The 10 Best 3D Printers for Beginners, From Cheapest to Most Expensive

With increasing popularity, the 3D printing technology is made available for different price range. Now, even someone working from home can afford a 3D printer.

Today you can buy it for as cheap as $100 which ones was not even possible for many small and large businesses to own. Invested for industrial usage, with time, 3D printing has evolved greatly to fit into individual’s life.

Now, 3D printers for beginners can be found at almost every store selling 3D printers. Even e-commerce websites have huge variety of 3D printers.

At the same time, these many options become a challenge when selecting the one fit for our business or individual requirement. It is intimidating to make the right choice. One must take care to tick all the right boxes from safety to 3D printing resolution and quality to price.

So, here is a list of 10 best 3D printers for beginners starting from low to high range. This will help you determine the best budget 3d printer for you.

Da Vinci Nano by XYZprinting

Da Vinci Nano by XYZprinting

This beautiful 3D printer is designed especially for beginners and comes for $180. Isn’t that really affordable for everyone? This printer mostly looks like a kitchen appliance, much similar to a bread maker.

The build area is covered and safe for running it inside house with kids. Da Vinci Nano does not make much noise only if you are sitting next to it. The noises are audible if you shift to another room. Also, the printer is completely assembled. So, you can take it out of the box and start working.

It has a lift door that safeguard the working of the printer while avoiding any accidental touch to the print bed. The glass print bed is detachable and can be taken out after the print in completed. Among all the 3D printers for Beginners, this one is cheap and is one the easiest 3d printers to set up. It may the best 3d printer to start with.

You get access to a software that comes with this 3D printer and is the only way to communicate with the printer. There is not much buttons available on the printer itself, apart from start and print button.

The 3D printer only works with PLA as the heated bed is not available with this option. The filament is stored on a reel which fits behind the printer’s body. These filaments are available in 14 colors and you are bound to use the company’s filament only. These are a bit costly than those available with the third party filament sellers. However, it is still affordable.

To check the status of your print, you must depend on the software provided with the 3D printer. You can disconnect the laptop from the printer once the file is fed to the printer through USB connection. However, you won’t be able to see the print completion stage.

The software that comes with this 3D printer is also nice. It offers a lot of features from import to scale to move to combining the 3D models together. You can even create primitive 3D models using this software.

Once you think that the work is done for the software, you just pass it to the XYZ printer plugin. This plugin is used to slice the model and the printing is started later.

The major disadvantage of the 3D printer is its speed. The speed is fairly low. But the quality is modest. You can print great 3D parts and products using this 3D printer with sufficient dimension. If your aim is to find the best 3D printer under 300, you can definitely go for this choice.

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FlashForge Finder 3D Printers for Beginners

FlashForge Finder 3D Printers for Beginners

The 3D printer costs $399. These 3D printers for beginners by FlashForge is a huge success. This 3D Printer has the WIFI connectivity which many high range printers also fail to offer.

This means, one can easily connect the printer to the WIFI and then to the computer. Instead of getting up and reaching your printer for making the necessary settings, you can easily do it from wherever you are. You do have the USB connectivity. So, even if you wish to do it manually with wired connection, you can do that too.

You can use it with Mac as well as Windows PC. It comes assembled and does not need any extra effort of preparing the 3D printer for prints. The plastic body is lightweight and easy to handle. The body is enclosed.

The noise is also not a problem with this printer. A little sound would on the other hand would help you know that the printer is working. You can easily keep it inside your house without worrying about the irritating noise that accompanies many 3D printers.

The build plate is also removable as it is with the Da Vinci Nano 3D printer. However, unlike Da Vinci Nano, it does not offer auto bed leveling which can be a bit difficult for beginners to start with. But there is always room for learning.

It is easy to use as most of the 3D printers designed for beginners are. The cool features and wonderful quality give an edge to this 3D printer. There might be some problem with the support structure though. It only allows PLA for prints. So, the printing is completely non toxic.

FlashPrint software is available for all the printer manufactured by FlashForge. The software is a bit tricky to operate but does an amazing job to rotate, move, scale or cut the object. The 3D printer also has a clear touch screen panel to operate the printer. The nozzle is wisely covered to reduce the damage an accidental touch to the nozzle can cause.

However, you will have to compromise on the small build volume. The bed is also not heated which sometimes result in warping. Also, the filament spool is smaller when used with non FlashForge spool.

With all the pros and cons, this 3D printer makes for the best printers in the given price range.

