4 Best 3D Printer under $200 – Beginner’s Guide

3D Printers at this price range are great for learning and experimenting with 3D Printing technology (assembly, software, filaments [printing material], working, etc.).
Best 3D Printer under 200 - Beginners Guide in 2020 - ULTRAdvice.com

The time when we were first introduced to the 3D Printers, we realized how amazing concept has come alive.

This fantastic technology is used to 3D Print Cars and Homes! As per the statistics, 74% of 3D Printing orders come from the top three countries: USA, UK and the Netherlands.

In the beginning, this technology was limited to Professionals and Engineers because it was not affordable to everyone.

But in 2021, the story is different. The 3D Printing has become one of the trending hobby and fast-growing technology. So, manufacturers around the world are developing 3D Printers that are affordable to everyone.

At the price of $200, you will have a great starter machine.

List of Best 3D Printers

  1. Anycubic Mega ZeroBest Overall
  2. Creality Ender 3Editor’s Choice
  3. Monoprice Select Mini V2
  4. da Vinci Mini WirelessBest for Beginners

Before we start discussing the best 3D Printers, let we know

The Truth about 3D Printers

3D Printers are not cheap at all!

By working for a Robotics company for the last four years, I looked at 3D Printers very closely.

Under this $200 category, there are not many best options available.

The 3D Printers at this price range are great for learning and experimenting with 3D Printing technology (assembly, software, filaments [printing material], working, etc.).

For big and industry-grade prints you must raise your budget,

I don’t want you to fade-out your 3D Printing enthusiasm with the troubles that you will encounter during initial assembling or with the print quality. If you are not familiar with the bells and whistles of 3D printing then let us first discuss the fundamental concepts.

If you have the good knowledge of 3D Printing, then click here to jump to the list and skip reading following section.

Things to know before buying a 3D Printer

  1. Printing Technology
  2. Build Volume
  3. Filaments (Printing Materials)
  4. Heated Bed
  5. Calibration
  6. Bed Leveling
  7. Layer Resolution
  8. Input File Formats
  9. Slicing Software
  10. Connectivity
  11. Extra Features

Let we discuss them in short,

#1 – Printing Technology

Depending upon the methods of printing, there are seven types of 3D Printers.

  1. Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
  2. Stereolithography (SLA)
  3. Digital Light Processing (DLP)
  4. Electron Beam Melting (EBM)
  5. Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
  6. Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM)
  7. Selective Laser Melting (SLM)

In this article, we will be discussing FDM 3D Printers because they are affordable and produce excellent quality prints.

In Fused Deposition Modeling, the printing material is heated to its melting point and extruded layer by layer through a nozzle to form structures and objects.

FDM 3D Printers are capable of processing industry-grade thermoplastic, this feature makes them unique over other types of 3D Printers.

#2 – Build Volume

Also known as print volume. It represents the maximum size of an object that you can 3D print.

The build volume is measured in length, width and height. At a minimum, you can have a build volume of 100x100x100 mm.

Under $200, there are 3D Printers with maximum print volume of 220x220x250 mm which is more than sufficient for beginners.

#3 – Printing Materials

Also known as the “3D Printing Filaments”. They are thermoplastics which are heated and shaped.

There are numerous filaments available in the market, each boasting unique properties over others. Common types of printing filaments are PLA, ABS, HIPS etc.

Filaments are available in two diameters, 1.75mm and 2.85mm (referred to as 3mm).

#4 – Heated Bed

The 3D Printer Bed is the plane surface on which the fused material is deposited.

3D Printers are available with a non-heated or heated bed.

Heated bed are mostly preferred because they allow you to print a wide range of filaments. Also, they prevent adhesion issues and wrapping of prints at the edges during cooling.

In the case of non-heated bed, you can only print with PLA like filaments.

#5 – Calibration

Calibration includes adjusting distance between nozzle and print bed, stepper motor settings, filament settings, extruder, temperature etc.

Beginners spend significant time on calibration. But, it depends on their understanding and passion! It is a one-time learning process which everyone should go through to master 3D Printing.

You will find a lot of videos about 3D Printer calibration, so don’t worry too much!

At higher price (above $500) range 3D Printers comes with the auto-calibration feature so that you can start printing right out of the box.

#6 – Bed Leveling

It is a part of the calibration process. We are separately focusing on it because it is very crucial to obtain superb quality prints.

You must be very accurate while adjusting the distance between nozzle and print bed.

