da Vinci Jr 1.0 3D Printer
The da Vinci Jr Printer is the smallest of the series of the Taiwan-originated XYZPrinting’s da Vinci 3D printers. It is a low-cost three-dimensional printer available in the market well below $300 which doesn’t sacrifice its quality for the price.
It is a fully enclosed printer capable of printing non-toxic Polyactic Acid (PLA) filament materials. Like other printers from XYZPrinting, the Jr. 1.0 uses XYZ proprietary filament spool which allows for cartridge refill. The spool comes with a chip on the inside and communicates with the printer using near-field communication (NFC) protocols.
The printer has an attractive white and orange case which looks quite nice with the internal LEDs shining through, especially at night. It boasts of a print area of 5.9 x 5.9 × 5.9 inches. The enclosure is well-designed with a magnetic front panel that locks open to reveal the interior. The hot end has a 0.4mm nozzle, an integrated fan and a thermistor which can be used to sense temperature.
The nozzle assembly is released with a press of a button, making it easy to clean or replace the unit. A single ribbon cable attaches to the hot end, supplying power and data. The print bed is a single piece of glass with screw clamps to hold it in place. The print bed mechanics are covered in a plastic housing which makes it harder to stick hands where they should not go. There is no heated bed on the print so don’t try print Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) materials on this machine as it supports only PLA materials. As for the print surface, they provide a set of replaceable tape surfaces which adhere to the bed. They are reusable so you can print many surfaces without needing to replace the tape.
The downside is you cannot buy cheaper third-party generic filament to use with this printer. Basically, each of the spools has enough filming for you to print about half a dozen three-dimensional 5-inch hogs for instance. It works with just any other regular inkjet or laser printers and you can easily print from an SD card using the navigation button from the printer. Some major specifications of the printer are listed below:
Printer dimension: 15.5 by 16.9 by 14.9 inches
Package Dimension: 21.5 by 22.9 by 18.7 inches
Weight: 15kg (33.1 lbs)
Technology: Fused Filament Fabrication
Print Head: A single 0.4mm diameter nozzle
Printing Speed: 100mm/s* maximum
Filament Diameter: 1.75 mm
Filament Material: Polyactic Acid (PLA) filament
Panel Type: 2.6-inch FSTN LCM
Language Support: Multi Language
Connectivity: USB 2.0, SD card (32GB Maximum, Wi-Fi
Operating System Supported: Windows 7 and above (for PCs), 64-bit and above Mac OSX 10.8 (for Macintosh computers)
Hardware Requirements for PC: X86 32 to 64-bit PCs with 4 gigabyte and above dynamic random access memory (DRAM)
Hardware Requirements for Mackintosh: X86 64-bit Macs with 4 gigabyte and above dynamic random access memory (DRAM)
- Easy to use
- Low cost
- Auto-calibration system
- Mostly automated
- Compatible for Mac/PC
- Incredible manufacturer customer support
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- Small in size
- Uses less power
- Auto-calibration bugs
- Updates required
- XYZPrinting filament brands only allowed
*Note that the price and features of this product may change as a result of dynamic market and manufacturer’s strategies.
Anet A8-B 3D Printer
The Anet A8-B Printer comes from the manufacturers in a rectangular-shaped box. It is a super cheap printer regarded as one of the best do-it-yourself three-dimensional printing machines for beginners. The Anet A8 has a lot of fame within the printing community, obviously because it costs under $200 from China and it is of more quality than many printers valued over a thousand bucks.
When you purchase one, the package includes an MK.8 Extruder, an MK.3 hotbed and a kilogram of PLA/ABS filaments – of course, it prints both PLA and ABS materials. The printer comes packaged in a million little parts. The frame is made of laser-cut acrylic and fastened together using bolts and nuts.
The printer runs smoothly with acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polylactic acid (PLA) materials, wood, nylon polyvinyl acetate (PVA), polypropylene (PP), and glow-in-the-dark filament. The maximum print size is 220 x 220 x 240mm. Its supported operating systems include Windows XP/ 7/8/10, Mac and Linux.
When you get the content out of the box for the first time, there are going to be three polystyrene trays which are the compartments. One of the upsides of this product is the flash drive reader that comes with it. The flash drive contains a few important instructions for the first-timers. It contains a folder of Windows software including the Cura software. The card reader also contains the machine’s operating manual and a troubleshooting guide. To make things a lot easier during assembly, the complete kit includes some handy toolkits such as a spanner, side cutters, etc. Some of its main features include the 2004 LCD display, Z axis lead rod, X-axis motor, nozzle, updated mainboard, hotbed, turbofan, power supply, Y-axis motor and Z axis motor.
