The best cheap 3d printers in the UK 2023

The 3D printer is a real technological jewel that is on the way to revolutionizing our society. And everyone wants to have this little wonder at home. But the cost of this type of device sometimes scares off more than one person. Nowadays, there are low-cost models that can compete with high-end models. Thanks to this little guide you may find your future cheap 3d printer.

ELEGOO March 2 1

Best value for money

ELEGOO March 2

The best cheap 3d printer in 2021

This 3D printer perfectly combines robustness and practicality. In addition, its ease of use definitely makes it one of the most interesting models on the market. In short, it's a safe bet for any user.

183 £ on Amazon

With a body made of aluminum, the ELEGOO Mars 2 has a robust and elegant design. From a visual standpoint, it is hard not to notice its exceptional build quality. This can guarantee a long lasting use. For ease of use, it features a 6.8-inch high-resolution LCD screen and a multilingual interface.

In terms of print quality, this device is very precise thanks to the MSLA technology which offers a more uniform UV irradiation. With the LCD screen, the level of detail on the 3D printed parts is excellent. Moreover, this printer is able to realize a fast printing with a record time of 2 seconds for the curing of the resin layers.

Creality Ender 3 2

Best value for money

Creality Ender 3

The best entry-level cheap 3d printer

Creality Ender 3 is very easy to use and does not require any special technical knowledge. The user can complete the entire configuration by himself in only half an hour. The ideal device for a novice!

151 £ on Amazon

The Creality Ender 3 is made of high quality materials and is very robust. Once assembled, all parts are perfectly aligned for stable printing. Assembling this printer is like assembling a piece of furniture, even a beginner can do it without any particular problem!

This model stands out for its correct printing quality and finish. It offers a printing precision of about 0.1 mm. In addition, it has a memory function that prevents printing from being interrupted even if the electrical system fails. The Creality Ender 3 also benefits from an improved extruder to avoid under-extrusion problems. Thanks to its triangle slot wheels, it can operate without noise.

FlashForge Dreamer 3

Best value for money

FlashForge Dreamer

The best high-end cheap 3d printer

If you're looking to get started with dual extrusion 3D printing, the FlashForge Dreamer is a quick and easy way to get good results. You'll also appreciate the various technologies that come with this model.

479 £ on Amazon

With its completely closed structure and its glass window allowing to observe the printing process, the FlashForge Dreamer has a nice design. From the outside, its appearance already gives an idea of its robustness. To complete its appeal, it also features a 3.5-inch IPS Touch color screen.

The FlashForge Dreamer includes 2 extruders that allow you to print many colored objects. On the printing side, this device is compatible with PLA and ABS. It offers a resolution of about 0.2 mm and a printing volume of 230x150x140 mm; performances that are quite acceptable compared to other models!

Creality CR-6 Se 4


Creality CR-6 Se

The best silent cheap 3d printer

It is a very quiet model, powerful and adapted to all types of use that Créality offers with its model CR-6 SE. You will benefit from a correct printing speed and a neat rendering thanks to this device.

319 £ on Amazon
Buying guide • November 2023

Best cheap 3d printer

Any specific needs?

The best cheap 3d printer in 2021

The best entry-level cheap 3d printer

The best high-end cheap 3d printer

The best silent cheap 3d printer

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best cheap 3d printers

Top Inexpensive Top of the line Excellent
ELEGOO March 2 5
Creality Ender 3 6
FlashForge Dreamer 7
Creality CR-6 Se 8
ELEGOO March 2
Creality Ender 3
FlashForge Dreamer
Creality CR-6 Se
This 3D printer perfectly combines robustness and practicality. In addition, its ease of use definitely makes it one of the most interesting models on the market. In short, it's a safe bet for any user.
Creality Ender 3 is very easy to use and does not require any special technical knowledge. The user can complete the entire configuration by himself in only half an hour. The ideal device for a novice!
If you're looking to get started with dual extrusion 3D printing, the FlashForge Dreamer is a quick and easy way to get good results. You'll also appreciate the various technologies that come with this model.
It is a very quiet model, powerful and adapted to all types of use that Créality offers with its model CR-6 SE. You will benefit from a correct printing speed and a neat rendering thanks to this device.
Molding technique
Print volume
129x80x150 mm
220x220x250 mm
230x150x140 mm
235x235x 250 mm
Print speed
30-50 mm/s
180 mm/s
10-100 mm/s
80 mm/s
Layer thickness
0.01-0.2 mm
0.1-0.4 mm
0.05-0.4 mm
0.1-0.4 mm
SD card
Wifi SD Card