If the nozzle is so close to the print bed, the first layer will be squeezed. As well, if the distance is so far, then there will be adhesion problems. To avoid this, you need to set the distance at an optimum level by adjusting the z-axis very carefully.

It doesn’t take a lot of time!

#7 – Layer Resolution

Layer resolution is the measure of the thickness of the layer. It can be thought as the indirect indicator of the smoothness of the final print.

A FDM 3D Printer offers layer resolution between 0.1-0.3 mm. It is affected by nozzle size and extruder movements along X and Y-axis.

#8 – Input File Formats

To print three-dimensional objects, a 3D Printer needs a digital blueprint (model) of the object.

You need to render the 3D model in one of the accepted file formats.

Many 3D Printer input file formats are available. The “STL” and “OBJ” are the popular and universal file formats.

#9 – Slicing Software

Slicing Software converts a 3D model into an instruction set that a 3D Printer can understand and print.

For example, the Slicer turns an STL Input File into G-Code before printing.

The Slic3r, Cura, Simplify3D, etc. are the different types of Slicing Software. Many of the 3D Printing brands offers proprietary Slicing Software to improve print quality.

#10 – Connectivity

3D Printers are connected via a USB or LAN cable to computers.

Recent advancement in 3D Printing technology lets you connect 3D Printers to home Wi-Fi network so that you can print from anywhere in your home.

Most of the printers have a SD card slot to get your file to the machine.

#11 – Extra Features

Resume Function: You can pause the printing process whenever you want. This is beneficial in multi-colour printing as well as during sudden power-cut.

Sensors: 3D Printer comes with the filament detection sensor, temperature sensor etc.

Low Noise: For both office and home use, 3D Printer should operate with as much less noise as possible. Few 3D Printers are not quiet at all, so you need to choose carefully.

Print Speed: The 3D Printers has standard print speed between 50-150 mm/s. Some 3D printers offer excellent speed for reducing total printing time.

Now without any further ado, let’s start discussing about the best 3D Printer under $200,

1. Anycubic Mega Zero

ANYCUBIC Mega Zero 3D Printer - Best 3D Printer under 200 - ULTRAdvice

Anycubic Mega Zero is a beginner-friendly 3D printer producing top quality prints.

It comes with an easy-to-follow instruction manual. So that you don’t have to worry a lot about initial assembly. Mega zero takes half to one hour for assembling. After that you need to go for Manual Leveling to complete the setup.

In contrast to Mega S (former version), it is super-quiet and produces less noise.

This 3D Printer equips a dual-gear extrusion mechanism and Bowden extruder feeder system with an E3D style hotend.

Specifications

  1. Printing Technology: FDM
  2. Layer Resolution: 0.1 mm
  3. Positioning Accuracy: X/Y=0.0125 mm & Z=0.002 mm
  4. Supported Print Materials: PLA, TPU, HIPS
  5. Print Speed: 20 to 100 mm/s
  6. Recommended Print Speed: 60 mm/s
  7. Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm
  8. Build Volume: 220x220x250 mm
  9. Operational Extruder Temperature: Max 255ºC
  10. Printer Dimensions: 504x396x607 mm
  11. Input Formats: STL, OBJ, DAE, AMF
  12. Connectivity: SD Card, Data Cable
  13. Net Weight: around 6.4 kg

The only major drawback with this printer is the lack of a heated bed, meaning that you can’t print with the materials like ABS.

The final print quality is surprisingly excellent compared to other rivals in this $200 category.

The printer also has a resume function, it pauses whenever the power goes off, and starts once the power is back. Multi-color printing is also possible!

Benefits

  • Resume function
  • Easy to assemble
  • Large build volume
  • Double gear extruder

Drawbacks

  • Lack of heated bed
  • Manual print bed leveling

2. Creality Ender 3

Creality Ender 3 3D Printer - Best 3D Printer under 200 - ULTRAdvice.com

Discussion about budget-friendly 3D Printer is incomplete without mentioning the Creality.

Creality has a big community of users who are continually contributing to improving its products.

Before you start printing this machine needs to be assembled. It offers hassle-free initial assembly with it’s well-designed instruction manual which can be easily followed.

The Creality Ender 3 comes with a heated bed allowing you to print with the materials like ABS.