One of its scary downsides is that, during assembly, the frame material may be subject to cracking. This is because it is made of brittle acrylic material; hence, trying to tighten the screws may cause the frame to crack and break.
Overall, this product is quite worth every penny it costs. The installation takes around 3 to 4 hours, even for new printers in the 3D community.
Machine Weight: 7.4kg
Gross Weight 9.2kg
Machine size: 500 x 400 x 450mm
Packing size: 510 x 345 x 215mm
LCD Display: 2004
Consumable Material: ABS, PLA, TPU, nylon PVA, wood POLY, PP, MPP/luminescent material
Connectivity: micro SD, USB
Filament Diameter: 175mm
OS: XP, Wndow 7, Window 8, Mac, Lunix
Slicing Software: Cura/Repetier-host
File Format: STL, OBJ, G- code
Print Size: 220 x 220 x 240mm
Printing Speed: 100mm/s
Nozzle Diameter: 04mm
Layer thickness: 0.1 to 0.3mm
XY Position Accuracy: 0.012mm
Z Position Accuracy: 0.004mm
Working Condion: Temp: 10-30◦ C
- Easy to assemble
- Affordable price
- Excellent for beginners
- Instructions and troubleshooting guide
- Quality prints
- Big print volume
- Cable management
- Printer upgrades printable
- Comes in parts
- Assembly takes hours
- Brittle acrylic frame
Sintron Ultimate 3D Printer
The Sintron Prusa i3 printer is a dirt-cheap but near-perfect modern three-dimensional printer. The printer is a high quality open-source three dimensional printer which costs just $220, many hundreds of dollars short of the average 3D printers. Despite its relatively low cost, it outperforms many premium 3D printers in the market. It is an easy-to-assemble printer which anyone new into 3D printing can set up, as long as he/she can read and watch from the available web instructions and YouTube DIY setup tutorial videos. The printer is the third and current iteration (version) of the 3D Prusa printers. It supports Windows, Linux and Mackintosh (MAC) operating system. The machine can print both ABS and PLA filaments.It features an MK8 extruder and a heated bed. The frame is made of high quality acrylic materials.
The package comes with the complete kit required to build the ultra-modern 3D printer.
Find the complete product information below:
- Acrylic frame kit (includes screws and nuts)
- Threaded rods kit
- 2 x M8 8mm, length 405mm smooth rod
- 2 x M8 8mm, length : 390mm smooth rod
- 2x M8 8mm, length: 435mm threaded rod
- 3 x M8 8mm, length : 210mm threaded rod
- 1 x M8 8mm, length : 275mm threaded rod
- 2 x M8 8mm, length : 330mm smooth rod
- 2 x M5 5mm, length : 305mm threaded rod
- 34 x M8 nut
- 34 x M8 washer
- Plastic kit (includes screws & nuts)
- 2 x GT2 pulley + 2 x 1m belt
- 12 x LM8UU bearing
- 4 x MF105ZZ bearing
- 2 x Aluminum flexible motor shaft coupler coupling
- Printer controller
- 5x A4988 stepper motor driver module with heatsink
- Ardjuino Mega 2560 R3 + USB cable
- LCD 2004 smart display controller
- Smart adapter + 2 x 30cm 10 pin ribbon cable
- 4 x NEMA 17 flat shaft stepper motor
- MK8 Extruder with fan + hot-end & cold-end
- MK3 Heatbed 3mm aluminum PCB board dual power (springs, thermistor & wires included)
- 6 x Mechanical Endstops switch module v1.2
- 12V 10A 110V/220V AC power supply
- 40pin Dupont cable 200mm Male to Female
- Nylon ties and some filament for you to test
Frame material: Acrylic & Steel rod (threaded & smooth)
Model: Prusa i3
Printing Size: 200 × 200 × 180mm
Printing speed: 20-100mm/s
Printing material type: ABS or PLA
Printing material diameter: 1.75mm
Printing control software: Marlin & Pronterface
Layer thickness: 0.1 mm-0.4mm
SD card off-line printing: Support
Standard extruder diameter: 0.4mm
Extruder temperature:240°C (max)
Hot bed temperature: 100 C (max)
XY axis positioning accuracy: 0.012mm
Z axis positioning accuracy: 0.004mm
OS: Windows, Linux, Mac
Input voltage: 110 V, 220V (adjustable)
Output voltage: 12V
Software language: Chinese/English
Format for date import: G-Code, STL
Connection (Interface):USB, LCD display and SD card reader
Working condition: Temperature: 10-30°C : Humidity:20 to 50 percent
Machine size:430 × 405 × 370mm
Machine weight 7.5kg
- Open source
- Third-party materials usable
- Material availability
- Easy of maintenance
- Customer support
- Print quality
- Power supply
- Noisy fan
- Lack of basic instructions
PancakeBot™ 3D Printer
The PancakeBot, simply put, is a cheap pancake robot specialized in creatively making pancakes…yes, the same ones you eat!
