In case you hang around with 3D printing fanatics for any size of time, you’ll hear the phrase “clone” bandied about. We use it in reference to any 3D printer that’s not distinctive, which actually, is a number of machines available on the market right this moment. The Monoprice Joule takes cloning one step additional – it’s truly a rebadge of the Voxelab Aquila X2, which we reviewed in 2021. A “rebadge” is when an organization resells an current product manufactured by one other firm with their very own labeling. Costco is filled with rebadged merchandise – every part bearing the Kirkland label was made by another person and offered as Costco’s home model.
Retailing at $199.99, the Monoprice Joule has options just like the 2020 Creality Ender 3 v2 (opens in new tab) for about $79 cheaper. Each machines have glass beds, guide leveling, Bowden extruders and a colour LED interface with a knob.
I discovered a couple of disappointing high quality points whereas testing the Joule – I used to be reduce on a protruding screw, the management knob was so jittery I needed to take it aside and clear it, and the cooling fan began to whine intermittently in direction of the tip of the assessment interval. These flaws imply that the Joule doesn’t stack up nicely in opposition to different low-cost printers and is a really far cry for competing with the greatest 3D printers in its value vary.
You is likely to be questioning why we’re reviewing a rebranded machine, and the reply is straightforward. The typical purchaser wouldn’t know the origins of this printer except they determined to open the case and have a look at the motherboard, which is clearly stamped “Aquila”. Monoprice is a well-liked shopper electronics web site and lots of the consumers can be new to 3D printing. To most individuals, that is only a good wanting machine with a implausible price ticket.
Specs: Monoprice Joule
|Machine Footprint||18.6 x 18.9 x 18.6 inches (473mm x 480 x 473mm)|
|Construct Quantity||220 x 220 x 250 mm (8.5 x 8.5 x 9.8 inches)|
|Construct Platform||Coated glass, heated|
|Filament Runout Sensor||No|
|Connectivity||microSD card, Micro USB|
|Interface||Coloration LED with knob|
Monoprice Joule: Included within the field
The Monoprice Joule comes with every part it’s essential to get your printer arrange. You get instruments to construct and keep the printer, facet cutters, a metallic scraper, a nozzle cleaner, a spare nozzle, and a microSD card with a USB adapter. There’s additionally a small pattern of random coloured PLA to print your first mannequin – I obtained a really good translucent pink.
The microSD card has a PDF copy of the guide, a customized slicer known as FlashPrint-MP, and fashions in each pre-sliced .gcode and .stl format. The pattern recordsdata embody two sensible prints: a device caddy to connect to the Joule’s body, and an alternate spool holder bracket.
Monoprice has a video tutorial on YouTube to stroll you thru the construct course of in case you need assistance.
Design of the Monoprice Joule
The Monoprice Joule is a standard FDM 3D printer comprised of black aluminum extrusions, uncovered screws and some plastic components. Oddly sufficient, the fan cowl nonetheless bears the Voxelab brand from the Aquila it’s primarily based off of. It doesn’t look as polished as printers coming into the market right this moment that use flat aluminum bars.
It has a plastic extruder with a Bowden tube and useful stress knobs to assist tighten the belts. The wiring is neatly wrapped with black mesh to maintain it managed, and a case beneath the construct plate incorporates the motherboard and energy provide for a tidy, multi functional footprint.
I’ve so as to add that the Y axis tensioner was mounted on a threaded rod manner too lengthy that caught out via the knob. I didn’t discover it till it nicked me. It was simply solved with a Dremel reduce off wheel, however this isn’t the kind of hazard I’m used to waiting for when establishing 3D printers.
There’s no device storage for the printer, however you may make one your self with the pattern recordsdata included on the microSD card. There’s additionally an alternate bracket in case you’d prefer to mount your spool holder on the facet.
The Joule has silent stepper motors, however a moderately noisy cooling fan. The 32 bit motherboard is clearly from Aquila.
The mattress has a coated glass plate which is held down with two clips which can be simple to take away. The mattress has superb grip, however requires a little bit of chiseling to take away prints.
Assembling the Monoprice Joule
The Monoprice Joule is a DIY equipment, that means that it’s essential to assemble many of the printer your self. That is each a price saving measure and a strategy to really acquaint your self with the inside workings of your 3D printer. It took me about an hour to place this machine collectively.
The instructions for meeting are clear, however in case you want extra assist Monoprice has a great YouTube meeting video you’ll be able to comply with. The screws are divided up into labeled baggies, which is extraordinarily useful. Wiring could be very easy as every part is nicely marked.
Leveling the Monoprice Joule
The Monoprice Joule requires guide mattress leveling and has no built-in program to help. You’ll must dwelling the printer, disable the steppers and bodily push the device head to every nook. Slide a bit of paper beneath the nozzle and regulate the wheels till the nozzle simply scrapes.
We have now a information on guide mattress leveling in case you want extra assist.
