Monoprice Maker Select Plus 3D Printer Review: Will You Love It?

By | May 22, 2018

The Monoprice Maker Select is a 3D printer suited for new as well as experienced users. It is a budget-friendly 3D printer that does not compromise the quality or the abilities of the printer, making it making it a very compelling option when shopping for a 3D printer. Monoprice is one of those companies that move fast in the 3D printing world, releasing and improving their products as they go. The Maker Select Plus is an improvement over the older models, giving its users more features and flexibility while still remaining budget friendly.

In the following sections we will list the core features of the Monoprice Maker Select Plus as well as the Pros and Cons. At the very end, you will find the final summary of this 3D printer with an overall rating.

Core Features of the Monoprice Maker Select Plus 3D Printer

Big Print Volume: A big print bed is not something that we are used to seeing in budget-oriented 3D printers, but Monoprice went ahead and equipped the Maker Select Plus with an impressive 7.9″ x 7.9″ x 7.9″ (200 x 200 x 180 mm) capable print area, allowing for bigger and more parts to be printed at the same time.

Heated Bed: An essential feature of today’s standards, the Maker Select Plus comes with an aluminum build plate that is heated. A heated bed is very important, especially when printing in materials such as ABS so that the print can stick to the build platform without using glue. Another huge advantage of a heated bed is the reduction and/or elimination of warping, which happens when plastics cool down fast and shrink, causing the edges to lift from the build platform.

Material Freedom: While most budget-friendly 3D printers are limited to printing in PLA, which is relatively easy to print, the Monoprice Maker Select Plus give the user the choice to print on any material they want. Thanks to its heated bed and versatile nozzle design, this printer can print in many materials such as PLA, ABS, PETG, NYLON and more. Having the ability to print in a wide range of materials gives this 3D printer a huge advantage, as it can be used to print many different items for many different usage scenarios that have to withstand different environments.

Print Now: Unlike DIY kits, this printer comes almost fully assembled, requiring just 4 screws to secure the frame to the base and 2 screws to attach the filament holder. Additionally, the printer comes with everything you need, including sample PLA filament and a microSD card with sample 3D model files, ready to print.

Open Source: As if this printer was not already too good, Monoprice made sure that their 3D printer is compatible with many different slicing software by using the open source and standard G-Code. This is an excellent addition as it gives great flexibility to the user. The compatible software list includes Cura, Repetier-Host, ReplicatorG, Simplify3D, and anything that is just generating G-code.

Simple connectivity: Monoprice kept things simple and standard, by only including a USB port and an SD card reader for loading 3D models. It might feel lacking compared to other printers available, but sometimes it is better to have fewer but stable connectivity options than having more that are prone to bugs and problems.

Price: It is pretty clear that to make a very capable 3D printer that also appeals to the masses, the price needs to be realistic, which is why the Maker Select Plus comes at just $399

Key Specifications

The following are the key specifications of the Monoprice Maker Select Plus.

Printing Technology: FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)
Build Area: 7.9″ x 7.9″ x 7.1″ (200 x 200 x 180 mm)
Layer Resolution: 100 microns (0.1mm)
Printing Speed: 150 mm/sec
Filament Diameter: 1.75mm
Max Extruder Temperature: 500°F (260°C)
Max Platform Temperature: 167°F (75°C)
Nozzle Diameter: 0.4mm
Product Dimensions: 15.7″ x 16.1″ x 15.7″ ( 400 x 410 x 400 mm)
Connectivity: Micro USB, MicroSD card
Software: Cura, Repetier-Host
Weight: 22 lbs (10 kg)

Pros of the Monoprice Maker Select Plus 3D Printer

It’s simple: This is not a fancy 3D printer with 10 different types of connectivity, cameras, and other stuff. This is a workhorse 3D printer. It lacks some of the features of some more expensive, similarly performing 3D printers, but none of these features are about the actual performance. It is a serious 3D printer that is meant to be simple and easy to use and tweak with.

Heated Bed: This is a huge plus for a printer with such a big print bed. It instantly makes the 3D printer one of the most versatile budget 3D printers on the market. Heated beds are standard on high-end printers and make a huge difference in the print quality when printing materials that need to be cooled down slowly to avoid warping. It also helps with making sure the print stick to the build platform, which is very important since the printer can print very tall objects.

Speed: While most of Monoprices 3D printers are very limited on how fast they can print, the Monoprice Maker Select Plus is able to print at an impressive 150mm/sec, putting it in the same category as some very high-end 3D printers. Of course, when printing so fast, you lose some quality, but fast printing is important when prototyping, where many prototype versions can be printed in a very short time to allow for rapid development and testing of the parts.

Size: While this 3D printer offers an impressive build platform, the design of the printer itself is optimized to only use as much space as it really needs, but not more, which is why the size of the printer is relatively small compared to its abilities. Its still not as small as other contained 3D printers, as the print bed needs space to move, but it’s still a welcome improvement.

Touch Screen: This is not really a major selling point for Monoprice, but its well worth mentioning as it makes managing the printer as well as the print jobs much easier using the touchscreen. Almost every aspect of the 3D printer can be tweaked from the touchscreen, making it very easy for experienced users to put their own settings for their specific needs.

The price: This printer comes at just 399$, making it one of the best, budget-friendly printers on the market without overlooking the quality and support.

Cons of the Monoprice Maker Select Plus 3D Printer

Ease of Use: It is true that this is not the easiest printer to use, especially for beginners. While it is very basic and straightforward, there are parts of the process that only someone with experience would know how to do. It takes time to get used to how the 3D printer works, and that is not always a bad thing, as the user learns more about the printer. The included manual is also very good at explaining the necessary process for printing to people without experience, but this is not a one-click-print 3D printer.

Some Alternatives to Consider

Below are some alternative options to consider when shopping for a 3D printer in the 400$ category.

1) Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus 3D Printer

This 3D printer looks almost identical to the Maker Select Plus but is not. It does come with very simial specifications and features but costs a little bit more

2) XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. Mix 2.0 3D Printer

This is one of the newest 3D printers from XYZprinting that comes with some more bells and whistles, such as a more easy to use interface, a way more beautiful design and wireless connectivity but lacking a heated bed

Conclusion:

The Monoprice Maker Select Plus is an excellent 3D printer that comes at a very low price. It can print in many different materials, is based on open source software and has the volume and speed to print big and detailed items. It is an upgrade to the older Maker Select V20, were everything is now contained in one main unit. It actually feels more like the small brother to Monoprices high-end Maker Ultimate. While this 3D printer is great for experienced users, it might be a bit strange and complicated to beginners, but thanks to the excellent support of Monoprice, any problems and difficulties should be able to be resolved in no time.

Rating:

Print Speed: 9/10
Build Area: 8/10
Precision: 8/10
Value: 8/10
Ease of use: 7/10

Pros: Cheap, Heated bed, PLA & ABS
Cons: Needs time to get used to, bulky

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