The Monoprice Maker Ultimate 2 includes a heated and removable glass bed, automatic bed leveling option, a filament runout sensor. But do these features perform as advertised?
A Fully Enclosed Machine
If you are venturing beyond PLA, conditions like inconsistent ambient temperature or high humidity can cause prints to fail. In the Ultimate 2, temperature management is exemplary. The enclosure maintains the temperature and therefore prevents common 3D printing failures like warping. Monoprice chose to even put the filament spool inside of the chamber.
Additionally, the Maker Ultimate 2 includes a door with a built-in sensor. The sensor will detect when the door is opened and automatically pause the print. There’s one thing, though: The door are made of frosted plastic, so it’s nearly impossible to clearly see how your print is doing.
A better approach would have been a transparent front and top access, which allow seeing the printing progress without the need to open either of them.
Auto Bed Leveling, Sort Of
Monoprice claims that the hassle of leveling the bed will no longer separate you from your first print. The Maker Ultimate 2’s built-in inductive sensor is said to automatically level the print bed, ensuring proper adherence to the built plate. However, we have tried this feature and found that there is no such automatic leveling, but rather a guided process which is displayed on the screen, which, in our case, makes it a semi-automatic bed leveling.
In any case, the Ultimate 2 is pre-leveled before shipping, which we can confirm by the decent prints obtained with the configuration out of the box.
Heated and Removable Glass Build Plate
Monoprice advertises the glass build plate as a guarantee for a flawless first layer with the flattest surface possible. This, together with the auto bed leveling should ensure optimal results.
After testing the bed ourselves we are underwhelmed. First of all, to achieve adherence to the bed it is necessary to cover the glass with white tape or a layer of glue stick (which is provided with the printer). Second, we encountered prints coming off the build plate quite often at moderate print speeds.
The lighting system is thought to compensate for the difficulties of seeing one’s print due to the printer’s enclosure. Alternatively, users would have to use a flashlight to monitor the printing progress, so the internal lighting does result in increased convenience.
Another advertised feature that didn’t work as expected: One of the most annoying scenarios for 3D printing newcomers is to find your print head circling in thin air once the filament has run out. Sadly, after testing this feature, that was exactly what we found: The Maker Ultimate 2 didn’t stop the print.
- Monoprice offers a quick release feature for its nozzle system.
- The build volume of 200 x 150 x 150 mm is sub-par for a consumer machine in 2019.