3D printers are the future. These craft machines, which come straight out of an engineer’s dreams, are probably the biggest technological breakthrough since smartphones. Never has it been easier for someone to pick up crafting for a career or just as a hobby in their own home. And even though they’re relatively new, don’t think you have to spend a fortune to own a 3D printer.
There are plenty of budget 3D printers available these days, and we’re going to help you find them. If you’re new to 3D printing, or just on a tight budget, you might not be willing or able to spend a lot on your printer. We’ve made this list of the best 3D printers that cost less than $200 so you can print out your best 3D masterpieces without breaking the bank.
Carry on reading to see our full list of the best budget 3D printers, followed by a quick recap breaking down what sets every printer apart. Or jump straight to our number #1 pick here.
- What Should You Look For in a Monitor for Graphic Designers?
- How Much Am I Limiting Myself by Staying Under $200?
- Verdict: Your Best Under-$200 3D Printers
What Should You Look For in a Monitor for Graphic Designers?
If you’re new to 3D printers, you might not know what separates the good ones from the bad ones. There’s a lot of mystery around these devices, and it can feel daunting to research them if you’re not a more dedicated techie. Again, we’re here to help. You don’t need to be an expert to find a 3D printer that’s right for you, and we’re going to show you the criteria we used to evaluate the best 3D printers. This will help you understand our decision-making, and it could be a good jumping-off point for you, if you decide to do your own further research after finishing our list.
Criteria #1: Materials – You don’t want to be limited to just one type of material for your 3D printing. There are several materials that are commonly used with 3D printers, with acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polylactic acid (PLA) being the most common, among a few others. In this price range, it may be a little difficult to find a 3D printer that takes every standard material, though that is the ideal that we’re aiming for.
Criteria #2: Size – This criterion varies a bit more from person-to-person, as each customer will be looking for something different, but it’s important to think about what size you’re looking for in your 3D printer. A small printer will obviously be convenient but might feel a bit limiting if you want to design bigger sculptures. While you won’t have to worry about bigger printers too much in this size range, the tradeoff there is that, while you’ll have more room to work with, you’ll have a heavier printer that’s taking up more space. So if your home is already a bit cluttered, that will probably not be what you’re looking for. If you do want something bigger, this price range might be a bit restrictive, but there are still some sleeper picks for you available that are at least of medium size.
Criteria #3: Extra Features – Those little extra features can go a long way towards making a printer stand out from the rest of the pack. Some perks to look out for are breakpoint printing, which will save your work in case of a power outage and allow you to complete a project across multiple sessions, and wifi integration with your phone or computer. There are also features that are ideal for child-safety such as heat covers and certain auto-stop features.
Criteria #4: Price – Just because we set the cap at $200, doesn’t mean you we’re going to make you spend all $200 if it’s avoidable. Meeting this criterion is less about being cheap and more about justifying your price. We’d rather buy an expensive product that’s cheaper than it should be, than waste money on a cheaper product that isn’t worth the money and that will just break on you or not perform well. We want products that deliver a value beyond their price tag.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best 3D Printers Under $200
We measured the specs of the top products on the market against our listed criteria to see how they held up and if they’re worth buying. We then checked customer reviews, blog posts, and “best 3-D Printers Under $200” articles to see if the products on our list performed as advertised.
And without further ado, here is our list – tailored to your specific needs – of the best 3-D Printers Under $200.
#1: Anet A8 3D Printer (Best Value – All-Purpose)
The first printer on our list, the Anet A8 3D Printer, is the biggest steal you can find under $200. This DIY 3D printer is one of the best deals out there, and it offers you a build area that’s roughly 8.5″ x 8.5″ x 9.5″ which is pretty big for this price range, so you’ll really be able to let your creativity flourish and push the boundaries of what you’re able to make. You don’t need to stick to just little trinkets with this 3D printer.
The Anet A8 boasts printing accuracy within 0.1 and 0.2 millimeters, so any flaws in your sculptures will be invisible to the naked eye. It accomplishes this fine accuracy by applying dual Z-axis rods and motors. On top of that, it works at a printing speed of 40 to 120mm per second. Even if you’re using the entire printing area for your project, you won’t have to wait too long for the A8 to deliver.
