5 Best 3D Printers under $500 in 2021

If you have $500 to splurge on a new 3D printer, there are plenty of options to choose from.

While these are not top of the line 3D printers, they are much better than cheap 3D printers in terms of quality. So, what are the best 3D printers under $500?

In this article, we tried to bring across the following:

  • Which 3D printers should you buy in 2021?
  • Things to consider before buying an affordable 3D printer
  • The difference between SLA and FDM printers?
  • Top under $500 3D printers recommendation
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The idea of 3D printing is exciting for both hobbyist and creative professionals. Thanks to the ever-growing popularity of 3D printers, what once considered to be a rich man’s toy, over the years, has become more affordable. 

3D printing

While you have plenty of options to choose from, getting started with the world of 3D printing can be daunting.

When looking for a 3D printer, you need to consider build volumes, operation noise it makes and of course, the printing pace.

Additionally, you also need to consider whether you want an SLA (resin) or FDM (Filament) printer. 

SLA vs FDM printers

Let’s explain the SLA and FDM argument first. Filament printers are ideal for those who want to build objects and parts to meet functional needs. Whether you are creating a bracket or mounts, a Filament printer allows you to create large objects.

SLA printers, on the other hand, are for hobbyists who want to create small items. From a little Yoda to your favourite superhero figure, SLA printers can create exceptional quality objects.

Note that SLA printers can be a little messy compared to Filament printers.

Now that you know the difference between an SLA and Filament printer let’s take a look at the best 3D printer under $500 for the new users looking to buy their first printer for home use.


What are the best 3D printers under $500 to buy in 2021?

1. Creality Ender 3 Pro

3D printers under $500

Creality Ender 3 Pro is a semi-assembled kit 3D printer and an ideal gift for kids to learn the basics of a 3D printer working.

With a stable and sufficient power supply, the hotbed heats up quickly, offering efficient printing making it the best 3D printer kit under $500.

Creality Ender 3 Pro features a 40*40 Y-axis frame design suitable for small object production.

It also features the resume printing function to continue printing after a power outage or other unexpected stoppage. Upgraded extruder design reduces the risk of the clogged nozzle and bad extrusion.

If you like to tinker with source codes, you can utilize the open-source nature of the code behind the printer to improve the printer functionalities and share changes within the community.

Here’s what some reviewers on Reddit had to say about their Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D printer:

(Credit: Reddit user r/3Dprinting)

Pros:

  • Excellent value for money 
  • High-quality production 
  • Good build volume 

Cons:

  • Semi assembled kit 
  • Some minor flaws that need to be fixed 

2. Creality Ender 3 V2

3D printers under $500

The Ender 3 V2 is the successor to the original Ender 3 from Creality. A sub $500 printer offers a decent print volume and is relatively easy to assemble, and offers excellent quality output.

The new Creality Ender 3 V2 comes with a sled-developed silent motherboard and a new detachable 4.3-inch color screen.

It uses the V-guide rail puller for stable printing with low noise and wear-resistant. 

You can adjust the belt tension quickly thanks to the new injection tensioner, and the small add-on toolbox integrated into the machine body is more convenient and quicker for organizing storage. 

Pros:

  • High-quality print outputs 
  • Easy to assemble and use 
  • Silent motherboard 

Cons:

  • Slow filament feed
  • New based model costs more than the old pro model 

3. Flashforge Dreamer 3D Printer

3D printers under $500

Flashforge Dreamer 3D Printer is one of the best fully enclosed dual-extortion 3D printers 2021 under 500 that has been designed for beginners with pro features.

It is a reliable and affordable printer that churns out exceptional quality prints every time. 

With dual extruder support, you can make a dual color print using dual print material to execute more complicated prints.

It is suitable for industrial design, tools design, architectural and mechanical design. The heating bed supports rapid steady heating preventing model wrapping and making it easier to take down the model. 

Flashforge Dreamer 3D Printer supports multiple 3D printer filaments, including PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, and more.

The intuitive calibration detection system assists leveling, and all the instructions are provided on the touchscreen display.

