Are you in the market for a 3D printer, but don’t want to spend a fortune? Check out our list of the best 3D printers under $400.
These printers are affordable and deliver high-quality prints. Plus, they’re easy to use, so you’ll be able to start printing your own designs right away.
So what are you waiting for?
Best 3D Printer Under $400 Top Picks
QIDI is a Chinese manufacturer that produces high-quality 3D printers. The i-Mate, in particular, is a budget-friendly model, which is far more affordable than its counterparts from the same manufacturer.
Beginner-Friendly – the QIDI 3D printer is perfect for those who are just starting out. The design of the printer is not intimidating. It has slicing software that is easy to figure out, and you can also print immediately without configuring the slicer.
- Useful Accessories – you will love that you do not have to make separate purchases for your 3d printer accessories. The i-MATE comes with hardware and other things like an extra extruder. It also has an extra magnetic plate, plus several replacement PTFE tubes.
- Industrial Grade – the printer is tough and will last long. Built for the DIYer, the manufacturer set the bar high. This printer can print large models and still has the capacity to maintain stability and accuracy.
- Friendly Interface – the software has a friendly UI, and you can choose between the normal mode and expert mode. If you are a beginner, you must use the normal mode as it is the most suitable for beginners.
I have to say that QIDI nailed this one. When they designed the iMATE, they had a beginner in mind. The price is also commendable, and it is perfect for people who want a reliable printer without breaking the bank. It offers a built-in Wi-Fi module, magnetic heat bed, and a single direct drive extruder.
The QIDI Tech i-Mate is a 3D printer that comes assembled. That means you can start using it right after you take it out of the box and finish the calibration. You can use it to print toys, props, household items, figurines, and more.
- Easy to use and beginner-friendly
- Has decent build volume
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- Sturdy all-metal frame
- Affordable price
- Magnetic heat bed
- Partial enclosure
- Can’t print with ABS
- Manual bed leveling
This 3D printer is somewhat different because it does not have a case. It is an open-3D printer. As a low-cost one, it is probably one of the most effective 3D printers I have seen. It is what I would recommend to people looking for low-cost 3D printers.
- Integrated Design – it is easy to assemble the printer. The design is modular, which means that the parts will only fit where they belong. There is no need to tinker around to figure out which parts belong where.
- Print Pause – unlike other printers, this one has a pause function. You can stop the printer and then resume it. It is useful when there is power interruption—you do not have to start your project from the beginning again. It is also a useful feature in case there is filament breakage.
- Semi-Assembled Kit – the kit comes semi-assembled. What it means is you do not really have to put it all together.
- Removable Surface Plate – some 3D printers have players that you cannot remove, making it difficult to clean them. With this one, you can remove the carborundum glass, which allows you to clean it. You can also heat it up without worrying about warping.
The printer is well designed and easy to set up. The tension on the belts, the play in the wheels and bearings, and the leveling of the bed can all be adjusted quickly. Prints come out great with the Voxelab Aquila. They had straight sides and very little layering was visible. The print stuck to the bed well, and in fact, the bed had to be cool before the print would release from it.
Overall, the Voxelab Aquila is an excellent 3D printer for the beginner who is also on a budget. It pretty much allows you to experience what it feels like to create 3D printouts, but without the massive cost that comes with owning a 3D printer and its accessories.
- Great low price
- Simple to use
- Glass print bed works great with PLA and ABS
- Instructions can be confusing for beginners
- Micro SD cards can be annoying to use
This model from Flashforge is one of the latest releases. Here, they pushed the specs a little further, and they have made serious considerations, giving the user a better experience than other 3D resin printers.
- High-Quality Build – the printer uses Foto 8.9 UV lighting, making the light source uniform in all angles. What it means is that it reduces the heat where it has to, and the result is a fine print for your model.
- Heat Dissipation System – the printer uses an airflow design to ensure that the printing environment is optimal. Because of this, the machine can produce better quality 3D prints. The heat dissipation system also makes the machine easier to maintain.
- Two Slicers – the printer supports two slicing software programs. It works with Chitubox and FlashDLPrint. The FlashDL is something internally built by Flashforge, and it supports 8x anti-aliasing features.
- Warranty – one thing you will love is that the printer comes with a lifetime of technical support. The product warranty is one year, but then the LCD screen and FEP film is not part of it.
Unboxing your 3D printer is simple. The packaging is excellent. You’ll be happy with the condition of the printer when you open it. The box includes the printer, the resin vat, print bed, small tool bag, scrapers, a flash drive, and a manual.
