Build your own 3D printer with a low budget DIY 3D printer kit. Here are the 21 best cheap DIY 3D printer kits in 2016.
Planning to build a 3D printer from scratch? These cheap DIY 3D printer kits are just the ticket. A DIY 3D printer kit is an attractive low-cost option if you want to start 3D printing on a budget — but keep in mind it’s also more complicated than buying a fully assembled and tested machine.
- 20 Best Cheap 3D Printers Under $500 / $1000
- RepRap Prusa i3 Kit Buyer's Guide (feat. 33 Best Prusa i3 Kits)
On the internet, you can find the cheapest DIY 3D printer kits for under $100. This is not advisable, not unless you want to enter a world of pain, frustration, and misery. This is a list of the best cheap DIY 3D printer kits which have an established reputation.
How long does it take to build your own 3D printer? Typical assembly times will vary from kit to kit, and it also depends on the quality of the supporting documentation provided with the kit.
Usually, these are available online, and you can freely review them before you make a purchase. To help you make your choice, we’ve added links to supporting documentation where available.
Best Cheap DIY 3D Printer Kits 2016: Overview
You can sort and search through these best cheap DIY 3D printer kits. You can click on any name in the table to jump to the detailed description. Alternatively, you can skip this overview and jump directly to the detailed list.
|3D Printer||Type||Build Volume (mm)||Resolution (microns)||Filament (mm)||Connectivity||Heated Bed||Market Price (USD)||Price Check|
|Q3D OneUp||PLA||100 x 100 x 125||50||1.75||USB, SD Card||Optional||199|
|He3D Delta DLT180 Kit||PLA||160 diameter x 230||50||1.75||USB, SD Card||Optional||215|
|Q3D TwoUp||PLA||175 x 175 x 125||50||1.75||USB, SD Card||Optional||279|
|He3D Tricolor Kit||PLA, ABS||180 x 230 x 140||50||1.75||USB||Yes||314|
|Dagoma Discovery 200||PLA||200 x 200 x 200||100||1.75||USB, SD Card||No||330|
|Lewihe Play||PLA||105 x 105 x 130||100||1.75||USB||No||340|
|Q3D ThreeUp||PLA||175 x 175 x 210||50||1.75||USB, SD Card||Optional||349|
|Prusa Steel||PLA, ABS||200 x 200 x 180||100||1.75||USB, SD Card||Yes||562|
|Printrbot Simple||PLA||150 x 150 x 150||50||1.75||USB||Optional||599|
|helloBEEprusa||PLA, ABS||185 x 200 x 190||20||1.75||USB, SD Card||Yes||601|
|Kossel XL||PLA, ABS||260 diameter x 440||30||1.75||USB, SD Card||Yes||602|
|Velleman K8400||PLA||180 x 190 x 200||50||1.75||USB, SD Card||Optional||650|
|BCN3DR||PLA||170 diameter x 180||50||2.85||USB, SD Card||No||780|
|Fischertechnik||PLA||115 x 100 x 80||200||1.7S||USB||No||780|
|Deezmaker Bukito||PLA||140 x 150 x 125||100||1.75||USB, SD Card||No||799|
|Original Prusa i3 MK2||PLA, ABS||250 x 210 x 200||50||1.75||USB, SD Card||Yes||845|
|Kentstrapper Galileo Smart||PLA||200 x 200 x 160||60||1.75||USB||Optional||895|
|ORD Bot Hadron||PLA, ABS||190 x 190 x 150||100||1.75||USB||Yes||900|
|BQ Hephestos 2||PLA||210 x 297 x 220||50||1.75||USB, SD Card||No||986|
|BCN3D+||PLA, ABS||252 x 200 x 200||100||2.85||USB, SD Card||Yes||1000|
|E3D BigBox Pro||PLA, ABS||300 x 200 x 300||50||1.75||USB, SD Card||Yes||1000|
|Sharebot Kiwi-3D||PLA||140 x 100 x 100||100||1.75||USB, SD Card||No||1000|
The Q3 OneUp is a cheap DIY 3D printer kit with an open Cartesian frame. It uses 1.75mm PLA filament spools to print at a minimum layer thickness of 0.05 mm. The print volume is 100 x 100 x 125 mm, and the maximum printing speed is 60mm/sec. OneUp supports USB connectivity to your computer and also features an SD card slot for direct printing of the 3D model files. There’s also an optional upgrade for a heated bed.