The brainchild of Norwegian-based inventor, Miguel Valenzuela, holds the bragging rights as the first automated pancake-making machine. The machine works with a user-friendly software which paints pancakes from beaten batters by simply tracing out images from the already designed images in your computer. With the batter in the bottle, you can print just anything – from a company logo to your kid’s creative drawing; you can even print the Eiffel Tower if you want! The bot uses a patent-pending batter dispenser to print on the griddle beneath.
The special thing about the PancakeBot is that, it is visionary in that this is the first iteration (version) of the hardware that performs this trick. This is the version one of what’s going to be the iterative processes in the building of better hardware.
Apart from it being a food robot, it is also a good learning tool for designing things using vectors.
The PancakeBot is built extremely well. The controls are easy to use. The bottle which dispenses batter is fantastic as well, in its ability to maintain pressure. You can control the heat while it also controls the time it takes to cook the pancakes.
One of the major downsides in the machine is that the printing is slow. Since this is a new version, the technology hasn’t been fully fleshed out. There’s no way you can make the 3D printer make pancakes for, say, family of 5 to 6 in a timely manner. However, the inventor has explained that there is a new firmware that is being tested which will allow users to modify the speed of the printer. Hence, there is hope about printing pancakes faster with the newer versions in the nearest future.
How it works
- First thing is to make a design of what you want your pancake to look like using the PancakePainter software. You can also select from the many designs available on the PancakeBot website [hyperlink: https://com]. After finishing up with the design, the user copies his design to an SD card and then inserts it in the machine.
- Beat your pancake mixture to form a batter and then load the batter in the bottle dispenser. Just sit back, the rest will be automatically handled by the pancake bot.
Note: When the machine exudes/prints so many batters, the pattern becomes somehow warped and irregular. You can simply fix this by adjusting the pressure dial on the machine. Doing this regularizes the pressure in the bottle and makes it flow in the programmed design pattern.
Product Dimensions: 26 × 13 × 18 (approximated)
Machine Weight: 9.5lbs
Printing Material Type: Batter only
Connectivity: SD card
Operating Systems supported: Windows, Mac
Print size: 16 × 8.3 inches
Software: PancakeBot Software
- Easy to assemble
- Easy to operate
- Easy to maintain
- Premade designs
- Manual and recipe
- Pause and resume
- Creative and entertaining
- Removable electric griddle
- Free from biphenol A (BPA)
- Print quality
- Inconsistent bottle pressure
- It is slow
- No SD card
AURORA Desktop 3D Printer A3
Manufactured by China’s Shenzhen Aurora Tech. Co. Ltd., this Prusa i3 3D printing machine is a low-priced open-source easy-to-use printer which is greatly recommended for beginners and students.
Coming under $300, the Aurora A3 printer provides learning experience as well as fun for any beginner looking to start up on the journey of three dimensional printing. However, this printer may not give the user a good assembly experience if he/she doesn’t know the basics of setting up electronic machines. The manufacturer, however, tried to balance this gap up by including instructional media on how to set the printer up for first time use. Besides, the machine has connectors attached and you wouldn’t need to solder wires during setup. With the manuals and video assistance, assembling the Aurora A3 3D Printer is quite easy and building it should take around 8 hours.
It comes in a very simple but strong build. The metal housing is more stable and durable than acrylic-made frames in many 3D machines. It would be no exaggeration to say this machine is built like a modern tank.
One of the advantages this printer offers its users is the way it accurately extrudes filaments during printing. The printer includes an SD card, diagram and photo-aided setup instructions and a step-by-step (video) guide on how to make a successful DIY assembly. It also includes video instructions on how to load filaments; operate the machine; adjust the hotbed and how to disassemble the filament extruder just in case the nozzle gets clogged. The machine works with designs made with the popularly-used 3D slicing app, Cura. For those who may be new to using the Cura software or 3D printers in general, the SD card which comes with the 3D printer kit also includes a user manual.
