Top Picks for 9 Best 3D Printers under $1,000 in 2020

3D printers have become more affordable and powerful than ever.

While we witness a massive alteration in the price range for ‘good’ 3D printers, we can bet the efforts only remain in quality. From lengthy assembly kits to pre-assembled use-right-out-of-the-box printers, we have tried and tested so many of them.

3D printers are no longer hardcore to hobbyists and experts, but for anyone interested in exploring the device. 

To make your pick slightly more accessible, we have listed nine of the best 3D printers under $1000. We have considered standards like closed frames, filament detection, touchscreen, heated beds, and a few others.

9 Best 3D Printers Under $1,000 

#1 Original Prusa i3 MK3S (Best Overall / Beginners / Diy Kit / Professionals)

The Original Prusa i3 has grabbed all the attention when it comes to new-age 3D printers, all credits to Prusa Research for its quest for innovation and quality.

The most up-to-date version of the Original Prusa i3 MK3S is powered with many advanced features, unimaginable if we consider the budget ($1,000). 

The extruder is now rebuilt and upgraded to Bondtech drive gear. It grips the filament from both sides, making the printer more reliable, especially for flexible filaments. 

For beginners, the MK3S is pretty easy to use. Issues like loss of print hours or exhaustion of filaments are detected automatically by the machine.

The extruder uses optical filament sensors, which automatically pauses and signals when the filament is over. It also detects a power outage and shuts down the heatbed and extruder, thereby fully recovering from the loss of power.

Suppose you want a printer for your DIY projects but hate the annoying noise from the regular printers. Well, Prusa uses the EINSY RAMBo motherboard in this 3D printer, which saves you from the noisy operation. 

For professionals, with piles of prints needed in a short span, print speed is an essential factor. This specially designed Prusa i3 MK3S uses the Y-axis to enhance the speed and sturdiness. The printing speed is 200 mm/s, which is very impressive considering the price it comes at.

Important Specifications:

  • 3D printer type: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
  • Build Volume: 250 x 210 x 210 mm
  • Layer Resolution: 0.05 mm
  • Print Speed: 200 mm/s
  • Nozzle Diameter: 0.8 mm
  • Filament: PLA

Pros: 

  • Recovers fully from power loss
  • Impressive Print volume
  • Low resolution
  • Silent printer
  • Compact
  • Optical sensors
  • High print Volume

 Cons:

  • Long-distance prints less reliable

#2 Flashforge Creator Pro (Best Dual Extruder)

Much better and more stable than the original version, the FlashGorge Creator Pro has an aluminum built that performs exceptionally well even under high heat.

The Flashforge Creator Pro with the dual extruder system, sturdy construction, and a compact closed chamber helps you print a wide range of materials, like ABS, PLA, Flex, etc. and other composites such as brass fill, wood fill, etc. 

Use your creative instincts and enjoy the freedom to choose materials that best meet your demand.

Further, its heated build plate facilitates in multi-material printing of temperature-sensitive materials too. 

It is not only budget-friendly but is also based on open-source technology. You may upgrade and employ various modifications to this printer. 

You are free to choose the software of your choice like FlashPrint, Simplify 3D, Cura, etc. that are compatible with it.

This upgraded version of FlashForge is built around within a sturdy frame. Its stable metal frame, which is vibration-free, has further improved its efficiency by increasing its print speed and refining the overall quality of the prints.

This dual extruder suits perfect for the users who love to experiment and want to juggle with the traits of printing.

It is user friendly, fully assembled, and holds some rapport for its customer service.

Important Specifications:

  • 3D printer type: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
  • Build Volume: 227 × 148 × 150 mm
  • Layer Resolution: 100 to 500 microns
  • Print Speed: 100 mm/s
  • Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm
  • Filament: PLA, ABS, Flex

Pros: 

  • Dual Extruder
  • Impressive Print volume
  • Affordable
  • Open Source
  • Enclosed chamber protects the prints
  • Silent printer
  • Can use different materials

 Cons:

  • Insufficient instruction
  • Set up process is complicated

#3 QIDI TECH X-Plus (Best Beginner & Dual Extruder Alternative / Best Enclosed / Multiple Filament Types)

If you plan to have your first stint with 3D printers equipped with the dual extruder technology, then QIDI TECH X-Plus is the right choice for you.

