Thank You Prusa Research for sponsoring this trip, which is exactly why I’m gonna ask you all the tough questions that we have come up with. People were noting on the MRRF video: Hey, you seem to be really rude to this guy. But, I mean, I don’t want to come across as a shill. Thanks for taking the time and for showing off the Prusa MINI. It’s weird not calling it the Mark-something-MINI anymore. So what’s what’s the deal with this guy everyone wants to know about. The MK3 is a perfect workhorse, but with all its features and with all its parts It is still for some people a tough… …price to swallow. So we wanted to make something simpler, still very much reliable and more affordable. So that is why we created this little guy which is just $349. Let’s just go over the features of the MINI as it stands because it’s… It looks kind of small in person because there’s not a whole lot of material to it, but it’s still a fairly capable machine, so… Run us through the specs. What does it do? The main thing is it’s still a pretty large build volume. It’s 18x18x18 centimeters, which compared to our flagship MK3: just 25x21x21. It’s still pretty good. You can print… I mean, we were thinking about our farm. Most of our parts, or basically all of the MK3 parts are printable on this. For our production we could switch to these. We haven’t done so yet, just part of the farm has these ones because I don’t want to throw away the perfect good MK3s. But yeah We still need some some MK3s in the farm if we are printing jigs and manufacturing helpers As far as the size goes, it looks small, but this is basically the size that 3d printers used to be: 20×20 centimeter build area was the standard for many many years The MK3 is already slightly larger than that. So yeah, 18×18 centimeters… It looks small, but again, I’d be comfortable with a 15×15 centimeter printer still, too. So it’s $349 And here comes the first question: Actually, it’s like 399, right? What do you mean? You can get it for 349. 349, there’s shown. If you compare it to the MK3 with “feature parity” as much as that goes, you are selling two upgrades to this machine Which is the filament sensor which is a $20 upgrade and you’re also selling the textured PEI sheet. By default it only comes with the stickered one. That’s still 349, OK. Thing is, to achieve this price point we can’t include everything. The reasoning with filament sensor, as it is, that the machine is much smaller. You aren’t printing such a large prints, So there’s a less chance you will run out of filament. But if you want it and if you run it on the farm, you can get optional upgrade. The reasoning with the textured sheet, so we are.. after.. after our experience with MK3, we found out, if you are a very first time user, which we expect a lot of people with MINI will be It is a little bit easier for the users to use the smooth PEI. Because it’s not as finicky with the live Z adjustment or the first layer height to get it stuck. Textured one is… you have to clean it a little bit more. So that is why we want everyone to have the smooth one. The other big feature that’s actually better than the MK3 is you now have a completely new 32-bit platform with TMC 2209 drivers. That’s the “Buddy” board, right? Yes. I wouldn’t say it’s better in every way. If you think about the MK3, we have 8-bit board. As you joked before, 32 is four times better than eight. Right? Is it four times as expensive to make now? No, actually, 32-bit processors are cheaper. But the thing is, there’s so much development done on the 8-bit firmware, it prints just as good. If not better at this point, than the 32-bit firmware we have. Because there is work of five developers for years and years and years, optimizing and developing and tuning drivers. So, this is maybe why we are starting with a 32-bit on a more basic machine which doesn’t have as many advanced features. But for the future to come a 32-bit platform should be easier to develop onto because you don’t need to hyper optimize every single bit of code. Right now we just have the basic framework But we can probably expect it to develop much faster than the code that we had for 8-bits. Yes. We now have two firmware teams. One is doing the 8-bit firmware, we still have plenty of features coming up for the MK3. That’s nice to see that you’re still adding on to the legacy 8-bit boards. I mean, we are supporting even MK2. This is just how we do it. We are not abandoning all the users. So we are still listening what people want, what they think can be optimized and we are adding and optimizing all the time. Recently for MK3 we added sheet profiles. Different thickness or the detection distance of the PINDA probe, which this one also has. That features in here already or is that one of those things that is still coming? That is not yet supported here. Back to the board: as you hold it up right now, is basically the same. A bit larger than the Einsy board. You’ve got an Ethernet port in there, that means it has network connectivity built right in. You don’t need to add Octoprint or Raspberry Pi to it? Yes, as we mentioned, this can be a very nice farm printer, and if you run farm, you want to have everything connected, so