necessarily mean that you will get the best one. You also need to consider the key features and discover what the pros and cons of a certain 3d printer are. So, we give you excellent options and decide which one can qualify for your requirements.

7. FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro

FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro

Another best 3d printer under 500 that is good to consider is the FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro. This is among the all-around dual extrusion 3D printers that we have encountered at an affordable price.

With its heated build plate, sturdy construction, and build chamber that is fully enclosed, it’s no surprise why the FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro can handle multi-material printing using materials that are temperatures-sensitive. For rapid prototyping, small to mid-sized businesses, hobbyists, and consumers can rely on this 3d printer.

Our first impression of FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro was it has a user-friendly and stylish design. Unlike the previous versions, this one is designed with a sturdy metal frame. Having a unibody, the printer can create more stable vertical movements while increasing the moving parts’ stability during the operation.

Being an open-source 3D printer, it offers compatibility to multiple slicing software such as Cura, ReplicatorG, Simplify3D, and FlashPrint.

Additionally, this 3d printer is equipped with a 6.3mm thick aluminum alloy build plate. This building platform is very sturdy too which offers a dependable thermal conductivity effective in preventing deformation when heated. Since the plate is not bendable because of its thickness, you need to affix the provided build plate sticker before the initial startup.

One of the downsides of FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro is it does not support an auto-bed leveling. Instead, it is being equipped with a 3-point metal leveling system. But this system allows stable and finer adjustment.

This 3d printer is designed and built with a removable cover and closable door, which can handle any temperature-stable 3D printing conditions. Having this advantage is helping, especially when you plan to operate with ABS. Besides, it will help you in keeping out foreign particles and dust while adding extra safety measures. If you wish to print with PLA, it is essential for you to open the door, and then remove the top cover. That is to allow the airflow since the PLA results are better with the well-ventilated print chamber.

Interestingly, this 3d printer under 500 comes with a dual extruder. Instead of using the IDEX-based system where nozzles can independently move on the X-axis, the setup of FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro is known to utilize 2 aligned print heads. Then, the printer delivers a quicker dual extrusion print, thanks to reduced print heads’ traveling time. Although a little tinkering is required in adjusting the retraction times, it will be helped us to avoid oozing that may produce by the inactive nozzle.

Key Features:

  • Sturdy metal frame
  • Build volume of 8.9 x 5.8 x 5.9 inches
  • 3mm thick aviation level aluminum plate
  • Metal platform support with 10mm rod for precise Z axis movement
  • Variety of filament compatibility
  • Enclosed chamber for protecting and insulating ABS prints

Pros:

  • Designed with LED light to illuminate the printing area
  • Error-free button board functions
  • The new integrated LCD screen
  • Repositioned SD slot for more convenient access
  • Pre-installed front door
  • USB and SD card connectivity
  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux

Cons:

  • Manual bed leveling
  • Two included nozzles are not at the same height
  • Balancing the table will take a few attempts
  • The table is a bit small which limits for making bigger projects
  • Spools are not sturdy and cause some clogs

Our Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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8. Snapmaker Original 3-in-1 3D Printer

Snapmaker Original 3-in-1 3D Printer

Apart from being a versatile 3-in-1 3D printer, CNC carver, and laser engraver, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about Snapmaker Original 3-in-1 3D Printer. Not to mention, it is one of the compact 3D printers we have tested.

The Snapmaker Original 3-in-1 3D Printer is designed to offer 3 distinct functions and is a full metal printer. It’s aluminum frame is encasing all the components and wiring, except for some tidy cables.

One of the interesting things about this compact 3d printer is its 3 interchangeable modules that you can swap onto the X-axis rail. Aside from precise 3d printing, this printer is also capable of CNC milling and laser engraving.

This best 3d printer under 1000 comes with an FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) printing module, which accepts a standard filament spool of 1.75mm. The 3d printer’s bed can be heated up to 180˚C. However, its build volume of 125mm square limits the prints in size. We find this printer easy to use, and its LCD touchscreen promotes smooth operations. Not only that, it is easy to assemble and bundled with Snapmaker3D software.

With the help of its laser engraving module with 200mV laser, the Snapmaker Original 3-in-1 3D Printer can burn designs into leather, woods, and other related materials. As for the CBC module, it allows the printer to carve foam, acrylic, woods, or even carbon fiber.

Unlike unboxing other 3d printers that come in wooden crates and brown cardboard boxes with a mountain of foam peanuts and polystyrene to wade through, the Snapmaker Original 3-in-1 3D Printer gave us a positive impression. The printer is packed using a compact briefcase along with a little handle atop. It might still be a cardboard box, at least the packaging is more reminiscent of a new laptop or a game console.

