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Original Prusa IDEX printer?  

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Hoof Hearted
(@hoof-hearted)
Trusted Member
Original Prusa IDEX printer?

I'm just posting this to ask if people think an IDEX printer would be a logical next step for Prusa? I often print models which have some text in another color. So I currently have to have the text raised, and do a color change each print. It would much better if I could have both colours simultaneously loaded and have the text embedded in the model. I know I can achieve this with the Prusa XL, but that printer is just too big for me. Something the same size as the MK4 with two extruders on the X axis would be fantastic for me. I know the carriage would have to be wider to allow both extruders to get out of the way.

Posted : 15/05/2024 5:13 pm
JP Guitars
(@jp-guitars)
Estimable Member
RE: Original Prusa IDEX printer?

Surely that is what the MMU is for?

Posted : 15/05/2024 9:02 pm
Hoof Hearted
(@hoof-hearted)
Trusted Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: Original Prusa IDEX printer?

You're right of course....  but I've never considered the MMU because it's so slow and wastes so much filament.  An IDEX printer should be just as fast as a single filament machine and not waste filament. Some other manufacturers have an IDEX printer in their range. I think that a Prusa IDEX would be quite popular. I'd certainly buy one.

Posted : 15/05/2024 9:33 pm
RedDawg liked
RedDawg
(@reddawg)
Reputable Member
RE: Original Prusa IDEX printer?

Agree with thesecomments as well. I have had a dual extruder mod for the MK3 on my wish list for years, and have said so several times. Intelligent design should minimize the build space lost.

Hear ye, Hear ye! Step right up folks and get your Government salvation here! Less than $.002 per word! Amazon.com/dp/B0B8XMMFP4

Posted : 15/05/2024 9:51 pm
fuchsr
(@fuchsr)
Famed Member
RE: Original Prusa IDEX printer?

I'm sure for Prusa one of the issues is how many versions of firmware and slicer modifications can they afford with the software team they have. Given what looks to me like a general drop in quality of their software/firmware releases, I'm not sure I'd be excited about them taking on another architecture, especially as they have a foot in that door (multi-color printing) with the MMU and the XL (I guess that makes it two feet).

Posted : 15/05/2024 11:13 pm
_KaszpiR_ liked
BM
 BM
(@bm-2)
Active Member
RE: Original Prusa IDEX printer?

I find the idex solution really interesting because the MMU seams so complex if you use only 2 entries. I think a mk3.5 community Mod would be great with a sourcing from the second hand i3 mk3 print head on the market right know.

I just saw a short from eastmount3d-bywebberen119 on a i3 clone:

https://youtube.com/shorts/mngvZSozaxQ?si=3XlxKMHnYKXhYwHO

Posted : 21/05/2024 3:09 pm
Diem
 Diem
(@diem)
Illustrious Member

This is one of the easiest multicolour situations to handle manually.  It was (still is but I use the XL now) my commonest multicolour requirement, no need for raised text:

https://forum.prusa3d.com/forum/prusaslicer/manual-multicolor/

https://forum.prusa3d.com/forum/original-prusa-i3-mk3s-mk3-how-do-i-print-this-printing-help/acting-as-my-own-mmu

Cheerio,

Posted : 21/05/2024 4:21 pm
s e v e n
(@s-e-v-e-n)
Active Member
RE: Original Prusa IDEX printer?

Prusa adding an IDEX printer to the lineup would be a wise and welcomed decision.  After upgrading to the MK3.5  along with the MMU3 with the hope of  printing with HIPS as a PETG breakaway material, I've come aware the MMU3 is not a multilateral device, rather only multi-color in the same material.   When printing with different materials, what gets laid down between switching materials becomes contamenated  by the other material.  Because it's flowing out the same extruder. Increasing the size the size of purge tower, sometimes works, sometimes doesn't.  It such BS, and I don't have time for it.  

If the set-up with the MMU3 worked out for supports, I intended to purchase a MK4 and another MMU3.  This plan is now scrapped.  I suppose there's the XL, but then again not as ideal as  IDEX or even a lifting dual extruder.  I've considered a used Ultimaker, but they are becoming a bit behind the times.  Perhaps Phrozen might offer something in the future. I really hate the idea of  purchasing a Chinese printer, but there a few other market choices at the moment.  So I am considering the Snapmaker J1S or A Raise 3D machine out of reluctance, because of PRUSA screwing around with other shit.  I feel my days with PRUSA are winding down in favor of what I need, rather than for what Prusa offers.  As a company if they can't read where the market is going and what costumers want.  Layoffs of PRUSA staff are somewhere in the future.  So sad.

Posted : 25/05/2024 10:22 pm
BM
 BM
(@bm-2)
Active Member
RE: Original Prusa IDEX printer?

Another recently added mod but running on klipper:

https://www.printables.com/model/871148-prusa-mk3s-idex/comments

Posted : 29/05/2024 5:27 am
Saphir
(@saphir)
Active Member
RE: Original Prusa IDEX printer?

Just a thought - wouldn't it be great to connect an IDEX printer to an MMU? That way you could always preload the next color you need. If you need extra space to "park" the unused extruder anyway, you could also plan a permanent purge device directly underneath it.

Printing PLA and PETG at the same time? See the Guide for MultiMaterialSupports ----- Ejecting Buffer cassettes is not satisfying? May the Fork be with you!