Pros:

  • High-quality prints 
  • Built-in touchscreen with clear instructions 
  • Beginners friendly 
  • Ready to print out of the box

Cons:

  • Can get loud 

4. Creality Ender 3 Max

3D printers under $500

If you are looking for a 3D printer with a generous print volume, then the Creality Ender 3 Max is an excellent 3D printer kit under $500 with its 300*300*340 printing size.

Similar to other Creality machines, it also features a Meanwell power supply ensuring fast heating and stability.

Creality Ender 3 Max features a tempered glass plate above the hotbed, making it easy to remove the model.

It has a reserved room for BLTouch bed-leveling to install yourself; however, it needs to be purchased separately. 

Other notable features of Creality Ender 3 Max include a foldable filament holder that can be rotated 90 degrees in one direction improving your desktop utilization and the resume printing functionality to resume printing after a power outage or filament breakage automatically.

Pros:

  • Powerful hot end kit and prices printing 
  • Large print size 
  • Dual cooling fans for effective heat dissipation 

Cons:

  • Outdated UI
  • Poor filament loading 

5. ELEGOO Mars 2 Pro

3D printers under $500

ELEGOO Mars 2 Pro is the successor to the popular budget Mars 3D printer and comes with modest improvements.

The 6.08-inch monochrome LCD of 2K HD resolution only takes 2 seconds per layer exposure to cure the resin.

ELEGOO Mars 2 Pro also comes with a brand new light source structure to provide even more UV light emission, and the CNC machined aluminum body makes it a durable machine.

The new operating system now supports over 13 different languages and comes with built-in active carbon to absorb resin’s fume to prevent irritant odor. 

Pros:

  • Excellent layer curing process 
  • Good build area 
  • ChituBox slicer 

Cons:

  • Pixel-density can be improved
  • Fans can get loud 

Here is a BONUS 3D printer I can recommend which is quite affordable..

LONGER LK5

3D printers under $500

LONGER LK5 is for those who know their way around a 3D printer and know precisely what they are doing.

This 3D printer with an open-source nature allows 3D lovers to improve their printer upon the source code, offering greater flexibility.

With a build size of 300*300*400, you can create large objects and reduce vibration and achieve more stable printing due to its diagonal rods form factor.

LONGER LK5 features a 4.3-inch large touch screen, recovery printing function to resume printing after a power outage, and a silent motherboard backed by ultra-silent drivers.

Pros:

  • Silent operation with effective cooling 
  • Large build area in the segment 
  • Affordable 

Cons:

  • Requires some knowledge about the 3D printers 

So just to summarize,

Our Best 3D Printers Under $500 Picks 

  • Creality Ender 3 Pro – Excellent compact 3D printer in a budget with upgradability 
  • Creality Ender 3 V2 – Affordable 3D printer offering decent print volume and print quality.
  • Flashforge Dreamer 3D Printer – Value for money dual extrusion 3D printer tailored towards beginners 
  • Creality Ender 3 Max – Largest budget 3D printer with excellent produce volume and high-quality prints.
  • ELEGOO Mars 2 Pro – Fastest 3D printer under $500 with resin printing and monochrome LCDs.
  • LONGER LK5 – Lightweight, durable, faster printing speed with a large build volume 

Getting started in the world of 3D printing is exciting, and with the advancement in technology, you can get a high-quality 3D printer that sits on your desk for under $500. This article represents our selections for the best 3D printers under $500.

So which is your pick?

Or do you know of another 3D printer not in my list that is great? Either way let me know in the comments.

FAQs: Learn more about the Best 3D printers under $500

What is the best 3D printer under $500?

Creality Ender 3 Max, LONGER LK5, Creality Ender 3 V2, ELEGOO Mars 2 Pro and Flashforge Dreamer 3D Printer are some of the best 3D printers under $500.

What is the best 3D printer for home use?

LONGER LK5, Creality Ender 3 Pro, ELEGOO Mars 2 Pro, and Buy Creality Ender 3 V2 with support for Filamant and Resin are excellent 3D printers for home use.

Which 3D printer should I buy in 2021?

If you want to build large objects, consider buying a 3D printer with Filament and a large build volume. For small creative tasks, a resin printer is a good purchase option.

What is the best low cost 3D printer?

Creality Ender 3 Pro with a removable build surface, resume function, lightweight chassis is the best low cost 3D printer for beginners.

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