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Best of 2021

Best 3D Printer under $1000 for Quick & Precise Work

 October 31, 2021

By  Jane Melcher

Looking for the best 3D printer under $1000 was unheard of a few years ago. Initially, the options available were complicated machinery that took quite a while and some expertise to assemble and use. However, numerous breakthroughs in the sector have seen the emergence and popularization of low-cost alternatives that do not falter on delivering impressive build volume, print quality, numerous compatible materials and a user-friendly interface.

Nevertheless, 3D printers under $1000 are abundant on the market, with each offering similar features and functions that will make the buying process confusing. So, if you hunt for a reliable hobby or DIY project companion, our recommendations and buying guide will help simplify your options. But, first, let us consider what these gadgets do.

Which 3D printer should I buy under 1000?

What Is 3D Printing?

The technical term for 3D printing is additive manufacturing or additive layer manufacturing. This concept refers to using object scanners for 3D objects or computer-aided design software to instruct physical components to precisely deposit one layer after another to create geometric forms. Contrary to the traditional forms of manufacturing where you remove materials to create products, 3D printing adds different materials to achieve the same outcome.

In a nutshell, a 3D printer is a tool that takes digital renders and converts them into physical objects that seems to grow as each wholly or partially melted layer bonds to the preceding one. The software used in printing creates skinny slices of the object that the nozzle, guided by software information, layers together to create a 3D object. These devices introduce proficiency and digital flexibility to DIY projects, manufacturing and prototyping.

5 Best 3D Printers Under $1000

1. Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer with Removable Build Surface Plate

Sale
Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer with Removable Build Surface Plate and UL Certified Power Supply...
  • REMOVABLE BUILD SURFACE PLATE: Provide...
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  • RESUME PRINT FUNCTION: Ender 3 Pro can resume...
  • SEMI-ASSEMBLED KIT: This easy-to-setup kit...
  • WHAT YOU GET: Ceality Ender 3 Pro 3D pinrter,...

The Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer owes its popularity to its affordable price and adaptability to different tasks through upgrades and fine-tuning. These two qualities and reliance on an entirely open-source code have allowed the product to gain a faithful following of users who contribute to the community. Hence, you can access plenty of free information from the web on various projects you can do, the tools required, and how to be successful.

The Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer has a heated print bed that provides a stable temperature on the entire build plate, and it takes 5 minutes for it to reach 110 degrees Celcius. Additionally, the heated build plate is removable to make it easy to get your 3D models after printing and cooling. Also, the power supply ensures your device is not harmed when there are electrical surges.

When there are power outages during printing, the resume print function of the Creality Ender 3 Pro records the last position of the extruder so that it can continue from where it left off. Thus, you do not need to start from scratch and waste any partially printed objects. Finally, this 3D printer is semi-assembled out-of-the-box to help you learn more about the device's mechanism when setting things up.

Pros

  • Resume print function available in case of power failure.
  • The heated bed maintains a constant temperature.
  • The power supply protects the device from electrical surges.
  • Runs on open source code and has a large community of people that help and support other users.
  • You can add plenty of upgrades.
  • Removable build plate.
  • The extruder design ensures the nozzles do not get clogged.
  • UL certification means it has an air filter for ensuring it does not emit harmful chemicals when working.

Cons

  • Limited build volume makes it difficult to print huge objects.

2. ELEGOO Mars 2 Mono MSLA 3D Printer

ELEGOO Mars 2 Mono MSLA 3D Printer UV Photocuring LCD Resin 3D Printer with 6.08 inch 2K Monochrome...
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The ELEGOO Mars 2 Mono MSLA 3D Printer uses a UV laser for resin photocuring, making the product fast and easy to maintain. For starters, the CNC machined aluminum build of the device ensures it is robust and sturdy. Consequently, you can be sure of the printer's longevity and ability to deliver consistent results.

Furthermore, the Mars 2 has a 6.08-inch Mono 2K HD LCD screen that adds durability and stability to the 3D printer's performance, saving you long-term costs. Also, the device is not a slouch in print quality since it relies on an improved UV light emission structure that ensures an even beam for printing. Hence, the 3D objects have a smoother finish.

