Gone are the times when 3D printing used to be something you’d just watch on a YouTube video. These printers are becoming more and more accessible of late and people have started using them not only professionally, but also for personal uses. Engineers, architects, jewellers, artists, or basically anyone who has to work with models of scale tends to find these printers of great use, especially while they work from home. Thankfully in 2021, 3D printers are no longer inaccessible due to the price factor. In this article, we look at some of the best 3D printers under $200 that you can get your hands on.
A budget 3D printer was a distant thought about three to four years ago, but over time, it has become a reality and now markets are full of these printers at an affordable price point. In this article, we bring to you a list of the ten best 3D printers that are priced under $200 and will not be a major burden on your pocket. Especially at a time when working from home is becoming a norm, these printers can be put to great use.
In addition to providing you with a list of the ten best options that you have in this budget, we shall also be providing you with a buyer’s guide for a budget 3D printer, which will help you know what are the factors and the variables that you must consider before you buy a printer. However, before all of that we take a very quick look at what a 3D printer is and who is a ‘budget’ 3D printer meant for?
What is a 3D Printer
A 3D printer, in essence, is a machine which can print 3D models based on CAD designs or digital models provided to it via a computer. A 3D printer makes use of plastics, liquids and powder grains of different materials to print the model. This is a technology that has been around since the late 80s but that was only for industrial-scale usage and was a slow and cumbersome process. Over the years it has shrunk in size and become a consumer appliance that can be used at home, even by kids.
A 3D Printer helps you create models of a product that you are about to create. Using 3D printers, you can analyze your CAD designs or digital models in a more physical form factor and you can understand them and introspect on a closer, physical level. This makes it particularly useful for engineers and architects, as well as jewellers and people involved in other such industries where modelling is essential before scaling things forward.
Is a Budget 3D Printer the Right Choice For You?
While most good 3D printers are going to cost you anywhere between $500 to $1000 or sometimes even more, getting a budget 3D printer for home use might not be a bad idea as well. These can help you get a rough idea about things and give you a quick and raw model to work on while you are not working at the scale of an office.
One of the best uses of getting hold of a budget 3D printer is to spark creativity in your kids. Kids are among some of the biggest benefactors of a 3D printer as they can play around with it and enhance their creative skills. Besides, this can also help them with their science projects as well as give them something that can keep them productive and engaged, as well as opening newer doors to their thoughts.
Lastly, this is a good option for anyone who does not want to spend too much on a high-quality 3D printer but wants a functional machine for their home-based use. With that said, let us now take a closer and detailed look at the best 3D printers under $200:
10 Best 3D Printers Under $200 in 2021 Reviewed
- Allows resuming of prints after a power cut
- Can heat the build surface up to 90C in 5 minutes
- 1-year warranty, lifetime technical assistance
Developed by Creality 3D, this is the perfect option for anyone looking forward to buying the best 3D printers under $200 in 2021. This gives you just the perfect combination of precision and quality at an affordable price point. The printer is a fully open-source device and improves with every passing day as the devs keep updating it.
One of the key highlights of using this printer is that it offers you with a ‘resume print’ feature. This solves one major problem: in case there’s a power cut while you are 3D printing something, this printer will pick up from the point it left off. In the past there were printers where this would have led to a failed print, but not when it comes to Creality 3D. The printer has also been engineered with safety as the primary focus, as it uses two separate fuses to power the device, which keeps it safe at all times.
This is a great product for anyone who wishes to use a 3D printer at home for printing small scale models and is also user friendly enough to be used by kids. Assembling it is also quite easy as the lower base comes fully assembled with all the wires in place. The printer uses high quality thermoplastics as well as sturdy ball bearings to ensure it is a durable setup that will last you for years to come!
- Easy to assemble
- Open source, gets frequent updates
- Safe to use for kids
- Can’t be used for creating precision tools
- Printing Speed: 30-50mm/h
- 3.5-inch touchscreen display
- Supports 12 languages
If you are looking for one of the most accurate 3D printers which gives you a very precise output, this is one of the best 3D printers for you. Furthermore, the ELEGOO Mars 2 Mono MSLA is perhaps the best such solution under $200, which is a budget-friendly as well as a high quality printer which punches way above its weight. This is easy to set up and easy to use, even for those people who are using it for the first time.
The light source structure on this 3D printer has been designed in a unique way that it can emit a higher volume of UV lights. The body is made out of aluminum here which makes it light in weight but very durable at the same time. A sandblasted build plate is kept at the bottom which can handle really high temperatures that are often involved in the printing process. Furthermore, this printer supports 12 different languages, making it very easy for people of different nationalities to use it.