Its beginner mode is affixed with the recommended settings for each filament. The ease of operation and user-friendly manual, with recommended settings, can even guide any beginner to perform high-end printing. As you learn the traits of printing technology, you can gradually switch to its expert mode.

Its specially designed dual interchangeable AB extrusion system helps you print a wide range of materials. The extruder prints general materials, which are already installed, like PLA, ABS, TPU. And the B extruder prints advanced materials like nylon, carbon fiber, PC.

You can do wonders in a single print; one can juggle with a combination of material and play with different colors.

Another essential facet of this printer is its precision with quality. With a heated print bed, enhanced temperature control with four inbuilt fans, a low micron setting, and flexible layer difference settings, there is no compromise on quality.

Moreover, to meet the demand for large size prints, it is updated to Double Z-axis. Its print size is 270 x 200 x 200 mm, and print speed is 30-150 mm/S, which is excellent because it also offers a plethora of choices. 

Further, its 5-inch large color touch screen enhances the touch control experience of printing.  

Important Specifications:

  • 3D printer type: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
  • Build Volume: 270 x 200 x 200 mm
  • Layer Resolution: 50 microns
  • Print Speed: 30 t0 150 mm/s
  • Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm
  • Support material: PLA, ABS, TPU, Nylon, Carbon fiber, PC

Pros: 

  • Dual Extruder
  • Impressive Print volume
  • Affordable
  • Silent printer
  • Can use different materials
  • Enclosed frame

 Cons:

  • Insufficient instruction
  • Some customers complained about the touch screen 

#4 Ultimaker Original+ (Best for Educational Use)

The Ultimaker Original+ 3D printer is another reliable printer that has proved its mettle over the years. It is incredible to see how educational institutions incorporate this printer as a tool to educate their students at all levels.

This printer is equally a hot choice for professionals and a useful tool for DIY projects. Its open-source software and hardware updates give you all the freedom to experiment and hack the best output.

It is designed so that the print head moves fast, consistently maintaining its 20- micron resolution. 

A heated build plate and temperature control mechanism further improve the quality by preventing your model from warping.

You will never feel short of materials. Its durable material alliance offers you to choose the perfect filament for your application.

 Important Specifications:

  • 3D printer type: FDM
  • Build volume: 210 x 210 x 205 mm 
  • Layer Resolution: 200 to 20 micron
  • Print Speed: 30 to 300 mm/s
  • Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm

Pros:

  • Best for Educational use
  • Open-source technology
  • Good print speed
  • Sturdy

Cons:

  • Noisy
  • Not Updated

#5 Creality CR-10 S5 (Largest Volume)

If you are the one who needs large models, then you should check the Creality CR-10 S5 3D printer. It can build a large volume in the range of 500 x 500 x 500 mm. In fact, it is the largest from any i3 structure printer.

Its upgraded dual Z-axis T lead screw rods provide a stable printing, a key feature for quality output. This sturdy frame can be assembled within minutes without much hassle.  

The Creality CR-10 S5 printer has effectively sorted printing from scratch after a sudden power failure. You can simply resume printing from the point you had last stopped.

When burdened with massive volume projects, it proves worth providing straight 200 hours of printing time, all thanks to its mature industrial-grade circuit board technology. 

Important Specifications:

  • 3D printer type: FDM
  • Build volume: 500 x 500 x 500 mm 
  • Print Speed: 80 to 200 mm/s
  • Layer resolution: 100 to 400 microns
  • Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm
  • Software: Cura, Simplify3D, Repetier-host

Pros: 

  • Largest print Volume
  • Cost-effective
  • Easily assembled
  • Resume printing without loss
  • High printing hours

Cons: 

  • Trouble level bed

#6 Monoprice MP Delta Pro 3D Printer (Best Delta)

If you are looking for a smart budget-friendly Delta 3D printer, you should check out the Monoprice MP Delta Pro 3D Printer features. 

