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The best cheap 3D printers under $300

3D printing can bring your art to life, but you need the right 3D printer. ZDNET analyzed the best cheap 3D printers under $300 for your personal or professional use.
Written by Lena Borrelli, Contributing Writer

Printing isn't just about paper anymore. 3D printing has reached new heights in recent years, allowing for fun and creative ways to create objects and designs. 

Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing takes your digital file into three dimensions. It allows you to print more complex, detailed images than you get with a traditional printer. That's why it has become the go-to printing tool for beginner and advanced artists and engineers alike. 

But getting started can be daunting. What printer should you get? How much should you spend? 

3D printer doesn't have to cost a fortune. We scoured the market to find the best 3D printers under $300 based on features, performance, and user reviews. 

Also: We ranked the best inkjet, photo, and laser printers

Pros & Cons
  • Affordable
  • Excellent print quality
  • Open design
  • Users complain of durability
  • Minimal set up instructions
More Details

Tech Specs: Weight: 17.19 pounds | Dimensions: 18.5 x 18.7 x 24.41 inches | Frame design: Open

Comgrow's Creality Ender 3 V2 wins our award for the best cheap 3D printer overall. Priced at $280, this cheap 3D printer is compatible with laptops and PCs. The printer is made of tempered glass and aluminum, and it includes a self-developed silent motherboard that significantly enhances performance with more stable, soundless printing.

The device features a 4.3-inch smart color screen for ease of use. For added safety, it uses a UL-certified MeanWell power supply that's concealed within the machine. And in the event of a power outage or other interruption, it can automatically resume printing so you won't lose progress. 

Pros & Cons
  • Dual settings
  • Stencils included
  • Dries quickly
  • Slight learning curve
  • Reloading can be finicky
More Details

Tech Specs: Weight: 1 pound | Dimensions: 4.45 x 3.15 x 0.2 inches | Frame design: Pen

3Doodler Create Plus takes a different approach to 3D printing with a pen design. The device utilizes dual-drive technology for faster, better 3D prints. How does it work? The pen heats up plastic so you can create 3D drawings and doodles.

The plastic hardens almost instantly, giving you a 3D picture of your design. It works on clothing, as well as many other surfaces, to give you a custom-made image you can't get anywhere else. 

Pros & Cons
  • One-touch printing
  • Child-friendly options
  • Easy to set up
  • On the pricier end
  • Requires internet
More Details

Tech Specs: Weight: 15.21 pounds | Dimensions: 7.4 x 7.4 x 9.05 inches | Frame design: Open

Toybox 3D Printer is a cheap 3D printer made specifically for children. The easy, one-touch control makes it self-sufficient for younger children, especially with its WiFi connection. No adjustments are needed while it runs, and the small size makes it easy to handle. Plus, thousands of toys are available within the Toybox catalog to keep your child busy for weeks to come. 

Pros & Cons
  • Affordable
  • Fast printing
  • No setup needed
  • Some glitches
  • USB cable required for wireless connection
More Details

Tech Specs: Weight: 22.1 pounds | Dimensions: 20 x 16 x 18 inches | Frame design: Open

If you're new to 3D printing, XYZprinting da Vinci Mini is our pick for the best cheap 3D printer. It couldn't be easier to use. No assembly is required with a plug-and-play design. Plus, it offers super-fast printing with a 200-micron resolution. Simply connect to WiFi, and you're well on your way. 

Pros & Cons
  • Simple build platform leveling
  • Integrated air filtration
  • High resolution printing
  • A bit noisy
  • Resin vat on side
More Details

Tech Specs: Weight: 13.67 pounds | Dimensions: 22.44 x 11.42 x 11.42 inches | Frame design: Closed

SLA printing is a type of special industrial printing, and Elegoo Mars 2 Pro is the best at it. It offers a monochrome LCD screen with 2K HD resolution for easy viewing. It's super fast, requiring just two seconds to create each layer of your design. Plus, it uses an even UV light emissions for improved detail. The machine itself has a solid, sturdy build, and it comes with a one-year warranty.

What is the best cheap 3D printer?

The Creality Ender 3 V2 wins our pick for the best 3D printer, thanks to its overall affordability and reliable performance. To see how it compares, these are the best cheap 3D printers you can buy broken down by price and type of frame.

Best cheap 3D printer


Frame type

Creality Ender 3 V2


Open frame

3Doodler Create Plus



Elegoo Mars 2 Pro


Closed frame

Toybox 3D Printer


Open frame

XYZprinting da Vinci Mini


Open frame

Which is the right best cheap 3D printer for you?

It can be confusing trying to sort through so many models. Here are our recommendations for the best cheap 3D printers based on priorities.

Choose this best cheap 3D printer...

If you want...

Creality Ender 3 V2

An open-frame printer with incredible value and performance

3Doodler Create Plus

Portability above else

Elegoo Mars 2 Pro

An SLA printer

Toybox 3D Printer

A kid-friendly 3D printer

XYZprinting da Vinci Mini

A beginner-friendly 3D printer

How did we choose these best cheap 3D printers?

There are several factors we consider when choosing the best cheap 3D printer. 

  • Build volume: A finished project's size is crucial to many users, so we look for cheap 3D printers of all shapes and sizes.
  • Use: Ease of use is an important factor, especially if you are a beginner. We look for 3D printers that accommodate a variety of experience levels.
  • User reviews: No one knows a product like those who use it, so we look to real customers for their input on overall user experience. It helps give a realistic portrait of what to expect with each cheap 3D printer.
  • Cost: We look for budget-friendly 3D printers that are affordably priced without sacrificing quality. After all, these are the best cheap 3D printers for your budget.  

Is a cheap 3D printer worth it?

There are many affordable 3D printers, but not all of them offer high-quality performance. We look for cheap 3D printers that don't skimp on features, so you don't have to spend a fortune.

What material does a cheap 3D printer use?

Most 3D printers use either PLA or ABS plastic to create your design. You may see some printers with liquid resin, which is more suitable for advanced users but delivers excellent results. PLA, made of a combination of cornstarch and sugarcane, tends to be the more beginner-friendly option for most users. 

How much do cheap 3D printers cost?

The best cheap 3D printers all cost less than $300, ranging in price from $77 to $299, depending on the model you choose.  

Are there alternative best cheap 3D printers worth considering?

In our search, we also found these alternative best cheap 3D printers for your consideration.

For other types of printers, check out our picks for the best inkjet printers, the best laser printers, and the best photo printers!

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