Fighting with computers

Computers are not always friendly.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mini UP! 3D printer, first impressions


A friend of mine recently bought a Mini UP! 3D printer from PP3DP. He was looking for a ready to use 3D printer within a budget and that model was my first advice.

Once I have seen and used the printer it meets the needs of my friend and it has impressed me on how easy it was to get the first print. However, it came almost without any instructions so many people may have a difficult time using it until they figure out that an online manual has to be available somewhere.

Print quality using defaults is very good and so is printing speed. Not so bright is the way heated bed works in this printer: no temperature sensor is there, so you have no idea how hot it is.

Large parts will warp badly unless bed is hot enough and well-leveled. Once you patiently wait for at least 15 minutes for the bed to heat up and level the bed, the adhesion is pretty good and any problems we had before were gone. Still, I do not like the idea of not having an accurate idea about the bed temperature.

On the software side, both Windows and OSX are supported, but the latter is not working nicely in Maverick (program will beach-ball for every print, sometimes print is interrupted before the end, sometimes not). Windows version seems to behave better, but only after you install the drivers, that can be found somewhere in the folder you installed the program (but oddly enough are not installed when you install the software).

Still, this small printer delivers solid performance in a small package and I like it. The light included in the hotend makes it easy to follow the printing process without opening the cabinet nor risking to cool down the heated bed.

You can build your own printer from a kit more cheaply, but it is a lot of work. This printer will save you some work and frustration (but it will take away some of the pride of doing it on your own).

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