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Why are Prusa printers so good?  

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aw
 aw
(@aw-2)
Active Member
Why are Prusa printers so good?

I recently assembled a Mini+ and am floored with the difference between the Mini+ and my previous builds.  I understand that Prusa puts alot of work into this, but I cannot understand what the secret sauce is.  I would like to 'upgrade' my other printers to work as well as my Mini+ , but do not know where to start.  My general game plan is to adapt the printable prusa parts to the existing frame and steppers (along with adding smooth rods for the Y and X axis) and get a board with trinamic drivers, but I do not think that will get me all the way to my goal.  I hope this question is not out of line here, but I was hoping for some pointers.

Posted : 09/04/2022 7:57 am
cwbullet
(@cwbullet)
RE: Why are Prusa printers so good?

I think it sums up as quality, consistency, and support.  

--------------------
Chuck H
3D Printer Review Blog

Posted : 09/04/2022 10:26 am
Clemens M.
(@clemens-m)
Noble Member
RE: Why are Prusa printers so good?

Not easy to answer, my try:

I think the quality of any machine is the product out of quality of mechanics, knowledge of physics and dynamics, capability of electronics (driver, stepper, ...) quality of firmware and the understanding of the process in itself - melting plastic and pressing it trough a thin nozzle. So it is lots of fields of knowledge to interact with each other. And don't forget the slicing software which can help to compensate shortcomings in some of the named fields.

A good working concept / or printer is the best possible combination of all of these fields (and I am sure I missed some). And at the end have in mind that cost for a consumer product is an essential element (working against more or less all these fields).

Means - it looks easy to put parts together to build a 3D printer - but it is not that easy to get a good printer out of this (I work since two years on my own printer which is very close to a i3 MK2.5S - it is all this detail work which is necessary to get a little more out of it ...)

Best regards, Clemens

Posted : 09/04/2022 10:38 am
Clemens M.
(@clemens-m)
Noble Member
RE: Why are Prusa printers so good?

My 1. post only considered the machine itself, but it is also (in my opinion) the 24x7 support of Prusa - but there are always others who see it completely opposite!

Best regards, Clemens

 

Posted : 09/04/2022 10:53 am
cwbullet
(@cwbullet)
RE: Why are Prusa printers so good?

I have to agree with this post.  The engineering, in general, is phenomenal.  Rarely, it is over engineered.  

Posted by: @clemens-m

Not easy to answer, my try:

I think the quality of any machine is the product out of quality of mechanics, knowledge of physics and dynamics, capability of electronics (driver, stepper, ...) quality of firmware and the understanding of the process in itself - melting plastic and pressing it trough a thin nozzle. So it is lots of fields of knowledge to interact with each other. And don't forget the slicing software which can help to compensate shortcomings in some of the named fields.

A good working concept / or printer is the best possible combination of all of these fields (and I am sure I missed some). And at the end have in mind that cost for a consumer product is an essential element (working against more or less all these fields).

Means - it looks easy to put parts together to build a 3D printer - but it is not that easy to get a good printer out of this (I work since two years on my own printer which is very close to a i3 MK2.5S - it is all this detail work which is necessary to get a little more out of it ...)

Best regards, Clemens

 

--------------------
Chuck H
3D Printer Review Blog

Posted : 09/04/2022 11:05 am
fuchsr
(@fuchsr)
Famed Member
RE: Why are Prusa printers so good?

Not sure what the secret sauce is, if there is any. But even my old dirt-cheap Wanhao produced some very consistent high quality prints but I just couldn't handle the constant bed alignment and futzing with the print surface to get those good prints anymore. With the Prusa, once you have good live z, it just works. 

Posted : 09/04/2022 1:11 pm
cwbullet
(@cwbullet)
RE: Why are Prusa printers so good?

That is key to success - consistency.  

Posted by: @fuchsr

Not sure what the secret sauce is, if there is any. But even my old dirt-cheap Wanhao produced some very consistent high quality prints but I just couldn't handle the constant bed alignment and futzing with the print surface to get those good prints anymore. With the Prusa, once you have good live z, it just works. 

 

--------------------
Chuck H
3D Printer Review Blog

Posted : 09/04/2022 1:21 pm
BogdanH
(@bogdanh)
Honorable Member
RE: Why are Prusa printers so good?

