Fighting with computers

Computers are not always friendly.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

I bought a Prusa MK3 too

 first layer adjustment). I have been testing each new version of Josef Prusa printers and I am glad at how good and predictable the build process is turning, and documentation is getting better at each new release.

Prusa i3 MK3 is addressing quite a few shortcomings of these type of printers with a good dose of innovation and ingenuity.

I ordered my printers in October 2017 and got it here last Monday. I knew there was a significant waiting time but I was not in a hurry at the time. And it seems to wait has played in my favor as I have received some improvements over the original release (mine are definitely hardened rods). But I  will yet have to wait for a PEI laminated steel sheet.

This time I built the printer by myself: it is more entertained when you have a helper that can double-check the manual, but version 3.0 of the manual is already very good. My only complaint on that front is that although it is clear Prusa Research is doing an effort with a full-color manual in a large format, the pictures are sometimes not contrasted enough. Fortunately, that can easily be solved as the original pictures are very good and available in the online version of the manual at so those with poorer sight like me can get a better/larger view of what was not clear enough in the printed manual (I really needed to check the online manual just a couple of times only during the wiring phase).

I was expecting to build the MK3 faster than the MK2S. I built one MK2S a few weeks ago and it took me a morning with my friend helping me out. I expected the new Y-axis of the MK3 would be much faster and it probably is, but I build it the wrong way first. As I was trying to go fast, I jumped quickly to conclusions that turned out to be wrong, not a manual's fault but user error.

But eventually, I managed to build it right. It took me around four and a half hours of built time, plus almost another hour of wizard (self test + xyz calibration + It feels much sturdier than before and Y-axis motor no longer will wobble under belt tension (as it could do with MK1 and MK2 till they added one plastic part on the MK2S).

I have zero problems with missing hardware or plastic parts, all the bags seemed to have just the right amount of components though I managed to somehow skip step 35, which I corrected after the self-calibration was over.

Once the built was over, I tested PowerPanic feature and it recovered a part when I plugged off the mains plug mid-print. It detected and recovered from missing steps on X-axis when I intentionally blocked X carriage, but I failed to obtain the same result at the first attempt on the Y-axis, but it worked at my third attempt. It seems a bit particular, but time will tell me whether this feature is good enough.

Filament detection failed miserably, so my test 3Dbenchy had to be scrapped. Later I found out the filament detection feature was disabled by default now.

No sign of noise on my power supply makes me think they have found how to solve that issue too (though I might just have not so sharp an ear as other makers).

I bought this printer because I thought it packed a significant number of improvements and I am glad I did. I am very happy with the reliability I have got from the MK2 and MK2S printers I use, which literally have been printing non-stop for several weeks in a row. So I hope this new one will match or improve the former ones, time will tell.