It was a bit tricky to set up the printer and it took a while to get it printing. The USB drive that came with it needed to be formatted after installing the software. However, after getting set up and figuring out the software, it prints very well.
The printer can get a bit messy. The print bed picks up a lot of resin, and it will drip down into the vat. Something to notice is that the mid-mounted frame that holds the bed to the gantry has a lot of nooks and crannies, and it can be difficult to clean. If you remove the print bed to pull a print off of it, you’ll definitely need a drip tray because the whole print bed will be covered in resin.
Overall, this 3D printer is a well-rounded masterpiece. It provides you with a decent build volume, saving you materials. The printer is an affordable resin model that is best for a beginner. Take note that it is an entry-level printer. There are no remote connectivity options, but that is fine.
- Great quality prints
- Setup is fairly simple
- Supports two slicing software programs
- Heat dissipation system for easier maintenance
- Not user friendly for beginners
- Instruction manual needs improving
- Not a lot of aftermarket parts are available for this model
Another one from Flashforge, this is what I would recommend for kids. The company made it so easy to use; it does have a WiFi connection. If what you are looking for is a 3D printer that can print out of the box, then this is what I recommend that you buy.
- Solid Connectivity – the printer has WiFi, ethernet, and USB connectivity. These three methods make it easier for you to work no matter what your situation is. You can also connect with the Flashforge 3D Cloud Print, which allows you to manage your machine remotely.
- Enclosed Design – 3D printing is better if it prints inside an enclosure. It prevents dust and contamination. This model has an enclosed design, making the temperature constant. There is also an enclosure for the filament spool.
- Quiet Printing – what I love the most about this printer is its quiet printing status. Since it does not make a lot of noise, people around you do not get bothered, especially if you are 3D printing at home. Cooling – there is a single fan at the rear of the machine, and it acts as an exhaust. It keeps the machine cool, making it work hard without overheating.
This is a great product. It takes longer to get it out of its packaging than it does to set it up and start using it. The heated bed helps with adhesion and warping of parts and dhas a permanent textured surface so you don’t have to use masking tape or any other temporary bed covers.
The printer is noticablly quiet compared to other models in this list. It has a built-in camera so you can monitor print progress remotely.
The device has built-in wifi capability and using the FlashPrint software you can easily import .stl and other files, slice them, and then send them wirelessly to the printer. The software has very fine control capabilities, but you can usually get the same results by using the basic settings.
The only issue with the machine is that it doesn’t work with 1kg spools. You can just remove the access panel and set your spool on a spindle rod next to the machine. The machine will then be able to take the filament from the external spool.
The FlashForge Adventurer 3 also has a great auto-load and unload routine that makes changing filament really easy. Is it a good buy? Yes, it is. This model from Flashforge checks all the boxes. It is affordable, has an enclosed design, and has a fan that makes the machine work at optimal temperatures.
- Easy to update firmware via wifi
- Great print quality once setup
- Led light source avaiable
- Enclosure with fan included to regulate the temp
- Only takes half a roll of filament
- Slow to change filament
- Semi auto bed leveling
- Flexible bed is hard to remove
- Maximum nozzle temperature is a little low for printing ABS filament
Even if this model is for kids, it is not a toy. It is merely an entry-level machine that is easy to install and operate. Beginners and even children do not have to spend much time tinkering about how it works.
- Easy Assembly – the mini-printer only has three main parts. You can assemble it in as short as five minutes. The company offers support through video, which you can watch and follow as you are assembling it for the first time. It comes with an attached model file, which you can also download if you want.
- Free Models – you do not have to design your ideas from scratch. The company offers a massive database of models that you can print. There is also self-slicing software that you can download, which makes it easier for you to print your project.
- Printing Size – you can print up to 100 x 100 x 100 millimeters, and the accuracy is not compromised. The machine can fit 1.75 m of filament diameter, and you can use PLA and TPU, the result of which is a smooth print.
Make sure you read the instructions before using the printer. It is really easy to use and you can also find free prints online. If you are looking for big prints, this printer might not be for you.
As long as you do your research, the learning curve isn’t too steep with this printer. The biggest problem people make is not leveling the print bed correctly, which will ruin your print 100% of the time.
The best thing about this printer is the warranty as the company offers a lifetime warranty. However, it is not clear what the extent of the warranty is. You can call them anytime if you have pre-or post-purchase inquiries.
- Print quality is pretty good for the price of the printer
- Setup is easy
- Can use memory card to print files
- Children will need an adult to help set up the printer
- No on and off switch, will have to unplug manually
Factors to Consider when purchasing Best 3D Printer Under $400 – Buying Guide
When making a purchase for a 3D printer, it is important to consider several factors.