In the box, you will find a filament holder, a base plate, a control box, 3 linear modules, touchscreen controls, PEI sheet and headed bed, and a power pack. You can also find a sticker, rubber feet, screws, cables, a set of tools, and 3-function cubes that handle CNC milling, laser engraving, and 3D printing. Then, a pair of safety goggles, squares of wood intended for engraving, a filament spool, a USB drive, and an extra PEI sheet and print bed.

When it comes to the assembly of the 3D printer, we find it easy to put together all the parts. With IKEA’s build guide, the instructions were laid out clearly, and it only took about 25 minutes to assemble the printer. Thanks to its 3 linear modules making up the printer’s foundation, the entire assembly process is quick and easy. These modules are identical in screw holes, dimensions, and fittings. Additionally, the modules are consisting of motors, bearings, rails, and wiring that are essential for each axes.

However, we also observed two minor issues during the assembly process. We find the included screwdriver to be abysmal. It keeps on falling apart in our hands. So, we end up using our hex keys to make the assembly time quicker. Other than that, the control box was mislabeled, where the labels do not align with the intended peripherals. Although it’s a minor issue, proper labeling is necessary when wiring up.

In the calibration process, start by leveling the heated bed with the help of touchscreen controls. This step is very easy since it’s a combination of jogging the module and manual adjustments on the vertical axes through the touchscreen. the next step is to load up the filament. When loading the filament into the extruded, we find no issue. On the other hand, since it’s a closed box, there might be a problem in the case of filament jam. As for the filament spool holder’s position to the unit’s rear, it feels counter-intuitive.

3D Printing

During the 3D printing operation, the printer is very noisy. There were high decibel levels to the point that you could not comfortably. On the bright side, the 3D printing results were very impressive. The printer will deliver you with immaculate and fine details.

Meanwhile, the slicing of the 3D models is made possible by Cura inside the printer’s own software. The results using the standard version of Cura paid solution like Simplify3D, and Slic3r are also decent.

Laser Engraving

When it comes to the laser engraving operation, the conversion process from 3D printer to laser engraver may only take a minute, depending on the digit’s dexterity. You need to focus a point, which is a process that uses the machine’s Z-height and a focusing ring so that the material thicknesses can be accommodated. We noticed that Snapmaker Original 3-in-1 3D Printer lacks end stops for the CNC and laser functions. This means that you need to set an origin point in every job. Across the printer’s software and attached screen, you can whip the module based on your desired origin as well as lock the coordinates effortlessly.

Using the laser module, you have 4 engraving options such as text, vector, greyscale, and black & white. The text option allows you to directly rattle off a quick engraving inside the printer. The greyscale and black & white options work with standard formats that deliver detailed work. Then, the vector option is compatible with SVGs. For best results, it is essential for you to consider enough time practicing to find the right laser power and work speed.

CNC Carving

In the CNC carving, the printer’s software tends to be unhelpful at times since the cutting is far different from the 3D printing. There is inconsistency across the 3 functions, while the steps in performing them can be jarring. So, we consider the software’s functionality in terms of CNC carving to be an Alpha. As an alternative, the Gcode generation method can be used that involved Autodesk’s Fusion 360.

The CNC carving preparation of Snapmaker Original 3-in-1 3D Printer is limited to flat SVG files. Although you can intricate 2.5D pieces, you are required to prepare the Gcode outside the machine. Alternatively, it is possible for you to achieve the 2.5D effect by layering the different cuts together.

Key Features:

  • One machine with 3 interesting functions
  • High precision with full metal design
  • Ideal for parent-child study, rapid prototyping, STEAM education, and personal hobbies
  • Easy and powerful software
  • A USB cable and USB disk file transfer
  • 5” color touchscreen
  • Supports Windows and macOS
  • Build volume of 125 x 125 x 125mm
  • Later resolution of 50 to 300 microns
  • Head bed up to 80 degrees Celsius
  • File formats of STL and OBJ
  • The laser power of 200mW
  • Laser engraving work area of 125 x 125mm
  • CNC carving work area of 90 x 90 x 50mm
  • The spindle speed of 19,000 RPM

Pros:

  • Responsive and fast UI through the handheld touchscreen
  • The effortless transition between three functions
  • Feels premium and very sturdy
  • Comes with FDM printing module that accepts 1.75 filament spool
  • Burns leather, wood, and other similar materials
  • Packed using a compact briefcase
  • Easy to assemble
  • Generous free accessories

Cons:

  • Lack of control over the CNC spindle speed
  • Some labeling errors may lead to confusion
  • Small work volume
  • Accompanying software needs improvement, especially in the CNC carving

Our Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)

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Best 3D Printer for Beginners

It doesn’t matter if you are new to the 3D printing world. Why? That is because there are 3D printers geared towards beginners. As a beginner, you might expect that you will have a 3d printer that is easy to operate with no complex steps. In these sections, we give 2 interesting options, and we hope that one of these printers will match your requirements.

