Review: Monoprice Maker Ultimate 2

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Direct Drive, Full Enclosure, Sensors Galore – The Maker Ultimate 2 Has It All!

Monoprice Maker Ultimate 2

Dylan Miller @io3dprint

Easy to Setup
Easy to Use
Print Quality
Value For Money
Features

Summary

The Monoprice Maker Ultimate 2 is less an update and more a completely new 3D printer. It arrives fully assembled and set up and its key features of direct drive extruder and enclosed design make it almost limitless in its abilities. A great beginner 3D printer that won’t limit you as you gain more experience.

4.1

Monoprice has updated its popular Maker Ultimate 3D printer in Summer 2019 to a V2 version with a few new features that ensure it keeps up with the competition. 

Price excl. shipping / Last update on 2019-11-18 at 18:36 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

In fact, the Ultimate 2 is packed with features that allow you to print a multitude of different materials, including notoriously tricky ones like ABS, ASA, and flexibles like TPU, and TPE. 

This new model although similar in appearance to the V1, is actually an entirely different machine. As you may know, Monoprice doesn’t make their own 3D printers, they tweak and rebadge other manufacturers. The Maker Ultimate V2 appears to be a rebadge of the Weedo F150S. 

In this review, I’ll focus on the features of the Monoprice Maker Ultimate 2, its pros and cons, technical specifications, and other relevant information to see how it compares to the competition and help you make an informed decision on whether to but it. 

Features 

The Monoprice Maker Ultimate 2 is loaded with an array of brand new features that make it a worthy update to the original. 

Here are some of the most notable features:

  • CoreXY design – The print bed only moves in Z which generally aids print accuracy. 
  • Direct drive extruder – You can print with flexible filaments like TPE and TPU.
  • Automatic bed leveling – It has a built-in inductive sensor designed to level the print bed automatically. This means you don’t have to spend time doing this manually and there is less chance of your prints failing due to a poorly leveled bed.
  • A new filament sensor – This tracks filament usage and alerts you when a refill is needed so that you do not run out of filament in the middle of a print.
  • Simple set up, operation and easy maintenance – It can print straight out of the box. No assembly is needed and only basic set up is required. This kind of usability can be invaluable for beginners.
  • Warranty – 30-day money-back guarantee and 12-month repair warranty from Monoprice.
  • Fully enclosed design – This helps to maintain a consistent level of internal temperature for the entire duration of printing. Environmental factors, especially low and changing room temperatures, are known to affect the quality prints sure to warping, especially if you are printing with ABS filament.
  • Quick-release nozzle – Allows you to quickly change the nozzle between prints. 
  • Heated removable build plate – The build plate on the Monoprice Maker Ultimate 2 can be heated up to 100 degrees Celsius. This is very important for effective layer adhesion. The build plate is also flawlessly flat for enhanced printing precision and reliable prints. 
  • LED lights – An array of LEDs inside the printer provides enough illumination to ensure you can monitor your prints easily.

Pros 

  • Easy to use 3D printer that comes pre-assembled and calibrated
  • Automatic leveling feature for easy calibration  
  • Direct drive extruder
  • Compatible with a wide variety of filaments including ABS, ASA, TPE, and TPU
  • Enclosed design protects your print from environmental factors such as low room temperature/drafts
  • Compact and lightweight design

Cons 

  • The user manual provided can be too technical for some people 
  • A little noisy for the liking of some users 

Specifications

  • Build Volume: 200 mm x 150 mm x 150 mm 
  • Speed:  150 mm/sec
  • Layer Resolution: 100 – 400 microns 
  • Filament Type: 1.75mm
  • Extruder: Quick release Direct Drive
  • Build Plate temperature: up to 100 Degrees Celsius 
  • Connection: USB, Micro SD
  • Materials: ABS, PLA, Wood fill, Metal Fill, TPU and others
  • Printer Size: 380 mm x 340 mm x 420 mm
  • Printer Weight: 15 kgs 

Unboxing 

The Monoprice Maker Ultimate 2 comes fully protected for transit encased in molded foam packaging to ensure you will get it in one piece when it arrives. 

Removing the printer from the packaging is also very easy. Don’t forget to look out for several important accessories in the box. Monoprice includes quite a lot of stuff for you. 

First, you will get a 500g spool of PLA filament. There is also one 8GB MicroSD card, a single metal scraper, a filament holder, a USB cable, a stick of washable glue, a spanner, and a set of Allen keys and power cables for the EU, US, and the UK. 

You will also find a spare switch cable, a motor cable, and some masking tape as well. 

Don’t forget to check out the user manual. The manufacturer does so well to give you a total of five manuals in different languages including English, Italian, German, French, and Spanish. 

Before plugging in your 3D printer, it is advisable to always make sure that everything is unpacked from the box.

Setup 

One of the main selling points of the Maker Ultimate 2 is that it comes pre-assembled and pre-calibrated. So, other than loading the filament there isn’t much set up for you to do! 

Even on 3D printers that arrive pre-calibrated, I advise you to check the bed leveling as it’s easy for things to move around during transit. 

The Ultimate 2 comes with automatic bed leveling so, in this case, it really is just a case of pressing a button to check that everything is as it should be. Once the bed is checked and leveled you can load the filament. 

