In this DIY 3D printer kit buying guide, we’ll look at the best 3D printer kits under $500 based on price and features.
In my opinion, the best way to jump into 3D printing is to purchase an affordable DIY 3D printer kit. The reason is simple… if you take the time to assemble your first 3D printer you will gain a better idea of how these machines work and what the different components are that go into them. And, perhaps even more importantly, a 3D printer kit will allow you to test out the technology for a minimal investment.
For example, if you were to buy a ~$300 3D printer kit and find out that you can’t get into 3D printing it would not have been as bad of a loss as if you were to have purchased a high-end ~$1,000+ 3D printer instead.
With that being said, a lot of people ask whether or not they can get a quality 3D printer for under $500 and the answer to the question is: yes, you can.
With the 3D printer kits listed below, there are plenty of options that will allow you to assemble a machine that can be used as a very capable 3D printer. It should be noted, though, that while 3D printer kits are more affordable than pre-assembled machines, they do take some work to get running properly.
However, if you like to tinker and you wouldn’t mind making some modifications to your machine, with some of these kits you can have them running as well as some of the high-end FDM 3D printers currently on the market.
Hey, look, I’m not going to sugar coat this for you… You get what you pay for.
There are a lot of quality kits out there, but even the best DIY 3D printer kit on the market will give someone who doesn’t have a lot of patience a fit.
If you are one of those people, and you get frustrated easily with technical products, then a kit might not be the best option for you.
However, if you think you’re up for the challenge of assembling a 3D printer and tinkering with it until it’s leveled and printing correctly, then the kits that follow offer a really budget-friendly way to do so.
In fact, if your biggest concern jumping into 3D printing is the price associated with getting started, these kits will bridge the gap and will at least give you an idea if the technology is something you want to pursue further.
3D Printer KIT Comparison (Click “Read Review” to Expand)In my opinion, the DIY 3D printer kits between $300-$350 might be the best value kits currently on the market.
For starters, you have the HICTOP Prusa i3 kit which features a huge build platform for the price. In fact, there’s quite a few $1,000+ 3D printers that don’t even have as big of a build volume as the HICOP Prusa i3.
Ultimately, though, all of the kits in this price range are Prusa i3 kits and so the quality of each is fairly similar. It’s just that some have bigger build volumes and different levels of support and documentation.
In any case, if you’re looking for a solid option under $350, there are a few good kits that will work with your budget.
3D Printer KIT Comparison (Click “Read Review” to Expand)If you have a little more than $300 to spend on a 3D printer kit and you are looking in the $350-$400 range, you have a couple of different 3D printers to choose between.
And, in fact, for just under $400 you can actually land a 3D printer kit that comes with dual extruders… That’s crazy considering most $1,000+ 3D printers don’t even come with dual extruders.
Also, if you’re looking for a Delta Rostock kit rather than a Prusa i3, there is an option in this price range for you as well (with the Geeetech Delta Rostock Mini G2s.)
Overall, if you have between $350-$400 to spend you can land yourself a very solid 3D printer kit that you can use to help you get started with the technology.
3D Printer KIT COMPARISON (Click “Read Review” to Expand)For those of you have a little bit more to spend on your 3D printer kit, you have a few different options in the $400-$500 price range.
In my opinion, the HICTOP Prusa i3 desktop 3D printer kit is one of the best 3D printer kits on this list, as it comes with automatic bed-leveling, a big build volume, and a heated print bed which will allow you to print in a variety of different filaments.
The WER Prusa i3 M201 is also a solid option as it has a big build volume for the price, a 2-in-1-out switchable hotend, and a heated print bed.
And, if you do want a Delta kit, the WER Delta Rostock Mini G2s is also a solid option as well.
In the end, while the kits from the $300-$350 range might be better value, the kits in this range have some cool features that might be enough to sway you to spend the extra money.
3D Printer KIT Comparison (Click “Read Review” to Expand)
Contribute to This List of the Best DIY 3D Printer KITs
While this list contains a number of DIY 3D printer kits under $500, I realize that it is not a complete list of every 3D printer kit out there. The truth is that since most of the kits are based off of the Prusa i3 model, all of the Prusa i3s are fairly similar.
However, the number of different companies selling their Prusa i3 kit are numerous. So, the reality is that there are a lot of the same products being sold under different names and the variations are fairly small. And, perhaps the biggest differences among the Prusa i3 kits—aside from build volume—re in how well documented their assembly instructions are and how good of support they offer.
Ultimately, though, I have not had a chance to use every 3D printer kit on the market and so if you have experience with a great kit, especially one that had easy-to-follow assembly instructions and that had a solid build quality, and it is not listed here, please let me know!
The more information we have to go off of, the better.