When I presented the story of my Sawppy rover project last month at the January 2019 meet of Robotics Society of Southern California (RSSC) I made an offhand comment about my 3D printers. Later on, in a discussion on potential speakers, there were people who wanted to know more about 3D printers and I offered to summarize my 3D printer experience in a follow-on talk. Originally scheduled for March, I asked to be rescheduled when I realized the March RSSC meet would take place at the same time as Southern California Linux Expo (SCaLE).
My talk (presentation slide deck) starts with a disclaimer that my experience and knowledge was limited. I started by explaining why I chose Monoprice printers backed by a short history lesson on Monoprice because that sets the proper expectations. Then I ran through my three Monoprice printers: the Select Mini, the Maker Select V2, and the Maker Ultimate. Each of these printers had their strengths and weaknesses.
Monoprice Select Mini
- Simple low-cost printer that still covers all the basic concepts of FDM printers.
- Closest we have to a “Fisher Price My First 3D Printer”
- Recommended for beginners to find out if they’ll like 3D printing.
Monoprice Maker Select
- Classic Prusa i3 design.
- Easiest to take apart for modifications and/or repairs.
- Recommended for people who like to tinker with their equipment.
Monoprice Maker Ultimate
- Design “inspired by” Ultimaker.
- Highest precision and most reliable operation.
- Recommended for people who just want their equipment to work.
- But price level approaches that of many other good printers, like a genuine Prusa i3.
I brought my printers to the meet so interested people can look them over up close. I did not perform any print demos, because I’ve almost certainly knocked the beds out of level during transit. Plus, I forgot my spools of filament at home. But these are robotics people, they can gain a lot just by looking over the mechanical bits.