As we present to you the ultimate list of 3D printers under $1000, it helps to take a trip down memory lane. Did you know that 3D printing was invented back in the 1980s but has only recently made forays into the mainstream?
That’s right. The phenomenon of additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, really got introduced to the world through a 1984 patent filing by Chuck Hull. Hull was an engineer working on improving rapid prototyping for the manufacturing industry. His work led him to create a system that could compose solidifiable photopolymers into prototypes of industrial objects.
3D printing has made great strides since the 1980s. You can now download a 3D print design off the net and print yourself everything from bionic hands to delicate glass objects.
Here are the best 3D printers under $1000.
Who is it for: Those in search of the most cutting edge features.
What It Costs: $899 at Amazon
The FlashForge Creator Pro packs advanced features not available in some budget printers. It has a 6.3mm aviation-level aluminum plate that ensures that print surfaces will be completely flat and not warp during heating. This helps you get a high degree of precision on your prints. A 10mm guide rod allows equally precise motion on the Z axis. The printer has a sturdy metal construction, and can take STL files from a flash drive. You can also print over a USB cable from computers running Mac, Windows or Linux operating systems.
Who is it for: Educators and students of 3D printing.
What It Costs: $949 at Amazon
Watch your workbench become a virtual lab where you can explore 3D prints and whip up new objects with the Makerbot Replicator. It faces well the demands of the classroom, with the manufacturer providing over 500,000 free designs to get started with. The printer has an on-board camera and cloud connectivity for easy uploading of designs from anywhere.
Who is it for: Hobbyists who want a featureful 3D printer.
What It Costs: $849 at Amazon
A printer with multiple tricks, the BIBO 3D Printer includes laser engraving, multi-color printing and copy printing. Its filament detection feature lets it pause when filament runs out, enabling you to refill. This comes in handy when you are printing large objects.
Who is it for: Those who want to get started cheaply.
What It Costs: $159.99 at GearBest
The Anet A8 Desktop Printer proves that you can get 3D printing on a small budget. The printer comes with DIY assembly, meaning you get to put it together yourself. However, step by step instructions mean you will not only assemble the printer, but understand how it is put together.
Who is it for: Budget buyers looking for the maximum capabilities under $1000.
What It Costs: $699 at Printrbot
Printrbot is a company specialized in making 3D printers for makers, educators and hobbyists. Its lineup, like this Printrbot Simple Pro, aims to make 3D printing more accessible. The Printrbot Simple has won awards for portability. It features a clean, simple design that exposes how the printer works, while hiding the complicated parts. You will appreciate the durable metal construction that makes this a workhorse 3D printer. It has a heated print surface and uses PLA filament.
Who is it for: Do-it-yourself types who don’t mind a bit of assembly.
What It Costs: $525 at Newegg
This 3D printer produces good quality object prints. It uses FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) fabrication. You can use it with PLA filament as well as ABS. It has a typical printing speed of 120 mm/s. The printable area has dimensions of 7.87 x 7.87 x 7.87 inches. It comes in a kit that you assemble according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Who is it for: Those who want a great starter printer for a low price.
What It Costs: $358.99 at BestBuy
XYZprinting makes a range of more expensive printers, but their low-budget Da VInci Jr. is a good deal as well. This printer lets you begin making prints cheaply. It features biodegradable PLA filament which keeps environmental impact low. Wireless home network access makes it easy to load print files.
Who is it for: Makers who want greatest bang for the buck.
What It Costs: $799.99 at Amazon
The Robo 3D R1 Plus can fabricate parts or objects with a volume up to 720 cubic inches. You can upload 3D designs from popular online design repositories. Print files in .STL format will work on the Robo 3D Plus. The printer uses Matter Control as the driving software, but you can use alternative software to support different file formats. Setting up is easy if you follow the included instructions, enabling you to get started with your first prints in minutes.
Who is it for: Savvy users who want a reliable, tough printer.
What It Costs: $699 at Prusa3d
Made completely from open-source parts, the Original Prusa 3D Printer uses premium components to create a long-lasting product. The company and printer are the brainchild of maker Josef Prusa, a 3D printing innovator from the Czech Republic. Prusa made it easier to use 3D printers by developing models that were user friendly, such as this recent model.
Who is it for: Beginners who want a simple, easy-to-use printer.
What It Costs: $699.95 at Newegg
The XYZ Da Vinci includes easy-to-install filament cartridges that make 3D printing easy. Its sleek design encloses all moving parts for maximum safety. It uses Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) technology. You can use it with STL files as well as XYZ Format files.