Needing replacement 3D printer

Hello, my Monoprice printer failed after 25 days of use and returning it now.

I need a replacement 3D printer and I figure it might as well be the Mostly Printed CNC becuase I’d like to have the ability to CNC wood at a later date.

I mean it’d cost me $600 for a Printrbot Simple Metal and then it’s only a printer with small printer volume and somewhat proprietary.

Would the MPCNC make an excellent printer that makes prints without bad print ring lines? Was getting decent prints at .1 layer height with the Monoprice. .2 was grainier.

If I get this kit for $240, plus the $190 in printed parts, plus the $49 extruder and the extra stepper for $4.95… along with the conduit… will that be all I need? I plan on building a rock solid base/stand with MDF and 2x4’s. I don’t need to worry about spindles and dw660 mounts if I just start it out as a 3d printer right?

Say I get this going as a 3D printer fine and print the DW660 mount. How hard is it to switch between the two? Do things need recalibrated every time you change heads? Also does the DW600 mount come with a way to attach a vacuum hose?

The Ramps 1.4 is arduino based right? I am assuming we get alll the source code for the arduino programs? Does MPCNC provide that source code for ramps or is that something I get elsewhere?

Can someone please guide me as to which free printing software I should use on the computer for Windows/Mac OS X and what arduino code to download for the Ramps? Ramps is new to me and so is DIY printing. But I am a computer programming and know electronics. Would be nice if there was some sort of overview on the MPCNC main page that explains all this.

I think I gave you my answer to most of those questions on thingiverse so I will let anyone else chime in. I’m not trying to be difficult or unclear with my answers or the website, but some of your questions are tough to answer and are pretty subjective. I try my best to break it down here,, but let me try again in a nutshell. This is a super generic non specific cnc platform. Nothing is locked in, any software (slicing, CAM, laser, ect), any hardware (steppers, controller, drivers), any size (within reason, keep the z as short as possible for best results), any function (laser, vinyl, print, plot, mill). That is why the answers seem vague to you, I think.

Your shopping list looks right, if you add in some filament from somewhere else. We already talked about the resolution, but I don’t think many people print at .1mm on this machine most are going for larger faster prints with larger nozzles. Small print volume machines are common, large ones for this price are not.

Switching tools with the stock mounts is a few screws, but some of the user here have gotten together and made a hell of a quick change system that makes this even easier. No re-calibration really just reset the z, but I do that with every print, as I don’t use/recommend end stops unless you are only printing then what ever floats your boat. My DW660 mount does not have a hose attachment, but there are some that do. The hose can cause a lot of drag on the machine so please be careful of how it is attached.

Ramps is arduino based. my customized marlin is pre-flashed on the boards, and it is available for download on the marlin page, or you can do it yourself, or you can use any other control board you want.

There are plenty of 3D print packages out there, more for PC than MAC. Have a look at Slic3r, matter control, repetier host, cura, craftware, simplify 3d (paid).

So the downside…This is very, get your hands dirty. You will be building it by hand. Monoprice’s printers come pretty much ready to go out of the box, this does not.

Side note, I had one of the monoprice printers and it had 2 issues, I had been talking with one of there execs about something else and told him about 2 major issues it had and I sent mine back as well. What was the problem with yours?

I want to say for 25 days, on the first roll of filament I experienced absolutely no problems with the $300 Maker Architect 3D.

The problem with the printer is I went to unload after the first roll and it wouldn’t unload. The extuder stepper motor made this horrible clicking sound.

Finally I got it out by heating it up by starting a print job then stopping it – could of just used the “load” feature to do this.

Anyways, I reloaded two new different spools of filament and the stepper motor makes that horrible clicking sound constantly and the 2nd layer of the raft had these tall peaks, which harden and the on the next pass the head vibrates horribly passing over them.

I took the extruder apart even and examined the gears, tightened the set screw on the stepper motor gear. NOne of it helped.

The reason I asked about print resolution, is I print dungeons & dragons miniatures… 28mm wide base. I want to know if this printer is accurate enough to print this small and finely.

I recently read some issues with rough conduit that causes artifacts in the prints.

