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The 10 Best 3D Printers Under $800

Whether you are a complete beginner in search of your first 3D Printer, or an experienced hobbyist looking for a new machine, there is certainly no shortage of options to choose from. The question is, how do you decide on just one when so many choices are available? With dozens of factors to consider, many shoppers find themselves falling down the rabbit hole, comparing features, checking reviews and reading a myriad of articles to find the best 3D Printers.

Although researching your options is important, much of the information available is heavily biased. Manufacturers emphasize the positive qualities, reviews are skewed based on individual experiences and articles rarely give you insight into the author’s background. On the upside, large communities such as the Reddit 3D Printing group can provide a collective opinion, allowing you to make an informed decision. Each month a new discussion thread is posted, where experienced contributors offer recommendations and feedback, helping those with uncertainties take the next step forward.

While this article reflects my opinions, they are heavily influenced by the knowledgeable folks mentioned above. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to submit a comment below or post your question on Reddit for feedback. Choosing the perfect printer is a big decision, but there are many people ready to help.

Best 3D Printers

3D PrinterCategoryBuild VolumeRatingPriceOrder
MP Maker Select V2Moderate200x200x180mm$0.00Available at Amazon
Prusa i3 MK2SExpert250x210x200mm$699.00Prusa3D
Hictop CR-10Moderate300x300x400mm$449.00Available at Amazon
MP Maker Select PlusModerate200x200x180mm$0.00Available at Amazon
Cetus3D ExtendedBeginner180x180x280mm$399.00Cetus3D
MP Maker UltimateModerate200x200x175mm$675.00Available at Amazon
MP Select MiniBeginner120x120x120mm$220.00Available at Amazon
Flashforge FinderBeginner140x140x140mm$399.00Available at Amazon
MakerFarm Pegasus 12Expert300x300x300mm$645.00MakerFarm
Qidi Tech 1Moderate225x150x150mm$697.90Available at Amazon

MP Maker Select V2

Monoprice Maker Select V2
Available at Amazon

With an exceptional price to performance ratio, the Maker Select V2 is the top choice for Best 3D Printers on a budget. Although it is by no means perfect, it’s the most capable option at such a low cost. With several upgrades in place, many of which can be 3D printed, it will yield results comparable to the most expensive 3D Printers on the market.

The Maker Select V2 can be assembled and ready to use within minutes. Packaged with instructions, sample filament and an SD card containing example files, getting started is a breeze. While the stock machine will serve you well, the open frame design provides an excellent platform to build upon, which can be continually improved with upgrades. Print a Z-Axis Brace to make the frame more rigid. A $3.00 Radial Fan and 3D printed cooler will give better airflow to your parts. Print an adjustable belt tensioner and replace the springs when they start to weaken over time. There are few things more fulfilling than upgrading your 3D Printer with your 3D Printer, and this is the perfect machine to do so.

When you do inevitably run into a question or issue, there are thousands of helpful owners in the community and vast resources available online. The Maker Select V2 is a rebadged machine (United States), also known as the Wanhao Duplicator I3 (China) and Cocoon Create (Australia). Being the case, information about one will be applicable to all.

Reddit’s 3D Printing
Facebook I3 Group
Thingiverse I3 Group

Caution: Anyone interested in purchasing this machine needs to be made aware of one significant problem. Due to a wiring related issue, there is the potential to damage the 3D Printer if not fixed. This is caused by insufficient power connectors, where it is strongly advised to install a MOSFET Board as soon as possible. Although isn’t likely to cause immediate concerns, it’s easily fixed and recommended for any owners.

Pros

  • All Metal Frame
  • Quick Assembly
  • Easy to Upgrade
  • Moderate Build Volume
  • Large Community
  • 1 Year Warranty

Cons

  • Bad Power Connectors
  • Cheap SD Card
  • Standalone Control Box

 Recommended For: Beginners and Hobbyist, anyone looking for a well built 3D Printer that can be further upgraded over time. Excellent foundation which can be improved in increments, adapting the machine to meet the ever changing needs of the average user.

Prusa i3 MK2S (Kit)

Prusa i3 MK2S
Considered to be among the top of its class, the Prusa i3 MK2S is easily one of the best 3D Printers available to date. Engineered by Josef Prusa, the godfather of the Rep Rap movement, it has gained a reputation for both exceptional quality and spectacular results.

As the inspiration for which many competitors base their design, the Prusa team continues to build their machines using the finest components available. Despite taking no shortcuts to reduce cost, the sheer numbers in which these are purchased speaks volumes. At the time of writing, their is currently an estimated 7 week turnaround due to back orders, where the demand greatly exceeds the current supply. If the Prusa i3 MK2S is a consideration within your budget and the delays are not a deterrent, this should definitely be at the top of your list.

