Monoprice Maker Select 3D Printer V2 Review: Amazing Entry Level 3D Printer

If you’re new to the world of 3D printing, then the Maker Select 3D printer is an excellent entry level 3D printer at a great price. It will allow you to make some fairly detailed models of designs you’ve created using 3D design programs like CAD.

The Maker Select comes pre-assembled in 2 pieces and only requires minimum set up using only 6 screws. Step-by-step assembly instructions are included and the cables are clearly labelled to match their corresponding connectors.

 

 

Print material
Auto CalibrationMaximum print size(inches)Heating bedlayer thickness Customer supportAssembly timeWarranty 
PLA,ABS,Nylon,Wood,Hips and Flexiable
No8” x 8” x 7”Yes100-400 micronsExcellent10 Minutes1 year full warranty

 

What Does A 3D Printer Do?

Basically a 3D printer melts filaments of plastic and layers it to make a 3D object. Firstly you would create your design using easily available 3D design software and convert this design to GCode which is the coding language that the 3D printer understands.

3D printers work at extremely high temperatures to melt the filament which allows the printer to then make the actual object that you’ve designed. A few years ago, this technology was only available to large manufacturing companies as the 3D printers available on the market were quite expensive.

Thanks to the advancements in technology, 3D printing is now possible for anyone who has an interest in this area, with the introduction of entry level personal 3D printers.

 

Key Features Of The Maker Select 3D Printer:

1.Steel Construction – Unlike other entry level 3D printers which have acrylic parts, the Maker Select is made completely from steel which makes it extremely durable and avoids any chance of warping due to the extreme temperatures at which the printer runs.

2.Large Build Volume – The Maker Select has a maximum build volume of 8 x 8 x 7 inches which allows you to create larger and more complex models.

3.Heated Build Plate – This allows you to use a variety of filaments including PLA (polylactic acid) and ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) some of which may be slower in cooling. Filaments are readily available in a wide range of colors and the Maker Select can print with most 3D filaments as long as they are 1.75 mm in diameter. PLA is usually the easiest to start with. A small sample of filament is included with the printer.

4.Micro SD Card Slot – The Maker Select comes with a 2 Gb Micro SD card which is pre-loaded with some sample models to get you started. You can load any designs you’ve created yourself onto the SD card allowing you endless opportunities to make anything you want. The SD card also allows you to print without having to connect the printer to your computer.

5.Compatible With A Variety of Open Source and Commercial Software – Unlike other entry level 3D printers, the Maker Select allows you to use a wide variety of design software such as Cura, Repetier or Simplify 3D to create your initial designs. This printer is also compatible with Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

6.Easy To Use LED Panel – The LED panel on this printer is easy to navigate through using a turnable and pressable knob. Turn the knob to the setting you want to customize and press on the desired setting. There’s not a lot of manual setting needed for basic prints as the temperature is automatically set to correspond with the type of filament that you are using.

 

How Easy Is It To Load The Filament?

The filament is quite easy to insert however if you cut the end at an angle it will make it much easier to feed in. Once inserted you use the LED panel to load the filament.

 

How Do You Level The Build Plate?

There are four screws, one on each corner, which are used to level the build plate. You need to adjust these, one at a time, until you have them set correctly. The easiest way is to use a sheet of paper and adjust each corner so that this sheet of paper is the only thing that can fit between the plate and the extruder.

Try to do this gradually, making only fine adjustments each time until you have all four corners set correctly. Make sure you take your time when doing this step to ensure that your first print is perfect.

 

How Do You Get The Printer To Read The SD Card?

If you insert the SD card when the printer is turned off and then turn it on, the printer will automatically read the card. If you insert the card when the printer is already on, then you need to mount it using the LED control panel.

 

Which Software Should You Use To Generate The GCode For This Printer?

The easiest software to use is Cura 3D Printing & Slicing Software. A modified version is available on the included SD card but you can also download it from here and select the Cura 15.04 version as this version allows a lot more customization to your print.

You can use Cura on either a Windows or a Mac computer. Cura will also tell you how long your project will take to print and how much filament it will use.

