if you are looking for the best 3D printer under 200 UK, this article is for you. Don’t go anywhere. Keep reading this one.
Having personally tested and explored various 3D printers for several weeks, I can confidently say that these machines have immense value in both professional and personal realms. Witnessing their capability to transform ideas into physical objects is awe-inspiring. The convenience of producing prototypes, replacement parts, and artistic creations in the comfort of one’s space is empowering.
Throughout the testing process, I found myself enthralled by the endless potential these printers offer. From creating intricate jewelry to functional household items, the versatility of 3D printing knows no bounds. Moreover, the affordability of 3D printers under £200 in the UK makes them accessible to a broader audience.
Gone are the days when setting up a 3D printer felt like an adventure full of technical hurdles. We remember the struggles with filament-based printers, constantly coaxing the filament feeders and painstakingly aligning print beds. The distance between the nozzle and the build plate demanded precision, and removing completed objects from the construction plate required delicate maneuvers.
But fear not! The world of 3D printing has evolved, and we’re excited to share our findings after testing several models for weeks. Today, 3D printers have matured significantly, becoming more affordable and user-friendly, making them accessible to DIYers and hobbyists alike. Now, completing fundamental tasks no longer results in frustrating battles with technical glitches. However, it’s important to understand the distinctions between different models, especially if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option or just starting in the world of 3D printing.
In the following paragraphs, we’ll delve into our experiences with various 3D printers under £200, highlighting their strengths and areas for improvement. Our walkthrough guide will provide you with valuable insights into the essential specifications and technologies for first-time buyers. So, if you’re ready to explore the exciting world of 3D printing and unleash your creativity, we invite you to continue reading. Discover the best affordable 3D printers and embark on a fulfilling journey of turning imagination into reality.
Best 3D Printer Under 200 UK At A Glance
Let’s look at the models below.
|3D Printer Name||Buyer|
|Entina Mini |
|Voxelab Aquila||84%||View Product|
Correct Shape And Design
One crucial aspect to consider is the build volume, which refers to the maximum dimensions (height, width, and depth) that a 3D printer can accommodate. We categorize build volumes as small, medium, or large based on their size. Typically, printers with smaller build volumes are more affordable, while higher-end printers tend to offer larger build volumes. However, the type of printer also plays a role in determining the build volume.
Open-frame printers, which lack a solid physical framework, often provide relatively larger build volumes for the price. In contrast, closed-frame printers and semi-open models, with a sturdy top, base, and sides but an open front and sometimes rear, tend to have smaller build volumes. It’s important to compare the build volume to the types of objects you plan to print. For home usage, ensure that the printer’s measurements align with your desired print sizes and fit nicely on your desk.
Another consideration is the design of the printer itself. You can choose between a neatly self-contained printer or one with its inner workings on display. The latter design, often an open-frame style, can be appealing if you enjoy technology and engineering. It offers easier maintenance and a visually interesting look. However, an enclosed printer is more suitable for a household environment. 3D printing involves moving mechanical components, and the extrusion unit can reach temperatures above 250°C. An enclosed design provides added safety by preventing accidental contact with these components and helps contain the noise generated by cooling fans and motors.
Open Vs Closed Frame
When it comes to the debate between open-frame and closed-frame 3D printers, I have a personal perspective on the matter. Let’s talk about the frame “form factor” and how it influences the overall experience.
Closed-frame 3D printers are like sturdy boxes with a solid base, walls (with a transparent front entrance), and a top cover. One of the advantages of closed frames is the added protection they offer. They create a barrier between the hot extruder and anyone or anything that might accidentally come into contact with it. Additionally, closed-frame printers help reduce operational noise and contain the smell of melted filament, which can be an issue when working with ABS plastic. However, it’s important to note that closed-frame printers often have smaller build volumes compared to their open-frame counterparts since they have fewer or no limitations.
