Budget friendly 3d printers are great and have come a very long way. There are many features that were once only available on “premium” 3d printers that are now available on these budget 3d printers. Now before I even get started with this list, I want you to know that these are my personal favorite budget 3d printers and that they all come from fairly large or known companies. There are thousands of “china kits” that can be fairly great machines. There are just too many to count and there are inconsistencies so once more these are the best budget 3d printers available from larger companies/manufacturers. These will not be in any particular order as I think they can all be great for their own various reasons.
Monoprice Select Mini 3d Printer
When this printer came out earlier this year I was mindblown, to be a complete ready to rock 3d printer that was not a kit and offered a heated bed was almost unheard of. I was so tempted to rush out and add this to my collection just because of its cute size and form factor. I do think this is a killer little printer for prototyping and I love the fact that it takes up literally no room at all. (The whole printer is literally 1 ft x 1 ft x 8 in.) If you do not need a large build area and just want to get into 3d printing to learn the fundamentals and create little “doo-dads” this is a budget 3d printer that is very hard to pass up.
Some of its key features are: Heated bed which means you have the ability to prints abs and other filaments that require a hotbed, LCD screen to easily control the 3d printer, SD card reader which will allow you to print directly from the 3d printer as a standalone meaning you will not need to have it plugged into your computer every time you want to print. The only downside I can really think of is its build area which is roughly 4.7” x 4.7” x 4.7” which in all honesty is not even half bad. The average size on all of my 3d printers and what I would say is most common is roughly 8” in every direction. However, it is rare I print anything much larger than 5-6 inches at most meaning this would be fine for all of those prints.
Monoprice Maker Select 3d Printer v2
Since we are on monoprice we might as well take a look at their other flagship 3d printer. If you are looking to get something a little bigger and badder than the Select Mini then this budget 3d printer could definitely be the one for you. It is a prusa style printer similar to the mono price meaning the extruder goes left and right on the x axis as well as up and down on the z while the bed goes forward and backwards on the y axis.
This printer requires you to install a couple of screws when you unpackage it (I believe it’s literally something like 6) so we will just say it comes assembled because compared to a kit that is not even worth mentioning as a setup. This 3d printer also has a heated bed which is great so you won’t have to worry about printing whatever filament you choose. You also have your LCD screen and SD card slot for standalone printing.
The main pros of this over the select mini are primarily its build size which is 8” x 8” x 7” at almost double as well as its upgradeability. There are a ton of people with this machine and they have created some great mods and upgrades for this 3d printer that if you choose to do so can make this printer print with as good quality as some of the much more expensive 3d printers on the market. If you want something that is going to have great support from forums and the community as well as expandability then this is probably going to be the best budget 3d printer for you.
Matter MOD-t 3d printer
This is a fairly new startup 3d printer on the market but as it has been sent out to consumers and reviewers you will see more and more about it as the days progress. I like this 3d printer primarily for the fact that it is clean and contained very nicely. Setup on this 3d printer is insanely easy to do and you will be up and printing in no time at all. I will say that the quality you will get on this printer will not be insane but still good enough to get into 3d printing and the results are still pretty damn good if all is setup correctly.
One feature this printer has that the last two did not have at least by default is WiFi printing. WiFi printing gives you the ability to control your 3d printer no matter where it is in your house or office which is so much nicer and cleaner than running USB cables and is actually my preferred method over SD card printing. This is how I run all of my machines, and this is something you can add to just about any machine but it is nice to have it built in by default.
I do also like that the 3d printer is completely covered to help with at least some noise reduction as 3d printers are far from quiet. My biggest downfall really with this 3d printer is there is no heated bed and no easy way to add one. Meaning you will only be able to print PLA. Do not let this discourage you though as even with as much as I print 90% of my prints are done in PLA still. The build area is 6” x 4” x 5” so not as small as the Monoprice Mini but not as large as the Monoprice Maker Select. All in all it is a nice little package and has earned its spot on this list of top budget 3d printers of 2016.
XYZ DaVinci Mini 3d printer
Oh XYZ, I have had a love hate relationship (more on the hate side) for quite some time. However, I will have to put that aside and remember it is about the 3d printer right now. This is one of the newest 3d printers to their line and completely different than their more standard core xy style box printers. It is a prusa style printer which is a similar trend with all of these 3d printers.
This 3d printer features the ability just like the MOD-t to connect to your WiFi allowing for wireless printing. One feature it has that the other printers do not is the ability to auto calibrate the bed. This is a pretty awesome feature found on much more expensive 3d printers. It basically means the hot end will probe certain spots on the bed to see if it is even or not. If it is not even it will correct this in the print giving you an even print every time (hopefully). It does not have a heated bed meaning you will be printing in PLA. The build size is 5.9” x 5.9” x 5.9”.
The biggest turn off of this printer which is what makes it hard for me to recommend over the other printers is that is uses XYZ filament only. Meaning you have to use the filament they sell due to it having an NFC chip it will not take any other filament. I hate the idea of being closed source and having to pay extra for standard PLA. If you do not mind paying for the filament and just need to use PLA then this is a solid printer that is very easy to set up and gets some pretty impressive prints for being a budget 3d printer.
Well this wraps up our list of the best budget 3d printers of December 2016. If you are in the market for a 3d printer then hopefully this will at least help to narrow it down for you.
What do you guys think any others that you think should have made the list?