Top 15 Best DIY 3D Printer Kits
Most FDM 3D printers are now sold as Plug & Play models. However, this wasn’t always the case. The origins of these 3D printers trace back to the RepRap project, started by Adrian Bowyer in 2005. This movement still continues today through some 3D printer kits and DIY 3D printer enthusiasts, most notably the Prusa kits. We have already listed the Best Low Cost 3D Printers, but now we have searched for the best DIY 3D printer kits out there. We’ve ranked them from most to least expensive for your convenience!
Sintratec Kit, an affordable SLS 3D printer
Based in Switzerland, the Sintratec startup has developed one of the first low-cost 3D printers, Sintratec Kit based on laser sintering technology. It first appeared following a fundraiser campaign on Indiegogo in 2014, the firm today markets its machine as a kit. This is the only 3D printer on this list that uses SLS, as it is a more expensive technology. It is available for €4,999 ($5,610) – SLS printers are usually around €200,000 – the Sintratec Kit is capable of producing PA12 nylon parts and presents a maximum build volume of 110 x 110 x 110 mm. The startup explains that it takes about 4 days to assemble this 3D printer, however you can see it as the price to pay to access laser sintering so cheaply! For more information, you can visit their site HERE.
Moai, an SLA 3D printer kit
In 2016, Chinese manufacturer Peopoly launched its Kickstarter campaign to finance its new SLA kit machine called Moai. After great success, it was quickly delivered worldwide thanks to a very attractive price for a photopolymerization machine – it costs approximately $1,295. Moai offers a printing volume of 130 x 130 x 180 mm as well as a laser beam of 70 microns and a layer thickness between 10 and 200 microns. It is compatible with any resin on the market. Allow about 4 hours to assemble the machine – for your information a pre-assembled version is also available.
The Vertex 3D printer is produced in the workshops of the Velleman manufacturer, a reputable company in the electronics sector founded in the 1970s. It is one of the few printers to offer a transparent chassis, and includes a glass tray and double extruder option. With a build volume of up to 180 x 200 x 190 mm for a layer thickness of between 50 and 200 microns, it’s a solid option. The single-extruder version is available from €599 ($672). Compare the Vertex’s specs in our comparator HERE.
Prusa i3 MK3S, the well-established DIY 3D printer kit
The Original Prusa i3 MK3S is the successor of the award-winning Original Prusa i3 MK2 3D printer. With the rebuilt extruder, a plethora of sensors and the new magnetic MK52 heatbed with replaceable PEI spring steel print sheet, it is their best version as of yet. With a printing speed of 200 mm per second, this 3D desktop printer has a 250 x 210 x 210 x 210mm printing tray. It can print on almost all thermoplastics, including nylon and polycarbonates. On its official website, you can find the assembly instructions, validated by the whole community. It is available in kit form from $749 (€769.00 including VAT). For a cheaper price, there is also the Original Prusa MINI+ kit, starting at $349.00 (€379.00 including VAT), which as the name suggests is a more compact printer. With a build volume of 180 x 189 x 189 mm or 7 x 7 x 7 in, it is not significantly smaller than its older sibling and still boasts a number of the same features.
Micro Delta Rework
The MicroDelta Rework is the new version of the Micro Delta 3D printer designed by the Toulouse-based eMotion Tech. Equipped with a rigid structure with two steel blocks, the 3D printer kit can be assembled in 3 hours according to the manufacturer, with around 200 pieces to assemble. Available with or without a heating plate, MicroDelta Rework offers a print volume of 150 mm in diameter and 200 mm in height. If one looks at its performance, it has layer thickness of 100 to 350 microns and can reach a print speed of 200 mm/s. It is available from €400 with the possibility of adding features.
FLSUN QQ-S Pro
The QQ-S Pro is the partially DIY offering from manufacturer flsun. With a retail price of $329.00, it is certainly not one of the cheapest on the market. However, the printer makes up for that with impressive features, including continuous printing from an interrupted position and automatic levelling. Additionally, the printer was designed for speed, printing 1.5time faster than printers based off of the I3 structure printer. Additionally, it has a “flexible three-axis linkage system, a powerful 32-bit motherboard, a 24V power supply, a lattice hot bed, and an all-metal side shell for better printing quality and a more stable structure.” The build volume is 255x255x365mm, making it another relatively large offering among the DIY printer kits. The print accuracy is 0.1mm and a layer thickness of 0.06-0.4mm, allowing for detail and accuracy. An additional benefit, it comes mostly assembled, meaning users should have it up and running in under an hour.
