Review: Monoprice MP Cadet

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Is this the Most User-Friendly 3D Printer?

Monoprice MP Cadet

Dylan Miller @io3dprint

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

Summary

The MP Cadet really stands out for its incredible beginner-friendly design, and since it targets that beginner customer segment, it’s easy to see why it’s a popular choice for families. A great introduction to 3D printing.

4
SAVE $50.00

Price excl. shipping / Last update on 2020-11-17 at 05:29 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Introduction

3D printers are increasingly targeting entry-level creators who need something that is easy to use for the whole family. This has made 3D printing technology quite accessible, even for creative children. One of the latest 3D printers aimed at this market is the Monoprice MP Cadet.

Dubbed one of the easiest to use printers in the world, this compact unit comes loaded with an array of features, including automatic bed leveling, quick set up, and others. But is it worth all the hype? Well, we will be trying to answer that question with this review. Our primary focus will be on the Cadet’s features, its technical specs, as well as pros and cons. We will also have details about printer setup, unboxing, and use.

Specifications

  • Printing Technology: Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)
  • Build Volume: 100 mm x 105 mm x 100 mm
  • Layer Resolution: 100 microns
  • Number of Nozzles: One
  • Nozzle diameter: 0.4 mm
  • Maximum Nozzle Temperature: 250 degrees Celsius
  • Leveling Method: Fully automatic
  • Filament Diameter: 1.75 mm
  • Filament type: PLA and PLA Pro
  • Connectivity: Wi-FI, USB, WLAN, MicroSD
  • Slicer Software: Cura, Wiibuilder
  • Printer Dimensions: 210 mm x 210 mm x 290 mm
  • Printer Weight: 3 Kilograms

Features

Despite its small stature and minimalist look, the MP Cadet has several high-end features of note. Here are some of our top picks:

  • The printer comes in a super light and compact design. This makes it highly portable and ideal for projects on the go.
  • The MP Cadet also offers fully automatic bed leveling, which makes printer setup easy for beginners.
  • The unit also lives up to its reputation as one of the easiest to use printers. It ships already assembled and ready to print within 30 seconds.
  • The MP Cadet offers wireless printing thanks to its Wi-Fi connectivity option. However, there is also a USB option and MicroSD in case you don’t have the internet. The printer can also connect via WLAN.
  • The Cadet is also a massive space saver. It measures less than 12 inches on all sides, something that makes it perfect for those of you with limited countertop space.
  • The unit also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee from the manufacturer. This just shows the level of confidence they have in the quality of this product.
  • You also get a simple minimalist design that looks a bit sleeker for such an entry-level 3D printer 
  • Perfect for beginner creators, including children, students, and hobbyists who are just getting started with 3D printing.

Pros

  • One of the easiest 3D printers to use
  • Comes already assembled, and you get an automatic bed leveling feature as well
  • Compact and lightweight design for portability and space-saving 
  • Beginner-friendly 3D printer for kids and students

Cons

  • Some users have complained the extruder clogs easily
  • The user manual that ships with this printer can be confusing for some people ‘
  • There are also some issues with Wi-Fi connectivity
  • The built-in filament holder cannot hold large spools, and you may need a third party option
  • The build volume is relatively small compared to other entry-level printers

Unboxing and Box Contents

The MP Cadet ships with a lot of goodies that should be very useful as you start using the printer. First, you will, of course, get the 100% fully assembled MP Cadet. The box also includes one large spool of PLA filament for you to use on your first prints. The manufacturer also includes several cables and cords.  There is a single power adapter, a power chord cable, and also a USB cable.

You will also get one MicroSD card and its reader. The MP Cadet also ships with a set of tools and printing accessories. First, you get up to 3 wrenches, including a 1.55 mm option, a 2.0 mm, and a 2.5 mm. A single Philips screwdriver is also included in the mix and an extra-large 8 mm Hex wrench as well.

Monoprice also offers you one extra M6 brass nozzle. A Stick of Glue and platform stickers are also part of the package. Finally, be sure to also check out the Quick Start Guide from the manufacturer. While the MP Cadet does not require a lot of set up or assembly, the user manual is still important in the rare occasions where you run into problems.

Setup

As we have noted in the introduction, the MP Cadet is considered one of the most beginner-friendly 3D printers in the market. Well, it lives up to this reputation quite well. First of all, the printer ships already preassembled. You don’t need to spend time trying to find screws and wrenches to put the unit together.

Secondly, bed leveling for the MP Cadet is fully automatic. From the reviews we saw on Amazon, it takes less than ten minutes from the time you unpack this printer to your first printing session. The manufacturer even claims that you can start printing in less than 30 seconds once the printer is unboxed and ready to go.  

Nonetheless, we would still encourage you to go through the user manual that ships with this product. This will help you get acquainted with how the unit works and all its features.  You may also be able to learn invaluable information that allows you to run diagnostics in the future.

Software

The MP Cadet has its own preinstalled firmware from the manufacturer. We combed through several user reviews, and it looks like customers have not had any issues with the firmware. As for the slicers, the printer gives you two third party options to choose from. You can either choose Cura, a highly reputable and popular slicer, or   Wiibuilder, another reputable slicer as well.

In Use

The MP Cadet is specifically designed for educational needs and simple hobbyist creations. But despite this, the print quality achieved is quite commendable. Nonetheless, the printing process is not as straightforward as the manufacturer claims.

For instance, if you intend to print over Wi-Fi, you will need to download Monoprice’s PoloPrint app on your phone to interface with the printer. This may take longer, and we have seen some reviews on Amazon where users had issues using this app.  However, printing via external storage is a bit less fussy.  We did also notice that some people also have a few problems scraping the prints off of the bed.

Customer Service

Overall, the customer support offered by Monoprice looks good. But there is a small caveat. From some of the reviews we sampled from Amazon, it seems like the support team is swift in responding to any customer concerns. But there was a general concern among users of the MP Cadet that the support agents had very little knowledge about the MP Cadet and its workings.

For this reason, some users felt that the support provided, even though it was fast, did not do too much to solve the issues they were having. Let’s not forget that the MP Cadet is a massively beginner-friendly printer. Reports that support reps demonstrated no understanding of how it works is quite alarming.

Conclusion

The MP Cadet ticks all boxes as far as ease of use is concerned. This printer is designed for children, students, and hobbyist creators. It serves that market quite well thanks to its easy setup and automatic bed leveling. We also loved that the printer is very compact and super lightweight. If for some reason, you need to move it from one place to the next, it will be a hustle-free experience. The MP Cadet also looks sleek and delivers commendable print quality as well.

But despite these pros, there are some downsides to keep in mind. First, the build volume is very small. I know this is mostly a printer for kids and beginners. So you can understand why they might not need a large build volume. But it kind of limits what you can print to a huge extent. We also noticed that printing over WI-Fi has a lot of challenges. The MP Cadet also has an inbuilt spool holder that is absolutely useless. You will need to invest in your own third party spool holder. Finally, we have also seen complaints about the extruder not working properly on some occasions. 

However, even with these downsides, the MP Cadet is still worth your consideration. The printer really stands out for its incredible beginner-friendly design, and since it targets that beginner customer segment, it’s easy to see why it’s a popular choice for people.

Dylan

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