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Original Prusa i3 MK3S With MMU2S Review

I have to be careful with this review. LOL. Many of you know that I am an official BETA tester for Prusa Research. I assure you I don’t get any form of compensation for this review. Yes, I am a huge fan of the Prusa brand and that obviously has a reason. Josef Prusa and his incredible team create wonderful 3D printers. They even have there own in-house filament production facility where they create some of the very best filaments on the planet. I think that is something we can only applaud.

I did visit Josef Prusa (and my buddy Jennes) just last year. We had had an amazing time there. But enough of this, time to talk about my Original Prusa i3 MK3S with MMU2S (Multi-Material Upgrade v2S).

Original Prusa i3 MK3S

The Original Prusa i3 MK3S is the successor of the award-winning Original Prusa i3 MK2 3D printer. It has a newly designed extruder with Bontech drive gear, many sensor upgrades, and a new magnetic MK52 heatbed with replaceable PEI spring steel print sheet which is available in both smooth PEI and textured powder coated PEI. Frame stability has improved through aluminium extrusions for the Y-axis. It has a power panic feature which gives the ability to finish active print jobs after a power loss. The EINSY Rambo motherboard with super silent Trinamic2130 drivers also is a nice piece of technology.

It is very silent during operation even in “normal” printing mode. The board can even detect skipped layers and layer shifting so failed prints are “almost” a thing of the past. One of the most important advantages of buying an Original Prusa 3D printer is that you will also have access to great customer care directly from Prusa Research technicians and also the ever-growing online Prusa Community. There are so many experienced users from all around the world. And many of them are able and willing to help out with any questions or problems. The connected MMU2S (Multi-Material Upgrade 2S) gives you the ability to print models with up to 5 colours, and/or materials.

multi material Anatomic Heart in five colors using the MMU2S
Just finished a multi material Anatomic Heart in five colors using the MMU2S.

Beta Testing For Prusa Research

As I told earlier in this post, I am an official “external” BETA tester for Prusa Research which means that I test many different aspects of their printers. I test normal customer experience, new 3D printers (SL1/MINI), new Firmware versions, print settings, and so much more. I can say I am an experienced Prusa printer user and tested many different configurations.

The Original Prusa i3 MK3S performs better than any printer I used in the price range below €1000,-. Because it can print in temperatures of almost 300 degrees Celcius it can print most materials available today. Some materials tend to behave better when printed in an enclosure. Most common materials like PLA and PETG perform great without enclosure on the MK3S. I also print many hard to print materials such as carbon-filled PA and architectural stone- or clay infused filaments so I needed to create an enclosed environment form my MK3S.

Prusa IKEA Lack Enclosure v2

Luckily there is a cheap solution for the i3 MK3S with MMU2S. You can download files from the PrusaPrinters site. After that, you’re able to print the parts for the Prusa IKEA Lack enclosure v2 (for MMU2S). You can actually build a good enclosure out of a cheap IKEA Lack table. Just add 5 acrylic sheets and some PETG printed parts. It looks great and works amazingly well too. The temperature in my printer room is around 19 degrees Celcius most of the time. Sometimes it reaches much higher or lower temperatures. When my enclosure is completely closed off the level is around 33 degrees Celcius inside it with the build plate set at 95 degrees. This is perfect for PA and other materials prone to warping and cracking.

It’s All About Proper Calibration

Most of the time when I’m printing multi-material objects I’m using PLA. PLA is very easy to print on any 3D printer. It is available in many colours and performs very well in the MMU2S unit. Some users are experiencing issues when using the MMU. In my opinion, it really is a matter of proper calibration. When following the steps in the 3D Printing Handbook by Josef Prusa and using the advised (and calibrated) filaments you are able to achieve amazing things on your Original Prusa i3 MK3S with MMU2S.

How Does The MMU2S Work?

The MMU2S works as follow. You slice your 5 colour model using PrusaSlicer. Let’s say you’ve imported a model with 5 different colours. You can import the model in PrusaSlicer as 5 separate files. After this, the software will ask you if you would like to handle the model as a multi-material print and for this example, we choose yes. After this, it’s time to feed your 5 prefered colours of PLA through the 5 PTFE tubes and the filament buffer. Your Original Prusa i3 MK3S 3D printer has one single extruder.

The MMU unit has a selector that moves left and right to select one of the 5 inputs. Ones the correct input is selected the unit pushes the material via a single tube to the extruder of the iMK3S. A sensor picks up when the filament hits the extruder gear and takes over from the MMU unit. It first wipes previously used material out the nozzle printing a purge block. When the new colour comes out and resumes printing the chosen section of the model. To do all this, the MMU2S unit uses 3 stepper motors and an extra controller board connected to the EINSY Rambo board of your printer.