9. LulzBot Mini 3D Printer

LulzBot Mini 3D Printer

The LulzBot Mini 3D Printer is known in the market as an open-source 3D printer that users can utilize on a day-to-day basis. But, this best 3d printer for beginners has something more to offer.

Designed to be part of the fused filament fabrication family, the LulzBot Mini 3D Printer pushes the molten thermoplastic filament into the heated nozzle. It produces a solid object by effective depositing of a single thin layer of plastic after one another. It comes with a Cartesian frame design made from black powder-coated metal, combined with linear rails and 3D printed components.

The tool head has a direct drive design, while the hotend and the filament extrusion are handled within the single unit. Then, the filament can be fed atop from the spool that is suspended overhead. Since it is a single extrusion printer, it can only print one spool of filament at a time.

During the product test, we noticed that it has no SD card slot and control panel. Instead, there’s a USB slot and a power button. For you to operate the printer, it will require tethering to a PC.

As we opened the box, we see the LulzBot Mini 3D Printer along with the supporting documentation and a small set of tools being securely packed using a foam casing. Then, the moving parts are also secured with zip-ties and foam blocks. We find the documentation very impressive since it is clear and comprehensive, and comes with 3 parts.

The first documentation includes the warning and safety notice, quality assurance record, regional conformity declaration, and packing list. The second part contains the printer’s poster along with parts that offer quick references and resources and an explanation of terminology. Then, the last part is eventually the start manual, where you can find the step-by-step guide, loading filament, software installation, calibration, and the first print.

The LulzBot Mini 3D Printer can print different types of filaments such as PLA, ABS, PVA, HIPS, Polyester (Tritan), wood filled filaments, copper, and bronze filaments, conductive ABS and PLA, PETT. PETG, PCTPE, Alloy 910, Nylon, Polycarbonate, and more. Be aware that printing using carbon fiber filament is not recommended for this 3d printer. Although these materials have a high degree of durability and strength, they are abrasive that can degrade the hotend performance over time.

Being an open-source 3d printer, this printer allowed our team to use various 3D printing software. As a standard software program, the Cura LulzBot Edition was bundled with the 3d printer, while other compatible programs can be also used such as MatterControl, Printrun, Slic3r, BotQueue, and OctoPrint.

The Cura LulzBot Edition is considered as Cura’s forked version and does not have a similar slicing speed or interface that the current release has. By default, this software program offers a series of quick print settings organized based on quality and material. From its dropdown menu, you can select the presets and choose between high detail, high speed, and standard quality prints. However, the settings are too limited. In such situations, we prefer using the tinker and expert mode. Once the 3d printer is ready for printing, it’s time for you to operate the print control panel to do its job. Besides, this panel can both monitor the status of the printer itself and the job.

Since the LulzBot Mini 3D Printer has a build volume of 152 x 152 x 158, it can accommodate objects that are 6 inches square. Other than that, the print-head is also capable of move precisely and quickly within the space.

Before the printing operation starts, the 3D printer will take two small steps to ensure everything will run smoothly. First, it will clean the nozzle to remove any residue or gunk and get clean prints. After that, it will calibrate the print-head. Because this printer only moves the bed through Y-axis, the bed-leveling becomes less tricky. After completing the two steps, the print-head will move into position and then start to heat up the hotend.

During the printing operation, the 3d printer produces noise. It creates a lot of high-pitched whining and squealing. On the bright side, the adhesion’s first layer to the print bed is reliable. This is made possible by the PEI print surface adhering to the glass plate with the help of semi-permanent adhesive. So, the PLA filament sticks very well even without adding some coercion.

We find the prints themselves evenly fabricated, robust, solid, and superfine. Since the nozzle size is 0.5mm, the printer is pre-disposed to print large objects more quickly in high detail.

Overall, the LulzBot Mini 3D Printer may have a premium price tag. However, you can expect for a well-built printer. It comes comprehensive documentation, plenty of filament type options, and high-quality 3D prints. But you will encounter noisy printing operations.