Finally, the Mars 2 3D Printer comes with a 1-year warranty for the entire device. Plus, it has a 6-month warranty for the LCD screen minus the FEP film. This kind of support, along with the inclusion of 12 different languages, ensures you get the best value for your money.

Pros

  • Fast print speed as it takes 2 seconds to cure a layer of resin through exposure.
  • CNC machined aluminum construction makes it durable.
  • 2K HD Mono LCD screen allows for precise and detailed prints.
  • It offers consistent results when printing.
  • Improved UV light source for more even photocuring and smoother finishes.
  • You can get the Chitu Box slicing software from the manufacturer's website.
  • You can replace the resin tank.
  • Fully enclosed build chamber.
  • It comes fully assembled.
  • High printing speed.

Cons

  • It only has a USB for connectivity.
  • Small build volume.

3. R QIDI Tech Large Size X-Plus Intelligent Industrial Grade 3D Printer

R QIDI TECHNOLOGY 3D Printer, Large Size X-Plus Intelligent Industrial Grade 3D Printer with Nylon,...
  • The X-PLUS 3D Printer Kit comes with two...
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If you desire the best 3D printer under 1000 dollars for versatility, the R QIDI Tech Large Size X-Plus Intelligent Industrial Grade model has you covered. This device offers pioneering technology in two distinct filament placement; the closed frame at a stable temperature or ventilation printing. The impressive feature allows the 3D printer to work on numerous kinds of materials. Additionally, the dual extruders are designed to take separate filaments where one handles ABS, PLA and TPU, while the other can print carbon fiber, PC and Nylon.

Moreover, the R QIDI X-Plus 3D Printer comes with a large touch screen display. From there, you can access the user-friendly interface that enables accurate, intuitive and straightforward operation. Additionally, you can remove the print bed after finishing your 3D objects and use the build plate numerous times. Plus, the removable bed can support typical filaments on the front side and advanced ones on the back.

The WiFi connectivity on this model means that you do not have to contend with cables, and you can keep your workstation neat. Also, the manufacture provides intelligent software, ensuring you do not have to spend money on another algorithm. Plus, their program improves the print quality by about 30% and the printing speed by 20%.

Pros

  • A maximum nozzle temperature of 250 degrees Celcius makes it compatible with numerous materials.
  • It can support a dual extruder mode for installed and advanced materials.
  • It supports third-party filaments.
  • The heated print bed and closed frame mode allow you to use different filaments.
  • You can replace a run-out spool and resume printing.
  • A removable printing bed.
  • User-friendly interface on the 4.3-inch touch screen.
  • WiFi connectivity.
  • It has an air filter.
  • Quiet operation.
  • Manual bed leveling with a single click of a button.
  • It is compatible with any 1.75mm filament diameter.
  • It comes fully assembled.
  • The manufacturer offers free slicing software that is compatible with this and other printers they sell.

Cons

  • It lacks a filament run-out detection feature.
  • Not the most enormous build volume available.

4. Demerel Digilab 3D20 3D Printer

Dremel Digilab 3D20 3D Printer, Idea Builder for Brand New Hobbyists and Tinkerers - 3D20-01
690 Reviews
Dremel Digilab 3D20 3D Printer, Idea Builder for Brand New Hobbyists and Tinkerers - 3D20-01
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The Demerel Digilab 3D20 is the best 3D Printer to provide you with reliability and high-quality prints at a low cost. When you buy this fully assembled device, you can begin printing as soon as you get it out of the box. Plus, the included half-kilogram PLA filament spool and detailed instructions mean that you do need extensive knowledge of the 3D printer to use it.

As for safety, the 3D printer includes a UL approval, so you do not have to worry about breathing in harmful chemicals when the device is printing. In addition, the enclosed design and non-heated plexiglass print bed boost the safety features as you will not get harmed when using it.

Finally, the LCD screen allows you to interact with the 3D printer and check the SD card or USB device files. In addition, the color display makes it easy to tweak settings and access different prints.

