Technology certainly does move swiftly, with new generations of electronics crashing into the market daily. The advancements in the field of 3D printing is no exception with the equipment moving from nearly sci-fi a few years ago to home ready with myriad options currently. Not only are 3D printers more readily available, but they're also more readily affordable. Here are a few models to consider.
1. XYZPrinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0 A Pro
The name may make it sound like it’s aimed at children, but this 3D printer has earned praise for its multi-function capabilities. It’s quiet, but provides a good print quality, and allows printing via a USB or Wi-Fi connection, or from an SD card. One unique feature of this model is the ability to print using two different colors, rare in a printer at this price point. On the cons list is the proprietary filament and the initial challenges of the less-than-user-friendly design.
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2. Monoprice Select Mini V2
Several notable review sites identify this model as the best 3D printer for the price. Both print quality and speed rate highly, although it’s been pointed out that the slower print speed produces higher quality results. It’s touted as a well-built and user-friendly design. At this low price, there are concessions, like an unprotected print bed. However, the design allows users to add upgrades as knowledge and time allow.
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3. Anycubic Photon
Another highly-ranked low-cost option is this resin 3D option—you can expect exceptional print quality from machines using this technique. It’s easy to use, compact, and the instructions are informative enough to help with maintenance and troubleshooting. Note that resin printing across the board requires more post processing and can be a bit messy.
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4. Flashforge Finder
This model comes in at the middle of the pack for cost. Even as new models are introduced by the company, the Finder continues to make ‘best’ lists due to its ease of setup and use, even for beginners. It features a full-color touch display and the printing options can be highly fine-tuned for the result you want. As with many printers in this price range, the print volume is minimal and the print bed isn’t heated.
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5. X-One 2 Qidi Tech
The X-One ranks high for budget 3D printing. Aimed at hobbyists, it is compact and is an improvement over the also-highly-rated X-One 1 model due to the addition of a touch screen and upgrades to the printhead, build plate, and overall structure.
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6. Creality Ender 3
This model features a heated print bed that many in the class do without. It also has a nice bonus of being able to complete a print job even if you lose power. The Ender 3 comes mostly assembled so it’s quick to set up and it’s hackable so you can modify it as you please. Plus, it offers a functional print bed at a build volume of 220 x 220 x 250mm.
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7. GEEETECH A10
Fast assembly is mentioned over and over again for this model, meaning it’s ready to use basically out of the box. Again, it offers a generous print bed size at 220×220×260m and has open source firmware. A break-resuming feature protects your work in case of interruption, allowing you to complete it later without a restart. The A10 is quiet and stable and functions well in conjunction with a cell phone app for easy printing directly from your phone.
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8. ELEGOO Mars
This is another resin 3D printer with high ratings and an exceptionally low price tag. This model is acknowledged for a quick slicing software, ease of use, sleek design, and did we mention affordable price tag? Perhaps best of all is the high-quality prints, which you can start within minutes of receiving your 3D printer, as it is ready to go out of the box.
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