The Anet A8 is also completely open-source, which means you have total access to the source code, which is constantly being updated by users around the world. You’ll always be able to update the firmware of this 3D printer and get a completely customized experience. That means that no two A8 printers are the same; it is what you make it.
Finally, while the default nozzle of this 3D printer is 0.04mm, the nozzle can be switched out for different sizes. You can switch to a size that’s more for you, or go back and forth depending on your needs and create a masterpiece for every occasion.
There were very few reviews of this 3D printer, but almost all of them were positive. This shows that while this printer is still a bit unknown, it has a cult fanbase, and it could soon become a fan favorite. Users said that the A8 3D printer was much easier to assemble than most DIY printers and that it offers high-quality performance. Customers also loved the large build volume, the heat-resistant structure, and the lack of noise with this printer.
Because it’s so cheap and easy to assemble, it’s great for beginners and pros alike. It’s really amazing that Anet managed to keep this printer so cheap, and the price-to-performance ratio you get with this machine makes the Anet A8 our best value, cheap 3D printer.
#2: Creality Ender 3 3D Printer (Best Machine)
Okay, the Creality Ender 3 3D Printer actually goes just a bit over our $200 price limit, but I just couldn’t make a list of the best cheap 3D printers without including this Creality printer. While the Creality Ender 3 pushes our budget to its limit (okay, past its limit) there are a few reasons you might decide to splurge and buy this 3D printer over the Anet A8.
Reason #1 to Choose This Product: Breakpoint Printing
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had a very good attention span, and it’s pretty hard for me to sit still and do one thing for more than a few hours. Add unexpected interruptions into the mix, and even the occasional power outage or performance issue, and, to me, printing a bigger project in one session seems like an impossibility. That’s why breakpoint printing is such a game-changer.
With this 3D printer, you can start and stop your 3D printing jobs whenever you want, and you’ll be able to pick up right where you left off with the push of a button. The real cherry on top is that this feature works automatically, so if the printer is – for whatever reason – unexpectedly turned off, your project won’t be ruined, and you can get right back to work without any damage to your newest piece. Breakpoint printing is a must for any scatterbrain or busy-body who wants to take up 3D printing.
Reason #2 to Choose This Product: The Ultimate DIY Experience
This Cereality 3D printer is almost completely DIY and takes a few hours to put it together. One of the reasons it’s so cheap, despite its high-quality performance, is that you’ll be doing a lot of the work. You might think I’m crazy for pitching this as a good thing. After all, why would I go out and spend my hard-earned money on something just to find out that I’m the one who has to build it? But if you’re good with tools, and really dedicated to learning about 3D printing technology, this DIY 3D printer offers an amazing learning experience. The bottom line is there’s no better way to learn how something works than by looking at every individual part and putting it together yourself. If you’re a real die-hard techie, saving money to get this DIY experience can be seen as a win-win instead of a compromise.
The Creality Ender 3 3D Printer works with ABS and PLA filaments as well as some less-popular materials, and just like our number one 3D printer, it’s completely open-source. It heats up to its operating temperature in about 5 minutes, so you won’t have to stand around all day waiting for it. Its print area is about as big as the Anet A8’s too. It gives you a great print quality.
It’s actually more popular than our top printer, so if you tend to trust the crowd, you’ll want to look at this printer first. Customers loved the print quality, and one user called this Creality 3D printer the best bang for your buck on the market. We gave that honor to the Anet 3D printer, but they’re not far off. If you want to spend more money and walk away with the best 3D printer for about $200, then buy the Creality Ender 3D printer.
#3: Labists Mini Desktop 3D Printer (Best for Beginners)
If you’re looking for something to get you started on your 3D printer, or maybe even if you want something for your children, the Labists Mini Desktop 3D Printer is the perfect place to start. To start things off, while some assembly is required for this 3D printer, you won’t need any tools. It’s more a matter of just following instructions than a true DIY printer. It’s all pretty straightforward, so you can open the box and be ready to start printing in 10 to 20 minutes.
