What are the best 3D Printers for under $1000?

By: Eric Franck

If you are looking for details on the best printers in the $1000 budget, then you have come to the right place. In this post we will discuss both FDM and resin printers. Generally speaking FDM is for those who require functionality over presentation due to it's high strength; While resin is typically for those who like to print highly detailed items at the cost of time and strength. Now that we have a basic understanding of the characteristics of each type let’s discuss what is important in a printer.

Our picks for best printers under $1000:

The market is saturated with printers, some unique, some clones. Here we discuss 5 unique machines and the various use-cases associated with each. Some of the best consumer level 3D printers can be found in this price range, but what makes them unique? Print size, overall construction quality, repairability, and many other factors are considered while making this list.
Without further ado let’s dive into our top 5 picks for the best 3D printer under $1,000

The Creality CR-6 Max

Starting with our top pick for FDM printers is the Creality CR-6 Max coming in at $899. This printer is largely supported by the maker community. The Creality CR-6 Max comes as a 60% complete kit which means you have to finish assembling it. It may sound daunting at first, but with the step-by-step instructions and all the needed tools included it's an excellent hands-on learning experience.
This printer features a silent mainboard with whisper quiet printing, power loss recovery, and heated glass bed that holds the part on the print bed without the need for glue. Speaking of print beds, this machine offers a large 400x400x400mm (about 1.31 ft) print bed. The CR-6 Max was designed with users in mind making repairs and hardware changes a breeze with the included spares.
Learn more about the Creality CR-6 Max 6

FlashForge Creator Max 2 IDEX

Our second pick is the FlashForge Creator Max 2 IDEX, a unique printer due to its IDEX extruder setup. For those wondering, IDEX simply stands for “Independent Dual Extruder meaning you have 2 hotends separate from each other. IDEX printing enables you to get the most out of dual head printing. IDEX printers can clear the non-working print head from the build area to avoid filament from being laid whilst the working print head is active. The Creator Max 2 can print ABS, PLA, PETG, HIPS, and much more with its heated and optional flexible bed. This is a fully enclosed and passively heated machine allowing more unstable filaments to be protected from cold drafts possibly ruining your print. This machine has a 200 x 148 x 150 mm build volume allowing you to print 2 or more medium sized items.
Learn more about the Creator Max 2 IDEX

Phrozen Sonic 4K

Our third pick is a 4K resin printer that took the market by swarm. The Phrozen Sonic 4K is an extremely accurate resin printer with 35µm precision and a screen size of 6.1” inches and 7.8” vertical dimensions. The Sonic 4K has a monochrome LCD which allows for fast layer times up to 1 second. The intuitive touchscreen responds on the first press making the user experience excellent. This machine also features high quality linear rails and ball screw for stable Z axis travel. The sonic 4k is a professional grade printer made of high quality parts and an all metal frame. The sonic 4k, while it is an older machine, is still among the best printers available in many regards- and you can get one today for only $799!
Learn more about the Phrozen Sonic 4K

Creality Ender 3 V2

Our fourth pick is for low cost entry into 3D printing. The Creality Ender 3 V2 is a community favorite with tons of free online help from other users. The Ender 3 V2 is an affordable powerhouse of a printer that comes as a 40% kit. It comes with detailed instructions on how to assemble the machine in roughly 2 hours. It has a bowden style extrusion mechanism, and a 210x210x230mm print area with heated bed. The Ender 3 V2 also comes with Creality’s 32 bit silent mainboard so you can put this printer in a living space and not have to worry about loud noises. A full color LCD display with easy to use UI allows for easy navigation of the printers menus.
Learn more about the Creality Ender 3 V2

Snapmaker 2.0 F350

Our fifth and final pick is the Snapmaker 2.0 F250. This printer is more than it seems! This printer is modular meaning you can swap between tool heads to complete whatever project you desire. This machine is a capable 3d printer with the ability to purchase a 10W High Power Laser Module as well as an accompanying Rotary module. This modular system gives you the ability to do nearly any project you can dream of! The F250 comes with a 5in smart touchscreen to navigate the UI controlled by a powerful 4 core processor. This machine also comes with a magnetic flexible heated bed to make prints stick and come off with ease. This printer has a build size of 250 × 230 × 235 mm print volume.
Learn more about the snapmaker 2.0 F250

What's best for me?

After seeing our top picks you may wonder. “What is best for me?” We have an answer, the best pick for you is based on your needs! If you want to print miniatures for tabletop games or want to create casts for jewelry molding, resin is your best choice. The Phrozen Sonic 4K is a high-quality professional series printer made of all metal construction and high quality parts. The best budget resin printer without a doubt goes to the Phrozen Sonic 4k, at $799 no other machine compares.
If you want to print functional items such as bearing blocks or light clips, ect. FDM is your best choice. If you plan on working in the same room as the printer, then we advise on an enclosure printer like one from the FlashForge line, featured here the Creator Max 2 IDEX. While IDEX brings more versatility to printing, Snapmaker redefines versatility by incorporating a modular tool head. With the Snapmaker you aren’t just buying a printer but a platform that can support all your different DIY projects. This category would not be complete without Creality machines, we recommend the CR-6- the newest and most feature packed Creality machine available. We also included the Ender 3 V2 for the ultra-low budget buyers that are entering the market and would like help from the maker community