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Looking for a cheap 3D printer Answered

Hi! I am looking for a cheap 3D printer that is easy enough to set up for teenagers.

Could anyone give me some suggestions?

Thanks a lot!


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2 years ago

If you are looking to get a 3d printer that's inexpensive but produces high-quality prints, The creality ender 3 is my favorite printer yet. It is just over $200, Good print volume of 220mmx220mmx240mm , produces great prints, and has a small spatial footprint.

I purchased mine from gearbest, DO NOT DO THIS!! They sent it with a damaged part, and it took a month of bollocks to get the warranty sorted. Just buy it from Amazon. they are a reputable seller that deals directly with creality. Ive posted a link below to the propper amazon link


I've used mine for making little statues, helmets, props etc. And I use cura for prepping the files to print.


2 years ago

Although I assume this was a case of "register to post then never come back", someone might find it a few years from now...

Cheap is a really relative term when it comes to 3D printing.
All depends on what you want or better need to do with your new toy.
And no matter how cheap: the material costs are the same if not higher.

We can choose from several types on the lower range of the budget.
I put all the one that work more or less like a milling machine in one and the delta one in another category.
Resin or powder options are not for the beginner and certainly not for a budget.

The delta models shine through speed and ease of use.
But usually at a slightly higher price tag.
The traditional styles would be the ones a beginner goes for.
So what would be important to consider if money reall is of the essence here?

1. Purchase price.
If you consider that a high end nozzle, heater and extruder can set you back more than a cheap 3D printer you might start to wonder.
Quality has a price and with a dirt cheap 3D printer you might find that over time you waste more money on upgrades than what a proper model would have cost.
In some cases you also face the problem that certain things just won't work with standard software and/or that the resulting prints just won't looks as good as they should - no matter how well you calibrate and adjust.
So check what is all included, do some research, read user reviews and don't just ump on the first model you see on Fleabuy.
2. Running costs.
With a badly designed 3D printer you usually end up with a lot of failed prints.
Sometimes things can be adjusted and fixed but often they just can't.
Filament can become costly!
Saving and going for cheap might work if the quality is still acceptable.
Recycling often ends up with bad quality.
Only option is to have several types and brands to choose from and test.
Sometimes it is not your printer but your filament ruining your prints!
A dirt cheap 3D printer however tends to produce more failed prints than a good one.
3. Speed.
Some people post videos showing that their printer can produce a good looking model in well under hlaf the time you ever could.
In 3D printing, meaning melting and deposting filament, speed is not just relative but a factor!
You can print "lightning fast" with any nozzle size considering the phsical and mechanical limitations.
It does not mean though the resulting print is usable at all.
In a perfect world the prvious layer would still be at a certain temperature.
Plastic bonds much better if it is not a match of room temp and boiling hot.
Deformations are another thing, same as delamination.
What you really need is the right speed to produce a perfect model, even if it means going a bit slower.
Fans, high speed extruder and 32-bit hardware allow for greater accuracy and higher speeds.
A simple and cheap of the shelf printer won't have that!
Even if yours includes a heated print platform: consider that heat only travels so far....
4. Future...
Once you really like using your new toy you start considering upgrading it.
A lot can be done by printing the parts you need but not all.
On a well desinged model you could for example increase the build size by using londer belts and frames.
A cheap one might turn out to be a full replacement as you won't find any suitable framing parts or rails.
Escpescially when it comes to mechanical stuff, from extruder over mounts up to framing parts - trust me printing the parts will only get you up if the prints are 100% perfect ;)
In all other cases using machined parts or laser cut parts works far better.

If you really want to start with 3D printing then consider going the long way:
Start by getting used to actually desinging proper 3D part ready for printing as this will be one main requirement for a 3D printer.
Printing services exist all over the world now.
And for all sorts of materials and techniques!
Unless you really need a lot of 3D printed parts on an ongoing base it might actually be cheaper for you to have the parts printed!
Take me as an example...
I wanted a big printer and something I can tinker with, so I oted for a kit solution of a basic type.
You might have much higher usage demands then I ever had but once your projects are done and all fixable stuff relaced with printed parts you start to run out of ideas.
In the end you have the thing sitting there but only using it onece or twice a year - with all included hassles of calibration, filament troubles and getting used to using it again.
Have a "business plan" ready before you consider getting a 3D printer!
Unless you really, really need one it might just end up to be a toy.
Paying about $300 for a basic model is fine, then comes the filament at about $30 per roll.
Pla won't cut it, you need ABS or even Nylon for the task, too bad if the printer can't handle it...
The price for printed parts is as relative as the need to have them printed in the first place.
You might pay 100 bucks for a large job of multiple parts or big sizes when you order it.
And on a 3D printer on your desk it would have only cost you about 5 bucks for the material used.
But would you have the same quality, stability and duratility of the parts, or the same good surface finnish?
On a cheap printer you might waste an entire roll of filament before you have all parts in a usable quality, then you start finnishing them off...

So, does that mean you should opt for a $2000+ model with proper support and fancy features?
Sure, if you have a real use for it and can make money from your creations.
Certainly not if you operate on a budget and don't really know if you will print anything at all in 12 months time.
I can't recommend any type or model as this info would only be avlid for a few weeks.
So instead let me give you some advise:
A well know and established manufacturer will be your best option if you are not a tinkerer.
You get support and a community of users that can help you out.
Some chinese no name model might work the same way but once you need help you are alone!
This then only leaves the possible options and upgrades.
Having a printer that is limited in size is your own decision, so think twice before deciding on what actualy build size you really require.
No need for 50x50x50cm if your biggest part ever will only be 20x10x10cm...
Upgrading parts can be straight forward or a true nightmare.
Again: Plan and think ahead!
If you might want to use soft materials or high temp filaments then your printer needs to be able to handle this.
Buying a $500 model only to spend another 200 on upgraded extruders and other parts might mean you could have gone for a far better model from the start while still saving money now ;)
Never, ever trust advertisings!!!
A printer might seem to be the best thing in the universe on the manufacturers or Ebay website but only real user feedback will tell you if it is true.
It is not problem to search for a specific model and feedback while excluding results from the manufacturer or sponsored sites.
Nothing or nothing positive to find means to stay away...
Entry level means exactly that!
You can buy a set of screwdrivers at your hardwoare store.
The cheap $10 home brand variety will do you some screws before failing.
The $80 pro set won't let you down anythime soon even you abuse them a bit.
Same goes for printers these days.
Starting to wonder when the first 3D printers appear that are made to only be usable with filament from the printer manufacturer LOL
Best advise ever:

You want a 3D printer?
Really, really want one now?
Need to start printing the next day or sooner?
If so then just relax and chill!
You are stressed out and on a hype!
Forget about it for a few days, do other things instead.
Still really need one now?
Then why didn't you spent the time researching on what is available now? ;)
Take your time, read up, check feedback and what else is available.
Calculate running costs and need.
Take another break and if you still think a printing service is too costly and not good enough then buy what you need.
See! You made an informed decision instead of rushing into things and having regrets shortly after ;)


2 years ago

i will suggest you to buy new