If you’re looking to buy your first 3D printer, you probably won’t want a really expensive one. That’s okay – there are loads of low-cost printers out there; you just have to know how to tell a good model from one that isn’t worth your time. That’s where we come in.
Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at the Mini Delta from Monoprice, a company that claims to be the best-selling 3D printer brand in the world. That doesn’t mean we’ll go easy on them, though! If anything, it means that the Mini Delta is going to have to be better than most of its rivals to win our approval.
|Supported Materials||PLA, ABS, PETG, Wood|
|Connectivity||USB, SD Card, WiFi|
|Build Volume||4.33 x 4.7”|
As you might guess from the name, the Mini Delta is tiny. It stands just 15” tall and is less than 10” deep. Accordingly, the build area is a little smaller than average: it’s cylindrical and will do for making small-to-medium sized models. Larger objects will have to be assembled from parts afterward.
The build area is open, but this model doesn’t really have any problems maintaining a consistent temperature. You can always create an enclosure for it, though, if you’d like. We were pleased to find that the simple construction provides plenty of scope for modification, though, including possible expanding its build volume slightly.
This is the perfect desktop printer for beginners. It has a very small footprint, a cool appearance, and more importantly, a higher top speed than many of its rivals. This does mean that it’s a touch louder, but it’s still quiet enough to use in an office setting.
You might not think a budget printer like the Mini Delta would have great print quality, but it’s true. By lowering the print speed, you can drastically improve your models. In fact, at the slowest setting, we found that the layers were far harder to discern, and there were far fewer excess strands of filament hanging off.
In addition to PLA and ABS, this printer can create models with PETG (the plastic used in drinks bottles) and wood-infused filaments (although this requires a metal nozzle). This gives the user greater flexibility in terms of what they can build – perfect for beginners or those looking to push the limits of entry-level 3D printers.
With a pretty small build area, this model isn’t ideal for mass-production or commercial use. Its vertical shape makes injection-molding impractical too. However, it handles more materials and costs a lot less than some of its rivals, making it a strong choice for the budget-conscious consumer.
The front of the unit features a large, vibrant screen. Despite appearances, it’s not touch-controlled: there are three buttons to the right for navigation. In contrast to the cluttered, endless menus we’re used to, the Mini Delta shows just a few options per screen, and there’s never any doubt as to an option’s function.
We were amazed to see WiFi compatibility included in an entry-level printer since it’s usually only found in premium models, and even then, it’s not guaranteed. You can also choose to import models directly from your PC, USB stick or SD card, in case there’s no internet connection where you are.
There’s one more interesting feature: automatic bed-leveling. This can be done with a single click and takes much of the hassle out of preparing a print. Leveling is often the most difficult part for new users, so we’re glad that this can be done with as little hassle as possible here.
So, how much do you think this printer costs? We’re willing to bet you guessed too high. The Mini Delta retails for around $160, making it cheaper than even some of the open-source models we’ve covered before. Of course, it lacks some of the build volume, but let’s be real: this is still fantastic value.
What’s even better is that you can use any brand of filament. Too often, low-cost 3D printers lock users into a particular proprietary filament, but happily, that’s not the case here. This gives users the freedom to experiment, find their favorite manufacturer, and tailor the printer for perfect prints almost every time.
We know that 3D printing can be a difficult hobby to start, due to the high initial cost. That said, the Mini Delta offers that which no other model does: both the ability to get started for less than $200 and room to grow in the long term. By adding your own modifications, this printer could even rival some mid-range models.
Monoprice’s website has general FAQs and troubleshooting information for various 3D printers, but none specifically for the Mini Delta. That said, much of this knowledge is transferable and can be used to diagnose the root cause of any problem you might face.
Getting in touch for technical help couldn’t be easier. There’s a mailing address, phone number, email form, and live chat. Additionally, your printer comes with a year’s warranty and 30-day money back guarantee, which is exceptional considering its low price point. There’s even a dedicated system for requesting a return, although you will have to register first.
This is how you do customer support. If a customer needs help, it’s on the manufacturer to make things as simple as possible, and Monoprice has absolutely done this. Plus, since the Mini Delta is so popular if you can’t find what you need on the website, there are a wealth of unofficial forums that can help you out.
After spending his youth hanging out at his local hardware shop, it was no wonder Justin decided to become a computer engineer. When he’s not working, he enjoys riding his Honda across the picturesque Montana farmlands.
Monoprice Mini Delta Review
- Overall - 8.2/108.2/10
The Monoprice Mini Delta is a shining example of what an entry-level 3D printer should be like. It’s powerful, versatile, and easy to use, but most importantly, it won’t break the bank.