Here is a Cura video tutorial using the monoprice maker 3D printer.

 

Can You Find Other Already Designed Models To Print Besides The Ones Available On The SD Card?

There’s a really cool website called Thingiverse which has literally thousands of items you can make with your 3D printer from headphone stands to display models and even accessories for your Maker Select printer. It’s a bit overwhelming at first but there is a group you can join for the Prusa i3 which is what the Maker Select printer is based on.

This group has over 600 different projects you can make with your 3D printer and also lots of helpful advice and tips to get the most out of your printer. You can even customize some of these objects so that you get exactly what you want in the finished product.

 

Can You Get Additional Parts For This Printer?

There are a variety of different parts available for this printer including different nozzles from many third party resellers. The Maker Select uses the same parts as the Prusa i3 which are readily available online.

 

Can I Print Using Mutiple Colors Of Filament In The Same Object?

You are able to pause the printer and insert a different color of filament but bear in mind that there will always be a little filament left in the extruder nozzle of the previous color so you’ll get a mix of both colors when you restart the printer.

 

Can This Printer Make Hollow Objects?

You can make hollow objects by adding ‘support structures’ into your design to help support the rest of the object as it’s being printed. This can be done in Cura before you convert your design into the required Gcode.

Once the item has finished printing, the support structures are easily removed just with a pair of tweezers are they are designed to not adhere to the completed object.

 

Pros:

  • An inexpensive entry level 3D printer that produces excellent results.
  • Strong and durable as it’s made from steel.
  • Heated build plate to allow the use of slower cooling filaments such as ABS.
  • Pre-assembled so that you can start printing very quickly.
  • Easy to use LED panel.
  • Included SD card and slot so you can print without being connected to your computer.
  • Easy step-by-step instructions are included.

 

Cons:

  • The heat bed needs to be calibrated correctly to ensure the filament sticks to the plate but if you do this slowly and carefully you shouldn’t have a problem and it shouldn’t take too long.

 

What Customers Are Saying:

Most customers said that they were very impressed with what this printer could produce for such a low initial purchase price. Almost all satisfied customers said that it was good value for money. A lot of customers also said that the printer was easy to assemble and they were producing prints very quickly after setting it up.

There were quite a few comments regarding the amount of information that is available for this printer online including lots of handy tips. And almost everyone agreed that it was a good entry level 3D printer but could be improved with various adjustments and modifications to produce even better and more complex object.

Some reviewers mentioned that the build plate was a little difficult to calibrate but once they got it right, they had excellent printing results.

 

Taking Good Care Of Your Printer:

To get the most out of your printer, here are a couple of tips to ensure that you enjoy many happy hours of creative printing:

  • Before each print job make sure that the build plate is calibrated correctly to ensure a good printing result.
  • Periodically check all the screws on the printer to make sure they are tightened correctly.
  • Check your cable connectors on a regular basis to make sure that the connections are tight fitting.

 

What Kind Of Things Can You Make With The Maker Select 3D Printer?

Once you have your printer set up and ready to go, there are an endless amount of useful projects that you can make for around the home and garden.

Have you ever had the plastic safety key on your cordless lawnmower break and were unable to find a replacement anywhere? Well with the Maker Select and some easy to use design software, you can just make a replacement yourself! That’s certainly better than replacing the mower.

Because of the generous build plate size, there are also countless things you can make for the kitchen from a nifty citrus juicer to handy hooks for hanging your pots and pans. What about a handy sink caddy or a holder for your dish brush.

For your garden you can make planter arms for hanging your pots, decorative fence finials or even customized spikes for your solar lights.

In fact there are so many interesting ideas that you can find online that you could spend way more time making your own projects rather than using them!

 

Final Verdict:

The Maker Select 3D printer is an excellent entry level printer for those who are just venturing into the world of 3D printing. It comes almost completely assembled and with its steel construction is both durable and extremely useful.

The generous sized build plate means that you can make some decent sized projects plus this printer handles detailed printing quite well. And once you’re more experienced in 3D printing there are certainly modifications you can make to this printer to provide you with even more versatility.

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