Last year the Prusa i3 MK2 topped the list as our best machine. This year we put the upgraded MK2S to the test, and it shared the No. 1 ranking.
One of the highlights of this machine is the bed and how it handles leveling. Before every print the MK2S runs a quick measurement of 9 points on the plate with the PINDA probe and adjusts the print in real time to compensate for any out of level or out of square measurements. The live z adjustment was our favorite feature of the calibration procedure — with a click and spin of the knob you can easily change the z height, and it actually remembers the setting.
One major improvement is the removal of the zip ties holding the bed in place. Metal U bolts hold the bearings in place, which greatly helps the overall rigidity of the machine and ensures that every time you go to print it’s ready for you. Already own a Prusa i3 plus or MK2? Prusa Research offers upgrade options at a reasonable price.
The new slicer and machine control software, PrusaControl, is designed for someone who just wants to click and print. Those of you without dual extruders will enjoy the built-in filament color change feature: Simply use a slider to choose at what layer you want to swap and with a click of the mouse, a pause will be added to the print allowing you to easily change the filament manually. Want to dive in a bit deeper? Like its predecessors, the MK2S is open and gives you freedom.
With a genuine E3D V6 all-metal hot end you can print with virtually any filament — it can reach temperatures of up to 300°C. The E3D V6 is considered by many to be the best hot end on the market, and its inclusion in the Prusa MK2 line of printers is one of the reasons they rise to the top. And with the MK3 hitting the market, the MK2S’ price has dropped $100, starting at $599 for the kit.
|Prusa i3 MK2S||Prusa Research|
|Price as Tested:||$899 ($599 kit)|
|Bed Style:||Heated with PEI print surface|
|Temp Control:||Yes, extruder (300ºC max); bed (120ºC max)|
|Print Untethered:||Yes, SD card|
|Onboard Controls:||Yes, clickable scroll wheel with LCD|
|Host/Slicer Software:||PrusaControl and custom Prusa Slic3r|
|OS:||Mac, Windows, Linux|
|Open Software:||Yes, GNU GPLv3|
|Open Hardware:||Yes, GNU GPLv3|