Here are some of the most important ones.
To create 3D models, you need a build area. This is the sheet on which your model will be built and created. The larger your build area, the more space there is for creativity.
You can get a 3D printer for as little as $200 or you could spend thousands of dollars on one. When deciding on a 3D printer, it’s important to consider your budget and what features are most important.
The extruder is the part of the 3D printer where the melted filament comes out. The filament is what the printer uses to create a model. The more filament holders on a printer, the more colors it can print with. For example, 3D printers with dual extruders
If you’re a beginner in the world of 3D printing, you should know that 3D printers have a steep learning curve. Make sure to understand how the printers you’re interested in purchasing work or you may end up wasting your money. Reading reviews and watching videos on YouTube for specific models can really help.
The printer speed is determined by how fast the extruder moves. The faster the printer speed, the more models you can print. This speed is affected by how complex your design is and the material you are printing with.
There are many different types of 3D printing technology available today. You should decide what you want to print, then figure out which technology is best for you. Most newcomers start with FDM, FFF, SLA, or MSLA.
If you’re creative and like to experiment with different types of printing filaments, it is not a good idea to buy a printer that only accepts one filament type.
Choose a 3D printer that is highly precise and accurate. This will ensure that the models you print are close to the digital design on screen.
The layer thickness is how thick each layer of your 3D model will be and varies between different materials that is being used. The lower the number of layers, the longer it will take to print your object. This number also impacts the printing time and speed.
There are many software options for 3D printers that are designed to provide you with a hassle-free printing experience. Consider a printer that is compatible with external software incase you need to troubleshoot any issues with your printer.
There are two types of connectivity: USB and Wi-Fi. You should try to find a printer that offers both, but USB connectivity is more reliable. Wireless connections can be interrupted, which could stop your printing process.
Dimensions and Weight
The size of a 3D printer affects how portable it is. If you plan on moving your printer around often, choose a smaller, lightweight model.
Most 3D printers are difficult to use when you are first starting out. For this reason, it is a good idea to choose a model that is already pre-assembled and has plug-and-play functionality.
There are two types of printer frames- open and closed. The open frame is more common and less expensive, but it is also less secure. If you plan to use the printer at home or in school, we recommend you choose the closed frame model to deter kids from tampering with it.
Closed frame designs are safer because you do not accidentally touch the heated plate or hot-ends and get burned. However, open frame designs are great for learning because you can observe the whole printing process.
If your 3D printer breaks down, will customer support help you troubleshoot your problems? Always check the reviews of customer care to find out if they are responsive to their customers. If there are complaints, that might be a sign that you won’t get help if you need it, so it’s best to stay away from certain brands.
Some companies have teams that help their customers 24/7 after they purchase something. They also have communities where people can connect with others who have the same 3D printer.
3 Benefits of Purchasing a $400 3D Printer
If you are still undecided about whether to buy a 3D printer for $400, here are three reasons why you might want to consider spending more.
- Quality – The quality of 3D printing is much better on printers that cost $400 than on printers that cost $200. The construction is better, and they are less likely to have errors while printing. They also have better built-in interfaces, such as touchscreens, and much better quality control. The most important thing is that they have a better technical support team. Of course, this might not be true for all products.
- Material Flexibility – Most cheap 3D printers that cost less than $300 can only print using PLA filament. However, you are more likely to find 3D printers in the price range of $300-400 that have a heated print bed and can use more than one type of filament.
- Options – If you increase your budget to $400, you will have access to a wider range of products. This is always a good thing, as it gives you more options. In particular, you will find more 3D printers that are fully enclosed and fully assembled.
How much is an entry level 3D printer?
The prices for 3D printers vary depending on the type of printer. Entry Level and Hobbyist 3D printers are typically priced between $300 and $500. However, more advanced printers, such as Enthusiast and Professional 3D printers, can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $20,000.
Can you make money with a 3D printer?
Yes, you can make money with a 3D printer. There are many ways to do this, such as selling 3D printed items, digital goods, or providing a 3D printing service in your local community.
Is Flashforge a good brand?
Zhejiang Flashforge 3D technology Co., LTD was established in 2011. It is one of the first professional 3D printing equipment and materials R&D and manufacturing enterprises in China. As a company that provides products and solutions for the whole industrial chain, Flashforge currently has 10 product categories, including 3D printers, 3D printing filaments, 3D designing software and 3D printing services. Flashforge products are exported to nearly 100 countries and regions around the world.
Is FlashForge an American company?
