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Top 6 Best 3D Printers Under 500: Review & Buyer’s Guide By Experts

Steve Guide
  Dec 4, 2022 8:44 AM

With the development and popularity of 3D printing technology, you don't need to spend thousands of dollars on a professional printer to produce high-quality products. Instead, you have more affordable options that still deliver all the essential features and are incredibly reliable.

If you are interested in this field, the best 3D printers under 500 in this article will help you start your modeling and design journey. 


Top Picks

With a budget of $500, you have no shortage of high-quality 3D printers. After a detailed evaluation based on many aspects from durability, cutting speed, target audience, here are the products that you cannot ignore:


Reviews

Without making you wait any longer, here is a detailed review of the best 3D printers worth considering for under $500.

#1. Creality Ender Pro 3D Printer - Best for Kids

Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer 

Important Specifications

  • Material: Aluminum.

  • Supported File Format: OBJ, STL, STEP.

  • Machine Footprint: 17.5 x 17 x 18 inches.

  • Build Volume: 8.7 x 8.7 x 9.8 inches.

Product's highlights

If you are looking for an easy-to-use, safe 3D printer to give as a gift to children, the Creality 3D Ender 3 Pro is the ideal choice.

Unlike many other models, Creality 3D uses an entirely open-source code. So, professional users or beginners alike can tailor the printer to their abilities.

Because there are many sources of sharing in the community, you can quickly improve your experience and personal experience when using the device.

Besides, it is impossible not to mention the impact of Creality Ender 3 Pro on children. The product has a simple design but still has all the required standards of a 3D printer. Therefore, the device is suitable for a child's first printer model, teaching children about the structure and primary usage.

Not stopping there, the product can also be widely available in Stem projects in the field of mechatronics. 

With the active support of the product, children can more easily access the device and stimulate their imagination and discover magical knowledge.

Suppose you love the above advantages but want to find a product more suitable for your office or home. In that case, you can turn your attention to Creality Ender 3 V2 3D Printer or Official Creality 3D Printer with the fully open source with a slight change in structural design.

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What we like

  • Meanwell Power Supply.

  • Prevent nozzle clogging.

  • Simple design, easy to adjust.

  • Obtain UL safety certification.

  • Removable surface plate.

Things to Consider

  • The interface is a bit outdated.

#2. FlashForge Adventurer Lite FDM - Best for Noise Cancellation

FlashForge Adventurer 3 Lite FDM 

Important Specifications

  • Material: Polycarbonate.

  • Supported File Format: Pla, Abs, Pearl, Metal-Filled, Wood-Filled.

  • Machine Footprint: 15.3 x 13.4 x 15.9 inches.

  • Build Volume: 5.9 x 5.9 x 5.9 inches.

Product's highlights

The noise of 3D printers is always one problem that makes it difficult for users to use at home in particular and in quiet environments in general. Yet, with FlashForge Adventurer, you almost do not need to worry about this problem.

The manufacturer has minimized the noise level because it is a product aimed at 3D printing at home, classroom, or office. And as the brand announced, the product's noise level is only 45 decibels.

More than simply an extremely quiet product, FlashForge Adventurer 3 Lite also impresses with its quite ergonomic design.

You have a detachable faucet, which is very easy for installation and cleaning. Next, you have a faucet that heats up pretty quickly, reaching 329 degrees Fahrenheit in just 50 seconds.

You can dig into this video for expert’s review:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thf_hQzHCSY

More importantly, outperforming models with a slightly outdated interface like Creality Ender 3 3D Printer, this product has a modern 2.8'' touch screen. The intuitive interface above supports the adjustment operations and monitors the status of the machine very well.

If you love the above useful features and want a perfect experience, you can choose FlashForge Adventurer instead of this lite.

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What we like

  • Quiet operation.

  • Fast heating faucet.

  • Easily disassemble the Heated Build Plate.

  • Modern, intuitive touch interface.

  • Easy to clean.

Things to Consider

  • The tube holder does not fit a standard 1 kg pipe.

#3. Voxelab Aquila 3D Printer - Best for Beginners

Voxelab Aquila 3D 

Important Specifications

  • Material: Carbon Crystal Silicon.

  • Supported File Format: OBJ, STL, STEP.

  • Machine Footprint: 17.5 x 17 x 18 inches.

  • Build Volume: 220 x 220 x 250 mm.

Product's highlights

If you don't have too much experience in 3D printing, you should start with an easy, easy to assemble, use, and adjust. One of the most typical models that meet the above requirements is the Voxelab Aquila and similar products such as Voxelab Aquila C2 and Voxelab Aquila X2.

The first notable point of this product for beginners is the completely open-source system. Open-source code is the minimum requirement if you want to modify and upgrade your machine flexibly.

Furthermore, the above advantage also provides the ability to connect with essential software such as VoxelMaker or Cura.

In addition to being open-source, Voxelab Aquila is one of the top choices for beginners because of its ease of assembly. For less than $300, you get one part and a set of tools that make assembly simpler than ever.

