Best 3D Printer Under 500: Buyer's Guide

Written by Faiyaj | Featured Tech | Last updated March 15, 2023

Quick Picks

  1. Creality Ender-3 S1 Pro: An amazing mid-tier 3D printer, which is quiet and provides exceptional precision. It is user friendly and with a price of $499 USD it definitely doesn’t break the bank. In my opinion it is the best 3D printer under 500. Click the link below to purchase the 3D printer.

    1. Creality Ender-3 S1 Pro

  2. Creality Ender 3 V2 Neo: The Ender 3 V2 Neo by Creality is probably the most budget friendly 3D printer in the mid-tier range at $319 USD. It is a great beginner system for those looking to learn 3D printing. Click the link below to purchase the 3D printer.

    1. Creality Ender-3 V2 Neo

  3. Creality3D Ender-7: A great 3D printer under 500 for those who like their creations made fast. The printer is the fastest in printing speed for the mid-tier range being priced at $403 USD. It provides exceptional precision and performance.Click the link below to purchase the 3D printer

    1. [Free Giveaway]Creality3D Ender-7 3D Printer – Creality 3D

What makes a good 3D printer?

Filament vs Resin

When discussing what 3D printer you should buy, it is important to consider exactly what type of printing method you would like to pursue. The two main methods of printing are resin and filament printers. Resin printers are often smaller but have exceptional detail and quality of printing when compared to filament printers. They are however, much smaller than filament printers and can only produce smaller sized prints. Resin prints however require lots of processing before being ready, this process often takes lots of time and is not beginner friendly.

Filament printers on the other hand can be much bigger allowing you to print much larger projects. The prints require little to no processing, often being ready as soon as printing is complete. Filament printers are more beginner friendly for learning the hobby and provide a large range of possible projects. The main downside to filament printers is that they lack the detail and accuracy of resin printers.

Board/build size

The size of the printing board is another crucial factor to consider when choosing a filament 3D printer. The size of the printing board determines the printing space and is thus a limiting factor for projects. Consider what you are likely to use the 3D printer for, how big will these prints be? After asking yourself these questions you can get a better idea of the type of build size you will need. In most cases, for beginners a 220mm*220mm*270mm is a great starting point. The build size is standard for most 3D printers in the mid-tier and allows a great amount of space for most printing projects.

Printing speed

Printing speed can be an important factor when choosing a 3D printer depending on your patience. 3D printing in general can be a very time consuming process. Depending on the size of your project, the printing process can be between a few hours to an entire month! With printing times that long, it is bound to test even the most patient person. Within the mid-tier of printers, a printing speed of up to 150 mm/s is standard and it offers a good level of efficiency for all projects. Certain printers within the mid-tier range will boast a much fuster printing speed, which may be ideal however it all depends on your planned use case for the 3D printer.

Software (the slicer)

When you have your project ready for printing, you have to import the project file into the printer's software (called a slicer). This slicer will tell you how long the print is estimated to take and all the other specifications of the build in relation to the 3D printer. A good slicer will be easy to use and optimised for your 3D printer. However, some more advanced slicers require to be configured manually to the 3D printer, this can be a very difficult task especially for beginners. Therefore, it is recommended to buy a 3D printer which has an optimised slicer.


The hardware of the printer are its specifications, they are what allow it to print. Different 3D printers have different hardware allowing them to have bigger build sizes and printing speeds (as discussed before). The main differences in hardware are the cartesian printers and dental printers. Basically these printers are constructed differently. Cartesian printers, print on an x, y and z axis in a cube like fashion. Cartesian printers are the most common and are the most beginner friendly. Delta printers work similarly however are cylindrical, having hardware which gives them amazing printing speeds. They are however much more technical, requiring more knowledge of the machine to operate.

Best Overall: Creality Ender-3 S1 Pro $499 USD

The Creality Ender-3 S1 Pro, is a great cartesian filament printer within the mid-tier. First and foremost, the printer is extremely easy to assemble. Assembly can often be a very tedious process for 3D printers, therefore the S1 Pro being almost ready to go out of the box is a huge bonus. Another amazing feature is that the printer has auto-bed levelling. All this means is that the printing board is automatically adjusted by the printer to ensure it is in the right position. Without this feature you would have to correct the printing board manually, which can be painstaking. Even worse, if the board is not levelled properly it can compromise your entire print.

The S1 Pro has a standard build size of 220*220*270 (mm) making it perfect for most projects. The printer also has a 4.3 inch touch screen panel making the user interface very easy to use. The 3D printer also has a standard printing speed of 150 mm/s allowing for smooth printing experience. The printer has in-built data recovery in case it loses power in the middle of printing, once power is restored the printing will continue. Possibly the best thing about the 3D printer is that it's made by Creality! They have an amazing reputation in the community and if there are any issues with the printer you will be able to contact their amazing customer service and sort it out.

In my opinion the Creality Ender-3 S1 Pro is the best overall 3D printer under 500 USD. Click the link below to purchase the 3D printer:

Creality Ender-3 S1 Pro

Most Budget-Friendly: Creality Ender-3 V2 Neo $319 USD

The Creality Ender-3 V2 Neo is another cartesian filament 3D printer which packs a lot of bang for its buck. Sitting at $319 USD, it is feature rich being a great budget machine in the mid-tier of 3D printers. The printer has great build quality and boasts easy assembly due to its modular design units. Having many similar features to the Ender-3 S1 Pro such as a similar build size (at 220mm*220mm*250mm), there is no compromise in printing size! The printer also has the same printing speed at 150 mm/s and auto bed levelling, saving you a bunch of time. The biggest difference between the V2 Neo and S1 Pro is the lower printing temperature. The V2 Neo is unable to print with many other printing materials besides filament, giving the S1 Pro more options. The S1 Pro does have slightly better hardware when compared to the V2 Neo, making the S1 Pro slightly more reliable. However as a beginner machine in the mid-tier, the Creality Ender-3 V2 Neo is a budget-friendly power house!

Click the link below to purchase the 3D printer:

Creality Ender-3 V2 Neo

Fastest: Creality3D Ender-7 $403.99 USD

THe Creality3D Ender-7 is one of the best 3D printers in the mid-tier. Having the fastest printing speed on the list at 250 mm/s alone is a deserving factor of your purchase. Projects printed through this machine will take almost half the time of the other printers on this list. The build quality is sleek and has an easy setup and assembly. Another key advantage of this printer is that it has amazing precision and thus stellar print quality. You could design more intricate details into your projects with this printer and have them actualised fully by this printer. However, the Ender-7 is extremely loud which is often a huge deal breaker for a lot of people. The noise can be very annoying if you are thinking of printing in your own home. The printer also has a reputation for crashing making it less reliable than the previous machines on this list. However, if speed and precision are what you're looking for, you won't be disappointed by the Ender-7.

Click the link below to purchase the 3D printer, creality is running a promotion with the Ender-7, if you purchase the printer get you’ get some free filament:

[Free Giveaway]Creality3D Ender-7 3D Printer – Creality 3D