that is why we have Ethernet built in. It can run light IP stack and we can run a web server on it. And you can have controls on the printer. Right now you’re not showing off the web interface yet, but I assume this is going to be very similar to the Duet series of boards, RepRap firmware… Just a very usable interface that you can control the printer with, upload files, get a preview, right? Yeah, honestly, I like to keep this thing simple, you know, there’s difference between our machines and when you are building your own machine, and you need all the Knobs and switches to tune it. Because we are doing this ourselves. That allows us to have much simpler user interfaces, more optimized. You shouldn’t need to go as it’s on the LCD, you shouldn’t need to go to the menu and tune the motor driver current right? The same is with the web interface. I mean it should be simple. So everybody, even when you are starting out, There should be one page and you could do everything you need from that page. Everything tightly integrated with the slicer so you don’t need to have multiple file menus and stuff like that. So you should just be able to start the print from the slicer and then monitor it from the page. But if you want to do those things you still can? We quickly talked about this. This is still open source. You’re releasing the files once you start shipping. Yeah. But it’s not being locked down and people physically cannot change print parameters because you know, we want that. Of course, everybody can compile the firmware and it’s actually simpler now. It is so nice that when we develop we can use JTAG or ST link. Oh, debugging… Yeah, so you don’t have to print out messages through a serial port to debug, which is like crazy. Let’s jump into the mechanical design of the printer a bit because it is different to your previous printer. It’s a cantilever design so if that bumped this table, is this all I’m gonna start shaking, right? I think that’s one of the concerns that people are having. Pretty much, no – because the whole Z-axis and also X-axis is supported by the two 10 millimeter rods. Twisting is prevented by having the aluminium extrusion here. So it is pretty tough. I’m sure you’ve got it under control, but it looks… different. Somebody’s already commented on the on the live stream from yesterday: Hey, one of the first mods is gonna be just adding a second Z-axis. Okay, or you can just buy the MK3 then, but yeah. We tested it and it’s fine. And this is reminding me when we came out with the MK3 and everybody was like, “Oh my god. This is going to shake as hell”, “We’ll never get a nice print out of it”…and look where we are now. So we tested it. I wouldn’t do a larger bed or a larger X-axis like this. But for this size it’s more than sufficient. I posted a video on Twitter, when I was running over 100 millimeters a second. I think that was 3000 millimeters per second, squared, acceleration. That’s more than MK3 does. We have a little bit smaller bed. So we have less weight and the extruder is much more… Speaking of the extruder, that is one of the big changes, you now have a bowden on there. You’ve always avoided bowdens on the previous Mark-something machines. You now have bowden… …except for the MMU 1.0 that was a bowden system technically too. You now have bowden and a custom hotend that… kinda looks like it’s still… compatible-ish, but it’s it’s definitely a custom block. What is that? The nozzle is E3D compatible I’m not sure if we are going to ship the real ones here, but… The “ones” as in, ones made by E3D. So this is a custom design I assume? Yeah, but the rest of the hotend is designed by us. Because to optimize the price and the weight of the extruder we needed to use parts for more than one use. Basically the heatsink of the extruder is also part of the X carriage. It’s a mechanical component as well. Yes. Also, we needed to make custom heat breaks and to provide cooling we needed to make custom heater blocks… …the nozzle is still compatible. This one is not an all-metal design, I guess that’s just one of the trade-offs you have to make, because making a Teflon line is a bit cheaper than making a highly precisely machined or metal one. So you mentioned the top temperature… Can I believe you on those 280 degrees? The teflon tube doesn’t go into the heater block But when we were testing it, and we still going through the test, if you heat up the nozzle to 300 degree Celsius, the place where the teflon tube ends is like 160 degree Celsius. I’ll have to take one apart to actually know what it looks like on the inside. The heatsink is much much much more efficient, than with the round ones. Because this allows much more air to go through. So it also cools the heat break much much easier. One question that’s come up in yesterday’s stream too is the part cooling is just from one side now. So it’s just from back. It doesn’t have that wraparound cooling as MK3 has. Will we see a difference in print quality there? This is similar cooling to what we had on the MK1. There are different ways how you can look at the cooling. This allows much more air to go through because it is not redirected. It is from further distance. So it fans