We have been testing the new Prusa i3 Mk2 extensively over the last two months. This printer has outperformed EVERY printer we have used, and straight out of the box was printing beautifully. We’ve been tinkering with the stock Prusa Slic3r settings, and have found that with some minor tweaks, the quality gets even better. Just by reducing all extrusion width settings from the stock 4.5mm to 4mm, we were able to achieve top surfaces that were almost completely smooth when using Hatchbox PLA filament. .2mm prints off of the Prusa are looking as good as .15mm prints from other printers, meaning you can print models much faster and maintain excellent results. Below is a 3/4″ test cube, and the top surface is the smoothest we have ever seen off of a FDM printer. This was printed using Hatchbox silver PLA, 205˚, 30mm/sec print speed, 8 top layers, .1mm layer height. Prusa stock settings that were changed: perimeters were changed from 3 to 2, all extrusion widths changed to .43mm (formerly .45). EDIT: I have been toying with Prusa’s originally recommended .45 extrusion width more, for some models .45 works best, for others .43 does. The Prusa isn’t the cheapest printer out there, but it is worth every penny. The printer features 9-point auto leveling, so even if your print bed is slightly warped or your axis alignment is slightly off, the printer firmware accounts for this during the print process for a perfect print every time. We had a glitchy LCD on our first one (it wouldn’t always read the SD card, and would lose contact with the main board), and Prusa customer service got us a replacement immediately. A couple screws and plugging it into the Rambo board, and we were back up and running in no time. This printer is extremely easy to work on, all major components are easy to access and replace if necessary. While many people love the PEI print bed surface, we still routinely use blue painters tape on ours (remember to adjust your z-height calibration slightly if you do this- our setting was raised up by .095mm to account for the tape height.) When printing our 15mm scale troops for World War Tesla, even their NOSES printed successfully (for those of you used to standard 28mm scale D&D miniatures, this one is HALF that height!) The Prusa i3 Mk2 is available as a kit ($699) or fully assembled ($899). The only downside is that the printer is proving to be so incredibly popular, there is currently an 8 week wait to get one (but it is worth it.) For those going the kit route, I’m including a diagram at the bottom of this post from a Mk2 Facebook group that will be extremely beneficial to getting everything perfect.
15mm figure (soldier is only 5/8″ tall), .1mm layer height, straight off the printer with no cleanup.
WWT vehicle, .1mm layer height (the printer will go down to half this and print at .05mm)