Feeling brave enough to build a 3D printer from scratch? Assembling your own with a cheap DIY 3D printer kit is an attractive low-cost option if you’re on a tight budget.
It’s also a fantastic way to learn the nuts and bolts of how 3D printing works — quite literally. There’s no better way to understand the fundamentals of fused filament fabrication (FFF) than by putting together your own machine. It’s highly satisfying, too.
How long will it take to build your own 3D printer? Typical assembly times vary from kit to kit. Much also depends on the quality of the instructions provided. Usually these are available online, and you can freely review them before you make a purchase.
Another thing to keep in mind is that this option is going to be more complicated than buying a fully assembled and tested machine. While there will be supporting documentation and guides available to help you on your journey, you’ll be flying solo for the most part.
Whichever cheap DIY 3D printer kit you choose, we wish you the best of luck in your quest. And if we’ve missed any from the list below, let us know in the comments and we’ll consider it for inclusion in a future update.
If you want to learn more, check out our related content below.
The Anet A8 is a cheap DIY 3D printer kit with a large build volume and standard NEMA 17 motors to navigate the print-space. Best of all, the Anet A8 comes stock with an extruder and heated bed that makes it capable of printing a diverse selection of filaments.
There’s a good chance you’ve heard about the Anet A8 before, as it has quickly blossomed into one of the go-to cheap DIY 3D printer kits. This machine is definitely recommended to those looking for a quality project printer. You will definitely need to tinker a bit to achieve the perfect print, but the endless array of 3D printable upgrades and modifications will have you constantly improving your Anet A8.
DIY 3D Printer Kit Review: Anet A8 3D Printer Review - High Potential for $200 or Less
It’s hard to classify the Creality CR-10 among the usual DIY 3D printer kits, as this beloved machine is extremely easy to assemble and get printing. However, this DIY 3D printer kit has gained a massive amount of recognition from throughout the 3D printing community, even being labeled by some YouTubers as the “Best 3D Printer”.
So, what makes the Creality CR-10 so popular? Well, for starters, the 3D printer has a generous build size for its low price (which generally fluctuates right below $500). With a little bit of tinkering, you can have high quality prints in no time. But beware, although the Creality CR-10 is easy to assemble, you might need to put in extra work to perfect the output of heat-dependent materials like ABS.
DIY 3D Printer Kit Review: Creality CR-10 Review – The Best 3D Printer under $500
If you’ve been researching the best DIY 3D printer kits for any length of time, you’ll have seen a great many clones of the Prusa i3. It’s a popular design because it’s open source and capable of producing excellent results. But, if you can afford it, we highly recommend buying an Original Prusa i3 directly from the chap who designed it, Josef Prusa.
Although the highly anticipated Prusa i3 MK3 kit is already making rounds, you can get your hands on the equally dependable Prusa i3 MK2S without shelling out as much cash.
The current Prusa i3 MK2S kit, priced at around $759, offers an avalanche of features, including a hefty build volume, speedy printing, automatic bed leveling, and a heated bed with “cold corners compensation”. You can even upgrade your Prusa with dual-extrusion, or even go all the way and convert it into the new MK3 model. While price is usually a determining factor for a DIY 3D printer kit purchase, many community members will tell you that it’s worth the extra investment to obtain the one and only Original.
DIY 3D Printer Kit Review: Original Prusa i3 MK2 Review: Best 3D Printer Kit 2017
The Tevo Tarantula is a cheap DIY 3D printer kit with an all-metal frame construction. Extruded black anodised aluminium is used for the frame material, with laser cut acrylic plates for the control box, and ball bearing V-Groove wheels for smooth and quiet operation. An optional upgrade to consider is an auto-leveling feature which uses a proximity sensor and modified firmware to detect the aluminium print bed. This is nifty because you won’t need to re-adjust the print bed each time a print is performed.
DIY 3D Printer Kit Review: TEVO Tarantula Review: a 3D Printing Fixer Upper
The most affordable DIY 3D printer kit on this list is the Startt from iMaker, which has an astounding price tag of $99 dollars. It’s a Prusa i3 clone that’s expressly pitched as a educational product to appeal to parents and teachers, and the print quality is best described in terms of “good” and “adequate”. Perhaps not the most advanced or sophisticated DIY 3D printer kit available on the market, but it’s intriguing how far the price of a basic machine has fallen whilst still being able to perform key functionality.
As you might have noticed, a majority of the new cheap DIY 3D printer kits are manufactured in China. The Zonestar P802QR2 is one of the many Chinese-made machines gaining recognition around the world. If you’re wondering why, well, this DIY 3D printer offers a feature that most can’t muster up at the same price point.
That’s right, the Zonestar offers dual-extrusion 3D printing, meaning that users can print with multiple colors. You can also add on a laser engraver, making this DIY 3D printer kit a versatile candidate for your desktop. Priced under $300, it’s hard to argue against a DIY 3D printer kit that offers so much, yet costs so little.
Okay, strictly speaking this might not be considered a DIY 3D printer kit. The Anycubic i3 Mega is already part assembled and packed flat for ease of transport. Once it arrives at home, you’re required to do the final assembly yourself with a screwdriver and eight screws. Think of it as getting a bike delivered, where you have to do the final bits like adding pedals and a handlebar using a hex key. The difference here is that you get a pretty decent 3D printer with some modern specs. Result!
The Tronxy X1 is a cheap DIY 3D printer kit that would appear in the dreams of a minimalist maker. This oddly designed printer doesn’t look like your average Cartesian printer, but still manages to provide a nice build size (150 x 150 x 150) and high resolution printing.
If you’re looking for a DIY 3D printer kit but need something budget-sized and budget-priced, take a good hard look at the Tronxy X1.
