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Best 3D Printer Under $300 in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

If you’re shopping for a 3D printer with a budget of $300 but don't know where to start, we're here to help. You don't necessarily need to spend a fortune to get started with 3D printing. The technology is more affordable than ever.

In this buying guide, we've reviewed some of the best 3D printers under $300, so you can pick the one that suits your needs.

Comparison Table

3D Printer

​Maximum Build Area

Technology

Highest resolution

Weight

Creality Ender 3

220 x 220 x 250 mm

FDM

100 microns

17.1 lbs

FlashForge Finder

140 x 140 x 140 mm

FFF

100 microns

28 lbs

Monoprice MP10 Mini

200 x 200 x 180 mm

FDM

50 microns

20.9 lbs

Monoprice Select Mini v2

120 x 120 x 120 mm

FDM

100 microns

9.9 lbs

​Creality Ender 3 Pro

220 x 220 x 250 mm

FDM

100 microns

18.96 lbs

ANYCUBIC Full Metal I3 Mega

210 x 210 x 205 mm

FDM

100 microns

31.9 lbs

The 6 Best 3D printers Under $300

1. Creality Ender 3 3D Printer

Creality Ender 3 3D Printer

Design & Setup

The Comgrow Creality Ender 3 is an affordable 3D printer that comes with many features for the 3D printing enthusiasts.

For starters, the print volume is 220 x 220 x 250 mm, which is big enough at this price. 

Moreover, this 3D printer is equipped with an LCD and a control wheel that gives you access to the printer's settings, as well as the X and Y-axis coordinates. 

At 8.7 x 8.7 x 9.8 inches and 17 lbs, the Creality Ender 3 is pretty compact and lightweight. Setup is quite easy thanks to the well-written quick start guide.

Print Quality & Connectivity

The maximum resolution of 100 microns means that you should have no problem printing precise objects. You can print via USB, but there's no Wi-Fi support.

Extra Features

The BuildTak sticker prevents the prints from accidentally detaching off the print bed. Moreover, if the power goes down, you can easily recover your prints.

Furthermore, you can choose to print either with a flexible or an exotic filament. 

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Adequate print volume
  • Open-source software
  • Easy to set up and assemble
  • Small footprint

What We Don’t Like

  • The base is a bit tricky to level
  • Manual calibration
  • Loose X-axis belt
  • Wobbling base
  • No Wi-Fi

Final Verdict

The Creality Ender 3 is a great budget 3D printer, and it'll surely appeal to 3D printing newbies and enthusiasts alike. It's quite easy to assemble and setup.

2. FlashForge Finder 3D Printer

FlashForge Finder 3D Printer

Design & Setup

The Flashforge Finder is a cube-shaped, open-frame 3D printer that provides you with excellent print quality. 

At 16.5 x 16.5 x 16.5 inches (HWD), the 3D printer is quite compact, and it should fit into your room pretty easily. It's also lightweight, weighing 27 lbs.

The build volume is limited to 5.5 x 5.5 x 5.5 inches only, making this printer suitable for small objects.

The Flashforge Finder is somewhat complicated to set up because the instructions are hard to understand.

Unfortunately, this printer can only print with Polylactic Acid Filament (PLA), which is a bit disappointing since many printers at this price range can also print with Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS).

Print Quality & Connectivity

The print resolution can be set anywhere from 100 to 500 microns. The default is 200 microns. Print quality is pretty decent, and the results should look good for most users.

The Flashforge Finder can print via a USB cable, a USB thumb drive or Wi-Fi.

Extra Features

This printer allows you to print over the cloud. Moreover, the assisted bed leveling makes it easy for you to level the print bed.

What We Like

  • Quiet
  • Great print quality
  • Prints via USB 2.0 cable, USB thumb drive, or Wi-Fi
  • Affordable
  • Assisted bed leveling

What We Don’t Like

  • Quick start guide is poorly written and complicated
  • Limited build volume 
  • Limited to printing with polylactic acid filament (PLA)

Final Verdict

The Flashforge Finder is a budget compact 3D Printer with a high printer quality. It should provide you with a satisfactory performance once you manage to set it up.

