MonoPrice Maker Select V2.1

My daughter calls rubber…Ninja Flex. No that is not a cute name she came up with, but a type of flexible filament for 3D printers. When I heard this it solidified by decision that I had to get a 3D printer. At six she has every expectation that she can make anything she wants on a 3D printer, an expectation that is only slightly unreasonable. It is also an expectation that I want to support. When we have down time we watch James Bruton and other YouTube makers come up with incredible creations using their 3D printers. We also have access to a 3D printer at Quelab and have done some printing there. Unfortunately, it isn’t practical for me to spend the type of time at Quelab to do the experimenting I want. We also don’t have the time to stay there and watch the huge backlog of prints I want to do (my son has a backlog of 3D prints to do as well).

So I finally bought one. As much as I wanted a Taz 6, I just couldn’t justify the cost, but when the Monoprice Maker Select went on sale I jumped on it based on the great reviews. Once I got it I was able to set it up and had it doing test prints in less than an hour. I ended up with version 2.1 and most beginner information is targeted at the v2.0. Not a big deal, but a lot of the essential improvements aren’t applicable anymore.

I am learning a ton about why people put so many mods into their printer. It is based on a standard printer, the Wanhao Duplicator I3 so there is a lot of community support for it.

I’ll probably spend any blogging time in the immediate future going over the mods I put into it, but even right out of the box it was working great.

IMG_20160709_095702 IMG_20160709_095715

This is Benchy, a popular calibration print and I think it came out great, way better than expected, based on my experience with other cheap printers.

The one huge problem out of the box, in the v2.1 ships with a small filament holder. It is too short to hold the standard 1kg spools, so my first prints involved constantly babysitting it.

The first essential mod for this a new spool holder. The original one is beneath it so you can see how short it was.

3d Printed filament spool holder
3d Printed filament spool holder

The next problem is that the bed constantly needs to be re-leveled. Although better than v2.0, there are a series of mods that should completely resolve this:

  • Locking nuts – either printed into a new thumb screw or just added to the bottom. This prevents the thumb screws from moving.
  • Spring cups – Keeps the springs straight
  • New Y-carriage – The one on it now is thin and will warp from the heat, making leveling harder.

I’ll do the first two sometime soon, then setup a Raspberry Pi 3 with Octoprint, then I will have to see where I want to go next. There are tons of improvements that can be made so I will just have to see what it still bugging me.

For a introduction to the system Nery’s Youtube channel is great, he prints on his Marker Select constantly and has videos on all his upgrades. This is a great first video, although not entirely applicable to the v2.1 (he is using a V2.0).

Now my backlog of things I want to print has gotten much longer as I print items to make my prints better, but that is just adds more fun!