3D printing is a revolutionary technology that have created a buzz recently because of their ingenious concept that has been utilized in there invention, and there huge potential to impart the current manufacturing process. Being an incomparable device that is utilized to craft three dimensional objects from a digital file; 3D printers have created marvellous in the digital world of printers.
The term 3D printing covers a host of processes and technologies that offer a full spectrum of capabilities for the production of parts and products in different materials. Applications of 3D printing are emerging almost by the day, and, as this technology continues to penetrate more widely and deeply across industrial makers and consumer sectors, this is only set to increase.
3D printing is a process for making a physical object from a three dimensional model, typically by laying down many successive thin layers of a material. It brings a digital object (its CAD representation) into its physical form by adding layer by layer of materials. 3D printing is an enabling technology that encourages and drives innovation with unprecedented design freedom while being a tool-less process that reduces prohibitive cost and lead times.
For the past few years, the cost of 3d printers have come down so that anyone can buy a 3d printer for creative experiments.
Here we list the best 3d printers available today for a budget less than $300
Creality Ender 3 Pro is an upgraded version of Ender 3 which also offers the same outstanding performance. It is much more stable, durable and easy to operate printer. If any electric failure occurred in between the printing then the machine automatically resume from the last layer and thus saves time and reduces waste.
- Modelling technology: FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling)
- Printing size: 220*220*250mm or 8.6*8.6*9.8 inches
- Machine size: 440*410*465mm or 17.3*16.1*18.3 inches
- Weight: 8.6kg or 19Ibs
- Printing speed: 180mm/s
- Input: AC 100-265V 50-60Hz
- Layer thickness: 0.1-0.4mm
- Heated bed temperature: 110 degree Celsius
• The 40*40 aluminium extrusion for the Y-axis base provides stability of the printing process, leading to better print quality.
• It reduces waste and saves time and power at the time of electric failure by automatically resume from where it stops working.
• Flat packed and not too difficult to assemble and thus much easier for first time users
• Print quality is comparable to more expensive printers
• Great print area and sturdy
• Super printing size with one piece structure saves space
• V slot with POM wheel makes it more noiseless, smoothly and durable
• Presence of MK8 extruder generally reduces plugging risk and bad extrusion
• Tight filament path improves compatibility with flexible filaments
• Need levelling of bed continually before every print
• Changing filament is a tough job
• Magnetic bed misaligns and rough print finish
• Constant cleaning of belt is required due to belt loosening and heavy dust
Considering it price Creality Ender 3 Pro is an exceptional 3D printer. It is an excellent and affordable tool for makers, hobbyists, tinkerers and to some degree even for educated beginners. It has a decent build volume of 220*220*250mm magnetic bed, a power recovery mode, and a tight filament pathway which helps in work easier with flexible materials.
This printer have a sleek design with a compact design. The orange tint blocks out ambient UV light and thus prematurely cure the resin. The internal components are made up of steel and anodized aluminium. This offers a resolution between 25 and 100 microns for pinpoint accuracy in even small parts.
• Printing technology: LCD based SLA 3D printer
• Light source: UV integrated (wave length 405nm)
• Layer resolution: 25-100um
• Rated power: 50W
• Printer Size: 230*200*400mm
• Printing volume: 115*65*165mm or 4.52”*2.56”*6.1”
• Printing material: 405nm photo sensitive resin
• Weight: 9.5kg
• The software used is relatively simple to use.
• Better detailing of printing also makes tinny parts with accuracy and smooth detail and quality than the FDM printer
• Better quality pictures with a resolution between 25-100 microns. Thus prints looks much better than those printed in FDM printers at the same resolution
• Improved Z axis stability and ensures its smooth surface and detailed reconstruction
• Sanded aluminium platform greatly enhance adhesion make it more stable during printing
Related Read: 10 Best Dual Extruder 3D Printers From $300 to $6000
• During the running time of the printer it emits a strong and unpleasant odour from heat exhaust. Even though this non-toxic the users find it a bit difficult
• This model need much higher maintenance than an average FDM printer
Anycubic has earned a good reputation in the 3D printer market due to the better service it offers. This model is a better option but not for everyone. For beginners it is not a user friendly one. Due to the timely maintenance it produces high precision and flawless results. For a little project with higher accuracy this is a better option.
Flashforge finder 3D printer is marketed to people new to the 3D printing world. With low aggressive price and focus on ease of use and practicality, the flashforge finder can be considered the perfect starter 3D printer. It is good to use, provides better print quality and you can connect it with a USB cable or a Wi-Fi network. It has some really great features ad technologies, all packed into a clean and compact frame, thus making the whole experience as pleasant as possible for the end user.
• Printing technology: FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)
• Build volume: 140*140*140mm
• Layer resolution: 100-500 microns
• Filament diameter: 1.75mm
• Nozzle diameter: 0.4mm
• Print bed: PEI sheet on glass
• Software package: Flash Print
• Weight: 16kg
• The Flashforge finder offers a 5.5”*5.5”*5.5” (140*140*140mm) print area on every axis and the print bed doubles smoothly and is easy to insert and remove.