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Buying guide - cheap 3d printer

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How to choose your cheap 3d printer

There are a few things you need to consider if you want to find the perfect printer, especially if it's a low-cost model. The size, compatible materials or resolution are for example important elements that can influence your choice. Other points should also be checked in order to avoid ending up with a device of mediocre quality.

#1 - The size of the printer

A model dedicated to personal use will not pose a problem as to its location. No matter what room you put it in, it won't be bulky. On the other hand, for models used for professional purposes, these require more space and therefore a specific location.

#2 - Material properties

Many materials can be used in 3D printing. We can mention PLA which is the most used and has the advantage of being practical and biodegradable. Then there is ABS (a thermoplastic polymer) which is resistant to shocks and temperature variations. If you want to focus on elasticity, turn to TPU. In short, it is up to you to choose the materials according to the desired result.

#3 - Resolution and finesse

The finer the printing, the better the quality. The precision includes 2 notions namely the vertical precision and the horizontal precision. If the first corresponds to the thickness of the layers of filament deposited, the second concerns the precision of the positioning at the level of the X and Y axes. Depending on the model, the layer thickness varies between 50 and 100 microns.

#4 - Color or not printing

On the market, there are models that allow the choice of colors while others do not. Some printers are even able to print various colors simultaneously.

#5 - The options

Even if it is a cheap 3D printer, do not forget to take a look at the options offered. To mention only the printing speed, for example, which can vary from one model to another. The technology is also part of the options to check and it would be best to choose a device that is able to print in a precise way. In addition, the connections are also important so that you can connect, for example, a USB key for direct printing, without having to go through a computer.

What is a 3D printer and how does it work?

The 3D printer is a machine capable of producing a real object in three dimensions without human intervention. The device uses a model previously defined in a digital file. By adding material progressively, the elements are manufactured by superimposing many layers. The printing can be done with various materials such as plastic, wood or aluminum.

A 3D printer is composed of 4 main elements: the print head or extruder (there are models with 2 heads allowing to make prints with 2 distinct colors), the printing plate (some printers are equipped with a heating plate), the filament spool (it is the equivalent of the ink cartridge for traditional printers) and the printing software. It is this last one that is in charge of slicing the 3D model into thin layers. In addition to these 4 elements, we can find additional components such as a control screen, USB ports or a Wi-Fi connection.

How does this revolutionary device work? It all starts with the design of the model! From his PC and using a CAD software, the user proceeds to the creation of a 3D model. This is essential for the printer to have a precise idea of what it will print. Once the model is sent to the device, the user can insert the filament into the extruder. This is the time to check that there is enough material. Once it is heated, the filament will be deposited layer after layer on the printing plate to create the desired object.

The printing time varies depending on the model and the parameters of each printer. 3D printing is nowadays used in several sectors: aeronautics, medicine, robotics or food...

The different types of cheap 3d printers

Depending on their use, there are several types of cheap 3d printers. Thus, they can be office, industrial or food.

The desktop 3D printer

As its name suggests, the desktop 3D printer is primarily intended to be installed on your desk. As a result, there is no risk of it taking up too much space in the room. It is fully operational upon delivery.

Although the desktop 3D printer is ready to use, the user will still have to make some small adjustments beforehand. These can take several hours if one is not used to them.

The industrial 3D printer

Professionals will appreciate the various possibilities offered by the industrial 3D printer. This type of device allows them, for example, to perform rapid prototyping, produce functional parts or even finished products.