Zhejiang Flashforge 3D technology Co., LTD was established in China.
Does a 3D printer need a computer?
Almost all 3d printers have an SD card reader that can be used to print files without a computer. If you have an SD card with your files stored on it, you don’t need a computer to use the printer.
Is 3D printing expensive?
The cost of 3D printing can range from a few dollars to thousands of dollars quickly. The most important factor is the complexity of the 3D model. The material used also affects the price, with more expensive materials costing more to print. 3D printing services can cost more than an entry-level 3D printer.
How much does PLA filament cost?
There are different types of PLA filament, each with its own unique properties. Standard filaments tend to cost between $15 and $20 per kg, but you can find special filaments like the cool-looking silk PLA for around $30. If you’re looking for color-changing PLA, you’re looking at spending around $40 per kg.
How difficult is it to use a 3D printer?
3D printers are fairly simple machines, but they can be difficult to understand if you’ve never seen one in action. 3D printers print objects by using a filament (usually plastic), which is heated and then extruded from a print head. The filament is deposited layer-by-layer until the object is fully formed. There’s always going to be a learning curve with 3D printing if you are first starting out.
Is it legal to sell 3D prints?
You can sell your 3D printed parts on websites like eBay, Amazon, and Etsy. People do this to make a living. There is nothing wrong with it.
Is 3D printing a good investment?
Purchasing a 3D printer is a good investment. You can use your creativity to print things like low-cost prototypes and models. Using a 3D printer is easy and can be a fun hobby to learn.
Do 3D printers smell?
All 3D printers produce a smell when printing. The smell can range from sweet honey-like to burning plastic, depending on the type of printer filament being used.
How strong are 3D printed parts?
3D printed parts can be very strong and can withstand a lot of impact or heat. ABS is more durable than PLA, but PLA has a higher tensile strength.
What can I make with a 3D printer?
3D printers can be used to quickly create product models and prototypes. But they’re increasingly also being used to make final products.
Some of the things that have been made with 3D printers are shoe designs, furniture, wax castings for making jewelry, tools and toys.
What’s the right build volume for a 3D Printer?
The smallest build volume for any 3D printer we have tested is 3.9 by 3.9 by 4.9 inches. We call any build volume that is smaller than 6 by 6 by 6 inches small, between 6 and 10 by 10 by 10 inches medium, and anything with a build dimension of more than 10 inches large.
The more expensive 3D printers have a larger build volume, which means they can print bigger things. Closed-frame 3D printers have small build volumes, while open-frame printers have large build volumes which are reflected in their price.
Open-Frame or Closed-Frame 3D Printer?
Closed-frame 3D printers are box-shaped that have a rigid base, walls, see-through door in front, and top. One of the advantages of these printers is that they muffle the operating noise, as well as reduce the odor from melted filament which can be an issue with ABS plastic.
Closed-frame printers also provide some protection for people or pets who might accidentally touch the hot extruder. Closed-frame printers have smaller build volumes than open-frame 3D printers, which are less restricted because they have fewer walls.
If you want a printer that can produce large prints quickly, you should buy an open-frame model. However, there are some drawbacks to these printers. Keep in mind that these printers are noisier and can release unpleasant smells when printing with certain plastics. They also offer less protection for people who touch the hot extruder.
What should I look for in filament support?
Many 3D printers that are low in price or for beginners only print using PLA filament. If you want to experiment with a wider range of filaments, you may need to pay more. However, a few cheaper models support a wide range of materials.
PLA is a biodegradable and plant-based polymer, while ABS is a tough plastic that Legos are made from. ABS objects printed from ABS are durable and non-toxic, though the material can be tricky to work with if you are not using a heated printed bed. ABS can emit an unpleasant odor during the printing process.
Should I consider a 3D printing pen?
3D pens are similar to 3D printers, but they are not printers themselves. They use the same types of filaments, and they work in a similar way. However, with the 3D pen, you use molten plastic instead of ink. You draw things in three dimensions, just like how a normal pen lets you write in two dimensions.
3D pens look like toys at a first glance, but some artists and craftspeople use them to make beautiful objects. If you want to use 3D printing for things that are not just computer-generated designs, but also allow for freehand design and expression, then you might want to try using a 3D pen.
There are many 3D printers on the market, but not all of them deliver the kind of quality you’re looking for. Fortunately, our list can help point you in the right direction to find a printer that will work well for your needs and is within your budget.
Whether it’s your first time or you have experience in the field, these printers are easy to use and will let you start printing right away. We hope this post has helped guide you towards finding an affordable 3D printer that will meet your needs.