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3D printing has been increasing in popularity over the last few years. It’s easy to go to any local hardware store and play around with them amongst the drills and hacksaws of the tool department. In this article, you’ll find the best 3D printers at a wide range of price points.

With the upswing in availability, comes more selection, more brands, and tougher buying decisions. We’ve taken a look at the now saturated market to find the best expensive 3D printers and the best affordable 3D printers that can be delivered straight to your doorstep or business for a reasonable price.

We’re also going to take a look at software for 3D printing for you, which can make or break the user experience. If you need to know more about 3D printing technology in general, click no further. We’ve got it here in your one-stop-shop ultimate 3D printer buyer’s guide at SmartHome.Guide.

First up is our list, followed by info about 3D printing technology and filament.

Best 3D Printer for Under $500

This section is for those looking to play around and familiarize yourself with the technology without making a large financial commitment. These also make great gifts that don’t break your budget.

1. Monoprice Maker Select 3d Printer V2

Monoprice Printer

About: Our pick for the best budget 3D printer. This is a great 3D printer for beginners that maintains a larger printing space, giving the artist more room to create. Monoprice also features a heated build plate which allows you to use slower cooling materials. For a printer in this price range, this is a rare quality. Most are limited to one or only a few different kinds of filament for creation.

Software: Compatible software includes, but is not limited to Cure, Repeater, or Simplify 3D. Monoprice Maker Select is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Features:

  • Compatible Filaments: All including ABS
  • Filament size: 1.75mm
  • Max Build Dimensions: 200mm x 200mm x 180mm
  • Warranty: Lifetime/1 Year (Depending on Part)
  • 2GB SD card included

2. XYZPrinting Da Vinci Mini 3D Printer

XYZprinting

About: Our pick for the best 3D printer for beginners. YXZ Printing has made a great at-home 3D printer that is extremely kid and novice-friendly. It has built-in software and wireless capabilities that make it easy to set up and get started. It’s quite precise for an affordable 3D printer, and would even make a great addition to a classroom. They only negative is that it is only compatible with XYZ Printing filament that is made specifically for this model.

Software: Free XYZMaker Software included (print from computers, phones, or tablets).

Features:

  • Compatible Filaments: XYZprinting PLA only
  • Filament size: XYZprinting PLA cartridges only
  • Max Build Dimension: 149mm x 149mm x 149mm
  • Wireless connectivity for printing- no SD card needed
  • Limited warranty depending on use

3. QIDI Technology X-One 3D Printer

qidi tech x one

About: Our pick for the best cheap 3D printer. QIDI Technology makes our 3D Printer Reviews list more than once, they make sturdy and high-quality printers that have been tried and tested. This particular model is made with a full metal structure, and the guide rod has been improved to add more precision to the z-axis movement. The best part is that this printer is not going to require much set up time, and you’ll be printing within the first hour of opening the box.

Software: Compatible software includes QIDI Print, Cura, Simplify 3d, and operates on Windows 7/8/Vista, and Mac OS X platforms.

Features:

  • Compatible Filaments: ABS or PLA
  • Filament size: 1.75mm
  • Max Build Dimensions: 140mm x 140mm x 140mm
  • Warranty: No Warranty Available
  • SD Card included (size not specified)

Best 3D Printer Under $1000

These printers are definitely a step up in terms of size and quality. Once again they are geared more towards beginners that are looking to get to know the technology better and produce things at a smaller quantity.

4. ROBO 3D R1 Plus

robo plus

About: Our pick for the best 3D printer for home use. Equipped with custom 3D printing software called MatterControl, this 3D printer is sleek and ready to go. It might be one of the more visually appealing 3D printers, avoiding the “microwave” look, it’s quality extends beyond first impressions. The software has 20 pre-installed models that can help you get more accustomed to how the printer works. This set also comes with some filament so there is no need to order that separately.

Software: Aside from the Robo 3D Software that is included, it is also compatible with Cura and Repatier.

Features:

  • Compatible Filaments: All
  • Filament size: 1.7mm
  • Max Build Dimensions:  203mm x 228mm x 254mm
  • Warranty: 6 Month Parts Only
  • SD Card included (size not specified)

5. Dremel Idea Builder 3D Printer

dremel idea builder

About: Our pick for best professional 3D printer. A company known for making advanced technology in the world of tools, it’s no surprise the Dremel has busted into the 3D printing race. This printer is set with a color touch screen that will render any object preview before submitting the model for a build. While many other PLA filament brands will work in the Idea Builder, it is recommended for using only with the Dremel brand.

Software: The Dremel software is built-in and has been recently updated as of Fall 2018.

Features:

  • Compatible Filaments: Dremel PLA Filament only (is compatible with other PLA filaments but the spools will not lock-in and will likely void the warranty)
  • Filament size: 1.75mm
  • Max Build Dimensions: 228mm x 149mm x 139mm
  • Warranty: 1 Year (noncommercial use) 60 Day (commercial use)
  • SD Card capable, not included

6. QIDI Tech 1 3D Printer

qidi tech 3d

About: Our pick for most reliable 3D printer. QIDI Technology will likely be one of the companies to master 3D Printing technology, and they are one step closer with the Qidi Tech 1. It’s another fully metal-framed 3D Printer with a high-heat resistant metal platform that can help with slower creations. While slightly more complex than the alternative model we reviewed, the support from QIDI is unrivaled. They will be able to help you with any trouble you run into.