One of the weak points of this type of printer is its size. Therefore, it requires a particular location, otherwise it is the clutter guaranteed. It also needs a good stability for the printing to be more accurate.

The 3D food printer

The strengths of the food 3D printer are numerous. First, in terms of tooling, it is advantageous since you are no longer obliged to buy a new mold every time you have a new recipe. Secondly, the user can create the shapes he wants. For catering professionals, this device solves all storage problems, as they have the ability to produce only the quantities needed.

The print size of the food 3D printer is limited. If you're a baker and want to make a large piece, you're going to have to make several prints and then assemble the different parts. This requires more work!

Cheap 3D printer SLA or FDM?

Cheap 3D printer SLA

This type of printer is very versatile and uses a laser to transform liquid resin into solid plastic. This device is therefore able to provide parts with a fairly high resolution and precision. It allows for greater detail. In addition to the barely visible overlapping layers, the surface finish is also very satisfactory.

Despite their strengths, SLA 3D printers do have a few weak points. Starting with their handling! Indeed, it is often necessary to have technical knowledge in order to use them properly. Secondly, with regard to the colours, the user unfortunately does not have the option of combining different colours.

Cheap 3D printer FDM

Unlike SLA models, the FDM 3D printer is particularly suitable for non-professionals. It has the advantage of working with different thermoplastics such as PLA and ABS. This type of device is perfect for printing parts that are not complex and with a prototyping that does not require much time. It is also ideal for proof-of-concept models.

On the downside, FDM 3D printers are clearly not suitable for printing parts with a high degree of complexity. Indeed, these printers have a low resolution as well as a rather mediocre precision. As a result, the details lack finesse. Apart from the imperfections, the presence of printing layers is also noticeable, resulting in very visible lines.


If you are not a professional and want to print fairly simple parts in this case, an FDM 3D printer will do just fine. But in case you want to gain more precision regarding the printing of complex parts, it makes more sense to take SLA models. For sure, you will not be disappointed with the result!

Why buy a cheap 3d printer?

For its printing speed

A cheap 3D printer does not necessarily mean that you will be dealing with a less efficient device. As a matter of fact, some models have a very satisfactory printing speed. Indeed, you can easily find low-cost printers capable of printing at a speed of around 22 mm/h. It is a performance which is already very interesting!

For its printing quality

With this kind of printer, the user can also benefit from a very good printing quality. This translates into an astonishing precision of up to 0.1 to 0.3 mm for a very clean result. We can say that the imperfections are really minimal! As for the level of resolution, it is not impossible to find models presenting for example a resolution XY to 0,047 mm (2560 X 1440).

For its technologies

A cheap 3D printer can incorporate interesting technologies! For example, some models have an integrated hard disk. This allows the user to restart the last print if desired. In addition, other models can be equipped with a USB port. This is very practical in order to start printing directly from the printer. An additional time saver!

For its ease of use

In general, this type of printer is not complicated to use. It is not necessary to have very advanced technical knowledge to understand its use. In most cases, the settings are very simple. In order to give the user better control, there are models that include the EasyPrint 3D application. This application also provides access to various functions.

For its robustness

Just because these printers are affordable does not mean they cannot be used for a long time. Thus, it is quite possible to use them for many years. Indeed, the various elements which compose them are always perfectly assembled. In other words, the quality of manufacture of these devices is generally excellent, which guarantees their durability.

The best brands of cheap 3d printers

In our opinion, the best brands of cheap 3d printers in 2022 are :


Based in the United States and more precisely in Minnesota, this company founded in the late 90s started its activities in the field of manufacturing process automation. In 2014, the manufacturer offered engineers industrial 3D printing systems to speed up their production process. Today, it is a global leader in custom 3D imaging prototype manufacturing.

Having come into existence in 2014, this brand has embarked on not only 3D printer design, but also related products. Providing the best user experience is one of the goals that this structure has set for itself. Apart from 3D printers, it also manufactures 3D scanners, 3D printed robots as well as drones. Creality's ambition is to bring technological innovation in all sectors of activity.

