A pair years in the past, Monoprice took the 3D printing world by storm with a the unique Maker Select Mini: a 3D printer that solely value 200 bucks, and had all of the bells and whistles we might ever ask for. Now, it’s again with model two of that revolutionary printer — so naturally we took it for a spin to see the way it stacks as much as the unique.
Standout Options and Specs
Monoprice’s V2 builds upon the primary era’s strong set of specs and options by including just a few minor (however necessary!) upgrades.
Amongst these enhancements is an all metallic sizzling finish, which improves heating and helps stop clogging, in addition to a heated/insulated printing mattress, which boosts print adhesion and prevents warping.
Together with this improved heated mattress, the V2’s construct floor additionally contains a particular pad materials (much like BuildTak) that promotes adhesion throughout printing, and in addition makes components straightforward to take away after they’ve completed. Lastly, MP additionally geared up the V2 with an inside cooling fan that helps stop every little thing from overheating.
There are additionally just a few issues that haven’t modified. Similar to the primary era, the V2’s max decision sits at 100 microns (zero.1 millimeters), which is pretty common, however acceptable for the worth. Its construct envelope can also be an ideal four.7-inch dice, identical to it was on the primary era. Once more, this spec is considerably common, however nonetheless not unhealthy.
This V2’s setup is sort of probably the best we’ve ever encountered.
The all-metal sizzling finish retains the identical most temperature of 230, which lets you print with a reasonably big selection of filament sorts, however does restrict you from a number of the extra unique larger temperature supplies. As for inputs and outputs, you’ll be able to load your fashions onto the Mini V2 utilizing a Micro SD card, a direct USB connection, and even do it by way of WiFi by way of Monoprice’s new cell app.
All in all, the V2 is actually extra of an evolution than a revolution, however Monoprice’s enhancements are good ones that do massive issues for the printer’s reliability and total efficiency — and it solely prices you an additional $20.
Setup and Configuration
The V2’s setup is sort of probably the best we’ve ever encountered. It comes utterly assembled and manufacturing unit calibrated, so all it’s important to do is unbox it and provide some electrical energy. There’s not even an on change — simply plug it in, and also you’re off to the races.
From there, Monoprice’s tremendous simple interface makes the remaining setup steps almost foolproof. Issues like loading filament and fine-tuning the print mattress are all very simple to execute.
To supply a comparability, we’d say establishing the V2 is about as sophisticated as establishing a model new toaster. It’s easy as hell, but it surely may take a little bit of fiddling round earlier than you discover the perfect settings that end in that good, golden-brown slice of toast.
Design and Construct High quality
Lifting this printer out of the field shocked us — it’s astonishingly heavy for its measurement. That is largely as a result of Mini V2’s all-metal development, which makes it an extremely sturdy machine that doesn’t wiggle round an excessive amount of throughout printing.
Monoprice gave every little thing a makeover when it comes to aesthetics.
It’s additionally fairly straightforward on the eyes. A lot of the V2’s mechanisms are tucked behind its metallic exterior and hidden from view, so the machine doesn’t look as rudimentary and utilitarian as a few of its rivals. Higher but, regardless of the printer’s glossy design and tucked-away elements, its interior workings are nonetheless simply accessible.
To be truthful, we by no means wanted to tinker with the V2 in any respect throughout our testing course of, however accessible design and easily-replaceable components are one thing we like to see on a printer. Ten factors to Gryffindor Monoprice.
Consumer Interface and Software program
Monoprice scores excessive marks on this class. Each the onboard software program and desktop-based slicer applications are splendidly easy to make use of — although the latter isn’t essentially due to Monoprice.
As with all its printers, Monoprice’s Choose Mini V2 is designed to work with no matter slicer program (the software program that interprets your 3D design into directions a printer can comply with) you need. We used Cura: one of the crucial highly effective and customizable slicers on the planet, which now consists of pre-configured profiles for a lot of of MP’s hottest printers. This makes the entire course of extraordinarily handy, as you now not must manually configure your machine.