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Up Mini 2 by Tiertime – Best Budget 3D Printed

Up Mini 2 by Tiertime

This 3D printer is worth $569 and is loaded with many great features that well justify its cost. The Up Mini 2 is designed beautifully and is sleek enough for desk use. Based on FDM technology, it is simple to operate and work with. The printer also has HEPA filter. So, if you are working with ABS, you can still be safe as it filters most of the non toxic fumes. The body is enclosed and safe for use inside house as well.

The heated build plates are available with print area of 120 x 120 x 120 mm. The printer also has automatic bed leveling and automatic nozzle height detection features. It also has the blackout recovery feature. This means that the print can be recovered if anytime the power cuts of in between of the printing process.

The touch screen control is also outstanding and can be easily understood. The operation is quite and there is no problem of unbearable noise. This makes it the right fit for home use for individuals.

There is a separate unit for filament spool which is a good thing. It looks trendy and beautiful as well. The printer has four set of beds. Two are provided for printing with normal filaments while the other two are for flexible filament.

The software available for UP Mini 2, UP Studio is very basic and easy for beginners to work with. And, the printer allows ABS printing. As ABS has superior mechanical properties as compared to the objects printed in PLA, you can expect high quality prints.

There were some pitfalls though. The wifi connectivity is bit weak and has problems connecting sometimes. The build volume is also limited to a very small size. The printer also does not offer SD slot. So, for beginners loading the STL file directly may come as a challenge. Filament Cady cannot be expanded which is not a big problem though.

Moreover, the software provided is very basic. So, in case you want to move further with more detailed modifications later after you cross the beginner’s stage, it would not be able to suffice the need properly.

However, with the price that is offered for a 3D printer with HEPA filter, this is the best you can expect.

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LulzBot Mini

Made on open source hardware, the 3D Printer uses FDM technology to print 3D objects. The material is melted and deposited layer by layer to build the complete object. The cost for this mighty 3D printer is $1250 and is completely worth it. A good choice for beginners who are ready to pay some extra cash for getting the best quality prints.

The 3D printer does not have a SD slot or neither have any controls on its body. It has the USB slot which is used to connect the PC to the printer. So, if you wish to print with this 3D printer, you must connect it to the PC.

The print surface is made of heated borosilicate glass and can print 6 inches from all dimensions. This is enough for those starting to learn 3D printing. The 3D printer comes with complete setup guide from software installing to your first print. And, the instructions are easy to follow.

The best part about the printer is that it can print with multiple material options. The LulzBot Mini prints with PLA, ABS, HIPS, wood filled filaments, PVA, PETT, Polyester (Tritan), bronze and copper filled filaments, Nylon, Polycarbonate, PETG, and many others.

Because the printer focuses on open source foundation, you can use different software available online for free. It is however, bundled with Cura LulzBot Edition. But you can also use Slic3r, OctoPrint and few others.

There are two important things that the 3D printer does before starting the print operation. First of all, it cleans the nozzle by rubbing it to the thick pad to get rid of any residue. Finally, it calibrates the print head according to the bed.

The 3D printer unlike the other listed above, is a bit on a noisier side. While talking about adhesion, you do not have to worry about glue stick at all. This is all because of the PEI print surface. The print achieved is high quality and the object printed is smooth, robust and solid.

This 3D printer has few limitations. There are no on-board controls. Moreover, the finer details are not very impressive with this 3D printer. It is noisy too.

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Replicator Plus Mini by MakerBot

Replicator+ Mini by MakerBot

If you have been researching about 3D printers, you must be aware of the MakerBot. The company has designed many 3D printers for commercial usage and Replicator+ mini is one among them.

The 3D printers for beginners are designed taking into consideration a lot of attributes. And, the most important of them is the ease of operation. MakerBot has managed to include the feature carefully to help beginners learn while creating hundreds of beautiful objects.

The 3D printer is compatible to be used for Mac, Windows as well as Linux OS. It also is packaged with spool of PLA filament that is enough to practice with. It costs $1286 and isn’t much expensive than the LulzBot Mini. You also get the feature of cloud storage for the 3D designs with this printer.

On top of that, there is a camera connected to the device which makes it easy to check the printing while you are away from your smartphone. This camera isn’t only for keeping a watch but also uploads files to the cloud.

The printer needs a bit of assembly for the first-time printing. However, the guide is easy to understand and follow. And, the assembly does not require any tools. By only connecting the different parts together one can make this 3D printer ready for printing.

The extruder is also smart enough to know when the filament is over. It automatically pauses the printing process until the next set of filaments are loaded. The printer comes with a pre-levelled printing bed to make the printing speed faster.

