$300 3D Printers — Ultra-Budget 3D Printing

$300-3d-printers

$300 3D printers are apparently all that people are asking about in the Facebook groups so I thought I would write this up to stop having to repeat myself :)

Word of warning, all of these printers have caveats, downsides, compromises, and limitations! Don’t expect an Ultimaker when your budget is at the extreme entry-level.

OK, on with the list …

monoprice-mini

The only half-decent, brand new, non-kit printer at under $300 is the Monoprice Select Mini. It has a heated build plate, and a graphical touch screen, but small build area. It’s available from Amazon, which is a plus, and is Monoprice so you should be able to get support/returns.

Personally I would pay the tiny bit extra and go for its big brother, the Maker Select (which is the Wanhao Di3 Prusa rebadged — my most used printer, and second only to the Prusa Mk2 in my affections, which is twice the price). Bigger build area, also pre-built, more opportunities for enhancement, and when dialled in prints beautifully.

Monoprice Maker Select IIIP
Monoprice Maker Select IIIP

If you don’t mind a kit, and don’t mind putting in some work, then look at one of these three:

TEVO Tarantula Prusa i3
TEVO Tarantula Prusa i3
  • TEVO Tarantula — It has acrylic parts, which I do not recommend, but has a healthy online community. I have been enjoying the Black Widow which is the larger version, but it takes time and effort.
Anet A8 Prusa i3
Anet A8 Prusa i3
  • Anet A8 or other Aliexpress Prusa — The A8 also has a great online community, but also has the downside of acrylic so be very careful with assembly and keep an eye on warping/cracking. As a Prusa variant though these guys are capable of good results.
Folgertech 2020 Prusa i3
Folgertech 2020 Prusa i3
  • Folgertech 2020 Prusa — I have no personal experience with these but I have heard good things from some owners. Has the advantage over the other two in the kit list that it is metal extrusion based rather than acrylic and has an active online community. Folgertech is a USA company which might be a plus for many.

Originally published at Maker Hacks.