New Prusa i3 MK3 Released
Prusa Research, the company that is synonymous with the i3 3D printer, has just released a new version of its highly popular DIY kit — the Prusa i3 MK3. At a glance, the MK3 looks very similar to its predecessor but it is what’s under the hood that sets the two apart. In fact, the two are really hard to tell apart if you look at product photos since both have the same metal frame and orange colored 3D-printed parts.
The key difference is in the host of smart features that Prusa has incorporated into the new MK3 — and this is one 3D printer that is not short of smart features that would get any 3D printing enthusiast sweating with excitement.
First up is the filament sensor which uses lasers to detect the presence of a filament. Not only that, the lasers are also capable of sensing whether the filament is moving or not which helps in detecting nozzle jams. When the filament runs out or if it stops moving, the MK3 immediately pauses and alerts the user.
There is also the Power Panic feature which lets the MK3 resume a print after a power cut. Power Panic can store the MK3’s last printing position without the need for batteries. When a power cut happens, the MK3 automatically shuts down its heated bed and hot end to conserve power, stores its print position in memory and then uses remaining power in its capacitors to park the hot end away from the print.
The MK3 features a new EINSY RAMBo motherboard which uses Trinamic2130 drivers that are capable of detecting layer shifts. The drivers also allow for faster and more silent printing. The board is also OctoPrint-ready so this takes out a lot of guesswork if you want to use OctoPrint with your MK3.
The print bed also sees some major reworking. The new magnetic MK52 heated bed features a PEI sheet specially developed by Prusa. The PEI sheet is made of flexible steel that has been powder-coated with PEI. This allows the PEI sheet to be secured onto the heated bed via magnets which are installed in the bed itself. Removing or installing the PEI sheet requires no tools and removing prints from the PEI sheet is as easy as bending it to release the prints.
There are just too many smart features in the MK3 to mention so here’s a summary of these features:
- Filament sensor (using lasers)
- Power Panic
- Noctua fans with RPM sensors
- Ambient thermistor and P.I.N.D.A 2 with thermistor
- EINSY RAMBo motherboard
- Trinamic2130 drivers with layer shift detection, faster and silent printing.
- New Y axis
- Bondtech extruder
- Magnetic MK52 Heatbed
- Powder coated PEI spring steel print sheet
The Prusa i3 MK3 is available as a ready-built printer for $999. It is also available in DIY kit form for $749. Both are now available for pre-order and the first batch of MK3’s are expected to ship in November. MK2 owners who want to have some of the new smart features can also purchase the MK2.5 upgrade kit for $199. The upgrade kit includes:
- Magnetic print bed with PEI steel sheet
- Bondtech extruder with Noctua fans
- PINDA 2 bed leveling sensor and filament sensor
Customers who bought the MK2 within 30 days of the release of the MK3 are offered a special price of $99 for the MK2.5 upgrade kit. For more details on how to purchase the Prusa i3 MK3, click here.