It is worth mentioning before anything else, preparing parts to be printed requires a computer with a way interact with the full size SD card and a free copy of Prusaslicer. I will be detailing Prusaslicer in a future post.
This will be an overview of the Prusa I3 MK3S, (you can get your own from that link) This will not be a review, if you are on the fence about getting one whether it be your first or tenth printer, just do it, you will not be disappointed.
For reference, I got my printer with a smooth sheet, each different sheet has pros and cons, I will not be going into that right now..
The below photo is one of the earlier prints I made with this printer.
Anyway, I have had my MK3S for about a year and a bit now. It is my second printer after my rock bottom budget printer, the Tronxy X1.
First, we will begin where the printer begins. In a box. I personally chose the kit over the assembled printer; it was a good weekend project. If you are getting the assembled printer, you can skip forward a bit. For those assembling their printer, you will be happy to know all the needed tools come with the printer.
Everything comes very well packaged within the box as well as a 1.5kg spool of filament. I wasn’t planning on writing an overview two years ago, so my photos are somewhat sparse. Take my word for it, nothing is getting damaged during shipping.
With the packaging out the way we get into the assembly. Prusa’s instructions are some of the best I have ever seen with users able to comment and make notes on some of the more difficult parts. Anyone of any experience could probably assemble this printer.
Prusa details the instructions so well, I will only cover some specifics that I found needed some extra work.
- Be careful with the hot end assembly, the wires for the thermistor and heater cartridge are fragile and are near impossible to repair without buying a new part.
2. The IR filament sensor may need some adjustment. You can see the sensor output by following the below path in the printer interface.
Support -> sensor info -> IR Sensor
When looking at the IR sensor output. 1 means it thinks filament is there 0 means it thinks it is clear.
So, now that the printer is assembled. The next step is calibration. This is also extremely easy to do as it is 90% automatic with good instruction from the printer.
This picture is of my printer when i had just started one of the test prints that comes on the SD card, back when it was still bone stock.
Once your printer is working. Now you have some maintenance duties to keep on top of.
First, you need to pick up some acetone (often sold as nail polish remover), isopropyl alcohol (IPA) 90% or better and a pack of kitchen roll and a craft or Stanley knife. Apply IPA with a sheet of kitchen roll and wipe the bed clean. The acetone is only used rarely to rejuvenate the bed. Don’t apply it more than once a month.
Every now and again, it is worth cleaning and greasing the smooth rods. This can be done with a clean kitchen towel and the grease provided by Prusa in the box.
I personally love to modify and tinker, my printer did not stay stock for long. This started with the MMU2S (review here). The latest upgrade is the PitStop Extruder (Review coming soon) and improved PTFE tube.
The printer absolutely does not need modification, it can be as much or as little of a project as you like. If it wasn’t clear already, I very highly recommend these printers.