Pros

  • You can use their free cloud-based program for slicing.
  • It is UL safety certified.SD-card and USB connectivity.
  • You can start printing after unboxing, and it is easy to use.
  • It comes fully assembled.
  • A layer height of 100 microns ensures print quality remains high.

Cons

  • No automatic print bed leveling.
  • The removable glass bed may melt when placed incorrectly.
  • It only uses a PLA filament.
  • Small build volume.

5. ANYCUBIC Photon Mono X 3D Printer

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ANYCUBIC Photon Mono X 3D Printer, UV LCD Resin Printer with 8.9" 4K Monochrome Screen, WiFi Control...
  • 3X Fast Printing: 4K monochrome screen Photon...
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If you want a fast printing speed, an impressive build volume and detailed accuracy, the ANYCUBIC Photon Mono X 3D Printer has the right set of features to deliver. First, exposing a single layer makes it take about two seconds to cure. Additionally, the printing speed is 60 millimeters per hour, surpassing some of the best 3D printers under $1000.

Secondly, the Photon Mono X features a high-resolution 4K monochrome screen, which will last longer than color variations. Also, the intuitive UI of the 3D printer offers incredible responsiveness to make printing simple. Plus, the power supply passes international safety specifications to ease your mind if you leave the device running throughout the night. Still, it would help if you also strived to attend to it frequently as 3D printers can be fire and electrical hazards.

The improved cooling system on the Photon Mono X ensures it dissipates the heat the UV beam generates. Consequently, you can get an increased life span, lower maintenance costs and a better print finish. Finally, the safety feature of the enclosed 3D printer turns the device off when you remove the top cover.

Pros

  • Filament sensor to prevent the device from damaging itself against the enclosure.
  • A brushed aluminum print bed is durable and improved adhesion with the 3D objects you print.
  • You can see the amount of resin left in the vat
  • Safe power supply.
  • Impressive build volume.
  • A uniform light source for consistent prints.
  • You control the 3D printer remotely from an app.
  • The z-axis is stable thanks to a double linear guide, an anti-backlash nut and a screw motor.

Cons

  • It is not the best for beginners.

How to Settle on the Best 3D Printer Under $1000

a). Types of 3D Printing Technologies

1. Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM)

FDM printers work through extruding a plastic filament, a single layer at a time, on the building platform to create 3D models and objects. This 3D printing method is fast and cost-effective, making it a popular technology for 3D printers under $1000. Nevertheless, the applications for the models you can build using this method are curtailed by the lack of rigidity and rough surface finish typical of the technology.

2. Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

SLS uses thermoplastic materials like nylon-based powders to create 3D objects using a UV laser to melt them into plastic models. Using such materials negates the need for support structures in your printed models. Consequently, you can dedicate the entire print bed to creating more 3D objects, although you can expect the finish to have rough surfaces.

3. Cartesian 3D Printing

The cartesian technology is a subset of the FDM printing method. Here, the Cartesian coordinate system, which splits the 3D world into three axes, directs the print head when creating models. Thus, the printer will move up, down and side-to-side to make the printing process simple. Plus, like the FDM method, it is one of the most common technologies in 3D printing.

4. Stereolithography (SLA)

The SLA is one of the first technologies used in 3D printing processes. This method is reliable in producing robust and high-quality prints with impressive details and a smooth surface finish. Hence, SLA has numerous applications in the medical industry in producing anatomical objects.

5. Delta 3D Printing System

A Delta 3D printing system relies on trigonometric calculations to determine where to print. Typically, such printers have three arms that can move independently to direct the print head to move up and down. Thus, the angles between the arms help in accurately locating the print head when creating 3D objects.

6. Multi-Jet Fusion (MJF)

Like SLS printers, MJF also uses nylon powder to build models. However, instead of sintering the powder with a laser, Multi-Jet Fusion utilizes an inkjet array to add blending components to the nylon powder and a heating apparatus to fuse the blend layer-by-layer.

The MJF technology offers impressive consistency due to its printing process. Also, the 3D objects are cheaper to make with this method, while you can expect a fast print speed and smoother finishes.

7. Digital Light Process (DLP)

The DLP printing method is similar to the SLA because they use light to cure liquid resins. However, they differ because the latter uses a UV laser while the former relies on a digital light projector. In addition, the DLP technology can build a single layer at once, which makes these 3D printers quite fast.