out a little bit. You are making a blanket of cool air. I would say it’s on par with the MK3. I have to test whether the front and back sides actually looked the same as far as overhangs go. Given some of the parts are newer than on the MK3, as in the board, the hotend is a new part and it has better drivers and all that. Will we be seeing some parts of those back ported onto MK3? That is a question which everybody knows the answer to, right? It’s obvious we are not going to have two separate ecosystems, we want to merge the firmware teams. But the real question is, when is that coming? I don’t know because we need to wait until this launch. And take feedback from this and based on that, we finalize what we want in the MK4. Based on that I can find out when we will be able to manufacture it and release it. It’s not going to happen in one month. Next year. There’s gonna be a MK4 obviously, but there’s not gonna be a… MK3S – 2 or something I don’t think it would be worth the upgrade just to switch MK3 to 32-bits. People are gonna do it, but… Of course, but… This board is not suited for the MK3. What is it missing? Not much, but as we are thinking about schools, we want to use the power brick. Right. Power to the board goes by this connector and it can’t handle the full MK3. So, MK4 will see a slightly different board with 32-bits support and all that. With quantities we are making, it makes sense to make custom board for each of the printers. We are not going to just bump the MK3 to 32-bit. Because that wouldn’t add much. If you need Ethernet, you can use Raspberry Pi, lot of people do it. We want to add more than just 32-bit. Because the print quality wouldn’t increase. MK4 – my speculation: because now you have a low cost printer, $349 Your only competition is now the next step after MK3, as a kit. Considering you now have a low cost option, does that mean the MK4 will be a more expensive printer? Because you don’t need to cater to a lower cost audience anymore? If we are to make a successor to MK3, then it will be the same price, as we kept it all the… But will it be? Time will tell I guess. I don’t know the final specs, but with cheaper 32-bit processor, we could bump the bill of material somewhere else. Yeah. That would be nice to see. Do you have any other news to share at this point of future developments? Yes, we do It is a running joke in the community, right? Everybody asks for a bigger printer, So what do you do? You release a smaller one. So that’s why we also, I would say tease, a larger machine. Prusa XL CoreXY release has been mentioned on the website. We are thinking about 40x40x40 That is very usable size wise Somewhere around that. We aim to be between $1200 to $1500 Take that, Ultimaker! How much is Ultimaker nowadays? I think 5500 for the S5 or something, yeah. S3 is like 4500-ish? 3000-4000, something like that. We were joking in the office that if you want to buy the S5 Pro bundle, it’s somewhere around 30 MINIs you can buy for that price. For XL we have prepared a new extruder which will be pretty sweet. Also, we have a new heat bed system for that big one. Good old PCB + magnetic bed is not cutting it any more at that size? It will still be flexible, I hope? Yeah, it will still use the sheets. But there are other… cool stuff. Very excited for that. But for the time being, this is it’s just nice and cute. There’s one feature we didn’t show on the video. You can tilt the screen. Oh yeah, Mikolas has actually posted that. Best feature. Let me demonstrate. You can tilt that back and forth. That’s something that I’ve noticed on some printers. MK3 is actually pretty good, but on other printers it’s a weird angle and you have to crouch down to read it. Yes. That is for a farm, if you have multiple shelves, so you don’t have to go like this or like this. We like to have the printers easy to use. That is why for example, SL1 original design had the screen flat on the face of the printer and nobody liked me if when I forced them to redo it, so you can see it and actually use it comfortably. It’s just those little things, because again, you guys are actually using your own printers to make more printers. You’re not using the Prusa MINI to make more Prusa MINIs exclusively. That would have been really cool. Just having the MK3s print MK3s and the MINIs print MINIs. But these are just a regular part of your print farm cranking out parts, with durability and quality tested in that way. People usually compare the printers just by the parameters. I think that is why… …somebody had previously other printer and then they start using ours then they can appreciate, because we optimized the ease of use. It’s joy to use compared to some other printers where you have to scrape everything. You have to prepare the beds for printing and stuff like that. So this has all the quality of life improvements we have on other printers, even though it doesn’t have all the features like MMU support and stuff like that. As a basic printer.. I mean I still didn’t test one. I can’t give a fully qualified opinion on it. But it looks nice. Thank you for the time. Thanks for the interview. Thank you. Looking forward to trying one of these out. Yes, thank you.