The build area on the Mini Desktop 3D printer is 3″ x 3″ x 3″, which is pretty small, but this could be nice if you’re a beginner. You’ll have a smaller space to let you practice making little trinkets as you get used to the 3D printing experience, and you won’t be stuck with a printer that takes up a lot of room, if you don’t end up using it very often. The magnetic build plate is removable and lets you easily extract your newest piece without bumping into the nozzle of any other part of the printer.
This printer reaches its operating temperature in just 3 minutes, so you’ll really be ready to go almost right away. Plus, it has a heat guard over the motor, so you can have some peace of mind that no accidents will happen if the kids take a liking to it.
The Labists Mini Desktop also features a professional, aluminum nozzle and an improved extruder with high accuracy, that will give you good print quality and won’t get clogged easily. Finally, it has a simple and intuitive 3-button control pad, so you’ll be able to hop right in with this 3D printer and print out a high-quality masterpiece before you know it.
Customers loved the simplicity of this 3D printer and raved about how cheap and accessible for beginners it is. We promised you 3D printers under $200, and this 3D printer gives you some wiggle room on that budget, so you can go ahead and treat yourself to something else while you’re at it.
The main problem with this printer is that it’s only designed to use PLA material, so that can feel a bit limiting. But if you’re a beginner, it may be nice to not think about which material is best and have one less thing to learn.
It’s pretty hard to find a 3D printer that’s this cheap and easy to use and still gives you a good print quality, and that’s why the Labists Mini Desktop 3D Printer is such a steal, even among other cheap 3D printers, and why it’s our best 3D printer for beginners.
#4: LONGER Cube 2 Mini 3D Printer (Best Large 3D Printer)
It’s never too early to encourage that creative spark in your child, and since they’ll be growing up with the technology becoming commonplace, it could be a great idea to introduce your children to 3D printers as an artistic outlet. The Longer Cube 2 Mini 3D printer is perfect for your prodigy.
It has a small frame and an even smaller build area that your child will be able to navigate, and it comes with a nice, framed design that will make it harder for children to accidentally break (or get hurt by) all of those moving parts. On top of that, this 3D printer is 99% ready to go as soon as you open the box. It uses an aesthetically appealing and intuitive high-definition touch screen as its user interface.
This printer has clear setup instructions and comes with 196.8 inches of the eco-friendly PLA filament, so you’re really getting the full package. It also comes with an 8GB SD memory card which includes tutorials and other videos to help your child get started on their 3D printing adventure.
It has a resume-print function and a removable nozzle, that helps with cleaning, and a magnetic, flexible build plate that your child can’t even ruin on purpose when they try to remove their projects. It has a print speed that goes up to 90mm per second, though the recommended speed is 30 to 60mm per second. It’s also compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux. This is the best, easy-to-use printer under $200 to show your child how creative they can be.
#5: Monoprice 121711 Select Mini 3D Printer V2 (Best Compact Printer)
Once again, just like the Creality Ender 3 3D Printer, this printer isn’t quite under $200,but it’s close enough. For a lot of customers it’s a must-have, so I decided to exercise some creative license and include it in this list.
The Monoprice 121711 Select Mini 3D Printer V2 is the perfect 3D printer for anyone who wants something that will fit right in the closet or cupboard. At 4.7″ x 4.7″ x 4.7″, this 3D printer’s build area is just a tiny bit bigger than that of the Labists Mini Desktop 3D Printer, but it has a unique design that manages to take up even less space, so you won’t feel like your desk is getting cluttered.
Instead of having the nozzle hanging from an arch at the top of the printer, this 3D printer places the nozzle to the side of the building plate. The result is a much more aesthetic build that looks much less like something you glued together yourself and much more like a professionally-made product. There’s also absolutely zero setup required, and the Monoprice 3D printer comes with a micro SD card that has preset designs on it, so as soon as you open the box, you can see this baby in action.
Despite its compact design, this printer is pretty heavy. It weighs about 14 pounds, so you may want to find a good resting place for it quickly and avoid moving it around your home constantly. The software for this printer is compatible with both Mac and PC, and it’s compatible with ABS and PLA, as well as other more niche filaments.
Monoprice is one of the most well-known names in 3D printing, so you can be sure you’re getting a good product with the 121711 Select Mini 3D Printer. And just like our top two picks, this 3D printer is open-source, so you can get creative and really make it your own. It has a sleek screen for the user interface, an insulated building plate, and a cooling fan just for the nozzle, so you’ll be able to get “in the zone” and print for hours on end.