Key Features:

  • Easy to carry handle
  • Auto-bed leveling
  • Auto-nozzle cleaning
  • Low maintenance PEI print surface
  • Print volume of 152 x 152 x 158mm
  • Layer resolution of 50 to 500 micron
  • Print speed of 275mm/s
  • Freedom to use any compatible software programs such as Cura LulzBot Edition, MatterControl, Printun, BotQeueu, OctoPrint, and more

Pros:

  • Perfect for beginners
  • Excellent documentation
  • Expandable and hackable
  • Consistent and reliable results
  • Robust, solid designs
  • Auto-calibration and auto-cleaning nozzle

Cons:

  • Noisy and pricey
  • Requires PC tethering
  • Lack of on-board controls
  • No SD card slot

Our Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)

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10. Tiertime UP Mini 2 3D Printer

Tiertime UP Mini 2 3D Printer

As a beginner, the Tiertime UP Mini 2 3D Printer gives you a more affordable 3D printing option than the LulzBot Mini. What’s more, you can also find a unique set of features.

Let’s start with the Tiertime UP Mini 3D Printer’s design and discover we consider it as another option for the best 3d printer for beginners.

This 3d printer has a compact design, and the same way to LulzBot Mini. It also falls into the category of fused filament fabrication. On the heated nozzle, it pushes the molten thermoplastic filament and then builds the solid object by depositing a single plastic thin layer after one another. Additionally, the print-head only moves on the Y-axis, while the print bed moves on the X- and Z-axis.

What makes the Tiertime UP Mini 2 Printer unique from our list is the HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter, which is a vital part of the printer’s design. This filter helps in reducing the nasty particles and toxic fumes, making it one of the most comfortable 3d printers you can use at desk.

As for the printer’s access parts, there are removable panels located on the top and magnetic doors placed on the front and back. However, we discovered some flaws in these doors. They are vulnerable to bumping against the frame once you close them and a little loose on the hinges.

On the front, you will find the printer’s touchscreen control panel allowing you to access most of the features for printing, calibration, initialization, and configuration settings. The printer is designed with heated build plates along with UP flex print board or interchangeable build plate. It comes with a print area of 120 x 120 x 120mm and a layer thickness of 0.15/0.20/0.25/0.30/0.35mm.

Additionally, the standard filament size that you can use for this 3D printer is 1.75mm. Its platform leveling boats an auto nozzle height detection. What’s more, it also features a blackout to pause the operation and then resume printing.

However, the Tiertime UP Mini 2 Printer lacks the SD card slot, so do not expect that you can directly upload STL files. Alternatively, you can connect the printer to a WiFi network or even try tethering it to a PC through USB. After that, the 3d printer can then manage to use the UP-Studio software.

This 3d printer has 4 beds, where the 2 beds are used for printing with standard filament while the last two are intended for flexible materials. These print beds slide and out without any hint of an issue. On the other side, the setup documentation fails to specify which bed should be inserted first. So, it is best for you to ensure that you have the right bed in place before printing anything.

We find the filament caddy of the printer not as innovative as the HEPA filter. On the bright side, it helps in preserving and protecting the filament against premature spoiling. That is because the filament caddy is separated from the unit, so it can easily prevent the filament from being exposed to the air. Not only that, the caddy is entirely enclosed along with a little Bowden tuber that feeds the filament into the back of part of the printer.

The Timetier UP Min 2 3D Printer is optimized to work with ABS filament. So, you can expect less odor produced during the printing process. No to mention, it offers 17 color options and has superior mechanical properties. During the product test, we made 3DBenchy, Side Release Buckle, Carabiner Frame, Bottle Opener, Bike Lights Mounting System, and V29 Survival Whistle that you can download from Thingiverse.

In terms of print quality, the 3d printer offered highly satisfactory results. We were able to complete each 3D object very quickly. For the bonus, the printing operation on this printer is pretty quiet.

Key Features:

  • Built-in HEPA air filtration
  • Blackout recovery
  • Onboard file storage
  • 51-decibel average noise when opening the door
  • Heated build platform with UP flex print board or perforated print board
  • Compatible with WiFi and USB
  • The operating system of Windows 7, 8, 10, and Mac
  • UP Studio and iOS APP bundled software
  • 1-year warranty

Pros:

  • Hassle-free printing operation
  • Separate filament caddy to prevent premature spoiling of filament
  • Very quiet operation
  • Touchscreen controls
  • Automatic bed leveling
  • Interchangeable print beds
  • Optimized setup for ABS printing

Cons:

  • Inadequate documentation
  • Filament caddy is not expandable
  • Lack of SD card slot
  • Basic slicing software program

Our Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)

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Best Home 3D Printer

3D printers are not only designed for business use or to be operated at offices. There are also 3D printers dedicated to home use. Whether you want to purchase a printer for your business, hobby, or fun things while at the corners of your home, the best home 3d printer is available for you. Since we do not want you to get stressed choosing the right one for you, below are the two home 3d printers that you might like to consider.