The onboard person interface equally simple, and hasn’t modified an excessive amount of for the reason that first era. The V2 boasts the identical knob-based navigation scheme and the identical intuitive menu bushes — however Monoprice gave every little thing a makeover when it comes to aesthetics.
Monoprice Choose Mini V2 In contrast To
Suffice it to say you gained’t have any bother utilizing this machine.
Don’t let the worth tag idiot you — the Choose Mini V2 prints like a dream.
Our first print utilizing the Mini was the notorious ‘lucky cat’ mannequin, which Monoprice pre-loaded onto the printer’s SD card. Unsurprisingly, it turned out nice, since most fashions like this are fine-tuned by the producer. So as a way to get a greater thought of how the V2 performs, we ran it by way of our customary suite of benchmarks.
The primary of those, as all the time, was the 3DBenchy: a tugboat-shaped torture check designed to spotlight a printer’s strengths, weaknesses, and quirks. A lot to our delight, the Mini V2 did a implausible job. It doesn’t matter what parameters we set, the tugboat all the time got here out clear, correct, and really constant from layer to layer. Among the superfine particulars of the boat didn’t come by way of as clearly as we’d like, but it surely’s price noting that just about all FDM printers battle on this space, and the Choose Mini V2 carried out simply as effectively (if not higher than) as most printers that value 10 occasions as a lot. Different difficult parts, like steep overhangs and unsupported spans, had been additionally reproduced with none vital errors.
After a pair weeks of printing random (often Star Wars-related) objects we discovered on Thingiverse, we discovered that the Mini V2 can also be fairly dependable. Whereas some 3D printers go away you feeling fearful and not sure in the event that they’ll full the job, we felt extremely assured with this machine.
The one actual downside right here is the V2’s comparatively small construct envelope.
Because of the printer’s heated mattress and strong development, it doesn’t typically fail mid-print — until in fact you make a slicing error and put together the mannequin improperly. This printer remains to be sure by the legal guidelines of physics, so we positively suggest printing with helps until you’re sure you don’t want them.
All in all, Monoprice’s new-and-improved Choose Mini earns excessive marks for efficiency. We did expertise just a few flubs, failures, and funky-looking prints, however these had been the exception, not the norm. The V2 prints simply as effectively (and in some respects, even higher) than printers with far bigger value tags. The one actual downside right here is the V2’s comparatively small construct envelope, which limits the vary of objects you’ll be able to create with it.
The Maker Choose V2 is unquestionably extra of an evolution than a revolution — however on this case that’s an excellent factor. Monoprice didn’t have to reinvent the wheel with this machine, and fortunately, it didn’t attempt to. As an alternative, it threw on some new tread and made a rock-solid product that’s higher than the unique — and the unique was already fairly nice. The V2 may not be the very best 3D printer on the planet, however you’ll be onerous pressed to discover a higher mix of value and efficiency.
Is there a greater different?
In case your primary concern is getting essentially the most bang on your buck, then look no additional. You gained’t discover this many options packed into such an inexpensive bundle anyplace however Monoprice.
If $220 is just too steep for you, we additionally extremely suggest the MP Mini Delta, which is about $60 to $70 cheaper, however does have a barely smaller construct envelope.
If construct space is your primary concern, then we’d suggest trying out the Monoprice Maker Select Plus — arguably among the best printers we’ve ever reviewed. When it comes to print efficiency, it’s almost an identical to the Maker Choose Mini V2, but it surely does have a far bigger construct space that means that you can print a lot larger objects. It additionally has a touchscreen, which is good.
How lengthy will it final?
In case you deal with this little man effectively, it’ll probably offer you an extended life in return. Because of its all metallic development, sturdy elements, ample substitute components, and Monoprice’s continued software program assist, the Choose Mini V2 appears effectively suited to an extended life in your desktop.
Do you have to purchase it?
Sure, sure, a thousand occasions sure! This printer provides a close to good mix of value and efficiency, so in case you’ve been ready patiently for an inexpensive printer that doesn’t suck, then your time has come.