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Time to pull the trigger?  

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AndyInSwindon
(@andyinswindon)
Trusted Member
Time to pull the trigger?

Hi all,

I've been running a side line in 3D printing for about 5 years now, starting with a Creality Ender 3, and quickly moving on to Mk3S / Mk3S+, and have lately upgraded my MK3S+'s to Mk4's.  I've been very impressed with the upgrades, am very satisfied with Prusa Connect, and am looking to expand my capabilities. For various reasons I am not sold on the Bambu Labs range, and for better or worse I prefer to stick with Prusa.  Prusa certainly aren't perfect, but they fit my needs, I value their customer support, and my Mk3S+ was a beast of a workhorse, reliable and robust.  My only gripe has been the variable success I had with the MMU2, and subsequently the MMU2S.

So, after that long winded introduction, I am considering a 2-head XL.  I can't see the point in going for the single tool, and at this stage, feel that the 5 head is more than I need, and would evaluate the necessity as time goes on.  It's a lot of money to spend on being able to print 5 colour prints that I don't really need, but 2 colours is just fine (3 colour would be a sweet spot, it's a shame this doesn't seem to be a possible configuration).

I have read mixed responses on the XL, with some believing that it is a worthwhile investment, reliable, and capable, with the other side of the coin pointing at unreliability and other negative aspects.

I know that by asking this question I am likely to end up with echos of those responses, but I just want to throw it out there.  As of now (1st Feb 2024), where are we with the XL?  Is it worth pulling the trigger?  And what is the current wait time for a new order? 

Many thanks in advance 🙂 

Posted : 01/02/2024 8:59 am
JP Guitars
(@jp-guitars)
Estimable Member
RE: Time to pull the trigger?

Doesn't answer your question but...

Prusa sell a 1head to 2head upgrade kit for under $600, might be worth checking with Prusa if that can be used to go from 2 to 3.

Posted : 01/02/2024 10:46 am
fuchsr
(@fuchsr)
Famed Member
RE: Time to pull the trigger?

As of now (1st Feb 2024), where are we with the XL?  Is it worth pulling the trigger?  And what is the current wait time for a new order? 

 

I ordered a 1 to 5 tool head upgrade, and it shipped the next day. 

worthwhile investment, reliable, and capable, with the other side of the coin pointing at unreliability and other negative aspects.

Seems to me that there are a few subtleties that need to be taken care off (dock alignment etc) but I found the balance of the reviews to be on the positive side. Given my experience with the MMU2 and Mosaic Palette, it can't get worse (famous last words...). On paper, the toolchanger should be a much more reliable, and I was obviously confident enough that Prusa can work around any remaining issues to pull the trigger on the order. Also, where I'm coming from is that I can live with a few imperfections in the color transition, as long as a print job completes without the need for constant intervention (MMU) or the need for finetuning every possible combination of filaments (Palette).

Posted : 01/02/2024 2:34 pm
BaconFase, Brian, Agkirk and 1 people liked
nhand42
(@nhand42)
Trusted Member
RE: Time to pull the trigger?
Posted by: @andyinswindon

I've been running a side line in 3D printing for about 5 years now, starting with a Creality Ender 3, and quickly moving on to Mk3S / Mk3S+, and have lately upgraded my MK3S+'s to Mk4's.  I've been very impressed with the upgrades, am very satisfied with Prusa Connect, and am looking to expand my capabilities. For various reasons I am not sold on the Bambu Labs range, and for better or worse I prefer to stick with Prusa.  Prusa certainly aren't perfect, but they fit my needs, I value their customer support, and my Mk3S+ was a beast of a workhorse, reliable and robust.  My only gripe has been the variable success I had with the MMU2, and subsequently the MMU2S.

So, after that long winded introduction, I am considering a 2-head XL.  I can't see the point in going for the single tool, and at this stage, feel that the 5 head is more than I need, and would evaluate the necessity as time goes on.  It's a lot of money to spend on being able to print 5 colour prints that I don't really need, but 2 colours is just fine (3 colour would be a sweet spot, it's a shame this doesn't seem to be a possible configuration).

I know that by asking this question I am likely to end up with echos of those responses, but I just want to throw it out there.  As of now (1st Feb 2024), where are we with the XL?  Is it worth pulling the trigger?  And what is the current wait time for a new order?

