With features such as power resume, Wi-Fi printing, a filament caddy to store materials, and HEPA filtering, all for $500, the Up Mini 2 is an extremely great value for any family or educator looking to get a start in the 3D printing world.

Documentation is good, and I found all of the information I needed to get printing, from setting up the easily detachable hotend to calibrating the printer using the auto-level probe. The LCD menu on the printer is also easy to navigate and use.

From the beginning prints on the Up Mini 2 ran successfully, and at 150-micron resolution I was extremely happy with the quality of prints. Not one of the test probes failed on this printer. Thanks to the untethered printing feature, I could run a print from the UP Studio Controller software and then disconnect the USB cable while the machine head began to lay down the first layers of a freshly sliced print. The printer also comes with Wi-Fi support, so you can connect the Up Mini 2 to the network, slice your files in Up Studio, and then feed them to the printer over the air.

The Fila station is the Up Mini 2’s take on external spool holders and features a slot at the very bottom of the gadget that is used for storing spatulas, snips, and various other tools. Considering my innate tendencies to misplace things, this was a pretty neat add-on. For mobility purposes, however, I certainly would have preferred the Fila Station to be mountable externally onto the casing of the printer itself.

Up Studio is Tiertime’s host and slicing software of choice. Those not familiar with 3D printing will enjoy the interface for its simplicity, however more advanced users won’t like the lack of settings to modify. In Up Studio’s latest update, the software features the ability to change temperature, which is important if you want to experiment with various filament types.

Tiertime has listened closely to feedback from schools regarding things they wished the original Up Mini had. The ability to serve prints over Wi-Fi, a filament caddy to store materials, power resume, HEPA filtering, and more truly make the Up Mini 2 a great value. The fact that they were able to pack all of these features into a $500 machine is outstanding. Tiertime has truly outdone it with the Up Mini 2. It may not have been Christmas, but the Up Mini 2 surely made me feel like it was.