The Prusa i3 MK2S comes in at second place for the sole reason that it is a kit, requiring significant time to assemble. They do have pre-built versions available at $899, however those exceed the price range of this guide. A DIY kit can be a fun project and will greatly improve your understanding of how printers work, however they are not for everyone and can certainly prove difficult for beginners.

Pros

  • Genuine E3D V6 Hotend
  • Automatic Bed Leveling
  • Rambo Mini Control Board
  • PEI Print Surface
  • Exotic Filament Support
  • Open Source Design

Cons

  • 7 Week Backorder
  • 8-12 Hour Assembly Time

 Recommended For: Moderate to Experienced users, looking to assemble a 3D Printer from only the highest quality components. Supporters of open source development, wishing to contribute to Prusa Research and help further their investment into the industry.

Hictop CR-10

CR-10
Available at Amazon

If you are looking to print absolutely massive designs at a wallet friendly price point, the CR-10 is likely just what you need. It has the largest build volume of any option on this list, coming in at 300x300x400mm with a starting price just under $400. Many renowned members of the 3D Printing community have given the CR-10 glowing recommendations, praising not only the size but also the quality results it can produce.

The most concerning aspect is actually not with the 3D Printer itself, but rather the poor choices of distribution. The lowest price of $389.99 is available from GearBest.com, although this is a company with poor business practices and a horrible reputation. At a significant increase to the price, more reputable businesses such as Tiny Machines 3D individually test each machine, taking necessary measures to ensure quality control. For the best of both worlds, the Hictop CR-10 on Amazon is well reviewed, moderately priced and ships in days rather than weeks.

Pros

  • Solid Frame Construction
  • Large Build Volume
  • Limited Assembly
  • Exotic Filament Support
  • Tempered Glass Build Plate

Cons

  • Standalone Control Box
  • Single Lead Screw
  • Inconsistent Heated Bed Temps

 Recommended For: Hobbyist looking for the largest build volume on a budget will find the CR-10 to be the best option. It is capable of producing massive prints with impressive quality, while maintaining a price tag that won’t leave you eating ramen noodles.

MP Maker Select Plus

Maker Select Plus
Available at Amazon

As implied by the name, the Maker Select Plus is nearly identical to the Maker Select V2 with several improved features. The most notable of which is the upgraded 24V electrical system, fixing an issue I previously mentioned in the base model. If you like the Maker Select V2 but don’t feel comfortable with DIY wiring projects, this is a great alternative to consider instead.

The rest of the improvements heavily favor convenience, such as relocating the control box (LED Screen/Power Supply) under the printer to create a single consolidated unit. This does simplify transporting the machine when needed, where the separate control box can be quite awkward to move. It also provides a touch screen interface in place of the knob found on the base model. Although Monoprice does advertise better print speeds as well, this should be taken with a grain of salt. The Plus uses the same components as the Maker Select, where nothing has been modified that would actually translate to faster speeds in the real world.

With a price tag $100 more than the Maker Select, shoppers will need to decide if the few upgrades featured on the Plus model are worth the increased price. If you are new to 3D Printing and would like to avoid opening the control box to rewire connectors, this may very well justify the small increase in price. Otherwise, the Maker Select and Maker Select Plus are essentially the same machine. This in itself is a significant upside, where you will have access to the same thriving community of owners when help is needed, as well as a vast array of 3D printed part upgrades designed specifically to work with your machine.

Pros

  • All Metal Frame
  • Quick Assembly
  • Easy to Upgrade
  • 24V Electrical System
  • Touchscreen Interface
  • Integrated Control Box
  • Large Community
  • 1 Year Warranty

Cons

  • Cheap SD Card

 Recommended For: Beginners and Hobbyist, those interested in the Maker Select V2 but weary of fixing the known power issue themselves. At a 33% price increase, the 24V Maker Select Plus is free of that problem, while also providing the integrated control box w/ touch screen LED for space savings and increased mobility.

Cetus3D Extended

Cetus3D Extended

The Cetus3D is a relatively new product to reach the market. Launched through a successful Kickstarter campaign last year,  it has recently moved to full production and continues to gain traction with the community.

Using a form follows function approach, the printer is simplistic by design, yet quite capable of producing impressive results. While the largest concerns pertain to the proprietary nature of the included software, the company behind the Cetus3D is continually making moves to address customer feedback. Recently introducing support for 3rd party software, they are definitely taking steps in the right direction. For a more in-depth look at the Cetus3D, you can find my full review available at Review: The Cetus3D Printer.

