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The prices of 3D printers have dropped considerably in the past few years, enabling many people to easily afford the machine for personal use.
Whether you are looking for a suitable option for your small company or want to take your creativity to the next level, you will find some of the best 3D printers under 500 bucks on this list.
Besides their relatively low price, these models produce high print quality, with many of them suitable for both home use and educational purpose.
Plug-and-play 3D printers don’t get any simpler than the Monoprice Voxel, making it an ideal choice for beginners and people who prefer a device with less tinkering. In a nutshell, if convenience ranks high in what you want in a 3D printer, you may as well choose this model.
While the build size is only 150 x 150 x 150mm, the FDM device prints high-quality models using ABS filament or PLA filaments, and you can create amazing designs rather effortlessly.
Besides an auto-bed leveling feature that simplifies the calibration process for this 3D printing machine, there is a touch screen available in case you want to manually adjust the settings.
Also, you can monitor your 3D print remotely using the built-in camera via Wi-Fi – an uncommon feature for models in this price range.
Monoprice Voxel comes in a fully encased chamber to keep temperatures stable and contain any smelly filament emissions, making it safe and ideal for use around children, whether at home or in educational environments.
Creality Ender 3 Pro
The widely popular Ender 3 Pro is Creality’s best-selling 3D printer for a reason; it offers reasonable performance at an unbeatable price point.
This model has a UL Certified power supply that heats the hotbed to 110-degrees in only five minutes and, at the same time, safeguards the device from possible damages that can occur during unexpected power surges. But even if there is a power outage mid-printing, the resume print function ensures that printing continues from the last recorded extruder position when power is restored.
With a 220 x 220 x 250 mm build volume, you can print fairly sizable models with Ender 3 Pro. Plus, your designs can come off the removable build plate easily.
You need a couple of hours (or more) to piece the machine together, depending on your experience level. In reality, it is pretty straightforward to do this, though. However, Creality offers 24-hour professional customer care in case you run into problems. Plus, you get lifetime technical assistance with your purchase.
It’s easy to see why this model deserves a spot among the best 3D printers under 500 dollars. But here’s one more reason to consider getting one. There is a vibrant market rife with aftermarket parts for Ender 3 Pro, so you don’t have to worry if you ever need replacement parts or upgrades.
ANYCUBIC MEGA X
If large prints are your thing, you should consider getting a 3D printer with a sizable build volume, such as the Anycubic Mega X. With a build space measuring 300 x 300 x 305 mm, this mid-sized model is an excellent choice for handling ambitiously large prints.
This workhorse 3D printer is equipped with a patented glass print bed, offering greater adhesion for prints as well as allowing for effortless removal after printing. This is all thanks to the micro-porous coating of the bed’s ultra-base surface.
Assembling the FDM machine is pretty straightforward. Even beginners can piece it together in no time and start printing immediately. Experienced users will appreciate the dual Z-axis stepper motors that provide stability in the Y-axis carriage.
The stepper drivers are not very silent, though, so it can get a bit noisy during printing. With the one-click resume function, the device can continue printing from its last recorded position if there is a power outage or interruption during printing.
Considering its superior performance, durability, build quality, and relatively low price, it’s difficult not to include the Mega X among the best 3D printers under 500 dollars.
The Mega X has a large build surface, but the price tag might be slightly above some people’s budget. If that’s you, consider the cheaper A5S 3D printer by JGAurora.
Interestingly, this version has a larger build space than Anycubic’s Mega X. At 305 x 305 x 320 mm, you can let your imagination run wild and effortlessly produce bigger prints. Despite the large size, the sleek device can fit nicely on desktops during operation.
Of course, you will need more filament supply if you’re building a fairly large model. But you don’t have to worry about running out of supply mid-way because the device gives warning beeps, alerting you that it is running short. The printing will pause until you refill the filament.
JGAurora equipped the A5S with a colorful 2.8-inch touchscreen, enabling you to quickly set and adjust printing parameters for your 3D print.
Whether you are using ABS, PLA, or wood filaments, this 3D printer will produce gorgeous designs.
Anycubic Photon Mono
Those who prefer a resin 3D printer will likely find the Photon Mono by Anycubic an attractive proposition with its faster prototyping capabilities. Unlike other resin 3D printers known for annoyingly slow printing, this model cures the resin layers in only 1.5 seconds, thanks to its 6.08-inch 2K monochrome LCD.
While an FDM printer is generally faster, a 3D resin printer is your best bet when it comes to producing models with exceptionally fine print details. With its high solidification rate and a transparent casing that blocks out up to 99.95% UV light, Photon Mono definitely ranks as one of the best 3D printers under 500 bucks in the resin category.
A 130 x 82 x 165 mm build volume allows you to print designs with decent sizes, and this budget 3D printer is compact enough to fit on a tabletop. Both beginners and veterans are most likely to enjoy the user-friendly functions, high precision and stability, and excellent performance of this 3D printer.