Assembly Instructions: Q3D OneUp
If you need a cheap DIY 3D printer kit that’s fast and has a large print volume, then the He3D Delta DLT180 is a good choice. This machine has a build volume of 160 x 160 x 230 mm, and can also be upgraded with a heated bed for more demanding types of filaments like Nylon, HIPS and ABS. There’s also an option to add an additional extruder to print in two colors or two materials in one session.
Check 3D printer price: He3D
The second DIY 3D printer kit from Q3D is basically a larger OneUp. Features include USB and SD card connectivity, 175 x 175 x 125 mm build volume, 60 mm/sec printing speed, and a minimum layer thickness of 0.05 mm. The open frame materials are the same chrome-plated hardened 4140 steel, so the build quality of the machine remains consistent with the rest of the range. There’s also an optional upgrade for a heated bed.
Assembly Instructions: Q3D TwoUp
Explore the very bleeding edge of fused filament fabrication with this *triple* extruder DIY 3D printer kit. This printer is designed to work with three colors or three different materials at the same time. Example projects might be lettering on 3D prints or fabrication of multi-colored objects. Build volume is 180 x 230 x 140 mm, with a heated build plate plus USB connectivity to a PC. If you can get the thing up and running without too much trouble, then you’re obviously a master builder and have earned our undying respect.
Check 3D printer price: He3D
If the phrase “100% French Quality” offers any reassurance to you, then take a peek at the Dagoma Discovery 200. This is a simple and affordable DIY 3D printer kit, where no prior technical knowledge is required (but is probably helpful). The 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 currently available.
Assembly Instructions: Dagoma Discovery
Check 3D printer price: Dagoma
The Lewihe Play is a basic entry-level machine to learn about additive manufacturing. The complete DIY 3D printer kit includes the electronics, stepper motors, and a hotend. It can print with 1.75mm PLA filament, and the maximum object build volume is 105 x 105 x 130 mm. Plus, it’s ultra compact (210 x 210 x 250 mm) and very light (2.5 kg), so it can be carried anywhere.
Assembly Instructions: Lewihe Play
Check 3D printer price: Lewihe
Oh look, another DIY 3D printer kit from Q3D! The ThreeUP offers the exact same feature set as its smaller siblings, but now with an even greater build volume of 175 x 175 x 210 mm. There’s also an optional upgrade for a heated bed.
Assembly Instructions: Q3D ThreeUp
The Prusa i3 Steel Pro is a metal-clad remix of the venerable Prusa i3. This DIY 3D printer has a stronger frame made from structural steel, so it’s less prone to wobbling when in operation. However, the trade-off is that it will be muuuuuch heavier to transport (obviously). Another benefit of this design is that it’s infinitely customizable, where many stores allow to configure your kit at point of purchase with a heated bed, an LCD controller, and high-end components.
Assembly Instructions: Prusa i3 Steel Pro
Check 3D printer price: Kitprinter 3D
Now here’s a funny one. Printrbot is selling their popular Printrbot Simple in both assembled and kit version for *exactly* the same price. We’re guessing the 3D printer kit is for those folks who welcome and enjoy the opportunity to assemble their own 3D printers, whether it’s for education or for entertainment. But whichever version you choose, you’ll be getting an excellent and highly regarded machine, with a 150 x 150 x 150 mm build volume.
Assembly Instructions: Printrbot Simple (Model 1403)
The helloBEEprusa is another Prusa remix, designed with the education sector in mind. It comes with a quick-start manual, all the components are in numbered and labeled boxes, and there’s a series of videos to guide you through the assembly process.
This DIY 3D printer kit not only has a generous build volume of 185 x 200 x 190 mm, but also a dual extruder, so you can print a soluble filament as support for more complex parts. Plus, it has a heated bed for a better adhesion of print jobs. Really and truly, the helloBEEprusa is incredible value for money.
Assembly Instructions: helloBEEprusa
Check 3D printer price: Beeverycreative
The Velleman K8400 is an entry-level DIY 3D printer kit from Belgium. It features a plastic body and a glass build plate, with optional upgrades like a heated print-bed and dual extruder support. Otherwise known as the Vertex, 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.
Assembly Instructions: Velleman K8400
The Kossel XL originates from the RepRap project and uses a Delta construction for 3D printing. This cheap DIY 3D printer kit is bigger than the Kossel Mini (surprise), with an increased footprint and build volume. It ships with an auto-leveling build platform and prints at a resolution of 30 microns. The project is open source, which means a multitude of custom upgrades can easily be found online, including a heated printbed, an extra extruder, and auto-leveling probe.