I never owned another brand 3D printer, so I might be biased in this regard...

I think, it's the fool-proof printer design that makes Prusa printers "good". When other brands decided to go "as cheap as possible" route, Prusa knew what actually matters in 3D printing and decided to use parts & solutions that made printer quite more expensive (if we look at general specifications only). But time goes fast and competition moved forward and started to offer more and more appealing printers -at least that's my impression.
The next important thing is support. Ok, I never needed it (which again, is a "good" sign), but quite many seems to had good experience with it. For me, however, support is also software, which is constantly developed and improved (firmware & slicer). And finally, Prusa has a dedicated forum. Yes, it's driven by volunteers, but at least we know where to ask question.

Still, we need to be objective: Prusa is not the only one making "good" printers. It all depends on our priorities, skill, experince and expectations.

Just my 2c

[Mini+] [MK3S+BEAR]

Posted : 09/04/2022 1:43 pm
towlerg
(@towlerg)
Noble Member
RE: Why are Prusa printers so good?

And fine tuned profiles.

Posted : 09/04/2022 3:06 pm
JMcK
 JMcK
(@jmck)
Reputable Member
RE: Why are Prusa printers so good?

I think it's because Jo Prusa actually gives a shit about the product, and the community in general.

There's this odd irony that a lot of business have lost sight of. If you care more about the product and it's quality, you make more profit than if you care more about being profitable. I never had the opportunity to meet Prusa, but he seems to be sincere in that way.

Prime example, MakerBot made Thingiverse to help sell Maker Bot printers. it didn't work, and now neither does thingiverse. 

When someone asks you if you're a god, you say, "YES!"

Posted : 10/04/2022 9:18 pm
PatFarrell
(@patfarrell)
Active Member
RE: Why are Prusa printers so good?

I received a MK3S+ for my birthday, got it about two weeks ago. I am super impressed. It worked out of the box, the setup was spot on.
My daughter gave it to me, she has an early Makerbot and had years of problems with it. She retired it and got a Lulzbot printer and it works well, 
but not as great as my Prusa.

Well done Prusa team.

Posted : 11/04/2022 12:16 am
aw
 aw
(@aw-2)
Active Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: Why are Prusa printers so good?

 

Posted by: @fuchsr

Not sure what the secret sauce is, if there is any. But even my old dirt-cheap Wanhao produced some very consistent high quality prints but I just couldn't handle the constant bed alignment and futzing with the print surface to get those good prints anymore. With the Prusa, once you have good live z, it just works. 

The futzing around and bed alignment is a big deal for me.  Probably what I enjoy most about my Mini+ .  I understand that tinkering with the machine is part of having a printer, but less fussing is better.  That way I can spend more time printing.  I have spent weeks without doing anything other than a First Layer Calibration on my Prusa, but any other printer will need re-leveled or greater maintenance every few prints.

Posted : 11/04/2022 1:09 am
towlerg
(@towlerg)
Noble Member
RE: Why are Prusa printers so good?

I have spent weeks without doing anything other than a First Layer Calibration on my Prusa,

Pedantic syntax question, did you spent weeks just doing FLC or did you spend weeks printing and the only maintenance was FLC.

Posted : 11/04/2022 11:40 am
languer
(@languer)
Trusted Member
RE: Why are Prusa printers so good?

I cannot understand what the secret sauce is.

My two cents: A mentor long ago gave me the following analogy to explain to me what made a good radio engineer. He said the difference between a HAM and a Radio Engineer is that the HAM can get any one radio to perform supremely, but a Radio Engineer must make every single radio out of the factory operate the same. Not exactly the perfect analogy, but I think you get the point; Prusa's objective is to get every single printer to be the same and it certainly shows.

Posted : 12/04/2022 3:36 am
Print My World
(@print-my-world)
Eminent Member
RE: Why are Prusa printers so good?

500+ printers running 24/7 on the farm lets them catch and iron out any bugs or consistency issues early on. Allows them to discover short and long term issues and rapidly test solutions.

Posted : 12/04/2022 10:37 am
Razor, RobertusMaximus, RoboMan and 1 people liked
cwbullet
(@cwbullet)
RE: Why are Prusa printers so good?

