With more people working from home, printers have risen to become an essential most people can’t do without. However, instead of buying expensive ones, low-budget printers come in handy since you will pay for the purchase. Now that you don’t spend much time in the office, you should look for a versatile and reliable printer without spending too much. This is why we have sorted through the market to bring you our review of the 5 best low-budget printers. Besides our listing, we have also added a buying guide to help you get the most out of your investment decision and make your purchase worth it.
If you are buying a low-budget printer, it should be worth it. Unfortunately, many people go too far down the price chain and end up with products with slow speeds and poor print quality. Readout top pick products below:
5 Best Low Budget Printers in 2021
The first product, and the best among many, is the ELEGOO Mars UV Photocuring LCD 3D Printer. Since its introduction, the printer has gone on to become the favorite 3d printer of different users partly due to its exceptional capabilities and brand goodwill. ELEGOO is known for its incredible products that offer a return for every money spent, and not surprisingly, this printer is nothing short of expectation.
Designed with UV photocuring technology, the LCD 3d printer has a user-friendly design and an incredible industrial design. As a result, it is ideal for a professional and beginners with little or no knowledge of 3d printing. The printer's unique ball steel ball design is such that you only need the z-axis to return to zero. With this in place, you can start printing after locking the leveling screen. Apart from this, it features a CHITUBOX slicing software that slices with incredible speed. Plus, the software lets you mark out your model before slicing to save space when you photo cure.
The printer has a large and colorful 3.5-inch touch screen that lets you preview the model before printing. Like you saw in the windows OS, you can get a real-time display of your print via an SD card. It also has an integrated computer board that lets you print directly from a USB. This way, you won’t need to connect it to a computer when you print. It uses 2560*1440 2K HD masking LCD for accurate printing with impressive resolution. Not just this, but it also has a sturdy all-aluminum fuselage and a complimentary acrylic cover for durability and elegance.
- High precision and resolution
- Smart touchscreen
- Resin-saving design
- Fast slicing software
- Low maintenance
- The printer can be a bit messy.
- Fumes and smells will give a headache without ventilation.
The CR-10 3d printer is a well-built machine with actual metal frames for rigidity and support. It is a decent entry-level printer for intermediate and beginners searching for high-quality print at a reasonable price. It also has an all-aluminum frame that provides a sturdy base for lasting and reliable performance. It also features POM engineered thermo-plastic triangle-slot wheels that ensure dimensional stability during extended use. Since there are no metal-on-metal steel rods, the printer does not make much noise.
It also comes with a flat glass bed, unlike warped ones, and as a result, it eliminates uneven prints. The bed is stable and flat to ensure high-quality prints. It is also designed to complement the printer’s large size to let you get perfect layer lines with every print. At 12inx*12inx*12inx, the printer can print more models than most printers out there. It has a unique extruder design that limits weight on the X-axis for high and quality prints.
The printer has an open-source design that makes design plans and firmware implementation possible to crown its innovation. There is also a large community of users for project contribution, help, and recommendations.
- Resume print function
- Sturdy aluminum frame
- Flat glass bed
- Dimensional stability
- Low noise level
- The clip that holds the filament pops off occasionally.
- Awful technical support
The Official Creality Ender 3 3D Printer is another low-budget but the best 3d printer with its fully open-source design and resumes printing function. Not just this, but it features an advanced extruder technology and is durably made from a lasting performance. The printer's open-source design lets the user improve the source code and share their changes within the community. As a result, it improves the user experience for many people. Apart from this, it allows you to learn from others. Hence, with a single purchase, you can launch yourself into a community of 3d printer users and add to your experience.
The printer will resume printing when there is a lapse or power outage. By implication, there is no risk of losing unsaved data regardless of the time of print. Advanced extruder technology reduces bad extrusion and plugging risks. The print supports fast project turnaround thanks to its hotbed that reaches 110-degrees Celsius within five minutes.
The high-watt hotbed ensures fast and reliable heating of the printing platform. This way, you don’t need to wait for a long period for the bed to become hot. The semi-assembled kit is ideal for teaching kids about the basics of 3D construction. Therefore, you can buy it for your kid as a gift. It is also ideal for STEM projects and students that want to learn.
Although large, the printer is not bulky and cumbersome. Instead, it is portable and easy to move. This is thanks to smooth and durable V-shaped POM wheels that aid movement and maneuvering. Not just this, but the wheels are noiseless and won’t disturb anyone. The printer is relatively easy to use as it comes with instructions on how to use it.
- Heating bed surfaces grab the plastic.
- Durable wheels
- Upgraded extruder design
- Resume printing function
- High-precision printing
- Assembly takes considerable time.
Not many brands and products have enjoyed the remarkable reputation that Prusa has enjoyed. To prove its well-deserved goodwill, the printer is an upgrade of previous ones prompted by feedback from the manufacturer’s open-source ecosystem. Hence, this new model combines the upgrades of previous versions and new ones into one exceptional machine that guarantees reliable and versatile performance.