This 3D printer has more than 2,500 reviews on Amazon, and it’s basically one glowing 5-star review after another. The characteristics of this printer that really grabbed the customers’ attention and made them fall in love were the price and the print quality.
Like most of the printers on this list and in our price range, it’s great for beginners. If you want something that’s small and that will have you printing right away, then you need this low-cost 3D printer. Sure, you could find some easy-to-assemble 3D printers, but why bother when you can buy the easy-to-operate Monoprice 121711 Select Mini 3D Printer V2 and use it right out of the box?
How Much Am I Limiting Myself by Staying Under $200?
It depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re a beginner and you just want to buy something to help you get started out as you experiment with 3D printing and decide if you want to go further, this is a great price-range to aim for. If you’re looking at your second or third 3D printer, you may want to extend your budget a bit, if you’ve decided it’s time to get something really legit. Even adding $50 or $100 will really open up your options, but as we’ve proved with this list, you can stay under $200 and still get something suitable for someone more experienced.
The real area where you’ll see a loss of return on your effort to save is in size. If you’re a real 3D printing pro and you’re only interested in big 3D printers that will help you print a true life-sized masterpiece, the honest truth is you’ll have to be willing to spend more money. A beginner would be blown away by the price of bigger 3D printers. Breaking $1000 isn’t uncommon at all, and some cost even more than $3000. But if size isn’t important to you, then you should have no problem keeping things cheap, even if you’re a more experienced printer and you want a machine to go with that.
Verdict: Your Best Under-$200 3D Printers
There you have it. These are the 3D printers under $200 that are the best of the best. See? You don’t have to feel left out of the 3D printing craze just because you aren’t willing to spend a fortune. And there were even other options that didn’t meet our standard, so don’t think we had to scour the Internet looking for the only cheap 3D printers available. Here’s a quick recap of our best 3D printers, in case you still haven’t made your decision.
If you want the best value for money, pick the Anet A8 3D Printer.
Of all of our 3D printers under $200, the Anet A 3D Printer is probably the best deal. It’s completely customizable, has a nice build volume, larger than the competition in this price range, and it has great print quality and accuracy. And there’s even room left over from our budget. This cheap 3D printer is one of the best deals on the market, no matter what your budget is, and it’s perfect for beginners and pros alike.
If you need the most compact 3D printer, pick the Monoprice 121711 Select Mini 3D Printer V2.
The Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer V2 has an amazing design that gives you a 3D printer that can fit anywhere. It has a small build area that’s perfect for beginners or just anyone who knows that size isn’t everything, and its unique design really maximizes its space. Even though the actual printer is smaller, the build plate of this 3D printer is a bit bigger than the Labists Mini Desktop, which shows how well this printer uses its space. If you already feel like your desk is just a little too cluttered, the Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer V2 is the perfect 3D printer for you. Plus, it comes with a free SD card, and there’s no setup necessary.
If you want the simplest 3D printer, pick the Labists Mini Desktop 3D Printer.
If you’re just starting out, you’ll want something simple so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Labists has got you covered there. The Labists Mini Desktop 3D printer is a small 3D printer that’s easy to set up and has very simple controls. Since it’s only compatible with PLA materials, you won’t have any creative decisions to worry about for now, and you can just focus on learning how 3D printers work and making the images in your head appear on the build plate. Plus, it’s a decent amount cheaper than our $200 cap, which is a big selling point if you’re not sure how far you’ll go with 3D printing. Labists is making 3D printing accessible to everyone.
It’s okay if none of our 3D printers under $200 were exactly what you were looking for. There’s a massive market of 3D printers out there waiting for you, so feel free to do your own research and keep looking. Remember to focus on what it is you’re looking for. For example, if the three 3D printers we highlighted above aren’t what you’re looking for, you might want the easy-to-use LONGER Cube 2 Mini 3D Printer for your more creative child, or you might want to go a little over budget and treat yourself to the DIY Creality Ender 3 3D Printer. It’s best to make a list of the traits that you just can’t go without and work backward from there.
Good luck, and happy printing! I’m sure you’ll be making 3D works of art in no time.