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    Bowden Tube Connector

    What is a Bowden tube connector?

    The Bowden tube connector is typically a small piece that looks similar to a valve. It allows filament to feed directly into the extruder motor, which pushes filament through the heated nozzle. It is also common to refer to this part as a Bowden Coupler or Pneumatic Push Connector, as well as other names.

    • Most connectors have a circular tab on the top of the piece, which is what keeps the PTFE tube inserted into place. Press down on this circular tab to either remove or insert the PTFE tube. Once the PTFE tube is in place, release the circular tab to secure it in place.
    • Always press down on the circular tab before attempting to remove the PTFE tube to prevent damage to the Bowden connector.

    What types of filament should I use?

    While you can use any type of filament you want, we suggest that beginners should start with PLA or PLA+ filament. This allows you to become acquainted with your new printer and get a better understanding of how it works. The table below lists the most common types of filament with use-case suggestions and suggested temperatures.

    PLA/PLA+ 180 ~ 200°C 40 ~ 50°C Models, low-wear toys, prototyping
    ABS 210 ~ 230°C 50 ~ 60°C Phone cases, average-wear toys, tool handles
    TPU/TPE/TPC 210 ~ 230°C 30 ~ 50°C Flexible objects, wearables, PPE components
    PETG 220 ~ 240°C 50 ~ 60°C Mechanical parts, PPE components, high-wear pieces

    How do I maintain my printer?

    As with most mechanical objects, your 3D printer needs periodic maintenance to keep it operating at peak performance. Following are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind.

    • Always remove filament completely when you have finished printing for the day. Allowing the filament to cool in the nozzle can cause clogging and further complications.
    • To clear a clog, preheat the nozzle to 220°C, then manually push the inserted filament with more force than the printer's extruder motor is capable of exerting.
    • Always double-check the level of your print bed. Printers with Auto-Leveling may need the offset adjusted. This will be a unique value for every printer. The space between the nozzle and the print bed should be 0.1mm, which is the thickness of a sheet of standard printer paper.

    Food safety and 3D printing

    Many people want to create objects for use with food or drink with their 3D printers, such as decorative plates, molds, cups, or cookie cutters. While this is indeed possible, there are several things to keep in mind.

    • Always ensure that the filament you intend to use is food safe. This should be indicated on the product page or on the packaging. Some brands have specific types of filament that are FDA approved.
    • FFF printing is the process of melting and extruding thermoplastics into thin layers to build a model. Printing at the lowest layer height may help prevent ridges. Truly food safe objects should have a perfectly smooth surface.
    • Most standard thermoplastics will react to the high temperatures used with standard dish washing. It is best to use lukewarm water and an antibacterial soap. This reduces the risk of damaging the print and removes any surface bacteria.
    • Brass nozzles are a standard part for many 3D printers. However, these may contain trace amounts of lead. Using a stainless steel to print objects for use with food or drink will eliminate any risk of lead contamination.


    A more in-depth explanation of 3D printer filaments.





    Buying Guide

    3D printing has changed what it means to “create”. Ideas and designs that once only ever existed in our imagination can now be turned into real-life objects you can touch and feel or even hold in your hand. Are you the kind of person who comes up with better ways to solve problems? Perhaps there’s a small tool or time-saving device you wish you had but it hasn’t been invented yet? Well, now you can be inventor.

    Beyond giving us more ways to create, 3D printing is also an integral part of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) movement. It takes your child’s curiosity and creativity to new heights helping them think outside the box. Monoprice makes 3D printing accessible to all with a low cost-of-entry for everything you need to get started including printers, filament, and more. Now it’s your turn to make your perfect vision into a reality.

    3D Printing Basics

    3D printing at the core is just transforming a virtual design into a fully three-dimensional product. The printer achieves that through what is called fused deposit modeling (FDM). Filament is fed into the printer (like ink in a traditional printer), heated, and extruded onto the printer bed in layers. Each layer is a cross section of the final, three-dimensional object.

    What You Can Make with a 3D Printer

    What’s in it for the average consumer? A lot, actually. Here are a few of the many possibilities:

    • Turn ideas into reality
    - Wow your child by turning their 2D drawings into 3D creations that can stand out in a place of honor on the kitchen counter, coffee table or home office desk. Show and tell will never be the same.

    • Useful Household Items and Custom Cooking Utensils
    - Print everyday items that help you organize or stretch your cooking skills with custom tools and utensils.