One concern I had with the Joule have been weak springs, which put little or no stress on the wheels. It was totally too simple to bump it out of stage when shifting the mattress by hand. That is simply mounted with alternative springs – Creality printers have lengthy had the identical concern, and you need to use the identical components as an Ender 3. In truth, I’d advocate shopping for an Ender 3 improve equipment from Amazon (opens in new tab) which can repair frequent points earlier than they wreak havoc in your new printer.
Loading Filament on the Monoprice Joule
One factor that impressed me was the Joule’s filament loading and unloading program, which actually helped simplify altering filament. Choose Management from the primary menu, then scroll right down to Computerized load. The machine will mechanically warmth up then advance the filament. You’ll want to face by as a result of it WILL NOT cease loading – it’s essential to inform it when to cease.
To unload materials, simply reverse the method.
Getting ready Information / Software program for Monoprice Joule
The Monoprice Joule comes with a duplicate of FlashPrint-MP, a customized Monoprice slicer that features a profile for the Joule. Ultimaker Cura and PrusaSlicer are well-liked options that’s additionally free to obtain. You gained’t discover a profile for the Joule in these slicers, however you’ll be able to simply substitute an Ender 3 Professional, which is similar dimension and equally outfitted.
FlashPrint-MP additionally features a few pattern recordsdata, like this flexible wiggly snake.
Printing on the Monoprice Joule
Monoprice included a pattern coil of translucent pink PLA with the Joule, which was a refreshing change of tempo from the boring white samples I’ve seen in different printers. Sadly, it wasn’t sufficient to print all of the presliced recordsdata that got here on the microSD card. You’ll positively want extra filament, so take a look at our information to the Finest Filaments for 3D Printing for examples of our favourite supplies.
The Joule actually impressed me with the presliced file dubbed “check” when it printed with none stringing and just some blobs. Wanting on the gcode, I can inform this was sliced with an ordinary .2 mm layer top and a print pace of 50mm/s. It took one hour and 20 minutes to print.
I switched to Protopasta’s Recycle Black PLA to print one other presliced pattern file included with the Joule. This device field can slide onto the grooves on the printer’s base. There was no stringing and the helps popped proper off. This printed in about 7 hours utilizing .2 mm layer top and 50mm/s pace.
The flexible snake check print additionally printed fairly nicely in Matterhackers’ Raspberry Gold Quantum. (opens in new tab) The exceptionally sticky mattress was simply what this print wanted, because it contact the mattress in lots of small spots. There’s somewhat little bit of stair stepping, however the print is barely 4 inches lengthy which exaggerates the .2mm layer top. It prints in a single hour and quarter-hour at 50mm/s.
I wished to print one thing larger, and this assist free ChaosCoreTech Pikachu printed at 200% match the invoice. That is utilizing Matterhackers’ Raspberry Gold Quantum (opens in new tab), and had some tough spots across the ears, however in any other case is a easy, clear print. The horizontal line about an inch up is from an influence outage, and I made a decision to strive the ability loss restoration characteristic. The road is the place it resumed the print. It printed in 9 hours and 11 minutes utilizing a .2 mm layer top and 65mm/s pace.
It had no hassle in any respect with PETG – there have been a couple of random wisps that simply disregarded. I used Greengate Purple Reign recycled PETG to print a ChaosCoreTech Poison Bottle. The partitions have been a bit skinny for the translucent filament, so you’ll be able to see the infill. This printed in 5 hours and 35 minutes at .2mm layer top at 65mm.
TPU was much less profitable, however that’s not shocking with a single gear Bowden extruder. I printed this Flexi Rex with Inland Black TPU (opens in new tab). This dino could possibly be cleaned up with somewhat trimming as a result of it’s in any other case a stable print that flexes precisely as he ought to. This printed in two hours and 50 minutes at .2mm layer top at 40mm/s.
The Monoprice Joule is a primary machine that might be a great start line for a newbie eager to check out 3D printing with out breaking the financial institution. Retailing at $199.99 it’s cheaper than the favored Creality Ender 3 v2 which it’s copycatting. Upgrades and alternative components will probably be simple to search out because it has a lot in frequent with the Ender 3 line of printers.
The Joule’s largest downfall is that this can be a “new” printer that doesn’t deliver something new to the desk. The print high quality is generally good, however the high quality management is a bit suspect. The truth that the problem with the jittery management knob was seen in our assessment of the Voxelab Aquila X2 in 2021 implies that nobody has tried to repair this downside or they’re utilizing left over components.
In case you’re on the hunt for a newbie pleasant discount printer, take a look at the Elegoo Neptune 2S (opens in new tab), which is presently priced at $204 and is a DIY equipment with a greater PEI versatile mattress. The Ender 2 Professional, our choose for Finest Compact Printer, can typically be discovered on sale for $140 and is a superb start line for price range consumers.
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