8. PolyJet

PolyJet 3D printers can utilize numerous materials and colors in a single build. Consequently, they are ideal for projects that require complex combinations of parts when tooling and prototyping.

b). Build Volume and Print Bed Size

All 3D printers have a maximum build volume which determines how big printouts can get. Of course, you will need to contend with waiting a little longer for your models to finish. Thus, you need to consider the build size to ensure your project does not stall.

On the other hand, you can get a small 3D printer and tweak your project to fit its build volume. For example, you can break it down into modules to assemble the final piece instead of building a single one. Hence, if you want to avoid spending a fortune on a device meant for large prints, a medium-sized unit can provide a suitable build volume.

c). Print Speed and Layer Thickness

The print resolution determines the kind of finish you will get on your 3D objects. In a nutshell, a higher resolution or a smaller layer means a smoother finish. For example, a typical 3D printer under $1000 will have a layer thickness of around 0.1mm to perhaps 0.05mm. Nevertheless, if you want a cleaner and more refined finish, the process will take much longer. Also, the difference between the two resolutions is not quite noticeable.

Similarly, the printing speed for options in this price point lies in the same range of about 120 to 180 millimeters per second. Although these seem pretty quick, you are likely to compromise on the print quality and precision in your 3D objects. Unfortunately, you will need to spend more to gain these two essential qualities since 3D printers under $1000 are not designed for quick, small and detailed printouts.

d). Materials

PLA is a popular and widely used material for 3D printing. This plastic offers numerous colors and types of filaments, such as ones that glow in the dark. In addition, the material is cheap, and you do not need a 3D printer with heated beds so that the first layer adheres to the build plate.

On the other hand, TPU offers flexibility while the ABS is more sturdy. Therefore, it is critical to buy a 3D printer that uses the kinds of materials suitable for your project. However, since these materials require heated beds, a closed frame is essential to ensure the prints are not compromised by a draft moving through your working area.

Some materials are abrasive, which means you need to find a reinforced nozzle to prevent damage during 3D printing. For the process to work, examples like nylon and carbon fiber may require printer upgrades to the nozzle, such as brass ones.

e). Additional Features

1. UI

User-friendly 3D printers are vital to ensuring the success of your projects. Therefore, working with a knob may significantly hamper the flexibility, quality and pace of your work. Instead, look for 3D printers with an LCD screen that offers a touchscreen-based interface. Such qualities will provide more options and information save you time while printing.

2. Assembly

Traditionally, 3D printers were complicated and arduous to assemble since they only came with components that you had to put together. These days, especially for devices under $1000, you can get semi-assembled kits. Such products offer an opportunity to learn how the 3D printer works and how you can leverage it for your projects. Still, assembling these does not require advanced skills since most complex components are already fixed, and the user merely gets the framing in place.

3. Resume Printing Function

When printing, power outages may occur, or you may run out of filament. In these situations, a 3D printer that can resume printing from where it stopped is essential to ensure your models are not ruined. After all, when 3D printing, the nozzle moves through the z, y and x-axis when adding one layer to another. Thus, if the device cannot remember where it was, you will need to start over.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on 3D Printers Under $1000

1. How expensive is a 3D printer?

You can find entry-level 3D printers that range from $100 to $500. These models offer basic and advanced features suitable for hobbyists, students and those looking for an inexpensive way to build their ideas. Some high-end devices can come with a $20000 price tag, depending on the kind of capabilities they offer. Nevertheless, these professional 3D printers are ideal for industrial-grade performance in rapid prototyping and even manufacturing.

2. Can I leave my 3D printer running overnight?

3D printers have been known to cause fires due to electrical and heat hazards that they pose. For instance, some terminals, components or wires can become so hot that the insulation melts off and a fire ignites. Some manufacturers offer safety-certified power supply units to help give you peace of mind when printing. Still, it helps to constantly attend to the device as it can cause harm to children and pets when operating. 

Jane Melcher


Jane is a stay-at-home small business mom. She makes more than her husband selling her creations on Etsy.

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