It was not that long ago that even the most basic 3D printers cost thousands of dollars, and well equipped high-production models routinely sold for more than $30,000 or even $50,000. It may come as a surprise, then, that there are now commercially available 3D printers in the sub-$500 price range.
Indeed, the plummeting prices of 3D printers and related technology has happened so fast and come so far that it has taken many consumers by surprise. Ordinary computer owners who never imagined they would be able to afford a 3D printer of their own are now taking a second look and going shopping.
When they hit the stores or head online, those 3D printer shoppers will find plenty of great models to choose from. Many of the 3D printers in the sub-$500 category includes features once thought unimaginable, including heated printer beds, the ability to accept a variety of different materials and relatively high production capacities. Here are some of our favorite 3D printers for less than $500.
The XYZ printing DaVinci Jr.
Fans of 3D printing will no doubt be familiar with the DaVinci name, and the XYZprinting DaVinci Jr. is one of the best sub-$500 printers on the market today. With many of the same features as the larger models but a much lower price tag, the DaVinci Jr. is an excellent entry point into the world of 3D printing. The DaVinci Jr. is not a perfect printer, but it is an excellent entry model to have some fun with, teach the kids about 3D printing and learn with.
With a resolution of 100 microns, the XYZprinting DaVinci Jr. can produce some great quality finished goods, especially given its low price. This 3D printer does lack a heated print bed, so take that into consideration as you shop.
The HICTOP Desktop
The HICTOP Desktop is one of the best values in the sub-$500 3D printer market. With an excellent build volume that matches many printers costing $1,000 or more, the HICTOP Desktop is an excellent choice for the serious 3D printing enthusiast who just happens to be working with a limited budget.
The HICTOP Desktop also comes with an automatic bed leveling features, something that experienced 3D printers will certainly appreciate. That automatic bed leveling feature makes the HICTOP Desktop easier to use than many competing models and puts it near the top of the sub-$500 category. The HICTOP Desktop is also one of the few entry level 3D printers to come with a heated print bed.
The M3D Micro
The M3D Micro has a rather limited build capacity, so it is not a good choice for high volume work. Even thought, it is an excellent entry level 3D printer, and its low price earns it a place on the best buy list.
The M3D Micro has an excellent resolution of 50 microns, perfect for the beginning 3D printer. It does not have a heated bed, but its low price point still makes an excellent choice for entry level shoppers.
The Delta Rostock Mini G2s
The Delta Rostock Mini G2s is one of the best entry level 3D printers on the market, with a sub-$500 price tag and plenty of advanced features. For starters, the Delta Rostock Mini G2s is one of the only printers in the under $500 category to come with a dual extruder. That feature is rare, if not completely unheard of, in an entry level printer.
The dual extruders on the Delta Rostock Mini G2s mean that users can print in two colors a feature that is obviously incredibly useful. If you want experiment with various colors and have a lot of fun, this sub-$500 3D printer is an excellent choice for the budget-conscious buyer.
The price of 3D printers has fallen sharply even as the technology has continued to improve. If you have always been fascinated by 3D printing technology but never thought you could afford a printer of your own, now is the perfect time to go shopping. With so many great models to choose from in the entry level category, there are plenty of reasons to add a 3D printer to your own home. Whether you use it to print plastic toys and custom-made action figures, teach the kids about the latest technology or just have fun, these affordable printers are a great way to start your adventure.