Adventures - and misadventures - in 3D printing

The first printer…of many?

So here’s my first printer.
Monoprice Maker Select V2
Picked it up used off of EBay. It’s the Monoprice Maker Select V2, which is a re-brand of the Wanhao Duplicator i3.

I has a build volume of 200mm x 200mm x 180mm (8″ x 8″ x 7″). Pretty generous for a sub-$350 printer.

The printer comes nearly fully assembled. And by nearly I mean 4 screws are needed to attach the tower to the base. Unfortunately, the only downside is that the cables are directly attached to the control box.
Back of Printer
This makes setup and repositioning things a slight pain, but for the price who can complain?

My first print was a small Pikachu printed in Monoprice Black PLA. A few inches in size. Overall it was pretty good using all the default settings in Cura 2.4, the first slicer I used. The slicer application takes your object and creates layers using the settings you adjust and create a machine readable code that the printer uses to print.

The layers are pretty good on the head and body. There’s some buildup of plastic in a few areas like his back. Looking at the bottom of the tail and underneath, you can see the support material didn’t break away cleanly and left quite a bit of roughness behind. On his tail, you can some strings of plastic as it moved between the tail and the support material.

All this issues are easily fixable by adjusting settings in your slicer application. Knowing you can adjust them is half the battle. Actually adjusting them is an art that takes some time to learn and fix.

I’m super pleased with the quality of the printer out of the box. It’s really easy to set up and get going without any prior knowledge of 3D printers. And for the price, it’s an amazing first printer.

In a future blog post, I’ll go over some upgrades to the printer that can be done to improve print quality even more.

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