Tuesday, August 30, 2016

New printer: Monoprice MP Select Mini

I recently decided to look at tiny printers for travel and to clear up some space in my workshop (I will keep the big printer but 95% of the time a much smaller printer will do the job).

I wound up ordering a Monoprice MP Select Mini. It is truly amazing what you can get for $200 these days.

Hackaday did a good review and teardown, here is a link to it. They did a spot on excellent review. I agree across the board. The 32 bit processor and display are great. The control dial is a bit fiddly, I may print some glue-on aids to rotation. The PID on the temp control is horrible. I'm going to see if it's possible to tune the PID manually if it still doesn't have auto-tune.

My printer came with two problems out of the box which were trivial for me but which would probably have greatly frustrated a newbie.  First, when I hit auto-home, it spiked the hotend into the bed. I hit the power switch, then used manual motion controls to retract the Z back up again.  I discovered that the connector for the Z axis endstop switch had fallen out.  This is actually visible without any disassembly. I was able to just push it back in place with a butter knife.

Second, the Z axis was level but far too low. I suspect that an impact during shipping, or perhaps final assembly, might have knocked the Z switch and the wire downwards. I screwed all four adjustment screws down 1.75 turns to reach a good zero height.

For me, this was a 5 minute trivial inconvenience. For a newbie, it would have been at the very least a call to tech support, and possibly a very frustrating reason to return the printer.

The minor issue is that the square spool holder on the side will not allow you to put on some of my spools that have a solid core. I had to bend down the retaining tab on the side a bit to allow them to go on.

Those things aside, I love this printer. I do not hesitate to recommend it, I will be using it as my primary printer instead of the CTC which will go on the shelf unless I need dual extrusion or a big print area.  If I were buying a big printer again at this point I would also definitely take a hard look at the larger Monoprice units, which Hackaday also gave great reviews of.

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