Prusa Mini Clone from China  

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jiři.n16
(@jiri-n16)
New Member

@charles-h13

I have only clone. I have original prusa in work, but It's MK3S.

Posted : 17/10/2020 12:34 pm
Crawlerin
(@crawlerin)
Prominent Member

🤔

Posted : 17/10/2020 6:05 pm
cwbullet
(@cwbullet)
Famed Member

I will build this and provide and honest assessment of the value.  My personal beef is the lack of printed parts.  For 50-100, I can get all the parts and assembly.  

--------------------
Chuck H
3D Printer Review Blog...
Posted : 17/10/2020 7:09 pm
karl-herbert
(@karl-herbert)
Famed Member

@charles-h13

The mechanical part of the printer can be easily reproduced or printed. I would be more interested in an alternative source to the STM32xx buddy board. Do you know a cheaper source of supply? I would like to experiment with it and not damage the original board.

Statt zu klagen, dass wir nicht alles haben, was wir wollen, sollten wir lieber dankbar sein, dass wir nicht alles bekommen, was wir verdienen....
Posted : 17/10/2020 9:00 pm
cwbullet
(@cwbullet)
Famed Member

@karl-herbert

I found a very cheap source. I am going to do a thread.  I may replace some parts with original Prusa parts over time.  I will do that if they are of poor quality.  I opened the box and they look fine to me.  

I use finished printing the final part.  I printed them with Urban Grey PC Blend.   

 

--------------------
Chuck H
3D Printer Review Blog...
Posted : 17/10/2020 10:43 pm
Crawlerin
(@crawlerin)
Prominent Member

I got one as well, it's been lying some time on the shelf, I managed only this week trying to assemble it. I posted my experience so far in comments on youtube video posted above, but it does not hurt repeating here what you are into.

  • Bearings. Those X and Y REALLY SUCK. The play betweem bearing and rod is too big, the bearing just wobbles on the rod side to side. Z bearings seem to be tighter fit.
  • Heated bed is not even, bulging in the middle, no matter how I tighten/loosen screws, maybe silicone mod https://forum.prusaprinters.org/forum/user-mods-octoprint-enclosures-nozzles/prusa-mini-silicone-bed-leveling-mod/ will help with that.
  • Heatbed connectors are bulkier than original and heatbed cover does not fit very well. Some filing is needed.
  • They put M10 pneumatic fittings. Original fittings on extruder are M8. Either find a model and print an adapter M8-M10 (M6 if you have spare like I had) or this extruder-rear part: https://www.prusaprinters.org/cs/prints/36551 but this will be a problem with Bondtech extruder too.
  • Heatsink has M10 thread instead of M8, meaning it's not possible to use original fittings and bowden on this end.
  • Heatsink has too big bore IMO compared to original. Original is tighter fit around heatbreak.
  • Provided heatbreak has no choke point like Bondtech or metal bottom part like original - it's just straight tube with thread on one end. This makes it fully PTFE lined hotend and limits temperatures to basically just PLA.
  • Heatblock is v6 clone, not MINI. MINI has the bevel on the back to allow airflow from part cooling fan. V6 will block that airflow by its rear edge. Buy MINI heatblock or print different X carriage instead, like this https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4614070
  • Bearings for filament holder are smaller, not 608 2Z
  • Hotend thermistor does not fit into hole ... gee I wonder why ... see below.
  • I haven't even turned it on yet ... I wonder what I find after I turn it on 🤣 
  • MW power supply may be Meanwell, it looks and weights the same, it may be safe to assume it actually is Meanwell.

@charles-h13 I wonder how your experience will differ from mine. You may be more lucky with selection of components they use. This was not first batch even, from what I heard that one was even worse quality-wise. Biggest problem here seems to be QC and unpredictability - I haven't had problems like guy in video had, but I had plethora of other.

I will report back once I get it to more or less usable state, but it may take some time. I agree assembling it is fun, but frustrating parts are sometimes quite a big obstacle and can be off-putting for newbies or impatient people. Me being a big fangurl of Original Prusa MINI, why did I even order it? Honestly I do not even know, maybe because I wanted to see what is it about and how it compares to the original. I enjoy assembling stuff, I build my own computers (sometimes with custom water cooling loops).  Now I wish Prusa made MINI kit with actual Prusa-level quality parts, things like those described above would not happen.

Conclusion: buy Original Prusa MINI. Seriously. Especially if it is going to be your first printer or you do not have time/patience for messing around troubleshooting stuff. You may save a bit of money, but the hassle and lack of support is not worth it, and you get needlessly frustrated -> may give up. You may consider it if you are a bit more experienced and want to use it as a fun side-project or a platform for some further experimentation (and don't want to wait until warranty on original piece expires).

Posted : 17/10/2020 11:31 pm
cwbullet
(@cwbullet)
Famed Member

I am going to to build it as it comes and then replace parts that “suck” when I figure that out.  There are a few things I think might be superior on the China clone but I will keep them to myself till I try it out.  

--------------------
Chuck H
3D Printer Review Blog...
Posted : 18/10/2020 12:02 am
karl-herbert
(@karl-herbert)
Famed Member

@crawlerin

Nothing more I can add to this 👍 

The picture probably shows a thermistor?  I'm curious to see what the printer will be producing over the next few weeks after starting up the system... A report on this would be very interesting.

Thanks!

