The Sub-$100 Easythreed X1 3D Printer, Is It More Than A Novelty?

There was a time when a cheap 3D printer meant an extremely dubious “Prusa i3” clone as a kit of parts, with the cheapest possible components which, when assembled, would deliver a distinctly underwhelming experience. Most hackerspaces have one of these cheap printers gathering dust somewhere, usually with a rats-nest of wires hanging out of one side of it. But those awful kits have been displaced by sub-$200 printers that are now rather good, so what’s the current lowest end of the market? The answer lies in printers such as the sub-$100 Easythreed X1, which All3DP have given a review. We’ve been curious about this printer for a while, but $100 is a bit much to spend on a toy, so it’s interesting to see their take on it.

It’s a tiny printer marketed as a kid’s toy with an unheated bed and a miniature 100 mm cubic print volume, so we don’t blame them for pitching their expectations low. They found the supplied slicer to be buggy, but the printer itself to be surprisingly better than they expected. It seems that the Easythreed can deliver reasonable but not superlative small prints amid the occasional disaster, but for under $100, we’d guess that any print is a result. Still, we’ll join them in their assessment that it’s worth spending a bit more on a better printer.

We’ve seen another tiny Easythreed model before, when someone made a novelty wrist-mounted wearable version.

20 thoughts on “The Sub-$100 Easythreed X1 3D Printer, Is It More Than A Novelty?

    1. My experience with regular printing is $200 for a printer with free ink, 2-3 hours getting the thing set up with broken proprietary apps and no documentation, print a couple documents poorly because the nozzles need to be aligned, run out of ink after ~30 pages of text, buy $75 in new ink, discover that black, yellow, and cyan refuse to print except in random blobs no matter how many times you run the head cleaning utility or buy new ink cartridges in case the first replacements were defective somehow, give up and use the office’s $10k laser printer instead.

      On the other hand for $250 you can get an Ender3 v2 and after an hour of setup and running the automatic bed leveling you’re off to printing without any further fuss. I can only imagine how easy a $10k 3D printer must be.

  1. Paying one hundred dollars is stupid for such a machine. It’ll frustrate you very soon and you’ll lose interest in a otherwise great technology.

    Better buy a used entry level printer that was tuned and used by someone before. Can be had for 100 or 150 easily… And yes, a heated bed is a minimum requirement nowadays…

    1. I’ve been doing fine without a heated bed for almost 10 years already. But, yes, for the small cost it adds, add that heated bed. I’m not needing it for my usage, and 100x100x100mm would actually be enough for 90% of my prints as well.

      1. After rebuilding many crap 3D printers the biggest flaw was the extrusion end. Most were trying to push filament through an inadequate (usually PTFE jacketed) or poorly machined hot-end.

        About 15$ for a parts pile design (different for each) using a titanium throat (personal preference) and (physically) well machined heating and cooling bits generally fixed the biggest issue every time.

        The only other horrific problem has been soldered cable ends in screw downs.

    2. “And yes, a heated bed is a minimum requirement nowadays”


      i’ve been using my printer since mid 2014. more than a hundred projects. 5 reels of filament (i don’t print big things). never wanted a heated bed.

      it depends what filament you’re using but with PLA it is rare for me to have prints peel up at the corners.

  2. I’d personally much rather pay a lot more and get something that’s actually reliable and doesn’t need tinkering with. I have absolutely no idea how I would pay for it given the enormous price tag on it, but I’ve been eyeing the upcoming Prusa XL with the enormous amounts of improvements they’ve crammed into it.

  3. This is just a novelty. Spend the extra 80$ and get an Ender 3. From there you upgrade it to your heart’s content or leave it bone stock and be able to print pretty much everything on Thingaverse.

  4. It’s a shame that small, inexpensive printers often provide such extremely mediocre results. Some time ago, I bought a Monoprice Mini for quite a bit less than 100 Euros. I wish I’d bought two of them, to be honest. It’s just a good printer, especially for the price. Yes, it has quite a lot of flaws, but it’s engineered to the point where all of its flaws are acceptable and the build volume is reasonable for small technical parts that don’t require a perfect finish. It’s also compact, which is one of its biggest advantages. I wish it’d be a bit lighter. So all in all, I do think you can build a reasonable printer for less than 100$, but I don’t think it’s necessarily desirable. The base cost of a 3d printer is high, making it bigger (up to a point) doesn’t add so much more cost, but increases the utility (up to a point). However, small printers are just so much nicer to use, as you don’t need dedicated space for the 3d printer, but are able to cram it somewhere.

  5. The Tronxy X5SA is $300, with >1ft3 build volume and a heated bed. It does require a lot more assembly, but it’s in the same price range but instead you get an extremely competent printer (especially if you go through the effort to flash klipper onto its board). Or, if you’re really willing to go at it, as I wish I had, a chunkier mechanical kit, one of the standard boards and random accessories would get you an even better printer for about the same.

    1. I bought the X5A when it first came out my man did they make some mistakes. I’ve see they since fixed some of issues. Not sure if they come out with a 3rd version yet.

  6. Oh man, this brings back memories. My very first 3d printer was the kickstarter QUBD oneup printer, which I kickstarted for $200 way back in 2014. It had nearly the same print volume as this printer, and was (i think) the first complete printer kit to be offered at the $200 price point. I basically chose it because I knew it was good enough to print parts to make a signficantly better printer. Over the years, I basically turned it into a ship of Theseus across 4 different custom printer designs, but I think I still have one of the original linear rods in my current printer.

    While I agree with most of the other posters that buying this printer today would be a waste of money, its fun to think how excited I would’ve been to have this way back in 2014.

      1. That’s a good question. My main concern would be if the controller can be flashed with an OSS firmware, and what the hotend looks like under that shroud. at a bare minimum, you should be able to make it bigger with new rods and belts, but you’d have to be able to modify the firmware to change the limits. I doubt the controller has the circuitry for a heated bed, so that would probably be the limiting factor.

        Having access to a controller and linear motion hardware for well below market price would’ve make this a great starting point for a bootstrap. Even today, for the new printer I’m designing, the v-slot and wheels are the main cost limiting component since I’ve got a duet board and a bunch of e3d bits from prior iterations

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