Last but not least, appealing to those who do not have too much experience in printer troubleshooting is the ability to resume printing when the power is on automatically. However, with problems such as breaking the filament, the machine will not work to save your time and fuel.

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What We Like

  • Fast heating.

  • Save time and fuel.

  • Easy assembly.

  • Open-source suite.

  • Ability to automatically print when powered on.

Things to Consider

  • Micro SD cards are not so good.

#4. FLSUN Entry Delta 3D Printer - Best for Print Speed

FLSUN Entry Level Delta 3D 

Important Specifications

  • Material: Aluminum.

  • Supported File Format: PLA, ABD, HIPS, TPU, PETG.

  • Machine Footprint: Φ 200x200 mm.

  • Build Volume: 7.87 x 7.87 x 7.87 inches.

Product's highlights

The Flsun Entry Level Delta Q5 is a new model of the famous Flsun brand with outstanding products such as the FLSUN SR Super Racer or the FLSUN QQ-S-PRO.

Considering this objectively, because the price is quite different from the above products, the Flsun Q5 does not have many new features. However, the product still has its unique appeal in the segment, primarily based on printing speed.

The Flsun Q5 heats up, and the print head moves quickly. Therefore, the product has an impressive maximum print speed: 300mm/s. This remarkable capability saves you quite time, but you can still get the same quality results.

The fast print speed of the Flsun Q5 not only comes from its ability to heat up quickly but is also greatly influenced by its intelligent automatic features.

Specifically, the manufacturer has offered the ability to continuously self-calibrate. This feature is handy if you do not have much experience or time for background equalization.

Another innovative feature that cannot be ignored is Power BreakPoint, whose main effect is to save the position of the breaking point due to the problem and continue printing after the connection is back to normal.

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What We Like

  • Power Break Points.

  • Continuous self-correction.

  • Print speed up to 300mm/s.

  • Titan Extruder.

  • TFT touch screen.

Things to Consider

  • The design of the frame limits the types of yarn you can print.

#5. ANYCUBIC Mega 3D Printer - Best for Safety

ANYCUBIC Mega Pro 3D 

Important Specifications

  • Material: Metal.

  • Supported File Format: STL, OBJ, DAE, AMF.

  • Machine Footprint: 405mm x 410mm x 453mm.

  • Build Volume: 8.27 x 8.27 x 8.07 inches.

Product's highlights

Safety is one of the top factors to consider when choosing and using a 3D printer. Understanding this, Another function, ANYCUBIC, has provided a series of warnings and intelligent features on this Mega Pro 3D Printer model.

With the product, you do more than just routine handling. You also get more instructions and warnings thanks to the intelligent sensor.

Some typical announcements can be mentioned as warnings about the durability of the filament, continuing to perfect the product from the last position before the power was off.

More specifically, Mega Pro 3D Printer also achieved a series of electrical safety certifications such as UL, CE, FCC.

But the most exciting points of the product do not stop there. The fourth-generation printer model presents many advantages over the ANYCUBIC Mega S or ANYCUBIC Photon Mono models.

Specifically, this product of the Mega Pro series is a multifunction printer that harmoniously integrates 3D printing functions. With such equipment, all your creative needs are in a short time.

In addition, the product has intelligent balancing tools that are both user-friendly and effective, suitable for even beginners.

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What We Like

  • Multifunction printers.

  • Can print in multiple colors.

  • Safe.

  • Smart equalizer.

  • Quiet operation.

Things to Consider

  • The extruder temperature is relatively low.

#6. Voxelab Aquila X2 3D Printer - Best for Stability

Voxelab Aquila X2 3D 

Important Specifications

  • Material: Polyethylene, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene.

  • Supported File Format: AMF, STL, OBJ.

  • Machine Footprint: 18.82 x 20.28 x 18.82 inches.

  • Build Volume: 8.66 x 8.66 x 9.84 inches.

Product's highlights

If you have ever loved 3D printers under the Voxelab brand like Voxelab Aquila 01 or Voxelab Aries FDM, you will love this Voxelab Aquila X2 3D Printer.

The product has all the advantages that are trademarks of Voxelab: ease of use, high accuracy, and excellent stability.

First, in terms of ease of use, you cannot doubt the convenient vertical screen design of the product. The upper design allows you to detect the condition of the filament and receive notifications and perform basic settings operations.

Second, it's hard to find a product at the same price point that outperforms the Voxelab Aquila X2 in terms of accuracy. Because this product has a luxurious design, strong lines help reduce any problems in the printing process, helping to improve printing quality.

Last but not least, Voxelab Aquila x2 comes with a new 32-bit motherboard, TMC2208 silent driver. Therefore, it is not surprising that you have a 3D model production experience that is both efficient and quiet.

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What We Like

  • Stable operation.

  • Convenient vertical screen.

  • Noise level below 50 decibels.

  • High precision.

  • Open source code.

Things to Consider

  • The touch screen is not supported.