    • Fix Instead of Buy
    - Gone are the days when you could buy one blender to last you a lifetime. These days, everything seems to be planned for a 2-year life span at most before you’re forced to upgrade to the latest model. With a 3D printer, you can get around that by searching designs for specialty parts or create your own.

    • Toys and Trinkets
    - Of course, if you want to just print designs of models - whether they’re reproductions or original creations - a 3D printer is perfect for that as well. See what you can create with limitless imagination and the right tools.

    Which Monoprice 3D Printer is Right for You?

    Now that you’ve got some ideas of how you can use a 3D printer, you can start looking into the models that we offer. Whether you’re looking to add to your figurine collection or focus on replacing specialty parts for your household items, we have a 3D printer that suits your specific needs. Compatibility with Windows, Mac, & Linux keeps your options open. We ship them with easy to use software like Cura and Repetier, but they’re also compatible with other open source software available.

    MP Select Mini

    • Remove the element of risk entirely with this affordable starter. The MP Select Mini is a great option for beginners because of its no-hassle approach. Coming fully assembled, pre-calibrated and tested at the factory, all you need to do is run a check so that the bed is level, load in some filament and plug in an SD card. That’s it. Want to know the great thing about it though? It costs less than the price of a current generation gaming console.

    Maker Select Plus

    • If you’re feeling a bit more confident in your 3D printing skills and want to print larger items, then try the Maker Select. With only 4 screws needed to get up and running, its large 8 x 6 inch build plate plus 7 inches of vertical headroom means you can print more ambitious designs.

    Maker Ultimate

    • For something on the higher end but still affordable, the Maker Ultimate is a great choice. Capable of professional quality prints with a resolution as low as 20 microns (0.02mm), it prints in extreme detail and precision.
    • Print times can be massively reduced with the Maker Ultimate; its stable build platform allows for prints speed of up to 400 mm/sec. The all-metal extruder and heat bed means it can handle nearly any material, even wood and metal additive filament. This is a printer that’s built to last.

    MP Mini Delta

    • Another great model for beginners and those seeking fine detail. The delta design style continuously self-calibrates, so you will never have to struggle with bed leveling. The print bed and extrusion nozzle heat to a wide range of temperatures, allowing you to print with different materials.

    Filament Types

    The material type is one of the more important aspects of 3D printing. Consider what you’ll be making and how often before you choose a 3D printer.


    • PLA is a common material that doesn’t need heat and is very easy to use. It’s also safe to use when printing something that will be in contact with food, such as cookie cutters or other cooking implements. However, it is also brittle, so it’s not meant for high durability uses. It has a low smell and is nontoxic.

    PLA Plus

    • PLA Plus has the same features as PLA but with the strength of the ABS filament currently on the market.

    ABS and ABS Plus

    • ABS is very good for when you need to print something like a replacement part that will undergo a lot of stress. It requires a heated bed and a closed print area for best results, as it is prone to warping. It also produces a stronger smell than the others, so a well-ventilated area is recommended when printing.

    ABS Plus

    • ABS Plus is 40% stronger than ABS for when you need even more durability.

    Support When You Need It

    Despite being armed with knowledge, there’s always a bit of uneasiness when making a brand new purchase. Thankfully, when you buy with Monoprice you get the confidence of knowing that the individual model you purchased works. Unlike many shady online storefronts, we’re not going quiet the minute you make a payment. We’ve made sure of that by test printing designs on every model so that your first official print will be a successful one.

    You also get the benefit of our stellar support team, who are there to help you if there are any technical issues with your new 3D printer that are beyond you (or a thorough google search). Call support any time and they’ll walk you through it. Even if all you need is help with the assembly, we’ll be more than happy to help you out. Need replacement parts? We got you covered.

    Ready to add a 3D printer to your workshop, garage, or home office? Stick with Monoprice for the latest 3D printers, dedicated support, and competitive prices to make 3D printing a worthwhile investment for you.


    A: A 3D printer transforms virtual designs into three-dimensional products using filament that is usually made from plastic. The filament is fed through an extruder and laid down in layers on the heat bed of the 3D printer with each layer being a cross section of the final, 3D object. The higher the resolution of the printer, the thinner the layers, resulting in a smoother finished product. The time it takes to complete this process varies depending on the complexity of the design and the speed of the printer.


    Monoprice has the solution to fit every budget. Create a 3D printed sample in a matter of minutes.


    Ready to dive into the world of 3D printing but unsure where to start? Monoprice gives you options to unleash your creativity.


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    * Source: CONTEXT Q4'17 AM3DP Report

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