Statt zu klagen, dass wir nicht alles haben, was wir wollen, sollten wir lieber dankbar sein, dass wir nicht alles bekommen, was wir verdienen....
Posted : 18/10/2020 12:49 am
Crawlerin
(@crawlerin)
Prominent Member

@karl-herbert

It's a hotend thermistor, they secured cables in by squishing end of the cartridge. Half the thermistor cannot get in because it's deformed.

Posted : 18/10/2020 1:01 am
DRKMSTR
(@drkmstr)
Eminent Member
Posted by: @jiri-n16

.... but it was really fun to build Prusa MINI.

This is exactly why I want an "Original Prusa MINI Mk2 Kit", especially a "Printer Farm Kit" where you get a roll of Prusament and have to print all the parts. Truly a throwback to the reprap days.

Posted : 18/10/2020 1:03 am
DRKMSTR
(@drkmstr)
Eminent Member
Posted by: @charles-h13

@karl-herbert

I found a very cheap source. I am going to do a thread.  I may replace some parts with original Prusa parts over time.  I will do that if they are of poor quality.  I opened the box and they look fine to me.  

I use finished printing the final part.  I printed them with Urban Grey PC Blend.   

 

What printer did you print that on? How is the "PC Blend" and how hard is it to print? 

Posted : 18/10/2020 1:05 am
Crawlerin
(@crawlerin)
Prominent Member

@drkmstr

Charles made review of PC blend: https://forum.prusaprinters.org/forum/english-forum-general-discussion-announcements-and-releases/review-prusament-pc-blend/  
It looks to be good filament.

Kit where they provide just those non-printable parts and treat MINI like truly complemental printer to MK3S would be interesting. I'd go for it.

This post was modified 1 month ago by Crawlerin
Posted : 18/10/2020 1:08 am
karl-herbert
(@karl-herbert)
Famed Member

@crawlerin

One could drill the 3mm hole on the heating block to 4mm and cement in place this thermistor 😊 

Statt zu klagen, dass wir nicht alles haben, was wir wollen, sollten wir lieber dankbar sein, dass wir nicht alles bekommen, was wir verdienen....
Posted : 18/10/2020 1:12 am
Crawlerin
(@crawlerin)
Prominent Member

@karl-herbert

I have spare thermistor for MINI, I bought things like thermistors, probe, heater cartridge, few bearings and fans as "first aid kit". To help with troubleshooting and get printer up and running while waiting for support to do the needful.

Drilling hole did not occur to me 😀 I would not destroy heater block for one Chinese thermistor with bad quality control, it would not make enough contact with block to give accurate readings anyway 😆 

This post was modified 1 month ago by Crawlerin
Posted : 18/10/2020 1:19 am
karl-herbert
(@karl-herbert)
Famed Member

@crawlerin

I also have all spare parts for my printers in stock. But especially for the hotend elements I use higher quality and matching parts. Only with the different 100k thermistors (104GTxx, 104NTxx...) I have measured deviations of up to 20 degrees C. when using the thermistor tables registered by Prusa. I have no doubt that the Prusa tables fit, but only if you use a correct type, otherwise you have to adjust. Of course you can also melt the filament without exact values. But this is not mine - I want to be able to rely on the values to a certain extent.
A Prusa clone can certainly be used, but at least the hotend I would replace immediately by a known brand part.

 
Statt zu klagen, dass wir nicht alles haben, was wir wollen, sollten wir lieber dankbar sein, dass wir nicht alles bekommen, was wir verdienen....
Posted : 18/10/2020 1:33 am
cwbullet
(@cwbullet)
Famed Member

@crawlerin

I did the same thing!

--------------------
Chuck H
3D Printer Review Blog...
Posted : 18/10/2020 1:56 am
Crawlerin
(@crawlerin)
Prominent Member

@karl-herbert

20 degrees is quite a big difference 😲 under what circumstances is the difference that big? Isn't there like ... a standard or certification for those?

I settled with heatblock and thermistor from Prusa shop, that's as close to brand as you can get 😊 Heatbreak is Bondtech right now, because I don't currently use it and really don't want to use the one that came with the kit; I will need custom PID values in this case. I'd like to try different hotends in the future, I printed parts for v6 from thread about different hotends on this very forum.

Posted : 18/10/2020 3:26 am
jiři.n16
(@jiri-n16)
New Member

@crawlerin
It looks like you have one of the first clones, now It's much better. I have received my clone from Spain on 16.9.2020, It's mean well with a 3.2" display. I have shared a photo of extruder gear in the FB group and someone replied that he has a much better extruder, tooths looks like on the original but still, It's nickel-plated so it didn't fit. Also, they have a powder-coated heated bed surface now, but I have received an old variant with a glued PEI sheet.

I have replaced fans, thermistor, and extruder gear for the original, also I have ordered better bearings so the price of my MINI clone is 306 € (original will be 423 € in the same configuration). And I don't have the support and in the future, there will be online service which probably will not work.
But still, this printer has the same problem as the original, no network upload, no wifi, no power loss recovery nearly a year after release.

Posted : 18/10/2020 8:01 am
Nikolai
(@nikolai-3)
Noble Member

@jiri-n16

That’s the thing many people complains about. You never know what you personally get with this clones. Sometimes you’re lucky and sometimes it’s just crap. It’s not about version 1,2,3... It’s more like gambling.

Often linked posts:
Going small with MMU2
Real Multi Material
My prints on Instagram...
Posted : 18/10/2020 8:08 am
cwbullet
(@cwbullet)
Famed Member

@nikolai-r

Pretty low risk for me.  I intend to build and test it and may install a raspberry pi.  

--------------------
Chuck H
3D Printer Review Blog...
Posted : 18/10/2020 12:39 pm
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