Just a decade ago, the idea of desktop 3D printers that could print reasonably sized models from simple filaments like PLA and ABS without too much trouble was unthinkable.
But now not only are they nearly enough, but the best 3D printers under $500 actually deliver great print results with good reliability, a wide variety of print materials, and accuracy and precision. I am sure you are interested in learning more about these cheap 3D printers. But first, here’s what to expect when buying a 3D printer for under $500.
What can you expect from the best 3D printer under $500?
Of course, cheaper 3D printers sacrifice some advanced features that are common in $10,000 industrial 3D printers. Nor can you expect the same impeccable quality, speed, or reliability that professional 3D printers offer. But in this price range, you can expect good quality FDM prints from PLA and maybe a few other filaments.
Most of the best 3D printers under $500 should print ABS, although many are not sealed 3D printers, which can cause warping issues.
You should expect reasonable quality: minimum layer height of 100 or 50 microns, maximum accuracy, and in the event of power outages or other problems, your printer can pick up where it left off.
We’ve compiled a list of the best 3D printers under $500, as well as our thoughts on what to look for when buying a 3D printer.
6 Best 3D Printers Under $500 in 2022
1.Creality Ender 3 V2
First up, we have the Creality Ender 3 V2 on our list of 6 entry-level 3D printers under $500. This Creality printer has the highest rating, is appreciated by users, and has excellent print quality.
Creativity has dominated the cheap FDM printer for a while, they have gained a large community of Ender 3 3D resin printing users and there are many online tutorials to help you with any questions. As a beginner, if you don’t know which device to buy, I highly recommend this device.
In addition to being a professional tool, resin printers also become a great economical hobby for hobbyists.
As a beginner, you can use 3D printers to create miniature figures, chess pieces, accessories, and decorative items. You can also use 3D printers for small works such as repairing kitchen tools, water taps, plastic tubs, and more.
2.Artillery Sidewinder x1 3D Printer
Fresh-faced Artillery was founded in October 2018 but has already released a worthy challenger to Creality’s dominance in the low-cost 3D printing space with its first Artillery Sidewinder X1 printer.
Of course, given the price range, the printer has its issues. In particular, the ribbon cables that give the printer a shiny appearance break over time, and uneven plate temperatures can cause problems when printing with temperature-sensitive filaments.
Still, the out-of-the-box experience was — for the most part — fun, and we still recommend it for beginners (with patience for maybe some tinkering in the future) as well as more advanced users. This is a solid starting point for great print speeds.
3.Creality CR-6 SE
Creality’s ill-fated CR-6 SE Kickstarter campaign caused Creality to lose credibility among supporters due to dodgy power buttons, burned circuit boards, and shipping delays, among other issues.
However, Creality fixed all of those initial issues, issued a public apology, and every Creality CR-6 SE purchased now has all of those issues fixed.
In its current form, the Creality CR-6 SE is a powerful 3D printer that justifies its sub-$500 price tag.
The Creality CR-6 SE doesn’t differ much from the budget-friendly Creality Ender 3 V2, both in terms of looks and print quality. So if the Creality CR-6 SE is so similar to the Ender 3 V2, why spend the extra $100? It all comes down to an array of features and details that scream ease of use.
Leading the way in offering the Creality CR-6 SE as a worthy replacement for the Ender 3 V2 is the automatic flat leveling system. The hot end acts as a load cell, determining the necessary adjustments based on resistance recorded at 16 points on the bed – no more wasting time on tedious manual alignments.
Few of the better resin printers under $500 offer automatic platform leveling. Not to mention the same easy and convenient method of Creality CR-6 SE. In our experience, the printer definitely delivers a great first layer.
The new 4.3-inch high-resolution color touchscreen offers intuitive and responsive controls that are a lot better than Ender’s crude dials. The Creality CR-6 SE also increases the construction build volume of the Ender by a few millimeters to 235 × 235 × 250 mm. This is enough to handle the vast majority of hobbyist projects, from household appliances to decorative pieces, to medium-batch printing of identical parts.
The Creality CR-6 SE includes some other technical changes compared to the Ender 3 V2, such as two Z-axis stepper motors, a new complex extruder design, and a photoelectric filament sensor. Stylish and argumentative, but they don’t necessarily lead to better typing results. It works just like Ender does when using PLA, which means smooth lines, fine detail, and decent print volume overall.
Overall, the Creality CR-6 SE offers enough to make it an attractive choice over the Ender 3 V2. If the hands-on approach of the Ender 3 V2 isn’t for you, the Creality CR-6 SE’s convenience and ease of use make it highly recommended for both novice and budget makers alike.
4.ELEGOO Saturn MSLA Resin 3D Printer
The Elegoo Saturn S is a large format resin budget printer with a working volume of 196 × 122 × 210 mm. Designed as an upgrade from his previous Elegoo Saturn, it offers a range of improvements.
The large 9.1-inch LCD screen is a monochrome screen that achieves faster printing speeds and longer screen life. The XY-axis printing resolution is 0.048 mm, providing excellent reproduction of the details of the printed model.
