MBrush / PrinCube Review - Mobile Mini Printer
MBrush / PrinCube
Type: inkjet printer
Resolution: 1200 DPI
Printer cartridge: HP 62XL
Print width: 14 mm
Print length: 1.3 m
Connection: WLAN / USB-C
Software: web interface
Capacity: 900 mAh
Charging time: 2 hours
Runtime: 6 hours
Standby: 1 year
Size: 72 68 x x 51 mm
Weight: 110g (160g with cartridge)
Introduction: MBrush / PrinCube
In October 2019, Indiegogo is on the crowdfunding platform PrinCube surfaced. The project was financed within just 20 minutes and has so far raised more than 4 million euros. The first bakers received their PrinCube in December. The second batch is currently being distributed to the almost 30.000 bakers.
In addition to the PrinCube, there is also the identical MBrush. Even the packaging is identical except for the product name.
Design and functionality
In terms of both size and weight, the MBrush is a tiny one. With dimensions of 72 x 68 x 51 mm it fits perfectly in the palm of your hand. This is where it belongs, because to print, the printer must be picked up and moved over the surface to be printed. The print head is therefore not controlled by the printer itself, but by the user.
The orientation takes place with the help of a optical sensorwhich is right next to the printhead. This allows the printer to know where it started printing, whether it was paused, and when printing ended. Of course, different drawing speeds are taken into account for a clean, undistorted result. Two rubberized rollers ensure that the MBrush glides better over surfaces.
The quality of workmanship is good overall. The What's in the box includes the printer, a color cartridge, a USB-C cable, a tattoo attachment and two guide strips.
Like a conventional printer, the MBrush also requires a printer cartridge. So-called are suitable HP 62XL print cartridges. The print head is therefore directly connected to the ink tank and is also exchanged when changing. According to the manufacturer, one cartridge can print up to 400 A4 pages. There is no need to worry about the availability of the cartridges. The type is widespread and priced between 15 and 45 Euro.
The printer cartridge is installed in no time. Open the transparent door of the MBrush, insert the cartridge and close the door again. The mobile printer is ready to go.
The MBrush is operated via a web interface. You don't need an app or download any software. To access the web interface, all you need is a WiFi-enabled device with a web browser. The MBrush sets up its own WLAN for access, to which you have to connect. A QR code on the inside of the printer automatically redirects to the web interface. Alternatively, the web interface can be accessed via the local IP 192.168.44.1 . call
The interface certainly does not win a design award, but is clearly structured. The numerous functions and setting options seem a bit overwhelming at first glance. But you get used to it pretty quickly. Most of the setting options do not have to be touched for a simple print.
To print, you have to create a new project. Images, texts or emojis can be added to it. However, the pictures should already be on the smartphone. In the WLAN of the MBrush you have namely no internet access. As soon as you have created the project and selected the print area, you can transfer it to the printer at the push of a button. By the way, projects are not lost. Click on Save and the project will be on the internal storage of the MBrush saved. The setting options are extensive. There are general print settings, color settings and device settings, among other things for the security of the WLAN.
Print with the MBrush
The push button is on the top of the MBrush. If you press it for a second, the printer switches to Control print mode. In this mode, only test strips (cyan, magenta and yellow) are printed.
To print a project, the button only needs to be pressed very briefly. There are LEDs on the side of the button that change from white to green. The printer is ready to print. Now place the printer on the surface to be printed and move it evenly from left to right. If you prefer to print from right to left, you can change the printing direction in the settings. The print width is 14mm. In the Length can up to 1.3 m to be printed.
Printing with the MBrush is no child's play and requires a lot of practice! The first printing attempts were either streaked, frayed, distorted, or falsified in color. The problem is the print head, which dries up very quickly despite the cover. Even between two printing processes, drying can occur.
In order to get a clean result, you should use the Clean the printhead. This works either with the cleaning tool, which is located in the removable lid of the printer, or with a slightly damp cloth. In stubborn cases, it is worth soaking the printhead on a damp cloth for a long time.
The best results are achieved on light, uncoated surfaces, especially on materials such as Paper, cardboard and wood. The color does not appear on dark surfaces. Reflective surfaces confuse the optical sensor, which usually results in a distorted print. You should also pay attention to the ink you use to print. There is water-soluble ink in the enclosed printer cartridge. The paint does not absorb on smooth, non-absorbent surfaces.
Printing from tattoos requires more practice and only in the rarest of cases can you get a reasonably recognizable print result. A "tattoo attachment" is included for this, but even this does not lead to a better result. Multi-layer printing (Multi-line Photo Printing) of larger images is supported. But it is very difficult to get a complete picture.
Finally, a few words about the battery. A non-interchangeable is installed 900 mAh Battery pack. The MBrush can be charged with a conventional 5V smartphone charger. There is one on the printer USB-C socket. A fully charged battery is enough 6 hours to print in one piece. The battery lasts up to one year in standby, which we were unable to check due to time constraints. The battery is roughly charged 2 hours.