With advanced features you would normally expect in a much more expensive machine, the Prusa Mk3 is the very best sub $1,000 3D printer you can buy. However, it's only just below $1,000.
- Advanced leveling systems for the perfect bed
- Excellent print quality
- Fast print speeds
- Price is higher than the competition
3D printing for the masses
The Maker Select Plus is a fantastic entry point for 3D printing. It's cheap and easy to modify to get the most out of it. The only problem is modifications are needed to make it good enough.
- Easy to assemble
- Can be modified cheaply
- Simple to use
- Cheaper than Prusa Mk3
- Needs to be modified for quality
While the Prusa Mk3 is the printer I would recommend for everyone, for some the price is just too high when you are starting out. The Maker Select Plus price is much more manageable but it comes with some sacrifices to speed and advanced systems.
Money matters but so does quality
When looking at the spec sheet below you may be lulled into thinking that the Prusa Mk3 and the Maker Select Plus are pretty much the same device. Sure the Prusa is a little bigger and with some sparkly features but the two are essentially the same, right? Actually, not really.
While the Maker Select Plus is a capable machine, it lacks a lot of the features you would need to really push your 3D printing into the realms of professional quality. Things like auto bed leveling and the filament sensor make a huge difference in not only the quality of the print but the success rate of your prints, and you just don't get that here.
A filament sensor will tell the Prusa Mk3 when the filament has run out and the Prusa will pause the print until you can change the filament safely. Without that, the Select Plus will just continue with the print even if there is no filament, leaving you with a lot of wasted material and unfinished model. The auto bed leveling and crash detection, as well as the power cut saving feature, elevate the Mk3 to greatness.
|Maker Select Plus||Prusa Mk3|
|Auto bed leveling||❌||✔️|
|Filament Type||ABS, PLA, XT Copolyester, PET, TPU, TPC, FPE, PVA, HIPS||ABS, PLA, XT Copolyester, PET, TPU, TPC, FPE, PVA, HIPS|
Now that is not to say the Plus cannot get those advanced features — it can, but it will require added expense and expertise to get those features, which can be a lot of hassle if all you want is good prints. With the Maker Plus, you have to go into the purchase knowing that upgrades are needed and budget for that accordingly.
Even with the upgrades, the Maker Select Plus will never reach Prusa levels of quality — it is, after all, a clone of the original Prusa, not the Mk3 Prusa — but for a starting price that's nearly half the cost of the Mk3, it isn't a bad place to start.
Like any hobby, the best 3D printer for you to buy is the one you can afford. When I first started I bought the old version of the Monoprice Maker Select and then the Plus and I don't regret it. If I had the money to buy the Prusa though, I would have bought that from day one.
The Prusa Mk3 is the superior machine and if you can afford the $750+ price tag then get it. If you can't, the Maker Select Plus is an excellent choice to get you started on your road to 3D printing addiction. Just be prepared to spend $100 - $150 on upgrades to really make the Plus shine.
World class printing
For anybody serious about their 3D printing
The Prusa Mk3 is one of the best printers you can buy for under $1,000. It is used far and wide by hobbyists and professionals alike because of its amazing quality and advanced safety features. If you can afford the price tag it's a must buy.
Excellent entry level
A great starter printer with potential
The Maker Select Plus has some issues that need to be fixed almost as soon as you get it, but with such a low entry cost those updates won't break the bank.
James built his first PC when he was 13 and has never looked back. He can be found on Windows Central, usually in the corner where all the 3D printers are, or huddled around the Xbox playing the latest games.
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