Monoprice has become very well known for their low-cost 3D printer options, but things are about to change significantly.
We managed to get a peek at their new set of equipment to be released soon. Currently the company offers a small selection of basic filament-powered desktop 3D printers, one of which, the Select Mini Desktop 3D Printer, is priced at the ridiculously low price of USD$199.
That low price has attracted many buyers, including those wishing to experiment in 3D printing and don’t want to risk a high price. Sure, there are more powerful machines, but a low cost machine like this is often the first machine seen by new 3D printer operators.
But in 2017 Monoprice is set to release not one, but several new machines that could shake the market.
The one that is most earthshaking to me is the all new MP Delta Mini. It’s a delta machine, obviously, and is equipped with several advanced features including auto leveling and WiFi networking. The machine also includes a heated print surface, meaning you can print a wide variety of materials. It’s also somewhat smart in that it can detect an inserted SD card with only a single sliced file and automatically start printing it. The relatively small print surface is metal with an adhesion coating. Cura is suggested as the slicing software. This machine is set to launch in April.
But it’s most incredible feature is its price: only USD$149, the lowest priced filament 3D printer I’ve yet seen.
This price is so incredibly low that it effectively kills the Kickstarter market for low-cost desktop 3D printers. You’d have to give them away for free to beat this option, and that won’t happen.
That said, there will certainly be higher priced Kickstarters for more expensive gear; this item simply invalidates the low end.
The company is also set to launch its first resin-based desktop 3D printer. This machine can produce very thin layers, down to only 0.02mm, enabling finely detailed prints.
The intro-level resin machine can produce wonderful prints, as shown here. However, support structures are made from the same material as the model and will have to be manually snipped off. But that’s the case for most other resin machines, too.
The resin machine will be available in April or May at a price around USD$1,000. That’s incredibly low for such a powerful machine.
Monoprice promises “aggressive” pricing on resin for this machine. While it will be capable of handling “open materials”, Monoprice will recommend their own products and are currently working with resin manufacturers. They expect to initially release several varieties of low-toxicity resins along with the machine, including a food-grade resin.
Monoprice also is to announce a more powerful resin 3D printer, the Maker Prism Professional, which offers even more powerful specifications. The Prism will offer a 130 x 130 x 180mm print volume, and can print 0.003mm layers, we were told. They list ABS, Ashless Wax, Hard and Rubber resins as “supported materials”. This machine should be available in the first half of 2017 for about USD$3,499 and is intended for jewelry designers and dental applications.
And yes, there’s even more.
They’ve also shown the MP 3Series Commercial machine, intended for professional office use. This steel-framed, filament-based machine offers a huge 295 x 195 x 575mm build volume and can print 20 micron layers. It’s heated bed and borden-style extrusion system can handle PLA, ABS, TPU, PC, Nylon, Flexible and composite 3mm diameter materials. Of course, it includes WiFi, auto leveling and other goodie features. It’s intended price: only USD$799.
Finally, the company has provided minor updates to their existing Maker Select Plus and Mini Select (now V2) machines, such as new touch screens, UI improvements and better motion system motors. The price for those machines remains the same.
Please note that Monoprice doesn’t make these machines themselves; they have been very skilled at selecting well-performing Asian machines and restyling them for Western use. All of the machine above are no doubt versions of existing equipment from other manufacturers, but at the moment I haven’t yet figured out from whom. Nevertheless, I expect these machines to be as successful as their prior equipment.
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