3D printing was once something that was simply unobtainable. However, due to the fast increase in technological development, 3D printers can be picked up for as little as £150. And even a printer at this low price range will have you 3D printing in no time.
With there being more and more options when it comes to 3D printers and even 3D printer DIY kits. What 3D printer is the best for those looking to start printing on a budget? In this comprehensive guide, I’ll run through my picks of the best budget 3D printers for 2022.
Budget 3D Printer Top Picks
Before I start to look in-depth at all the 3D printers that I’d recommend. I’ll first show you the highlights. These are the top 3 budget 3D printers today and are the models which I would personally recommend above all others.
Below this segment, I’ll look at each of these budget 3D printers in more detail, along with other cheap 3D printers to consider.
The Best Budget 3D Printer – Creality Ender 3 Pro
My absolute favourite budget 3D printer has to be the Ender 3 Pro.
The Ender 3 Pro has long been a fan favourite and has been the 3D printer that introduced many beginners to the world of 3D printing. It has a reasonably sized print bed, coming in at 220 x 220 x 250mm. And better yet, it’s priced under £200, making it very affordable.
Yes, there is an Ender 3 V2 out now, but that will set you back almost £100 more.
While the Ender 3 Pro does sit underneath the V2 in terms of technology, it still brings more power and general improvements over the Ender 3. You’ll find it nice to have features such as a magnetic print bed as well as a step up in print quality over the Ender 3.
What makes this budget-friendly 3D printer so nice, especially for first-time users. Is just how user friendly it is, and how easy it is to set up and use. Overall, if you’re looking for the best budget 3D printer, look no further than the Ender 3 Pro.
Best Budget SLA 3D Printer – AnyCubic Photon Mono
Previously I recommended the AnyCubic Photon Zero, however that is now at the end of its production life. The Photon Mono is now the cheapest and still one of the best budget 3D printers you can buy.
When it comes to SLA 3D printing, the general trend is that the technology and printers themselves cost much more than FDM. While this is generally true across the board, there are some cheaper SLA 3D printers starting to emerge.
Some, like the Photon Zero by AnyCubic, are actually quite good. This resin printer is the next generation of cheap SLA 3D printers and follows on from the success of the original AnyCubic Photon.
These cheap SLA 3D printers offer a way into the more detail orientated world of resin 3D printing. As well as being friendly on your wallet, AnyCubic has also ensured this SLA 3D printer is very friendly to all newcomers. It requires very little user input or complex knowledge, making it extremely user friendly.
With a price point of under £300, this SLA 3D printer produces some seriously impressive results. It features a build volume of 97 x 54 x 150mm which is more than adequate. And it also boasts a well-designed UV module which allows for higher quality 3D prints.
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Runner Up – AnyCubic Mega Zero
AnyCubic is one of the companies at the forefront of budget 3D printer technology. Just like they pioneered the budget SLA printer with the Photon and Photon Zero mentioned above. They also have a very strong foothold in FDM 3D printing.
The Mega Zero offers a cheap way into the world of 3D printing, without causing users to sacrifice print quality. While matching the decent-sized print bed to the one found on the Ender 3.
In its effort to keep costs right down, AnyCubic did make some cuts. One such omission is the lack of a heated print bed. While a heated printer bed is nice to have and is proven to stop some more delicate filaments from warping while printing. It isn’t necessary for sturdier filaments, and the Mega Zero proves this with surprisingly good 3D print quality.
However you look at it, the Mega Zero is one of the cheapest ways to start 3D printing, with costs as low as £130 from some stores. And for novice 3D printers or those who have yet to dabble. I would highly recommend the AnyCubic Mega Zero as anyone’s first 3D printer.
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