The Best Budget 3D Printers Under $300

The best of the budget 3D printers.
Michael Michael (115)
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Budget doesn't have to mean bad when it comes to 3D printers. You can find a great 3D printer for under $300. Heck, we use budget 3D printers for some of our biggest and most practical 3D printed projects here at Howchoo, so we have some great recommendations for you based on how you plan to use the printer.

What to look for in a 3D Printer

Here are a few things to look for when buying a budget 3D printer (and things we'll be sure to mention when recommending one for you!).

If you're going to drop hundreds of dollars on a budget-friendly 3D printer, then you want to make sure your investment will last and work properly for years to come.

Print Volume

Essentially, this tells you how big of a 3D-print you can make with the printer. If you're only going to be using the 3D printer for miniatures or small, practical uses—then you can save some money by going with a printer with a smaller overall build volume.

Filament type(s)

Most 3D printers will be able to handle PLA-type filament, but you should keep an eye out for those that support only specific types of filaments or use a resin-based goo. A resin 3D printer makes highly-detailed, smaller prints—so it is preferred by many who are looking to make miniatures.

Assembly

We're going to let you know when a 3D printer comes fully assembled, so you know that you don't have to spend hours putting it together before you can make your first print. Keep in mind that having to assemble a 3D printer does have the benefit of teaching you about its function—but it does require time.

Auto bed leveling

We also mention when a 3D printer has an automatic bed leveling feature that makes it easier to avoid the mistakes common to manual bed leveling. This is a great feature to have when buying a 3D printer for a kid or young adult who might not have the patience required to manually level the bed.

Overall quality

This may seem obvious, but quality varies widely among the 3D printers you come across while browsing on Amazon. If you're going to drop hundreds of dollars (even when less than $300) on a budget-friendly 3D printer, then you want to make sure your investment will last and work properly for years to come.

Black Friday 2020

Until the end of November, we'll be updating our 3D printer Black Friday page with the latest deals, including many deals on printers you see here. So be sure to check there for the updated list.

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Creality Ender 3 V2 and Ender 3

The Creality Ender 3 V2 is the newest Ender-series printer, though you'll be just fine with the original Ender 3, as well. The Ender 3 V2 receives our top marks for an excellent 3D printer that won't break the bank. while still offering everything you need from a 3D printer. We believe this is the absolute best budget 3D printer you can buy.

Why we love it

Creality really has set the gold standard when it comes to budget 3D printers. It's dependable, durable, highly customizable, and used by many in the 3D printing community—which means that there are plenty of guides out there to help you with anything and everything!

Creality has become synonymous with quality in the 3D printing world, which should be the most important factor when investing in an expensive (even when budgeted) piece of equipment.

Specs

Print Size Print Precision Heated Bed Filament Types User Interface
220 x 220 x 250mm ±0.1mm Yes PLA/TPU/PETG Screen and rotary knob
Connection OS Compatability Assembly Price
Micro USB Mac/Windows/Linux Partial $279.00

Our Ender 3 and Ender 3 V2 guides

We've made many guides on setting up, customizing, and using the Ender 3 and the Ender 3 V2. Check out our Ender 3 interest page and our Ender 3 FAQs once you've purchased yours.

Ender 3 Pro

Another great option is the Ender 3 Pro, which for an additional cost gives you the print pausing feature for your 3D prints, which allows you to come back to finish a print later. The Pro also runs quieter with an upgraded Meanwell Power Supply Unit and sturdier overall build. Some may find these features makes it worth the extra cost. But, as of the writing of this guide (Nov. 2020), there is no V2 Pro option yet available.

Geeetech E180

When purchasing a "mini" budget 3D printer, you often have to make sacrifices to get a 3D printer at a manageable size for your space requirement. With the Geeetech E180, that's going to be true, as well. For example, there's no heated bed which means you're stuck with an aluminum bed and the filament spool is not great—so you'll want to upgrade that at some point.

Still, in our comprehensive test and review of the Geeetech E180, we found a lot to love about it.

Why we love it

While it's a compact budget 3D printer, it's still large enough for medium-sized prints. The look and style of the printer will fit nicely into most at-home interior styles. It comes fully assembled (actually fully assembled). And most importantly, it just flat-out makes great, highly detailed prints.

Specs

Print Size Print Precision Heated Bed Filament Types User Interface
130 x 130 x 130mm ±0.05mm No PLA-type Touchscreen
Connection OS Compatability Assembly Price
USB / TF card Windows Fully Assembled $235.99

Tresbro Creality Cr-100 Mini 3D Printer

Built with safety and ease-of-use in mind, the Tresbor Creality Cr-100 Mini would make a great gift for any youngster who loves DIY projects and making things for themselves. It's a great tool to teach kids the principles of 3D design and engineering.

A parent or adult should always monitor any 3D printer and printing project.

Why we love it

The Tresbro Cr-100 comes fully assembled, which means you can start printing right away without spending the hours normally required for assembly. This also means that a kid can start trying it out (with parental supervision) without having to wait. True auto bed-leveling means that kids won't have to adjust the bed before each print. And because it's from Creality, you can be sure that it will be made from quality parts.