Starting at a price of €399, French manufacturer Dagoma’s Disco Ultimate is one of the most affordable DIY 3D printer kits, marketed as the most accessible bi-color 3D printer on the market. Supplied with an SD card, an inductive probe (for levelling the tray) and several 3D printed components, it requires less than one day of work to assemble. Despite its appearance, the Disco offers a decent build volume of 200 x 200 x 200 mm. In addition it offers 50 micron layer thickness, 50 micron XY positioning and a maximum print speed up to 30% faster than its predecessor the DiscoEasy 200.
The 3D printer Tronxy X5SA was developed by the Chinese manufacturer of the same name and is one of the most popular DIY 3D Printer Kits on the market. Based on FDM technology, this desktop machine offers a build volume of 330× 330×400 mm(12.992×12.992×15.75 in). Though originally based on the X3SA, the X5SA quickly overtook its predecessor in popularity thanks to its features such as the TITAN Extruder which is compatible with a variety of filaments including PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, Wood, among others. It also has an automatic filament detector which will notify you when the machine has run out of filament saving time and trouble for the user. The manufacturer does note that this DIY machine is more suitable for 3D printing enthusiasts with some 3D printing experience, though they say that if you are willing to spend the time to learn how to assemble the machine, it could still be worth it. You can buy the X5SA starting from $258.00.
The Tarantula Pro is the latest version of the Tarantula 3D printer kit from the China-based 3D printer manufacturer, TEVO. It is based on the classic RepRap Prusa i3 3D printer, its structure is known for its simplicity and robustness. It presents a build volume of 235 x 235 x 250 mm and can print with a variety of filaments, from ABS, PLA, PVA, WOOD, etc. It is also equipped with a LCD screen for improved user experience. In terms of layer resolution, the manufacturer claims that you can achieve between 0.05mm-0.35mm and the extruder has been upgraded to a volcano extruder. This kit comes with a heated bed also. It retails for $229.
The 3D printer Colido DIY comes from the Chinese manufacturer Colido. This fused deposition technology 3D printer has a print volume of 200 × 200 × 170 mm, it also has an integrated fan which helps improve the print quality. According to the manufacturer, the assembly of the machine is very simple and only takes 15 minutes. The machine comes with a PLA coil, the only material it can use to print, as well as an USB key and two explanatory videos. You can find the Colido DIY from €180 ($202).
The Anet A8 is a 3D printer kit developed by Chinese manufacturer Anet. The Anet A8 uses FDM technology with a Cartesian FDM head that can print ABS and PLA filaments. The Anet A8 is compatible with a wide variety of filaments. It has a maximum build volume of 220 x 220 x 240 mm and comes with a heated print bed, reaching up to 100ºC. It is equipped with an LCD screen to provide an easier user experience. It is one of the most accessible machines on the market, with a starting price around $180. The manufacturer, Anet has also launched the Anet A8 Plus: an upgrade to its Anet 8 printer.
Voxelab, a subsidiary of 3D Printer developer Flashforge, has made it its mission to provide comprehensive 3D printing solutions for both 3D printing beginners and advanced users for a cheap price. They certainly deliver on the promise with the Voxelab Aquila DIY FDM 3D Printer. Currently priced at only $179.00 on their website (down $20 from the regular listing of $199.00), Aquila is one of the cheaper DIY options on our list. Additionally, it boasts a larger build volume 220x220x250mm than many of the other options in the same price range. Though it is marketed as a DIY machine, the manufacturer notes that the machine is almost entirely assembled, the user will just need to install several main accessories, cutting down on time. The machine is compatible with PLA, ABS and PETG and boasts certain notable features, including a flexible print bed, a colourful screen with a user-friendly UI interface and filament auto-feeding.
Creality Ender 3
When you think of DIY 3D printer kits, you would be remiss to not mention Creality, and especially the Ender 3 3D Printer. With a starting price of $155.00, it is one of the most affordable kits on the market. The Ender 3 comes with several assembled parts, meaning that it will only take about 2 hours to fully assemble it. Additionally, the upgraded extruder helps to reduce plugging risk and the machine only needs about 5 minutes for the heated bed to reach 110℃. Customers can choose between the Ender 3, the Ender 3X (the Ender 3 + 1 tempered Glas and 5 nozzles), Ender 3 Pro, or Ender 3 V2 (the upgraded version). For those wanting a larger print volume (and not minding the higher cost), the CR 10 is also a popular DIY machine that is available from Creality.
Startt, the most affordable of all the DIY 3D printer kits
This DIY 3D printer kit belongs to the English brand Startt that produces its machines in China and the printer is distributed by the British company iMakr. It is undoubtedly one of the cheapest machines on the market, as it can be purchased from 100€ ($112). This FDM technology printer has a printing volume of 120 × 140 × 130 mm, can print with PLA filament and has interchangeable extruders to achieve different print qualities: 0.3, 0.4 or 0.5 mm. You can find more information about this 3D printer HERE.
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