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Best 3D printer deals for May 2022

Thinking of giving 3D printing a try, or do you need to upgrade your existing print setup? This relatively new technology is fun (and it also offers some practical use at home), but the equipment needed to get started — most importantly, a quality 3D printer and good filaments or resins — can empty your bank account in a hurry. Worry not: Whether you’re new to this growing hobby or you’re already a salty veteran, we’ve got the best 3D printer deals of the month right here.

Best 3D printer deals

If you're looking for a reliable 3D printer with some upgrades over the entry-level Ender 3, look no further than the Ender 3 V2, with a glass print bed, silent motor, and upgraded extruder design. more
The Creality Ender 3 is an icon in the 3D printing world, and might be the best filament-based unit you can get for less than $200. more
The Ender 3 Pro features some nice upgrades over the standard Ender 3 model, including an extra glass bed, a Cmagnet build surface, and a MeanWell power supply, plus some extra extruder tips. more
With on-page coupon
For the price, the Delta 3D printer from FLSUN has some nice value-added features, such as an auto-leveling glass hotbed that makes this printer a good entry-point into the hobby of 3D printing. more
The Monoprice MP Mini is one of the best cheap name-brand SLA 3D printers, capable of creating small and highly detailed resin-based projects. more
The Creality Halot One resin 3D printer is a superb option that balances exceptional printing output while remaining affordable, with UV light, air filtering, and high speeds to boot. more
With on-page coupon
The Creality Ender 5 Pro 3D printer is a first-rate option that improves what the regular Ender 5 can do to make printing output even more accurate and precise. more
For basic projects and test prints, don't waste your premium filament. This PLA filament from Monoprice gets the job done for cheap. more
The Elegoo Mars 2 UV Photocuring 3D LCD printer includes with Chitubox slicing software to speed up model file slicing. You can also save resin with hollowed models. more
Other colors available
PLA+ is arguably the best all-around filament for standard 3D printers, and Sunlu is one of the go-to brands for this material. more
For a desktop-friendly 3D printer capable of handling smaller tasks, the Monoprice Mini Delta is arguably the best you'll find for less than $200 with its 4.7 by 4.3 by 4.3-inch workspace. more
With on-page coupon
Intimidated by this whole 3D printing thing? Rest easy: The Fokoos 3D printer is easy to setup and beginner-friendly, with a foldable design that's almost ready to go right out of the box. more
With a 3.22 by 5.11 by 6.10-inch printing space, the Voxelab Proxima is a great beginner-friendly SLA resin printer for creating small yet highly detailed objects like figurines and miniatures. more
If you want great resin printing output while sticking to a budget, the Anycubic Photon Mono 3D printer makes it wonderfully simple to get started, with intuitive design and long-lasting durability. more
Great for kids and beginners
From game pieces to small do-it-yourself projects, the Monoprice Cadet 3D printer is a great and kid-friendly way to try out 3D printing with its 3.9 x 4.1 x 3.9-inch work space. more
With on-page coupon
The Flashforge Adventurer 3 is a versatile and user-friendly filament-based 3D printer with a 150 x 150 x 150mm print volume and a fully contained work space. more

How to choose a 3D printer

Three-dimensional printers cover a huge range of sizes and prices, with some industrial models capable of printing houses. Such equipment is naturally beyond the needs or means of most people, however, and the vast majority of consumer-grade units are designed to fit on a tabletop. Even these run the gamut when it comes to cost, so it’s worth it to spend some time to track down a budget-friendly 3D printer (or at least a worthy 3D printer deal on a more expensive unit) that can meet your budget while also satisfying your needs.

Modern 3D printers employ one of two manufacturing technologies: Fused deposition modeling (FDM) or stereolithography (SLA). FDM printers are more popular and use a printing medium known as filament. This filament is heated to its melting point and then extruded through one or more printing heads, which move along three axes to create an object layer-by-layer from the bottom up on a heat-dispersing build plate.

FDM printers tend to be the most user-friendly and the filaments they use are also very common and quite affordable, making these 3D printers good for household items and other common projects. Items made with an FDM 3D printer usually have a noticeably striated appearance due to this layer-by-layer building method, but filaments and the printers that use them are improving and growing more capable of handling complex tasks as this technology continues to mature. Most 3D printers you’ll find will be of this design.

Stereolithography, while actually a decades-old technology, is less common due to the greater cost of SLA printers and their proprietary resins (there are a few 3D printers that use resin, but they tend to be on the smaller side). Instead of filament as a printing substrate, SLA printers start with a resin liquid that is hardened via UV radiation as it is molded into the desired shape within the printing chamber. The UV laser is reflected off of mirrors to selectively target the resin that is to be hardened; this is also done layer-by-layer, but in a much different manner than in fused deposition modeling.

Resin-based SLA printers are therefore capable of creating smoother, more detailed, and higher-resolution objects than FDM printers. These resin objects also tend to be considerably more durable. The trade-off here is that SLA 3D printers (and the resins) tend to be more expensive than FDM units, and the proprietary resins are less flexible and messier to work with.

Looking for more great stuff? Find tech discounts and much more on our curated deals page.

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