Looking for a Best 3D Printer Under $500 ???
A few years back 3D printers were expensive machines most of the time used by factories and corporation. Except for the small circle of professionals, nobody knew about them. But an open-source 3D printing movement called RepRap which made this kind of amazing devices available for engineers, designers, schools, hobbyists and even for consumers at an affordable price.
While getting the best 3D printer it’s important to know how 3D printers differ from each other by different brands in the market so that you can get the perfect 3D printer for you. It’s important to know that they are designed for a particular audience and comes in various styles and types.
We have crafted this list of top ten highly rated 3D printers under 500 so that you can pick the right one for you in 2020.
- Best 3D Printers Under 500
- 3D printers Under 500 reviews
- 3D Printers Above 500
- What Do You Want to Print
- What Size Objects Do You Want to Print?
- Material to use for printing?
- How High resolution You Need?
- Print Multiple Colors
- Surface to Build
- Closed Frame
- Connect to printer
- Software for printing
Best 3D Printers Under 500
See this comparison table and get more details about each printer under 500 dollars.
3D printers Under 500 reviews
Without further ado let’s get into these under 500 printer reviews
- QIDI TECHNOLOGY New Generation 3D Printer
- Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer
- HICTOP Creality CR-10 3D Printer
- da Vinci miniMaker 3D Printer
- XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro. 3D Printer
3D Printers Above 500
- Formlabs Form 2
- LulzBot Mini 3D Printer
- MakerBot Replicator+
- Ultimaker 3
- XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 2.0 Mix
- Flashforge Finder 3D Printer
- New Matter MOD-t 3D Printer
- Robo 3D R1 +Plus
- Ultimaker 2+
Why Do You Want to Print
Before getting a brand new 3D printer you should ask yourself a question that Why do you want to print in 3D? Like you are interested in printing toys, characters or household items? Want to make the latest gadgets or for education purposes to install a 3D printer in the library, classroom or community center? A hobbyist seeking new experiments and projects with the latest technologies? An engineer, designer or architect who wanted to create prototypes or models for parts, products or structures? A creative artist trying his potential by fabricating 3D objects? Or a manufacturer who wanted to make plastic items for a short time period.
Getting an optimal 3D printer totally depends on the usage of the printer. For schools and common consumers, a printer which is easy to set up and easy to use with good print quality and doesn’t require much maintenance is better. On the other hand, the artists and hobbyists require to make objects with more than one colors and to use multiple filament types so they need this kind of special features in their printer. Similarly, professionals and designers need outstanding print quality. Shop owners want short-run manufacturing of objects, in fact, need a large build area so that they can build multiple objects at the same time. Businesses and individuals need a reliable machine to make wonder 3D printed objects for their clients and friends.
If we talk about some expensive 3D printers they build 3D objects out of successive layers of molten plastic, using (FFF) fused filament fabrication technique which is also called Fused Deposition Modeling(FDM) which is trademarked by Stratasys, Inc. Some say stereolithography which is a 3D printing technique uses ultraviolet (UV) lasers to trace a pattern on a photosensitive liquid resin, which then hardens it to form the object.
What Size Objects Do You Want to Print?
You need to be sure about the size of the object you wanted to print and for that purpose, the 3D printer’s build area must be large enough for printing objects of the desired scale. The build area is a three-dimensional area which allows the largest object to be built depending on its size. Typical printers come with 6 and 9 inches square build area and can range a few inches more than 2 feet and basically are square. You will see build area in height, width and depth and in inches in the given reviews.
Material to use for printing?
Most common technique FFF is used by lower-priced 3D printers in which the plastic filament is melted and extruded and then solidifies to form the object. The most common filaments are polylactic acid (PLA) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and both of these contain different properties. For example, PLA is flexible and emits fumes upon melted which is unpleasant while ABS melts at a higher temperature with no fumes while PLA required a heated print bed. PLA prints are smooth.
In FFF printing techniques other materials that are used are wood, bronze, impact polystyrene (HIPS), copper composite filaments, nylon, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), UV-luminescent filaments, Tritan polyester, polycarbonate, conductive PLA and ABS, polyethylene terephthalate (PETT), plasticized copolyamide thermoplastic elastomer (PCTPE). Each material has its own melt point, so these filaments can be used only for printers which are designed to use these materials or ones that contains software allowing users to control the extruder temperature.
Two diameters in which filaments comes are 1.85 and 3mm for most of the model’s smaller-diameter filament is used. You can buy filament in spools, like per kilogram costs around 20 t0 50 bucks for ABS and PLA. Few printers might use generic spools, companies 3D printers require cartridges or proprietary spools. Just make sure about the right diameter of filament for your printer and spool size. Sometimes you can even buy or make your own spool holder.