RepBox For The MMU2S

Prusa style RepBox by Repkord
Source: Repkord.com

Another cool thing to mention is that Pooch from Repkord was a guest during last weeks PrusaLive YouTube episode. Jo Prusa asked him about the possibility to include the handy RepBox as an option in the Prusa webshop. Pooch from Repkord loved the idea so we might see an Original Prusa RepBox in the official Prusa webshop soon. It would be a nice addon for MMU(2S) users. The RepBox is perfect to house your filaments for single extruder 3D printers too. I am going to buy one the day it gets released.

Conclusion

I made many incredibly beautiful prints using the Original Prusa i3 MK3S with MMU2S by Josef Prusa. One thing to consider before buying the MMU2S is that you really need to be a bit more experienced user that knows how to fix issues for this upgrade to work properly. Jo Prusa is very honestly telling this on his website and social channels. Another “downside” for some makers might be that your print time will increase with multi-material models. This is because of all the tool changes and colour wipes the 3D printer needs to do.

And yes, these colour changes cost a lot of material as well. There are ways to minimise the amount of waste by using features as “wipe into infill”. There will always be waste material when printing multi-material objects in this manner. Sometimes the weight of the purge block is two times the amount of the printed item itself. That only is in extreme circumstances making thousands of tool changes. You sometimes need all 5 colours in one layer. If that is the case from the bottom to the top of the model it costs more material. These really are the only downsides of the MMU2S I can think of.

For me, the Original Prusa i3 MK3S with MMU2S is still the number one choice for multi-material 3D printing. PrusaSlicer and the Hardware work together seamlessly. The Firm- and Software are updated continuously. 24/7 Customer Service and Support is the best I’ve seen. And the Prusa Community is always there to help out and is rapidly growing.

When buying an Original Prusa i3 MK3S, you have two options. You can buy the 3D printer built and tested by Prusa technicians. There is also the option of purchasing the kit version. Building the printer yourself is great fun. Also, you will get to know your i3 MK3S in the best possible way. The incredibly detailed (online) manual makes the assembly super easy.

The MMU2S unit is only available in kit version. Assembly of the MMU2S is not very hard. It also comes with detailed manual and instructions.

A nice selection of prints made with the Original Prusa i3 MK3S with MMU2S.

Are you considering buying an Original Prusa i3 MK3S printer with MMU2S, just the printer or a different Original Prusa product? Then please use my affiliate link to the ONE AND ONLY OFFICIAL Prusa Research webshop! In this way, you are supporting me big time and this helps me a lot in future projects.


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The Creality CR6-SE Kickstarter

Creality CR6-SE

Creality has released yet another 3D printer and named it the CR6-SE. This Chinese manufacturer is well known in the 3D Printing Community all over the world and sold a massive amount of machines to makers and professionals everywhere. Normally Creality sells their 3D printers via platforms like AliExpress, BangGood, or the Creality website but this time they choose a completely different path.

Creality chooses to do a Kickstarter for the Creality CR6-SE which makes this the first-ever crowdfunded 3D printer for the Chinese manufacturer. Some members of the online community were complaining a little bit about this move from Creality but after only two days they managed to get funded over ten times the set goal of €90,817. So many other 3D printing enthusiasts do not mind that Kickstarter is the chosen path for the CR6-SE. At this point, the new 3D printer got funded for €3,039,671 by 8,795 Backers which is pretty amazing.

About CREALITY Official

Shenzhen Creality 3D Technology, founded in 2014, focuses on design, research, and production of 3D printers, and 3D printing-related products. Consisting of professional researchers and skilled engineers, the Creality R&D team constantly strives for creative function and excellent user experience. The company’s R&D investments on 3d printing cover FDM/resin 3D printers, 3D scanners, filaments, resin, as well as 3D printed drones and robots that back up STEAM education.

CREALITY CR6-SE Specs & Other Information

The Creality CR6-SE is built from Aluminium and very easy to set up because of the modular design. The frame is simple yet robust and holds a handle on top for easy transportation. The CR6-SE is easy to use and is equipped with leveling-free technology for superior accuracy. The printer has a nice 4.3″ inch Full-Color Touch Display and uses the latest silent Trinamic drivers for noise reduction. Feeding filament into the hotend is simple with the new reliable extruder, and the printer is equipped with an easy to maintain modular nozzle.

The brand new Creality CR6-SE

Specifications

We can see that the Creality CR6-SE has a nice large build-volume of 235x235x250mm, it needs 1.75mm filament, and has a maximum nozzle temperature of 260°Celsius. It has a 32Bit Motherboard and silent Trinamic TMC2209 stepper motor drivers. (These are installed because Creality already exceeded some of their goals) The heated-bed can be heated up to 110°Celsius and the printer can reach a max print speed of 80 to 100mm/s. According to Creality, it is possible to print almost any material on the CR6-SE like PLA, PETG, ASA, ABS, Wood, and even flexibles like TPU. I wish I had a unit to test all this for myself but we have to believe our friends from Creality for now. The printer also comes with a filament sensor and can resume printing after a power outage. The supported languages are Chinese and English and you can use every Open Source Slicer on the market like PrusaSlicer, Repetier Host, Cura, and many others. 