Specs

Print Size Print Precision Heated Bed Filament Types User Interface
100 x 100 x 80mm ±0.1mm Yes PLA-type Touchscreen
Connection OS Compatability Assembly Price
Micro USB Mac/Windows Fully Assembled $169.99.00

FlashForge Adventurer 3 Lite

What's so great about having your budget 3D printer encased? Well for one, it makes for a much quieter printer overall. Secondly, it keeps the printer free from dust, particles, or anything else that might fall in during a print. And you can easily add a tube to vent the fumes when printing with toxic filament like ABS.

What we love about it

The FlashForge Adventurer 3 Lite has a nice, compact design that looks great in just about any space. We're also impressed with the variety of filaments with which it can print and its full-color touchscreen. It hovers the line between budget and mid-range printer at $300, but it's definitely a noticeable upgrade from some of the less expensive 3D printers on our list. And no build-plate leveling required...that's pretty nice!

Specs

Print Size Print Precision Heated Bed Filament Types User Interface
150 x 150 x 150mm N/A Yes PLA, ABS, Wood and Metal-filled PLA Touchscreen
Connection OS Compatability Assembly Price
USB / WiFi Windows/MacOS/Linux Partial $299.99

Anycubic Photon Printer

If you're looking for an inexpensive resin (SLA) printer to 3D print your highly detailed miniatures or other figurines, then the base Anycubic Photon makes a great budget option. And if you're using this for role-playing games, why not split this with some friends to make it even less expensive to own!

What we love about it

The Photon 3D printer comes fully assembled, which saves you serious setup time. While we would have liked to have more network capabilities from this one, it does help to simplify the usage of the Photon. We're also impressed with the speed with which it's able to print highly-detailed miniatures. And like many ANYCUBIC products, it features a very attractive design that will look great in a variety of spaces.

Specs

Print Size Print Precision Heated Bed Filament Types User Interface
200 x 200 x 400mm N/A N/A Photosensitive resin Touchscreen
Connection OS Compatability Assembly Price
USB Windows/MacOS Fully assembled $189.99

Photon S (premium version)

We reviewed the upgraded version of this printer, the Photon S, and were seriously impressed with the quality of the 3D prints. We would include that printer here, except that the current price is $389.99, which puts it just out of our budget printer price range. Still, we'll include our review of the ANYCUBIC Photon S here, in case you're considering spending just a bit more on a resin printer. The Photon S fixes a few issues with the base level Photon featured here, such as reducing the Z-axis wobble and enhancing the carbon filtration system to reduce toxic fumes.

da Vinci Mini Wireless 3D Printer

The entry-level budget 3D printer from da Vinci goes above and beyond to make this budget-friendly option a great learning tool for kids or anyone new to 3D printing. It's also designed with safety in mind, from the protective cap on the extruder to the cornstarch-based safe PLA.

What we love about it

Because da Vinci partners with XYZ printing, XYZ provides built-in lessons and other goodies to help newcomers learn about 3D printing, like activities designed to teach the basic mechanics of 3D printing. If you upgrade to a steel nozzle, you can print carbon fiber and metallic-based PLA. It also connects over WiFi, so you don't have to worry about wires or SD cards. And auto-leveling is always going to win over our hearts!

Print Size Print Precision Heated Bed Filament Types User Interface
150 x 150 x 150mm ±0.1 Yes XYZ PLA only WiFi app
Connection OS Compatability Assembly Price
WiFi Windows/MacOS/Android/iOS Fully assembled $199.95

Note: only works with XYZ biodegradable and non-toxic PLA filament. So you might want to pick up some when you buy the printer.

Monoprice Cadet 3D Printer

At the low price of $179.99, you're seriously getting a high-quality budget 3D printer with some great features that even its more expensive counterparts aren't offering. Monoprice is certainly one of the bigger names in 3D printing, so there are plenty of trusted customers and reviews.

What we love about it

The Monoprice Cadet comes loaded with cool features like built-in printing via WiFi with their Monoprice app and auto leveling. It comes fully assembled, so you don't have to spend extra time getting this one set up. It's also great for those with little available space for a 3D printer. It weighs only 6lbs and measures 12" x 12" x 17".

Also a great printer for kids and young adults.

Print Size Print Precision Heated Bed Filament Types User Interface
100 x 105 x 100mm N/A No PLA-type Touchscreen
Connection OS Compatability Assembly Price
USB/ WiFi Windows/MacOS/Android/iOS Fully assembled $179.99

Anycubic Mega S

We wanted to highlight a nice alternative in the "overall" budget 3D printer category to the Ender 3 V2. This also happens to be a smaller, less expensive version of the ANYCUBIC Mega X, which we reviewed thoroughly and found to be great. And really the only difference between the two is the print volume, so you should definitely see our review of the Anycubic Mega X to get an in-depth look at this printer.

What we love about it

The Mega S's print volume is quite large, given the overall size of the printer—so you can build some of those bigger prints you'll find on Thingiverse. We also love the design of the Mega S, as it has that industrial feel to its look. The Mega S includes a filament sensor that detects when your print has been disrupted, so it can pause the print to be resumed later when the issues are resolved. It's also just a well-made printer that made great 3D prints in our testing.

Specs

Print Size Print Precision Heated Bed Filament Types User Interface
210 x 210 x 205mm ±0.1 Yes PLA-type Touchscreen
Connection OS Compatability Assembly Price
SD card / USB Windows/MacOS/Linux Partial assembly $269.99