10 Best 3D Printer Under $500 – Ultimate Guide

At this price range, a 3D Printer offers out-of-the-box performance and get your job done.
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Are you a small company looking for product prototyping and development solution? Or, someone looking to upgrade from a basic to advanced 3D Printer and take creativity to the next level.

Then 3D Printers under $500 are the best fit for you!

At this price range, a 3D Printer offers out-of-the-box performance and get your job done.

You can print excellent quality structures and objects like a commercial-grade printer worth thousand dollars.

These 3D Printers has attracted a huge fan-base with their excellent features.

No biggie, but at this price, you don’t have to worry about,

  1. Initial Assembly
  2. Calibration
  3. Print bed leveling
  4. Heated Print Bed
  5. Build Volume

Unlike tedious traditional prototyping solutions, a 3D Printer is quick and easy-to-use. People are using them in various applications,

  1. Education
  2. Industrial Manufacturing Sectors
  3. Household (producing home improvement accessories)
  4. More….

List of Best 3D Printers

  1. FlashForge FinderBest Overall
  2. Monoprice MP Voxel
  3. Creality Ender 5 ProEditor’s Choice
  4. Artillery Sidewinder X1
  5. Creality CR-10 V2
  6. ADIMLab Updated Gantry Pro
  7. Anycubic ChironLargest Build Volume
  8. Anycubic Photon SBudget-friendly SLA Printer
  9. Original Prusa MiniBrand Choice
  10. Creality Ender 3 V2
  11. Qidi Tech X-One2

Before we start discussing the above options, let we overlook at the fundamental concepts of 3D Printing.

These fundamental concepts will help you in choosing best printer. If you think that you have the good knowledge of 3D Printing then click here to jump to the list of Best 3D Printer under $500.

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 $500, there are 3D Printers with maximum print volume of 400x400x450 mm which is more than sufficient for prototyping and manufacturing.

#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 this price 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,

1. FlashForge Finder

FlashForge Finder - Best 3D Printer Under 500 - ULTRAdvice.com

The FlashForge Finder on this list is a value for money deal! This beginner friendly 3D Printer comes at the price of $299.

It is an excellent choice for beginners because this fully assembled 3D Printer comes with the auto-calibration feature. It means that you can start printing right out-of-the -box.

The FlashForge Finder is great for printing small structures and objects.

The Wi-Fi feature allow you to connect printer to home network so that you can print from anywhere in your home.

Specification

  1. Printing Technology: FDM
  2. Layer Resolution: 0.1-0.4 mm
  3. Supported Print Materials: PLA, TPU, WOOD
  4. Print Speed: 10 to 100 mm/s
  5. Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm
  6. Operational Extruder Temperature: Max 240ºC
  7. Input Formats: 3MF, STL, OBJ, FPP, BMP, PNG, JPG, JPEG
  8. Build Volume: 140x140x140 mm
  9. Connectivity: USB (Cable or Stick), Wi-Fi, Ethernet, FlashCloud, Polar Cloud
  10. Screen: 3.5-inch Touch Screen
  11. Internal Storage: 8 GB
  12. Software: FlashPrint
  13. Printer Dimensions: 420x420x420 mm
  14. Net Weight: 11 kg

The small build volume (140x140x140 mm) and lack of a heated print bed might disappoint you.

The quality of the final print is fantastic as compared to others at this price range.

The 3D Printer has an impressive touch screen display with a simple and intuitive interface. It produces very little noise which makes it perfect for home, office and educational uses.

Benefits

  • Easy to use
  • User-friendly and intuitive touch screen
  • Easy Portability
  • Removable print bed
  • Super quiet
  • Wi-Fi connectivity

Drawbacks

  • Small build volume
  • Lack of heated bed

2. Monoprice MP Voxel

Monoprice MP Voxel - Best 3D Printer under 500 - ULTRAdvice.com

This 3D Printer from Monoprice is excellent for home and educational use.

It packs some unique features like Wi-Fi connectivity, a Camera for the monitoring printing process, and a removable print bed.

