Best 3D Printers for Under $500: 3D Printing on a Budget

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3D printing technology has come a long way in recent years, and there are now a wide range of affordable and reliable 3D printers available for under $500. Whether you’re looking for a hobby printer to create prototypes or a professional-grade machine for industrial use, there’s something for everyone in this price range.

Regardless of your budget, there’s a 3D printer out there to suit your needs. Each model offers something different, so it’s important to read up on the features and specifications before making a purchase. With the right 3D printer, you can make all kinds of amazing creations.

Anycubic Kobra Plus 3D Printer

If you need a 3D printer under $500, then look no further than this Anycubic 3D printer. It includes premium features such as auto leveling, 25-point precision leveling, filament run out detection, and the ability to resume printing if power dies or filament runs out. The saves time while eliminating waste.

This large 3D printer under $500 offers a printing size of 300x300x350mm, which is massive compared to others of the same price. Plus, you can expect high 3d printing speeds here even with larger models. The all-metal extruder melts filament rapidly, and the metal body ensures high durability. Cooling time is just as rapidly with 6000RPM dual fans. 

The 4.3-inch LCD screen makes it simple to control, and the carborundum glass plate ensures easy removal while keeping models still as they are hot.

Best Features

  • Auto-leveling with a large printing size
  • Rapid printing speed and fast cooling
  • LCD touch screen and glass plate for easily removal

FLSUN SR Super Racer 3D Printer

Finding delta 3D printers under $500 is nearly impossible, but we found one that will match your needs. What is a delta 3d printer? These are built for speed. Normal models use XYZ rods, but a 3d delta printer uses all three arms to support the extruder. The arms are in a triangular arrangement, which allows them to make models much faster than conventional printers.

With rapid 200mm/s printing, you can fill the large print area in no time. The printing space is 260x330mm, and the linear rail is extremely accurate. Along with a delta system, this also provides auto-leveling, a removable lattice bed, resume printing even if power or material runs out, and a glass platform ideal for holding and releasing your prints.

Best Features

  • Extremely fast delta 3D printer, 200% faster than industry standards
  • Large printing area along with a glass platform
  • Auto-leveling, resume printing, and other premium settings

TRONXY 3D Printer Crux 1 Mini

Tronxy 3D printers are among the best 3D printers for beginners. Over 95% of parts are pre-installed, and the platform works with most materials such as TPU, PLA, and ABS filament. The Tronxy Crux 1 Mini is ideal for hobbyists, those 3D printing for the first time, or those who want a supplemental printer.

Despite being affordable and made for beginners, this is a fairly large model. Plus, the all-metal dual axis rails and metal pulleys are very durable while the guide rails are accurate and smooth for fast and quiet printing. Don’t let the simplicity fool you either. This is great for pros who don’t want to spend extra time setting up their printer.

Best Features

  • Ideal for beginners as 95% of parts are pre-installed
  • The platform works with TPU, PLA, and ABS filament
  • Large printing space and smooth guide rails

FlashForge 3D Printer Finder 3

The FlashForge Finder 3 is one of the best 3D printers under $500. It boasts a sturdy metal frame, an intuitive touch-screen interface, dual platform options (glass or PEI magnetic steel), and an intelligent sensor that resumes printing after a power failure. The Finder is easy to use and produces great results.

FlashForge Finder 3 is compatible with many filaments, such as HIPS, ABS, PETG, TPU, and PETG Pro. You can choose which works best for you, and the rapid printing ensures your designs are finished in record time, plus they cool quickly so you can get to the next design.

Best Features

  • Metal frame and metal parts for extreme durability
  • Supports numerous filaments for a wide range of choices
  • Dual platforms give you more printing options

Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro 3D Printer

With a durable body and brass nozzle, this Creality Ender 3D printer is capable of working with many different filaments and materials, such as ABS, PLA, PVA, TPU, PA, PETG, and even wood. Metal parts ensure durability while the printing is smooth and quiet.

Automatic leveling keeps the platform in perfect position, and the 4.3-inch touch screen makes it simple to control the entire machine. Assembly is extremely easy, even for beginners. The PEI spring steel platform provides fantastic adhesion when the model is hot, and it bends for easy removal.

Best Features

  • Very easy to assemble, whether it’s your first 3d printer or hundredth
  • Compatible with numerous materials, no need to change the nozzle
  • Build platform is bendable for simple removal of models

3D Printer Reviews – Comparisons

Here we’re going to directly compare the machines we reviewed here to see which is right for you. While all of them are amazing, each has its own benefits and one will likely work better for you than another.