11. BEETHEFIRST 3D Printer

BEETHEFIRST 3D Printer

Created to provide quality prints while producing actual 3d designs in mind, the BEETHEFIRST 3D Printer can match your modern living, and home 3d printing needs. With its compact design with a built-in handle that can hold tools, filament, tape, and almost everything you need for printing operation, you can easily transport the printer.

The BEETHEFIRST 3D Printer has a unique and beautiful design, which is almost donut-shaped yet with rounded corners and square sides. While the built platform moves in and out, and vertically as well, the extruder tends to stay atop the printer and then, moves from side to side. At the top, you will find a string of white-blue lights. This printer primarily designed to be user-friendly, so we were not surprised why all the wiring is mostly internal, and the extruder remains within the frame.

For the most part, the assembly of this 3d printer is a straightforward job, thanks to the clear printed guide. From the Beeverycreative’s website, you can install the bundled Beesoft software and then attach the USB and power cords. Using the free 3M blue painter’s tape, make sure to cover the build platform, and after that, you need to mount the platform to the 3d printer. Lastly, place the spool holder rod within the filament spool and mount this assembly inside the printer.

The BEETHEFIRST 3D Printer is designed to use PLA plastic printing filament, and the compatible size to fit within its petite frame is 0.73lb spools. After booting up the software program, the instructions from the maintenance menu can be then accessed to load the filament. Snaking the filament through a hole located atop the spool and through the coiled tube, ensuring that it will reach the extruder assembly is necessary.

The Beesoft software is frequently updated and available for Windows, Linux, and Mac. However, using installing the software on Windows 7, the program ends up crashing soon as we connected the 3d printer to our PC. To print object glitch-free, a Mac running OS X Mavericks would be a better option. When everything is ready and running, you can choose whether you want to load the object file from the image gallery or from your collection. After pressing the Print button, you can utilize the menu settings to adjust the density and resolution, and include supports or draft.

Once you save the file and the object file is sliced based on the parameters and resolution you specified, the extruded will start heating up to the right temperature. Then, the printing operation will commerce.

When it comes to printing quality, there two resolution choices, such as high resolution and low resolution. As we used the low resolution, the printed objects looked crude and seem to be brittle. But, at high resolution, we got better results.

Overall, the BEETHEFIRST 3D Printer is elegantly designed that is simple to set up and run. It delivers great print quality. However, it is expensive, has a small build area, and the software’s Windows 7 still has some improvement needed.

Key Features:

  • Portable 3d printer with elegant design
  • Build volume of 7.5 x 5.3 x 4.9 inches
  • Designed to use 1.75mm PLA filament
  • Compatible with Mac, Linux, and Windows
  • 50-micron resolution
  • Built-in handle
  • Includes one spool of black filament and a USB cable for connectivity

Pros:

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Great 3D print quality at high resolution
  • Easy to remove printed objects from the print bed
  • The built-in handle can hold all the necessary tools and accessories for 3D printing

Cons:

  • Expensive for its capabilities
  • The software might crash when loading under Windows
  • Small build volume
  • Fail to print when not connected to a PC during the print period

Our Rating: 3.6 out of 5 stars (3.6 / 5)

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12. Monoprice Maker Select V2 3D Printer

Monoprice Maker Select V2 3D Printer

In case you are looking for a budget-friendly 3d printer for home use, the Monoprice Maker Select V2 3D Printer can be a good addition to your prospect options. This best home 3d printer sits between a fully assembled printer and a DIY kit. This means that you can stay away from daunting initial setup.

This home 3d printer is based on the design of Original Prusa i3 MK2, where it comes with an open structure. But the difference is that it has better parts and a more stable build. It does not provide a dual extruder setup, and by default, it works great with PLA filaments. On the downside, once you use more advanced materials, the limitations will start to be exposed.

The Monoprice Maker Select V2 3D Printer is built with a robust aluminum frame and comes with a separate control box. This means that the printer offers a larger footprint. Then, the control knob is designed with a knob-operated LCD screen displaying some statistics like heating components temperature and print progress. You can also find the SD and USB slots at the control box, including the 110V/220V switch. We were impressed with how the cables are well-organized, so making contact with some of the moving parts during the printing operation can be prevented.