3. Monoprice MP10 Mini 3D Printer

Monoprice MP10 Mini 3D Printer

Design & Setup

The printer measures 15.7 X 21 X 15.7 inches and weighs just 20.9 lbs, making it easy to move around.

The build volume is 200x200x180mm, which is somewhat small compared to other 3D printers.

The build plate is heated to improve adhesion. It's also removable which makes detaching your prints much easier.

Moreover, there's a 3.5" color LCD touchscreen that allows you to control the printer's settings conveniently.

The MP10 Mini is pretty easy to assemble and setup too.

Print Quality & Connectivity

With a maximum print resolution of 50 microns, you can print some pretty high-detailed objects using this 3D printer.

You can print from your computer using a USB cable or Wi-Fi. A micro SD card slot is also included.

Extra Features

The Monoprice MP10 Mini features a "Resume Printing Function". With this feature, you can continue where you left off in case the printer is disconnected for any reason.

Additionally, bed leveling is assisted, ensuring that you get accurate results without having to level the bed every time manually.

What We Like

  • Assisted bed leveling
  • Heated, flexible, and removable build plate
  • 3.5" color touchscreen display
  • Prints via USB, SD card or Wi-Fi

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited build volume

Final Verdict

The Monoprice MP10 Mini 3D is a good overall budget 3D printer that promises to deliver a great user experience with its versatility and features.

4. Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer V2

Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer V2

Design & Setup

The Monoprice Select Mini 3D printer measures 7.5 x 11.3 x 13.5 inches and weighs just 14 lbs, making it quite compact and portable. 

A 3.7" color touchscreen display is used to control the printer's settings. The printer ships fully assembled and calibrated. Setup is quite easy too.

It also comes with free sample PLA filament and an SD card that's pre-loaded with a model so you can start printing right away. 

The biggest drawback with this printer is that the build volume is limited to 120x120x120mm only.

Print Quality & Connectivity

The maximum resolution is 100 microns, while the minimum is 300 microns. The printer allows you to print from your computer via USB or Wi-Fi. You can also print using an SD card.

Extra Features

The software used in this printer is open source, allowing you to customize your experience to your liking.

You can use any type of filament you want from any manufacturer thanks to the heated build plate and the wide range of extruder temperatures.

What We Like

  • Open-source software
  • Comes fully assembled
  • Easy to set up
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Heated build plate

What We Don’t Like

  • Manual bed leveling
  • Limited build volume

Final Verdict

If you usually print small models, the Monoprice Select Mini 3D printer is ready to print anything you throw at it right out of the box at a great quality.

5. Creality Ender 3 Pro

Creality Ender 3 Pro

Design & Setup

The Creality Ender 3 Pro is the upgraded version of the original Ender 3. 

The first notable difference is the stronger, 40×40 aluminium extrusion for the Y-axis base, which significantly improves the print quality thanks to the enhanced stability.

Moreover, the Ender 3 Pro features an upgraded Meanwell Power Supply Unit (PSU). It's thinner and quieter than the one on the Ender 3.

Another notable difference between the Ender 3 and the Ender 3 Pro is the added C-MAG magnetic printing bed. 

It's removable and flexible, which makes detaching finished prints quite easy. The surface is textured, which improves adhesion of the object being printed. You won't have to use tape with this printer.

Other than the things we mentioned, the Ender 3 Pro is vastly similar to its predecessor. It features the same 220 x 220 x 250 mm build volume and the same overall dimensions.

It also has an LCD screen that shows the printer's settings so you can easily adjust them using the provided control wheel.

Print Quality & Connectivity

The print resolution ranges from 100 to 500 microns. Print quality is pretty satisfactory. You can print some complex models with this printer.

Just like its predecessor, the Ender 3 Pro supports printing via USB only. 

Extra Features

The Ender 3 Pro has the same BuildTak sticker found on the Ender 3 which provides enough adhesion for the prints. You can also resume printing in case the printer disconnects accidentally.

