My last major update article came out in May and it’s almost unbelievable that six months have already passed. We’re still in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, but despite the new challenges, we are still moving forward. Truth be told, we were expecting that we would be working on something entirely different by now – like putting finishing touches to the XL and the successor to the Original Prusa i3 MK3. However, the current situation makes sourcing new parts much more difficult and we have to find new ways to solve various problems.
So even though we’ve made major progress on our “next-gen” machines, we’re not ready to show them at this very moment. We have something else, though: I would like to announce that the improved models of our 3D printers, the Original Prusa i3 MK3S+ and the Original Prusa MINI+, just arrived! We also have a new type of print sheet, the Black Friday deals are nearly here and that’s still not all. We started shipping both the MK3S+ and MINI+ last week in secret, so some of you probably already have them 🙂 So, what’s new?
Introducing MK3S+, MINI+, and MINI+ KIT
Even though the MK3S and MINI are established as workhorses for quite some time, we want to push the reliability of our 3D printers even further and make their assembly process faster and easier. The new MK3S+ features a number of smaller design changes and features a new Mesh Bed Leveling sensor, the SuperPINDA. This sensor is now also featured in the MINI (replacing the basic M.I.N.D.A. sensor), turning it into the MINI+. This is a big step forward for the MINI since it makes the calibration of the first layer much more consistent.
When we announced the MINI back in October 2019 with the launch in December, we wanted to bring an affordable, yet fully-equipped and reliable 3D printing workhorse. The demand was (and still is) huge and we’re constantly hiring to bring down the lead times – there are almost 600 of us, wow! We were excited to see all the positive comments and reviews. However, we did not want to rest on our laurels – there were also suggestions on what could be improved, both on the hardware and software side. So while our firmware team keeps bringing new software features (such as the upcoming Sheet profiles for the MINI in firmware 4.3), the rest of the dev team focused on hardware changes. The most important change is the upgrade of the M.I.N.D.A. sensor, which was pretty much the same sensor we used on the MK2S e.g. it comes without temperature compensation. However, it enabled us to reach such a compelling price point. It is now replaced by the new SuperPINDA, which doesn’t suffer from temperature drift and makes the first layer consistent – for example if you are running one print after another, but set the Live Adjust Z with a cold printer.
So, before we get to details, let me say that most of these changes are not major enhancements that would drastically change the behavior of our printers. Think of them as a “reliability upgrade” which is based on the feedback we received from the community, and also by running our printers nearly 24/7 in our print farm.Continue reading