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Best 3D Printers under $500

5 Best 3D Printers under $500 for 2021 - Reviews and Buying Guide

If you are new to 3D printing, you have probably noticed how expensive premium quality 3D printers are. Durably built, high-end features and reliable consumer 3D printers definitely come at a high price. But, the problem is, most individuals, especially new users, can’t spend thousands of dollars for the first time.

Well, fortunately, there are lots of options available on the market with decent features that will surely fulfill your needs. Based on built quality, features, user review, and above all, price, we have selected these best 3D printers under $500 available on the market.

Best 3D Printers under $500 Reviews


1. Creality Ender 5 3D Printer- Best Budget 3D Printer

Creality Ender 5 3D Printer

Quick Features:

  • Capricorn Premium XS Bowden Tubing
  • Metal Extruder Kit
  • Upgraded Silent Mainboard
  • Resume printing function

Capable of producing fairly large prints, this 3D printer is an excellent choice for DIY home projects. Featuring a 220x220x300-mm print area, it can produce models that are 11.8 inches tall, 8.6 inches wide, along with z depth (forward and back) of 8.6 inches. The print resolution of this best budget 3D printer is 100 microns per layer.
Just like Ender 4, Ender 5 also has a cube design for its frame. One of the main advantages of cube core XYZ design is its ability to install sidewalls to print temperature-sensitive materials like ABS. An enclosed printer offers much better control over the environmental elements, which results in a better overall experience.

Product Specification:

  • Technology: FDM (Fused Deposition Molding)
  • Assembly: DIY Kit
  • Extruder Type: Single
  • Feeder system: Bowden
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Mechanical arrangement: Cartesian XY-head
  • Nozzle size: 0.4 mm (0.2 and 0.3mm supported)
  • Filament: 1.75mm - PLA, PETG, ABS, TPU, Wood
  • Layer height: 100 - 400 Microns
  • Max print speed: 180 mm/s
  • Connectivity: SD card, USB
  • Display: LCD screen
  • Print bed: Heated bed with soft magnetic stickers
  • Max hotbed temperature: 125°C
  • Print precision: +/- 100 microns
  • Max extruder temperature: 260 °C
  • Print area: 220 x 220 x 300mm
  • Bed leveling: Manual
  • Additional features: Print recovery

The cube shape also adds to the stronger structure of the printer, which plays a vital role in its performance. Just like all other Ender models, the print features a basic turn-dial LED display interface.
When it comes to print quality in best budget 3D printers, the Ender series is well established. The quality of the print is flawless with spotless layer transition. If you are looking for reliability and consistency of prints, then Ender 5 3D printer is made for your needs.
The setup of the printer is straightforward. All essential types of equipment for setup are provided in the box. Even if you are a new user, the instructions will help you in the setup process. The best part is much of the printer comes to preassemble from the factory. There is only a handful of parts to be put together. However, the process may take 30 to 40 minutes for most people.

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
  • Best for DIY home projects
  • Reliability and consistency
  • Wide range of 3D printable upgrades
  • Quiet printing
  • Extremely easy to use
  • Excessive wiring

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2. JGAURORA Upgraded A5S 3D Printer- Best Versatile 3D Printer

JGAURORA Upgraded A5S 3D Printer

Quick Features:

  • Filament RUN-OUT detection
  • Power Failure Protection
  • BDG Heated Platform
  • Resume print Function

This large 3D printer comes with a 536x480x543mm size, which is bulkier with a decent amount of weight. A5s is an updated version of the previous A5 3D printer. Overall this is a well-designed machine with versatile features and an elegant appearance to uplift the look of the printer.
There are no wires; the metal frame is durable and sturdy. The only issue with this 3D printer is that the bed heats up as compared to other printers. If you are looking to use this printer in colder climates, then this printer is not made for you.