Software: The software is a  Simplify 3D/Replicator G/Makerware.

Features:

  • Compatible Filaments: ABS/PLA
  • Filament size: 1.75mm
  • Max Build Size: 223.5mm x 149.86mm x 149.8mm
  • Warranty: Optional Extended Warranty
  • SD Card Capable, not included

Best 3D Printers for Under $2000

These printers are great for experienced users or individuals who want to invest in something more reliable.

7. MakerGear M2 Desktop 3D Printer

makergear

About: Our pick for the best ABS 3D printer. This MakerGear printer is made from a fabricated steel frame, and is made in the USA. It’s advertised to be a great way to bring ideas to life, and users support this notion. MakerGear is compatible with many software applications and supports open-source software. It’s also available in an assembled and disassembled versions for varying prices. This home 3D printer is one of the best values you can find.

Software: Compatible with many open-source and commercially available modeling, slicing, and printer control software available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Simplify3D software is recommended.

Features:

  • Compatible Filaments: PLA, ABS, PET, flexible, polycarbonate, composites and various others.
  • Filament size: 1.75mm
  • Max Build Dimensions: 203mm x 254mm x 203mm
  • Warranty: 6 Month Limited
  • Direct USB Line

8. Flashforge Dreamer 3D Printer

dreamer flashforge

About: Our pick for the best 3D printer for the price. With a high-quality plastic body, and internal filament feeder it helps keeps the workstation clean. It’s simple to set up and even easier to use. This is a great home printer, or for advanced classroom settings. The downside of this printer compared to others made by Flashforge, it is not open-source software, but the software it comes with is highly capable.

Software: The software used by Flashforge is called Flashprint. It is not open source.

Features:

  • Compatible Filaments: ABS/PLA/PVA
  • Filament size: 1.75mm
  • Max Build Dimension: 230mm x 150mm x 150mm
  • Warranty: 90 Day (Extended Available at 6 and 12 Months)
  • 4GB SD card included

Best 3D Printers Above $2000

These printers are much higher quality, provide large build dimensions, and are usually capable of working with many different filaments at a thicker size.

9. Ultimaker 2+

ultimaker

About: Our pick for the best consumer 3D printer. This printer is a pretty significant upgrade from anything in one of the lower price ranges. The model has been recently updated in 2016 with improvements that have lifted its rankings among competitors. Equipped with an innovative feeder that is easily adjustable, it makes changing filament materials extremely easy. The warranty is sufficient, and it works with a wide range of operating systems.

Software: Supported operating systems include Windows XP+, Mac OS X 10.6+, Linux Ubuntu 12.10+. Software included, compatible with STL, OBJ, and DAE file types.

Features:

  • Compatible Filaments: PLA/ABS/CPE
  • Filament size: 2.85mm
  • Max Build Size: 223mm X 223mm X 205mm
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • SD Card Included, Size not Specified

10. LulzBot TAZ 6 3D Printer

lulzbot taz

About: Our pick for the best large format 3D printer. The LulzBot TAZ 6 is augmented by free software and open-source hardware, this company wants you to help them improve – which is always great to see in the technology field. On top of this, it is a self-leveling and self-cleaning device. This will limit set-up time for you so much, especially in between new projects. This company boasts that they are enhancing your ability to create, and we can see why this is true.

Software: Comes equipped with Cura LulzBot Edition Software, but it is open-sourced and compatible with other software, so you can use the best 3D printer software out there.

Features:

  • Compatible Filaments: PLA/ABS/HIPS/Nylon Copolymers/PVA/Many Others
  • Filament size: 3mm
  • Max Build Dimensions: 11.02 in x 11.02 in x 9.8 in
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • SD Card Included, Size not Specified

About 3D Printing Technology

3D Printing has only been accessible to the majority of the public for the past few years. Before that, it was only attainable and affordable in the professional realm and on a commercial scale. 3D printing technology was still developing, and after it was functional in the manufacturing world it began to be condensed into a smaller size that could be used by artists, engineers and entrepreneurs right in their own homes and offices.

3d print

There are a variety of different technologies and software used by different 3D printers to deliver results.  We’ll take a look at the most common ones now, Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) AKA Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) is frequently what you will find with at-home 3D printers although some use Plastic Jet Printing (PJP).

There are many others but these are the main options you should make yourself familiar with if you’re new to 3D printing. FDM is the most common because it can be used with a large variety of materials.

Filament and More

There are over 30 filaments made for 3D printing. It’s important that you choose a 3D printer based on what kind of filament/material you want to be working with. We’ve included some basic information about all of our 10 Best 3D Printers that we think will be helpful to you.

best 3D printers

Thankfully, because they are a newer technology most brands offer free technical support on their sites. When I visited some of them to check details many of them even had instant chat so you can get help with any questions almost immediately (during reasonable work hours, that is).

It’s important that you also understand that 3D Printers are not a perfected technology – we have yet to find a regular home printer without any flaws, but because so many of these printers have been made by companies that are allowing open-sourced software and hardware to come in, that better results will soon be achieved. 3D Printer software is improving annually and has made massive leaps in the last few years. Without a doubt, anything that you choose from our 3D Printer Reviews will be great for your home setup.

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