Caution: There is currently a confirmed issue with the base model which is known to cause z-banding artifacts in prints. This is not present in the Extended version, where I can only recommend the Extended version at this time.

Pros

  • Solid Frame Construction
  • Quiet Linear Rails
  • No Bed Leveling
  • Large Build Volume
  • WiFi Support
  • Blackout Recovery
  • Smartphone Management
  • Extendable Design

Cons

  • No Heated Bed (separate purchase)
  • Limited G-Code Support
  • Proprietary Nozzles
  • Loud Fan

 Recommended For: Beginners will find the simple machine design easy to use and understand. The Cetus3D software is very user friendly and features such as Wifi connectivity, blackout recovery and smartphone management are welcomed additions. Hobbyist will benefit from the excellent print quality, extended build volume and range of nozzle sizes included in the package.

MP Maker Ultimate

Monoprice Masker Ultimate
Available at Amazon

At the higher end of the Monoprice 3D Printers, the MP Maker Ultimate is a mid-range option with solid performance. It is a rebrand of the chinese Wanhao Duplicator 6 but priced $100 less. While close to the Maker Select in terms of specs, significant changes in structural design improve the overall quality by a considerable margin. It is capable of printing at both faster speeds and higher resolutions, where it can achieve superior detail in substantially less time.

The Maker Select Ultimate is a self contained unit which arrives fully assembled from the factory. The heavy frame is constructed entirely of black anodized metal, providing increased rigidity which keeps the moving parts stable during prints. Featuring an upgraded MK11 Extruder, it has somewhat better stock cooling and thermal conductivity when compared to the lower cost Monoprice machines. Other perks worth mention include the 3 point assisted bed leveling, adjustable LED lighting and trapezoidal lead screw configuration on the Z-axis, offering a greater level of precision.

Overall the Maker Select Ultimate is one of the best 3D Printers on a budget, pre-assembled and ready to use. It provides considerable improvements over the lower cost Monoprice machines, while remaining affordable and easy to use.

Pros

  • Rigid Metal Frame
  • Pre-Assembled
  • 24V Power
  • Easy to Enclose
  • Integrated Control Box
  • 20 Micron Resolution
  • 1 Year Warranty

Cons

  • Poor Parts Cooling
  • No Automatic Bed Leveling

 Recommended For: Beginners, Hobbyist and Professionals alike will find the reasonably priced Maker Ultimate to be a well built workhorse. Taking inspiration from high tier models such as the Ultimaker 2 ($2500), it has a strong frame design, quality components and is capable of producing fantastic prints.

MP Select Mini V2

Monoprice Select Mini
Available at Amazon

The MP Select Mini are often hailed as the best 3D Printers for beginners. A low cost, simple to use machine that prints quite well without extensive tinkering. It is the perfect introduction to the world of 3D printing, demonstrating the full range of capabilities while not overwhelming a relatively inexperienced user.

As is tradition with Monoprice, this is essentially a rebrand of the Chinese printer Malyan M200. Make no mistake though, it is in fact a very well built machine. In the rare event there are problems, the company is quick to replace any of their products under warranty. For less urgent matters, a massive community of owners are available to answer questions or help resolve issues.

While the simplicity of the Select Mini is great for starters, it will eventually also pose the greatest limitation as well. This is not a 3D Printer that will grow with you and the capabilities are on the low end of the spectrum. Should you desire to print larger designs, exotic materials or even increase the speeds, it will almost inevitably mean the need to purchase a second 3D Printer for those tasks.

Pros

  • Sturdy Metal Frame
  • Compact/Portable Design
  • WiFi Support
  • Extremely Affordable
  • Reliable Print Quality
  • Large Community
  • Open Source Platform

Cons

  • Faulty Power Supply
  • Limited Print Speed
  • Small Build Volume
  • Rattle Sounds on V2 Models

 Recommended For: Beginners looking to get started with 3D Printing. Despite the small build volume, it has solid print quality at an affordable price. Excellent for students, teachers or anyone who wants to try it hassle free before making a large investment.

Flashforge Finder

Flashforge Finder
Available at Amazon

Advertised as 3D Printer for kid’s bedrooms and classroom environments, the Flashforge Finder is an exceptional option for a young audience. Heavy emphasis has been placed on ease of use, allowing you to start creating neat prints right out of the box.

Using a Fisher-Price approach in the design style, this is intended as a fun way to learn more so than a tool for adults interested in the hobby. The enclosed frame has been constructed from plastic alloy, giving it a rigid structure, while also being light weight and easy to transport. The build plate is not heated and slides into place, limiting the printable material to PLA but also making it safe to touch. WiFi connectivity removes the need for SD cards and USB cables, allowing you to print remotely from a range of devices.