Monoprice is one of the most sought after brands in the market. No doubt, the improved version of Delta Pro 3D has also proved its worth.

It is simple, stylish, but yet stands tall on a sturdy frame. Its ultra-rugged frame provides stability with no variations in prints and thereby contributing to quality.

Compared to other cartesian processors, the Delta Pro provides unmatchable speed and accuracy, all thanks to its 32-bit ARM processor.

It can print most materials down to 50 microns giving a smooth and reliable finish.

Another desirable feature of a Delta 3D printer is its ability to print materials at the right height, almost 1-feet high.

You may choose to use an array of filament types with this printer. Its heated glass build plate is calibrated to support temperatures up to 100 degrees Celsius. 

Important Specifications:

  • 3D printer type: Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)
  • Build volume: 270 x 300 mm 
  • Layer Resolution: 50 to 300 micron
  • Print Speed: 150 mm/s
  • Material speed: PLA, ABS, PETG, Nylon, Meta Fill, Wood fill
  • Software: Cura, KISSlicer, Simplify 3D

Pros: 

  • Auto bed leveling
  • Heated bed
  • Fast printing
  • Effective noise control
  • Can use different materials

Cons:

  • Horizontally smaller prints
  • Needs more space vertically

#7 Wanhao Duplicator 8 DLP LCD Large (Best Resin)

The Wanhao Duplicator 8 DLP LCD Large printer has some craze among DIY hobbyists, educational institutes, and creative professionals. 

It is effortless to use, precise, and can create large scale designs almost effortlessly. This printer is perfect for beginners and professionals alike. 

The best part of this 3D printer is the resin sensor, which is smart and can work with resin chips. This way, the user will not have to configure the resin; they can simply plug and operate.

The on-time temperature monitor is as accurate as you could think of. It continuously monitors and maintains a stable temperature. Moreover, the spirit level checks the on-time leveling of the printer. The green icon means the level is centered, the level of equilibrium.

It also features an innovative slicer integrated into the system that equips you with the ease to slice your model directly on the printer. Moreover, you can note tiny details with the high-resolution masking LCD screen.

Important Specifications:

  • 3D printer type: DLP (Digital Light Processing) LCD 3D Printer
  • Build volume: 190mm x 120mm x 180mm
  • Layer Resolution: 35 to 100 micron
  • Print Speed: 10 to 40 mm/hr
  • Material speed: 405-nm Resin
  • Software: Internal Wanhao Slicer

Pros:

  • Large scale prints
  • Affordable
  • Integrated slicer system
  • Ease of use

Cons:

  • Restricted material use
  • Cannot upgrade

#8 Dremel Digilab 3D20 3D Printer (Best for Miniature)

The Dremel Digilab 3D20 3D Printer is different from most of the printers listed here and caters to a specific customer base. It is a perfect choice for those who want a printer at home to experiment on various DIY or pet projects.

Its miniature size, low price, and defined printing capabilities tempt amateurs and casual users. It is also in demand in educational institutions. 

The printer comes in a fully enclosed built, which maximizes the printing success rate by maintaining a stable temperature on the inside. This also works as a safety feature if you are using it for home purposes.

The 3D20 3D printer is very reliable in quality and output; it achieves consistency as it is engineered for only Dremel’s PLA filaments. Most adventurous hobbyists, however, may shy away from using it due to its restricted use.

This printer comes assembled and ready to use ones out from the box. But unlike most printers in this range, you need to adjust the bed leveling manually. 

Built on a compact, sturdy frame, it takes a small platform and a decent build volume.  

