Prusa Mini as a first printer
I've decided to buy my first 3d printer and the Prusa Mini caught my eye. I plan to use it in the same room I study in so I need a printer that is as quiet as can be.
Originally I opted for an Ender 3 v2 but I'm not sure it's quiet enough.
Basically my question to you is if the Mini can suit my needs as a quiet bedroom printer, especially if you have any experience with the Ender 3 v2.
I'd also like to know your opinion about the Mini as a first printer in general regarding its reliability and performance.
Thanks in advance!
The mini is pretty quiet as far as 3d printers go. My mini without being in an enclosure (yet) is more quiet than my Wanhao i3 in one, but you can still hear it in the same or next room. It all depends your noise tolerance and on what you’re printing. In my experience, shapes with long straight lines and turns or 180 degree reversals at the ends are pretty tolerable “white noise”. Circular shapes tend to whine due the both the x and y axes moving and continually changing velocities against each-other. Small figurines and shapes with high infill percentages are the noisiest due to the constant quick back-and-forth movements. Sometimes this can be mitigated a bit by printing slower.
I often work in the same room with my mini going, and only sometimes I’ll find it distracting. When I have an overnight print, I have no problem falling asleep in the next room. The Wanhao, even in the enclosure, would keep me up all night.
Having the printer in an enclosure also helps a lot. I highly recommend making one out of 2 of the $10 IKEA Lack tables, 4 panels of 3mm / 0.18 inch plexiglass, and either “mirror clips” or similar 3d-printed clips. Simply assembly the table per the directions and screw the second top to the bottom of the table’s legs to form a sturdy cube. Add the plexiglass around the front, back, and sides, with the clips on the bottom and sides of the panels so you can slide them up to remove them and access the printer from any side. Carve out “mouse holes” from the bottom of the panels where your power cable and filament (unless you keep it inside, there is room) go through. It won’t be, and doesn’t have to be air-tight to contain most of the noise and ambient heat (to prevent warping), If the panels rattle, add a bit of tape inside the clips to snug them up. Forget about all the fancy 3d-printed hinges, handles, brackets, etc for now. Maybe add a paving stone under the printer to deaden vibrations. If you want it to be taller, use the spare legs, but add another Lack top on the bottom to keep it sturdy and vibration resistant.
Also, in my opinion, if you can wait for the order backlog and shipping, the Prusa Mini is the best first printer to get. It is extremely reliable, and required next to nothing in the fiddling and tuning department. Go through the process to set the initial Z offset and you’re basically ready to go and get great prints. Yes, if you like, you can spend hours tweaking settings to get a o.oo1% improvement with a particular filament, but you don’t need to. Out of the box the Prusa Mini produced prints easily 20-30% better looking than my Wanhao after months of tweaking and mechanical improvements.
With the mini and PrusaSlicer, I can easily do a lot of things that never worked well on the Wanhao, such as inserting weights, threaded inserts or nuts into prints, or changing filament colors at levels for multicolor signs and game pieces. As a result, I’m having a lot more fun designing parts and assemblies to print.
When you do get a printer, save yourself some time and use the PrusaSlicer for slicing, and either Octoprint or AstroPrint with a Raspberry Pi for printing. Both integrate with PrusaSlicer so after you place the prints on the virtual bed, you just hit “Slice”and “Export to Printer”. Now your computer is free to do other things or turn off, since the Raspberry Pi is doing all the printing work.
Thingiverse and PrusaPrinter.org are the best places to find stuff to print. I like TinkerCad for an easy online CAD package to modify those downloaded items or design your own. TinkerCad is no Solidworks or Fusion360, but that is also a benefit. It is far easier to learn, and I feel that the constraints it has actually helps you be a better designer.
The mini is my first printer. I have it in my home office and will print things while working and doing phone / video conferences. It is quiet enough to not be noticed.
I love it. I only had one issue and it was minor - the tension screw for the extruder wasn't fully engaged and came out during a print. two minute fix, involving aligning the nut and screwing in the screw.
other than that, it seems like it took a lifetime to get the Z-offset correct. I wish I could do a half step decrement, as I feel that would make my first layer perfect, but it is good enough.
I would not hesitate to recommend a mini as a first printer.
It was my first printer too. I have it on my home desk in my room. Its pretty quiet comparing to other printers I have heard while in operation. You can even sleep while the printer is working (even though the noise tolerance is something subjective) and also if you build a housing things can get even more quiet. Overall its a great printer but comes with some limitations as far as the bowden system and the cantilever design. Other than that its producing some really good results and I would recommend it for the price too.
Prusa Slicer 2.2.0
Take a moment to ignore the small build volume and look at the design of this machine. It’s compact, with a clean, clutter-free design and a more premium look in comparison to other hobbyist printers. It sports some of the Prusa features we love, like the removable magnetic PEI-coated spring steel bed. Plus it has new, exciting features, like the textured powder-coated steel sheet and color LCD screen that displays the model you’re printing.
It's my first event in my country price much higher than ender for 3 times, I still choose mini due to community support, prusa support, bed levelling, well builder machine.
I also print in my small room never have problem of sound. But if you have problem with sleeping you should check how it sound when print.
Ps. Mini is not "no problem" machine, all 3d printer have problems. be prepare and ask community.