Endless possibilities exist in almost every industry for 3D printing technology. Architects and engineers can render models to reveal the design of structures, biomedical researchers can make human tissue using advanced printing techniques, and 3D printers can manufacture airplane panels and other parts.
Home users can fashion models and toys from them as well. For consumers and small businesses, several of the best 3D printers under 1,000 dollars are available. However, along with the printer, you will need some tools to start the creative process.
3D Printer Toolbox
No matter how technical machines get, and 3D printers can get very mindblowing, they still need real tools for assembly, repairs, or to help in the creative process. The items in a toolbox aren't necessarily wrenches and screwdrivers, though they should be in the toolbox as well. Here are some of the items you may need for 3D printing.
The build plate in most 3D printers are glass, so when the filament extrudes onto it, it can sometimes slip. To help prevent this, you will need something on the plate to help the filament, which is usually plastic, stick to it. While you don’t need traditional glue, here are some items you can use.
Kapton, or polyimide, tape has many uses in the electronics industry. It can help bind wires together after repairs, it is found on circuit boards, and 3D printers use it as a base on build plates. Once the tape is in place on the plate, hairspray goes onto it to make the surface sticky.
PVA Glue Sticks
These are not the type of glue sticks you buy for kids to go back to school, but they are for doing crafts at home. They work well for PLA, Nylon and TPU filaments.
This specific brand seems to work well for making the build plate sticky when working with ABS filaments, but it also works well for PLA and PETG too.
This is a printing sheet that allows almost any material to adhere to it during the build. It’s a thin, durable plastic surface that can be put on top of a Flexplate to remove from the printer and release objects.
Blue Painter’s Tape
It works well for build plates, whether they have heat or are cold. It works the best with PLA and PETG filaments.
A spatula is a useful tool for a 3D printer toolbox because you will need something that is flat for removing a build project after it cools down. BuildTak, the same company that makes the plastic build plate sheets, also produces a spatula specifically for removing projects from 3D printers. It has a thin spatula blade, and the handle is at an angle that helps make it easy to remove creations.
For trimming and cutting filament, 3D printer users have found that flush cutters are one of the best tools for this task. They are small wire cutters that jewelry makers use for cutting wire as they make their wares. If you go to a hobby shop, you shouldn’t have any difficulty finding a pair of them.
When you need to clean the nozzle of a burnt filament, a brass brush is a good solution. It won't scratch or harm the nozzle, and it will remove the burnt filament that accumulates around it.
Hex keys, which are also called Allen keys or wrenches, will help to open a printer that needs repairs or assembly the parts of a model. A set of them are inexpensive, but you should try to find hex keys with ball ends as they will work better in most cases.
This measuring tool is essential for knowing the sizes of models or parts that fit into specific places on an object you’re creating.
Keep these tools handy near your printer or workbench, so they are never too far away when you need them.
How We Chose Our Ratings
When we research products, we find out which features they have, their applications, and brand reputations. We also read the testimonials and reviews from people who own them before we assign a star rating to them.
Each product receives a rating between one and five stars, with five being the best, to help readers quickly find the best products available in any given category, like 3D printers. Below are some of the best 3D printers we found.
Comparison Table of the Best 3D Printers Under 1,000 Dollars
Best 3D Printers Under 1,000 Dollars
Here are some of the 3D printers we were able to find for under $1000.
QIDI Technology X-PRO 3D Printer
QIDI Technology produces some of the best consumer 3D printers within the industry. The X-PRO uses FDM technology to allow desktop users to make small parts, models, or anything they want from ABS, TPU, or PLA filaments that are 1.75mm.
The frame of the printer is metal, which creates a sturdy structure that provides stability for the printer. It also contains a turbofan to cool your creations. Along with dual extruders, it has a build plate that’s aviation quality aluminum.
The build plate size is 230 X 150mm or 8.8 X 5.9 inches. It uses QIDI print software, and it is compatible with Simplify 3D. A six-month warranty comes with the machine, and the company provides lifetime technical support.
QIDI Technology 3DP-QDA16-01 TECH I 3D Printer
This QIDI Technology desktop 3D printer features a full metal frame, which provides stability for printing projects. It also has acrylic covers to enclose the printer and a turbofan to help in the cooling process. It is an FDM printer that works best with ABS and PLA filaments that are 1.75mm.
The build plate is aviation quality aluminum that lays flat and will not warp. The TECH I plate is 230 X 150mm (8.8 X 5.9 inches). It also features dual extruders and it can get print instructions from an SD card, and the 3.5 LCD screen allows the modification of the printer’s settings.
It comes with QIDI Print software, but it is also compatible with Simplify 3D and works with Replicator G and Makerware as well. They offer tech support and lifetime service on this printer.
