Why Monoprice Mini Delta?
The Mini Delta is my first 3D printer. As a first printer there are selection criteria
that reflect that. Here's the list:
These criteria definitely narrowed the field. I was targeting $200 as the maximum I wanted to spend
on the printer so there weren't that many to choose from:
- Since I wasn't sure I was going to have an ongoing interest in 3D printing I wanted to keep
the cost down and get something that I could get working quickly.
- I wanted something with a decent reputation that I knew I could get help with if necessary.
- Good community support (that includes questions and just general how-tos) was important. I didn't
know I even wanted this until I started looking around at printers and discovered that every printer
had such support.
- Good assembly and setup instructions were a must. I have no experience with 3D printers at this
time so I needed all the help I can get.
- I wanted to get the printer in a reasonable time once I decided on which one so shipping from
China was definitely out. US distribution was a requirement.
Going by the numbers:
- Monoprice Select Mini
- Creality Ender 3
- Anet A8
- Monoprice Mini Delta
- Tevo Tarantula
For my situation at the time, the Mini Delta was the best choice.
- This being the first one I looked at I found out a lot of things to look for. It comes fully
assembled which is a definite plus. I found
all kinds of things about 3D printers while researching the Select Mini that might have scared
off most people. I'm a natural tinkerer and I have good skills with things mechanical and excellent
skills with things electronic so this didn't scare me off. I also researched filament choices at
this time and had that all worked out at this point.
There are a few issues with this printer
but none that could not be overcome.
- At this point I knew much more about what to look for and it took much less time to research the
Ender 3. What I found was a much longer list of issues. I'm sure some of them are not all that important
but it is a consideration. This printer also has a much larger build volume so that's a plus. This is a
partial kit so there is some assembly required.
- The Anet A8 is definitely much more of a 'kit' than the others. EVERYTHING has to be put together.
Spending a full day on assembly did not appeal to me at this time so that alone pretty much ruled this
one out. The frame is also not nearly as sturdy as the others - it's a rod design instead of the usual
steel or aluminium extrusion construction. It also has a reputation for catching on fire (few instances
but definitely not good) possibly
because the thermal safety features in the firmware have been disabled. Why would anyone do that?
- The Mini Delta is the odd ball in the group. It's a delta style printer and has an even smaller
build volumen than the Select Mini. For my purposes it would be enough thoug. There is good community
support and few issues, none serious. This is the only printer with automatic bed leveling which is a
- This is another printer with a larger build volume but some definite problems. It is also a full
kit and would require a lot of time to assemble. I have not been able to find any printed instructions
that I could download although there several videos on assembly available. The biggest drawback I found
on the Tarantula was that allthough the frame is aluminium extrusions the parts are connected by lexan
parts which are known to break.
|Importance||Select Mini||Ender 3
||Anet A8||Mini Delta||Tevo Tarantula|
|Cost with shipping||High||$190||$200||$180||$175||$180|
|Availbility||Moderate||US - quick||Various, higher price from US||Amazon - quick
||US - quick||Amazon - quick|
|Build size (mm)||Low||120x120x120||220x220x250||220x220x240||110dia x 120
|Maximum nozzle temperature||Moderate||250C (or 230C)||260C||260C||260C||260C|
|Frame type||High||Formed steel||Aluminium extrusion||Acrylic / rod||Formed steel
|Support||High||Good community||Great community. Lots of video support.
||Lots of community and video.||Good community||Fair amount of community and video|
|Open source||Low||No||Yes - full||Yes||No||Yes|
|Issues||Moderate||Various small issues that could be solved easily. Limited choice of material types.
||Numerous issues but most easily solved. Broad range of solutions available for zero or low cost. FW needs flashed for thermal issues.
||Frame needs stiffening, FW needs reflash for thermal issues, other minor issues. Old design (2016)
||Various small issues, easily solved. Underpowered power supply making warmup slow.
||Small issues, very long Bowden tube, unmounted and exposed display electronics|
All of the printers do everything else pretty much the same. There is some variation in speed of printing (with the Mini
Delta having the fastest) but other than the items in the table above they're all pretty equal.
Although it didn't enter into my original decision process the Mini Delta is very portable. Being very light (4.6 KG)
and having a handle on top it's an obvious pick-it-up-and-go printer.