The days of prohibitive 3D printer costs are long gone. With a goal of putting a 3D printer in every home, the industry democratized, driving price points down while raising product quality — it’s prime time for getting into rapid prototyping!
This guide will give you an idea of how much a 3D printer costs no matter if your budget requires a cheap entry-level printers or you can go for an expensive industrial 3D printer. A higher quality printer is more likely to work better with our high-quality 3D printer filament for the best prints!
If you’re new to 3D printing check out our guide on the basics of 3D printing and how it works!
Entry Level 3D Printers — $300 and Under
Entry-level 3D printers under $300 are truly for individuals who want to get into 3D printing but are not quite ready to make the monetary investment. The trade-off in savings is usually offset by the investment in time assembling and troubleshooting. For the list of our recommended best printers under $300 check out our full article.
The Anycubic Kossel is a delta style 3D printer that offers excellent build volume with a host of features. It is able to print the widest variety of materials compared to the other printers on our list due to its max extruder temperature of 275°C and heated bed.
FLSUN Prusa i3
The FLSUN Prusa i3 is based on the popular open-source i3 designed by Josef Prusa. This printer has an expansive community built around it and since it is an open-source design you are able to print parts of the kit and modify it easily.
The Anet A8 has the most features per cost compared to other printers on the list. It is highly accurate at moderate print speeds and is a highly reviewed printer. This means that you will undoubtedly find an abundance of information on it.
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Mid-Entry Level 3D Printers — $599 and Under
Mid-Entry-level 3D printers are designed for the curious beginner — folks who have a fundamental knowledge of 3D printing and want to explore but aren’t yet ready to make a major investment.
XYZprinter da Vinci Mini
XYZprinting made affordability and ease-of-use first priority when designing the da Vinci Mini ($289.95). Practically ready to go out of the box, this printer can print over a Wi-Fi or USB connection and works with PLA 3D printer filaments.
The open-frame Flashforge Finder ($499) has a build area of 140 by 140 by 140 mm and comes fully assembled. It also offers flash-drive connectivity in addition to USB cable and Wi-Fi. The Finder comes fully assembled, but you must level the non-heated build plate using thumb screws before use. The Finder requires PLA filament.
TierTime Up Mini 2
TierTimes’ Up Mini 2 ($599) sits at the top of the entry-level players. The Mini 2 offers a sleek chassis, heated build platform, and integrated HEPA filter to minimize the plastic smell during printing. You can use both PLA and ABS 3D printer filaments with the Mini 2.
The Creality CR-10 is an extremely popular, lost cost, large build volume 3D printer. It is easy to put together, has a heated bed and is able to print a variety of materials giving you excellent flexibility.
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Consumer Grade 3D Printers — $599 to $1,999
Consumer-grade printers fit the needs of users with a proficient knowledge of rapid prototyping and students just starting out in the design field. Calibration is key to getting the most out of a consumer-grade printer.
Original Prusa i3 MK3
The Prusa i3 MK3 ($999 assembled, $749 kit) is one of the most popular 3D printers on the market. Although its build volume is relatively small compared to other it features an abundance of other upgrades such as optical filament sensory, magnetic PEI print bed, and power panic that make it stand out from the crowd.
Flashforge Creator Pro
Flashforge’s Creator Pro ($899) features a 225 x 145 x 150 mm build area and dual extruders that allow continuous printing and color switching without switching filament spools. The Creator Pro requires little maintenance over time and prints consistently and with respectable detailing. The Pro works with both PLA and ABS 3D printer filaments.
A simple, straightforward build, reliability, and open-source hardware and software make the LulzBot Mini ($1,250) a favorite of beginner- and hobbyist-level rapid prototypers. In addition to support for PLA, ABS and HIPS 3D printer filaments, the Bundled Cure software includes build profiles for printing with T-glase, polycarbonate and filaments that resemble bronze, wood and copper.
MakerGear’s M2 ($1,825) with fused-deposition modeling (FDM) technology prints layer heights as thin as 20 microns and provides a build area of 200 x 254 x 203 mm. The M2 officially only prints with ABS and PLA filaments, but with slight modifications it can handle other formulations, such as PETG filament, PTFE, polycarbonate and PVA.