It comes fully-assembled and calibrated so that you can start printing immediately. Changing the nozzle is a breeze with Monoprice MP Voxel .

Specifications

  1. Printing Technology: FDM
  2. Layer Resolution: 0.05-0.4 mm
  3. Supported Print Materials: PLA, ABS, PETG, Exotics
  4. Print Speed: 10 to 100 mm/s
  5. Recommended Print Speed: 60 mm/s
  6. Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm
  7. Operational Extruder Temperature: Max 250ºC
  8. Build Volume: 120x120x120 mm
  9. Maximum Heated Bed Temperature: 60ºC
  10. Input Formats: STL, OBJ, 3MF
  11. Connectivity: Wi-FI, USB Cable, Ethernet
  12. Software: MP FlashPoint
  13. Printer Dimensions: 400x380x405 mm
  14. Net Weight: 9 kg

You need not worry about filament loading because it comes with an automatic feeder and sensor.

The only drawback here is the small build volume, which might upset you, but apart from that, it offers excellent features and print quality.

Benefits

  • Easy to use
  • Camera for monitoring
  • Heated print bed
  • Removable and Flexible print bed
  • Wi-Fi connectivity

Drawbacks

  • Small build volume

3. Creality Ender 5 Pro

Creality Ender 5 Pro - Best 3D Printer under 500 - ULTRAdvice.com

Discussion about best 3D Printer is incomplete without mentioning the Creality.

If the FlashForge Finder and Monoprice Voxel don’t seem to satisfy your needs because of their small build volume, here is a deal for you with a large build volume of 220x220x300 mm.

The Ender 5 Pro comes semi-assembled, but it will not take more than half an hour to set-up.

The Creality Ender 5 Pro has a Double Y-Axis Control System for smooth movements. It reduces vibrations that cause faulty prints.

This 3D Printer is a real bang for the buck!

Specifications

  1. Printing Technology: FDM
  2. Layer Resolution: 0.1-0.4 mm
  3. Supported Print Materials: PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU
  4. Recommended Print Speed: 60 mm/s
  5. Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm
  6. Operational Extruder Temperature: Max 260ºC
  7. Maximum Heated Bed Temperature: 135ºC
  8. Build Volume: 220x220x300 mm
  9. Input Formats: STL, OBJ, AMF
  10. Connectivity: SD Card, USB Cable
  11. Software: Cura, Repitier-Host, Simplify3D
  12. Printer Dimensions: 552x485x510 mm
  13. Net Weight: 11.8 kg

It has Capricorn Bowden tubing and a metal extruder frame, making more pressure while pushing filament through the nozzle to produce fine-quality prints.

The printer has a resume function. It pauses whenever the power goes off and starts once the power is back. This feature is beneficial in multi-colour printing as well as during sudden power-cut.

If you are willing to have a superb 3D Printer from a trusted brand, then this is the right choice for you.

Benefits

  • Excellent print quality
  • Easy to assemble
  • Heated bed
  • Good build volume
  • Resume function
  • Super quiet

Drawbacks

  • Manual calibration (print bed leveling)

4. Artillery Sidewinder X1

Artillery Sidewinder X1 - Best 3D Printer under 500 - ULTRAdvice.com

Those who are planning to print big structures and objects must go with a larger build volume printer. The Sidewinder X1 3D Printer from Artillery is an excellent choice for them because it offers a 300x300x400 mm build volume.

The printer comes semi-assembled. In my experience, it takes around half an hour for completing assembly.

It has a thermal protection system, so if you plan to work for so long then you don’t have to worry about heating problems.

Specifications

  1. Printing Technology: FDM
  2. Layer Resolution: 0.05 mm
  3. Supported Print Materials: PLA, ABS, Flexible PLA, TPU, Wood, PVA, HIPS
  4. Recommended Print Speed: 60 mm/s
  5. Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm
  6. Operational Extruder Temperature: Max 240ºC
  7. Maximum Heated Bed Temperature: 80ºC
  8. Build Volume: 300x300x400 mm
  9. Input Formats: STL, OBJ
  10. Connectivity: SD Card, USB Cable
  11. Software: Cura, Slic3r, Simplify3D
  12. Printer Dimensions: 550x405x640 mm
  13. Net Weight: 16.5 kg

Also, the filament sensor will indicate if the filament is running out while printing.

