Personal 3d printer

I was thinking of getting myself a 3d printer soon and have a budget of 300 and below. Any recommendations? Plan on using PLA and making some robo parts(if needed) since our school printers are unreliable and some personal projects.

If you can spend $350, the Prusa Mini is the way to go.


I bought the Anycubic i3 Mega S just before the start of the season and it’s worked fine so far, so take that as you will.

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Ender 3 pro has been my personal favorite with that price range


I’ve had a couple of AnyCubics and they’ve proved reliable and decent quality for the price.

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Anycubic i3 seems like a move. We ran a pair of them into the ground at work and easily got our money’s worth (~$220 each on sale).

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I just started 3D printing so I’m not the best authority but I absolutely love my ender 3. I did find out it can’t do nylon without an upgraded extruder but if you go with an original ender (not pro) and buy an extruder upgrade it may still end up around $300.


I’ll add another recommendation for the AnyCubic i3 Mega S. I got mine about 6 months ago on sale for less than $200 and free (international) shipping. I know they were doing a discount for FRC teams if you ordered through Amazon (talk to @mpirringer about that). Even if you end up paying a bit more than I did, it shouldn’t be more than $250 and it’s been working great for me. There may be some delay with COVID-19 shutting down commerce at the moment though.

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I’d definitely recommend an Ender 3 or Ender 3 Pro. Both are great printers for their price point


Yeah, I would suspect the same. They are highly based in Asia so I would wager there are huge delays right now.

The ender 3 is super easy to assemble, it takes time but the process is very simple


Just to add to your list of options, here is a non-traditional choice…

I would suggest looking into SLA (aka resin) printing.

I purchased a Longer3d Orange 10 a few months ago, and since have had some beautiful and phenomenal quality prints.

Not always suited for the robotics stuff, it could definitely have its advantages in smaller and more precise personal projects.

In total, it cost around $240, which includes some of the extra post-processing materials that are needed. Make sure to do your research, because this is definitely a different experience compared to normal fdm printing.

Hope this helped a bit :slight_smile:

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I like my Ender 3 pro. I also have a couple of AnyCubic Chiron’s at work which are good for larger jobs. The Ender has better quality prints. I also got a Kingroon for the team this year. It has a small build area but it has been very good. We even put it in a power cube and took it to competition week 2.

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I absolutely love my resin printer (I went with the AnyCubic Photo), but we found that the resin was brittle for FRC. I tend to use the FDM printers with PLA for parts that won’t take an impact or bear a load, and PETG for other components.

That said, if you want high quality prints and are ok with the cost of the resin, I agree completely that the current low-cost resin printers do beautiful work.

you should check out qidi tech x-one-2. It is very reliable

I would highly recommend any of the Prusa printers. They are super easy to use, and the slicer that the company provides is amazing, and pretty much does everything for you. Overall a very reliable printer.

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Ender 3 Pro, with a couple mods such as stronger bed springs and changed spool location. It may not have any of the fancy automation of bed leveling, but it brings about the same amount of quality of a Prusa I3 MK3S.

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@Bilby and @abenstirling I’ve actually read right a bit about these resin printers before and am interested in maybe buying one of them later on. How brittle are the parts that you’ve made with your printers compared to conventional 3D printing?

FormLabs has some really interesting materials for their SLA Form printers. I’ve played with some samples printed in Tough 2000 resin recently, and they were incredible in terms of their strength, stiffness, and toughness for a SLA part. They were probably about as close to an injection molded part as I’ve seen from an SLA resin. You could likely print useful parts for FRC or FTC out of this material.

Most other SLA resin materials are good for printing temporary low-load prototypes or housings for sensors or models for something like a model train layout, but aren’t great for many of the types of functional parts you’d use in FRC.

Lastly, SLA resins are cured by UV light. Since there are low levels of UV light in our everyday lives, this usually means these parts continue to slowly “cure” and become increasingly brittle with age. You can greatly extend the life of SLA resin parts if you paint them.

Thanks for the info! I guess for now I’m going to not get into SLA and just get my self and Ender 3 so I can just learn the basics. hopefully I can get an SLA printer later on though.