Loading the filament is simple too. Just thread the filament through the tube and select the load filament option on the printer. It will automatically feed the filament through to the hot end. 

In use 

The Monoprice Maker Ultimate 2 is designed for people of all abilities to use. Whether you are a seasoned creator with plenty of experience or a 3D printing newbie, you won’t have any issues.

Controls and Software

You can use a wide variety of slicing software. At the moment, the printer is compatible with Wiibuilder, Simplify3D, Cura, KISSSlicer, and Slic3r. This gives you excellent versatility. 

I did notice the latest Cura doesn’t have a profile for this model, however, Monoprice supply a profile with an earlier version of Cura on the memory card, so you can install this and then transfer the printer profile over to the latest version of Cura. 

The lack of a touchscreen is a little disappointing as they have become fairly standard at most price points now. Having said that, the button and dial controls are tactile and don’t slow down the workflow too much. This less cluttered and minimalist design doesn’t seem to be a hindrance as it tends to prevent you from hunting through deep menus.

Print Bed

The printer comes with a removable glass build plate.  The build plate is flattened to precision to ensure you get flawless prints. It attaches to the heated plate with magnets, so it is easy to remove from the printer. It can also be heated up to 100 Degrees Celsius. This is very crucial in enhancing layer adhesion. 

Sound Level

As for the noise, the Monoprice Maker Ultimate 2 is not entirely quiet,  you would think the enclosed design would help to dampen the sound from the fans and stepper motors but it’s about on par with similar open-frame 3D printers.

You’d have a very hard time finding quiet 3D printers at this price point. If you are printing in the basement or somewhere in the garage, it won’t be a bother to anyone, you might not want it in your office while you’re trying to work depending on how easily distracted you are. 

Print Quality 

The overall print quality of the Monoprice Maker Ultimate 2 is very good. The unit comes with a layer resolution of 100 – 400 microns, which is pretty standard at this price range. 

What makes the Ultimate 2 stand out is the direct-drive extruder and fully enclosed design which makes printing much more consistent and reliable. 

There is even a sensor on the door that automatically stops printing if the door is open. The enclosed design prevents environmental factors such as room temperature from affecting the printing process which is essential when printing materials prone to warping like ABS and ASA. 

This goes a long way in enhancing the final print quality. I also loved that the build plate is flattened to precision to enhance first layer reliability.

Limitations 

The Monoprice Maker Ultimate 2 is a solid 3D printer with some great features but it’s not 100% perfect. One key limitation is the fact that it doesn’t have a digital touch screen control.

You will instead have to rely on the old button and dial style input to use it. While this is mainly a superficial complaint and does not affect printer operation in any way, it would have been nice to have a vivid interactive control system as many 3D printers now have. 

Customer Support

Monoprice offers full phone and email support for the model. Customers having any issues with set up or use are advised to call and get the help they need. A few Amazon reviews from users seem to suggest that it’s quite efficient with replacements for damaged components being sent without hassle. 

We have seen people claiming that they were able to get fast and effective fixes for specific issues they had with Monoprice Maker Ultimate 2 through phone support better than email support. 

Verdict 

The Monoprice Maker Ultimate 2 is a highly flexible 3D printer that can cope with almost anything you throw at it. The two main features of the enclosed design and direct drive extruder allow it to print both warp prone materials like ABS and flexible materials like TPU.

It is easy to use, with automatic bed leveling and a preassembled design, anyone can set it up regardless of the amount of experience they have with 3D printing. 

Secondly, the Ultimate 2 produces very good print quality with a wide variety of materials. It has a few dedicated features, including the enclosed design, that ensure you get the best prints. 

Finally, it is compatible with multiple slicing software and multiple filament materials. This gives you very good flexibility as you develop your 3D printing skills. 

The Monoprice Maker Ultimate 2 is, however, a little noisy. We also noted that the user manuals provided by the manufacturer were somewhat hard to understand. Other than that, it is a very good entry to mid-level 3D printer.

Getting a quality entry-level 3D printer should not be a painful experience. There are so many great options and the Monoprice Maker Ultimate 2 is one of them. The unit offers superior specs and features. Buy with confidence!

-Dylan

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Slicing Software Should I Use For My Monoprice Maker Ultimate 2?

Well, it depends on your preference. The Monoprice Maker Ultimate 2 is compatible with Wiibuilder, Simplify 3D, Cura, KISSSlicer, and Slic3r. You can pick whichever you want! I always recommend Cura as the perfect starting point if you’re not familiar with any other slicer. It offers fully automated slicing for complete beginners up to complete control of all settings for advanced users. 

What Should I Do If My Printer Jams Or Runs into Issues?

24 hours customer support is available, but as this is a popular model, most solutions to common issues are just a Google away.

Is The Monoprice Maker Ultimate 2 Good for Beginners?

Yes, the Monoprice Maker Ultimate 2   is a great choice for beginners. It’s relatively affordable and comes with easy to use features. It also offers some advanced features which means you are unlikely to reach any limitations soon. 

Is the Monoprice Maker Ultimate 2 a rebadged 3D printer?

Yes, it’s a rebadged Weedo F150S which is unavailable outside of China

Can the Ultimate 2 fit a standard 1kg filament spool?

Yes, it is a tight fit but a 1kg standard spool of something like Hatchbox will fit. 

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