What is the least expensive 3D printer available today? I am looking for something suitable for general use in a home office.
Depends on your definition of "available" and your definition of "suitable for general use."
The cheapest 3D printers are mostly Kickstarter promises that take a year or more to ship, if they ever do. For example, the Peachy 3D printer Kickstarter just imploded and failed. There have been many other failed low-cost 3D printer crowdfunding campaigns. Another low cost Kickstarter printer, the 101Hero, is ongoing now (May 2016), but most competent observers I've talked to don't believe it will succeed at delivering working printers to all backers at that price point. If they do deliver, it will be painfully low-cost components and the printer will not perform well or last long. Stay away from crowdfunding campaigns for your first printer. At best, you get a beta product with lots of kinks to work out. At worst, you get nothing and lose your money.
For actual products you can purchase today, there's a wide spectrum of quality/cost tradeoffs.
- Under \$200 there's nothing credible. The Tiko (\$179) might deliver, but post-Kickstarter units are widely expected to cost more.
- Around \$200-300 you get into low-quality Prusa i3 kits from China. These aren't a great value -- most people end up spending another few hundred dollars on upgrades to get them working reliably and with high quality.
- Around \$300-400 you can get an ok 3D printer, often with "chipped" proprietary filament so the vendor can make high profits on locked-in consumables. ("Razors and blades" model.) For example, the XYZPrinting Da Vinci Jr is \$350 but locks you into high-cost chipped filament. The Wanhao Duplicator i3 is currently a community favorite for value-for-money at \$399. The Printrbot Play is much higher quality/reliability but much smaller at the same price.
- If you get up around \$600, a big range of decent printers opens up. But this is no longer the "least expensive" option, so I won't get into it.
If you want to tinker, the Duplicator i3 is a good choice. If you want a machine that just prints, the Play is a good choice. There are other printers and cheaper printers, but most of what you'll find below $400 is going to end up causing pain unless your goal is simply to tinker with printer troubleshooting and upgrades.
You can get an A8 3D printer on Gearbest at 149$, It's a version of an i3, with easy assemble and pre configured, and it have a suprising good quality.
I thinks is the best price/quality that you can find at the moment. It prints with a good quality by default and you can upgrade it if you need it without spending hundreds of dollars.