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Best 3D Printer Under $500 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Best 3D Printers Under $500

If you're shopping for a 3D printer with a budget of $500, you've come to the right place. 3D printing is getting more popular every day. Having the ability to print 3D objects isn't only convenient but also quite fun. 

The possibilities are endless. You can come up with a ton of creative ideas, and the printer will print them for you. We've reviewed some of the best 3D printers under $500. 

Moreover, we'll give you some knowledge about the features of 3D printers in general so you can learn what the fuss is all about.

Comparison Table

3D Printer

Build Volume (inches)

Highest Resolution (microns)

Weight (lbs)

Monoprice Voxel

6.9x6.9x6.9

60

19.9

Comgrow Creality Ender 3

8.6x8.6x9.4

100

17.1

Monoprice Mini Delta

4.3x4.3x4.7

50

10.2

​FlashForge Finder

5.5x5.5x5.5

100

28

XYZprinting da Vinci Mini

5.9x5.9x5.9

100

22

QIDI Technology X-one2

5.5x5.5x5.5

100

43

The 6 Best 3D Printers Under $500 in 2019

1. Monoprice Voxel 3D Printer

Monoprice Voxel 3D Printer

The Voxel is a cube-shaped printer measuring 15 by 15.7 by 15.9 inches, and it weighs 19.9 pounds. 

The frame is matte black and gray, with a transparent door with a magnetic latch in front, and clear plastic panels on the left side and top. 

The Voxel comes with a 2.8-inch color touchscreen, and a USB port for thumb drive at the bottom right. The build area inside the printer is 6.9 x 6.9 x 6.9 inches

One of the Voxel's best features is its closed frame. The closed frame minimizes the noise, and the Voxel is a nearly silent operator. 

Moreover, the closed frame makes the printer safer since it prevents you from touching the hot extruder during operation.

You're safe as long as the door is closed, but be careful not to touch the hot tip of the nozzle. 

It extends further down below the extruder than other 3D printers, making it more likely for you to accidentally touch it when the door is open. 

Additionally, the closed frame prevents you from smelling an unpleasant odor from the hot filament. That's a significant problem many 3D printers face with other types of printers, especially when the printing medium is Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS). 

The Monoprice Voxel is quite easy to set up using the quick-start guide that comes in the box.

When you turn the printer on for the first time, the touchscreen displays a menu with three options: Build, Tools, and Filament.

The menu is very intuitive to use, and both an icon and a name clearly identify the items.

Print-bed leveling (calibration) is not fully automatic like it is on many other 3D printers. Nevertheless, it's still pretty easy to use.

When it comes to software, the Voxel uses MP FlashPrint. You can download it free of charge on the official Monoprice website.

FlashPrint is based on the open-source Cura platform that many other 3D printer vendors use because it's easy to use.

What We Like

  • Easy setup
  • Affordable printer and filament spools.
  • Supports PLA, ABS, and other composite filament types
  • Open-source software
  • Prints using Ethernet, USB or Wi-Fi

What We Don't Like

  • Occasional misprints may happen
  • Somewhat bulky touchscreen.

Final Verdict

The Monoprice Voxel is a excellent, affordable 3D printer that's quite convenient to set up and use. The print quality is decent too.

2. Comgrow Creality Ender 3 3D Printer

Comgrow Creality Ender 3 3D Printer

What makes the Comgrow Creality Ender 3 such a great printer is that it's well-designed and packs a ton of features while also being affordable.

The Ender 3's print bed measures 220 x 220 x 250 mm, which is adequate.

The 0.1 mm layer resolution allows you to print highly-detailed items easily. 

Another useful feature is the BuildTalk-like sticker on the print bed. It prevents your prints from detaching from the bed during operation. 

Furthermore, if your printer is disconnected for any reason, there's no need to worry, you'll be able to recover the print pretty easily.

While this feature isn't unique, it's seldom rare to find it on a budget 3D printer.

There's an LCD panel that allows you to move the X and Y-axis. The panel has a ton of settings, but it may respond slowly sometimes.

The LCD has a control wheel on the right side of the printer's frame allowing you to configure your print settings conveniently.

Some of the drawbacks of the Creality Ender 3 include a slight wobble in the base. Another problem is the long X-axis belt. It should've been shorter to prevent it from getting loose.