Product Specification:

  • Nozzle: single
  • Nozzle diameter: 0.4mm
  • Maximum print speed: 150mm/s 
  • Maximum bed temperature: 100o C
  • Filament diameter: 1.75mm
  • File format: G-code, OBJ, STL
  • Minimum layer thickness: 100 microns (0.1mm)
  • Offline print: SD card
  • Voltage: 110-240V
  • Working power: 200W
  • Maximum nozzle temperature: 250O C
  • Maximum build volume: 305 x 305 x 320 mm
  • XY-axis positioning accuracy: 0.011mm
  • Z-axis positioning accuracy: 0.0025mm
  • LCD Screen: Yes
  • Printing Materials: PLA, ABS, PETG, Exotics
  • Voltage range: AC 110-220V
  • Certificates: CE, FCC, RoHs

The print quality is one of the best features of A5s. The precision and detail of the print are simply stunning. The glass bed works great by eliminating any adhesion problems. Just like its predecessors, this large 3D printer comes with a filament run-out detection and print resume feature in the event of a power outage.
The printer comes partially printed, and the setup process is straightforward. All you need to connect the base and the frame with few-headed screws and plug in different power connectors. The A5S has also added a heated borosilicate glass for improved bed adhesion with an additional black diamond coating.
There is a 2.8-inch full-color touch screen LCD placed at the front that helps to navigate and modify settings conveniently. The prime focus of the JGAURORA is producing A5S is to make this model more reliable and better performing as compared to A5. The Last improvement you will notice is the new addition of the SC-card slot on the front for easy access.

Pros & Cons

 Pros Cons
  • Full-metal construction
  • Easy to set up
  • Full-color touch screen
  • Filament run-out sensor
  • Heated black diamond print bed for enhanced adhesion
  • No automatic leveling

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3. FlashForge Finder 3D Printer- best 3d printer for beginners

FlashForge Finder 3D Printer

Quick Features:

  • Sturdy, plastic alloy construction
  • Wi-Fi, USB, and flash drive connectivity
  • Slide-in build plate
  • 3.5” HD IPS Touch screen

FlashForge Finger comes with many unique features that set it apart from contemporary 3D printers under $500. Innovative design, versatile features, and easy to use, all these functions make it an ideal choice for beginners.
Just like all modern 3D printers, it has a removable slide-in build plate, which is a great addition for new users. There is no automatic calibration system in FlashForge Finder. However, it has an intuitive assisted calibration detection feature for bed leveling.

Product Specifications:

  • Printing Tech: FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)
  • Build Volume: 5.5” x 5.5” x 5.5” (140 x 140 x 140 mm)
  • Product Dimension: 16.5” x 16.5” x 16.5” (420 x 420 x 420 mm)
  • Operating Systems: Windows 7/ 8 / Vista/ Mac OS X
  • Positioning Precision: XY: 11 microns, Z: 2.5 microns
  • Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm
  • Software: FlashPrint
  • Layer Resolution: 100~500 microns
  • Printing Speed: 40 ~ 200 millimeters per second
  • Connectivity Stick: Wi-Fi Network, USB Cable, USB Flash Drive 
  • Warranty: 90 Days

Nowadays, Wi-Fi connectivity is an essential function that is added to every smart device. Using the Wi-Fi connection of this best 3D printer under $500, you can easily transfer files to the machine through a laptop. The manufacturer has added 2nd generation wireless connection for best stability and reliability.

Loud noise may be a serious issue for home users. With this printer, you enjoy a noise-free performance. Using the printer is as easy as you like because it is designed for beginners. It also supports 3D cloud operation. Using this feature, you can store, share, check the print status, and many other things when 3D printing.
In order to make accessibility convenient, the printer boasts a 3.5 inches touch screen. You can easily do anything by using the smart interface. When it comes to safety, the manufacturer has taken additional caution to ensure the safety of the user. It prints only with PLA, which is non-toxic. Even in less ventilated space, this print can provide flawless performance.