The printer has a resume function. It pauses whenever the power goes off and starts once the power is back. This feature is beneficial in multi-colour printing as well as during sudden power-cut.

Benefits

  • Robust design
  • Large build volume
  • Heated bed
  • Fast heating of print bed
  • Filament sensor
  • Super quiet

Draebacks

  • Manual bed leveling
  • Awful filament holder

5. Creality CR-10 V2

Creality CR-10 V2 - Best 3D Printer under 500 - ULTRAdvice.com

The Creality CR-10 is another 3D Printer on this list with large build volume.

This workhorse is made to run continuously for few days without any issues. It comes with a filament detection sensor and resume function for making it reliable in long run.

The printer comes semi-assembled, and it will take around half an hour to assemble, thanks to its nicely designed instruction manual.

It comes with an auto bed leveling! So that you can start printing quickly.

Specifications

  1. Printing Technology: FDM
  2. Layer Resolution: 0.1-0.4 mm
  3. Supported Print Materials: PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU
  4. Max. Print Speed: 180 mm/s
  5. Recommended Print Speed: 60 mm/s
  6. Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm
  7. Operational Extruder Temperature: Max 260ºC
  8. Build Volume: 300x300x400 mm
  9. Maximum Heated Bed Temperature: 100ºC
  10. Input Formats: STL, OBJ, AMF
  11. Connectivity: USB Cable, SD Card
  12. Software: Cura, Repetier-Host, Simplify 3D
  13. Printer Dimensions: 420x550x650 mm
  14. Net Weight: 11.5 kg

Previously it used to have Bowden-style filament feeding, but now you will have the choice to opt-in for imported Titan Direct Drive style feeding.

The Creality upgraded CR-10 with a ultra-silent TMC2208 V2.5 motherboard and Dual-Cooling Fan technology for making it whisper-quiet.

If you are willing to buy a branded 3D Printer with a large build volume, this one is the right choice for you.

Benefits

  • Robust design
  • Large build volume
  • Heated bed
  • Resume function
  • Super quiet

Drawbacks

  • Semi-automatic bed leveling

6. ADIMLab Updated Gantry Pro

ADIMlab Updated Gantry Pro - Best 3D Printer under 500 - ULTRAdvice.com

This 3D Printer has relatively higher build volume to the previously discussed Artillery Sidewinder X1 and Creality CR-10 V2.

The printer is semi-assembled, and you need to do some good work to set it up. The user manual is well-written, and they also have an excellent customer support team.

So assembling and running ADIMLab 3D Printer is a breeze.

Specifications

  1. Printing Technology: FDM
  2. Layer Resolution: 0.05-0.3 mm
  3. Supported Print Materials: PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU
  4. Max. Print Speed: 150 mm/s
  5. Recommended Print Speed: 60 mm/s
  6. Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm
  7. Operational Extruder Temperature: Max 260ºC
  8. Build Volume: 310x310x410 mm
  9. Maximum Heated Bed Temperature: 100ºC
  10. Input Formats: STL, G-Code, OBJ, AMF
  11. Connectivity: SD Card, USB Cable
  12. Software: Cura, Repitier-Host
  13. Printer Dimensions: 584x640x220 mm
  14. Net Weight: 11 kg

The nozzle comes with an LED indicator, which will help you in detecting nozzle issues.

However, If you are about to use this printer for so ling then you need to consider heating problems.

The great thing that separates this 3D Printer from the rest is a stepper motor silencer for reducing the noise. Overall this 3D Printer produces quality prints that are impressive at this price range.

Benefits

  • Easy to assemble
  • Good customer support service
  • Heated bed
  • Nozzle LED indicator
  • Low noise

Drawbacks

  • Manual bed leveling
  • Heating issues

7. Anycubic Chiron

ANYCUBIC Chiron - Best 3D Printer under 500 - ULTRAdvice.com

The ANYCUBIC Chiron is cracking the 3D Printer market with it’s massive build volume of 400x400x450 mm. At this price range, there is no other 3D Printer with as large build volume as this printer.

