Brand new to the world of 3D printing and excited to be here. After some research have decided to purchase a MK3s+. Seems to tick all the boxes nicely. My primary interest is designing and building small scale aircraft. With that in mind, would be grateful for any advice as to what my initial order could include beyond the base machine to get me up and running. And one small concern: Are there new models that Prusa are poised to release? If so would it be worth holding off on the purchase? Thanks, Mike.
How small planes?
to the best of my understanding, all of these can be printed with a standard 0.4mm nozzle...
If you want to go smaller, 0.25mm nozzle may be a benefit, but your print time will increase significantly.
If you plan on doing a lot of tiny work, you may wish to consider a geared extruder to handle the tiny movements of the filament,
but most people would suggest that you don't modify anything until you actually find that you need to modify it!
a choice of build plates may be a benefit. but also may slow your order down. some people are struggling with textured build plates and PLA.
Matt and Smooth build plates seem OK... I have all three, they all work for me...
Some folk suggest that you can benefit drying filament out, so a filament dryer/ dehumidifier, may be beneficial to maintain ultimate performance for stressed members.
I expect the biggest thing that you need, is Experience.... You cannot buy that!
Prusa are developing new items but there have been no release dates offered to the market yet.
Typically if there is a new release round the corner prusa try to sweeten the situation for people caught in the middle
for example I ordered an upgrade for the MMU1... Prusa were developing the MMU2, they decided to discontinue the MMU1 development, and Prusa Offered me an upgrade to MMU2 at the same price as the MMU1 Upgrade.
but I cannot guarantee that will happen...
If you are not one of the first people to put your pre order in, as soon the announcement is made, your order will take quite a while to be fulfilled.
I suggest you buy now, get the experience from using the printer, now, and by the time a new printer is announced you can either sell your current printer and buy the new one, or get a second printer! by then you may need more printing capability....
there are bigger models available... regards Joan
Brand new to the world of 3D printing and excited to be here. ... If so would it be worth holding off on the purchase? Thanks, Mike.
Welcome and welcome.
A couple of things. Buy both smooth and textured sheets - and add the newest satin version too. Sheets have constraints and each has pluses and minuses for what filament they work best with. You want one of each.
Prusa filament is expensive when ordered a spool at a time - shipping is horribly expensive. So order a few spools with the printer. Filament is really a commodity, and short of the ultra cheap $15 a spool brands off Amazon or eBay all pretty much print the same (despite people having favorite brands and colors). I usually buy the cheap stuff and am quite happy with it.
If you are doing miniature prints - then buy a 0.25mm or 0.20 nozzle. Only buy an E3D branded nozzle. Prusa sells them, so grab one with your order. When you get to that point you want to change the nozzle, for God's sake - read the E3D-V6 assembly guide before proceeding. There are 20 threads happening right now where guys have not read the guide and changed nozzles anyway and are having horrible print problems after the fact.
And the last bit of advice. If you buy the kit (the printer is easy to assemble for anyone who can read and is willing to read): the build is not a race. Follow the build guide, take your time, learn what you are doing and what is inside the printer. If you take your time - two or three days to build it - you will be better off for the experience. If you win the build race and finish it in 3 hours: your next few months will be spent here asking questions about why is the printer doing this: why are my prints looking so bad or failing... 99.9% of issues brought up on this forum turn out to be easily avoidable assembly issues and someone who boasted they built their printer in a few hours.
To the build end - Prusa has an online version of the build manual with larger pictures. Use it. And, there are comments by other builders that might shed light on some of the not-so-smooth assembly steps. Like the nylon cable guide from the extruder - arrgghhh! 😱
And the Mk3S is a great printer. Capable, fast, and very easy to use. Prusa Slicer is also a great app, capable, and easy to use. If on Windows, I can recommend you also install Microsoft's 3D Builder from the app store. Great for checking models. If you are new to designing models, TinkerCAD by Autodesk is a free web based design tool that I am still using years later. Can't design everything I want with it - but does 95%.
Once built and running - remember that fingerprints on the print sheets are generally bad news. Soap and water works to keep the sheets clean and your prints on the sheet rather than them falling off and you winning the spaghetti monster award (or worse). And have at least a quart of 91% or better Isopropyl on hand at all times (no rubbing alcohol). If soap and water offends you, buy alcohol in gallon bottles.
And when you get stuck or have questions, ask before acting - it can save you some time and some trouble - there are several people on this forum that 1) know what they are talking about; 2) have a lot of experience printing odd things; 3) willing to take the time to actually help you work through whatever it is with your printer.
Thanks for the warm welcome. My learning curve is going to be steep so it is great to find such a valuable resource of helpful folks. As I mentioned, my focus is on aerospace and aerodynamic applications, building scale aircraft with wingspans less than 1 meter. The more I read the more excited I become at the universe of possibilities now accessible from my man cave. I note your recommendations and will add them to the order basket. Looks like I will be eventually working with carbon fiber, leveraging its strength/weight ratio. Seems as if hardened tips are indispensable with this media. Any suggestions on which filaments I might begin practicing with? The range is staggering. Thanks, Mike.
Buy a Tungsten Carbide nozzle (SPOOL3D, but there is one that is a perfect replica fit and finish of the E3D brass nozzle), a Titanium Heat Break (from E3D), and while you're at it, a nickel plated copper heater block (from E3D).
This keeps the thermal profile of the hot end very close to the original E3D-V6 characteristics, so PID calibrations continue to work as expected.
You're planning some technically tricky prints with relatively expensive, unforgiving filament. Put these aside for a few weeks. Do your early learning and make your first mistakes with simpler prints and cheap filament. Make a few household objects, design simple spare parts or reinvent the soap dish; everyone else has. Once you have everything running routinely - THEN go for the novel stuff.
Solid, actionable advice from all - grateful and heeded.
Then there's the simple fact many "carbon fiber" filaments are less strong/rigid than stiff TPU. Expectations will be recalibrated after spending $50 for 100 grams of plastic that bends easier than warm PLA. lol.
try Yeggi search, you might be able to find something simple, free and ready created for you to try printing whilst you get your head stuck into 3D designs of your own...
when you load the models into Prusa Slicer, look at the right hand side of the Prusa Slicer Window, if you see an orange triangle to the left of the model title, this is the indication of an error in the model,
If you are using windows, you can right click on the model and select 'Fix through the Netfabb'
If a model gives odd slicing results. even if there is no orange triangle... still try Fix through the netfabb and see if it fixes the model for you, this simple operation can save you hours of messing around and head scratching...
also please be aware the slicer uses an extrusion width setting that is wider than the nozzle typical default for the 0.4mm nozzle, is 0.45mm extrusion width, if any features in your model are thinner than the nozzle extrusion width, they will not be sliced and you will get missing parts...
I use these tungsten carbide nozzles and can highly recommend them. I have also polished the nozzle cone to improve the non-stick effect. I also use a nickel-plated copper heating block and a titanium heatbreak. With this constellation and without changing any FW parameters, I print all materials.
Thanks Joan - super valuable stuff. Checked out Yeggi. It’s mental, but in a good way 🤣 ...
Yeggi, finds files on many sites where as other sites only report on one site.
thingiverse has some files that yeggi doesn't find,
has gcodes if you dare print them... :-))