What We Like

  • Affordable price
  • Ample print volume
  • Open-source software
  • Easy assembly and set up
  • Compact design

​​​​What We Don't Like

  • The base can be a little unstable making it hard to level
  • Needs manual calibration

Final Verdict

Considering its extremely low price, the Creality Ender 3 will surely appeal to many 3D printing enthusiasts. It can print with multiple filaments –including flexible and exotic ones.

It's an excellent choice for newbies as well as experienced designers on a low budget.

3. Monoprice Mini Delta 3D Printer

Monoprice MP Mini Delta 3D Printer

The Monoprice Mini Delta is an entry-level 3D printer that offers versatility and ease of use at a low price point.

At less than $200, the Monoprice Mini Delta can deliver you high-quality prints that are unmatched at such a low price. Moreover, at a speed up to 150mm per second, the printer is quite fast.

The build volume is only 110 x 110 x 120 mm, making this printer suitable for smaller prints only. 

Even though the small build volume is mostly considered a disadvantage, the compact design makes this printer a great choice if you're limited on space.

The Mini Delta is ready to print anything you throw at it right out of the box. That's right, just plug it in, and you're good to go. 

At only 10.2 lbs, the Monoprice Mini Delta is quite portable. So, if you're looking for a portable 3D printer that you need to move frequently from place to place for whatever reason, then this 3D printer is an excellent option to consider. 

The printer's build quality is excellent, thanks to the full metal case. Additionally, the Monoprice Mini Delta features automatic bed leveling that saves you the hassle of adjusting it manually.

With this compact printer, you can print at speeds up to 150mm per second.

The 50-micron layer resolution produces decent quality prints, but not the best you can find. Though, at this price, you can't complain.

Another disadvantage is the cheap build sheet surface. It's easy to rip when you're removing your print accidentally. An easy fix for that is to apply keton tape.

What We Like

  • Automatic bed leveling
  • Removable build plate
  • Fast printing
  • Easy to set up

What We Don't Like

  • User has to configure the software
  • Some issues with connectivity, whether it's WiFi or USB

Final Verdict

With little to no setup effort, the Monoprice Mini Delta is a fantastic option for beginners. The price alone is a good enough reason to buy it.

4. FlashForge Finder 3D Printer

FlashForge Finder 3D Printer

The Flashforge Finder is a mid-range home 3D printer that's guaranteed to give you an excellent print quality and multiple connection choices. 

It has a modest build area and is limited to printing with Polylactic Acid Filament (PLA), which is a huge let down since even cheaper printers can print with Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) too.

The printer is somewhat tricky to set up. The instructions in the quick start guide are poorly written and may not be easily understood. You'll have to go through some troubleshooting to get the printer up and running.

The Finder is a cube-shaped, open-frame 3D printer, and it's equipped with a single extruder. 

It measures 16.5 x 16.5 x 16.5 inches (HWD) and weighs around 27 pounds. The build volume is 5.5 by 5.5 by 5.5 inches, which is OK but not really the best.

The printer allows you to change the resolution anywhere from 100 to 500 microns, with the default being 200 microns. You can add a raft or supports.

The print quality of the Flashforge Finder is pretty satisfactory, and you should have no complaints about it.

You can choose to print either via USB or Wi-Fi connection.

What We Like

  • Quiet operation
  • Excellent print quality
  • Connects via USB 2.0 cable, USB thumb drive, or Wi-Fi
  • Reasonable price

What We Don't Like

  • Some objects may pull off the platform during the printing
  • Unclear start guide
  • Mediocre build volume
  • Limited to printing with polylactic acid filament (PLA)

Final Verdict

The Flashforge Finder 3D Printer won't cost you a fortune, and it offers a superb build quality. Setup is quite tricky, but after you're done with that, you should have no problems with the printer.

5. XYZprinting da Vinci Mini

XYZprinting da Vinci Mini 3D Printer

Unlike other 3D printers at this price range, you don't need to assemble the da Vinci Mini W+. Just remove the packing materials and protective tape, and you're good to go.

And while other 3D printers may have a somewhat steep learning curve, the da Vinci is automatic for the most part, and it doesn't require you to configure the optimum settings to get the best prints.