Buying Guide

A 3D printer is a complex device, so making a choice is not an easy challenge. If you're a beginner, here are some guidelines to narrow down your search:

Modeling methods

Currently, the market has several typical modeling methods such as:

  • Stereoscopic technique: This is a widespread technique with high accuracy. This technique is very suitable for creating complex shapes that require great detail.

  • Inkjet printing method: If you want to focus on the color of the model, the high-resolution inkjet printing method is the most recommended choice.

  • Unified deposition modeling: The advantage of this method is its high efficiency while being very cost-effective.

  • Powder fixation (adhesive): This method is worth considering if you want to create architectural models or products that require high color development.

Essential functions

Some 3D printer models to save money will cut some features. When choosing, you should consider the parts you need, the components that can serve your work well.

Calibration ability

Calibration has the main task of adjusting the height of the "bed." There are two main types of calibration: automatic and manual.

One printer model only allows manual adjustment, and the initial setup takes a lot of time. Sometimes this work has quite a significant impact on your modeled object.

Therefore, if you are a beginner, give preference to pieces with auto-calibration to save time and improve finishing.

Slicing software

It would help if you had cutting software to model with a 3D printer. There is a lot of free software available today, while some other templates are for.

The perfect choice for beginners is models that already have easy-to-use software. Or it would help if you also gave preference to products that use open source code to be easily installed.

Select by filament

The material (filament) used for the 3D printer varies depending on your chosen modeling method. Specifically:

  • Embossed printing: The primary material is epoxy resin. This material has a high finish, but the cost is not small.

  • Inkjet printing method: Acrylic resin is a material whose main advantage is that the surface is quite smooth but fragile when subjected to impact.

  • Fused Deposition Modeling: ABS/PLA resin, pretty good overall except for the slightly rough finish.

  • Method of fixing powder (binding): Plaster powder. This type of flour is more affordable but quite brittle and fragile.


Compare

TOP Choice
1
  • SCORE
    9.8
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  • Brand
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3
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    9.4
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  • Brand
    Creality 3D
Most Saving
4
  • SCORE
    9.2
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  • Brand
    ANYCUBIC
5
  • SCORE
    9.2
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  • Brand
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6
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    9.0
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    ELEGOO
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  • Brand
    FLSUN
8
  • SCORE
    8.8
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    R QIDI TECHNOLOGY
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  • Brand
    Comgrow
10
  • SCORE
    8.6
    BP Score

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  • Brand
    Creality 3D
11
  • SCORE
    8.6
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    Nika Industries
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    8.5
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  • Brand
    FlashForge
13
  • SCORE
    8.5
    BP Score

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  • Brand
    Voxelab
14
  • SCORE
    8.4
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  • Brand
    FlashForge
15
  • SCORE
    8.4
    BP Score

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  • Brand
    Voxelab
16
  • SCORE
    8.4
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  • Brand
    R QIDI TECHNOLOGY
17
  • SCORE
    8.2
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    Tecqeq
18
  • SCORE
    8.2
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  • Brand
    MakerBot
19
  • SCORE
    7.9
    BP Score

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  • Brand
    Creality 3D
20
  • SCORE
    7.9
    BP Score

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  • Brand
    Creality
21
  • SCORE
    7.6
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  • Brand
    ANYCUBIC

Last update on 2022-12-04 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API


FAQs

The above notes are essential information for any beginner. If you already have a basic knowledge of this device, you can improve your experience and understanding of 3D printing through some frequently asked questions.

Are 3D Printers Under $500 Good?

You can completely buy the printer model that meets your basic preferences and needs with the above price. However, it would be best to accept that products in the price range of less than $500 will not have too many complex features and cannot create products with outstanding detail.

What are 3D printing materials available?

There are two 3D printing materials you should consider including:

Poly Lactic Acid (PLA)

This material is biodegradable plastic. Because it does not contain chemicals, you can use this material to produce models directly used in daily life, such as bowls and cups. In addition, you should also prioritize the use of PLA when making products for children.

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)

This material is petroleum-based plastic. ABS is very suitable for use on models that require high durability, such as helmets, bumpers.

Do all cheap 3D printers use PLA?

Yes, most 3D printers support the use of PLA. However, you can still find some models that use turpentine or ABS as the printing material.

Do 3D printers under 500 come with cutter software?

For under $500, you've got a 3D printer that comes with cutter software. Some higher-quality models even offer additional features that help you easily control CAD at a price that is not too different.

Can I do 3D printing with just my PC?

You can control 3D printing with just your laptop, as long as your device is appropriate.

Specifically, your device needs to have at least 8GB of RAM and support the most common connections, especially the ability to read SD cards.


Final Words

3D printing is no longer strange to many people in this day and age. However, not everyone is familiar with all the different technology applications.

Especially, if you have no prior experience, chances are you will have difficulty accessing 3D printing technology.

The first and perhaps the biggest hurdle is probably not easy choosing the best printer, especially when a certain budget limits you.

Hopefully, the best 3D printers under 500 and the instructions above have given you the most valuable suggestions. We hope you soon choose a product that meets all your needs and create your impressive models soon.

Thank you for reading!

 


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