This is a resin-based printer where the key highlight is the six-inch LCD screen that is placed in the front. The LCD screen used is a monochrome LCD with a resolution of 2K which gives you a precise and clear picture while lasting longer than an RGB LCD. It gives you a far greater control over the 3D printer than a standard machine without a screen. There’s a one year warranty that you get on the body of the printer and a six month warranty on the LCD screen – making it a pretty sweet deal overall.
- Very sharp and precise output
- Extremely durable yet not too heavy body
- Resin tank is easily replaceable
- LCD screen is large and quite helpful
- The smell of the chemicals can be pretty overwhelming
- Uses a carbon crystal silicon glass plate
- Nozzle diameter 0.4mm
- Open Source printer
Voxelab’s Aquila is a great option for anyone who is looking forward to printing small-sized models in color. The printer can operate at high temperatures and features a carbon crystal silicon glass platform, which provides a firm adhesion. This ensures that the model that you are printing remains firmly in place and does not warp out due to the heat or the surface. This is an open-source printer and there are constant developments which help it improve over time.
Another great thing about this 3D printer is the fact that you can operate it without worrying too much about the noise it generates. It provides a very silent operation in comparison to other printers. The noise that comes from it is under 50 decibels, which isn’t too loud – or at least that’s what the company claims. Users have actually found the fans, the power supply and the printing process to be quite loud. The printer is quite durable and long-lasting, thanks to the all-metal body and the extremely firm and durable parts which help you print with precision.
This printer can be used for preparing smaller objects and models, but don’t rely too much on it for printing durable parts that require a certain precise fitting. The printer has only one nozzle and can print at a speed of about 30 to 60mm/sec under normal conditions. Another cool feature here is the one that we have seen in the first product on this list, as this supports resume printing too. In case of a power cut, your prints are secure. The company provides a one-year warranty on the printer and a lifetime of support.
- Quite a durable machine
- Prints somewhat faster in comparison to other 3D printers at this price point
- Firm base that does not wobble
- Despite the claim, the printer is quite loud
- Large LCD screen on the front
- Operates at a print speed of 4s/layer
- Uses Chitubox slicing software
If a resin printer is your jam, this is perhaps the best option available to you! The printer comes from Creality, and is the second printer created by them on our list. This model is called the ‘LD002R’, and it comes with a special air filtering system which is among the highlights of the printer.
One of the core problems that people face while using 3D printers, and particularly resin 3D printers is the fact that they leave a strong chemical stench behind. The Creality LD002R fixes that problem by attaching a carbon filter inside its body, which makes sure all the strong odors are absorbed and filtered away. This is also a great printer in terms of the speed it gives you. It can slice a 30mb file in just a minute, thanks to the Chitubox software.
This is one of the best 3D printers under $200 as it gives you some really great features, including a strong 30W UV light, as well as a 2560×1440 2K HD masking LCD display on the front. This is also a very user-friendly machine and one does not require a lot of technical know-how to operate it. The levelling system here is also pretty quick and allows for easy use. Another great thing about this is that the 119x65x160mm area allows you to generate larger prints in comparison to many other 3D printers at a similar price point.
- ChiTu DLP Slicer for faster slicing
- Larger printing area in comparison to other budget 3D printers
- Air filtering system to filter out the stench of resin
- Manual not too helpful for most things
- Offers a printing area of 115*65*150mm
- Features a 2K LCD screen on the front
- Double filtration system
The Shadow 5.5 S is a resin 3D printer which comes from QIDI Tech. The printer offers you with pretty much all the features that you would need for a basic home’s need when it comes to 3D printing. Don’t expect something too fancy here, but it covers all your bases and covers them really well. There’s a decent LCD display in the front, and it also brings a very stable base.
One of the key things about this printer is that it is very precise. Thanks largely to the dual-rail double-sliders, you get very fine and accurate prints which do not leave any uneven edges. Another reason that adds to the stability is the four-axis structure which makes use of an optical axis to provide you very precise prints. The printing area on this 3D printer measures 115*65*150, which provides for a large enough surface. This is a particularly useful 3D printer for those interested in creating 3D mockups and models of jewellery designs.
Assembling this printer isn’t really an easy task, as all the components come separately packaged. However, the manual gives you good enough guidance to navigate through the assembly process and to put it all together. There’s a double-filter fan in the printer, which ensures that all the foul smell is filtered out – addressing a problem that a lot of people tend to face while using resin printers. There’s a one-year warranty on this 3D printer.
- Fast slicing and printing
- Filter traps most foul odors
- Large and stable area for printing
- Cleaning this printer can be quite a task
- Dimensions: 17.5 x 11.8 x 11 inches
- Supports Windows 10 and MacOS X
- Print Speed: Up to 150mm/sec
A 3D printer that isn’t too big and bulky yet gives you some very precise prints. This is one of the best options for anyone looking forward to getting a 3D printer for home use, especially for those people who want to build small-sized models, or for the use of children. One of the best things about this printer is its portability which is a core attraction here. Besides that, there’s the auto-calibration feature, which ensures that you don’t have to keep adjusting the levels over and over again.
