One of the more popular desktop 3D printers brands has been UP, from Tiertime. Now they’ve announced their best desktop unit ever, the UP mini 2.
As you might expect from the name, the UP mini 2 is a small-sized device, but for it’s rather low price of USD$599, you’ll receive quite a few interesting features. In effect, you’re trading off size for price, but the rest of the machine seems to be similar to higher-priced equivalents.
The UP mini 2’s exterior design is a far cry from the original UP 3D printer, which we tested over five years ago, and that just happened to be the very first “hands on” 3D printer test we ever performed at Fabbaloo.
The UP mini 2 includes a completely enclosed 120 x 120 x 120mm build chamber that should increase reliability as it will capture heat generated by the heated print surface. It even includes an integrated handle on top to provide an easy means of transport - and emphasizes the portability of this unit. The enclosed case will also make the UP mini 2 very quiet, as some sounds are captured inside the case.
While the case appears to be solid, you can access the print chamber from the back, front and top of the machine. This should prove handy in many situations.
There's also an attractive color touch panel at the front of the machine to make operations easy.
Using the UP mini 2 should be simplified, as it includes a software-assisted leveling procedure that leverages an automatic nozzle height detector.
The UP mini is so small they’ve had to place the filament outside the main chassis, as shown here. A separate unit holds the filament spool, which provides a lead of filament to the printer itself. Note that the UP mini 2 uses a direct extrusion approach, meaning the extruder will pull the filament from the spool, as opposed to being pushed as in a Bowden-style approach.
One very interesting feature we’d like to see on more machines is the integrated HEPA air filter. This filter should eliminate odors and most of the nanoparticles generated by heated plastic. Few machines include this feature, let alone a very inexpensively priced machine such as the UP mini 2.
Tiertime’s existing software, used for previous models, will also be able to drive the new UP mini 2, making life easier for those already owning other Tiertime models. Another feature that will make life easier is the integrated WiFi network connection, that might remove the need for direct cabling.
According to our sources, the UP mini 2 will ship in three months, likely being successful due to its unique combination of convenience & reliability features and the very low price of USD$599.