When it comes to design, the da Vinci looks like a small sewing machine. It's quite compact and doesn't take up much space.

The printer can be connected to a PC via USB. You can also use Wi-Fi, but you have to connect the printer via USB to set up Wi-Fi.

The Mini w+ has a build area of 5.9 x 5.9 x 5.9 inches. The bed is made of aluminum and isn't heated up. 

To compensate, there are some sheets of tape that come in the box. Moreover, XYZ recommends the users to apply Pritt Stick-type glue if the room temperature is less than 25°C.

The machine can only print with PLA, and you're limited to using the proprietary PLA filament from XYZ. 

The da Vinci Mini isn't equipped with a display, and you can't print from a memory card or a USB thumb drive.

The Mini w+ features auto-calibration, so you don't have to worry about things like z-offset or the leveling of the bed.

The print quality is excellent for the price, just don't expect anything fancy. Printing quality is affected by how complicated the print is.

What We Like

  • Easy to use and set up, ready to print out of the box
  • Auto calibration and bed leveling
  • Quite affordable

What We Don't Like

  • No display
  • Can't print off a memory card or a USB stick
  • Uses proprietary PLA filament

Final Verdict

As 3D printers go, this is one of the most newbie-proof ones out there. Just don't expect super high-quality prints.\

6. QIDI Technology X-one2 3D Printer

QIDI Technology X-one2 3D Printer

The X-one 2 is housed in a rigid aluminum frame and has a limited build volume (5.5 inches in all directions).

The 3D printer appears to be a close-framed one, but it doesn't come with a top cover. It has a hinged door and two side panels, all of which are transparent, so you can monitor the progress of your prints.

Even though it's an open frame printer, it doesn't produce that much noise.

It's equipped with a 3.5-inch touchscreen interface. The icons are easily recognizable, and the UI is very responsive and user-friendly. 

Unfortunately, the build plate can't be removed, which may make it challenging to remove completed prints, especially the larger ones.

the X-one 2 can print with both PLA and ABS, and it's an open material system, which means you can use filaments from other manufacturers. Just make sure that the filament diameter is 1.75 mm.

Furthermore, this 3D printer is quite easy to set up. It doesn't require assembly, and the extruder is already pre-installed.

The X-one 2 can print smooth, detailed 3D models, even with the default print settings.

What We Like

  • Sturdy metal frame
  • Easy setup, fully assembled out of the box
  • Heated aluminum print bed
  • Decent print quality
  • Comes with a touchscreen display
  • Prints with both PLA and ABS
  • Open material system
  • Connects via USB and Wi-Fi
  • Can print from an SD card

What We Don't Like

  • Manual bed leveling
  • Limited build area
  • Non-removable build plate

Final Verdict

The X-one 2 is an attractive option for those looking for an easy-to-use, versatile, and affordable 3D printer.

How Far Will $500 Go?

For $500, you can expect to get a 3D printer with pretty decent print quality, ability to print with both ABS & PLA, a proper build area, and a variety of connectivity options (USB, Wi-Fi, etc.)

How to Pick an Affordable 3D Printer?

Here are a few things to consider before picking a 3D printer under $500:

  • Build area. The bigger the build area, the more size options you have with your prints.
  • Ease of use. If you're new to the 3D printing, it's a good idea to get a printer that's easy to use and requires little to no setup effort. Many printers at this price range are of the "plug and play" type.
  • Connectivity. Many 3D printers can be connected via USB and Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi can be handy if you want to print something off your phone.
  • Printing materials. The materials your 3D printer support will play a massive role in how versatile your prints will be. At this price range, you can find 3D printers that support printing with Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) and Polylactic Acid Filament (PLA).

What Types of 3D Printers Are Available?

There are ten 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)

Final Thoughts

Our top pick as one of the best 3D printers under $500 is the Monoprice Voxel

With an adequate build area, easy setup, PLA/ABS compatibility, and closed frame design, it's hard not to recommend this printer.

For a cheaper price tag, you can opt for the Monoprice Mini Delta 3D printer, if you don't mind the small build area and the not-so-great print quality.

Nevertheless, the choice is still a matter of personal preference, and there's a 3D printer for everyone on our list.

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Adam William
 

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