• This 3D printer is specifically designed to print models using non-toxic biodegradable plastic filaments known as poly lactic acid (PLA)
• Intelligent assistant levelling system allows the user to precisely calibrate the distance between nozzle and the build plate
• It uses a sensor on the print bead as well as very informative messages on the touch screen to allow the user to quickly and easily calibrate the printer
• This 3D printer features a Wi-Fi connectivity as well as support for a USB flash drive and direct connection with computer
• It has got a 3.5” HD IPS touch screen which helps to operate the printer easily and show previews of the model files before you start a print as well as real time view of printing.
• The printer is relatively quick while operating at noise levels as low as 50db
• The Wi-Fi connects with the devices, but it does not always work with the first try
• There seems to be a tiny gap between the stopping switches on the X and Y axis, causing the print head to slam into the body of the printer physically
Related Read: 5 Best Budget 3D Printers for Creative People
The Flashforge finder is a really good starter 3D printer with the potential for the more advanced users. It packs some really nice features and offers a lot of out of the box facilities because of its focus on ease of use and simple interface and software, it is the perfect printer to get you started with 3D printing. If you want to enter a great printing experience with a clean looking, super quiet and easy to use, then this is a better choice. Flashforge Finder is definitely the 3D printer you should consider, especially at that low price tag.
This Elegoo Mars is a consumer grade UV-LCD resin printer which is produced by Chinese technology. The printer produces premium quality prints without premium price. Mars is much suitable for both printing enthusiast and first time users. It is much suitable for jewellery, table top miniatures, pop-culture paraphernalia and small sized mechanical prototypes. Mars are capable of producing high quality prints than even the more sophisticated FFF machines.
• Printing technology: LED Display Photo curing
• Light Source: UV Integrated light (wave length 405nm)
• Layer Thickness: 0.01-0.2mm
• Printing Speed: 22.5mm/h
• Power Requirement: 110-220V, 12V5A 60W
• Build Volume: 4.72*2.68*6.1 inches
• Display: 3.5” full colour touch screen
• The quality of print is much good.
• Due to minimal setup it is much easier for both professional makers and for starters in 3D printing
• Simple and effective machine for 3D printing
• Linear ball rail guide for better stability and higher quality prints
• Tight, frustration-free MSLA printing
• Excellent printer which value for every money we pay.
• It uses FDM (Fusion deposition modelling) a process which involves extruding hot plastics.
• This printer is much compact and hence it can even place on the top of a table and thus a comfortable working.
Related Read: How to print 3D objects at Home? A Guide to 3D Printing
• The fan is quiet loud and beeping throughout beginning and end of printing process.
• Prolonged use can trip the firmware up.
The Elegoo Mars is a great option for anyone who is looking for an exceptionally detailed and high quality 3D printed models. It made absolutely excellent prints but it is definitely more difficult when compared to an FFF printer, as most resin printers are. It doesn’t have the largest build area or the most amazing customer support which may produce excellent prints if you are willing to put in a little extra work. This printer is much compact and hence suitable for placing even on the top of a table.
Anycubic are one of the most respected brands in budget 3D printing. The Anycubic Mega-S 3D Printer uses an upgraded Titan extruder. Thus it allows to print with flexible filaments like TPU and PETG in addition to ABS and PLA. The mega S is an incredible value for budget shoppers and 3D printing beginners.
• Build Volume: 210*210*205mm (8.3*8.3*8.1 inches)
• Minimum layer height: 100-400 microns
• Feeder system: Bowden drive and geared feeder
• Nozzle size: 0.4mm
• Frame: Aluminium
• Extruder type: Single
• Technology: FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling)
• Weight: 14.5kg
• Easy assembly and software interface allows the user to start printing right out of the box.
• Improved extruder reduces the risk of clogging and offers a higher print quality
• The filament sensor alerts the user when the end of the spool is close and that can save money and time on a printing cycle
• The solid metal frame helps to translate to exceptional stability during the printing process
• Affordable price and ease of use make it a smart printer option for beginners
• It offers life time technical support from Anycubic
• The auto resume option picks up the printer where it was left off due to power disruption
• Limited SD card connectivity
• Rattling noise during the time of printing cycle
• Risk of wire detaching from the bed
• Print beds can become wrapped over time
The Anycubic Mega-S 3D Printer makes 3D printing accessible for users at all levels. The affordable price is its main attraction which makes it a better option for hobby or a small business.
How to buy a 3D Printer Under $300?
The most important factor to consider when buying a 3D printer is its application and purpose. Different technologies are suitable for different applications such as hobby, jewellery, dental, industrial prototyping etc.
It is an important factor to consider when buying a 3D printer. The material must possess the needed properties to perform as per the designed specification.
Build volume is simply the printing space. The printer should be selecting keeping in mind the most common size to be printed. SLA and DLP printers are quite small compared to other build volumes. Buying an SLA printer just on the basis of its high quality finish, will not be helpful when larger prints are requires. For a bigger print FDM or SLS printer is better, whereas the post processing can be done to achieve a fine finish.
Material availability and Cost
For every technology the material properties are not simple and hence better attention should be given in selecting one. Material cost is another factor to consider while buying 3D printer which can increase the cost of the prototyping exercise.
Resolution has a direct effect on the printing of tiny features and finishing of the printed object. A printer with high resolution will easily print tiniest of features and the layer height will be thinner leading to a smooth surface finish.
Thus buying a 3D printer with a higher resolution can prove highly beneficial in the long run. SLA or DLP printers are having finest resolution of around 20 microns, whereas SLS has around 60 microns and FDM has 100 microns.