Great Beginner 3D Printers
Ender 3 Pro
The Ender 3 Pro is a good combination of affordability and quality. Print size is a bit limited but most beginners won’t use too much more than what’s available here.
Continuing with printers from Creality. If you need a bigger build platform with the same quality as an Ender 3, the Cr-10s is for you. One of the most popular printers of the last few years with good reason. It’s a solid printer for beginners and professionals alike.
This company came out of no where in late 2018. Artillery/Evnovo released the Sidewinder X1 which absolutely blows everything else in this price category out of the water. For the around the same price as a CR-10 you get a reliable printer, that is built like a tank, with print quality rivaling printers costing thousands of dollars more. Sitting at around the $450 mark, this is one of the best buys anyone can make, whether you’re a beginner, hobbyist, prosumer, or professional.
INtermediate 3D Printers
This is the same CR-10S as in the previous section, just super sized. There is an amazing 500x500x500mm build volume. If you’re looking to print huge, yet not break the budget, this is your printer. It’s in intermediate because, just due to that build volume this one is a little harder to manage than the regular CR-10S. You need to know what you’re doing to get the most out of this one.
Taz Mini 2
This one is a bit more expensive than the other printers on this list. Lulzbot markets its printers as premium printers for professionals. As such you get you’d expect from this machine. This is the mini, so the build volume is a bit small comparatively but if you want a solid printer that can just print, Lulzbot is what you go for.
This is Lulzbot’s standard model. Expect all the bells and whistles, great prints, and all around amazing platform of Lulzbot, with a bigger build volume that’s close to but not quite the size of the original CR-10S and Sidewinder X1.
Glowforge Laser Cutter
If you’re an avid DIY’er and are looking for something that lets you cut and engrave materials. Look no further than the Glowforge. Great enthusiast machine for cutting and engraving plastics and woods, or engraving soft metals. Solid machines whether you get the Regular, Plus, or Pro.
Dremel Digilab Laser Cutter
This laser cutter and do most the same things as the Glowforge. Also it is mostly a rebranded FSL Muse machine. The magic here comes from some Dremel specific alterations to it. These alterations make it a much safer laser to use than most others in this category. It is the very first UL Safety approved Laser ever. However, the big advantage over the Glowforge this has, is that the software is on the machine itself rather than in the cloud. So loss of internet will not mess with your workflow.
eSUN is one of the most well known 3D Printer material and accessory makers. For the price you can’t find better filament. Prints great, and they have all types of materials to choose from. From the standards PLA and ABS, to more exotic choices like PETG and TPU. We can’t recommend this brand enough.
Inland is a well known brand for lots of electronics and things. Sold most often in Microcenter. They have an extensive catalog of 3D Printing materials that are way below normal pricing for really good quality. When they first released filaments the quality was a bit underwhelming to say the least. Those issues seem to have disappeared now. You can get it same day on amazon or just go to Microcenter and buy some.
These guys were the kings of low cost/high quality filament for a couple of years there. While they have a lot of competition now, the quality here is still great for their whole range of materials. Easily rivaling the other recommendations on this list.
While we didn’t recommend any SLA printers in this list since we’re trying to keep the list relatively low cost, and all of our SLA printers are FormLabs, SprintRay, or 3DSystems printers, we do have a good recommendation for alternative resins, for Formlabs, SprintRay and the like. ApplyLabWorks are the only resins that I’ve tried that have the same or better quality than FormLabs resins. While FormLabs and SprintRay charge $150+ for their resins, some reaching over $300 for a liter, you can get ApplyLabWork resins for $70-$80 per liter, which is amazing especially when you consider the quality.