Another really good thing about this printer from Monoprice is the fact that it comes fully assembled. Unlike many other 3D printers under $200, where you have to put all the parts together and ‘build’ your printers, you can start using this one right out of the box. This is also a very durable 3D printer, as it is made of a steel frame along with an aluminum body.
This is an open-source printer which keeps getting frequent updates to improve its overall functioning. The printer is compatible with Windows 10 as well as with MacOS X, and can print in speeds up to 150mm/sec which is pretty decent for a printer its size. There are a lot of printing options too. You can print stuff on it using Wi-Fi, or using USB pen drives, or a direct connection with the PC. There’s also the option to print using a MicroSD card which is also quite cool.
- Portable and inexpensive
- Quite a fast printer
- up to 50 Micron Layer Resolution
- Only for very small prints
- Features a 2560×1440 2K HD masking LCD
- Offers a resolution of 47 microns
- 1 year warranty period
When it comes to 3D printers from Voxelabs, there are multiple models available. This is the second Voxelab printer on this list. Before we get into the specifics, we must also inform you that there’s a counterpart to Polaris, the Proxima printer, which is marginally costlier but also larger when it comes to the size. Here, we talk about the Polaris, which is a high-res printer that provides you with a resolution of 47 microns.
On the front, there’s an impressive 2560×1440 2K HD LCD screen present, which ensures better masking. The screen allows this printer to generate entire layers at a time instead of a singular point. This makes the overall process of printing faster. Another thing that we noticed about this printer was the ease of assembly! It is just a five-step process in which you can put everything together and start printing. It won’t even take you ten minutes.
When we look at the process of printing, you will be relieved to know that this printer supports all resins which can be cured by about 405nm of light. The levelling and slicing process is also quite fast over here, which allows you to print faster than most other printers on this list. The speed at which the Polaris prints can be outmatched by Proxima at times but they both are pretty much the same machine. Here, you get a one-year warranty as well.
- Fast printing
- Very easy to install
- Supports chitubox as well as voxelprint
- Customer support is hard to get hold of
- 2.8-inch touch screen
- FDM 3D printer
- Print material used: 1.75mm PLA
While most printers on our list are those which can be used by professionals working from as well as kids, Longer Cube 2 Mini is something which is specifically meant for kids. A child-friendly and easy-to-use machine which is very safe to use. While it has limited applications, children using it can benefit a lot from it and it can help improve their creativity levels. These are light in weight and easy to carry around as well.
This is one of the best 3D printers under $200 for kids, and one of the best parts about this is that you don’t even have to assemble the different parts as it comes 99% assembled out of the box. You just have to load the filaments in the printer and start printing. The company claims that you can start printing stuff off your printer in just five minutes after its arrival!
Since this is a children’s 3D printer, it has been created in a way that it is very safe to use. Even the corners have been rounded here so that the kids don’t accidentally end up hurting themselves. The filaments used in this are non-toxic and eco-friendly too and this is an environmentally safe and a very healthy product to use. There’s a 2.8 inch touchscreen on the front which allows the kids to take better control over the process of printing. There’s a one-year warranty on this 3D printer.
- Designed keeping kids in mind
- Very safe to use
- Comes pre-assembled
- Not suitable for professional work
When it comes to getting hold of a small-scale 3D printer, and one that you can build at your home. This is a perfect device for beginners who want a small-scale printer and just want to get started with 3D printing for crude and basic models. You should not expect anything of precision or having an angular appeal when you print using this printer, but it will give you an average output up to the size of 100 x 100 x 100mm.
This is a great printer for printing toys, small art, and craft equipment, or even homemade jewellery. However, don’t expect it to print something magnificent such as architectural or engineering models. This 3D printer from Labists makes use of 1.75mm PLA filament. The printer operates at 180C, a temperature that it can achieve in just three minutes. This is achieved while consuming less than 30W of power, which makes it really energy efficient as well.
This 3D printer is a bare-bones device which comes with start and stop buttons which allow you to control the printing process. The LABISTS mini X1 Desktop 3D printer offers a layer height of 0.05mm and offers precise prints up to that height. The printer comes with LABSLICER and Cura slicing software on the SD card which are pretty good as well as fast. This is also a good option for kids and teenage users.
- Small sized
- Easy to assemble
- Energy efficient operation
- Too loud for its size
- 15 color options
- Comes with an interactive Android/iOS application
- Includes a stencil book for basic models
Yes, we admit straight-up that this is not a ‘printer’ per say, but this is a 3D printing device and we thought it would be fun to include it here so that it can give you a good idea about what other products are available out there which can help you attaining 3D prints. The pen operates with a nozzle and heating technique, which is pretty much the same as a 3D printer.