Talking about its limitations, the 3D printer has the very small build volume. You cannot print anything more than 4 inches in any dimensions. Moreover, the printer is not enclosed completely which makes it unsafe around kids. The software sometimes takes time to recognize the printer which is frustrating. Also, the price is bit higher for what the 3D printer is providing.

All in all, it is a good 3D printer for beginners. It is reliable and has excellent print quality. Not much noisy and easy to carry because of its lightweight body only weighing 18 pounds.

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X-Max by QIDI 3D

X-Max by QIDI 3D

This 3D printer comes for even higher range and costs $1499. However, it gets the similar level of functionalities and features into play as much as it costs. Unlike all the other options, you can print large size objects with this 3D printer.

To make this possible, the printer comes with a double z-axis motor structure. The X-Max by QIDI 3D has two extruders which can be used one at a time. One for printing with materials such as PLA, TPU, ABS. And, the other is for printing with materials such as nylon, PC, carbon fibre etc.

There are even two ways to load the filament. To load the simple material like PLA, a slot outside the printer is provided. The other slot is built inside the printer for advanced material.

The 3D printer also has a 5.0 touch screen control for access to the operation of the 3D printer. The print bed is removable and can be taken out for easier removal of object from the print bed.

The print plate can be used both sides. One side is to print the objects from normal material and the other side is for printing with advanced material. The print bed is super adhesive and the removal is also clean from the print bed. Resulting in smooth and clear object prints.

The 3D printer also has a purifying air filter. So, if you are using ABS or nylon for printing the object, you won’t find the smell too irritating. The filter works to catch the fumes and toxic particle before it gets to your home atmosphere.

The noise is also tolerable. So, you can easily operate this printer inside your house without worrying about disturbance. The body is also enclosed. Hence, it is safe around kids at home.

The slicer software available with this 3D printer is also great to use and work with. You can create high quality print with this 3D printer.

Apart from all the positive points, the 3D printer does have few limitations. The machine is large and heavy. If you are thinking of adjusting it on a small desk, you are mistaken. It is around 2 cubic foot.

Also, there is no dual extrusion feature available at the moment. This creates problem with support structure for large size objects.

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Replicator Plus by MakerBot

MakerBot Replicator+ 3d printer

Unlike the Replicator+ mini version launched by MakerBot, Replicator+ can print large objects. The 3D printer costs $2799. The body as similar to the other 3D printers designed by MakerBot. The plastic cover over metal skeleton. The 3D printer isn’t enclosed. Hence, it is not safe around kids and the younger generation. One must take precautions while working with this 3D printer.

The printer does not need any assembly. You can just take it out of the box, load the filament and start using the device for 3D printing.

One can print large volume objects as big as 555 cubic inches. The print bed is not heated. However, it is covered with the plastic coating which helps the first layer to stick to the print bed. Moreover, the print bed is removable and can be easily taken off only by sliding it towards yourself. If you wish, you can buy additional print beds paying their price.

MakerBot has provided 3 inch LCD screen to control the features of the 3D printer. It also has the USB drive to connect to the PC. In addition, one can directly load for printing using the memory card reader. WIFI connection is available too. Plus, there is an ethernet connectivity option in case one likes to connect it to the local network.

The webcam is installed facing the print bed. This helps in keeping an eye on the printing process even when not close to the printer. A cam app is available that can be used on Mac, Windows and mobile phone to check the status of the print.

MakerBot print program is available for free to view and print the loaded model. You can print using PLA. Although the company lets you order material from other companies. However, it strictly mentions that using filament from third party can void the warranty offered by the company.

The print quality is just fine. One cannot call it as spectacular. However, it is better than most of the 3D printers for beginners. The speed is impressive though. It is better than many other printers of the similar range.

The printer is expensive and does not support third party filament. Apart from that, printing from this 3D printer is quite a fun and easy job. Being a beginner, you will love to experiment printing different shapes and sizes from this 3D printer. It is also considered as one of the best 3d printer for personal use.

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Ultimaker 3

Ultimaker 3 3d printer

Ultimaker 3 is quite an impressive option among many 3D printers for beginners. The design of the 3D printer is great with one flaw. The front of the 3D printer is open. So, a bit unsafe for kids and novice users. The printer is a dual extruder 3D printer and lets one print with two materials at a time. The print core is removable and the 3D printer is user friendly with many features available to suit the needs of first time users.

