Official Support and Mods?  

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krishanuar
(@krishanuar)
Active Member

Hi! I’m upgrading from a modded Ender 3 Pro to the Prusa MK3S (5 weeks to go...!). My main reason to upgrade is better QC on the parts I’m getting, more consistent results, and most importantly, access to professional support. (The Ender 3 Facebook groups are full of people who have no idea what they are talking about—it’s sometimes difficult to separate the noise from the good advice).

But while I wait for my MK3S to arrive, I’ve been reading about some of the pitfalls and am already interested in making some tweaks. E.g. have already ordered a dragon hotend (for 1 handed nozzle changes), and am interested in the Bear frame upgrade, and maybe the bondtech extruder upgrade.

My question is this: If I go through with it and get/install these mods, do I lose access to the official support, because I’m no longer on a fully stock machine...?

 

 

This topic was modified 5 months ago 3 times by krishanuar
Posted : 06/07/2020 5:15 am
Neophyl
(@neophyl)
Noble Member

Id think that if you did the bear mod then most of the prusa support wouldn't be relevant as its no longer the same machine. 

Any mod that also requires you to use non stock firmware would also make it pointless too, so not sure if the dragon hot end requires that.  I guess if you were using the same thermistor then it wouldn't need a different table so you might be alright with that.  I think the bondtech requires you to use printer firmware from them.

Be aware that if at the end of the support process the issues are not resolved then Prusa does ask people to return their machines (if bought ready built).  If you have modified it from stock then that wont really be an option.

Posted : 06/07/2020 8:28 am
krishanuar
(@krishanuar)
Active Member

@neophyl

Regarding the Bondtech Extruder... based on how it works the only thing that would be different re: Firmware would be e-steps... right?

Anyways from your answer, it sounds like we may not lose support outright if we modify the machine, you're just questioning the relevancy of the support. I hope that's the case.

I'm getting the Kit, so I don't know if I'd have to return the printer for any reason (hopefully not!), but it would be a nice assurance to know that if... say something is wrong with the Einsy board, or properly flat buildplate, or something along those lines that I could get a covered replacement.

Posted : 06/07/2020 3:38 pm
Neophyl
(@neophyl)
Noble Member

Kit builds can’t be returned iirc, you can still get support to help with build issues depending on the issue. For example if you break the wires off the thermistor or heater while assembling then that is your issue and wouldn’t be covered under warranty. Same with breaking printed parts. Although getting someone to print you replacements locally happens 🙂

I wouldn’t expect any support from Prusa on the bear mod though, you would have to get help from the mod manufacturer and other users who have that setup.

I would have to check but I think the bond tech extruder mod is more extensive than just setting e-steps. I think it also has different drive current/stall settings, feed distance etc for load/unload. As you wouldn’t be running Prusa firmware any more then you would be dependent on bond tech for new versions. Given how quickly changes are made that might be a disadvantage. Of course you could always learn to compile it from source  and make the same changes that the bond tech version has so that you can stay up to date. 

What sort of issues were you expecting to get support help with out of interest ?  Faulty parts like motors, sensors etc you will get help with as they would be from Prusa. For definitive answers it’s probably best to contact Prusa about it and explain that you want to make some modifications and ask them if it invalidates any support. I suspect the answer will be it does. 

Posted : 06/07/2020 4:02 pm
Nikolai
(@nikolai-3)
Noble Member
Posted by: @krishanuar

But while I wait for my MK3S to arrive, I’ve been reading about some of the pitfalls and am already interested in making some tweaks. E.g. have already ordered a dragon hotend (for 1 handed nozzle changes), and am interested in the Bear frame upgrade, and maybe the bondtech extruder upgrade.

My question is this: If I go through with it and get/install these mods, do I lose access to the official support, because I’m no longer on a fully stock machine...?

I'm wandering what kind of support do you expect after swapping original extruder and the frame (maybe firmware, too)? Any warranty claim would be also difficult because it could be tied to the modifications you made.
I would suggest to stay as stock as possible and enjoy the big community knowledge. Otherwise the reason you switched is pointless.

BTW: FB groups noise does also exist in Prusa groups.

Often linked posts:
Going small with MMU2
Real Multi Material
My prints on Instagram...
Posted : 06/07/2020 5:31 pm
krishanuar
(@krishanuar)
Active Member

@neophyl

What sort of issues were you expecting to get support help with out of interest?

