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Are Small 3D Printers Worth the Money?

Explore the pros & cons of small, affordable 3D printers vs. larger, high-end models. Find the perfect 3D printer for your needs here.

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While the printing capacity of a small and cheap 3D printer is limited, it’s still a viable option for those of us who want to get started. Aside from the fact that 3D printers are super practical and can even provide an additional source of income, having one is a fun experience. 

Small 3D printers are worth the money, especially since they are significantly cheaper than high-end 3D printers. Many small 3D printers can do the same things as a higher-end printer, just on a smaller scale. 

This article is about why buying a small 3D printer could be a good idea. In this article, I’ll explain why you might consider buying a smaller or cheap 3D printer. I’ll also discuss why getting a high-end, larger 3D printer might be better for you. 

6 Reasons Small 3D Printers Are Worth the Money

The most remarkable thing about technology is that the more we innovate, the cheaper it gets. Subsequently, the technology becomes available to everyone interested in using it. 

With 3D printing technology ever developing, virtually anyone who can spare $400 (or even less) can purchase a 3D printer — that’s a great reason you should get one.

Not too long ago, 3D printers cost up to $50k. In the 80s, a 3D printer cost up to $300,000, $769,597.23 of today’s money if we adjust for inflation. Talk about a super-expensive hobby. 

However, you can purchase a decent 3D printer at around $200 or less these days! That’s an incredible markdown. 

A 3D Printer’s Size Doesn’t Matter Much

While having a larger 3D printer allows you to print larger objects with one print job, a smaller printer can still create the same things. 

When working with a smaller 3D printer, you can break up your models into segments, then fuse them later with a bit of glue or a heat gun.

So, even if that means more work for you, a small 3D printer can print anything — just in smaller parts. 

Small 3D Printers Are Affordable

A small 3D printer like this Creality Model from Comgrow (available on is an excellent example of a budget-friendly, beginner-friendly, small 3D printer. This 3D printer costs less than your average smartphone. 

It only weighs 14.6 Pounds (6.6 kilos) and should fit right on the top of your desk. 

If you’re curious about what a 3D printer can do or what you’re capable of doing with a 3D printer, you can get started with a small, affordable one. Then, if you need a larger one, consider upgrading. 

Small 3D Printers Create Art From Thin Air

3D printing is an excellent hobby for creative people, especially those who can’t afford costly equipment or believe “if it’s too expensive, it’s not worth the trouble.” 

If you’re not in dire need of a high-end 3D printing machine for a professional purpose, then a small and cheap one is as good as anything

If you want to bring your 3D models to life and create figurines, toys, or whatever, a small 3D printer is all you need. 

A Small 3D Printer Is a Great Gift for a Creative Child

There are 3D printers specifically designed for kids, like this model from WEEDO Tina2 Mini 3D Printer (available on Printers like this are incredible learning tools for kids interested in STEM, art, or design. 

So, if your kid is bugging you for a 3D printer, or you think your tech-nerd kid deserves one for Christmas, a small 3D printer similar to this one should be sufficient to put a smile on their little face. 

A Small 3D Printer Can Also Be a Source of Income

While less reliable in a professional setting than a high-end or large printer, a small printer can pay for itself and even provide some extra bucks on the side. Many people rent their 3D printing services online to others who need to print 3D models. 

You can even take that one step further by targeting specific industries and learning to 3D-model intricate tool parts or whatever the market needs. That might encourage you to invest in a bigger, more robust, and high-end 3D printer. 

A Small 3D Printer at Home Can Save You Money

The only limit is your imagination regarding all the cool and useful things you can 3D-print. Thus, you can save money creating your stuff using your home 3D printer instead of buying them. 

For example, with a 3D printer, you can make replacement parts for devices like dishwashers, create tools, and invent new gadgets to make your life easier and help you save money. 

Check out this video about some practical 3D printing ideas for home improvement: 

3 Reasons You Should Get a High-end 3D Printer

As I already said, a small 3D printer is excellent. However, in some cases, it might be better to save up your money and invest in a larger printer.  

One such high-end 3D printer is the JG Maker A9 Pro (available on, which is certainly only for some. However, it has a massive build volume, prints with incredible precision and accuracy, and offers high-tech features for people who use their 3D printer in a professional environment. 

So, very briefly, here are some reasons why you might want to upgrade to a larger 3D printer:

High-End 3D Printers Are Easy To Set Up and Use

When it comes to high-end 3D printers, the main goal is to be efficient and practical. Such 3D printers meet you halfway, making it super easy to create technical, large objects.  

So, if you’re in a position where you need a machine that does all the heavy lifting for you, a high-end 3D printer is what you need. 

High-End 3D Printers Are Reliable, Consistent, and Quick

You get your money’s worth when purchasing a 3D printer. Making the most reliable machines doesn’t come at a cheap cost. So, naturally, a more reliable, consistent, and efficient 3D printer uses better hardware, which costs more. 

Think of it like this. Small desktop 3D printers are the flip phones of the 3D printing world, while industrial printers are the latest iPhones. 

While a small 3D printer can do all the basic tasks in 3D printing, an industrial printer uses intuitive, innovative features to give you the highest-quality print possible. 

High-End 3D Printers Are a Great Investment

If you purchase a high-end 3D printer that can handle bulk work efficiently and quickly, you can make a significant amount of money. 

Since 3D printers have become mainstream, 3D printing service providers have started to pop up everywhere. That’s because it’s a profitable business, especially if you’re also dabbling with 3D modeling. 

3D printing services receive clients who need everything from cosplay creation and replicas to intricately engineered tools and gadgets.


A small 3D printer can do anything a larger 3D printer can do, but at a smaller scale and with a bit less accuracy. 

Desktop 3D printers are affordable, small, and easy to use, which makes them excellent for hobbyists. However, larger 3D printers are best for people who have the money and want to invest in an industrial printer for business.

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About Ben

I started 3D printing since 2013 and have learned a lot since then. Because of this I want to share my knowledge of what I have learned in the past years with the community. Currently I own 2 Bambulab X1 Carbon, Prusa SL1S and a Prusa MK3S+. Hope you learn something from my blog after my years of experience in 3D printing.