The Elegoo Saturn S comes with a large build plate.
To support the large build platform, the machine is equipped with two linear Z-axis guides that increase the stability and rigidity of the printer’s metal frame, ensuring smooth movement. The result is less vibration and ghosting in resin prints.
The Elegoo Saturn S also has a built-in activated carbon filter. This eliminates the stench of some 3D printer resins, making it safer to print indoors.
Considering its capabilities and large build volume, the Elegoo Saturn S is the perfect printer for large-scale miniature prints and batch 3D resin prints. Perfect for hobbyists and small businesses looking for a reliable resin printer under $500.
5.ANYCUBIC 3D Printer Photon Mono X 4K
In a resin printer, objects harden when light hits the resin. Many printers use a color LCD display (basically a cheap phone display) to project light. Recently, there has been a proliferation of slightly adapted monochrome displays that offer higher resolution and sharper light, resulting in build volume and cleaner decent printing.
The Anycubic Mono X with an 8.9-inch 4K monochrome display, Mono X has a larger build area to build larger models. The Mono X also has an improved gantry for smoother prints and decent print volume.
Honestly, Elegoo and Anycubic are on par when it comes to quality printers. Both give you a good solution, but in the end, it comes down to which features you need the most and whether you want Elegoo to use the Chitubox or Lychee slicer, or Anycubic to use the Photon slicer. In all honesty, both companies offer impressive products.
6.Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro
The Ender 3 S1 Pro is the middle brother of the S1 series and comes with some great features. Creality has added a few extra features to the Ender 3 S1 Pro, making it an easier-to-use Ender 3 3D printer for under $500.
The S1 Pro retains the same design as the Ender 3 S1, with minor differences. The hot end has been upgraded to print with high-temperature materials up to 572° F, giving access to additional 3D printing filaments.
It also features a 4.3-inch full-color LCD touchscreen and an intuitive user interface for quick access to all features. Compared to the Ender 3 S1’s pen-mounted LCD screen, the S1 Pro’s touchscreen is a welcome addition.
Bed handles and top LED lighting are also useful features of the S1 Pro. It makes 3D printing easier to use by eliminating some of the problems associated with 3D printing.
On the downside, the guide that comes with the Ender S1 Pro is poorly written and does not adequately explain how to set up the machine. The unit we tested was slightly larger than expected, although it could also be a variation of another unit.
At $479, the Ender 3 S1 Pro is the most expensive printer in our range. But it’s also the best 3D printer prior to $500 if you don’t mind spending your entire budget.
The combination of great high print quality, user-friendly features, and overall build quality sets the Ender 3 S1 Pro apart from other resin printers, including the Ender 3 S1. Suitable for consumers and business owners looking for a high-end 3D printer with advanced features at a relatively low price.
What is the best 3D printer before 500$?
The Creality Ender 3 S1 takes the top spot and is, in our opinion, the best 3D printer prior to $500. It offers the latest features, excellent build quality printing technologies, and an improved design for the best 3D printing experience. It’s perfect for beginners, hobbyists, and professionals looking for a durable and reliable 3D printer.
How did we choose these printers?
Factors such as ease of assembly and use, print volume and quality, and reliability were important in the selection process.
In order not to get too technical, we’ve designed our target printers to be perfect for beginners and those who are a little more adventurous.
And to ensure the durability and reliability of the 3D printers we recommend, we chose manufacturers with proven quality and few technical issues. Of course, we kept the price under $500, as the headline says.
How do I choose a 3D printer that’s right for me
Some of the common reasons companies need 3D printing include improving production efficiency, creating custom parts, and small-scale production. To learn more about why businesses need 3D printing, read Why Businesses Need 3D Printing.
Once your company has decided that it can use 3D printing and integrate it into its operations, it must decide whether to choose its own 3D printer or a 3D printing service. If your business hasn’t needed 3D printing before, it may indicate that you don’t need your own 3D printer yet.
Your intended application or purpose for 3D printing can help determine whether purchasing a 3D printer is the right choice for you.
For example, if the goal of a project is to print multiple parts, it may be more cost-effective to outsource the work to a 3D printing service that can produce the required parts rather than purchasing a 3D printer.
However, if your business is focused on increasing production or creating product models for your business, it is better to buy a 3D printer. Additionally, if you want to start a 3D printing business, you need to buy a 3D printer.
Conclusion 3D intricate prints
Please note that our guide only covers a limited number of 3D printers, and there are many others. However, these six main options are a great starting point for 3D printing and will give you great results printing process without breaking your bank.
For a great filament printer under $500, use the Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro. The pseudo-homebrew Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro is budget-friendly, yet reliable and capable of delivering quality prints. It should appeal to beginners as well as those interested in exposure/upgrading.
Finally, for those looking for a low-cost resin option, there is the fast Anycubic Photon Mono. Complex printouts are also good, but the printer wins here. The printing process is easy and intuitive.
This concludes our guide to the best 3D printers under $500. Good luck with your search. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments section below. I will definitely answer.