The Zortrax M200 ($1,990) produces ultra-high-quality prints at an exceptional price point —
you’d be hard pressed to find a more advanced printer for under $2,000. Zortrax introduced the M200 in a Kickstarter campaign and Dell, upon purchasing 5,000 units, pushed it to the forefront of consumer-grade machines.
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Prosumer Grade 3D Printers — $1,999 to $4,999
Prosumer-grade 3D printers give design pros, small businesses, and diehard rapid prototypers the build quality needed to fabricate expert products every time.
FormLabs Form 2
The FormLabs Form 2 ($3,499) uses both a laser system and unique photosensitive resin to fabricate projects — a laser “draws” the shape on a resin-dipped print platform then the platform slightly extends. After repeating the process until the platform emerges, the laser starts adhering successive layers until the object forms.
Designed for semi-pro and professional users, the CubePro 3D printer ($4,490) rocks iPhone-esque aesthetics that belies its complexity. With a 285.4 x 270.4 x 230 mm build space, three color/three filament simultaneous printing, and self-regulated build plate, the CubePro completes just about any project short of industrial applications.
The Fusion3 F400 ($4,499) boasts performance that rivals expensive industrial printers. It has a massive 355 x 355 x 320 mm build plate, print speeds up to 250 mm/sec, layer resolution as low as 20 microns, and is certified to work with a variety of materials out-of-the-box. The F400 is available in two models: the standard F400-S and the F400-HFR, which stands for “high flow rate” and advertises print speeds up to 500 mm/sec.
Raise3D N2 PlusFFF
The Raise3D N2 Plus (Single $3,699, Dual $3,899) is a fully enclosed 3D printer that boats a massive build volume for its cost. Its build volume is 305 x 305 x 610 mm and a print speed up to 300 mm/sec that is able to print a myriad of materials (PLA/ PLA+/ ABS/ PC/ PETG/ R-flex/ TPU/HIPS/ Bronze-filled/ Wood-filled). It was also voted by Make Magazine best overall printer for 2017.
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Industrial 3D Printers — $5,000 and Up
Industrial printers deliver the precision engineering needed to fabricate advanced designs in volume. These printers include technology such as work-fused deposition modeling (FDM), PolyJets, and selective laser sintering (SLS). They work with enterprise-level design software and can cost well into six figures or more.
The Stacker S4 ($10,999) is US made industrial grade fused deposition 3D filament printer with a build area up to 345 x 520 mm and is able to print parts up to 650 mm tall at up to 250mm/sec. It utilizes a 4 extruder design that is able to print up to 4 parts at a time.
The uPrint SE by Stratysys ($20,000 to $50,000) prints in eight colors — perfect for differentiating between printed components for product depictions — has a 203 x 203 x 152 mm build area and two resolution settings (0.254 mm and 0.330 mm) for multiple print options.
ProJet 3500 HDMax
MultiJet technology to print layers of UV-curable liquid plastic ranging from 16 microns to 32 microns, and creates wax supports to brace the product during fabrication. The 3500 HDMax is commonly used in healthcare, transportation, energy, education, and consumer-product verticals.
Stratysys Objet1000 Plus
Stratysys’ Objet1000 Plus (starting at $600,000) allows you to print 1:1-scale prototype pieces virtually identical to the finished product, combines up to 14 materials in a single fabrication and has an ultra-high throughput rate for large-scale production. The Objet1000 Plus also allows for shading and texture variation to minimize the need for finishing techniques.
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Get the Right 3D Printer & Trust Us for Quality 3D Printer Filament
Whatever your budget or proficiency, there’s a 3D printer that fits. Before you buy, research printer reviews from trustworthy sources, learn your favorite models’ capabilities and limitations, and don’t hesitate to ask to try before you buy. Brick-and-mortar stores almost always allow you a test run, and online shops will send you a print sample free of charge.
Once you have your printer and the right 3D printer filament from MakeShaper, you can get started on your first project!