On the other hand, open-frame 3D printers provide a different approach. If a large construction volume is a priority for you, an open-frame printer is likely to be more cost-effective. However, it’s essential to consider the potential drawbacks. Open-frame printers tend to be louder and may emit unpleasant odors when specific polymers melt. Moreover, they offer minimal safety measures for anyone who might accidentally touch the hot extruder. Depending on the specific model, open frames might require assembly, and they generally demand more setup considerations and maintenance to ensure optimal performance. Nevertheless, these characteristics shouldn’t discourage enthusiasts and DIYers. In fact, they might even attract them, as they provide a more hands-on and customizable experience.
Both open-frame and closed-frame 3D printers, as well as a few stereolithography printers, are available at affordable prices. Understanding the pros and cons of each type will help you make an informed decision.
Nozzle Size and Resolution
Most 3D printers come with a standard 0.4mm nozzle commonly used to extrude molten material. In general, this size is sufficient for most prints that don’t require intricate details. While I wouldn’t recommend using it for tiny game miniatures, it works perfectly well for decorations, tools, and trinkets. However, it’s important to note that nozzle diameter alone doesn’t tell the whole story. To determine how precisely the plastic can be positioned, we need to consider the print resolution as well.
Despite having a 0.4mm nozzle, many printers can lay down the plastic with precision as fine as 0.1mm. This means that the printer can accurately control the placement of each layer, resulting in smoother and more polished prints. Print resolution plays a crucial role in achieving professional-looking results, as it can vary significantly across different printers. Before making a purchase, it’s essential to consider the print resolution offered by the printer, as it can make a notable difference in the final print quality.
Understanding the relationship between nozzle size and print resolution is vital in ensuring that your prints meet your expectations. While a 0.4mm nozzle is suitable for most applications, if you have specific requirements for highly detailed models or miniatures, you might need to consider printers with smaller nozzles and higher print resolutions. This consideration will help you avoid prints that appear lumpy or unprofessional and instead achieve the level of detail and precision you desire.
From a personal perspective, the connectivity options available in 3D printers have come a long way, making the printing process much more convenient and user-friendly. Manufacturers now integrate their own 3D printing software or modify existing ones like Cura, which is a free option. This software handles three main tasks: processing the object file (resizing, moving, rotating, and duplicating), slicing it into virtual layers based on the chosen resolution, and finally, initiating the printing process. These tasks are seamlessly integrated, ensuring a smooth and efficient workflow.
Regarding connectivity, the options vary from printer to printer, especially among budget-friendly models. Most printers offer a USB Type-A connector, allowing you to print from files stored on a thumb drive. Some printers support Ethernet, enabling printer sharing across a local network, in addition to a USB Type-B connection for direct computer connection. Some models even offer Wi-Fi as an added convenience. Some printers allow you to store system files on SD or microSD cards, providing storage options for 3D data.
To make things even more accessible, many 3D printer manufacturers, including budget brands, offer smartphone apps to start and monitor print jobs. Some models even provide access to cloud services for printing. While higher-end 3D printers generally offer a wider range of connection options, discount models also come with quite a few connectivity choices.
Best 3D Printer Under 200 UK- Expert Tested Models
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Setting up the Creality Ender 3D printer was a nice experience overall as tested. The assembly was not too difficult, and we were able to get it ready quite easily. It’s a great entry into the world of 3D printing, especially for beginners.
The print quality of the Ender 3D printer is impressive, especially with PLA material. The prints turned out great, and I was delighted with the accuracy and details it provided. It’s a fantastic tool for unleashing creativity and making various objects.
However, there were some shortcomings I encountered during the testing process. One issues I faced only once was the Thermal Runaway E1 errors after months of use with varying circumstances.
The noise level of the printer was a bit high, and it could be heard in different rooms, which might be annoying for some. Another drawback I found was with PET-G filament. While it offers strength, it is not as easy to work with compared to PLA, and it tends to cause more stringing and messiness during prints.
Overall, the Creality Ender 3D printer is a great entry-level option for beginners, offering excellent print quality and a good starting point for 3D printing enthusiasts. However, there are some upgrades and modifications required to enhance user-friendliness and improve the overall experience. Considering the price range, it’s still a worthy investment for those looking to embark on the 3D printing journey.
