UP Mini Fully Assembled 3D Printer Review
The UP Mini Fully Assembled 3D Printer has been around for quite some time now, and given my experience as an industrial designer who has been in the 3D printing industry for quite a few years, I have to say that this is one of the best pre-assembled units for its value. Print quality is quite good and the software is incredibly user friendly. Why I won’t give it a full 5 stars due to my strictness on printing capabilities, if you’re just getting starting in the 3D printing world it’s a good place to start. Just after owning the printer for a couple of weeks, I had already printed multiple objects and couldn’t be more pleased with the output. The main reason I decided to try out the UP Mini is because of the quality it promised at a decent price along with the enclosure. Most printers have an open setup, but with the enclosure I could ensure that my five-year old wouldn’t somehow get caught and injured in the device. Overall, I’ve had a blast printing multiple objects. While there are some calibration issues that need to be altered every once in a while, I’ve never not had a successful print. I love this printer.
The build volume of the Up Mini 3D Printer is pretty standard at 4.75 x 4.75 x 4.75 inches (120 x 120 x 120 mm). Included with the printer you’ll find management software that’s capable of running on both Windows and Mac devices. The software is able to read STL files outputted by standard CAD software, meaning you shouldn’t have to worry about any capability issues. Since the printer is already assembled right out of the box and enclosed within its metal case, there isn’t much work to be done. Plug-and-play capability means you can simply connect it to your PC with the USB cable and get started. One thing that really stood out as far as the encasement is that the metal protects your prints from any drafts while printing. While it may not seem like much, if the breeze is severe enough it can cause a drastic change in printing quality due to fluctuations in temperature. Furthermore, odor is reduced along with operational noise, which i greatly appreciated.
Be careful of the bed temperature. The UP Mini does a great job of maintaining thermal stability with a maximum temperature of 51.4 degrees Celsius. This is very hot to the human hand, but is pretty decent when looking at 3D printers. There’s also a perforated cell board that’s used for a tight and sturdy fabrication base. The case also comes with solid metal guide rails that enable precision slide bearings and helps calculate exact and precise movements when printing. Their belt-driven motors meet the necessary NEMA standard for 3D printers.
Overall the design quality is one of the more modern and stand-out features. It allows the printer to manage the internal heat extremely well. You’ll notice that on the top left of the printer door there’s a LED power button. This turns the printer into initialize mode, allowing to to travel the axes before turning into a home position which can then be used for further calibration. When there’s an active print, the LEDs will flash in a blue and red light. Above the door you’ll find a plastic section. This can be lifted in order to gain access to the nozzle and print head which can be fed with filament. Type-B USB ports are found on the side and on the rear you’ll find an on/off switch. In short, it’s a great design that looks sleek and won’t seem out of place when set on a random desk.
The few components that you do need to install before you print include the print head, cell boards, and connecting the cable pins. These are wrapped around in foam during the shipping process to ensure that they aren’t damaged. Follow the instructions for proper installation.
When it comes to 3D printing, the main thing that people tend to look at is print quality, and without a doubt it’s definitely the most important feature. The minimum print size is 2 mm, and if you try to print intricate, detailed objects you won’t come out with good prints. In order to print anything of such size, you’ll most likely have to upgrade printers and fork out another $500 plus. For anything above 5 mm, you’ll have great results. Even after using the printer for a full year with lots of trial and error, I haven’t had any problems. Out of all of the printers I’ve used, this is definitely one of the most durable. It has come with the lowest need for adjusting calibration and there haven’t been many issues in terms of overheating or nozzle clogging. Definitely a must for stability. Knowing that I’m getting great quality without damaging my printer makes it stress free and allows me to have a blast each time I’m printing something. There have even been times when I’ve used it for 10 hours straight for days in a row without any issues. Best of all is that I can simply take it out of the box and place it anywhere due to its enclosure and easy-to-use interface.
The tape that’s required is 1.75 mm ABS tape or PLA thermoplastic filament, both of which are sold separately. After doing some research and reading various reviews, the only problems that people encounter tend to be when they use PLA tape, which is why I highly suggest only using ABS. Be warned that ABS has been known to be potentially dangerous when emitting fumes. The enclosure helps cut down on this, but I also added a small carbon scrubber to the top of the printer to help cut down on this. You can also install a little exhaust fan to help even more.
It can be a bit of a pain centering the print table, and I immediately noticed that the table was a bit off-center on the x-axis. This means that it tends to print a little close to the front, and sometimes result in larger models tons lightly curl. However, I was able to fix this by moving the heating table to the center when calibrating the table height. After doing this the printer worked perfectly. I don’t recommend registering the product through pp3dp.com like the box says, and instead go with up3dusa.com. It’s easy to navigate and it also has a link for a 3D test bunny along with software, a manual and all of the necessary drivers. I can understand why this printer might not make any top ten list, but that’s because what it lacks in quality is mostly due to its cheap cost. If you’re just getting into printing or don’t want to hassle with any assembly, the UP Mini Fully Assembled 3D Printer is one of the best you can get at a cost of $599 on Amazon. With a modern design, quick setup and great prints, I couldn’t be more pleased.