Are you looking for an affordable 3D printer? The consumer 3D printer market is evolving, with more and more cheap and easy-to-use 3D printers becoming available, making them accessible to a wider audience. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast, a student, or a maker working on a small 3D printing project, there's an affordable and reliable printer available for imagination and creativity. In this buyer's guide, we will take a look at several of the most affordable 3D printers, weigh their costs and performance, explore the key factors in choosing a 3D printer, and hopefully help you explore the wonders of 3D printing.
How to Choose the Most Affordable 3D Printer
Common 3D printers are divided into two types: FDM printers (Fused Deposition) and resin printers (Stereolithography). If you want to choose a reliable 3D printer while controlling costs, FDM 3D printers are usually a better choice. Choosing and using an FDM printer is more affordable in terms of all three aspects: initial machine cost, material price, and maintenance cost. In addition, FDM printers are usually considered easier to operate and more novice friendly.
In terms of initial machine cost, FDM printers are cheaper. Consumer-grade FDM printers typically range in price from $200-$600. An entry-level FDM printer with a relatively simple configuration costs less than $200, making it the most affordable 3D printer option. You can get a fully functional 3D printer, but the print volume is usually smaller, and you need to consider whether its use is more suitable for experienced 3D printing enthusiasts. Another option is to consider discounts during events and older FDM printers that are on sale. In the $200-$300 range, you can get an FDM 3D printer with excellent performance, fast printing speeds, even better print quality, and smarter features, such as the Anycubic Kobra 2 Pro. If you prefer a larger size 3D printer, Anycubic Kobra Plus upgrades the printing size to 350x300x300mm on the basis of reliability and stability.
In addition to whether the printer is affordable, printing materials are also an expense to consider. FDM printers use filament as material, such as PLA, PETG, etc. MSLA 3D printers require the use of more expensive resins. PLA is easy to use and more environmentally friendly. It is popular among 3D printing enthusiasts because of its high quality and low price. Using filament printing, smooth 3D prints can be obtained without relying on additional post-processing steps. After completing the resin 3D printing, it is necessary to go through a cleaning and curing step to remove the residual resin on the model surface, relying on the use of cleaning solvents and curing equipment. Of course, the advantage of resin 3D printers is that they can reproduce complex designs with unparalleled precision and detail. They are still a worthwhile investment and users can choose according to their needs and preferences.
Most Affordable 3D Printer Recommendations
We will introduce two popular FDM printers that are recommended as reliable affordable 3D printers. Anycubic Kobra 2 Pro and Kobra 2 Neo, are two 3D printers known for their affordability and fast printing capabilities, and are popular among many users.
Anycubic Kobra 2 Pro is a standard-size FDM 3D printer designed with more user-friendly experience in mind. There is no need to worry about the learning curve of assembly and operation, making it a good choice for getting started quickly. This 3D printer balances print quality and efficiency with stable performance and uniform printing. It supports intelligent adjustment of motion control, effectively eliminating resonance vertical lines and bracket lines, and improving printing quality and detail presentation through flow control. The high-speed printing capability also makes it a highly efficient tool for 3D printing users. Kobra 2 Pro is priced at $341, click to view the discounted price, $299 on sale.
- Print size: Standard size, 250*220*220mm.
- Printing speed: Fast FDM printer, average speed 300mm/s, maximum speed 500mm/s.
- Print quality: High performance Cortex-A7 1.2Ghz processor. High efficiency and precision. High accuracy and stability.
- Easy to use: Suitable for Beginners. Smooth printing experience. Intelligent Z-axis offset. Supports APP.
Kobra 2 Neo is one of the most affordable 3D printers. It's priced at $189, with more discounts available. Compared to other entry-level 3D printers, its printing speed is an advantage. The recommended printing speed of 150 mm/s ensures the perfect combination of printing performance and efficiency, making it very suitable as a support tool for small 3D printing projects.
- Print size: Standard size, 250*220*220mm.
- Printing speed: Fast FDM printer, average speed 150mm/s, maximum speed 250mm/s.
- Print quality: Auto-leveling and smart z-offset. Linear advance and input shaping.
- Easy to use: 5 module assembly. Supports Anycubic Photon Workshop.