May 17, 2016 | By Benedict
Prusa Research, the Czech 3D printer manufacturer behind the Prusa line of RepRap 3D printers, has unveiled its latest model: the Original Prusa i3 MK2. The kit is available for preorder at €739 ($833) for European market (including 21% VAT) and $699 for US customers (no VAT), with shipping due to begin May 18.
One of the most popular 3D printers in the RepRap universe, the Prusa i3, designed by Czech engineer Josef Prusa, was first introduced to the RepRap community in 2012. That machine, which had a build volume of 200 x 200 x 200 mm, has now been developed into the MK2, which boasts a 31% larger build volume of 250 x 210 x 200 mm, a new HeatBed MK42 print bed, 40% faster printing speeds, and many further improvements.
Although the Prusa remains an open-source 3D printer, Prusa Research began selling DIY kits for the Prusa i3 around a year ago. This business model has been highly successful, with Prusa Research now producing around 500 printers a month for its growing customer base. The MK2 is also being sold in kit form, allowing makers to assemble and modify their 3D printer to their own specifications. As a gesture of loyalty to owners of the i3, Prusa Research has worked hard to ensure that existing customers can upgrade to the MK2 without purchasing a new printer in its entirety.
An important new feature in the Original Prusa i3 MK2 is its heated print bed. The HeatBed MK42 uses three power zones, with the corners of the bed getting slightly warmer than the center to form a “warm air shield” at the print bed edge. This feature, combined with the larger build volume, purportedly equips the MK2 for the printing of much larger parts, reducing the chances of warping caused by uneven heat distribution. Additionally, the surface of the print bed now consists of indestructible Ultem PEI instead of glass, laminated directly on top of the heater traces, with the heatbed substrate increased to 3mm.
Another new feature of the MK2 is its integrated leadscrew Z axis, which has abolished the coupling of previous models to eliminate wobble and ensure perfect layer alignment. According to Prusa Research, the new Z axis contributes to faster printing, wear resistance, and the ability to use Z-Lift. Further construction improvements have also been made, including improved frame stability, a fully bolted bed, and a new easy access door to the electronics.
In response to user feedback on the original Prusa i3, Prusa Research has also introduced automatic calibration into the MK2. The team reworked its Marlin script to introduce 9 calibration points on the bed substrate. The 3D printer can then approximate a 3D grid representing the tilt and curvature of the print bed, helping to ensure a perfect first layer. Further adjustments to Marlin have resulted in an error diagnosis system (shown below) and a printer statistics tracker.
As part of the total printer revamp, the i3’s E3D V6Lite hotend has been upgraded to the E3D V6Full, capable of faster plastic deposition. The temperature limit has consequently been increased to 300°C, making the MK2 compatible with advanced polymers such as PC and other nylon blends.
In spite of the “MK2” addition, the new Prusa 3D printer is being billed as a completely new machine: “We had plenty of time and a few thousand printers to collect all the feedback on the already awesome Original i3”, said Josef Prusa, CEO and founder of Prusa Research. “We decided to push it even further. This is not just a simple upgrade. This is a new generation with completely new or highly upgraded features. We’ve created the ultimate i3 design.”
New features of the Original Prusa i3 MK2 3D printer:
- HeatBed MK42 heated print bed
- PEI print surface
- Integrated leadscrew Z axis
- Auto leveling
- Improved construction
- New E3D V6Full hotend
- Improved firmware
- Slicer support
Each Original Prusa i3 MK2 3D printer kit ordered from the Prusa online shop will ship with a free roll of filament.
Posted in 3D Printer
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Darrell wrote at 10/8/2016 9:20:24 PM:
I bought this kit after assembling an amazon copy.. This printer is great! (ok its just an opinion) $699 + $72 for expedited shipping to the USA. Although not listed in the massive list to price compare, I think it should be there.
Brian wrote at 9/1/2016 5:41:21 PM:
Hi, Just want to say that I got this printer as a kit yesterday. It is my first 3D printer. I assembled it in 8 hours. The manuel is very good except the pictures are very small, so you will have to look at them online also to see the details in the pictures. No problems what so ever. But I still have not printed anything, but I cannot imagine that it will take very long.
Doug Clark wrote at 8/15/2016 1:23:26 PM:
This printer will melt when trying to print ABS. The build instructions are not clear and assembling will require an above average skill set. The company does not stand behind its product of a warranty claim is to be made, they are making me purchase replacement parts after owning the device for a month. The forum is full of trolls who have an amateur skill level at best. Buyer beware do not purchase this unit its not what you would expect.
Hendrik wrote at 5/18/2016 4:53:26 PM:
But where's the dual printhead they were contemplating?!
Anja wrote at 5/18/2016 3:56:52 PM:
@Steve: Thanks, the price is fixed.
Steve wrote at 5/18/2016 3:26:23 PM:
I think, there is a mistake in the price. It should be 699€ or $846. Check the website!
Ken wrote at 5/18/2016 8:12:29 AM:
If it's so revolutionary ... why not call it the i4? ... The 'i' stands for Iteration.