This German-based company specializes in 3D printing from specific materials such as metals and polymer. It is very active in the industrial sector and its technologies have nothing to envy to those developed by its main competitors. In terms of industrial 3D equipment, this manufacturer is now considered a real reference worldwide.

Located in China, Elegoo is specialized in the manufacture of 3D printers. For a few years, this manufacturer has been particularly famous in the design of resin 3D printers. Nowadays, it has equipped its devices with LED technology. Elegoo 3D printers stand out for their affordable cost. However, the quality and precision of printing are always there. In 2020, Elegoo has sold more than thousands of printers worldwide.

Founded in 2011, Flashforge has been involved in the production of 3D printers since its inception. Its devices are distinguished by their excellent quality and are intended more for any audience. This manufacturer has mainly built its reputation on the development of open 3D printer models. Quality and safety are the key words at Flashforge! That is why its devices are CE, FCC and RoHS certified.

What is the price for a cheap 3d printer

The diagram below will help you to get an idea of the typical prices for each price range (entry-level, mid-range and high-end).

However, more expensive does not necessarily mean better.

We therefore advise you to always consult our ranking before deciding, rather than blindly relying on price ranges.

100 £ to 200 £
200 £ to 500 £
more than 500 £
Price range diagram


Cleaning a 3D printer

To maintain your printer, consider cleaning the extrusion nozzle. Use good quality acetone for this! Then, for the extruder, use a sharp tool to scrape off any debris or gunk that has accumulated. As for the printing plate, remove the tape that is already present before cleaning the printing surface with alcohol. Then change the tape!

Retouching a poorly printed part

There are many ways to help you make a touch-up in case a piece is printed incorrectly. For example, you can use precision files to rework 3D printed parts. It is also possible to use specially adapted tools such as heating tools that have different tips. Each tip fulfilling a specific function (smoothing, cutting, trimming, ...).

Choosing the right size

To choose the ideal size regarding your 3D printer, you need to determine the printing volume you want to have. After taking into account your expectations in terms of printing, focus in a second step on the practical aspect. To this end, opt for a model with a size that will not clutter the room in which you plan to install it.

3D printing of figurines

In order to easily print 3D figures, the trick is to download 3D models available on sites like Toy Forge. Some of these sites host models that may be free, but still be of very good quality. Before you download, though, consider checking to see if the models you like are 3D printer ready.

Find the fastest 3D printer

To find the fastest 3D printer, there's only one way: take a look at the offerings on the internet. To help you, you can check out the many comparisons and buying guides that are widely available. Don't hesitate to visit as many websites as possible to check if the information about a specific model is true.


What materials can be used on a 3D printer?

Depending on the type of 3D printer, the user will be able to use many materials on a 3D printer. We can mention PLA, a widely used material; ABS; polyester plastics such as PET and PETG; TPU, nylon, PC which is a polycarbonate. Nowadays, materials such as wood, ceramic or aluminium are also used.

How long does it usually take to print?

Once again, the printing time will largely depend on the3d printer you have chosen. Apart from that, the printing time also depends on several factors: the size of the part to be printed (the bigger it is, the longer it takes), the filling rate... If it is difficult to determine the printing time, you can always use software (Slicer or Cura) to get an estimate of the printing time.

How to use a 3D printer?

The first step is to draw a 3D model and then import it into a cheap 3d printer software. The second step is to open the file and resize it if necessary. After connecting the printer to your PC, it is now a matter of inserting the filaments and setting the settings. Finally, just press the button to start printing right away.

What to do with a 3D printer?

There are many things you can do with a 3D printer in your possession. If you like cooking, you can make all sorts of custom molds or cookie cutters. For your kids, you can create figurines or construction sets. If interior decoration is your passion, you can make unique decorative objects such as light stands!


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

See more
Our selection
ELEGOO March 2 9
ELEGOO March 2
Creality Ender 3 10
Creality Ender 3
FlashForge Dreamer 11
FlashForge Dreamer
Creality CR-6 Se 12
Creality CR-6 Se


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