A great entry level printer that has a trade off between more features and a sturdy frame, against cheap components and average abilities.
I’ve just gone through 2 of these and thought I would write about my experiences.
After a lot of research and reading reviews, this was the printer I opted to go for as my entry into 3D printing, everything sounded good and it was a great price from Amazon UK (at time of purchase it was £280). The reviews were very positive and its rated as Digital Trends best printer for under $500.
The Monoprice Select Plus as a lot of great features that are hard to find on other printers of the same price. A heated bed and touchscreen deserve particular mention. The touchscreen makes controlling the prints incredibly simple and provides a hassle free interface compared to the non-touchscreen variant. The heated bed is okay (limitation described below), and in connection with the Buildtak style plate it provides consistent adhesion and easy-ish removal with the provided spatula.
The first issue is clear right away in the instruction manual: it misses out a step. Whilst going through the connections it does not mention the large black connector on the right side of the printer. As my cable was tucked into the frame I wasn’t looking for it and easily missed it. This drives the extruder block so I quickly noticed that something missed when the extruder wasn’t heating under the ‘preheat’ menu.
Whilst the printer construction is solid with a reasonably thick aluminium chassis, it suffers from cheap parts (A bit of stating the obvious there). The heated bed, whilst an excellent addition, was rarely heated across the entire bed; even when left on all day at a constant temperature. If you’re printing within the centre 40-50 percent it was great, outside of that was iffy for warping and lifting.
The fans are cheap, and naff, they were the culprit of my first printer going back. A month after purchase the bearings in both fans went which caused unbearable rattling, and the only one I had that would fit didn’t have the right connector.
The quality control was highlighted as an issue for the second printer. The first issue was the Z-axis stop switch; the wire connecting to it had snapped, but I had another to hand so was easily replaced. This is a serious issue though as without this switch, the 200 degree extruder will melt through the build plate when you go to print something which is inconvenient at the least. The weakness of the feeder was highlighted in this one as well. The feeder grips the filament to pass it through the hot end. Mine rounded off after 8 days use so the filament stopped feeding through, which is concerning after a week of use on a new machine.
Aside from these, the Monoprice Maker Select Plus is a great entry-level printer, with a large heated bed and easily accessible parts. It’s sturdy and stable whilst printing but the overall build quality leaves a lot to be desired. The upside is that everything is fairly simple and cheap to replace should it stop working outside the warranty period. All in all, if you’re looking for a machine to introduce you to 3D printing, this is an awesome piece of kit for the price, especially if you have a little technical knowledge behind you.