Product review hero image

Prusa i3 MK2

By Ryan Priore / Nov 7, 2016

Prusa i3 MK2
see it in 360

Prusa i3 MK2

3d-printer-guide-best-overall2x 3d-printer-guide-best-value2x 3d-printer-guide-open-source2x

After the initial smooth-as-silk homing sequence, I knew that I should buckle my seat belt for one incredible joyride. Prusa Research has raised the bar for consumer 3D printing platforms while not breaking the bank. And with its total score of 36 points — more than any machine we’ve ever tested — the Prusa i3 MK2 became the machine all the testers wanted, and more than one of us went home and immediately placed an order.

The MK2 boasts an E3D all-metal hot end, a next-generation heated bed with PEI print surface, bed-leveling compensation, and a 31% larger print volume over the previous i3. Available as a kit, assembled printer, or upgrade option for the original i3 model, the MK2 offers beautiful prints across a multitude of plastic filament options.

BED UPGRADES

I was drawn to the new MK42 heated bed, which compensates for cold corners by using three power zones to warm the bed’s corners slightly more than its center. The X and Y dimension markers on the bed aid in visualization of available printing surface. And the icing on this cake is the PEI film, which effectively eliminates the need for glue, ABS juice, or painter’s tape as surface adhesion enhancements. It also allows for nearly edge-to-edge printing. Auto leveling is performed using a specialized set of 9 calibration points on the bed.

EXOTIC FILAMENTS

Inside of the deceptively simple X carriage, both an E3D v6 hot end and an inductance probe sit behind the cooling fan. The direct drive extruder and all-metal hot end allows the MK2 to use high-temperature and exotic filaments, including polycarbonate, nylon, and flexibles. The test probes looked fantastic, and the overall printing time was faster than average as compared to the rest of the printers reviewed.

EVOLUTIONARY SUCCESS

It was surprising to see the abundance of improvements that the MK2 brought to the table since the original i3 was already a respectable open source offering. While some users may not like the RepRap aesthetics, others will applaud the advanced capabilities offered along with the support of the open source community behind it. The MK2 is aimed at a broad spectrum of end users, from RepRap enthusiasts to the average home user. The MK2 is a performance leader and a tremendous value for the price.

Specs
Prusa i3 MK2 Prusa Research
Manufacturer:Prusa Research
Price as Tested:$899
Build Volume:250×210×200mm
Bed Style:Heated bed with PEI surface
Filament Size:1.75mm
Open Filament:Yes
Temperature Control:Yes, tool head (300ºC max); bed (120ºC max)
Print Untethered:Yes (SD card)
Onboard Controls:Yes (display screen and control wheel)
Host/Slicer Software:Prusa3D, Slic3r, MK2
OS:Windows, Mac, Linux
Firmware:Open, Marlin
Open Software:Yes (Prusa3D Slic3r MK2 is derived from Open Source Slic3r)
Open Hardware:Yes (GNU GPLv3)
Maximum Decibels:67.5
Hot End:High Temperature

ADVERTISEMENT

Why to Buy

One of the best bangs for the buck for such a large print volume and plastic filament options. The extensive community, detailed documentation, and pre-configured software/firmware will keep your printer in top performance.

Buy Now

Pro Tips

Use the onboard printer self-test feature to ensure that the MK2 is ready for operation. Experiment with exotic filaments to push the MK2 to its full potential. Periodically degrease the PEI surface of the heated bed with isopropyl alcohol to keep that first print layer sticking every time.

ADVERTISEMENT

How this scored

Product Review Scores

See all the Scores