If the phrase “100% French Quality” offers any reassurance to you, then take a peek at the Dagoma Discoeasy200. This is a simple and affordable DIY 3D printer kit, where no prior technical knowledge is required (but is probably helpful). The 3D printer doesn’t have a heated print-bed, so your choice of filament is limited to PLA, but it does feature the E3D V6 hotend, which is one of the finest 3D printing components currently available.
The Rostock Max V3 is pretty much the ultimate Delta design in fused filament fabrication. This cheap DIY 3D printer kit has a HE280 all-metal hotend — capable of printing any material up to 280 degrees — and an accelerometer probe that allows for simple, automated calibration of your printer. It also has a heated bed, three cooling fans, and an EZR extruder for faster print speeds and a filament drive optimized for printing with flexible filaments.
The MicroDelta Rework is a cheap DIY 3D printer kit where, as the name implies, the design has been substantially reworked and upgraded. The designers promise ease of assembly, where the unit is completely ready to use in just 3 hours. Moreover, it has modern features like auto-levelling and an aluminum machined extruder. Beating at its core is a 32 bit electronic board that’s optimized for Delta robot movements. It’s also upgradable for items like a heated bed, dual extrusion, and LCD controllers.
As you might have noticed after scrolling through this list of DIY 3D printer kits, there are a lot of Prusa clones out there on the market. Similar to the Geeetech 3D printer kit above, the JGAURORA A-3 Prusa is another affordable alternative to the king of desktop 3D printers.
Although it’s a bit more pricey than other clones, the JGAURORA A-3 Prusa has a durable full-metal body, and reportedly prints well without needing modifications. However, this DIY 3D printer kit is no walk in the park, so beginners should prepare to have their work cut out for them. Nonetheless, the JGAURORA A-3 Prusa manages to balance affordability with quality components, making it a solid choice for your first 3D printer.
While it’s hard to beat the quality that comes with the Prusa i3 MK2S (or MK3 for that matter), some makers must be more frugal when making their first DIY 3D printer kit purchase. For those searching for a truly cheap 3D printer kit, the Prusa clone from Geeetech is an option that could be worth a look.
Priced at under $200, this FDM 3D printer kit offers all the basics and more. Believe it or not, the Geeetech model includes a Wi-Fi module and cloud 3D printing solution. You also get a heated bed, high resolution prints, and the ability to operate the printer as a standalone machine.
The Vertex is an affordable and open-source DIY 3D printer kit from Belgium. It features a transparent plastic body and a glass build plate, with optional upgrades like a heated print-bed and dual extruder support. Otherwise known as the Velleman K8400, this machine is capable of printing both ABS and PLA, with a minimum layer height of 50 microns and a build volume of 180 x 190 x 200 mm.
Taking a page out of the Creality Cr-10’s notebook, the Anet E10 has an almost identical frame and overall design. However, the build size is a bit smaller and the price is a bit cheaper, making it a viable option for those looking for a smaller and more inexpensive alternative to the Creality CR-10.
You can set this 3D printer apart from similar styles with the florescent green stripes running down the frame. Much like the Creality CR-10, the Anet E10 DIY 3D printer kit is easy to assemble and operate, and also offers a frugal way to get the most bang for your buck.
While the TEVO Tarantula has probably become the most widely discussed 3D printer kit from the Chinese manufacturer, the TEVO Little Monster should not be dismissed. This towering Delta 3D printer kit from Tevo is ideal for makers looking to print for the sky.
The 240 x 500 build volume puts it on par with other substantially sized Delta DIY 3D printers, but at a much lower price point. Unlike the Tevo Tarantula, the Little Monster is easy to assemble for the novice users. If you want the DIY feel without the hard work, this Delta 3D printer kit may be a good option to consider.
Deezmaker is a big supporter of open source hardware, and has a reputation for offering very reliable 3D printers. The Bukito 3D printer kit is pitched as being super tough and robust, and ideal for use by travellers and sports enthusiasts. How does that work, exactly? Well, the topline feature of this DIY 3D printer is that it can run off portable batteries, which makes it possible for stunts like printing upside down or attaching it to a drone (which has been done).
This cheap DIY 3D printer kit follows a trio of “design commandments” self-imposed by manufacturer IMade3D. They’re pretty straightforward — easy to assemble, easy to use, and great print quality — but you’d be surprised how few machines manage to tick all three boxes.
The ease of assembly part comes from the transparent acrylic frame that’s held together by plastic zip ties. No screws, bolts or nuts are required here. This DIY 3D printer kit is also easy to use. The ease of use comes from the quick release extruder, quick release build plate, quick release hotend, and bed auto-levelling. The results, meanwhile, are impressive, with a potential print resolution at high as 20 microns.
As one of the most affordable Delta-style DIY 3D printer kits on the market, the Anycubic Kossel has become a popular option for those looking to build a kit without breaking the bank.
Aside from a sizable 180 x 180 x 320 build size, this inexpensive DIY 3D printer also offers an all-metal hotend and two cooling fans. The “Upgraded Pulley Model” featured here is equipped with a stronger frame construction, high torque stepper motor, stable rotating speed and uniform extrusion force, and feeding filament smoother. Despite the handful of upgrades, the Kossel DIY 3D printer kit remains affordable for anyone on a budget.
This vibrant yellow DIY 3D printer kit, known as the CoLiDo DIY, is a machine specifically made for educational use. The printer helps place the prowess of DIY into the hands of beginners, offering an easy-to-assemble but informative build.
Equipped with a decent build volume, adequate resolution, and low noise output, the CoLiDo is perfect for the classroom. At $299, this cheap DIY 3D printer kit is a nice starting point for young beginners.
License: The text of "20 Best Cheap DIY 3D Printer Kits (Winter 2017/2018)" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.