What We Like

  • Excellent print quality
  • Almost silent operation
  • Compact
  • Magnetic printing bed
  • Upgraded Power Supply Unit (PSU)

What We Don’t Like

  • Requires manual calibration
  • No Wi-Fi support

Final Verdict

Whether the Ender 3 Pro is worth getting over the cheaper Ender 3 is rather controversial. The price difference isn't that big. Thinking about the provided upgrades, the Ender 3 Pro is a good option to consider.

6. ANYCUBIC Full Metal I3 Mega

Anycubic Full Metal I3 Mega

Design & Setup

The Anycubic Full Metal I3 Mega features a 210 x 210 x 205 mm build volume which is enough at this price range. 

There's a TFT touchscreen display that gives you easy access to the settings. Many print materials are supported, including PLA, ABS, HIPS, and WOOD.

Moreover, assembling the printer is quite easy, and it shouldn't take much effort. After you're done with it, you're ready to start printing your first model.

The heated build blade provides adequate adhesion for prints, yet it isn't difficult to remove your prints by hand.

Print Quality & Connectivity

The printer has a resolution of up to 50 microns, giving you the possibility to print highly detailed models. Print quality is quite satisfactory even with complex models.

You can print via a USB cable or from an SD card. Unfortunately, the Anycubic I3 Mega doesn't support Wi-Fi.

Extra Features

With this printer, you don't have to worry about accidentally disconnecting because you can easily continue printing from where you left off.

The printer comes with an extra set of nozzles and a kilogram of PLA filament.

What We Like

  • Heated build built with adequate adhesion
  • Decent build volume
  • High printing resolution
  • Comes with extra nozzles and 1 KG of PLA filament
  • Resume printing function
  • Easy to assemble and set up

What We Don’t Like

  • No Wi-Fi support
  • Manual bed leveling

Final Verdict

The Anycubic Full Metal I3 Mega is a solid 3D printer under the $300 mark with many features that make it worth considering.

How Far Will $300 Go?

Typically, at this price range, the printers are small in size and build volume. They're not designed to print large models. 

You should expect to get a 3D printer that's easy to assemble and set up, as well as print at a resolution of at least 100 microns.

It's also common for 3D printers at this price range to have a heated, removable build plate and assisted bed leveling.

How to Pick an Affordable 3D Printer?

Here are a few things to consider before buying an affordable 3D printer.

Build Volume

Before buying a 3D printer, you need to make sure that there's enough room to print the models you wish to print. 

The bigger the build area, the more options you have with the size of your models. Just keep in mind that build volumes are usually limited at this price range.

Ease of Setup

Ease of setup is another crucial thing to consider, especially if you're new to the 3D printing world. 

Some 3D printers may take days for you to figure them out, while others are quite easy to set up and run. It's recommended to choose a printer that comes fully assembled and doesn't have a long setup process.

Print Quality & Resolution

Many factors determine the print quality of a 3D printer. The print bed should be easy to level so you can get accurate results. It's better to get a printer that has assisted bed leveling.

Moreover, you should choose a printer with a high print resolution if you want to print highly detailed models. A maximum print resolution of either 50 or 100 microns should be enough, with 50 microns being better.

Connectivity

All printers support printing via USB. Some have an SD card slot while others also support Wi-Fi. Make sure that the printer has the connectivity options you need before buying.

What Types of 3D Printers Are Available?

There are ten different types of 3D printers:

  • Stereolithography (SLA)
  • Digital Light Processing (DLP)
  • Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)
  • Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
  • Selective Laser Melting (SLM)
  • Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)
  • Electronic Beam Melting (EBM)
  • Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM)
  • Binder Jetting (BJ)
  • Material Jetting (MJ)

Closing Thoughts

Our top pick as one of the best 3D printers under $300 is the Monoprice MP10 Mini 3D Printer. With assisted bed leveling, a resume printing function, heated removable build plate, and high printing resolution, it's hard not to recommend this fantastic printer.

You could also opt for the Creality Ender 3 if you want something a little cheaper without sacrificing that much on features and performance.

Adam William
 

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