The pleasure of testing the Entina Mini 3D printer, which falls under the affordable price range of £200 was up to the mark. Let me start by praising the plug-and-play capabilities of this remarkable printer. Having previously dealt with filament-based printers that took forever to print larger items, I was delighted to find that the Entina Mini offered a smooth and hassle-free experience. Setting it up felt like a breeze, as it comes in a rigid plastic box that supports all its mechanics and electrics, with the added bonus of self-leveling technology.
With a power brick running the show, it genuinely felt like a plug-and-play device. Loading the filament and inserting the SD card to start printing was a simple and straightforward process. The printer comes with user-friendly software that allows easy access to free 3D models and effortless file creation, making it ideal for beginners like me.
The upgraded version of the Entina Mini boasts a heated bed, which ensures better print quality, and the magnetic bed is a convenient feature, allowing easy removal of finished prints. Moreover, the printer’s one-touch quieter option made it a peaceful addition to my workspace, sitting neatly on a shelf inside a cupboard.
Though the print area is small, it proved more than adequate for most of my projects. Larger printers often take endless hours to complete prints, so the compact size of the Entina Mini is not a significant drawback for me.
While the printer’s open sides give it a neat and consumer-grade appearance, it lacks a fan mod for a more efficient hotend cooling, particularly with certain materials. However, for my current needs, this hasn’t posed a major issue.
First and foremost, this 3D printer is an excellent choice for beginners. It’s user-friendly and easy to set up, even for those who have no prior experience with 3D printing. Within minutes of unboxing, I was able to start printing, and the included microSD card with pre-installed software made the process smooth.
The automatic bed leveling feature is a great addition, taking away the stress of manual leveling for beginners. The printer’s compact size and portability make it ideal for small projects, such as scenery, bases, and school projects. The quality of prints is surprisingly good for its price range, making it suitable for various purposes.
The customer support provided by WEEFUN is commendable. They were responsive and helpful in addressing issues, offering solutions, and even sending replacements when needed. The printer comes with a heated bed, which is a significant advantage for a mini printer and allows for experimenting with different materials.
Moving on to the shortcomings, unfortunately, some users, including myself, encountered issues with the printer after some time of use. For example, the heat block may work its way loose, causing the print nozzle to drop midway through a print, leading to ruined prints. In some cases, the nozzle might clog, resulting in printing problems as tested.
The build plate size is limited, which may be restrictive for larger projects. Additionally, some users reported issues with the cooling fan and filament feeding. While the manufacturer offers good support, it’s essential to be prepared for potential troubleshooting and tinkering.
Talking about the tested the Voxelab Aquila 3D printer under £200, let’s begin with the praises.
The printer, once properly set up, performs well and delivers good prints. It took some time to understand the settings and get everything calibrated, but after that initial learning curve, the printing process went quite smoothly. The included glass plate provides good adhesion, although applying glue might be necessary for some prints. The printer’s price was favorable, making it an attractive option for those on a budget. It comes with useful tools and a bit of filament for test prints.
However, the printer can be challenging for beginners. The setup process, including leveling the bed, can be time-consuming and may require external resources like YouTube videos for guidance. There is no alert or alarm system to notify users in case of filament tangles or snaps, which can be frustrating, especially for overnight prints. The printer’s noise level might be bothersome, although it can be mitigated by placing it in a less frequently used room.
In summary, the Voxelab Aquila 3D printer offers decent performance at an affordable price. However, it may not be the most beginner-friendly option. If you’re willing to invest time and effort into learning and troubleshooting, this printer can deliver satisfactory results.
The BIQU 3D printer is an attractive option for those looking for an affordable and feature-rich 3D printer. The assembly process, although slightly more involved than some other printers, is straightforward with comprehensive instructions and helpful videos available. The printer’s extruder has been improved with a single USB-C wire, making filament feeding and swapping easier and more convenient.
The build plate’s powder coating provides good adhesion and allows for easy removal of prints. The touchscreen interface, although not the best, is reasonably intuitive and functional. The print quality is impressive right out of the box, comparable to some of the best printers on the market.