I'm coming from the world of Chinese-made 3d printers, so maybe I'm being overly cautious because of the experiences with those. But things that concern me from that experience are:

  • Flatness of the print bed-- my Ender 3 bed came badly warped, and even with ABL (BLTouch) it is still problematic, as ABL can only do so much. I've seen folks in Prusa groups discuss stuff like the Nylock mod, but I'd rather have a good starting point than having to resort to something like that. I'd look to Prusa to help with a replacement for something like that.
  • Axis binding -- My threaded Z-rod on the Ender 3 came slightly bent, and the z-stepper motor did not sit flat. I had to do a ton of troubleshooting on my own, ultimately print shims, and live with the imperfections caused by a slightly warped rod. I don't want to deal with this--would want support to help to quickly identify stuff like this, and then get me fixed parts if there are imperfections present. I don't want to print fixes for basic functionality, (even if the imperfects caused are small... call me a perfectionist...).
  • Stuck bearings -- One of my ball bearings on the Ender 3 didn't spin perfectly freely, there was always a little catch at one point. Oil did not help. Net effect on the print caused by this was small, but if I'm buying a quality product, I'd hope I could get it addressed...
  • Skewed frame parts -- the attachment for my Ender 3 x pully was skewed. I had to create a shim to straighten it. I guess this is one that the Bear mod could impact for prusa, and I'd recognize if prusa didn't want to help for that.

All in all, the stuff I've mentioned seems technically not related to the upgrades that I was considering, so at the end of the day, I was hoping that I could still get support for the things that caused me grief for my last printer, and do neat upgrade mods...

This post was modified 5 months ago 3 times by krishanuar
Posted : 06/07/2020 5:48 pm
bobstro
(@bobstro)
Illustrious Member
Posted by: @krishanuar

[...] But while I wait for my MK3S to arrive, I’ve been reading about some of the pitfalls and am already interested in making some tweaks. E.g. have already ordered a dragon hotend (for 1 handed nozzle changes), and am interested in the Bear frame upgrade, and maybe the bondtech extruder upgrade.

I would strongly urge you to resist the urge to start making "improvements" to the Mk3 until you're familiar with what it can do. Unlike the low-cost printers, the Prusas produce excellent results and have excellent results out of the box (or hot off your assembly line). Get a feel for what it can do so you can measure whether improvements are worthwhile.

The Dragon hotend should be more-or-less a drop-in replacement, but are you sure you're even going to have throughput issues? I've stayed essentially stock on my Mk3, not even upgrading to the 3s parts, and am getting results far above most of what I see posted in the general 3D printing groups. I've now got a 2nd printer to compare against (Artillery Sidewinder X1) and the Prusa out of the box is much easier to calibrate, use and maintain. The only changes I've made are:

  • Removing the filament spool from the top of the frame.
  • Replacing Prusa-fied heatbreak with E3D Titanium version.
  • Replacing heater block with E3D nickel-plated copper.
  • Replacing brass nozzle with coated nozzles (or 3D Solex for throughput).

You're definitely going to be outside support if you make wholesale replacements like the extruder. I'd only replace mine if I needed additional throughput above 70mm^3/s. From everything I've read about the Bondtech upgrades, it offers only incremental upgrades to print quality. Same with the Bear upgrades.

My notes and disclaimers on 3D printing and miscellaneous other tech projects
He is intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two dimensional thinking. -- Spock in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan...
Posted : 06/07/2020 6:28 pm
bobstro
(@bobstro)
Illustrious Member
Posted by: @krishanuar

I'm coming from the world of Chinese-made 3d printers, so maybe I'm being overly cautious because of the experiences with those. But things that concern me from that experience are:

I went the other way, starting with a Prusa i3 Mk3 as my first, then picking up a 2nd cheap printer for additional print capacity during the COVID crisis. It's definitely been an eye-opening experience.

  • Flatness of the print bed-- my Ender 3 bed came badly warped, and even with ABL (BLTouch) it is still problematic, as ABL can only do so much. I've seen folks in Prusa groups discuss stuff like the Nylock mod

The vast majority of users have no issues with bed flatness. The nylock mod can help in extreme cases, but the sheet is removable and replaceable, so you're unlikely to get perfect flatness. The Prusa mesh bed leveling is good enough that this is generally not an issue. Your ability to calibrate and maintain the bed properly are more important:

  • Read up on Jeff Jordan's "Life Adjust" Live-Z calibration. It is much easier to use and understand than the on-board routine.
  • Read up on cleaning the PEI sheet. The smooth sheet works well for most materials. The textured sheet is more finicky with PLA. A good clean under the sink with Dawn dish soap can work wonders with both.
  • Axis binding -- My threaded Z-rod on the Ender 3 came slightly bent [...]

Any such defect should be covered. Again, generally not an issue with Prusa printers.

  • Stuck bearings -- One of my ball bearings on the Ender 3 didn't spin perfectly freely, there was always a little catch at one point. Oil did not help. Net effect on the print caused by this was small, but if I'm buying a quality product, I'd hope I could get it addressed...
  • Skewed frame parts -- the attachment for my Ender 3 x pully was skewed. I had to create a shim to straighten it. I guess this is one that the Bear mod could impact for prusa, and I'd recognize if prusa didn't want to help for that.

