Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer Review 2019 – is the Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer worth the money? Review of features, pricing, print quality and more.
If you specialize in manufacturing and marketing gift items, you must be aware that the online market is full of similar products, sold by different online gift shops? The situation is such that people are nowadays searching for companies that can create bespoke gifts for their business, and I am not talking about including the name, address, and contact details of the company. You can easily earn a lot of money by creating specialized products such as mobile covers, specially crafted bathroom towel rings, or attachments for sofas and chairs. In fact, you can demand your rice and get it too if you can offer your existing and potential clients with such a service. You need not worry about the gift creation process, as long as you can design three dimensional objects using software like ReplicatorG, Cura, and a host more, quite of a few of which are available free. You can then breathe life into the 3D design with the help of a 3D printer.
3D printing for dummies
While traditional printers print on the “X” (horizontal) and “Y” (vertical) axis of papers, 3D printers takes that concept a step further by allowing you to make use of the “Z” (depth) too. You have a wide range of base materials for three dimensional printing such as polycarbonate, photopolymers, wax, steel, titanium, epoxy resins, glass filled polyamide, nylon, PLA, ABS plastics, and silver as well. Imagine creating a silver coin having an upraised image of your friend, and gifting it to her on her birthday. The 3D printer creates parts by building up objects one layer at a time. While there are different makes and models of such printers available, today I shall focus on a specific model manufactured by Monoprice.
Monoprice Select Mini 3D printer review
Alert! This printer is not intended for heavy duty and professional use. It is targeted at individuals who are venturing into the exciting world of three dimensional printing. Available for approximately $190, this fully assembled printer ships with a free sample PLA filament (the material on which the design is etched) as well as a MicroSD card, containing ready to print 3D models. You can edit these designs so that they meet your configurations and then print them. The company has made some minor changes to the previous version of this model, which now includes an all metal hot end and a heated/insulated printing bed. The former prevents clogging and improves heating too, while the latter prevents warping as well as boosts print adhesion.
The wide range of extruder temperatures along with the heated build plates allows this printer to work with any type of filaments. Therefore, you can comfortably use it with basic elements like PLA and ABS to advanced materials too. Unlike some other similar printers in this price range, which come in knock down condition, this model is fully assembled. This means that you can take it out of the box and start printing. You do not have to purchase elements separately or create 3D models as the printer ships with a SD card containing ready to print designs as well as a pack of FLA element. The price of the printer includes a one year warranty against manufacturing defects. Let us take a look under the hood of the printer into its mechanics and electronics.
The stepper motor is the heart of all 3D printers. This printer uses this motor to move the build platform (extruder), along the X, Y, and Z axis. Most 3D printers include 4 to 5 NEMA-17 stepper motors. The Select Mini from Monoprice uses the same motors on it X and Y axis, but has a non-NEMA circular motor on its Z axis. This model uses a leadscrew driven with an M4 threaded rod for the Z axis. The weird combination makes the movement on the Z axis excruciatingly slow. However, this is a blessing in disguise as the pitch of Z axis lead screw threaded pitch is so fine, allowing the printer to produce objects with an extremely small layer height. I, for one, do not mind this slow speed, as I effortlessly produce extremely fine objects.
This model is far ahead of its competitors in this category. It has one of the best controller boards I have seen. The acceleration ramp of this model is much faster compared to any similar 3D printer, when traveling from one end of its bed to the other. However, do not be fooled into believing that this might spoil the final object, as the movement is extremely precise and smooth.
I have reviewed several 3D printers and the majority of them, which have a heated bed, screw or clamp the printed circuit board (PCB) of the heat bed to a glass or aluminum plate. While using the Monopiece for preparing my Monoprice Select Mini 3D printer review, I noticed a thin aluminum sheet directly bonded to a PCB heater. This effectively means that the aluminum sheet might not be able to take too much of abuse sans warping. Even though this is a budget range 3D printer, its hotend makes use of a replaceable thermistor and heater cartridge.
Specifications and features
The build area of this device is 120mm x 120mm x 120mm and the highest print resolution is 100 microns. However, I have been able to get higher resolutions on certain tests. Are the manufacturer underselling their product? As with other similar printers of the same price range, the user can upload files to the printer via the included SD card or connect it to a computer through a USB port. The vendor states that you can use slicing software such as Simplify3D, ReplicatorG, Cura, and Reptior-Host for preparing objects. In addition, this printer accepts standard 1.75 mm of ABS thermoplastic or PLA.
Considering the abilities of this printer, I can safely state that it is the best available at its price range.
• Running costs
• Easy to use
• Build volume
What others say:
• Awesome printer to get started with 3D printing
• Awesome mini 3D desktop printer. Has its limitations in print size but worth the money
Charles Stephenson received a Masters Degree in Engineering from MIT University. Charles has been working in the Industrial 3D Printing industry for over 5 years. Charles regularly contributes content to several 3D Printing websites including Pirate3D.com.