It comes in a semi-assembled state offering automatic bed leveling to start printing quickly.

The printer equips filament detection sensor.

Specifications

  1. Printing Technology: FDM
  2. Layer Resolution: 0.05-0.3 mm
  3. Supported Print Materials: PLA, ABS, HIPS, WOOD, TPU
  4. Max. Print Speed: 100 mm/s
  5. Recommended Print Speed: 60 mm/s
  6. Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm
  7. Operational Extruder Temperature: Max 260ºC
  8. Build Volume: 400x400x450 mm
  9. Maximum Heated Bed Temperature: 100ºC
  10. Input Formats: STL, OBJ, G-Code, JPG, PNG
  11. Connectivity: SD Card, USB Cable
  12. Printer Dimensions: 651x612x720 mm
  13. Net Weight: 15 kg

The Chiron users claim to have problems with automatic bed leveling.

It produces decent quality prints and can be used for printing large structures and objects.

Though the Anycubic Chiron is not the highly-rated 3D Printer under this $500 category but we suggest you to opt-in for it if you have the largest build volume requirement.

Benefits

  • Semi-assembled
  • Largest build volume
  • Intuitive and easy-to-use interface

Drawbacks

  • Automatic bed leveling requires some assistance
  • Loud printing

8. Anycubic Photon S

Anycubic Photon S - Best 3D Printer under 500 - ULTRAdvice.com

Unlike others (using FDM technology) discussed in this article, the Photon S uses SLA technology.

The SLA printers dominates FDM printers with their higher layer resolution and smooth surface finish.

The Anycubic Photon S is a popular SLA printer under $500 category.

Specifications

  1. Printing Technology: SLA
  2. Light Source: UV integrated light
  3. Wavelength: 405 nm
  4. XY DPI: 47 um (2560×1440)
  5. Y-Axis Resolution: 1.25 um
  6. Layer Resolution: 25-100 um
  7. Printing Speed: 20 mm/h
  8. Build Volume: 115x165x165 mm
  9. Rated Power: 50 W
  10. Printing Material: 405 nm Photosensitive Resin
  11. Connectivity: USB Port
  12. Printer Size: 230x200x400 mm
  13. Net Weight: 9.5 Kg

This printer has improved Z-Axis stability for more detailing and smooth surfacing to the final print.

With the provision of a Carbon Air Filter and Dual-Fan, it significantly reduces the divergence of odor.

SIDENOTE: I am not recommending this 3D Printer for rapid prototyping.

Overall, if you are willing to have a quick and smoothest final product, then give a chance to ANYCUBIC Photon S.

Benefits

  • Superb print quality
  • Easy to setup and use
  • Value for money

Drawbacks

  • Manual Bed leveling
  • Flimsy housing

9. Original Prusa Mini

Original Prusa Mini - Best 3D Printer under 500 - ULTRAdvice.com

The Prusa is famous for its high-end 3D Printers. It is dominating Chinese 3D Printer manufacturers over the last few years!

This brand has a massive community of users who continuously contribute to improving its products.

The Original Prusa Mini is developed considering mid-range users. The company says, “We did our best to squeeze as many features into the lowest possible price as possible.”

The printer comes in a semi-assembled state. But with few simple steps you can complete the set-up.

Specifications

  1. Printing Technology: FDM
  2. Layer Resolution: 0.05-0.25 mm
  3. Supported Print Materials: PLA, ABS, PETG, ASA, FLEX
  4. Max. Print Speed: 200 mm/s
  5. Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm
  6. Operational Extruder Temperature: Max 280ºC
  7. Maximum Heated Bed Temperature: 100ºC
  8. Build Volume: 180x180x180 mm
  9. Input Formats: STL, G-Code, OBJ
  10. Connectivity: LAN, USB Cable, Wi-Fi (optional upgrade)
  11. Software: Prusa Slic3r
  12. Printer Dimensions: 380x380x330 mm
  13. Net Weight: 9 kg

This 3D Printer is compact enough to fit anywhere at your workplace. The print quality is so impressive, and if you are stuck at any point in printing, then customer support from Prusa is above satisfactory.

