Own a Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer? Whether you’re an experienced maker or an absolute beginner, this article will tell you how to get best quality prints.
The Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer currently is the hottest budget 3D printer (review here) we’ve tested so far. It’s affordable, sturdy, reliable and even provides a heated bed. Here are seven essential tips for better prints.
Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer Tip #1: Slow it Down
This 3D printer can produce objects with amazing quality, but only if used correctly. One of the first things you can do to optimize this 3D printer’s potential is to print things at a reasonable speed.
One of the very first things you will notice while using this 3D printer is the drop in quality when printing at high speeds. Even though it can be set to 2x speed, we recommend using 1x speed for large objects — or .5x speed for small or high-quality objects.
Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer Tip #2: Use an Alternative Print Surface
Another issue you may encounter is insufficient layer adhesion. This means that the first layer of a build can turn out to be spaghetti, even with tape. But this can be resolved easily. In this example, we used a PrintInZ build flexible build plate for the MP Mini.
It’s okay to have some residue from previous prints, just as long as the plate feels smooth.
There are other options out there, such as glass. But you should have an extremely high print success rate with the PrintInZ. It’s nice because you can order two, and start a job on one while cleaning the other. This also makes it easier to remove jobs, as you can bend the plate and they will pop right off.
Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer Tip #3: Maintain the Extruder Nozzle
Two weeks of use with the Monoprice, you may find that the extruder nozzle gets clogged. This is very easy to fix, however. All you need to do is remove the nozzle and soak it in acetone for several days. To remove the nozzle; first, make sure any filament is out of the printer, then heat the printer up to 200 degrees. Once the printer is heated, twist off the nozzle with pliers.
Once you’ve finished soaking the nozzle, dry it and then twist it back on (you do not need to heat the printer to reattach the nozzle). Lastly, relevel the bed.
It is highly recommended to buy an extra nozzle to use while cleaning the old one. You can get them here or at Amazon. Note that the nozzle in the first link is .35 mm, while the old one was 4 mm; it’s fairly simple to adjust this in Cura.
A clogged nozzle will result in the printer making a “thump” noise every fifteen seconds, and the filament will come out at a lesser flow. You can tell if you have a clog by extruding filament from the move menu while heated up. If it curls, you have a clog.
Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer Tip #4: Retraction
Retraction is when the printer pulls filament out of the extruder while moving over non-printed areas. It’s enabled by default, but you can improve it.
First, change the retraction distance to 4mm. This will help with ensuring the filament tube doesn’t become clogged. Also, you can change the minimum distance over a non-printed area to begin retraction. We recommend .5 mm.
Retraction is used to prevent oozing and stringing over non-printed areas or over printed areas.
Monoprice 3D Printing Tip #5: Use the Correct Temperature
To improve print quality, we like to print at a temperature just above the minimum for the material.
Because this printer works best with PLA, the temperature we use for that material is 200 degrees. Anything higher, and you’ll run into stringing. Lower, and the nozzle will clog.
Monoprice 3D Printing Tip #6: Change Layer Height
One thing that we love about Cura, the included slicing software, is that there are three options for quality. This makes it extremely easy to perform quick prints or complex projects.
Just one thing -– don’t try to print anything with layer height above .15 mm. This can cause issues because the filament will curl between the nozzle tip and the previously printed sections. Curling will result in rougher edges and worse layer adhesion.
If you stick to the profile options available, you’ll be okay.
Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer Tip #7: Store Your Filament Like a Pro
One last thing that doesn’t necessarily have to do with the printer itself is the optimal storage for 3D printing filament. It’s not strictly proven, but folks have speculated that humidity can and cannot change properties of the filament. For this reason, we prefer to keep our filament in an enclosed area.
This will help achieve maximum print quality because any moisture in the filament can make it expand or contract, therefore leading to a wider tolerance in the filament. Using filament with the lowest tolerance is best for accomplishing great results with your Monoprice Mini.
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