Although it is not intended for everyone, the Flashforge Finder is an excellent 3D Printer for the young demographic. Children will have the chance to experience the hobby safely and adults with no prior knowledge can get it running with ease. While I do feel the price is very expensive for the features it actually provides, Flashforge caters to a niche market with this machine and I believe that factors heavily into the price.

Pros

  • Durable Plastic Frame
  • Portable Design
  • Removable Build Plate
  • Decent Print Quality
  • Quiet Operation
  • WIFI Support

Cons

  • No Heated Bed
  • Troublesome WiFi
  • Poor Documentation
  • PLA Filament Only

 Recommended For: Children and Teachers are the target market for the Flashforge Finder, designed with safety and simplicity in mind. Advertised as suitable for bedrooms and classrooms, this simple machine is perfect for a young audience to get started.

MakerFarm Pegasus 12″ (Kit)

MakerFarm Pegasus 12

With a prehistoric website design, potato quality photos and an absence of advertising, you may prematurely underestimate this fantastic company. For what they lack in presentation, MakerFarm makes up for by providing extremely well built and reasonably priced kits. If you want the knowledge, experience and satisfaction of building your own 3D Printer, while avoiding the headaches of sourcing dozens of individual parts, these are one of the best options available.

The MakerFarm Pegasus 12″ Kit has a huge build volume at 300x300x300mm (or 12 cubic inches). With an enclosed frame design and constructed using Open Builds V-Slot Linear Rails, it is both durable and rigid, ensuring no unexpected movement while printing. The included components are nothing but the highest quality parts, including a genuine E3D V6 hotend, RAMPS electrical board and more. If you want to customize, a wide range of extruders are available during the order process and the frame itself is easily accessible to make changes.

Although this is nearly a complete kit ready to assemble, several items are not included and must be purchased separately.  Those consist of a 12V 30A power supply, heated bed insulation and a glass build plate. While not purchased directly with the MakerFarm Pegasus 12″ Kit, they can be found on Amazon at very low prices.

Pros

  • Rigid Metal Frame
  • Genuine E3D Extruder
  • Excellent Manufacturer Support

Cons

  • Additional Purchased Parts
  • Soldering Required

 Recommended For: Experienced users or those with a strong DIY background. The MakerFarm Pegasus 12″ Kit will provide the building blocks to assemble an absolute beastly 3D Printer at an affordable price. Despite being the most complicated recommendation in the list, everything included is of the highest quality and backed by exceptional support from MakerFarm.

Qidi Tech 1

PowerSpec 3D Pro
Available at Amazon

If you are among the few lucky ones to have a Micro Center store nearby, you can find this machine cheaper under the name PowerSpec 3D Pro ($499). For the rest of us that aren’t so fortunate, the Qidi Tech 1 ($699) is available for purchase on Amazon Prime. These are both rebranded models of the well regarded Flashforge Creator Pro ($899) but offered at a lower cost. They are essentially identical with two minor variations, different material on the printing bed and an earlier revision of the control board.

It comes pre-assembled with a fully enclosed metal chassis, making this a viable option for printing ABS filament right out of the box. The study frame is accessed using an acrylic door panel on the front, providing clear view of your print while maintaining a stable internal temperature. Alternatively, the side panels can be easily removed when printing PLA filament or other materials which benefit from open airflow.

Also included is a dual extruder assembly, making this the only machine in the list which can print two filaments at the same time. A welcomed addition that is otherwise difficult and/or expensive to upgrade on other 3D Printers. While there are limited occasions dual extrusion is actually useful, it is a great feature to have available when required. In addition to just printing in two colors, water soluble filament called PVA can be used as well, allowing you to dissolve the support structures from your prints.

Overall, the Qidi Tech 1 has excellent construction and quality components at an affordable price. Several of its more unique features are rarely found in budget 3D Printers, why this is such an interesting product. The limited availability of the PowerSpec 3D Pro makes the Qidi Tech 1 that much more enticing, although both are excellent alternatives to the more expensive brands.

Pros

  • Rigid Metal Frame
  • Fully Enclosed
  • Dual Extruder Assembly
  • ATmega 1280 Control Board
  • Excellent Manufacturer Support

Cons

  • Poor Documentation
  • X-Axis Motor Failure

 Recommended For: Hobbyist interested in a low cost, dual extrusion 3D Printer will find this to be an excellent choice. Due to limited real world applications, beginners may be better served choosing a single extruder unless specific circumstances require such functionality.

One thought on “The 10 Best 3D Printers Under $800

  1. This piece of article offers a detailed view of the best 3D printers that are available today. It would be helpful to anyone who wishes to buy a 3D printer.

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