In this article we will review the MK2.5S upgrade for the Original Prusa i3 MK2. We have always been happy with the old version of this preassembled 3D printer, and we used it heavily for a number of years. However, the introduction of the magnetic PEI sheets and later a powder coated spring steel sheets made us curious about these new features. After visiting the Prusa Research booth at TCT Show in Birmingham and actually holding and bending the magnetic sheet in our hands, it became obvious that we indeed needed this upgrade.
When buying the Original Prusa i3 MK2 we didn’t know that it would be named the best 3D Printer of the year according to “Make” magazine and to “3D Hubs” community. We first saw Prusa in action in autumn 2016 at one of the 3D printing events. Even though a 4-feeder upgrade (MMU) was not available for sale at that time, we thought it was good that the manufacturer was trying something new.
We’ve been considering buying one more 3D printer for a number of reasons. Firstly, we wanted to try something different. We’ve had a great experience with our DeltaWasp 2040, but wanted to go for a different process or a printer type. Another reason was that using only one machine was not enough. We usually aim at finishing a project before the start of the week ahead. We seriously thought of going for an SLA printer. However, after considering our options, we decided to buy the second FDM machine, but a cartesian type. It could utilise the same materials, save us money, space and time.
Original Prusa i3 MK2 Delivery -- Then and Now
Fulfilment time for orders placed in autumn 2016 was a huge 6 weeks plus there was a 2-week delay on top of that. Back then Prusa Research didn’t have enough manufacturing capacity. And we think it could be even longer if we didn’t keep bothering Lukas, an online chat assistant. We kept asking him for updates on the shipment every day for several days in a row. We must admit that the online chat support staff did their job very well. We can only imagine the pressure they must’ve been under at that time of the year. Everyone would like to have a new printer delivered in time for the Christmas break. In comparison, we received the new MK2.5S upgrade, as promised, in 3 days.
In our YouTube video below, we are showing the unboxing, calibrating, changing filament and our first prints on Original Prusa i3 MK2. On the first day, we tested two G-code files that came with the manufacturer’s SD card. The results were of a brilliant quality. Afterwards, we took a file from an STL sharing website. We were pleasantly surprised that Simplify3D supported Prusa i3 MK2 and had its default settings for slicing objects. Nowadays, when Prusa Research has its own sophisticated slicing software Prusa Slicer, we started using it much more often, especially for complicated projects.
Original Prusa Upgrade to MK2.5S
It took us roughly a week to 3D print all the necessary parts in PET, take the old MK2 apart and to reassemble with the new parts. In addition, we had to wait for the replacement for the old Thermistor Cartridge that was worn out. Our family dining table was invaded for almost 3 days. (No living creature got hurt, except for the moral damage from the aesthetically unpleasing eating area).
Even though instructions were clear, we found it challenging to 3D print all the necessary parts using the given G-codes. PET filament that came with the upgrade didn’t stick well to the old printing bed. On top of this, existing G-codes were set to crowd the build plate with tiny objects (including marking text). The poor machine had a lot of retracting to do on the 1st layer. Extra adhesion, slower speed and several attempts got the job done in the end.
Again, the instructions and step by step guidance were clear. What’s no-one mentioned was the scale of the screwing and unscrewing job. It is highly recommended to use an Allen key that has a proper handle.
We would warn against using an automatic/electric screwdriver. Some of the items are very fragile, and overtightening is very likely to break them. In one place in particular, during the new extruder assembly, which needed a ball driver Hex or Allen key. We would suggest to the Prusa Research team that they add a very thin screwdriver to this upgrade package as a freebie, especially for the stepper motor. Until then here is an option available on Amazon.
And the last issue we had was with the Thermistor. We didn’t snap it during the initial disassembly-assembly procedure, it got a bit of damage within the past 3 years. Presumably, it mostly happened during changing the nozzle. And here Amazon came to the rescue and delivered the replacement item in 2 days. Available on Amazon
Prusa i3 MK2.5S Upgrade for $200 -- Was it worth it?
Yes, it was. Since upgrading to MK2.5S we 3D printed a lot of various items: with supports, lithophanes, bulky models, etc. Turning our old Prusa into one with magnetic steel sheets was one step closer to plug and play. Can’t see any big difference when using the new extruder. Maybe this is just because the old extruder performed well, too. But the magnetic steel sheet is truly an addictive feature.
In the end, for 3D designers and makers it is important that 3D printing doesn’t eat much into precious time.
Read More & Compare: Desktop 3D Printers
Choose a desktop 3D printer that is right for you. Build volume, FDM or SLA, well-known brand or a start-up – all to consider. The table below helps to … Read more
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We bought our preasembled 3D printer and then upgrade to it here: