Looking for the best 3D printer under $200? Read our guide for the top recommendations. Make sure you check the printers at the various online stores we’ve linked to as the prices tend to fluctuate from time to time.
Which is the best 3D printer? Well, this really depends on your needs. If you are new to 3D printing, check our guide on how to choose a 3D printer.
In a nutshell, the best 3D printer is one that works for you! In this guide, we’ll present the best 3D printers under $200. These printers have proven themselves from the tests we’ve done over the past few years.
Every printer has to be maintained over time. In this guide, we not only go into the strengths and weaknesses of different printers, but also provide an overview of what to expect in terms of print quality.
If you want an SLA printer because you prefer working with resin instead of filament, see our guide of the best budget resin 3D printers.
3D printer manufacturers are constantly improving the quality of their new devices, upgrading their current units, while also ensuring a reasonable price. With players in this industry, success is all about innovation and cost-cutting measures.
Anycubic did a good job with the Vyper, with its decent auto-leveling out of the box for under $400 (check current price). Upgrades such as auto-leveling, quieter stepper drivers or complete printer housings were usually left to the user. However, manufacturers are realizing that an improved 3D printer also means better sales figures. And consumers benefit from this.
The current small-format 3D printers are almost identical in their basic structure. Cartesian construction of a few system rails, threaded rods and belts form a solid base. Much of this is due to Creality’s open-source 3D printer, the Ender 3. Launched in March 2018, this was as innovative as the Vyper was in 2021.
So, which printer today offers the greatest user comfort, the best print quality, is low-maintenance and costs less than $200?
Now we come to the number one source of maintenance. This is a small part with a big effect: the Bowden hose.
The biggest causes of error in FDM 3D printers are print bed adhesion problems and clogged nozzles. Our guide on the types of 3D printer build plates shows how to deal with such issues problems.
In our long-term experience with most printers, we noticed a deterioration in the print image when the nozzle clogs. This is a big annoyance, of course, when a five-day print falls off shortly before the end.
Prints can also deteriorate due to a little piece of plastic tubing; the Bowden hose.
The end of the Bowden hose in the print head or a small piece of plastic hose in the cold end just before the heat break can cause total failures. When running empty during printing, the extruder pulls the filament back a little to prevent threading and the hot filament seeping out. This function is called Retract in the slicer program.
After retraction, the filament is shot back at 40 to 60 mm/s. The extruder rams the filament into the coldend-hotend system. Exactly at the point where the filament melts and the still hard filament exerts pressure on the soft mass, the inner diameter of the hose expands over time.
At some point, the hose becomes so wide that the filament guide no longer generates enough contact pressure. This leads to regular gaps in the printed image, and later, the nozzle clogs completely. The result is a complete dismantling of the print head.
In our ranking, we considered how easily this problem can be circumvented. For example, with the Creality Ender 3 V2 or the Ender 5 Pro, only 1 to 2 cm must be cut off the front end of the hose at regular intervals. On the other hand, for the Voxelab Aquila S2, Artillery Hornet and the Qidi Max, for example, , the complete hotend has to be dismantled.
That’s the theory, but a large part of the 3D printer market for private users consists of China printers on which hobby users can carry out their own tuning measures.
In the end, the crucial question is how much should the printer cost. Clearly, an Ultimaker S2+ for over $2000 or a Prusa i3 MK3S+ for at least $1000 offers higher print quality and convenience right from the start. That’s what is expected. However, such units are out of the question if you have a small budget
However, a large part of the 3D printer market for home consumers comprises of printers by Chinese manufacturers. With these printers, hobby users can tune them up on their own. measures.
The good news is that budget 3D printers have gotten better in recent years. There are dozens of cheap 3D printers that can easily compete with the quality and comfort of more expensive branded devices.
For this review, we only included devices that we have actually tested and whose performance we have been able to verify ourselves. Three interesting printers, the Creality CR-10 V3, the Flsun Superracer and the Artillery Sidewinder X2 are not yet in this list because we would like to take a closer look at them first.
The Ender 3 and the i3 Mega S are also no longer listed. These two have the old, noisy A4988 stepper drivers. There is a strong trend towards quieter TMC 2208/2209 stepper motor drivers in the 3D printing market. Therefore, we no longer pay attention to outdated models with the noisy A4988 stepper drivers.
There is something for everyone in this list. There are two 3D printers with small installation space, six printers with a standard print area of 200 x 20o mm, and two large-format printers with a maximum installation space of 300 x 300 x 350 mm. We’ve included a model that can process almost all materials.
When it comes to choosing 3D printers, think of what you intend to accomplish. Some printers are better suited for large delicate prints, while others will be great for tall solid prints. The build spaces of the printers tested start at 100 x 100 x 120 mm, and go up to 300 x 300 x 350 mm.