BIBO Laser Engraving 3D Printer
Along with being a 3D printer, this BIBO machine also is a laser engraver. With its dual extruders, printing time can be cut in half because it allows for working on two projects at once. However, if the plans include cutting leather, wood, paper, or cardboard, you can do so on this machine as well.
The frame of the BIBO is made from composite panels that are 6mm thick. It can build objects up to 8.4 X 7.3 X 6.3 inches on the removable heat bed. It uses 1.75mm filaments of PLA, ABS, HIPS (which is dissolvable), and TPU (that is flexible). The maximum temperature is 270 degrees Celsius (518 degrees Fahrenheit).
The machine comes with a laser engraving module, a Wi-Fi module to provide connectivity along with a USB cable, flash drive or SD card. It has an acrylic cover kit that requires assembly, SD card, USB cable, glue stick, and a glass bed. It comes with lifetime service.
FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro
Instead of a wood frame, FlashForge now makes a more stable
6.3mm aluminum frame for the Creator Pro. The platform retains its shape under high heat. The metal platform also releases plastic supports to prevent warping under a high temperature.
This FFF printer works with 1.75mm PLA and ABS filaments. It comes with two extruders and allows for a build volume of 8.9 X 5.8 X 5.9 inches. There is an LCD screen with button controls that help provide error-free settings.
It allows for printing with a USB cable or SD card, both of which come with the printer. The SD card holds up to four gigabytes of information. It also includes two spools of a one-kilogram filament and two guide tubes. Since it has a low-temperature threshold, the printer's enclosure helps protect ABS creations.
ANYCUBIC Photon UV LCD 3D Printer
The ANYCUBIC Photon 3D printer uses SLA technology to produce creations. It is a UV printer that uses FEP film as its medium. Its integrated board allows it to print directly from USB, so the machine doesn’t need a connection directly from your computer. It also allows previews of models from SD cards.
The color touchscreen allows users to see the files from your SD card and it has the capability to allow you to watch it printing an object in real-time. The UV light source is 25W with an 80 X 80mm heat sink to provide long-lasting light.
This 3D printer also comes with a 2K LCD masking screen, which allows for precise printing details as small as a few micrometers. Its photon slicer can finish many print projects within one minute, instead of taking a few minutes like other 3D printers.
Dremel Digilab 3D20 3D Printer
This Dremel Digilab 3D printer is ideal for hobbyists and those who like to play around with technology to print good quality models. Its medium is filament, so this is an FFF/FDM type of 3D printer. The pre-assembled printer comes with a 0.5kg spool of a filament with which to start your projects.
The build area allows for a maximum size of 5.9H X 9.0D X 5.5W inches. Since the build plate doesn’t require heat, it only works with PLA filaments as they don’t need heat to create objects. The extruder temperature reaches 230 degrees Celsius (397 degrees Fahrenheit).
The enclosed 3D printer has a color LCD touchscreen from which to modify the printer’s settings and to look up files from an SD card. The Dremel has an open system that allows users to download and print creations found on the internet, or it is compatible with most CAD programs to produce original creations. It has a 1-year warranty
HICTOP Creality CR-10 3D Printer
This HICTOP 3D printer is open with dual Z axis screw rods. They give the printer more stability and help users create better quality projects. It also has a monitor for the filament to alert you to when you need more. This FDM printer uses 1.75mm PLA filaments.
If there is a lapse in printing, such as filament running out, or it loses power, it comes with resume printing. This feature allows it to continue printing when the power comes back on, or the user addresses the cause of the lapse. The build plate allows it to print big models that are 300mm X 300mm X 400mm (11 X 11 X 15 inches).
For larger creations, it has an upgrade to allow for 500cm X 500cm X 500cm projects. It has a three-inch LCD screen with a knob for settings. The extruder temperature is 210 degrees Celsius (410 degrees Fahrenheit), and the hotbed temp reaches 50 degrees Celsius or 122 degrees Fahrenheit. It is for Linux, Windows, and OX operating systems.
Most of the 3D printers for under $1000 are FFF or FDM printers, but you will find some inexpensive SLA 3D printers as well. If you need to create objects with fine details or those that require durability and rigidity, then an SLA printer may be the type of 3D printer that you need.
It allows you to create models or items that have multiple parts that need to fit precisely. However, it depends on the resin they use. If the parts of your project need to move, then you should use a durable resin. If you need stiffer, stronger parts, then tough resin may be your best choice.
Carefully read the information about each 3D printer before deciding on which to buy for your business or personal needs. If you’re building models, toys, or household items, then an FFF/FDM printer that uses ABS or PLA filaments may suit your needs.
However, those in business may want an SLA printer to create parts for their products rather than going through the expense of hiring a manufacturer to produce them to keep the costs low. With this information, you should be able to choose from the best 3D printers under 1000 dollars.