The M3D Micro 3D Printer Review
The Micro 3D printer by M3D is marketed as the first truly consumer friendly 3D printer. It has a small footprint and measure only 7.3 inches on all sides. This, of course, means that the print area is also quite small but this is great for beginners as small prints are less likely to fail.
It’s the kind of machine that we’re likely to see in most households in just a few years’ time. Let’s face it, a lot of items that we use around the home have plastic parts. Over time, these parts are likely to break from consistent use and it would be great to just print a replacement part on your own 3D printer.
The Micro 3D printer is the cheapest and most affordable, fully assembled printer for use in the home or the office. It’s safe enough even for kids to use (fully supervised, of course).
Professionals such as architects, engineers and designers would also find this printer useful to print out prototypes and models of their designs.
The Micro 3D is also excellent for use in schools where design is being taught and we’re sure that 3D printing is likely to be added to the curriculum in many schools in future years .
Let’s look at some of the key features of this printer.
- Key Features
- What’s In The Box?
- Is Set Up Easy For This 3D Printer?
- What Type Of Filament Can You Use With This Printer?
- Can I Make My Own Designs To Print On The Micro 3D?
- Do You Need To Print Supports With Your Print Model?
- What Kind Of Support Is Available If You Have Questions?
- Can You Get Spare Parts For This Printer?
- Useful Tips
- What People Are Saying
- Final Verdict
|Print material||Auto Calibration||Maximum print size(inches)||Heating bed||layer thickness||Customer support||Assembly time||Warranty|
|PLA Only||Yes||4.3"x4.5"x4.6"||No||50-350 microns||Excellent||10 Minutes||One Year|
The Micro 3D comes fully assembled and is ready to print right out of the box. Basically all you need to do is plug it in, load the filament, download the software onto your computer and you’re ready to start printing.
Sleek And Lightweight Design.
This printer has a sleek and compact design and is smaller than a normal paper printer. It comes in a variety of colors so will look great in any home.
All the working parts and electronics are housed inside the printer and even the filament spool can be hidden inside in a clever compartment under the print bed.
The printer only weighs around 2.2 pounds thanks to it’s lightweight polymer construction materials and the carbon fiber gantry rods.
Auto Leveling And Calibration.
The Micro 3D features a special in built Micro Motion Chip which allows the printer to auto calibrate and level the print bed. This is all controlled via the M3D software.
Removable Print Bed.
The print bed is completely removable and reveals the spool compartment underneath. This allows easier removal of prints once finished.
The print area is 4.5 inches x 4.3 inches by 4.6 inches however this reduces slightly as you get higher up the print due to the internal design of the printer.
The print bed is not heated so is not really suitable for using ABS filament however PLA, HIPS and Nylon work just fine.
Easy To Use Software.
The M3D software which comes with this printer is extremely easy to use and will run on Windows, Mac or Linux. It has settings for managing the filament and the calibration and of course the print files.
The printer can only communicate with the software when connected to a computer via the USB cord. For this reason you need to make sure that your computer doesn’t get turned off during a print job. Don’t worry though if your computer goes into sleep mode as the printer will still continue its print job.
What’s In The Box?
The Micro 3D is a fully assembled printer which is ready to use straight out of the box. Here’s what’s included:
- The Micro 3D printer.
- One spool of M3D filament (225g).
- The M3D software. This is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
- The user manual and quick start guide.
- The power cord.
- A USB cable for connecting to your computer.
Is Set Up Easy For This 3D Printer?
The Micro 3D printer is extremely easy to set up once you take it out of the box.
All you really need to do is remove the packaging and tape, plug the printer into the power and download the software onto your computer.
Then, just connect the printer to your computer via the USB cable and load the filament using the software to help the load.
Your printer is then ready to use once you’ve sliced the print file. All this should take no more than 10 minutes.
The Micro 3D printer is one of the easiest printers to set up and start printing with straight out of the box.
What Type Of Filament Can You Use With This Printer?
