I am currently planning out a custom 3D printer build which will run on a 24V 600W power supply. I have specked out for a $90 MeanWell supply from eBay, but I've noticed similar generic power for only $50.

I was wondering if there are any real advantages to spending the extra $40 on a name brand power supply....


closed as primarily opinion-based by Nick Alexeev Dec 18 '17 at 1:45

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Read the datasheet of each supply, if the cheaper supply meets your requirements, do it. Every line on the spec sheet is an opportunity for a real advantage of the one supply over the other. Whether the advantage applies to you depends on if you need it. \$\endgroup\$ – pgvoorhees Dec 17 '17 at 21:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ The advantages might not be obvious from the datasheet. My guess is that a supply from a reputable brand often has better safety features like better mains isolation and a proper fuse to protect against fire if something breaks. Only opening and comparing these supplies side-by-side and some relevant experience will reveal if one supply is better than the other. A 600 W PSU for $50 does sound a bit too cheap to me though. \$\endgroup\$ – Bimpelrekkie Dec 17 '17 at 21:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ If I were building up a 3D printer (and I have built 2), I would realize that there is significant time investment both in the initial work needed to get everything working as well as I can achieve (and there is a lot there, already) as well as the time when using the device afterwards. If you can afford a good 3D printer at all, then you can afford to use components from reputable sources. The MeanWell doesn't sound like a gold-plated price. But reasonable. I'd probably go that direction, if otherwise ignorant about specs. Call MeanWell up. Ask them about it. See if they make sense to you. \$\endgroup\$ – jonk Dec 17 '17 at 22:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ The difference is the cheap power supply is much more likely to blow up prematurely because of cheap undersized components inside. E.g 85°C Al-caps instead of 105°C ones. \$\endgroup\$ – Janka Dec 17 '17 at 23:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ (1) It's unlikely that one of us EE.SE denizens works for a power supply manufacturer and is willing to share the quality procedures (or lack thereof). We don't really know their exact component sourcing and testing practices. As a result, this question is opinion-based. (2) In my opinion it's probably okay to use a generic power supply for a one-off 3D printer for your own in-house use. \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Dec 18 '17 at 1:45

Meanwell (assuming they are actually made by Meanwell and not counterfeits) are quality controlled by reputable company. They will meet FCC and UL/CSA safety standards and won't likely burn up or electrocute you without good reason. They may have more likelyhood of failing such a way that would be catastrophic for connected equipment.

If you buy something from a less reputable company you are taking a risk, and I certainly would take the data sheet claims with a grain of salt when you are dealing with unknowns.

Be sure that the Meanwell supply is actually an original. You don't want to pay a premium for junk with fake safety markings. And there is a lot of such stuff out there. eBay is not exactly a pathway for franchised distributors in most cases, nor is Aliexpress. You might have slightly better chance of getting your money back with eBay.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.