Anycubic 3D Printer Review

  • Anycubic vs FLSUN: rapid printing, large printing area, durable design
  • Anycubic vs Tronxy: larger printing area, better leveling, many features
  • Anycubic vs FlashForge: similar durability, large printing area, great value
  • Anycubic vs Creality Ender: rapid printing, large printing area, great control panel

FLSUN 3D Printer Review

  • FLSUN vs Anycubic: faster printing, delta printing system
  • FLSUN vs Tronxy: extremely fast printing, delta guide rails
  • FLSUN vs FlashForge: delta 3D printing is rapid and ideal for hobbyists and pros
  • FLSUN vs Creality Ender: faster printing, better for pros

Tronxy 3D Printer Review

  • Tronxy vs Anycubic: ideal for beginners, easier to assemble
  • Tronxy vs FLSUN: best for beginners, great printing area
  • Tronxy vs FlashForge: easier for newcomers, surprisingly fast printing speed
  • Tronxy vs Creality Ender: easier to assemble, great for new users

FlashForge 3D Printer Review

  • FlashForge vs Anycubic: more durable, faster printing
  • FlashForge vs FLSUN: extremely durable, many materials for printing
  • FlashForge vs Tronxy: more durable, faster, better for pros
  • FlashForge vs Creality Ender: very durable, fast printing, numerous materials

Creality Ender 3D Printer Review

  • Creality Ender vs Anycubic: unique bendable platform, compatible with many materials
  • Creality Ender vs FLSUN: more materials, easier to remove finished models
  • Creality Ender vs Tronxy: nearly as easy to assemble, fast printing, many materials
  • Creality Ender vs FlashForge: compatible with more filaments, bendable platform

Buying Guide

Curious about what to look for with these machines? Our 3D printer buying guide will help you figure out what factors matter most when looking through the various models. This can help you narrow down your selection so that you pick the right one for your needs.

  • Resolution: If you’ve ever bought a regular printer, camera, or display, then you know that resolution is a measurement of how clear the image is and how good the print looks. Unlike regular printers though, you want a smaller resolution when it comes to these appliances. A smaller resolution means that your printed models will turn out more intricate and detailed.
  • Speed: You want to balance speed with detail. Faster 3D printers of course finish the models in record time, but this can sacrifice intricacy as well. Delta printers balance this better than others, but keep this in mind when choosing between different machines.
  • Print Size: You want to consider all three measurements with this: height, width, and length. Unlike traditional printers that work with standard sheets like 8.5×11 and 4×7, you’ll find that the print size areas here can vary greatly.
  • Materials: Not only do some machines work with powders or filaments, but there are often different materials within each substrate (like ABS and PLA filament). It’s best to get one that supports as many materials as possible, but if you’re married to a certain material, then make sure it’s supported.
  • Price: You can easily find yourself spending hundreds of even thousands of dollars on these machines. While we highlighted 3D printers less than $500 here, some are $1,000 or more. Keep your budget in mind to ensure you don’t spend too much.


We’re going to answer your biggest questions here so that you can walk away knowing more about these printers.

The Most Common Materials Used in 3D Printers Are?

While many raw materials can be used, the most common material used in 3D printers would be plastic. Most filaments are made from different types of plastics with a wide range of durability, flexibility, and other attributes. This allows you to make nearly any shape or type of printed model that you’d like, and the finished product is often lightweight and stable.

When 3D Printer Invented?

They are finally becoming a household item now, but 3D printers were invented in 1981 by Dr. Hideo Kodama. Similar to the models used today, this was produced to create resin models that were hardened by UV light. The purpose of this machine was for rapid prototyping, which is still typical today.

Are 3D Printers Loud?

It really comes down to the model itself, but some 3D printers are loud. This is because they have metal parts that might squeak or loudly move as they print your model layer by layer. Choosing a good printer and maintaining the parts should quiet it down, but you will likely hear it as you’re printing.

Which 3D Printer is Best for Beginners?

We found that the best 3D printer for beginners under $500 was Tronxy as it’s very easy to assemble (most of the work is already done for you), and it’s simple to get started. That being said, many models are made to be accessible so that you can get started with a minimal learning curve.

When is 3D Printing Used?

Why is 3D printing used? Originally these machines were used for rapid prototyping as they can produce models very quickly without investing much money or material. While this is still common today, they are also used to make finished products much faster (especially those made from plastic), many creative people are making jewelry, gifts, and other novelty items from them, and household users are able to make a variety of items from toys to practical products without going to the store.

Can 3D Printers Print Wood?

Yes and no, it’s not a simple question to answer. Many researchers are attempting to print wood directly from 3D printers, but currently the easiest material to use is PLA, otherwise known as Polywood. This is a type of plastic that (depending on the manufacturer) either contains wood fiber as a filler, or the plastic has foaming properties that make it look and feel just like wood.

Can 3D Printers Print Metal?

Yes, you can 3D print metal. Not only that, but nearly every metal can be used, even expensive ones like titanium. Much like plastic, metal is extremely malleable at high temperatures. You’ll want to ensure your printer is made for this though as cheap models might quickly wear down from printing metal. Those with steel nozzles are best as they avoid the abrasion and heat damage from metal printing.

What 3D Printer Should I Buy?

Which 3D printer should I buy? It comes down to your budget, what materials you want to print with (such as plastic, polywood, or metal), size capacity, and ease of use. Check out the best five 3D printers reviewed here to see which is right for your needs.

What is the Best 3D Printer For Home?

We reviewed many models that would be ideal for home use. FlashForge and Anycubic are both durable and fast, FLSUN is even faster with delta 3D printing, Tronxy is very easy for beginners to use, and Creality Ender has many fantastic benefits. It all comes down your specific needs.

Where is 3D Printer for Sale Near Me?

Looking to buy a 3D printer near you? While these are becoming somewhat more common in stores, they can still be difficult to find offline. We suggest checking out the models we reviewed here and heading over to Amazon to buy one of these, or getting another printer from Amazon that matches your preferences.