Posted : 29/05/2024 6:35 am
Hoof Hearted
(@hoof-hearted)
Trusted Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: Original Prusa IDEX printer?

Great idea, but i'd put a different perspective on it.... The main drawback with the MMU is that it's a pain to load filament when your model only requires a single filament. Unless of course you go into the settings and remove it from the configuration.

With an IDEX, and an MMU on just one of the extruders, you've got an easy way to print single filament models. Just use the extruder which doesn't have the MMU. It's effectively a standard single extruder machine.

Posted : 29/05/2024 7:23 am
Saphir
(@saphir)
Active Member
RE:

However, you then only have the advantage of filament pre-loading when changing colors from the main color to another color. This would almost completely negate the speed advantage in most multicolor applications.

For the application you mentioned, I use a piece of PTFE tubing about 5 cm long, which I have inserted into slot 5 of the MMU instead of the PTFE from Buffer 5. I hardly ever use Buffer 5, so I don't mind changing the PTFE tubing in these rare cases. For fast single-color printing, I hang the filament directly into the spool holder next to my MMU and guide it via a filament guide directly to MMU slot 5. The filament guide with ~1cm PTFE tubing ensures that the spool does not unwind even when the filament is ejected. It is important that there are two tubes and not one continuous one.

A positive side effect is also that the MMU always resets to the far right, which is theoretically "Slot 6". This means that it only takes two hardware button presses to start loading the filament (1x left and 1x center on the MMU).

I'm not at home right now, but if you're interested, I can take some pictures later and put them online.

Printing PLA and PETG at the same time? See the Guide for MultiMaterialSupports ----- Ejecting Buffer cassettes is not satisfying? May the Fork be with you!

Posted : 29/05/2024 12:16 pm
ntdesign
(@ntdesign)
Reputable Member
RE: Original Prusa IDEX printer?

Just a thought - wouldn't it be great to connect an IDEX printer to an MMU? That way you could always preload the next color you need. If you need extra space to "park" the unused extruder anyway, you could also plan a permanent purge device directly underneath it.

The 3D Chameleon works with any printer, nothing is stopping you from putting one on an IDEX 😉
I don't think PR are ever going this route, it's way too niche and MMU is complicated enough as it is.

Posted : 29/05/2024 12:24 pm
Saphir
(@saphir)
Active Member
RE: Original Prusa IDEX printer?

Yes, you could be right about that. If I roughly estimate the most likely hardware required for this in my head, we would be in the price range of a known tool changer with an "MK4 IDEX" + adapted MMU, which allows you to universally apply all loaded colors to any extruder. Only with much more clutter, cables, weak points, software stumbling blocks and a smaller build space. So it would actually be more of a solution for the hobbyist corner.

Printing PLA and PETG at the same time? See the Guide for MultiMaterialSupports ----- Ejecting Buffer cassettes is not satisfying? May the Fork be with you!

Posted : 29/05/2024 2:00 pm
ntdesign
(@ntdesign)
Reputable Member
RE: Original Prusa IDEX printer?

I really see no crucial advantage of IDEX at this point. There are concepts to do toolchanging even on Mk3 style printers, with roughly the same loss of build space as IDEX. You'd end up with a much lighter gantry, no restrictions on speed or what toolhead you use (can even be different height in principle) and the software is already there. But these haven't caught on so far, and I think the reason for that is most people really only need multi-color. Multimaterial is for (semi-)professionals and enthusiasts, who would pay premium for a reliable machine or be willing to tinker a lot. Also keep in mind it's not trivial to design multimaterial parts meaningfully. Soluble supports might be a scenario where it still matters, but that will change once toolchangers become cheaper.

Examples (for giggles mainly):

Posted : 29/05/2024 2:51 pm
ventrue3000
(@ventrue3000)
Active Member
RE: Original Prusa IDEX printer?
Posted by: @ntdesign

But these haven't caught on so far, and I think the reason for that is most people really only need multi-color.

I think the reason is simply the price. If they haven't already, people will find the need once it becomes available at a price they are willing to pay. Same thing happened with colour, basically.

Personally, I think multicolour is great and useful, but multi-material for supports alone would be at least as much of a gamechanger.

Posted : 30/05/2024 7:27 pm
ntdesign liked
ntdesign
(@ntdesign)
Reputable Member
RE: Original Prusa IDEX printer?

Personally I find the hassle and space requirements of MMU style systems unbearable, but I had to get one to understand that. The price for toolchangers (and Corexy platforms) will come down quickly.

Multi-material supports are a definitely game changer. Since I have my XL I just don't care about overhangs anymore when I design. Zero contact distance PLA supports for PETG and PETG supports for flex are incredibly powerful, cheap, give perfect surfaces and just work every single time (unlike soluble supports). I even support horizontal holes for perfect roundness, works a treat. But a few years ago I printed some ASA with HIPS supports on the MMU, which are cheap and print at the same temps. They just pull off, but you can also dissolve them in limonene (or use it as support interface for other materials). HIPS is cheap, prints well and is a good material for many applications by itself. If you need multimaterial supports only every once in a while it's a good workaround, and you can print a lot of ASA before the extra filament cost would justify getting an IDEX machine.

Posted : 31/05/2024 9:25 am
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