3D printing technology has rapidly made its way out of the research manuals, through the commercial world, right into our living rooms. Though technological advancement has given the power of 3D printing in the hands of the average Joe, it is still not as easy as operating a plug-and-play device and requires some understanding about different technologies and their working. Out of hundreds of 3D printers available in the market, we help you choose the best 3D printer under $1000 by listing important shopping tips as well as reviews of our three favorite printers in this price range.
Must – Know 3D Printing Technologies
First things first – we do not blame you if you tried researching 3D printers and found yourself lost in a sea of technical jargon. In this section we bring you up to speed with 3D printing technologies so that you can narrow down your search easily.
When it comes to consumer 3D printing, there are two popular technologies – FDM and SLA. Let’s see what they are all about:
- FDM. Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is a popular and evolved 3D printing method, in which molten plastic is deposited through an extrusion head along a plane (covering X and Y coordinates). The Z axis printing is achieved via the layer by layer lowering of the build table. It is the preferred choice for rapid prototyping, ideal for small business and educational institutions.
- SLA. Stereolithography is a completely different method, which involves progressively building layers by exposing photosensitive liquid resin to a UV laser beam. This can produce smooth surfaces with deep details and finds popularity in the jewelry and design industries.
Top Ten 3D Printers Under $1000 Ultimate Chart
What Should You Know Before Buying a 3D Printer?
Before we get started, keep in mind that there is no perfect 3D printer that will do everything. You need to strike a balance between affordability, quality and functionality and find out what works best for you.
3D Printing Materials
Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) and Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) are the two materials that are being used around the world for 3D printing. While zeroing in on a printer, we highly recommend knowing the material it uses for printing. Here are the pros and cons of each to make your decision easy.
- PLA. Derived from cornstarch, it is a great starting point for beginners. It works well in creating regular household items and it is biodegradable, so it doesn’t damage the environment.It cols quickly and is available in translucent colors as well, making it an ideal material for shiny objects. The only con you should consider is its low melting point that might cause deformation in objects at higher temperature.
- ABS. Made of petroleum-based plastic, this should be your choice if you want strength and durability in your objects. Best suited for interlocking objects, it has a high melting point. However, it takes longer to cool and emits fumes during printing.
Top Three Best 3D Printer Under $1000 Reviews
Are you looking for a solidly built 3D printer that can work with both PLA and ABS and delivers top quality performance? Creator Pro from FlashForge is the product you should seriously consider. It is a significant improvement over the earlier model, making it the best 3D printer under $1000.
Purchasing compatible software has been a major expense for 3D printer users and FlashForge engineers have laid that issue to ground by bringing in FlashPrint compatibility. Now all you need to do is to simply load the STL or gcode file through the SD card (4GB comes in the box) or via USB and print objects up to 5 L build volume. Significant work has gone into hardware improvement and it shows – be it the power supply or the build quality.
If you are looking for an all-round 3D printer that will last for years to come, this is your best bet!
If you are looking for an accurate and reliable FDM technology 3D printer with flat, non-warping aluminum surface, Qidi tech has this amazing product for you. It is an affordable product that yields consistent, high-quality models and is MET, CE, FCC and RoHS certified.
Right from the moment you unbox it, the metal frame radiates an aura of confidence. Its printing bench is made up aviation grade aluminum that prevents warping at high temperature. The software is fairly easy to use, though we recommend MakerBot Replicator for best results. The accompanying SD card has English instructions which make the set up really easy even for first time users. Should you run into any trouble, it has an excellent customer support team that responds to your queries within hours.
It is a worthy investment and undercuts the competition by quite a bit when it comes to price – a real winner for your small business and laboratories.
JGAURORA is another FDM based 3D printer that would tick most of the boxes in your requirement sheet. It has a single piece, no-joint metal frame that delivers stable performance which makes it an ideal product for home, office, laboratory and robotics and electrical/mechanical design environment.
Large LCD screen and LED equipped extruder are quite noticeable and useful. It uses FDM technology and works well with popular printing materials – PLA, ABS, wood and PLA Glow in the dark included. It works well with Windows, Linux and Mac. On the software front, manufacturer recommends Cura, Octoprint and Simplify3D. The 8GB SD card supplied in the box contains plenty of test sample files, in addition to the operation manual and software.
Overall, it’s a well-performing, easy on the eye product that is quite versatile. This gives you one of the largest printing size – making it a great value for money printer.