Best 3D Printer for Under $1000

With 3D printers, the higher the price, the more you can expect in terms of functionality, stability and reliability. If you are looking to upgrade your 3D printer, you may want to go for a more advanced model that is under $1000. Which is the best 3D printer under 1000 bucks?

In our previous posts, we’ve covered the best 3D printers under $500, and $400, and even the super-economical 3D printers under $300. Today, we’ll be looking at some advanced 3D printers that go for under $1000.

Best 3D Printer for Under $1000 1
An electronic 3D plastic printer during operation

While a 3D printer can be an expensive purchase, there are various reasons why you may want to have one. And if you are a hobbyists, you can end up making some money in the process.\

For example, instead of buying custom toys on Amazon, you can print them on your own using a 3D printer. This means more savings for you.

But it’s not just toys. You can print nearly anything made of plastic, from a couch or chair leg to a lever, a handle to a switch. In a nutshell, having a 3D printer will save you some money that you would have used to search for spare parts online.

Even better, a 3D printer is a great tool for teaching both children and adults. Finally, it’s really fun. You never really get tired of creating your own personalized gifts, collectibles, jewelry, phone cases, and many other items.

Choosing a 3D Printer Under $1000

When it comes to 3D printers, the saying  that “you get what you pay for” rings true. But if you are looking for a 3D printer under $100, you definitely want to assess your needs before ordering a unit.

If you are a home user, you may want a printer that is quieter than average. A unit like the Creality CR-10 V2 will be good here. If you want to make  multi-colored prints, a dual extruder 3D printer, such as the FlashForge Dreamer or the Bibo 3D dual extruder printer would be ideal.

For professional-grade printing, you’ll want an industrial-style printer like the  Qidi Tech X-Plus.

But we understand that spending $1000 on a 3D printer is not something that everyone is comfortable doing. That’s why we’ve included some cheaper options in the $600-$700 range.

Below are the best 3D printers under $1000.

Best 3D Printers Under $1000

1. Creality Ender 5 Plus

Creality Ender 5 Plus image

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The Ender 5 Plus is the largest, widest and most expensive device from the Ender range. The printer uses the same scaffolding-like principle as the Ender 5 to move the print head.

Thanks to the generous installation space of 350 x 350 x 400 mm, you don’t have to worry too much about your objects being too big. While there are some tangled cables, the overall components of this pre-assembled device are high quality.

Further advantages of this model is that the print bed can be heated to 100°C in under 10 minutes. Also,  bed leveling is relatively easy thanks to the BL touch sensor.

The Ender 5 Plus isn’t perfect, but if you put your mind to it, it’s a great and very modifiable printer.

2. FlashForge Creator Pro

FlashForge Creator Pro

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The FlashForge Creator Pro is similar to the Makerbot Replicator 2X. This inexpensive 3D printer can print in two colors, has a metal frame and a closed installation space.

The Creator Pro has auto-calibration and a metal pressure plate. The guide rod ensures stability when printing. The design may look a bit old-fashioned, but the Creator Pro is still valued by the 3D printing community because it is very reliable, versatile and easy to use.

Read the full Flashforge Creator Pro review.

3. Creality CR-10S Pro V2

Creality CR-10S Pro V2

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Creality loves to iterate so much that their popular CR-10 line has gone through more versions than we’d like. There are quite a number of things Creality is fixing with this CR-10 version.

The machine looks more professional than its predecessor. It feels robust, has a slim controller integrated into the base and offers good cable management.

Thanks to a generous construction volume of 300 x 300 x 400 mm, you will probably not run out of space for your projects. The BL touch sensor makes it easier to level the bed. A powerful 480W MeanWell power supply unit heats the bed and nozzle in next to no time, and the Capricorn Bowden cable makes filament supply child’s play.

Thanks to its well thought-out design and  functions, the Pro V2 was able to convince us. It worked as soon as it was set up and the print quality was very good.

4. Qidi Tech-X Pro

Qidi Tech-X Pro

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The Qidi Tech X-Pro is an affordable dual extrusion printer that works out of the box. Affordability and dual-extrusion are two features seldom found in budget printers.

Based on the Makerbot Replicator design, the Qidi Tech X-Pro offers a closed pressure chamber that enables temperature-sensitive materials to be printed.

Yes, the robust, closed pressure chamber limits the print volume somewhat. Still, the Qidi Tech X-Pro is an affordable entry point into dual extrusion printing, even for absolute beginners, as setup is a breeze.

Read the full QIDI Tech X-Pro review.