Assembly Instructions: Kossel XL
Check 3D printer price: HKBay
Like several others on this list, the BCN3DR is an open source 3D printer kit. A telltale sign is that several of the components are themselves 3D printed at the BCN3D printer farm. Key features are the delta construction and a fully metallic hotend capable of temperatures up to 300ºC, which should make for some high quality prints. The standard diameter of the nozzle is 0.4 mm, though you can also change it for 0.6mm nozzle. The BCN3DR also features an LCD screen for easy operation. There’s an extensive online library of instructions and workshops to guide users in putting their new printer together without a hitch.
Assembly Instructions: BCN3DR
Check 3D printer price: BCN3D Technologies
This DIY 3D printer kit is a bit of a curiosity. That’s because it’s an educational kit first and foremost, and a 3D printer second. As such, it doesn’t have spectacular build volume nor printing resolution nor a heated bed, but it will provide value as a learning tool that enables makers to graduate to bigger and better 3D printers. The Fischertechnik 3D Drucker 536624 has just been launched in the German market, but should be available worldwide.
Check 3D printer price: Fischertechnik
Deezmaker is a big supporter of open source hardware and has a reputation for offering very reliable 3D printers. The Bukito is marketed as being super tough and robust, and ideal for use by travellers and sports enthusiasts. How does that work, exactly? Well, the topline feature is that it can run off portable batteries, which makes it useful for stunts like printing upside down or attaching it to a drone (which has been done).
Assembly Instructions: Bukito
You see all those sexy Prusa i3 clones at the top-end of this list? It’s a good start, but you should consider buying the latest and greatest version of the open source Prusa i3 directly from the chap who designed it, Josef Prusa. His recently announced MK2 features an avalanche of upgrades, including a bigger build volume, faster printing, automatic bed leveling, and a heated bed with “cold corners compensation”. It really does look the business. This cheap DIY 3D printer kit is available now, though heavy demand has led to a backlog of orders.
Assembly Instructions: Original Prusa i3 MK2
Check 3D printer price: Prusa Research
Check 3D printer price: Kentstrapper
The ORD Bot DIY 3D printer kit is an open source remix of the original Printrbot design, built around Makerslide: structural aluminum extrusion with bearing surfaces molded into each side. This improves frame stiffness, mechanical reliability, and print speed, but with a marginal increase in cost.
Check 3D printer price: RepRap 3D Printer
The Hephestos 2 is the new and improved version of the previous DIY 3D printer kit from BQ, the Hephestos 1. It’s very clearly based around the Prusa i3 open frame design, but with a carefully considered approach to assembly and features, including an auto-leveling sensor probe and a powerful hot-end that’s perfect for printing with flexible filaments. There’s no heated bed, however, so high-temperature filaments like ABS and Nylon are not available. Most impressively, BQ claims this DIY 3D printer kit can be assembled in less than an hour.
Read an in-depth review here.
Assembly Instructions: BQ Hephestos 2
The BCN3D+ is an open source modular DIY printer kit designed and developed by BCN3D Technologies, designed for the needs of both expert and novice users alike. It’s got a heated bed and can print with pretty much any filament you care to throw at it — PLA, ABS, PVA, HIPS, Nylon, Filaflex — and is fully compatible with slicer software like Cura, Slic3r and Simplify3D.
We’ve seen banks of the BCN3D+ in action, at least thirty of them in continuous operation, printing off parts to be used in other machines (as per the RepRap philosophy). This DIY 3D printer truly is a workhorse. Build volume is 252 x 200 x 200 mm.
Assembly Instructions: BCN3D+
Check 3D printer price: BCN3D Technologies
The E3D BigBox Pro is a massive DIY 3D printer that’s imposing in both size and performance. Its pedigree of top-line components puts it at the high-end of our list of “cheap” DIY 3D printer kits, but it’s worthy of your consideration. Features include a 300 x 200 x 300 build volume, a sensor for auto-bed leveling, and a heated build plate. It’s also fully customizable for dual extrusion and octoprint (should the need arise). Simply put, it’s a veritable beast!
Read an in-depth review here.
Assembly Instructions: E3D BigBox
Check 3D printer price: E3D BigBox
The Sharebot Kiwi-3D is an affordable DIY 3D printer kit with a build volume of 140 x 100 x 100 mm. It was initially launched exclusively as a DIY project for FabLab courses and makers, but it became so popular that the company began selling it to the public. With this kit, Sharebot promises, you are going to learn how to properly fabricate a 3D printer, understanding all the secrets of this amazing technology.
Assembly Instructions: Sharebot Kiwi-3D
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