You get fifteen color variants here and can also hook it up with your Android/iOS phone. The pen uses plastics made in the US, which are non-toxic and extremely safe to use. The pen comes with a book which has got various different templates from where you can choose your favorite creative designs and projects and get started with drawing 3D prints right away.
- Very easy to use
- Plastics are safe to use
- A child-friendly product
- Not an actual 3D printer
Buyer’s Guide to 3D Printers
Now that you know which are the ten best options out there when it comes to buying a 3D printer, we also want to tell you about a few things that are important when it comes to buying a 3D printer – things that you need to consider before you buy one of your choice.
First off, you need to consider what you will be printing. If you are going for a budget printer, you need to keep in mind that you will not be able to print larger objects. You will mostly be restricted to smaller scale models due to the size limitations. These printers are a good option for someone who wants to maybe print smaller-sized quirky objects for their desk, but when it comes to printing tools that require industrial levels of precision you might want to go for a higher-end variant.
FDM, DLP, SLS or SLA – you need to know what kind of a printer you are going to buy. While these terms sound quite alien to people who aren’t really into the whole 3D printer interest group, those who are know the exact difference between all of them. For the uninitiated, DLP stands for Digital Light Processing printers, FDM stands for Fused Deposition Modeling printers, SLS stands for Selective Laser Sintering printers, and lastly, SLA stands for Stereolithography printers. FDM printers make use of hot plastics, while all others make use of liquid resins. You need to understand these differences and read up about them before you buy a 3D printer.
You must also consider the resolution of the printer that you are buying. Here, the resolution is not measured in pixels or DPIs, but in microns. FDM printers usually operate on the lower end of this scale, giving you about 25 microns while resin printers can potentially give you about 100microns of resolution.
One more aspect that you need to keep in mind while buying a 3D printer is that of safety. Your own, as well as that of the device. The 3D printer that you are buying needs to be safe to use. This has to be considered because these printers usually operate at a high temperature and there is always a risk of something going wrong. Make sure yours has all the proper safety approvals in place. This is even more important because when it comes to 3D printers under $200, there are a lot of these printers for kids and young learners who might end up hurting themselves if there are any safety flaws.
Lastly, the brand, the price, and the delivery time also needs to be considered. These are all factors that hold true for most products that you buy online. Amazon offers a great after-sales service and there are replacements/returns for most of their products. One last word on this, make sure you are looking at the warranty information and know-how long your printer is protected before you purchase it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About 3D Printers
Here are the answers to some of the most common and frequently asked questions about 3D Printers that we get from our readers. We have collated all these questions at just one place so that you can get the complete picture by going through this section:
1. How long does it take to print a 3D model?
The answer to this question honestly depends upon how big the model is, and how many dimensions it has. The lesser the dimensions and the smaller the size, the faster it can be printed. Infilling is another factor in which the speed of the print depends. The smallest of the objects can be printed in a couple of hours while larger objects might take days to get printed.
2. What can I use a 3D printer for?
3D printers are actually quite useful for people who are architects, engineers, designers or even modellers who are making action figures or miniature models. These can be used to create a mock design of an actual product. 3D printing has also been found useful in medical science where 3D printed organs have been used to save people’s lives. It is also important in the education business where schools can use 3D printers to help children get more creative. The casting and scanning industry, as well as people working in plastic moulding can also benefit quite a lot from these printers.
3. What kind of software do you have to use for 3D printing?
If you are creating your own 3D models you’d need something like Autodesk, Solidworks or some other CAD program to print them out. While these might cost you quite a bit, there are also a number of free and open-source programs that are available that you can download to get your models printed.
4. Where can you purchase a 3D printer from?
3D printers, and specifically 3D printers under $200 can be purchased off of Amazon with great ease. There’s a large collection of some really good products, 10 of which have been listed above for your ease and convenience. You can simply go through them and choose whichever 3D printer fits your needs the best.
5. Are 3D printers under $200 good enough for printing purposes?
The honest answer is that you must not expect anything great out of a 3D printer under $500. These printers are only for hobbyists and for someone who would like children to get creative and explore modelling. For basic office work, you would require a 3D printer that costs about $500-$2000, and for professional work where precision is the key, you would need industrial-grade 3D printers that tend to cost north of $2000.
We hope that this article on the best 3D printers under $200 helped you make a good purchase decision. The sub-$200 market is for extreme beginners and for someone who wants a 3D printer for hobbyist purposes and not for industrial or professional-grade designing. These printers are a great way to get started and to introduce your kids to 3D printing as well. We hope that you have found the perfect product for all your needs using our list. If you still have any questions, feel free to send us a mail or leave a comment below and we shall get back to you really soon. Till then..
..Happy Printing! 🙂