Monoprice Mini 3D Printer Unboxing and First Prints

So, I decided to jump on the increasingly large Monoprice bandwagon and get one of the amazing $200 printers.

First, I had to calibrate the bed height as instructed. The manual said that a sheet of A4 paper, which should be 0.05mm thick, would be able to slip in between the hotend nozzle and the bed when it was calibrated properly. I was planning on using a normal sheet of printer paper for this, but after breaking out the digital calipers I discovered that the printer paper I own is around .1mm thick.

This seemed like it was going to turn into some wild goose chase for .05mm thick paper, but I discovered that some college ruled paper that I had lying around would do the trick. The process of adjusting the bed height was very simple, as I only needed to rotate the screws a quarter turn before it was at the right height.

So then, it was off to printing. It works remarkably well with Cura – I had no issues, and it produced great prints.

I’m honestly surprised at the quality of the prints and the fact that nothing went horribly wrong right away. I read reviews about the printer and everyone seemed to agree that it was remarkable, but that it had some glaring issues, like a quick-to-fail power brick or a PID tuning problem with the hotend temperature. It seems like Monoprice has fixed those two problems, at least, because the power brick hasn’t failed (yet) and the hotend temperature seems to hold steady during prints.

Of course, I had to make a mistake somewhere, so I accidentally jammed the remnants of the sample white filament while trying to load some black Hatchbox filament. While fixing the problem, I got to take a closer look at the hotend – the Bowden tube is really only held on by pressure from one screw.

IMG_1684

Of all the reviews I looked at, I found Hackaday’s and John Biehler’s the most useful.

All in all, I’m satisfied with the printer, and I’m excited to start printing some cool models!

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