Again, these should be covered. Work with support if you encounter issues. Be sure to research the issues on lubricating the linear bearings before completing assembly. Frame should be solid.

All in all, the stuff I've mentioned seems technically not related to the upgrades that I was considering, so at the end of the day, I was hoping that I could still get support for the things that caused me grief for my last printer, and do neat upgrade mods...

I'm looking into upgrades to get my Sidewinder anywhere near the level of quality and reliability of my Prusa. The Prusa just works without complaint.

 

My notes and disclaimers on 3D printing and miscellaneous other tech projects
He is intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two dimensional thinking. -- Spock in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan...
Posted : 06/07/2020 6:35 pm
Nikolai
(@nikolai-3)
Noble Member

@krishanuar

All mentioned items would be a warranty claim @PR.
Again, keep it original at first. Just see what kind of printer you get stock. Most of the mods and "improvements" do also have a downside or just not worth time/money for most people.

Often linked posts:
Going small with MMU2
Real Multi Material
My prints on Instagram...
Posted : 06/07/2020 6:37 pm
krishanuar
(@krishanuar)
Active Member

Appreciate the responses!

Sounds like I ought to hold of considering the other upgrades.

The one I've already ordered (dragon hotend) is one I'm going to stick with, because swapping nozzle sizes is something I have done and see myself doing often. Sounds like doing that should affect the support I recieve.

On my Ender 3 I switched to the microswiss hotend which, like the E3Dv6 cannot swap nozzles with 1 hand, and as a result from my nozzle swapping activities, resulted in a loosening in the connection between heatbreak and hot block, which ultimately resulted in a leak at that interface. Don't see that happening with a design like Dragon/Mosquito/Stock Ender 3 hotend.

Posted : 06/07/2020 10:48 pm
bobstro
(@bobstro)
Illustrious Member

I've done hundreds of nozzle swaps on my stock Mk3 configuration. I did strip the hotend in my learning process but haven't had any other big issues. Nothing wrong with swapping the hotend, but I wouldn't consider it a "must do".

I do have a Dragon hi flow on order, but I think it'll go in my other printer. I am curious to know what it could do with a 3D Solex Matchless nozzle mounted on a V6 block, but I'd need to upgrade the extruder to find out.

My notes and disclaimers on 3D printing and miscellaneous other tech projects
He is intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two dimensional thinking. -- Spock in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan...
Posted : 07/07/2020 3:16 am
toddmink
(@toddmink)
New Member

Yeah, I agree with everyone else.  Your Ender needed aftermarket mods to make it perform in top shape.  The whole reason I bought a Prusa is I don't have to do that.  I would really see what it can do in stock form before you start modding.  It's pretty great stock.

Posted : 13/07/2020 12:55 am
Kaiede liked
Kaiede
(@kaiede)
Active Member
Posted by: @krishanuar

E.g. have already ordered a dragon hotend (for 1 handed nozzle changes), and am interested in the Bear frame upgrade, and maybe the bondtech extruder upgrade.

So, I did try the Dragon myself for this reason. The problem is that because it uses the same round mounting as the E3D V6 in the stock extruder, you need tape to hold it in place, and it will only hold as long as the tape does, and in my case the tape did give way after a couple weeks. I wound up partially melting bits of my extruder because of that (not fatally). So I wouldn’t go Dragon to get one-handed nozzle changes without using a better mounting system if you want reliable one-handed nozzle changes. I don’t know if anyone’s produced a set of parts that will take a T-mounted Dragon or not, I didn’t find any when I looked, but it would be great if someone did produce a design for those parts. Because otherwise it is a nice hot end design.

I wound up putting on the Bondtech extruder replacement with a Mosquito. I looked at what it would take to get SLS parts printed for just the Mosquito (for grins) and it wasn’t all that much cheaper than just getting the Bondtech kit, so I went with that. If you want one-handed nozzle changes, and the Bondtech extruder, I’d seriously consider the Mosquito version of the kit instead of using the E3D-style mount with a Dragon. But I will say it’s been more of a “nice quality of life improvement” than it’s been about print quality. The SLS parts have made the filament sensor in particular less finicky, and the Mosquito is a nice little hotend. 

As for the Bear? I’m tempted myself, but as others say, once you go that far, there’s not much left of the “Original Prusa” to warranty. 

I’ll note I did get the Prusa more to make sure I had a good starting point. I picked the MK3S over the Mini because I did want something I could modify if I wanted to specialize it a bit to my tastes. But yeah, as you modify it, you are taking more responsibility for the printer itself. 

Posted : 16/07/2020 3:52 pm
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