Now, let’s discuss the shortcomings. Some users have reported issues with the printer freezing, error messages, and difficulties in printing consecutive items without manually restarting the printer. The lack of a detailed instruction manual for the touchscreen and certain functions can be frustrating for beginners.
Additionally, the provided SD card has a limited capacity, and users may need to acquire larger cards. Customer support has been a significant issue for some users, with slow responses and unhelpful solutions.
The ANYCUBIC 3D printer has an impressive build volume and produces amazingly detailed prints, making it a great option for those who value high-quality results. The printer’s performance is commendable, providing some great 3D prints with relative ease. For beginners, the printer offers a user-friendly touch screen interface and straightforward setup. Additionally, the Mono version, in particular, stands out for its fast print times and efficient output.
One notable drawback of the ANYCUBIC 3D printer is its print time, especially for highly detailed prints, which can be quite slow. Some users have experienced challenges with failed prints, bed leveling, and resin-related issues. The build quality, with its plastic exterior and resin vat, might be a concern for some users, as it can lead to difficulties in cleaning and maintaining the printer. The use of plastic components can also limit the options for cleaning agents and replacement parts, making certain tasks less convenient.
How We Tested
At our testing facility, we rigorously evaluate 3D printers priced under £200 available in the UK to ensure that our customers make informed and confident purchases. Our testing process involves several key steps. First, we conduct thorough research to select a diverse range of popular models based on user reviews and expert opinions. Next, we purchase these printers and put them through an extended testing period of several weeks.
During the testing phase, we assess various aspects, including print quality, build volume, speed, user-friendliness, and overall performance. We evaluate how well each printer handles different filament materials and if it can maintain consistent results. Additionally, we scrutinize reliability, ease of setup, and customer support.
Our team of experts performs hands-on testing, thoroughly documenting their experiences, and comparing results. After weeks of intensive testing, we analyze the data and consider user feedback to compile comprehensive reviews and ratings for each printer. Our goal is to provide our customers with unbiased and reliable information, helping them choose the best 3D printer that suits their needs and budget.
What Should I Look For When Buying 3D Printer Under 200 UK
From my personal perspective, one crucial feature that sets apart more expensive 3D printers from affordable ones is filament support. Cheaper 3D printers often only work with a limited number of plastic filaments, typically PLA and/or ABS. PLA is a biodegradable, plant-based polymer, while ABS is the strong plastic used in Legos. ABS prints are sturdy and safe, but they can be tricky to work with, as they tend to curl at the corners and emit an unpleasant smell during printing.
Some budget-friendly 3D printers only support PLA, while others can handle a wider range of materials. However, if you want to experiment with a diverse selection of filaments, such as water-soluble, wood- or metal-infused composites, and both robust and flexible types, you may need to invest in a more advanced model. Understanding the variety of available filaments is essential in making the right choice for your 3D printing projects.
From a personal perspective, filament support in 3D printing plays a crucial role in determining the quality and aesthetics of the final printed models. Most 3D printers use Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) technology, which involves melting plastic and building up the model layer by layer. The two primary materials used are polylactide (PLA) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). ABS models are stronger, while PLA models usually result in cleaner prints, but the difference is not significant.
What’s fascinating is that you can also use filaments with added materials like copper or wood. This allows you to create models with unique textures and even make them electrically conductive if needed. Another advantage of filament support is the ability to switch between different materials or colors during printing. For example, you can pause the print, change the filament, and resume to create models with multiple colors or materials.
However, if you want to achieve more complex color mixing, you’ll need a printer with a dual extruder head. This feature allows the printer to switch between two separate filament feeds as it prints each layer. It opens up the possibility of creating intricate multi-colored models.
On the other hand, there’s an alternative technology called Stereolithography (SLA), which uses liquid resin cured by a laser to create models. SLA can produce cleaner and more detailed prints compared to FDM printers at a similar price point. However, it emits unpleasant odors and requires the printed models to be washed with alcohol after the printing process, making it less suitable for household use.
Overall, understanding and utilizing different filament options in 3D printing can greatly enhance the creativity and quality of the printed models. Whether it’s experimenting with different materials or achieving unique color combinations, filament support opens up a world of possibilities for 3D printing enthusiasts.
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