Prusa needs to get its pricing and product act in order.
 
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EsotericMaker
(@esotericmaker)
Trusted Member
Prusa needs to get its pricing and product act in order.

I bought an MK3S+ (kit) about 2 years for just under $1000 -- and at the time it was a great printer at a premium yet reasonable price.

Today, I got an email offering an "upgrade" to an MK4 for "only" $579, not including any of the plastic parts which I would need to print myself.

This seems absolutely (i.e. batshit) crazy pricing for an upgrade when I can get a brand new, fully assembled Sovol SV08 which is a Voron clone for *exactly* the same price as this upgrade.

Similarly, I can get a brand new, fully assembled Bambu Labs P1P for just $20 more than this upgrade offer.

Heck, I could even buy a brand new MK4 kit for $799, meaning that the upgrade kit is only $200 less than the cost of buying the new MK4 printer itself which comes with all the plastic parts! So this upgrade offer essentially values my MK3 at perhaps $100.

What is Prusa smoking????
While I love the company based on its past innovation and commitment to open source, they need to "smell the coffee" and start producing competitive printers at competitive pricing or they won't have any future.

I honestly cannot see myself buying another Prusa unless and until they become substantially more competitive which is sad...

Posted : 30/05/2024 4:04 am
Mercur12 liked
Rainer
(@rainer-2)
Reputable Member
RE: Prusa needs to get its pricing and product act in order.

You have chosen the most expensive and least recommendable upgrade kit for the comparison. Just to nag about the price? 

But the fact that there is a much cheaper way is simply ignored. With the 3.5 update you have the modern electronics and display. This means input shaper and better print quality at higher speed. 

Which of your mentioned manufacturers offers you the possibility to improve your printer after years? Support for the old model will be discontinued at the latest when the next model arrives.

Not to mention free upgrades such as input shapers for the Mini.

I think everyone realizes that Prusa, as a European manufacturer, can't keep up with the dumping prices in China.  Nevertheless, Prusa also has to react to the competition. Especially with longevity, constant further development, reasonable upgrades, very good material quality, high operational reliability and open source. 

Outside Europe, the shipping costs and taxes are not ideal.  There is certainly still potential there.

Posted : 30/05/2024 4:09 pm
EsotericMaker
(@esotericmaker)
Trusted Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: Prusa needs to get its pricing and product act in order.

First, I chose the upgrade that would take me closest to other next gen printers. Otherwise, the price/performance comparisons would be meaningless. I could also have skipped the upgrade comparison and say that an assembled and shipped MK4S+ costs twice the price of new entrants that are at least as capable.

Second, I do value open source and upgradeability which is the reason I bought a Prusa in the first place and is the reason that I have hesitated to switch to a closed ecosystem like Bambu Labs.

The Sovol v8 is however *very* intriguing. In addition to being at least as capable if not superior to a similarly assembled MK4 yet half the price, it is fully open source -- arguably the Sovol v8 is more open source than the Prusa since all the drawings, specs, and software have been released -- more than the Prusa which keeps some elements proprietary. Plus the Sovol v8 is based on the Voron 2.4 which itself is a large open source community with an ever expanding number of creative mods and upgrade paths.

Arguable, the number of mods and extensions for the Prusa bed slingers are much more limited -- I did about half a dozen mods in my first year and then ran out of interesting things to do.

While it's still early, it seems like the Sovol v8 is enabling a  very active and creative group of experimenters and developers who are enabling DIY extensions and upgrades in so many ways. That plus the fully open source nature makes it unlikely that one will be left with an obsolete model that can neither be fixed nor upgraded.

I don't say this to dump or hate on Prusa -- indeed, I want Prusa to thrive since competition helps us all, while selfishly it will ensure my MK3S+ remains supported. Plus, I want multiple open-source oriented companies to flourish.

Rather, I am saying this to encourage Prusa to stop resting on its laurels and respond competitively. If that means moving some manufacture to China, then so be it -- that beats going out of business due to unaffordable economics. At the rate that other companies are entering and innovating, I think within just a couple of years, Prusa will be lucky to be even a niche player catering to an ever diminishing number of diehard fans. I wish this weren't true!!!!

Posted : 30/05/2024 6:01 pm
Mercur12
(@mercur12)
Active Member
RE: Prusa needs to get its pricing and product act in order.

I personally saw the update to MK3.5 as the cheapest option, so that I could later update from MK3.5 to MK4/MK3.9 in the next step.

Unfortunately, this has proven to be a false assumption. There is currently no option for a step-by-step update from MK3.5 --> MK4 (contrary to previous company practice).

@Rainer: the update to MK3.5 that you praised has unfortunately confirmed my view that the MK3.5 is treated very poorly by developers and only the most serious errors are fixed, if at all! Even recognized bugs (e.g. #3851 - Pinda outside of steel sheet when performing MBL) have been confirmed for months, but have not been fixed til now (Fw. 6.0.1).

It seems as if there is only active firmware development for the MK4.

And since there is currently no option to update from MK3.5 to MK4, the only way out of this dead end is to sell the MK3.5. In that case: "Bye PRUSA"!

But I would be happy if PRUSA recognized that the MK3.5 clientele deserves better treatment... and takes care of it!

Posted : 31/05/2024 7:34 am
Teckgeek
(@teckgeek)
New Member
RE: Prusa needs to get its pricing and product act in order.

@marcus while it is true there is no current path in kit form you could upgrade relatively close. Once backlogs are cleared I think we will see more Nextruder parts become more available. Right now you could buy a MK4 parts kit, love board, and a couple minor accessories for 172 + sh and have 95% of the parts needed to upgrade to a mk 3.9, if you print your own plastic parts.

You would have to wait for Prusa to get the planetary gear listed in the shop but you’d be close at least. Then if they sell the motors later as well you have the route to mk4.

Posted : 31/05/2024 7:40 pm
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