The variety of materials that can be printed is determined by the maximum temperature of the hotend and print bed. These range from 240°C to 300°C for the nozzle, and 40°C to 130°C for the print bed. Different filament processing systems can process certain materials better.
To determine the right printer, answer the following questions:
- What should be printed?
- Which material will be mainly be used to print?
- Would you rather spend less money now and invest in upgrades or remodels later? Or just invest more money?
With that said, here are the best 3D printers under $200.
Creality Ender 3
- Build volume of 220 x 220 x 250 mm
- Upgrades available; Ender 3 direct drive, CR touch auto leveling kit, touch screen , tempered glass bed and more.
- Large active community
Even though its upgraded brother, the Ender 3 Pro, continues to grow in popularity, the original Ender 3 is one of the best budget options. This printer offers phenomenal value for money.
The Ender 3 comes with a heated print bed measuring 220 x 220 and a Z-axis of 250 mm. The printer also has a printing resume function: if there is a power outage, you don’t have to throw away the print. You can continue printing when the power is back.
The Ender 3, which is delivered pre-assembled, delivers remarkable immediate results for its low price. Moreover, you can hack, modify and upgrade it you like. There is also a large and active Ender 3 community that share tips and tricks online, just in case you get stuck with anything.
Monoprice MP Select Mini V2
- Fully assembled and factory calibrated so you can start printing right away
- Build volume of 120 x 120 x 120 mm
- Nozzle cooling fan and main board cooling fan
- Compatible with Cura, Repetier, and other software
The Select Mini is one of the best cheap 3D printers on the market. The budget 3D printer has an excellent price-performance ratio and provides acceptable prints. This machine comes with a heated print bed and, although it doesn’t look like it, the hardware can be spruced up.
Thanks to the standard WiFi connectivity, the Select Mini V2 sets itself apart from its competition in the under $200 category. However, the printer’s build volume is small compared to the winner, the Creality Ender 3.
|READ: Monoprice Select Mini Review|
Artillery also has solid 3D printers under $200. The Artillery Hornet has earned a place in our list of budget 3D printers, thanks to its convincing performance.
- Cartesian 3D printer
- Installation space 220 x 220 x 250 mm
- Bowden titanium extruder
- Good cooling component cooling
- Belt tensioner
Artillery rotated the Z-axis, installed a better Z-axis clutch and developed an innovative print head. However, you have to completely disassemble the print head if you want to replace the plastic tube in the cold end. This, and the simple display, deduct some points from the Artillery Hornet in our ranking.
The printer works precisely and offers one of the best print qualities among budget Cartesian printers.
Most of the printers shown here are Cartesian printers. To add a bit of variety, we have included this little comrade: the Mini Delta from Monoprice. The Monoprice MP Mini Delta V2 is the only printer with a delta design in this overview. Such printers are usually a little more complicated to assemble than others.
AVAILABLE ON AMAZON
Monoprice MP Delta Mini V2
- Delta printer
- Installation space ø110 x 120 mm
- Bowden tube extruder
This cheap 3D printer comes pre-assembled out of the box. You can practically start printing right away. The printer scores with powerful equipment, WLAN, auto-leveling and quiet operation. The printer has a small build volume, but prints good quality prints for under $200.
The compactness that the Mini Delta offers comes with one disadvantage: the print bed is absolutely tiny, so make sure it suits your needs before you buy one.
- Filament runout detection system
- Build volume 220 x 220 x 260 mm3
- 2 extruder module and 2-in-1-out hot end, which deliver 4 types of printings (single color, double color, graded color and mixed color)
- 20 minutes assembly
The Geeetech A10 has tons of inspiration from the Creality Ender 3. However, this printer is not a simple imitator because it can be easily assembled. Moreover, it trumps the Ender 3 with its slightly larger build volume of 220 x 220 x 260 mm.
The Geeetech A10 has a so-called “Super Plate”, a pressure plate that competes with the Ultrabase from Anycubic.
However, there is one downside with this 3D printer: calibration. The printer bed has to be leveled manually. However, after the calibration, you will have a solid 3D printer at an affordable price.
On request, the company can also send you a WiFi dongle that will make it possible to print your models through WI-Fi.
There are many 3D printer models, just as there are many uses of them. If you want to get started with 3D printing, you don’t automatically have to invest a lot. There are good and reliable 3D printers under $200. With some of them, you can get good print quality, even without tinkering or tuning.
Apart from the printer, the settings and the choice of material also determine the quality of print. More about this in our review of the best rainbow PLA filaments or the best white PLA filaments. You can also find creative things to print from these sites that offer free STL files for 3D printing or follow our tutorial on How to Make Lithophane for 3D Printing .
If you are interested in printing resin models, you will need SLA printers instead of the FDM ones listed above. See the Best Budget Resin 3D Printers we recommend. For example, you might want one of the units listed in our guide on Best 3D Printer Under $300.