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Kickstarter Quality Test Monoprice Cadet Hachbox Blue PLA

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  • Kickstarter Quality Test Monoprice Cadet Hachbox Blue PLA

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  • #2
    Any pics of the undersides showing the bridging results? I'm playing around with a Cadet now. The results are impressive, but lack of proper part cooling is definitely going to be a barrier for printing miniatures.

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    • #3
      Unfortunately, all of the entry-level Monoprice 3d printers have underpowered fans. Because of this, you should not expect great bridging results. A workaround that helps a lot is to set a minimum layer time in Cura. When bridging you need to have the current layer cooled off a bit before you hit it with additional filament. I found that adding some time helps.

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      • #4
        I spent some time experimenting with prints on the Cadet/Tina2 and was able to improve results a bit. Here's a comparison show showing left-to-right a tower printed with an Artillery Sidewinder X1 (green), Cadet/Tina2 with the default Cura profile (white), and Cadet/Tina2 with a few Cura tweaks:

        Click image for larger version  Name:	towers side view.jpg Views:	0 Size:	585.1 KB ID:	10076
        Although the basic print quality of the Cadet/Tina2 is pretty good, the lack of any part cooling really hurts those thin vertical sprials and the pointy spire. I played around with the minimal layer print time a bit until I realized the idea of slowing down the print is to allow the cooling fan more time to solidify the layers. With no real cooling fan, the extra time spent with the heated nozzle on the part was working against me. I changed my Cura settings to ignore the minimum layer time for print speeds and instead enabled the "lift" feature to physically move the nozzle away from the print until the minimal layer print time is met. I used 8 seconds to get the result on the right. The Cura lift motion doesn't seem to use the configurable retraction settings, so there was a bit of messy stringing to clean up, but I think it looks pretty good from this angle.

        Lack of effective part cooling makes any sort of bridging difficult. The undersides on the 2 prints on the right are pretty ugly with a lot of sagging. Using a raft made life much more difficult than necessary, so spent a bit of time tweaking the 1st layer adjustment to the point that I can get good adhesion without it as shown on the right.

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        The Cura trickery only helped with miniatures a bit. Here's a comparison between a print on a Prusa i3 Mk3 with a 0.25mm nozzle on the left (khaki) and the Cadet/Tina2 with the default 0.4mm nozzle on the right (grey):
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        Neither is super in miniature terms -- you'd want resin for any sort of quality and nothing looks good blown up 400% -- but the Prusa print looks decent at tabletop distances. The Cadet/Tina2 looks a bit melted overall. The undersides really suffer:
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        Finally, a couple of general prints to show fit and finish:
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        Removable supports (shown on the underside of the puzzle part) came out cleanly with 0.25mm vertical clearance. Ugly, but that's expected for supported surfaces. The fit is still good. The XYZ cube is decent. I can't get a good clean tail on calicat (not shown).

        I am having fun seeing what I can do with it. I've removed the front grille to reduce weight and improve access to the Y carriage. I want to try to fit a small fan and 0.25mm nozzle as well. One YouTuber mentioned that placing a fan in front of the unit helped with part cooling. It does look like the hotend fan is intended to cool the part, but it only blows straight down. A small duct may help. This printer is PLA only, so a constant fan is not an issue. Definitely not things a young child or their parent wants to contend with. If someone is after a good small printer for more serious use, I wouldn't go this route. It is fun to tinker with. It seems to be running a stripped-down flavor of Marlin 2. I am going to test to see if Linear Advance is enabled. No luck with using ArcWelder, so some features are disabled. No M503 report. Works well with OctoPrint. There are unpopulated headers for a heated bed and part cooling fan (I think) on the controller at the top of the enclosure. I'd love to find the firmware source code but won't hold my breath.

        Irv, I think you're spot on with the assessment. It's great for supervised usage for kids. Good enough for toy quality prints. Surprisingly good basic quality. There is a timeout for the nozzle if left unattended. Have not tried testing thermal runaway yet. That seems to be about it. In fairness, that's all they advertise it for. I think this is the best of the cheap printers oriented towards kids. The EasyThreeD models are cheaper, but you're looking at manual bed leveling and very quirky configurations. An Ender 3 is not kid-friendly. This one is straightforward and dead simple for the user.

        It can likely be tweaked a bit to make it decent for miniatures, but there are better starting points if that's what you're after. I don't think it'll last as a print farm workhorse of any sort. If you are OK with the compromises, it produces very clean results that are ideal for little fun prints. Period.
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        Last edited by bobstro; 05-06-2021, 05:14 PM.

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