Monoprice Ultimate IIIP / Wanhao D6 Upgrade


With ever increasing issues with a Heater Fault message from the printer and Monoprice's lack of support in determining what is actually wrong with the printer, I have decided to upgrade the controller to a Smoothie board.

The printer died about 3 months from purchase and when turned on all that was seen was a scrambled display.  The printer was returned to Monoprice for repair and came back in a fairly timely manner.  However since that time I was plagued with an intermittent heater fault and was directed to a web link on the display.  This link was tagged by Bit Defender as a problem so I contacted Monoprice.  Solution was to unplug and plug in the ribbon where it connects to the print head. 

This would fix the issue for a few weeks, a month or a few uses.  Totally random.  Monoprice was largely unhelpful and I decided to live with it as it generally happened before much of the part had been printed.  Usually in the first 10-15 minutes.

In early September 2020 the problem reared it's ugly head and at that point the printer was rendered unusable.  The error would generally occur before printing was even started.

I had purchase some spare parts from the Ultimate 3D Printing Store as a hedge on future repairs.  I purchased:

Using the new heater cartridge and sensor produced no changes with the issue.  I then swapped in the breakout board at the head, once again no change.  I made up a new ribbon cable also to no avail.

At this point the only parts that have not been changed are the controller and the power supply.  Due to the low current nature of the extruder heater and the fact the bed heater which draws considerably more current, I ruled out the power supply.  The big Meanwell power supplies are generally failure free.

A new OEM controller is in excess of $180 so the decision to migrate to the Smoothie Board was a no brainer....


October 2022 Update

I discovered what was actually wrong with the printer!  The issue was the extruder was taking too long to come up to the set temperature!  It turns out the Smoothie Controller is a hell of a lot smarter than the OEM controller in the machine.  The OEM controller would only say there was a heater fault and to contact Monoprice.  The OEM controller would only say there was a heater fault.  The Smoothie would tell you which heater was at fault AND the reason.  In this case extruder too long to come up to temperature


Due to the new Version II Smoothie boards not yet being available, I sourced a Version I 5X controller from eBay ($108)


Controller Installation

Ribbon Breakout 


Smoothie Setup


Sample time lapse videos:

Misting Unit Bracket

Test Bracket

First Test Print