Well I am officially done tweaking and upgrading the MonoPrice Select Mini and I am moving on to my next 3d printer project with the Anet A8 which will be a much more intense project I am sure. It has been a fun month, printing non stop on this machine and looking at what this amazing little printer is capable of. Before reading into this I want you to know that none of the mods or upgrades I have done are needed!
The MonoPrice Select Mini is great, out of the box with a quick bed level the prints are great. I just have always loved to customize the things I own and push them to the limits, this has gone on even before my interest in 3d printers. So please do not think you have to do these when considering buying this printer as they are just optional.
I will go in order with the various upgrades I made. The first upgrade I made to the MonoPrice Select Mini was I added z-rod stabilizers. The z rods have a tiny bit of play which can cause a little bit of excess noise coming from the x-axis as it vibrates at various heights so the first thing I did was add them. They where not the easiest to install for a few reasons. For starters, the Monoprice Mini 3d printer has a ton of screws. To take off the panel and rods to be able to put these on is something like 15 or so screws.
Another issue I ran into is that the prints holes did not line up very well with the sections they are supposed to. I did read that this may be due to the manufacture having spaced things a little differently but I cannot confirm this. Anyways, the way I was able to get the z-rod stabilizers in was to use a philips and sort of dig into the hole to extend them a bit. This could easily be accomplished with a drill bit.
The second upgrade I made was to the hotend. I wanted to install an e3d style hotend. This is the hotend I went with. For the upgrade I used this thingiverse file also from the the creator of the z-rod stabilizers. Huge thank you to USWaterRockets for the awesome work with these files. This upgrade took a little (a lot) longer than expected mostly due to me not being able to reuse many of the screws that the guide said to use.
I strongly recommend having some m3 nylon lock nuts as well as a variety of sized m3 screws before attempting this upgrade. In the end it worked beautifully. I soldered the layer cooling fan to the underside of the mainboard to get power. I have seen people recommend using a quick connect and disconnect setup so that when you are printing with abs you can unplug the layer cooling fan as there is no way to control it through software since the MonoPrice Select Mini does not have a port or option for it.
That was probably the best upgrade I could have done it greatly improved the strength of my prints which is what my goal was. The next upgrade I made to the MonoPrice Mini was to the control knob which many complain is to short and hard to use. It did not but me all that much but I thought it would be a fun livestream so I created a few knobs that I am currently using which can be found here.
The next upgrade I made was to the bed. I did not have issues with the aluminum but I had heard people talking about the bed bowing in the middle over time so I decided to put a bed of glass on top. I used a sheet of glass from a cheap picture frame I found at walmart 5″ x 7″ and it worked well. It does cover the bed screws so you may want to cut the glass down to size but for me it has not been a problem.
I like the glass bed alot more than the aluminum for the nice gloss bottom finish it gives to my prints. When installing a glass bed you will need to use something like this which will clip onto the x axis and cause the z endstop to trigger a little higher giving you space for the glass bed! I just used some cheap binder/filing clips to hold the sheet of glass to the aluminum bed.
Then I went ahead and installed octoprint onto a raspberry pi so that I could control the printer wireless over my network. Tutorial:
I used this bracket for the MonoPrice Mini and this case for the raspberry pi which look awesome and clean hidden away on the backside of the Monoprice Select Mini tower. Also a pretty awesome upgrade that I like to do to my printers.
The last little thing I did just for fun was I changed out the LEDs that where behind the control dial from blue to green to match the case for the raspberry pi which I think looks pretty awesome.
What upgrades have you made to your Mini? Let me know in the comments below!