Instead of being mounted on the control box, the spool holder of Monoprice Maker Select V2 3D Printer is attached atop of the frame. This 3d printer is built with a heated print bed, which translates to the usage of Nylon, ABS, and any high-temperature materials. However, it lacks upgrades in several areas.

As for the features, the 3d printer offers an open filament system, so you can use third-party filaments with a common size of 1.75mm. It is also compatible with various slicer software, including Cura, Repetier, and Simplify3D. It comes with a nice build volume, making you not limited to small items. Although it will require you a lot of work and extend or replace the Z-axis frame, the build volume can be expanded.

We noticed that Monoprice Maker Select V2 3D Printer lacks some features like it has no filament sensor. You will also find no auto bed leveling system and WiFi option. Other than that, you need to add some upgrades on your own. But it comes with a reliable SD card compatibility for offline printing and USB connection necessary for tethered printing.

This 3d printer arrived on a semi-assembled package, where most of the parts are secured in place. With the help of an instructional manual, the setup process became very straightforward. First, it is essential for you to mount the print bed frame and Z-axis together. To secure the setup, you can use the included screws. Second, connect the different cables based on their corresponding places. The good thing is that everything is labeled correctly, so there’s no room to mess up with the wiring. Lastly, install the spool holder atop the frame.

No need for you to deal with soldering job. Then, the assembly time will only take 1 to 2 hours. Although the initial assembly process is relatively simple, the bed leveling process might give you a frustrating experience. That is because there was no bed leveling assist in the interface. Alternatively, you can watch videos online to learn how it should be done.

With proper tune-up as well as equipped with upgrades, the Monoprice Maker Select V2 3D Printer produces 3d objects with impressive smoothness and accuracy. This 3d printer does not require a lot of maintenance, but it needs to be re-leveled after 4 to 5 3d prints. Be aware that it is a tinkerer’s machine, and if you wish a printer where you can plug-and-play, this one will not work best for you.

Key Features:

  • Heated build plate
  • Includes sample PLA filament and a 2GB micro SD card
  • Almost fully assembled
  • Compatible with commercial and open-source software like Cura, Simplify3D, and Repetier
  • 8 x 8 inches build plate with 7” vertical spacing to accommodate larger or more complex 3d models
  • Resolution of 100 to 400 micron
  • The printing speed of 70mm/s
  • Maximum extruder temperature of 240˚C

Pros:

  • Good build size and sturdy construction
  • Great print quality
  • Open filament system
  • Compatible with various slicers
  • Plenty of available upgrades and parts
  • 1-year warranty

Cons:

  • No bed level process assist
  • No enclosure
  • No WiFi connection
  • No filament sensor
  • No auto bed leveling system

Our Rating: 3.6 out of 5 stars (3.6 / 5)

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Buying Guide for the Best 3D Printer

Why buy accessories or home decor when you can create a design and print a unique piece using the best 3d printer?

Once you purchase a 3D printer, there’s no way for you not to make personalized items. All you have to do is to and modify particular designs, and the 3D printer will do its part. From hobby up to business purposes, 3D printing delivers a wide array of possibilities.

A decade ago, most of the average 3D printers were industrial fixtures that cost thousands of dollars. Luckily, today’s 3D printer can then sit on the desk as well as cost less. In fact, you can find the best 3d printer under 300, 500, or 1000.

However, it’s not enough that you know that a certain 3D printer is printing effectively. You also need to consider other deciding factors to ensure that you will be purchasing a printer according to your expectations and 3D printing needs.

It’s a nice idea to determine first what you really want to print. Take note that there’s a big difference between a 3D printer for industrial-scale and desk production parts. You need to consider where you are going to use the prints, how often would you like to print, or how much time you can willingly invest when printing.

Be aware that there are various 3D printer styles to choose from. Most hobbyists use FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) printer, which extrudes hot materials and filaments to produce 3D objects. Printer styles like DLP (Digital Light Processing) and SLA (Stereolithography) use liquid resin. Then, SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) printers utilize powder rather than resin.

You also need to seek for safety features because it translates great design. While FDM printers cool the nozzle as well as heat the print bed once the job is completed, other printers might move the nozzle away from the 3D objects when the print finishes avoiding excess filament formation and heat damage. Besides, make sure to 3D printers with high-quality features. Other than dual filament support, touchscreen user interface, and heated glass bed, features like build volume and software compatibility can impact your 3D printing experience.

In this section, we give you a comprehensive list of factors to consider before buying the best 3d printer.

