Two months ago I bought my first 3D printer, the PrimaCreator P120. This printer retails for less than 300 euro’s in the Netherlands. This small 3D printer has great looks and fits easily on your desktop. The printer is sold under different names under the world. You can also find it as the Malyan M200 and Monoprice Mini Select. I decided to buy the PrimaCreator P120 because that version was locally available and I wanted a fast shipping and a nearby shop in case of problems.
The P120 is a tiny but very complete machine. It’s key features are:
- Pre-assembled so that you can start printing right out of the box
- The P120 is very small small which makes it perfect to have on desk
- Small print volume of 12 x 12 x 12 cm
- Heated bed
- It can print with a lot of different filaments (PLA, ABS, ABS+, PETG, HIPS and semi flexible filaments). P120 uses the standard size of 1.75 mm filament.
- Comes with the free Cura slicing software
The printer comes pre-assembled and that gives you an easy start. After unboxing the machine you only need level the bed, feed the filament to the extruder to make it ready. After those steps you connect the powercord, slice your design (.STL file) in cura and write the gcode to the supplied mini SDcard. Be sure that you use the Cura settings that come with the machine. After that insert the card into the P120, select print and wait until it’s finished.
Select the part you want to print in the menu
Just 30 minutes after opening the box I started printing my first design. The result looked as good or better than the printed parts that I had printed by using the 3DHubs service.
I been using the printer extensively in the last two months. Not much can be done to improve this machine. It just works. There are however two things that I recommend to change or try. The printer bed comes with painters tape installed. This tape will give good adhesion for your prints but it’s not a durable solution. The tape will wear and become unusable after a few prints. To fix this I’ve tried the BuildTak print surface on the P120. This worked better but I had some problems with platform adhesion. To fix that I needed to use a raft under every print I made. This works but it will make the bottom of your prints look ugly. After that I installed a glass bed on the printer bed. This is a very cheap solution because you can use an ordinary picture frame glass for this modification. In combination with hairspray this will give you good adhesion and much better looking print bottoms. Here you find the instructions on how to do the modification. Another thing you can do is to try another slicer. My experience is that the Simplify3D slicing software is easier to us and results in slightly better looking prints than the supplied Cura slicing software. The Simplify3D slicer is however commercial software, so that option will cost you some more money.
What I use the machine for
I use this machine for mainly designing and printing my own prototypes. It shortens the time between idea and prototype dramatically. Although maximum print size is 12 x 12 x 12 cm I found this more than enough for all the things I designed. Also I use it for downloading and printing spare parts. This will actually save you money!
This espresso funnel was printed in PLA with medium quality settings. It printed in less than 3 hours and the result still looks good. The funnel fits the espresso basket and portafilter precisely and is very usable.
Overall I like the P120 very much. The print quality is great and I really like the looks and small form factor of the device. Starting printing on this machine is easy, that makes it a great starter machine. It’s however also a good machine for more experienced users. It easily fit’s on a desktop and I think that the maximum print size is large enough for people. I highly recommend this machine for anyone who is interested into 3D printing.