Stereolithography printers are able to print high resolution and eschew filament of photosensitive liquid resin comes in bottles. The limited color palate is allowed like gray, white, black or gold. For the finishing process, isopropyl alcohol is used but with liquid resin it becomes messy.
How High resolution You Need?
Thin successive layers or Molten plastic layers are extruded by the 3D printer according to the instructions coded for object printing in the file. In 3D printing, resolution means layer height. It’ measured in microns like a micron of 0.001mm, one thing to keep in mind is that the lower this number will be the higher resolution is. Because each layer will be thinner and more layers will be required to print on any object which will finer the details that can be captured. Don’t forget the increasing the resolution will not always good print quality because it’s like increasing digital camera’s megapixel count.
Today most 3D printers are capable to print 200 microns resolution which gives better, decent-quality prints, some of them can print at 100 microns which also gives good-quality prints. Few can print 20 microns which gives higher resolution and if gone beyond to get more sharp results you need custom settings and preset resolutions done.
Getting higher resolution means high price ticket as they become premium printers giving a high resolution. A negative side of increasing the resolution can be the time taken to print objects. This kind of prints might take double time than average printers. But if the highest quality is demand then professionals doesn’t count time for it. This 3D printing field is amazing.
Print Multiple Colors
Some multiple extruders 3D printers can print two or more color objects. While dual-extruder models contain each extruder with different colors of the filament which allows them to paint in most colors. One hindrance is that multicolor objects will be printed from files that have been designed for this purpose like multicolor printing files, a separate file for each color then different areas colors fit together in a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle pieces.
Surface to Build
The surface is build area which is not apparent for newbies in 3D printing. But practice can make it perfect. A good build area will let an object adhere during printing but also gives easy removal after printing is completed. The common and basic configuration is heated glass platform covered with a similar surface or blue painter’s tape. Objects are stuck with tape and when completed they can be removed easily. Heating the button platform won’t let the corners curling upward, this common issue comes in ABS printing.
Sometime you may use gluestick in some platforms to the surface where the object get the stick. This works because you can easily remove the object after it’s completed. In a few scenarios, you might need to soak the object and platform with warm water to lose it.
A sheet of the perforated board which contains tiny holes is used in few 3D printers in which these holes are filled with hot plastic during printing. The only downside is that it will hold the object tightly and won’t lose the object easily. You can use all or thumb tack to push plugs of this hardened plastic to free object it’s a time-consuming process it might damage the board.
If build area becomes tilted, for large objects it can impede printing. With most 3D printers instructions are provided on how to level the build platform or provide a calibration routine which allows extruder moves for different points making sure that the points are at the same height in the build platform. There are few 3D printers which are capable to level the build platform automatically.
In many printers when commencing a print job the extruded setting must be done at a printer height above build platform. Like z-axis calibration is performed manually, lowering down the extruder until it’s so close to building platform that between the platform and extruder a sheet of paper placed can move horizontally with minimum resistance. Some printers are capable to perform automatic calibration.
3D printers with closed-frame have enclosed structure with a door, wall, hood or a lid. In open-frame models, you get easy visibility of print jobs happening in front of you, easy access to print bed and extruder. These models are safer keeping pets, kids, and adults safe by touching hot extruder. Also gives quieter operation spreading odor, reducing fan noise while printing with ABS it leaves a burnt-plastic smell sometimes.
Connect to printer
Using a USB connection on the computer you can initiate printing. Few printers do have their own internal memory which is a perfect option and keep a print job in memory and will continue the printing if by chance the USB cable gets disconnected or the computer gets shut down. In a few printers, wireless connectivity is offered through 802.11 Wi-Fi, direct or peer-to-peer link. A downside of wireless can be a transfer of printing files which can be up to 10MB and can take longer to transfer. Another connection method called ethernet can also be used.
In most of the 3D printers, there is an SD card slot which is used to load object files using printer’s displace and controls, few others have USB thumb drives ports. The benefit of printing directly is that there is no need for a computer to connect it with the printer. But the negative part is that an extra step of transferring files to your card. So, SD cards, wireless, USB thumb-drive connectivity allows to basic USB cable and few models can have these options.
Software for printing
Some printers come with software in them or a separate downloadable. They are mac Os, windows and Linx compatible. In the past several parts of printer have their own printing program controlling the motion of extruder, to optimize file of printing a Healing program was used, to prepare the layers for proper resolution printing slicer program was used and Python programming language was used
These components offered by open-source company RepRap which was making a low-cost 3D printer, but in today’s printers, these programs are integrated into one user-friendly package by manufacturers. But you still have those printers which offer separate component programs.
Select a best 3D printer under 500 with magnificent print quality, these printers give good workflow solutions for professionals, smooth, misprint-free operations, and solid print quality. So get your consumer-oriented printer right now.