Important Specifications:

  • Build volume: 230 x 150 x 140 mm 
  • Layer Resolution: 100 micron
  • Print Speed: 100 mm/s
  • Material: PLA

Pros: 

  • Compact in size
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Best for beginners

Cons:

  • Uses only PLA filaments
  • Manual leveling
  • Restricted use

#9 Tiertime UP mini 2 ES (Best ABS)

The Tiertime UP mini 2 ES may restrict your use on some fronts; nevertheless, its other unique features attract the right users.

It is affordable, safe, well designed, compact, and offers reasonable print quality – the best fit for homes, offices, and other small-time professionals. It comes with the unique HEPA filters, one the USPs of this product.  

This 3D printer optimizes operation with the use of advanced materials like ABS, PC, and Nylon. Most printers don’t prefer the ABS material as it produces harmful fumes and particles.

The HEPA filter effectively filters the majority of these harmful fumes. So, you can work in closed environments such as your home or offices. It further contributes immensely to the print quality.

In offices with multiple users connected to the printer via USB/Wi-Fi/ LAN, losing your print looms large. Its unique Print Queue allows print jobs to be scaled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Important Specifications:

  • Build volume: 120 x 120 x 120 mm 
  • Layer Resolution: 0.15/0.2/0.25/0.3/0.35mm
  • Print Speed: 200 mm/s
  • Print queue 
  • Material speed: ABS, Nylon, PC

Pros: 

  • Compact in size
  • Affordable
  • Safe and Easy to use
  • HEPA filter
  • Swappable Print Beds

Cons:

  • Customers complain about poor Wi-Fi Connectivity
  • Manual is not complete
  • No SD Card Slot
  • Non-Expandable Filament Caddy

Value Editorial: What to Look for in 3d Printers?

I guess with all the specifications and complex numbers, it becomes too tough to touch down on a perfect $1,000 budget 3D printer. 

To counter this seemingly critical algorithm, you may focus your search on the essential specifications, such as build volume, layer thickness, printing speed, materials supported, and other extra features. 

Build Volume

Having a good build volume is advantageous. You can print your 3D model in one piece, which becomes an issue in smaller printers. You have to make smaller prints and glue them together. It not only hurts you with the cost but also hinders the quality. 

Printers like Creality CR-10 S5 and Original Prusa i3 MK3S offers equally good volume when compared to printers in the range of $2000.

Layer Thickness or Resolution

Minimal layer value means better quality prints. Most of the budget $1,000 printers have values typically between 0.05 mm and 0.3 mm. 

Printing Speed

Printers like Original Prusa i3 MK3S have good printing speed when compared to its competitors. 

The problem with lower budget printers is that most compromise on quality if they dare to accelerate printing speed, which engineers from Prusa research have countered efficiently using advanced technology.

Materials

Most budget-friendly 3D printers have a narrow niche when it comes to the compatibility of materials used. 

3D printers like the Flashforge Creator Pro with the dual extruder system is best among the lot and helps you print a wide range of materials, like ABS, PLA, Flex and many more and other composites such as brass fill, wood fill, etc. Dual Extruder is relatively rare in this price range.

To find your printer, you may also focus on other features like ease of assembling, bed leveling, filament sensors, swappable build plates, etc. 

Conclusion

It is tough to have a verdict when it comes to ever-evolving technologically-sophisticated products. Cutthroat competition keeps the manufacturers on toes to have frequent innovations. 

The printers like Creality CR-10 S5 stand out when you consider the printing volume, whereas the Flashforge Creator Pro is excellent if you look at the material flexibility.

Similarly, most of these 3D printer manufacturers to balance price and functionality have concentrated on specific features to tap the interested customer base. 

However, we think the Original Prusa i3 MK3S from Prusa Research has emerged as the best overall 3D printer under the budget of $1,000. 

It scores more on ease of use, technology, volume and quality of prints, safety, durability, and positive feedback from trusted customers. 

As a buyer, however, you can always measure your requirement and find the perfect printer for your use.