To setup the machine, you require to insert the build plate, load the filament and switch on the printer. It is almost fully assembled. Leave rest on the printer. The 3D printer can also be connected over Wi-Fi and hence with the PC. This helps transfer of file from PC to printer without any hassle of connecting it to a USB drive or SD card.

When it comes to quality, the 3D printer can do some amazing job which some of the higher range 3D printers are unable to achieve. The consistency between layers is extraordinary. The finer quality print is all because of the precision this machine maintains while 3D printing materials.

Ultimaker 3 does not struggle with problems like steep overhangs, unsupported structure or inability to print finer details. Also, you do not require much cleaning and post processing after printing with this 3D printer.

Apart from being expensive for a beginner, there is nothing much one can crib about when using this efficient 3D printer. You will be amazed by the way this machine does its task effectively.

What you feed as the model file, you get same as the output object. There are no more words to describe the extreme quality this 3D printer offers. You can consider it as the best FDM 3D printer for beginners.

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3DWOX 2X 3D Printers for Beginners by Sindoh

3DWOX 2X 3D Printers for Beginners by Sindoh

Available at $3499, the 3DWOX 2X has dual extruder. This means that one can print using two materials. Moreover, the nozzles can work interdependently and helps in printing multi color as well as multi material models. However, because calibration between the nozzles is the key, it takes time to print. One can also build support structure using less expensive and easily removable material such as PLA.

The printer is capable of handling multiple material and also allows third party filaments. One can print small as well as large size models with ease. The 3D printer comes equipped with vocal guidance which is very helpful for first time users and beginners. The operation is quite enough to be used inside house or even within office premises.

With high quality print, the 3D printer is one of the best among its range of 3D printers for beginners.

There are many software that are compatible with this 3D printer. 3DWOX desktop slicer is also a nice option. It has straightforward and easy interface and is available with two modes.

One is the easy mode and the other is the advanced mode. If you are a beginner, you can work easily with the easy mode. If you wish to step to the next level, do not shy away from using the advanced mode.

Most of the functionality is automatic. The nozzle heats itself to the desired temperature to perfectly extrude the material layer by layer. The wi-fi connection is also possible for connecting the 3D printer to the PC.

The HEPA filter is also available with this printer which filters most of the toxic particle making the printing process safe for everyone around. The enclosed build also supports the safety feature of the 3D printer.

There are certain limitations. A fully automatic bed leveling isn’t available with this 3D printer. There are some manual adjustments required. Hence, it is time consuming. A pricey printer for start-ups.

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Formlabs Form 2

Formlabs Form 2 3d printer

Formlabs are well known for designing some of the best 3D printers for commercial use. Started in 2013, the company has made huge success by now and so does the printers it provides. Form 2 is an expensive printer with $3499 price tag. Although you do not get the print size as compared to the ones available for this price range, you still enjoying SLA technology which prints better objects that FDM.

And, this is currently the best build area available with consumer based SLA 3D Printers. The company has gone length and breadth to create much better version from the previous machine, Form 1.

The speed has also increased to about 30 to 40 percent which is a huge margin. This is because of the laser that Form 2 includes which solidifies the resin 50 percent faster than it used to be in Form 1. And, the precision is also much higher.

The body is completely enclosed providing a safe environment to work with. It is safe around kids and can easily be set up inside your house or your office cabin.

There are certain set up steps that must be carried before you can start 3D printing. First, is to load the material and the second step is to level the print bed.

Also, the working of the 3D printer is amazing. There is no problem with the leftover resin that used to be a challenge with Form 1 version. In Form 2, you get an automated tray wiper. Its job is to clear the leftover resins after each layer is prepared. This ensures clean printing.

You will have no problem working with the onboard control and touch screen on this 3D printer. The slicer software is also available for Form 2.

The only problem remains is the challenges of working with the resin. Because it is sticky and creates mess, every SLA printer does have issues. But, Formlabs still have done a remarkable job to take into account the problems as much as possible and has handled them well.

The Conclusion

There are many options for beginners if one wants to buy the cheapest 3D printer. However, one must be ready to compromise with the features when going with the lowest range 3D printers. As the price increases, so does its features improve.

Deciding about which printer would be best for your needs, you must carry a thorough research. For learning, you can still go with the cheapest ones. But, if you are planning to take your learning to the next step, looking at the ones on a slighter expensive end won’t be a bad decision.

3D printers for beginners come in many ranges. So, choose as per your future plans. And, make most of the information available online. 3D printers aren’t something that can be changed very often. So, make the right choice and enjoy 3D printing.


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