I came to the forum to not bother you with more questions but to get answers from others that have used this printer to print .1 layer height. .2 layer height is no good for miniatures.

Should I just go with a RepRap Prusa i3 off ebay for $257 (free shipping?)

Then I could use this to print the parts for the MPCNC. And I’d have that printer for 3D printer and this one for wood routing and laser cutting?

Whatever seems easiest to you. Miniatures on an FDM aren’t going to be much better on any printer. You should really be looking at an SLA printer, you would be very pleased with the results.

Hi Jennifer,

I would not look to the MPCNC as a replacement printer, especially if you’re looking for detail and accuracy. It might be capable of fine detail, with a lot of tuning a tweaking (maybe), but it’s certainly not designed for it. You’d almost surely be disappointed.

The Prusa is probably a good bet. You might like the Fabrikator Mini from HobbyKing. Chuck Hellebuyck’s youtube channel has some good info on it. It comes ready to print right out of the box, ships from the US, and last time I looked it was less than $300.

Like Ryan says, an SLA printer is what you really want if want detail in small models. I don’t know what they cost, though.

Good luck with whatever you choose!

Ouch, all my printers print with pretty similar quality…No hard feelings

Hey, no offense meant, Ryan - you know I love my MPCNC! But I’m hanging a volcano hot end on it to print big things, not looking to use it to print tiny, finely detailed objects. For that stuff I’m building a $600 D-bot CoreXY printer! And if my main plan was to print miniatures, I’d definitely get a Fabrikator - easy to use, easy to transport, easy all around.

BTW, the Fabrikator is currently in stock - $215 plus a little shipping.

If you want figurines you need SLA. No FDM printer will produce the results you want or you want without tons of post process.
I have 2 SLA printers (a formlabs form1+ clone) and a muve3d (i made my chess pieces on that). The muve3d is your choice if you want SUPER HIGH REZ figurine prints.

Well I was going to settle on the Monoprice Maker Select for $349 including shipping (30 day money back guarantee with free return shipping).

It’s a Wanhao Duplicator I3 clone. It has the looks of the V1 but with all the important mods the V2 has. It doesn’t have a buildtak or borosilicate glass plate, but I can just buy the glass plate for under $20 off Amazon. Lots of support for this pritner – many tweaks, mods, upgrade prints etc.

Now I hear about this Fabrikator for $215! gah… decisions decisions.

I like the build size of the Wanhao - 8 inchs vs. the 2 1/2" or so of the fabrikator. Just hoping at .1 layers the minis will look as good on the Wanhao vs Fabrikator.

I can’t afford $1500 for SLA.

That Monoprice Maker looks fine. A bigger build area is a plus, and it has a heated bed.

Keep in mind that the quality of the printing has a lot to do with how finely tuned the machine is. Once you get whatever machine you decide on, you should spend a little time with some calibration prints and guides until you get the kind of output you want. Here’s a good place to start:’s_Calibration_Guide.

That is the one I had to send back. google the issues it has. The x axis belt actually rubs on the bearing block, after 2 days of printing mine had made significant damage to the belt, people are modding the bearing blocks to try and fix this. The other issue is their firmware is not available publicly and the extruder stepper is not getting enough power, very weak. I asked for the firmware to turn up the driver (firmware only) they said it would void my warranty so I sent it back. it didn’t have enough power to pull fimaent off a full spool resulting in weak prints that were under extruded.

It is a nice machine, 4 screws and it is ready to print in like 10 minutes tops. one issue would be free to fix for them and the other might be okay if they put a bit of teflon tape on that block. They didn’t seem interested in fixing them though.

Ryan let me start by saying love your design and am building one myself right now. I think we all agree that a MPCNC is not what Jennifer needs or is looking for. :slight_smile:

Jennifer I agree with what the others are saying and understand your price budget. Printing good looking miniatures is a challenge on a regular 3d printer and if done right they can look very nice. I just finished printing a 128 piece job for prototype parts for a game someone was developing. The tallest piece was a 31mm man o war ship. (pirate themed game) So it can be done. I would stay away from the monoprice stuff and the Prusa I3 while a good entry to the hobbyist 3d printing world it has its challenges as well. There is alot out there in the open source world.