On the right side of the printer is where you can see the 4.3″ inch touch screen, and on the right side sits the spool holder. Another cool thing about the Creality CR6-SE is that it is equipped with an embedded tool/nozzle drawer under the build platform. And I also think that the leveling-free technology on this new Creality 3D printer must be something similar to the Automatic Mesh Bed Leveling on Original Prusa 3D printers and if that’s the case I am sure I would love to use this printer myself. The CR6-SE comes with a carborundum glass build plate which is similar to the Anycubic Ultrabase system. I personally never used a build plate like this but I’m sure it performs very well. When I started 3D printing I used glass build plates most of the time and they worked great also.

Should you back the Creality CR6-SE on Kickstarter?

I clearly can’t answer that for you but what I do know is that I am pretty certain that you will get a very good 3D printer for a very good price. The final retail price of the Creality CR6-SE will be around €400,- but if you are willing to back this printer on Kickstarter now you will pay a lot less and will be rewarded for your support. The Early Bird price is only €290,- or $319,-.

If you would like to support this project after reading this blog post then please be so kind as to use THIS LINK. This will take you to the Creality CR6-SE Kickstarter campaign page and when you buy something you will also support me a little bit in my work and I will be very grateful for that. The link will be available until June 6, 2020, so better decide quickly.

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The Zodiac Nozzle by RevTec3D

The last couple of months were interesting for me when it comes to nozzles for your 3D printer’s hotend. I’m printing quite a few very abrasive filaments from time to time, and a regular brass nozzle is not a tool to be used when it comes to these products. When using carbon or glass filled materials you need something stronger. Luckily some manufacturers make specialized nozzles for the job. The E3D v6 hotend with the standard v6 brass nozzle is one of the most commonly used hotends on the market, and already there are solutions on the market like regular E3D hardened steel nozzles and the new coated Nozzle-X. Other manufacturers came up with great inventions too like 3DVerkstan with the Olsson Ruby nozzle and P3D with their coated aircraft aluminum- and hardened steel nozzle.

Zodiac – High Performance 3D Printing Nozzle

Today we will talk about a new player in the field. I found out about this nozzle on Instagram. I was browsing through my timeline and found this beautiful picture of a v6 style nozzle. The Zodiac high-performance extruder nozzle for 3D printing. It looks great but after some research, I found out it performs great as well. Zodiac is a brand of RevTec 3d, an Austrian based 3D printing service and they were so nice to send me one of the Zodiac v6 nozzles for testing purposes. The nozzle comes in a beautiful, jewelry type of box and ones you’ve opened the box you will find the nozzle, a small sample and it’s number. Every Zodiac nozzle is inspected and numbered before it leaves the factory. My nozzle is number 0201.

The Zodiac has a hardened tooling steel body with a micro-polish finish on the internal bore and is finished with a base- and top-layer coating for adhesive strength, high abrasion and wear resistance. I installed my Zodiac nozzle on my Original Prusa i3 MK3S with MMU2S (Multi-Material Upgrade) by Josef Prusa. The MK3S already is equipped with an E3D v6 hot-end so I only had to change the nozzle and calibrate the first layer again. I did do an additional upgrade to the MK3S and installed a hot-end heater by Maxiwatt but more on that in another blog post.

First I tried some regular materials. I used some PLA, PETG, and ASA to see the performance of the nozzle with these filaments and all prints looked amazing. The only thing I always change with any steel nozzle is the print temperature. I tend to set it around 10 °Celsius higher. Regular brass nozzles are better in heat transfer than steel nozzles. The results were impressive so time to use some more abrasive materials.

I started with PA-CF Pro from FiberThree. A carbon filled filament with major PA 6 content, with very high tensile strength, low warping effect and chemical resistent to many chemicals. This material is printed in high temperatures, around 275 °Celsius and the Zodiac nozzle handles these well. The nozzle can handle temperatures up to 300 °Celsius without problems which is great for most materials on the market. I choose to print all the new extruder parts for my Original Prusa i3 MK3S and the quality of these parts is amazing. They are super strong and look great. And the Zodiac still looked like new after printing 100 grams of this wearable material. I could find NO damage on the outside of the nozzle tip. I do have to push much more material through the nozzle to see how much it does to the outside, and more importantly, the Zodiac® bi-Layer coated inside of the nozzle. So I suggest I use the Zodiac for a couple of months before I report back with more information about the wear and overall performance of this nozzle. I do have some highly abrasive and mostly carbon- and glass-filled materials waiting to get printed so after a couple of hundred hours I will place the nozzle under a microscope to see the potential damage on its inside. I do already recommend this nozzle. The service these guys provide is great. And I am more than sure you will have many hours of pleasure with this upgrade.

Press HERE for Zodiac v6 Technical Data Sheet in my Knowledge Base.

Zodiac Nozzle on YouTube.

Web and Social

Instagram

RevTec 3D (In German)

The Zodiac Nozzle is available at 3D Jake

Netherlands

UK

International