We researched and compared hundreds of 3D printers under $300 to select the 10 best budget 3D printers currently available. We included a buying guide covering important things to keep mind when purchasing a cheap 3D printer.
- What is the best cheap 3D printer under $300?
- The 10 best cheap 3D printers under $300
- Overview of the best budget 3D printers under $300
- Special mention: Alfawise 3D printers under $300
- Buying guide for cheap 3D printers under $300
- Prusa i3 clones and the RepRap legacy
- What about low-cost Kickstarter 3D printers?
What is the best cheap 3D printer under $300?
We scoured the web to find the 10 best cheap 3D printers under $300 and share our final selection in this article.
Since 2016, we’ve been noticing a “race-to-the-bottom” trend where 3D printer prices are driven down. Many startups and (mostly Chinese) manufacturers are competing to make the cheapest 3D printers on the market.
Low prices often used to be synonym with poor quality, but that’s no longer the case: the budget 3D printers in our list all provide a great value for the money. It’s more and more common to see user-friendly features from higher-end machines trickle down to the cheaper printers.
That said, 3D printers under $300 are typically not professional-grade machines and often require some level of technical knowledge and patience. They almost always come as kits to be assembled and are recommended for tinkerers and makers, but also beginners with a small budget.
Here is a quick overview of elements we took into account to make this selection:
- Price: under $300
- Rating: overall score and total number of reviews
- Community feedback
- FFF printing technology (plastic filament)
The 10 best cheap 3D printers under $300
|3D printer||Rating*||Build volume||Price**||Buy|
|Creality Ender 3 Pro||4.4/5||220 x 220 x 250 mm||$259||BUY|
|Creality Ender 3||4.3/5||220 x 220 x 250 mm||$229||BUY|
|Creality Ender 3X||4.3/5||220 x 220 x 250 mm||$239||BUY|
|Geeetech A10||4.1/5||220 x 220 x 260 mm||$219||BUY|
|JGMAKER Magic||4.1/5||220 x 220 x 250 mm||$214||BUY|
|Anycubic Mega-S||4.0/5||210 x 210 x 205 mm||$299||BUY|
|Geeetech A10M||4.0/5||220 x 220 x 260 mm||$295||BUY|
|Monoprice Mini Delta||3.5/5||Ø 110 x 120 mm||$159||BUY|
* Rating: the ratings displayed are indexed from trusted third-party sources.
**Price: prices are indicative and can evolve over time and based on the country (import duties, shipping costs etc.).
The Qidi Tech X-One 2 is the top-rated 3D printer in our ranking of the 10 best cheap 3D printers under $300.
Overview of the best budget 3D printers under $300
The Creality Ender 3 Pro offers a removable build plate, a resume print function, and an upgraded extruder design to reduce clogging risks. With its sturdy CNC-machined frame, the Ender Pro is very good all-around 3D printer and a brilliant addition to the Creality lineup.
More information: Creality Ender 3 Pro
Its advanced extruder reduces the risk of filament clogging and the Ender 3 also has the capacity to resume printing after a power outage. The user community of this open-source 3D printer is very active, making it easy to find help and share tips on discussion groups.
More information: Creality Ender 3
This super flat glass print bed allows the prints to be easily removed. The Ender 3X offers the same ease of use and reliability that made the Ender 3 a community favorite within the budget 3D printers category.
More information: Creality Ender 3X
This cost-effective desktop 3D printer is packed with features such as a high-adhesion build platform, a filament detector, and a “resume print” function. With a large build size and sturdy build, the Geeetech A10 is a great 3D printer for beginners.
More information: Geeetech A10
The JGMAKER Magic also offers standard features such as a filament run-out detector, a resume printing function, and removable build plate. The Magic’s compact design, with the power supply built in, is the printer’s most notable difference in comparison with the Ender 3.
More information: JGMAKER Magic
The Mega-S is very easy to assemble and intuitive operate thanks to its user-friendly touch screen. The ANYCUBIC Ultrabase, its durable proprietary build plate, offers excellent adhesion and enables easy print removal. Overall, the ANYCUBIC Mega-S is a pretty decent cheap 3D printer!
Full specs: ANYCUBIC Mega-S
Combined with a massive build volume, multi-color 3D printing is definitely an attractive option. It’s important to note though that this printer is mostly for advanced users and requires fine-tuning (also, this is not a full-color 3D printer).
More information: Geeetech A10M
It comes already assembled and offers a great value to all kinds of users, with features such as a heated print bed, automatic calibration, and even Wi-Fi connectivity. The printer’s steel frame and durable design make the Mini Delta an amazing 3D printer under $300 (well, under $200 to be accurate!).
More information: Monoprice Mini Delta
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Special mention: Alfawise 3D printers under $300
Easy to assemble and operate, Alfawise 3D printers have quickly become a staple in the highly competitive segment of 3D printers under $300. They look a lot like Creality 3D printers and have a lot in common in terms of design, print technology, and performance.
