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Frustration-Free 3D Printing Out of the Box
Last update on 2021-04-26 at 12:10
Monoprice’s latest addition to their range is the snazzy looking Voxel model. It’s the smallest fully-enclosed 3d printer in their range and is aimed at the beginner end of the market.
The main selling point of the Voxel is that it’s easy to use and works out of the box with absolutely minimal setup.
However, being a beginner model doesn’t mean it’s lacking in performance or features. With a heated removable bed, built-in camera, and wifi, it’s got enough going for it to compete with the big boys.
If you’re not familiar with Monoprice, you should know they have a solid reputation for making reliable and excellent value for money 3d printers. Thousands of people can thank models like the Monoprice Mini Select and Maker Select for introducing them to 3d printing without breaking the bank.
Into its small frame, the Monoprice Voxel packs the following features:
The Voxel comes with an internal memory of 8GB. This internal memory allows you to store your print files without the printer holding your memory card hostage. It also enables you to print models without any external connection requirement.
This allows you to change the nozzle of the printer in a matter of seconds without needing special tools or equipment. This is very handy for solving clogging issues. In a classroom or in a business environment this would allow you to keep printing without maintenance downtime. This feature is not present in many other 3D printers at this price range which usually require 30 minutes or so for nozzle replacement.
Bed leveling on the Voxel is marketed as assisted but is actually just very simple because it is only carried out at the center of the bed.
Selecting ‘Calibration’ from the menu will automatically send the extruder to the home position. From here you can slide a paper under the nozzle to ensure the correct gap. Because you only do this once at the center of the bed, it’s a rapid process.
The build plate of Monoprice Voxel 3D printer is removable and flexible. Due to this feature, it is effortless to remove your model from the build plate. A second build plate will allow you to start a new print immediately. The build plate of this printer can be heated at a temperature up to 60°C.
Auto Filament Feed
Loading a new spool of filament is easy as you just load the spool into the holder, push the filament into the guide and then select ‘auto filament feed’ on the menu. The printer automatically grabs the filament and feeds it through to the hotend.
Filament Runout Sensor
When your filament is about to run out the Voxel will give you a warning and pause your print so you can replace the filament and resume without having to kill your print.
Built-in HD Camera
You can connect via PolarCloud software or directly to the IP address of the camera to allow you to monitor your prints wherever you are. You can also record the progress and play it back for diagnosis or to make cool time-lapse videos.
Unboxing & Box Contents
The box contains the following accessories:
- 1x Unclogging Tool
- 1x Spool Filament
- 1x Screwdriver
- 1x Package Grease
- 1x AC Power Cord
- 1x Allen Wrench
- 1x User’s Manual
The Voxel arrives fully-assembled so all you have to do to start your first print is unpackage, level the bed, and load the filament.
There’s a very well written quick start guide as well as a full menu, both of which are easy to understand and not the usual translation nightmare often seen with budget 3d printers.
There is a selection of models provided with the printer too, so you can quickly test your new purchase.
Although packed with features, the Monoprice Voxel is very easy for beginners to get to grips with.
The icon-driven menu system is intuitive and displayed on a responsive 2.8” IPS touch screen.
The instruction manual shows screenshots of the menu system for each step, making it easy to follow all the commands you’ll need to get up and running.
Connectivity is available via wi-fi, ethernet, and USB, all of which are easy to set up by pressing a few buttons on the screen.
Since the Voxel has a simple leveling procedure and auto filament loading, you’ll start your first print in a matter of a few minutes.
Monoprice provides its own slicing software called Flashprint. This operates in a very similar way to the popular CURA software.
By default, Flashprint is set to easy mode with only a few options. When you’re starting out it’s a good idea to stick to the default settings and less likelihood of print failure.
For more advanced users, Flashprint has an expert mode that allows you to tweak almost all the slicing parameters you are likely to need.
The Voxel prints accurately and without fuss. The main selling point of this printer is that it’s plug and play and with an initial setup time of around ten minutes, it’s hard to disagree with that.
The enclosed design makes it a quiet printer in operation as well as a good choice for use in a public area or study.
Print quality is hard to fault with good layer definition and very little in the way of imperfections.
The removable bed makes removing your prints as easy as can be, with just a little flex needed for your print to pop off.
Pros and Cons
- Prints out of the box with minimal set up required
- The enclosed design is suitable for most filament materials including ABS
- Very quiet in operation
- Small build volume
- Not modifiable
- The filament holder only fits small 500g spools. For standard 1kg spools, you will need to print an external spool holder or adaptor
- Some users report the camera is hard to connect to Polar Cloud, or the camera IP address changes
- No USB stick included
Most of the budget 3d printers on the market aimed at beginners require some tinkering and DIY to get them working reliably. From full assembly to in-depth calibration, it’s easy for a newbie to get bogged down by the mechanics before they even get a chance to enjoy actually 3d printing.
The Voxel is designed to avoid all that hassle and give anyone new to 3d printing a smooth and hassle-free introduction to the hobby.
In this aim, it succeeds fully, and if you’re in the market for a budget hassle-free 3d printer, the Voxel is an excellent choice.
What you should be aware of is a 3d printer that’s this easy to use is inevitably compromised in some ways.
This means the Voxel is what it is and no more. As you grow into 3d printing as a hobby, you will find and reach its limitations and find it has little to offer in the way of upgrades or DIY improvements that are commonplace on more basic models.
If you’re happy with a 3d printer that does what it’s supposed to and no more (bearing in mind there are plenty of competitors that don’t manage this at all!), then the Voxel is a great choice.
Build Area: 150 x 150 x 150 mm (6.9″ x 6.9″ x 6.9″)
Layer Resolution: 0.05 – 0.4 mm
Build Accuracy: ±0.2mm
Positional Accuracy – Z: 0.0025mm
Positional Accuracy – XY: 0.011mm
Print Speed: 10 – 100 mm/second
Screen Type: 2.8″ Color IPS Touch Screen
Nozzle Diameter: 0.4mm
Filament Size: 1.75mm
Materials: ABS, PLA, PETG, Exotics
Internal Memory: 8GB
Software: MP FlashPrint
Supported Input Formats: 3MF, STL, OBJ
Connectivity: USB, WiFi, Ethernet
OS Compatibility: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10, Mac OS X, Linux
Input Power: 24 VDC, 6.5A
AC Adapter Input Power: 100 – 240 VAC, 47 – 63 Hz
Max. Power Consumption: 150 watts
Dimensions: 400 x 380 x 405 mm (15.7″ x 15.0″ x 15.9″)
Weight: 9.0 kg (19.8 lbs)