3D printers used to be quite expensive and not reliable at all. But they have come a long way since then. Nowadays 3D printers are quite affordable and can produce amazing results right out of the box. But how much does a 3D printer cost?
A 3D printer can cost anywhere between 180$ and 30 000$. A good and reliable low-cost printer like the Ender 3 will cost about 180$. A good and reliable 3D printer with the latest gadgets will cost between 300$ and 1000$ on average. And an industry-grade 3D printer can cost 30 000$ or more.
If you are new to 3D printing then I always highly recommend getting an Ender 3 or something similar to learn the ropes. They usually cost between 180$ and 300 $ and they work very well and are reliable.
If you are looking for a 3D printer that will work out of the box and doesn´t require any set up then I highly recommend the Prusa MK3s or the Bamboo p1p. Both of these printers cost around 1000$ and are highly reliable and require almost no maintenance or setup. They simply work.
How Much is a Beginner 3D Printer?
A beginner 3D printer will cost between 180$ and 1000$. Cheaper 3D printers will need more maintenance and often require manual bed leveling and assembly while more expensive 3D printers will be able to print right out of the box and they generally print much faster than cheap printers.
I always recommend the original Ender 3 or one of his many reliable clones such as the Neptune 3 to beginners. They need some manual leveling and they will require you to learn about 3D printers and how they work on a surface level but they tend to produce amazing results.
And they usually only cost around 180$ to 300$.
If you want a reliable 3D printer that will simply work right out of the box without any additional work then I highly recommend the Bamboo Lab P1P or the Original Prusa Mk3s.
Both of these printers are very reliable and don´t require any additional setup except some very basic assembly.
All of these printers have huge communities so if anything doesn´t work as it should then you will find lots of help online.
Is it Worth Getting a Cheap 3D Printer?
It can be worth getting a cheap 3D printer to learn how 3D printers work and to tinker around with it. Cheap 3D printers can produce amazing results but they will also require some more setup time before they work well. It is important to get a cheap printer from a reputable.
Some cheap 3D printers like the Ender 3, Neptune 3, or Neptune 2s can print very reliably and produce high-quality prints.
But there are a lot of very bad Ender 3 clones out there that can be dangerous to use. Some cheap 3D printers don´t have safety features that turn the printer off if anything doesn´t heat up or cool down properly.
So it is best to only buy cheap 3D printers from reputable sources such as Creality, Elegoo, Sovol, Anycubic, and others.
Is it Expensive to do 3D Printing?
A single 3D print can cost anywhere between 0.1$ and 100 000$ depending on the size of the model, the filament used, the detail of the model, the type of filament used, the size of the printer, speed of the printer, and more.
A lot of things play a role when calculating the cost of a single print. But 3D printing is generally quite cheap compared to other manufacturing methods like CNC milling.
I have a whole breakdown of how expensive 3D printing is right here if you want to know more.
In that article, I calculate how much power 3D printers consume, how much filament they need on average, how expensive that filament is, and more.
Are SLA Printers (Resin 3D Printers) Cheaper?
Resin 3D printers are generally slightly more expensive than regular FDM printers. Resin printers are best used for smaller, highly detailed prints that can´t be printed easily on a traditional 3D printer. Resin is also more expensive than plastic filament.
The choice between using an SLA or an FDM printer should not come down to price.
Both types of printers are good for printing different types of models. SLA printers are great at printing highly detailed 3D models like miniatures while FDM printers are better for medium to low-detailed prints or functional prints.
Hi, I am a passionate maker and professional prop maker for the entertainment industry. I use my woodworking, programming, electronics, and illustration know-how to create interactive props and puzzles for Escape Games and marketing agencies. And I share my knowledge and my experience on this blog with you so that you can become a maker yourself.