I’ve liked the idea of 3D printing, but it always seemed out of reach to me financially. In July I saw the Monoprice MP Select Mini v2 go on sale during Prime day on Amazon for about $180 CAD. After hours of watching reviews and reading forums on the product, I decided to bite the bullet…
I’m very glad that I did. I’ve owned this printer for just over 2 months now, and while I have come across a few downfalls I believe that overall this was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. Because of the research beforehand, I did have an understanding of the quality to expect. Of course, this sub-$200 printer can’t match up to the $500-$600 models but it’s a great introduction into the world of 3D printing. And with a little tweaking, it’s results can be surprisingly good.
I did run into a few hiccups with the quality of the printer. The way the heated print bed is wired almost guarantees that the wires will fray, causing it to stop heating entirely. This can be easily fixed both before and after the wires stop working. The quality of the screen isn’t great, and I can see artifacts pretty frequently when using the scroll wheel to move between options. This second problem hasn’t prevented printing and hasn’t bugged me enough for me to look into fixing it.
One major thing to note here, 3D printing is not perfect. You can’t just hit a button and expect it to always turn out. There will be times where you need to troubleshoot settings or even edit designs. And not only is it possible for a print to fail, but some designs can also take hours (or even days) to print. When playing with a new complex shape it’s good to check in every so often to make sure everything’s going smoothly.
Fortunately, there seems to be an endless supply of information online for this model of printer, and for 3D printing in general. I was able to find several places online to help me find the perfect settings to get the best quality possible as well as well as multiple resources for fixing and improving the stock MP Select Mini v2 (including improvements that could be 3D printed!).
Shortly I will be adding a new section to my website to list all the resources I’ve been using. This should help anyone looking to get started with 3D printing, even if they don’t purchase the same model.