To stress the fact of its dynamics, the printer has an upgradable design that lets you upgrade it later to a new version if you. Hence, instead of buying a new model every time, you can upgrade it to match the new versions. The printer is fun to assemble as it comes with all kits needed for seamless assembly. The assembly instruction is detailed with pictures of small details to fix the mechanical parts and fasteners easily. Metal clips on the Y-axis provide essential support for the bearings, and the belt tensioning mechanism on the X-axes is reworked and reinforced for reliable performance. The extruders also ensure more printability for flexible filaments, and the nozzle is closer to the X-axis to improve print quality and reduce resonance.
It comes with an easy-to-use software slicer with a simple design. Although simple. The software is powerful and can be customized in different settings. Its intuitive design makes it ideal for beginners and preconfigured settings aid use.
- Crash detection
- Sturdy construction
- Print pause and resume
- Easy-to-use slicer software
- Long prints are cumbersome.
The Creality 3D Printer CR-10 S4 is another large printer that is skillfully crafted with excellent quality accessories. The machine is designed with a broken material detection to detect broken material to ensure a successful print job. Thanks to its 400*400*400mm printing size, the printer won’t have a problem printing large formats and projects. It comes with a brass nozzle, rigid coupling, overlong extrusion clamp, aviation connector, large leveling unit, and a high-quality synchronous belt.
Since its release in 2019, the printer has enjoyed a warm reception from users from around the world largely due to robust construction, high-quality components, and solid metal frame. Although they don’t directly determine the print quality, they ensure reliable performance without crumbling. As a result, you get to use the printer for as long as you want without dying on you. Besides durability, the printer uses two screw rods on the Z-axis and two screw rods that ensure stable operation. The rods prevent jerky movements and reduce vibrations that misalign prints. Since the rods stabilize the printer, you will print more accurately.
The printer also features a filament sensor attached to the print head to detect when the filament runs out. When the filament runs out, it triggers an alarm, and the machine stops printing. When you replace the filament, the printer continues operation as if nothing happened.
High-quality electronics ensure continuous printing that can last up to 200 hours. A patented V bearing technology with rollers also ensues higher print quality and smooth operations with its precise positioning function.
- Dual z-axis motor and drive
- Filament sensor with alarm
- Automatic pause and resume
- Patented V-bearing technology
- Occasionally prone to skipping.
- The PSU fan sometimes makes a rubbing sound.
Factors to consider before buying a printer
You need to make an important choice to choose between a laser and an inkjet printer. Although both are functional, they are not without their strengths and weaknesses.
A laser printer is best for printing text and documents. It produces clear black and white text and does a fairly good job with colored images. As expected, it does not pair well for photo printing, and the ones that print color are not meant for glossy photo stock and special papers. If you use it, the print quality will be poor. The printer also does not fit unusual papers. However, laser printers are incredibly fast and are very reliable. If you want black and white prints, this is the printer for you. On the other hand, an inkjet printer does texts, graphics, and photos. However, the general sentiment on the owner’s satisfaction is lower for inkjet.
More than use for scanning, some printers support multiple functions. Hence, though you are buying one product, you can have the functions of three devices. For example, some products we have listed above double as a printer, scanner, and copier. As a result, they can do all the tasks without letting down on one, all the price of a single printer elsewhere. Such printers are versatile, user-friendly, and highly operational.
Printers have various connectivity features as far as voice-activated controls. The most popular connectivity features are wireless and manual control. Wireless connection lets you print from anywhere or from specific locations. Printers without cables support Wi-Fi printing from a mobile phone or laptop without activating your Wi-Fi network. Some models let you print from your memory card or digital camera, while some supports print from any part of the world through the cloud network. The common connection modes include USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Wifi-Direct, NFC, SD cards, and cloud printing.
Speed, color, and resolution
The page per minute refers to a printer’s speed and how many pages it can print within a minute. The PPM depends on the type of printer and the type of print. You don’t need to consider the speed for home prints since you won’t always be on a schedule. However, for office use, it is very important. You also need to consider the print quality to make sure it matches your demand and expectation.
Although we have reviewed low-budget printers, you need to consider the filament cost before buying any printer that uses ink. You can look up ink subscription plans to reduce the weight of such payment for convenient use.
What will you print?
What you will print will mainly be the determining factor for what printer you should get. If you plan on making large props and cosplay stuff, I would suggest a large format printer. If you plan on printing statues and figures, then a mid size resin printer would be best. If you want to make miniatures, a small resin printer. For cookie cutters, a smaller desk printer would be sufficient. Asking yourself and getting a clear picture of what you want to make will help you decide better on which 3d printer to buy.
The top 5 low-budget printers won’t put a hole in your pockets to get the job done. At their price, the printers are designed to make your work easier and convenient. Instead of sorting through the endless products in the market, feel free to choose from any of the five we have listed above.