  • Objects to Print

Household Objects. These objects are not capable of enduring too much moisture or light exposure. So, it is best for you to use FDM printers along with PLA (Polylactic Acid), PETG (Polyethylene Glycol), or ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) for filament. If the 3D object will be used for food, use PETG filament due to its food-safe properties.

Tools. With sufficient infill, FDM printers with ABS prints can be substantial. But, for a more professional setting, these printers may not cut it.

Outdoor Objects. These are items expected to withstand extreme environmental conditions. For outdoor prints like plant pots or lawn decorations, it is best to use ABS filament since it will not easily break down in the sunlight.

Professional Products. With 3D printing, you can start creating original components. In fact, a lot of 3D printed objects are found in various industries, from dentistry to aerospace and automotive. In a professional 3D printing setting, resin printers are commonly used.

Artwork. It might be possible to create several beautiful artworks using FDM printers, but the best option is to invest in resin printers to achieve prints with accurate details.

  • 3D Printer Style

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) Printer. The FDM printers work by heating the filament and then feeding it into a tube. After that, it will be extruded into shape in the X-, Y-, and Z-axes. These printer styles are best known for their horizontal layer lines. You can choose between Delta and Cartesian style frame construction. With Delta style construction, the extruder will be moved through 3 motors on equally spaced rods, while the Cartesian style construction moves the print bed along the Y-axis and leave the X- and Z-axes on their own motors. But, for better results and greater control, most FDM printers come with Cartesian style frame construction.

Digital Light Processing (DLP) Printer. The DLP printers use vat polymerization in creating every later of the 3D object. After light targeted a resin point, the polymers harden into place as a reaction. 3D objects produced by DLP printers are known to be very smooth.

Stereolithography (SLA) Printer. The SLA printers use the photo-solidification process, which creates a chemical reaction to form the layers of the objects. Since the photons focus to a particular point, the SLA effectively solidifies. With precise printing operation, high quality and smooth prints with very fine details can be expected.

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) Printers. The SLS printers can create a new layer by simply focusing the layer to the point within the vat of powder. Once the laser moves to the next point, the powder will then solidify. This printing process is perfect for printing detailed objects or industrial parts.

  • Filaments

PLA. This type of filament is plant-derived plastic and degrades after long periods of sun exposure. Besides, it can be easily deteriorated once exposed to excessive moisture. This is an ideal material for indoor applications, but not recommended for outdoor needs.

ABS. This filament is known to be a sturdy plastic and an ideal option for outdoor prints. To properly set, it will require plenty of heat. It works best with enclosed 3D printers because they are effective in keeping the surrounding temperature warm. Make sure to use this filament type in a room that is well-ventilated.

PETG. This filament type might be a food-safe plastic, but it does not necessarily mean that the 3D printed objects are fully food-safe. So, it is necessary that 3D objects produced form PETG filament are well-finished using food-grade epoxy before food contact. Be aware that FDM printers notoriously create layers that can easily trap bacteria, food, and moisture.

  • Liquid Resins

Standard Resin. This type of resin is often available in gray, white, and clear colors. Although it is not robust enough for final products, you can use it for creating small gadgets or prototypes.

Tough Resin. This resin type is commonly used in engineering applications as well as professional settings. When compared to standard resin, it is more physically resistant, making it great for higher impact uses.

Medical-Grade Resin. This resin is widely used in medical fields, from custom dental work to hearing aids.

  • Safety Features

Look for safety features to improve your 3D printing experience. Aside from automatic nozzle cooling, you also need to seek for a safety feature that can automatically shut off the heated print head once the print job is done. The nozzle should also capable of automatic retraction when the print job is complete or pause to avoid excess filament that can damage prints.

  • Heated Bed

Be aware that the 3D prints’ first few layers are essential to the foundation of the final product. With a heated bed, you can be sure that the foundation is solid, well-formed, as well as sticks in place. Although discovering the ideal temperature may not be as easy as choosing the right filament, you can still achieve it by experimenting.

  • User Interface

Instead of dedicating your time navigating the menu through a rotary knob, why not save time and effort using a quality touchscreen interface. This feature is not limited to expensive 3d printers. You can find 3d printer for sale with touchscreen UI at a very affordable price.

  • Axis Adjustability

During the fine-tuning process for 3d printers, loosening or tightening the tension on any of the three axes are often involved. So, it is essential for you to purchase a 3D printer that can easily access the belt tension adjustment. That way, you have the best opportunity to save time in making some adjustments or removing components.