Pros & Cons

 Pros Cons
  • Simple and Impressive Design
  • Ultra-quiet operation
  • The user-friendly touch screen interface
  • Overhead light to improve the visibility of prints
  • No auto-leveling feature

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4. Monoprice Voxel 3D Printer- Best entry-level 3d printer

Monoprice Voxel 3D Printer

Quick Features:

  • Auto feeding with filament sensor
  • Quick change nozzle
  • Heated Build plate
  • LCD touch screen

Featuring a cubic shape along with a prominent touch screen, the attractive Monoprice Voxel is similar to the FlashForge Finder 3D printer. Besides similar appearance, there are few differences between these two best 3D printers. Featuring a 5.9x5.9x5.9 inch build platform, the Voxel is a compact machine. However, the exterior dimensions of the printer are 19.2x16.8x20.
Print with either ABS or PLA in remarkable resolution from 50-300 microns and at a speed of up to 60mm/s. Thanks to the removable build platform, complete prints are convenient to remove once they are finished. In fact, one of the best features of Monoprice Voxel is this build platform. The specially designed surface texture also helps the first layer of the paint to stick properly, thus creating a decent foundation for the rest of your model.

Product Specifications:

  • Build Area: 150 x 150 x 150 mm
  • Filament Size: 1.75mm
  • Layer Resolution: 0.05 – 0.4 mm
  • Positioning Accuracy – XY: 0.011mm
  • Nozzle Diameter: 0.4mm
  • OS Compatibility: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10, Linux Mac OS X
  • Supported Input Formats: 3MF, STL, OBJ
  • Positioning Accuracy – Z: 0.0025mm
  • Build Accuracy: ±0.2mm
  • Materials: ABS, Exotics, PLA, PETG
  • Print Speed: 10 ~ 100 mm/second
  • Internal Memory: 8GB
  • Software: MP FlashPrint
  • Connectivity: USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi

Removing and attaching the print bed is effortless when removing the models. It is extremely useful to simplify the whole printing task. Also, the print head is heated to enhance layer adhesion and prevent wrapping. You can send files you want to print through the cloud. Guess what? The printer comes with 8GB of internal storage. You can store all designs in the printer and start printing from the LCD menu.
When it comes to set up, it is effortless to set up Monoprice Voxel. You can calibrate the print bed and nozzle at the touch of a button. Therefore, this 3D printer is a high user-friendly model. Other notable features include an LCD touch screen, built-in camera, Wi-Fi radio with a hotspot, USB port, and FlashPrint slicing software compatibility.

Pros & Cons

 Pros Cons
  • Superb print quality
  • User-friendly features
  • Removable, heated build plate
  • Built-in camera to monitor print operations
  • Polar Cloud Enabled
  • Propriety filament spools

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5. QIDI Technology X-one2 Single Extruder 3D Printer

QIDI Technology X-one2 Single Extruder 3D Printer

Quick Features:

  • 3.5-inch full-color touch screen
  • The heated aluminum print bed
  • Removable Covers
  • QIDI Print Slicer

Founded in 2012, Qidi Technology is a Chinese company that has been popular for its collection of FDM 3D printers. In fact, it was Qidi Tech I that brought fame to the brand. This X-One 2 is an upgraded version of the X-one 3D printer. Though you cannot expect premium features from a 3D printer under $500 for new users, this is one special gift.
The most important feature of the X-One 2 3D printer is the touch screen interface. Unlike the printers with a button or knob operated LCD interface, the touch-based display is more appealing. You can use this 3.5-inch touch screen display for different purposes, such as managing print progress and bed temperature. The pause-resume feature is also useful to save your work and time.