5. Creality CR-10 S5

Creality CR-10 S5

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The CR-10 is a great 3D printer that gives you a lot for your money. As soon as you take it out of the packaging, this printer is ready to go. The fact that it is easy to hack and that the manufacturer attaches importance to user input when optimizing has secured it a place on our podium in recent years.

Now, imagine all of this in a construction volume of 500 mm each – a real monster of a printer. You have to tinker a bit to get the best out of this volume, but you can hardly think of anything better for the price-performance ratio.

6. Original Prusa i3 MK3S Kit

Original Prusa i3 MK3S kit

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The Original Prusa i3 MK3 kit impressed its users with a special focus on user-friendliness, attention to detail and more functions than you could ever imagine. Notable features of the printer include auto-calibration, crash detection, printing pause and restart .

The print quality is exceptionally good and the community is enthusiastic and helpful. Finally, the 3D slicer software, PrusaSlicer, is easy to use.

If the 8 hours of assembly time puts you off, you can also pay an additional $300 to get a fully assembled MK3S. And, hey, there are even Haribo gummy bears for them!

7. Snapmaker Original

Snapmaker Original

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A 3D printer alone is not enough for you? Would you also like a laser cutter and a CNC milling machine? The Snapmaker fulfills all of these wishes.

The 3-in-1 device started on Kickstarter and has been one of the most popular 3D printing projects out there. The successor, Snapmaker 2.0 has had even more success on Kickstarter. Unfortunately it is quite expensive: (see price)

The Snapmaker has interchangeable tool heads with which you can turn the printer into a laser cutter or a CNC router. Such devices sometimes cost a lot, so this device is a bargain. But you have to be satisfied with a very small installation space.

Read the full Snapmaker A350 review.

Choosing a 3D printer Under $1000

$1000 is not pocket change to splash on a 3D printer. Therefore, it’s important to do some research to determine the best printer to go for.

Here are some things to keep in mind when looking for a 3D printer under $1000.

1. Intended Use

Think about what you will be using the printer for. Do you need a printer for hobby, educational or professional use?

Also, consider where you will be using the printer from. Will you set it up in your school, garage or office?

Answering these questions will help you determine the best 3D printer to go for.

If you are just getting started with 3D printing, need a 3D printer for kids or educational institutions, go for those that prioritize safety and ease of use.

In this case, 3D printers like the Dremel Digilab 3D20, QIDI Tech X-Plus, and the Flashforge Dreamer will be viable as they are easy to use, have enclosed chambers for safety and cost less than $1000.

On the other hand, if you want a printer with dual extruders, ability to print different materials, a heated bed, and a high-temp hot end, look for 3D printers for professional use. Examples of printers that fit the bill here are Matterhackers Pulse XE. Prusa i3MK3S+ and the   Flashforge Creator Pro 2

2. FDM or Resin

There is a huge difference between FDM and resin 3D printers in terms of application, workflow, machine setup, and materials used.

FDM 3D printers use fused deposition modelling (FDM) technology while resin 3D printers use SLA technology. Learn the differences between FDM and SLA technologies.

FDM 3D printers use a solid plastic filament that is melted and deposited, one layer at a time.  The printers are quite easy to use and learn and are mostly recommended for beginners. Most FDM printers can work with a variety of materials, and are perfect for home or school use.

These machines come with a large build area. However, the quality of prints produced by FDM 3D printers is lower than that produced by resin 3D printers.

Coming on to resin or SLA 3D printers, these units stand out for their superior print quality and smooth surface finish. The printer use a photosensitive 3D printer resin and cure it with a UV light source. The light source is produced from UV curing station, such as the Wanhao Boxman 1 UV Curing Chamber.

Read more about resin 3D printing.

Resin 3D printers are mainly used to print items that require a high level of detail, precision, and smooth surface finish. For example, if you want to 3D print molds, jewelry, dental models and miniatures, you will get the best results by using a resin 3D printer.

However, the biggest disadvantage of resin 3D printing is that it’s messy because of the resin. Moreover, the resins is more expensive than plastic filament and the printed items have to be post-processed in a special curing chamber.

Finally, resin 3D printers have a relatively small build volume. This means that you can only print small objects. Therefore, if quality will not be a big thing for whatever you want to print, and you can do with some small blemishes, you will be better off with an FDM 3D printer than a resin option.

3. Build Quality

Another thing to consider is the build quality of the 3D printer you want to buy. A printer that is well built will deliver high-quality print every time you use it. With 3D printers under $1000, most of them come with high-end materials, such as metal frames, which improve their stability and build quality.

