3D printers are now affordable enough to buy and bring home if you’re willing to put in the time to learn how to use them. So how much does a 3d printer cost? A lot of factors affect how much it costs to buy a 3d printer, including your desired quality level, whether you’re going to be using it professionally or as a hobbyist, and what model you choose (there are dozens of different models on the market), and even the color of the printer itself! Let’s take an in-depth look at these factors so you can make an informed buying decision.
Step 1: Find your budget
Before you start shopping for a 3D printer, you need to decide how much money you want to spend. To do that, figure out how much your hobby is going to cost overall. For example, if you’re looking at $50 printers, but buying $50 rolls of plastic and paying $200 for colored inks won’t work well with your budget.
Step 2: Know what you want
You may want an entry-level 3D printer that’s plug-and-play and easy to use, or you may be willing to trade some of those features for extra precision or advanced materials. You might be looking to print parts on your desk at home or create larger products in your factory. Price: It’s no secret that 3D printers aren’t cheap; even entry-level machines can run you $500 or more.
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How Much Does a 3D Printer Cost?
3D printers vary in cost based on size, specialty, and use. The cheapest 3D printers cost around $200, while some industrial 3D printers can cost up to $100,000. The average consumer pays about $650 for a 3D printer. We will see prices drop dramatically as 3D printing technology becomes more widely adopted.
The 3D printer you want may not be the one you get. This could be because it’s not available or it’s out of your budget. To make your choices simpler you need to search for the category that’s right for you. This section will organize models by 3D printer price in five price categories:
Type 1: Hobbyist 3D Printers
If you have some experience in 3D printing and consider it your hobby, then you’ll want to look at a higher standard of 3D printers that might offer a large build volume, higher accuracy, and proven reliability. Printers in this category are better, faster, and more flexible than the other categories above. Also, the print area is larger allowing you to produce bigger objects like Cosplay outfits.
Hobbyist-level printers provide better quality at a faster turn-around time. Besides, you can also use more than one material. This means you can get more creative and produce unique objects.
Hobbyist 3D printer price range: $300 – $1,500
Type 2: Entry Level 3D Printers
3D printers in this category are more capable and reliable compared to budget devices. These printers are ideal for frequent use. Even if they don’t cost much, they’re packed with essential features to get the job done and produce good quality prints.
Entry Level 3D Printers price range: $200 – $400
Type 3: Enthusiast 3D Printers
You’re now a 3D printing enthusiast if you are ready to take your hobby to a more serious level. That means you’ll want to find an enthusiast category 3D printer to meet your needs. Here’s a quick breakdown of what you can expect from a 3D printer in this class:
- A solid, robust printer with lots of user-friendly features
- Prints up to 8-12″ in either dimension
- Quite a bit *faster and quieter than entry and hobbyist level 3D printers
- Wider choice of materials, though some will use brand-only filaments
Enthusiast 3D printer price range: $1,500 — $3,500
Type 4: Professional 3D Printers
To buy a 3D printer from the professional category means your machine “works” for you. Either that or you’ve got plenty of spare cash to splash out on a serious hobby.
These machines print high-quality 3D parts, and some boast a build area of around 12″ (all dimensions). The range of 3D print materials, including different textures and multiple colors, is now greatly expanded. The best machines in this category can also print fast while maintaining quality. People who invest in a professional 3D printer typically include:
- Schools and universities
- Robotics clubs
- Businesses – large and small enterprises
Professional 3D printer price range: $3,500 – $6,000
Type 5: Industrial 3D Printers
Industrial 3D printers are at the extreme end of 3D printing prices. Companies have used them to improve their prototyping capabilities, offer large-scale 3D printing and even fabricate art sculptures.
Industrial 3D printer price range: $20,000 – $100,000
Conclusion – Now Buy Your Printer!
Buying a 3D printer may seem like an investment, but don’t worry! Prices have dropped dramatically over recent years. If you shop around and do your research, you can find one at a price that’s within your budget. Many models are available for less than $1000, so getting started has never been easier! Best of all, if you buy now and start using it regularly, you’ll be able to print upgrades for yourself almost immediately.