Here is a selection of some of the best models, including the (fluctuating!) Alfawise 3D printers price:
- Price: $175
- Build volume: 220 x 220 x 250 mm
- Price: $199
- Build volume: 260 x 260 x 270 mm
- Price: $289
- Build volume: 300 x 300 x 400 mm
Note: If you have a bit of extra budget, we recommend looking into the Alfawise U20 Pro at $439.
The Alfawise U30, among the top budget 3D printers under $300 on the market.
Buying guide for cheap 3D printers under $300
Pre-assembled 3D printers vs DIY 3D printer kits
DIY 3D printer kits used to be quite complex and time-consuming to build. Today, most of them are delivered partly pre-assembled and only require you to screw three or four parts together in under an hour. Beginners can easily assemble a kit with little 3D printing knowledge.
While it’s not always the case with fully pre-assembled printers, most 3D printer kits can be upgraded with extra 3D printed parts.
Enclosed versus open frame
Many things can interfere with 3D print quality, such as temperature changes and room drafts. Closed frame 3D printers help protect the 3D printing process as well as reduce particle emissions (from melted plastic) and noise.
For PLA prints, an open frame works fine, but ABS 3D printing does require a bit more controlled environment.
Help and frequently asked questions can be found on specialized forums and dedicated discussions groups for specific 3D printer models (there are plenty on Facebook). Our list of the best general 3DP communities provides more information about these forums and groups.
The build volume, or maximum size of a 3D print, is an important spec to consider. If the goal is just to discover and experiment with 3D printing then the build size isn’t too critical, unlike if specific parts need to be printed with certain dimensions.
If you’re looking for bigger build sizes, check out our guide to large volume 3D printers (professional).
3D print accuracy can easily be thrown off if the print bed is the teeniest bit lopsided. Some 3D printers offer automated bed leveling, but many others require manual calibration. An auto-calibration feature can help save time, but it isn’t hard to do it manually.
Other interesting features include:
- Filament sensor (detects if there’s a filament jam)
- Auto resume (saves print progress in case of power failures)
Unassembled Anet A8 parts.
Prusa i3 clones and the RepRap legacy
The Prusa i3 is part of the RepRap (replicating rapid prototyper) project whose initial aim was to develop a low-cost 3D printer able to replicate most of its components using 3D printing. Since its debut in 2005, hundreds of international contributors have joined the project to keep upgrading and optimizing 3D printing for everyone.
The blueprints are open source and patent-free. Hence, many manufacturers “cloned” and rebranded the Prusa i3. Josef Prusa is part of the business too and selling 3D printers under his own brand, Prusa Research.
What about low-cost Kickstarter 3D printers?
Some Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects advertise 3D printers at crazy low prices, sometimes under $100! Many of those 3D printer Kickstarter projects have proven to be scams... See below some of the top 3D printer fails on crowdfunding platforms!
Top cheap Kickstarter 3D printer fails
3D printer startups tend to promise amazing products through expensive marketing campaigns to get as many pledges as they can. This is not an unusual goal, but when too much effort is put into advertising there is not much left for logistics, especially if the business model is not well prepared.
TIKO 3D Tiko
- Price: $199
- Amount pledged: almost $3M in March 2015
- Number of backers: 16,538
- What happened: they simply promised too much for too little and found themselves left with no more funds to fulfill their orders. The first backers received their 3D printers, but many remained Tiko-less.
- More information: Tiko 3D Tiko
Rinnovated Design Peachy Printer
- Price: $100
- Amount pledged: over $650,000 after its launch in September 2013
- Number of backers: 4,420
- What happened: one of the two founders embezzled about half of the Peachy Printer funds to build himself a house, forcing the company to lay-off its workers and collapse.
- More information: Rinnovated Design Peachy Printer
- Price: $300
- Amount pledged: just under $1.5M, and an additional $2M by private investors
- Number of backers: 3,520
- What happened: Pirate3D drowned in their initial success with too many products to deliver and not enough staff. They roguishly started to retail-sell their 3D printer before trying to own up to their backers (which they didn’t).
- More information: Pirate3D Buccaneer
What is the best 3D printer for beginners?
The best choice of 3D printer for beginners is an assembled, plug-n-play 3D printer such as the Qidi Tech X-One 2 or the FlashForge Finder. Such 3D printers are easy to operate and offer a great first experience with 3D printing.
Best cheap 3D printer kit?
The best cheap 3D printer kit (to be assembled) is the Creality Ender 3 Pro. It is easy to assemble and offers great print quality and reliability.
Cheap 3D printer for sale?
There are plenty of affordable 3D printers for sale on Amazon, with prices starting under $200 even for assembled 3D printers.
More 3D printing resources
- Are you searching for a cheap resin 3D printer? Discover our list of the best cheap resin 3D printers.
- Want to invest a little more? Here is our selection of the best 3D printers under $1,000.
- Do you want to compare all existing 3D printers? Check out our 3D printers comparison engine, we have more than 1000 3D printers listed.