M3D have their own brand of filament which is specifically made for this printer. It comes in 225g spools which fit inside the printer under the print bed. Each spool of filament has a cheat code on it which tells the printer exactly what settings to use for that particular filament.
The M3D filament is called 3D Ink and comes in 12 colors.
You can however, use other types of filament but you’ll first need to print a spool holder for your printer. There’s actually some print files on the M3D website, one of which is for a spool holder especially for this printer.
Can I Make My Own Designs To Print On The Micro 3D?
By utilizing 3D design software, you can create your own designs to print on the Micro 3D. Just make sure that the files are in .stl or .obj format before loading them into the M3D software.
For more advanced designers, you may be interested in professional software packages such as Solidworks or Autodesk.
You can, of course, find many already created print files on websites such as Thingiverse and the official M3D website.
Do You Need To Print Supports With Your Print Model?
This really depends on the type and structure of the model that you are printing. In the software you have the ability to turn supports on or off.
If you are printing a hollow model however, it might be best to also include supports so that your model does not collapse.
The Micro 3D’s extruder is designed to print supports which are easy to remove once the model has finished printing.
To help prints better adhere to the print bed, it’s also a good idea to print a raft first. This will also be easy to remove from the printed model.
What Kind Of Support Is Available If You Have Questions?
M3D have a contact form on their website if you have general questions or need some technical support. You’ll also find a complete knowledge base of information on their website with easy instructions for getting started as well as trouble shooting.
They also have a YouTube channel with lots of useful videos including a 5 part full starter walk through.
In addition there’s a Facebook page with over 100,000 followers plus an M3D forum with just over 36,000 members.
Can You Get Spare Parts For This Printer?
There is a complete maintenance spare parts kit available for the Micro 3D Printer.
This includes 2 clear, flexible print beds, 3 sheets of buildtak, a replacement nozzle and a replacement extruder fan.
This kit allows you to easily maintain your printer and there are instructions available online on how to replace the nozzle and the extruder fan.
The flexible print beds make it easier to remove finished object from the bed by slightly flexing the bed until the print just pops off.
The buildtak is great for applying to the print bed as it will help your prints to adhere without the need for rafts as well as protect the bed itself. It also can make it easier to remove prints by lifting a corner of the buildtak gently and then lifting a corner of your printed object with the buildtak until it comes loose.
This is best done by first removing the print bed from the printer. The print bed is fairly easy to remove. You need to push in one direction to unlock the tabs and then simply lift it up and out of the printer.
Here are some useful tips which we found while researching this printer:
- When loading the filament, make sure you push it all the way into the extruder until you feel it catch. To make sure the filament is ‘caught’ lightly pull it back. If it does not pull out then you know that it has been inserted correctly.
- Make sure your printer is always sitting on a flat and stable surface. It’s a good idea to ensure your printer is correctly calibrated before each print job. You can use the ‘Advanced Calibration’ selection in the software to do this.
- Watch your print for the first few layers and if you see a corner of the print lifting from the bed, pause the print and adjust the User Offset Values for that corner in the software.
What People Are Saying
Of the many positive reviews that we read, most customers said that this is an excellent 3D printer for beginners. Most people liked the small foot print of the printer and that it fitted nicely onto their desk.
Customers said the printer was easy to set up and that it ran fairly quietly although a little slow. Quite a few people commented that it was great for printing small parts but once they became more experienced and wanted to advance their 3D printing, the print size of the Micro 3D was a little small.
As is the case with most reviews, there were some negative comments however most of these could be resolved by contacting the support team at M3D or visiting the extensive knowledge base on their website.
The M3D Micro 3D printer is definitely a good choice if you’re just getting started with 3D printing. It’s a small, compact and affordable 3D printer and will work straight out of the box.
The M3D software is easy to use for slicing your prints but you can also use open source slicing software if you want to.
There are plenty of videos on Youtube to help with the set up of your printing files as well as a comprehensive knowledge base section and user forum on the M3D website. These should give you all the guidance that you need to create useful 3D printed objects for your home.