Back in 2012 I completed the build of a 3D printer, and then I printed a lot of things… The printer wasn’t amazing or great, but it worked, and I printed and printed. Around 2015 the hot end failed, and I got a cheap hot end to replace it, which never worked right, and then other things failed, and I fixed some of them, but the old RepRap still wasn’t quite working right. I ended up getting an E3D hot end and even with that, there were some weird issues with the printer getting up to temperature properly.
I didn’t care too much about getting the old RepRap working again because I had access to printers at work or school (I even worked on building some printers) so I could still print things, but…
I finally got to the point that I wanted a modern, working 3D printer. I solved that problem recently by picking up a Maker Select Plus from Monoprice. What? Monoprice? Yeah, the company I’ve been buying cables from for the past 5+ years sells 3D printers. And they don’t suck. The “Maker Select Plus” is (pretty much) a rebranded Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus, which is based on the Prusa i3 MK2. Confused yet?
If you get emails from Monoprice (which come more frequently than Harbor Freight emails) you’ll get some discount code or coupon or sale alert. Take advantage of those and you can save a bit on a 3D printer. And if you want cheap, look at the MP Select Mini 3D Printer, or wait until April 2017 when (supposedly) they’ll release a Mini Delta printer for $150!
The printer is nice, but not amazing. There’s a number of upgrades suggested, and besides a wiki there’s a Facebook group, Google group, and Thingiverse group filled with users making improvements and troubleshooting when needed. (Just remember that the Wanhao Duplicator i3 and Maker Select are basically the same, with a few small differences.)
I’m excited to have more desk space! I no longer need a computer or monitor, since I can just pop an SD card in and hit “print”, so yeah, that’s a nice improvement. I’ve only printed with PLA so far, but I’ll get around to testing with ABS and see what happens. (It should be fine, but, you know…)
Meanwhile the old RepRap lost its place on the desk, and currently sits on the floor awaiting its fate. I’ll do… something with it, I’m sure. 3D printers have come a long way in just five years. (At least in my shop!)
3 replies on “3D Printer (2)”
I’ve been considering an off-the-shelf printer as well (lulzbots are very tempting). I do love my Reprap, and I want to continue working with self-reproducing machines, but having had access to a 3D printer for some years now, the utility of the machine is incredible. In my case the only limitations has been reliability.
Seeing your post makes me feel better about considering something pre-made :)
Jason, it’s time! You can get a functional 3D printer (not a kit, but assembled) for between $200 and $400 depending on your needs. I was extremely satisfied with the print quality, especially compared to the best I ever got out of my RepRap.
I’m still a little gunshy about “cheap” printers after the Makibox fiasco, but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how the Maker Select Plus works out in your hands, maybe it’s finally possible to buy a cheap 3D printer that works :)