Great point!

Posted by: @print-my-world

500+ printers running 24/7 on the farm lets them catch and iron out any bugs or consistency issues early on. Allows them to discover short and long term issues and rapidly test solutions.

 

--------------------
Chuck H
3D Printer Review Blog

Posted : 12/04/2022 10:42 am
aw
 aw
(@aw-2)
Active Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: Why are Prusa printers so good?

 

Posted by: @towlerg

I have spent weeks without doing anything other than a First Layer Calibration on my Prusa,

Pedantic syntax question, did you spent weeks just doing FLC or did you spend weeks printing and the only maintenance was FLC.

Sorry for the poor syntax.  I have spent weeks printing and it has been great.  No need for any maintenance like re-tramming or bed leveling, tuning PID, or cleaning the nozzle. No need to diagnose under OR over extrusion.  So far my Prusa has just worked.  I am glad that Prusa was not my first machine, however, because I do understand the need to be able to diagnose and fix problems. I do know the value in being able to fix my  own machines,  I have just gotten weary of spending more time tinkering than printing or designing.  Tinkering is fun, but not all the time.

Posted : 12/04/2022 11:32 am
aw
 aw
(@aw-2)
Active Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: Why are Prusa printers so good?

 

Posted by: @print-my-world

500+ printers running 24/7 on the farm lets them catch and iron out any bugs or consistency issues early on. Allows them to discover short and long term issues and rapidly test solutions.

This is a good point, but I am not sure if this accounts for the results I am seeing.  All the things that have been stated in this thread are true. Prusa has excellent customer service and great step by step instructions and knowledge base, have spent time researching and ironing out bugs, but the Mini+ is still just a cantilevered FDM printer.  There isn't any reason that I can see for it to work so well, yet it does.  The parts are cleverly designed for certain, but do not seem to gold any higher tolerances than any other FDM.  The gears and belts are higher quality, but still match spec with some of the cheaper options.  If I had to make an educated guess I would say that lack of bed leveling and the Spinda might be the solid foundation that gets such good results?

After that last paragraph I feel the need to mention that I am only hunting for this elusive reliability for my own personal projects, not business.  I have 3 other printers that all broke down within a couple of months and Prusa was my last hope of getting the kind of reliability that I was looking for.  I am just trying to understand why the prusa is so superior so that I can repair the other machines to be as good as the Mini+.  I use the same slicer and slicer profiles , so I know that is not the cause.  Same nozzle size and filament, so not that.  Perhaps the  E3d hot end, and extruder? Maybe that solid bed and the Spinda?  I will end up testing them all eventually as I rebuild the other machines I guess, but for now it is very puzzling.  The prusa is just so much better.

Posted : 12/04/2022 11:48 am
bobstro
(@bobstro)
Illustrious Member
RE: Why are Prusa printers so good?
Posted by: @aw-2

 [...] but the Mini+ is still just a cantilevered FDM printer.  There isn't any reason that I can see for it to work so well, yet it does. 

A smaller printer can provide significantly better results simply due to increased rigidity. On a lark, I picked up a Monoprice Cadet/Weedo Tina2 (100x100x100mm) printer. It is, to put it politely, a crap printer. However, print quality is very good provided you can print in the small space with PLA and a 0.4mm nozzle exclusively.

There's a lot more to the Mini, of course, but smaller printers can produce clean results for small projects.

My notes and disclaimers on 3D printing

and miscellaneous other tech projects
He is intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two dimensional thinking. -- Spock in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan

Posted : 12/04/2022 3:15 pm
Crab
 Crab
(@crab)
Estimable Member
RE:

I think there are 2 key points

a) the huge printer farm that Prusa relies on for their product. Not only does it supply parts, but the torture it goes through is the very best type of testing any product can go through. Two weeks of farm printing might be a year for a typical user. So any weaknesses get identified and iterated.

b) integration. Producing not only the printer, but also filament, firmware and slicer software is the same philosophy many successful companies use.. Apple comes to mind.. a company that creates the silicon, hardware and software. That type of integration ensures good design and a unique consistency you can't get with putting together disparate components.. of which users will have various degrees of success depending on their expertise. 

Posted : 12/04/2022 11:14 pm
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