The 3D printer accepts PLA, ABS and a few other filaments.
- Aurora A3 machine kit
- 1 × spool holder
- Screws, nuts, wrench kit
- Test filament
- USB cable
- Cable for power supply
- 1 × 8GG capacity SD card which contains operation manuals, software and test samples)
Layer resolution: 100 to 300 microns
Material diameter: 1.75mm
Nozzle diameter: 0.4mm
Print speed: 100mm per second
Open source: Yes
Control Software supported: Octoprint, Simplify3D, Cura
Connectivity: SD card, USB
Printing area: 7.8 × 7.8 × 7 inches
Hot bed: Yes, Aluminum printing heated bed
Aluminum hotbed size: 7.8 × 7.8 × 7 inches
Supported filaments: ABS, PLA, nylon, PVA, Luminescent, PP filaments
Layer thickness: 0.1 to 0.3mm
Printing technology: FDM
File types supported: OBJ, STL
Operating system supported: Windows, Mac OS, Linux
Machine dimension: 17 × 16 × 16.5 inches
Shipping box dimension: 18.1 × 17.3 × 7.5 inches
Machine weight: 20.9 pounds
Shipping weight: 26.5 pounds
- Easy to tinker with
- Excellent print quality
- Less noise
- Open source
- Integrated heater
- Power supply
- Well designed
- Affordable price
- Learning experience
- Unstable framework
- Unclear instructions
SAINSMART x Anet A8 Prusa i3 DIY 3D Printer
DIY 3D printers are a great choice if you’re seriously looking into 3D printing as a valid hobby. They give you an option of learning how to assemble and maintain the printer. In addition, you can print out your own upgrades, so you aren’t spending too much.
The SAINSMART x Anet A8 is based off the Prusa i3 and is an excellent choice if you don’t have too much to spend for a 3D printer, but want to thoroughly learn how 3D printing works before you purchase a higher-end printer.
About The Company
SAINSMART is an electronics maker, primarily dealing in hobbyist items like Raspberry Pis and Arduino modules, with a foray into 3D printing. Their experience comes with the belief that everyone should be able to make whatever they want, without the constraint of not having the tools to do it.
With this ideology, they’ve developed their brand around hobbyists, tinkerers, and teachers to ensure that everyone is empowered with the ability to create whatever they want at affordable costs. The Anet A8 is an example of that.
- Incredibly affordable, priced at $250, making it one of the most affordable 3D printers out there.
- 6-month manufacturer warranty on all parts is inspiring, especially considering that this is a DIY printer.
- Anet community is incredibly helpful. With everything from troubleshooting to modeling your own upgrades, the community is helpful and inspiring to work with.
- Perfect for students of STEM fields, giving a foray into engineering and electronics.
- Support for all filaments means that you aren’t restricted to using only one type of filament or material.
Is It Worth Buying?
At first, I was skeptical, since this was a 200 dollar acrylic printer, but I was happily proven wrong. Don’t expect mind-blowing print quality, it’s still a 200 dollar printer, but at this price point, it does deliver really good prints that a lot of other printers in this category just don’t.
With the Anet community behind this printer, you can be sure of being able to work your way through any problem that you’re facing. Whether you want to make your own upgrades, or just have an issue that you can’t seem to fix, the Anet community is incredibly resourceful and helpful.
- Incredibly affordable, with some sites listing this at sub 200 dollars.
- Acrylic build quality is lightweight, and thus, easy to carry around
- Anet community is helpful and allows you to create your own upgrades for the printer
Not what you’re looking for if you need something assembled out of the box.
Monoprice Select Mini V2 3D Printer
The Monoprice Select Mini 3D printer is an interesting printer, not just because it starts at the incredibly low price of $200, but also because it’s promising to fix the problems of its predecessor.
It comes fully assembled, so if you’re new to 3D printing and want to try it for the first time without having to worry about all the hassles of assembling a DIY kit, then this is something that you should be taking a look at.
About The Company
Monoprice is a company based out of California. Although the company has been around since 2002, their foray into 3D printing is fairly recent. They claim to offer premium products at low prices because of their vast supply chain network.
This is somewhat reflected in their pricing of the Select Mini V2, which generally comes in at around $220 or so, depending on where you’re buying it.
- It’s assembled out of the box, so you don’t have to worry about doing your own assembly. Perfect if you’re new to 3D printing and want to get started right away
- Software support across Mac and Windows ensures that you can use whichever OS you want to use this printer
- Loads of connectivity options, from WiFi, USB, to SD cards. So, whichever is your preferred method of printing, this supports it.