Specifications

  1. Printing Technology: FDM
  2. Layer Resolution: 0.1 to 0.4 mm
  3. Supported Print Materials: PLA, ABS, TPU
  4. Maximum Print Speed: 180 mm/s
  5. Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm
  6. Build Volume: 220x220x250 mm
  7. Operational Extruder Temperature: Max 255ºC
  8. Maximum Heated Bed Temperature: 110ºC
  9. Input Formats: STL, OBJ, G-Code
  10. Connectivity: SD Card, Online
  11. Net Weight: around 8 kg

In terms of print quality, it is in the league of 3D Printers costing $1000.

SIDENOTE: This printer from Creality is sold on Amazon through Comgrow Store.

Benefits

  • Easy to assemble
  • Large build volume
  • Comes with a Heated Bed
  • Compatible with wide range of filaments

Drawbacks

  • Manual print bed leveling

3. Monoprice Select Mini V2

Monoprice Select Mini V2 3D Printer - Best 3D Printer under 200 - ULTRAdvice.com

For those who are worried about initial assembling, this printer is the best fit for them.

Just bring Monoprice Select Mini V2 to home, put it on your desk, load the filament and start printing.

The greatness of this printer also includes a heated bed. You will be able to print with PLA as well as ABS and advanced filaments like copper fill, bronze fill, steel fill, etc.

This 3D Printer uses advanced Wi-Fi technology for quick printing, which makes it unique on this list.

Specifications

  1. Printing Technology: FDM
  2. Layer Resolution: 0.1 mm
  3. Supported Print Materials: PLA, ABS, and other advanced materials
  4. Maximum Printing Speed: 55 mm/s
  5. Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm
  6. Build Volume: 120x120x120 mm
  7. Operational Extruder Temperature: Max 250ºC
  8. Maximum Heated Bed Temperature: 60ºC
  9. Connectivity: SD Card, Data Cable, Wi-Fi
  10. Net Weight: around 6 kg

Apart from build volume, everything else is top-notch in this printer. It produces decent quality prints.

Benefits

  • Comes semi-assembled
  • Compatible with wide range of filaments
  • Comes with heated bed
  • Wi-fi connectivity
  • Robust design

Drawbacks

  • Small build volume
  • Manual print bed leveling

4. da Vinci Mini Wireless

da Vinci Mini 3D Printer - XYZpriting - Best 3D Printer under 200 - ULTRAdvice.com

This is the smallest 3D Printer on this list. The da Vinci is compact enough to easily carry around anywhere in your home.

The XYZprinting has designed this printer keeping kids and beginners in mind. It has an auto-calibration mode for those who want to avoid manual print bed leveling.

The Wi-Fi connectivity option allow you to connect it to your home Wi-Fi network. So that you can access control panel remotely and print from anywhere in your home.

The print quality offered by this da Vinci 3D Printer is excellent and gives you value for money.

Specifications

  1. Printing Technology: FDM
  2. Layer Resolution: 0.1 mm
  3. Positioning Accuracy: X/Y=0.0125mm & Z=0.001mm
  4. Supported Print Materials: PLA, PETG & Tough PLA
  5. Print Speed: 120 mm/s
  6. Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm
  7. Build Volume: 150x150x150 mm
  8. Printer Dimensions: 390x335x360 mm
  9. Input Formats: STL, XYZ format (.3W), OBJ, 3MF
  10. Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Data Cable
  11. Net Weight: around 7 kg

With XYZprinting’s da Vinci Wireless Printer you can only use proprietary filaments. It is one of the drawbacks that needs careful attention because you won’t be able to use filaments from standard and famous brands.

It is soooo…. beginner-friendly that I will recommend this one, particularly for your kids.

Benefits

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Semi-assembled requires only 10 minutes to set-up
  • Auto print bed leveling
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Compact design

Drawbacks

  • Lack of heated bed
  • Printing is possible with proprietary filaments only

Conclusion:

Overall the Anycubic 3D Printing Mega Zero is an excellent deal under this $200 category.

Under this $200 category if you want to have a printer with heated bed, you can go ahead with Creality Ender 3.

Let’s wrap up,

We have discussed the best 3D printers under $200 that will give you value for money.

If you think that I am missing any of the fantastic 3D printers under $200, please comment below. I will look forward to adding it to the list.

Pia Jacobson
Pia is a tech enthusiast and software developer. She is a DIY geek who loves 3D Printing and Drones. Passionate about travelling the world and designing and 3D printing her stuff. Recently started sharing her experience and knowledge about Drones and 3D Printers at ULTRAdvice. Lives in Austin.