It is an excellent printer for small companies as well as home and educational uses.

Benefits

  • Semi-assembled
  • Automatic print bed leveling
  • Heated bed
  • Removable magnetic print bed
  • Excellent customer support team
  • Color LCD Screen
  • Wi-fi connectivity
  • Compact design

Drawbacks

  • Small build volume

10. Creality Ender 3 V2

Creality Ender 3 V2 - Best 3D Printer under 500 - ULTRAdvice.com

The Creality Ender 3 V2 is our top pick under the $300 category. It is known for the best performance at the price of $279.

This 3D Printer is a best fit for home and educational use. It comes semi-assembled and you need to put in some work before starting to print.

The Creality Ender 3 V2 comes with a heated bed, meaning that you will be able to process the wide range of filaments.

Specifications

  1. Printing Technology: FDM
  2. Layer Resolution: 0.1 mm
  3. Supported Print Materials: PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU
  4. Max. Print Speed: 180 mm/s
  5. Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm
  6. Operational Extruder Temperature: Max 255ºC
  7. Maximum Heated Bed Temperature: 100ºC
  8. Build Volume: 220x220x250 mm
  9. Input Formats: STL, OBJ
  10. Connectivity: SD Card, USB Cable
  11. Software: Cura, Simplify 3D
  12. Printer Dimensions: 475x470x620 mm
  13. Net Weight: 7.8 kg

It offers an upgraded TMC2208 Driver, XY-Axis Tensioner, New UI, etc.

The printer has a resume function. It pauses whenever the power goes off and starts once the power is back. This feature is beneficial in multi-colour printing as well as during sudden power-cut.

Benefits

  • Semi-assembled
  • Easy to use
  • Heated bed
  • Big community of users

Drawbacks

  • Manual bed leveling

11. Qidi Tech X-One2

Qidi Tech X-One2 - Best 3D Printer under 500 - ULTRAdvice.com

The Qidi is manufacturing best budget-friendly 3D Printers which are best fit for home and educational uses.

The Tech X-One2 from Qidi is a beginner-friendly, easy-to-use, fully-enclosed 3D Printer that requires no initial assembly. Also, it comes with a 3.5-inch intuitive touch screen interface.

Specifications

  1. Printing Technology: FDM
  2. Layer Resolution: 0.05-0.4 mm
  3. Supported Print Materials: PLA, ABS, PETG, Flexible
  4. Recommended Print Speed: 60 mm/s
  5. Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm
  6. Operational Extruder Temperature: Max 250ºC
  7. Maximum Heated Bed Temperature: 110ºC
  8. Build Volume: 145x145x145 mm
  9. Input Formats: STL, OBJ
  10. Connectivity: SD Card, USB Cable
  11. Software: Cura, Qidi Print
  12. Printer Dimensions: 380x320x360 mm
  13. Net Weight: 19 kg

The enclosed build chamber ensures constant temperature while printing with the materials like ABS.

At the price of $249, the Qidi Tech X-one2 packs a big punch.

If you are looking for a more affordable alternative to FlashForge Finder and Monoprice Voxel, then this one is a good deal for you.

Benefits

  • Fully-assembled
  • Fully-enclosed
  • Heated bed
  • Robust metal frame
  • Beginner-friendly

Drawbacks

  • Manual print bed leveling
  • Small build volume
  • It is very heavy

Conclusion

If you are looking for a fully-enclosed 3D Printer then FlashForge Finder is excellent choice for you. For large build volume requirement you can choose from Artillery Sidewinder X1 and Anycubic Chiron.

If you want a branded 3D Printer at this price, you must go for Creality Ender 5 Pro, Creality CR-10 V2, and Original Prusa Mini.

Finally, let me know if I am missing any fantastic 3D Printer under $500. I will look forward adding it to this 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.