  • Print Resume Functions

One of the nightmares that you may encounter by having a 3d printer without a print resume function is a ruined design caused by power supply interruption and other elements. This feature will help you ensure that the completion of your 3D project will not be interrupted during unexpected pauses take place. In short, rather than starting over, the 3D creation will resume and be completed.

  • Resolution

Do not forget to consider the printer resolution, which is measured in microns. FDM printers on the lower end have 25 microns, while resin printers on the higher end have 100 microns. With FDM printers, you can easily adjust the resolution of the final print. Take note that belt tension and layer height are two of the most critical factors to achieve smooth printing. To make smooth printing more achievable, make sure to find a 3D printer that can be easily adjusted with higher microns.

  • Software

A 3D printer uses software through 2 main sources, the computer used in creating 3D printer files and the printer itself. The software found on the PC is a slicer. Slicing occurs as you create a file a print, Gcode being the commonly used file type. There are a number of slicing programs you can find online. The two most popular options are:

Slic3r. This is a free Gcode slicing program developed by Alessandro Ranellucci.

Cura. This is an open-source slicing program for 3D printers created by Ultimaker.

  • Print Speed

Most beginners assume that the faster the print speed is, the better. However, it’s nice to know the truth before you buy a new 3D printer. Be aware that the faster it prints, the lower print quality will be. This means not to be too impressed with a 3D printer having very fast print speeds. Slower print prints are better especially if you want to print high quality, larger objects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Although 3D printing will require you a certain level of creative skills and knowledge, you must not get frustrated to when you will become an expert at it. Once you passed the initial learning stage, you can then start your new journey to develop more creativity, printing skills, and knowledge.

Over time, you will be surprised by the innovative ideas you have created. Using 3D printer for business purposes or home can give you unlimited potentials. In fact, you can use it to create valuable activities, enhance learning and creativity, or even prepare yourself to enter a new career path.

But, for now, it is necessary for you to be more familiar with different 3D printers and choose which one suits best your 3D printing needs. To help you become a smart buyer, you can consider the following frequently asked questions.

  • What color of filament is best to use?

If you are not planning to prime or paint your 3D objects, most prints will look great in plain white. Primary colors are among the color options that are easy use. Be aware that using unusual or metallic colors might make your prints brittle or spotty.

  • What print settings can I use?

More often, 3D printers link or recommend which software you can use to handle the conversion of STL and other files into formats that can be supported by the printer. As a starter, you can stick with the recommended presets. Once you become more familiar with the printing process, you can then upgrade.

  • Which print bed size should I choose?

Since it holds the objects from the outset steadily, the 3D print beds are essential to the outcome of the 3D part. Print beds come in two options – heated and non-heated. You are required to use a heated bed if will use ABS filament. Then, the bigger the print be is, the larger the object the printer can print.

  • Should I choose a closed frame or an open frame?

Open frame 3D printers offer convenience since it gives off easy visibility of the current status of the printing job. Besides, they let quick access to the extruder and the printer bed. The closed frame 3D printers deliver safety. When you have kids or pets at home, they cannot accidentally touch the exposed extruder that may cause burns. Besides, they can reduce odors, especially if your working area has poor ventilation.

  • How long does it take to print 3D objects?

The printing time will depend on the size of your desired object. Small objects will only take minutes, but for larger items, you need to wait an hour or hours.

  • Are 3D printed objects food-safe?

In general, a personal 3d printer, along with their prints are not food-safe. For example, never drink from a 3D printer mug because the tiny layers can hold bacteria even you wash them unless it is a ceramic mug or PETG mug that is well-finished using a food-grade epoxy.

  • What materials are best to print with?

Professional 3D printers use all types of materials, from the organic filament to metal filament. Most home printers take advantage of ABS or PLA. Some 3D printers prefer using a liquid resin, which is to be difficult to handle. If you are a beginner, it is best for you to use PLA because it is inexpensive, handles easily, and non-toxic. On the other hand, it is sensitive to heat, so make sure not to create outdoor 3D objects out of PLA filament.

Final Thoughts

As you decided to purchase your own 3D printer, your first concern is how much does a 3d printer cost. Good thing, 3D printers are more affordable, so your next job is to be familiar with the key features, pros and cons, and other information that can help you choose the best 3d printer for your needs.

Additionally, it is essential for you to determine what you wish to print as well as where you want to use the 3D prints. You need to look for a 3D printer that offers high-quality features like easy to use user interface, large build volume, and heated glass bed.

Quality 3D printers include built-in security protocols and a reliable support system. We hope that after reading our comprehensive buying guide for the best 3d printer, you finally find an ideal one for your needs at the right price.

Bring out your creativity! Happy 3D printing!