First we need to establish your comfort levels. If you were looking at this project I am assuming you are confident in your skills to assemble a machine. This being said a kit is a great option for you. My first printer was a M3D home consumer ready printer. While it was cute and worked let me just say it is NOT what I was looking for. Then I discovered the Rigidbot (printing my MPCNC machine on them now. I have 3 of them) These were a very good machine at a very solid entry point price. However they took lots of tweaking and upgrades to make them the beasts they are today. I am currently looking at two other machines. One is completely do it yourself a CORE XY build and probably not what you are looking for. The other is a current kickstarter project called “Reach 3D Printer” It has a solid $259 pledge and for an additional 70 dollars you can even get a heated bed, LCD Screen, and upgraded power supply to run it. It has a very generous 7.87x7.87 inch build area with a 8.46 inch height. I am very skeptical of technology kickstarters as so many of them have flopped. However this one I have confidence in. I have spoken personally with the creator and he really has his head on straight. He already has started building the parts for the machines and with the exception of a couple laser cut metal plates the entire printer is open source easy to find parts. So you don’t have to worry about finding any support. His printers are actually shipping starting this may. He can do this because he has started the process of building them already. He is also keeping his quantities small so he can meet the delivery schedule. I am not affiliated with this printer in any way shape or form except I am a backer. I think it may just be what you are looking for. It is also more portable than an I3. Go check it out.

Thanks. I ordered the Monoprice Maker Select yesterday. One of the first things I intend on doing is printing replacement X axis bearing blocks (ones designed for belt clearance) – I just take out the bearings out of the stock block and slide them in (friction fit).

I also plan on doing: z-axis stabilizer mod; m3 bed spring nut, thumb wheel & spring guide mods; y axis idler tie wrap mod; replacing extruder gear with a sharper finer tooth one; glass bed mod.

I didn’t realize the firmware was proprietary… I thought since it was an OpenSource RepRap Prusa I3 clone, that it would have it’s firmware available. Anyways there are mods you can do tot he board to get the extruder more power… some simple jumper wire mod I hear. check out .

Also, since this machine is basically a Prusa I3 … can’t I simply just swap out boards with an entire new set of opensource firmware, if need be?

On the bottom of the following web page there is a download link for repetier firmware for wanhao I3 … would this be the firmware you were talking about?

Till now I have not used my MPCNC for 3D printing but only for milling although when I ordered my kit I did add the 3D print head to it. After reading this thread I had to test the MPCNC 3D print capabilities compared to my Ormerod 2 … the result was quite shocking for me.

My Ormerod 2 has been running now for about a year with quite a few upgrades including the E3D v6 print head and tuning and I am actually quite happy with the results. I quickly installed the MPCNC 3D print head and did a few changes to my normal Simplify3D print profile to suite the MPCNC and started a print on it.

On the Left: MPCNC with 0.4mm Nozzle and no fine tuning (first print). On the Right: Ormerod 2 with E3Dv6 with a 0.6mm Nozzle (normally I print with 0.4mm so this is not a fair comparison in quality )

Very happy how the MPCNC prints PLA! Although this thread is about small detailed prints etc. but I just wanted to share how prints do look on the MPCNC.

Wow, your prints look good, both of them. Thanks for the pics and kind words.

Very impressive! The MPCNC prints nicely! :slight_smile: Can’t wait to print out the parts and buy the kit to make the MPCNC!

Mark, what kind of rails/conduit do you use? How smooth are they? I’d love to have very smooth tubes whenever I build mine. I"ll print the international kit and order overseas if I have to.

Hi Jennifer,

I first used normal curtain rails 25mm that were galvanized but they did not work very nice. I finally found a place that sells 25mm stainless steel smooth rods and it made a huge difference on my side. I used my caliper now to check the dimensions and it measures as follows: 25.4mm Outer Diameter with 1.5mm thick walls meaning a Inner Diameter of 22.4mm . Funny enough, the stainless steel was way cheaper then the curtain rails. The machine runs much smoother with the stainless steel.