Is It Worth Buying?
Printers at this price range aren’t really known to be great, but the Monoprice is a good exception, with some caveats. The software is easy to use and lets you print with any range of connectivity. Prints are mostly accurate, with very little distortion.
The small problem is that it isn’t open to flexible filaments, so you will have to make do without that. The upgraded cooling is welcome, and certainly tones down on the noise that its predecessor used to have.
This means that this printer runs a lot quieter than before, although I’d still advise you to use this printer in your workshop or someplace where you won’t be bothered by the noise. Since this device does have WiFi connectivity, you should be able to place it wherever you need.
- Excellent printer if you’re looking to get started into 3D printing
- Loads of connectivity options, with USB, SD card, and WiFi
- Compact size, ensuring that you have a place for this even in the smallest of workspaces.
- Some wobble on the Z-axis, but nothing that severely damages the quality of prints.
RepRap Guru DIY Prusa i3 V2 3D Printer Kit
DIY printer kits are great if you’re interested in learning, and the RepRap Guru Prusa i3 V2 is no exception. This is a Prusa 3D printer, so it’s interesting to see how good this printer can actually be at this sub-300 dollar price point. And to my pleasant surprise, it’s really good.
The company is also based out of the USA, and has been known for excellent customer support, so you won’t have any issues with customer support if and when you face any issues with the printer.
About The Company
RepRap Guru is a company based out of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Among other things, they’ve been famed for having incredible customer support. If you’re facing an issue with your purchase, you can rest easy knowing that you have a good customer support team behind you.
They specialize in DIY 3D printers, so there is some assembly required before you can get started with printing.
- The acrylic frame makes construction lightweight and cheap to replace.
- Heated printer bed allows you to print even ABS filament objects, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not this printer will support ABS printing
- Flexible software support on Mac and Windows means that you aren’t constrained to any particular OS if you choose to buy this printer.
Is It Worth Buying?
The user-friendly construction means that this is relatively easy to set up. If something does break, customer service is excellent at getting you spare parts shipped on time. Another thing to note is that even if you break something accidentally during assembly, RepRap Guru will ship you a replacement at no extra cost.
The printing is fairly accurate, and you can download some simple models off the website to get you started. At this price point, this is one of the better deals that you’re getting.
- The nozzle allows you to try a wide variety of different materials, from wood, PVA, to Nylon.
- Low price and easy setup makes this an incredible deal if you’re in the market for a basic DIY 3D printer.
- Fairly accurate prints without too much warping.
No filament included with the printer, so you will have to buy your own filament. Look for a bundle on Amazon that will save you some money.
Anet A6 3D Printer
The Anet A6 is a 3D printer aimed squarely at the beginner looking to get into 3D printing. You’ll need to assemble the A6 manually, and if you’re someone that is seriously looking into 3D printing as a hobby, then this is a useful skill to learn. If you’re looking for something that you can use out of the box, this is not the printer for you.
There is some cause for concern with the acrylic build, but if you’re careful enough, it isn’t that much of a caveat. Also, considering that this is an entry-level printer, priced below $300 for the most part, this is to be expected.
About The Company
Anet is a Chinese company specializing in 3D printers, located in the Shenzhen province of China. They’ve been in the business since 2014, and mostly catered to enterprise 3D printing solutions. They’ve recently made some headway into the consumer-grade 3D printing space, with their A8 and A6 line, and have generally received favorable reviews.
- Excellent community support for the A6 ensures that you’re never without help if you’re stuck at some point in time with your 3D printing
- Very good print quality for a printer at this price range, able to create some highly accurate and intricate models without distortion or wastage.
- Plenty of instructions and online videos help you get started with assembling and printing with the A6, so you should face no trouble whatsoever.
Is It Worth Buying?
If you’re looking at this price point, then I don’t see many other printers that I’d readily be willing to endorse. You’re not going to get class leading build quality. But what you do get is print quality that is one of the best at this price range.
Models come out sharp and without any distortion whatsoever. The heated printer bed is definitely a bonus. If you’re looking for a good printer to start off your hobby with, then this is an excellent choice.
- Class-leading print quality, with highly accurate models
- Community support, ranging from troubleshooting to printing your own upgrades for the A6
- Heated printer bed
- A few niggles and inconsistencies with the screws and bolts
- Not for total beginners, since this is a DIY kit, requiring some assembly.