For example, 3D printers like the Matterhackers Pulse XE. Prusa i3MK3S+ and the   Flashforge Creator Pro 2  are built to last thanks to the solid metal frames used to make them. The great build-quality of these units means they can deliver high-quality prints for a long time.

Printers with high-quality components are also more reliable when it comes to performance. If you want a printer that will serve you well for a long time (we all want that) and have to little maintenance to think of, and other 3D printing costs, then build quality is an important factor to keep in mind when choosing a printer.

4. Features

While cheap 3D printers come with minimal features, 3D printers under $1000 have more and better features.

For example, most of the printers in this category come with features such as a top-cover sensor (Anycubic Mono X), an air filtration system and an enclosed design,. The printers also boast of high-quality components that promote safety by reducing the risks of accidents.

Features like filament run-out detection and resume printing will ensure you have less failed prints. The filament detection feature will notify you in case the printer runs out of filament during printing. On the other hand, the resume printing feature will allow you to resume printing in case of a power failure during the printing process.

Other things to consider are the user interface and the workflow of your 3D printer. Is the printer operated using a touch screen display or through an LCD screen with hardware buttons? If you’re looking 3D printer for schools or kids, the best picks would be those with  an intuitive, user-friendly interface.

5. Build Volume

The size of the 3D objects that you printer can print will depend on its build volume. If you will be priting large objects, get an FDM rather than a resin 3D printer.

One of the best large format 3D printers under $1000 is  Creality CR-10 S5. This unit has a build volume of 500 x 500 x 500 mm. To make it easier for you to visualize, that’s enough space to 3D print a full-sized helmet at once.

You can also go for other large format 3D printers that fit your budget.

If the main reason for buying a 3D printer is for printing figurines and miniatures, or for educational purposes, a printer with a small build volume would work just fine. Such a printer would also be cheaper than the large format 3D printers on the market.

6. Print speed

Your 3D printing experience and productivity will be affected by the print speed of the unit you choose. For basic hobby purposes, you can get away with a 3D printer that is not very fast. However, for small batch 3D printing in a print farm, or for professional use, you definitely want a fast 3D printer.

A unit that 3D prints fast will get your prints ready quickly and reduce turnaround times. This means that you can revise your designs faster and make the necessary changes at a reasonable pace.

When it comes to printing speeds, resin 3D printers outperform their FDM counterparts. For example, even if you fill up the entire build plate, each layer will take 2-3 seconds to cure. You can see how time-saving the printer will be when you are producing miniatures or jewelry pieces at a go.

On the other hand, FDM 3D are comparatively slower than the resin options. With FDM 3D printing, each object on the build plate is printed separately. This means more time for the whole printing to be done.

There are some FDM printers with remarkable speeds than others. If you have settled on FDM printers and need fast units, check out the  Pulse XE and the Prusa i3 MK3S+, which print at decent speeds of up to 60-80 mm/s.

Another option would be to go for a CoreXY 3D printer kit. These printers have stationary motors and therefore, relatively little moving mass. The units print fast without sacrificing print quality.

7. Material Compatibility

Another factor to consider to find the best 3D printer under $1000 is the materials that can be printed. Most 3D printers in the $1000 range can printer more materials than cheaper 3D printers. All the 3D printers on our list have a heated print bed, except for the Digilab 3D20 and the resin 3D printers. With a heated print bed, the printers can handle a wide variety of materials.

Some 3D printers have a heated print bed and a high-temperature hot end. Examples of such printers are the QIDI Tech X Plus and the Pulse XE. With these printers, you can go beyond PLA and ABS and print with Carbon fiber, Nylon, and Polycarbonate filaments.

The Flashforge Creator Pro 2 also stands out for its ability to use soluble supports and print two materials at once.

A 3D printer that is compatible with different materials will allow you to use it for many applications. With such a printer, you can use it with basic filaments or  advanced materials without having to change any parts.

Conclusion

The best 3D printer under $1000 will ultimately depend on your needs and budget. Our team recommends the Prusa i3 MK3S+ for its decent build volume and capability to print different materials. The printer is well made, multi-puporse and has advanced features you will need for various hobby printing tasks.

Our next recommendation is the Flashforge Creator Pro 2, because of its IDEX system, followed by the and then the QIDI Tech X-Plus for its dual extruders and dual print surfaces.

Got any questions about the above 3D printers under $1000? Ask them below.

One Response

  1. Ian Hollis November 10, 2019

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