Product Specifications:

  • Frame: Aluminum with acrylic panels
  • Technology: FDM (Fused Deposition Molding)
  • Layer height: 50 - 400 Microns
  • Feeder system: Direct Drive
  • Nozzle size: 0.4 mm
  • Print bed: Heated bed with PEI pad
  • Bed leveling: Manual
  • Connectivity: USB, SD card
  • Assembly: Fully assembled
  • Mechanical arrangement: Cartesian XY-Head
  • Extruder Type: Single
  • Max extruder temperature: 250 °C
  • Filament: 1.75mm - PLA, ABS, TPU, PETG
  • Max hotbed temperature: 110°C
  • Print area: 150 x 150 x 150 mm
  • Display: Touch screen
  • Additional features: Print recovery

Its removable panel shaped covers offer temperature stability during the printing and also protect the moving parts from dust. X-One 2 printer comes with a heated printed bed, which is not safe, especially when you have kids around, so you can use these panels t keep the heated print bed away from the kids.
Do you know that this is a plug-and-play 3D printer, which means you can start printing with it right after unboxing? The entire machine comes pre-assembled. X-One doesn’t have an auto-bed leveling facility. You have to adjust the level of print after completing your design.
Though this 3D printer is covered from all sides, the top cover is missing. Due to its semi-enclosed build-up, you can print with ABS material. The printing bed of this best 3D printer under $50 is made of durable aluminum alloy covered perfectly with PEI surface. Other notable features include a USB port and an SD card slot.

Pros & Cons

 Pros Cons
  • Well-built metal frame
  • Comes with acrylic covers
  • Compatible with third-party slicers and filaments
  • Good print quality
  • Outstanding customer service
  • Limited build size

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Buying Guide for Best 3D printer under $500

Whether you are a tech freak or a new one in the 3D printer universe, these important features will surely help you to find the best one for your needs.

Your Needs

The first thing you need is to clear the purpose for which you are buying a 3D printer. Some users purchase printers for their hobby related projects, whereas other for the production of learning aids. Varying inside and cost, you can lot of 3D printers on the market for your needs. Don’t focus on the new features, as they will only mislead you because, in most cases, you don’t need any of these features.

The volume of the Build

Make sure to keep different specifications in your mind. What is the build volume of the printer, or how large is the out of the machine? This is one of the most important things you should consider before making a decision. You will hardly find a 3D printer that goes above 300x300x300 mm.

Printing Speed and Resolution

Printing speed and resolution are important when buying a 3D printer. The resolution of the printer refers to the layer height. Don’t neglect the importance of printing speed. When you print faster, there are more chances of failure, and no one wants this to happen. Cast your mind on choosing the printer with an adequate setting instead of focusing on the speed.

Material Compatibility

Though you cannot compare the material of budget-friendly 3D printers with premium ones, you still have to select the one with reliable material. Most 3D printers are designed to perform ABS or PLA printing. Remember, there are certain temperatures that are essential for the build plate along with the head to attain before you print with composite materials such as carbon fiber. That’s where you need a special nozzle or extruder to accomplish the task.

Ability to Upgrade

One of the best features of a 3D printer is that you can upgrade them in one way or another. You can easily upgrade the printer with official kits or parts and third party accessories. In order to get the best results from upgrading, you should focus on the following things.

  • The machine build
  • The frame
  • The availability of the kits from the manufacturer

Community Support

Whether you are buying the best 3D printers under $500 or expensive ones, you need quality customer support to answer your questions. Make sure to find a quality 3D printer with solid customer support. In case you are not getting any response from the support team, you can share your problem on popular social communities such as Reddit, Facebook, and forums.

Additional Features

To be honest, you have to sacrifice some features when buying a budget-friendly 3D printer. However, manufacturers are well aware of the needs of their customers. You should look for useful features such as a color touch screen, manual controls, Wi-Fi connectivity, a memory card utility, and dual extruders (a rare one).

Conclusion

So, there are out 5 best 3D printers available on the market. 3D printers are available in different sizes with versatile features. Each 3D printer has its strength and weaknesses. But every printer on the list has one thing in common, and that is they provide excellent value at this price range. So, whether you are buying a 3D printer for the first time or you are a printer freak, you will surely find the best 3D printer on the list. 

Next article 5 Best 3D Printers for Kids in 2021

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