I bought the 2H and the printer has been great. It prints fast, print quality is good, the tool changing is robust, the gigantic bed is fantastic. There is honestly no competition. There are printers with similarly large beds. There are printers with similar mechanics. But there is no competition for a tool-changing multi-head large-format core-XY printer. If you don't need tool-changing there are cheaper alternatives. But to have all the features this is a unique bargain.

The launch of the XL was bad. Many people had broken parts, the software was buggy, and print quality was poor. Many of these issues have now been resolved but a few people gave up and unhappily returned theirs for a refund. This is a new type of printer for Prusa and early adopters will have pain. I personally think the launch was way too early, the software wasn't ready, and this led to an initial disappointment. The software has been greatly improved since launch. Prusa has also changed some hardware parts, like the nozzles. Most people seem happier now. Early adopters got burnt but if you are buying now I think the worst is behind.

This printer is awkwardly large. The dimensions you already know and you can use a tape measure, but until you are in front of it you won't understand the size. You will need a desk with 750mm depth to the wall. It is really heavy. It is a pain to move around. Do not underestimate how much space you will need.

Like you I thought the 2H would be enough. However I now regret not ordering the 5H. Maybe you will be fine with the 2H. But maybe like me you will regret not having the 5H. I will be buying the 2H-to-5H upgrade. 

I've been a long-time customer of Prusa, after initially owning a Makerbot and a RepRap. I started with MK2 and MMu1. Then upgraded to MK2.5, MMu2. Then a MK4. All these products have worked reliably for me so I didn't hesitate to choose Prusa again. I also like how Prusa develops the software and releases it as open source. All these companies "take" from the community in the sense they improve existing firmware (Marlin) or existing platforms (RepRap). However some other unnamed companies only take, they never give back. How a company engages with the community is as important to me as the product itself. Prusa is generous to the community and for that reason they have my support.

If I had to choose again, I would choose the Prusa XL without hesitation. The launch was imperfect and there's still some problems, but the tool-changing function is unique and the core-XY mechanics are solid.

Posted : 01/02/2024 3:33 pm
dmbgo, Brian, AndyInSwindon and 1 people liked
EastMemphis
(@eastmemphis)
Estimable Member
RE: Time to pull the trigger?

Like you I thought the 2H would be enough. However I now regret not ordering the 5H.

It's taken me a few months to come to the same conclusion. When I first received my buggy machine, I was extremely disappointed in the alpha like firmware and the bizarre lack of choices for filaments when loading. I hated that the machine would suddenly do something crazy like start printing without a tool or smash the tool repeatedly into the side of the machine and then throw a red screen of death. I was extremely disappointed in the low quality of support and especially the chat support that seemed their entire purpose was to make me return the machine.

I held on though and with the latest release of the firmware and input shaping, I'm starting to come around. I'll be upgrading from 2 to 5 tools when it becomes available. 

Printables: https://www.printables.com/@EastMemphis_905139/models

Posted : 01/02/2024 3:48 pm
Diem
 Diem
(@diem)
Illustrious Member

I have read mixed responses on the XL, with some believing that it is a worthwhile investment, reliable, and capable, with the other side of the coin pointing at unreliability and other negative aspects.

Don't be fooled by the forums, most people never think to visit until they have problems.  Of those a significant proportion refuse to believe that anything can be their fault and so dive deeply into settings and modifications while selectively ignoring basic advice that doesn't chime with their preconceptions.

My guess is that the vast majority have none of the problems that are shouted about here, Most XLs are probably like mine - it just works, it's quiet, stringing (with dry, standard filaments) is very slight, the heads don't drop off, the first layer really is perfect every time and the very few, very small dots left by the bed probing procedure are trivial to deal with.

Multicolour work with the default 0.6mm nozzles is not quite so crisp as with the Mk3/MMU but fit 0.4mm nozzles and you get back the precision and by comparison it is much quicker and wastes very little filament in wipe towers - I never got my MMU to print multi-materials properly 'though multicolour was fine, the QL does both seamlessly.  That said I don't print multicolour figurines or gaudy toys, my colours are mostly in labels and scales so my useage is limited.

In their latest video Prusa claim to have a 0.2% returns rate, they don't say how many of those turn out to be user errors.

If you do buy one you will have to make filament drying and bed cleanliness your new religion ... but you already knew that.

It's too soon to comment on long term maintenance and wear but it seems likely to be no more trouble than the Mk3 apart from being bigger so a bit more to do.

It *is* noisier than the Mk3, most of the sound is fan noise but the head changes are the loudest; when printing smaller parts, I still have to look across the room to check whether a print has finished.

Cheerio,

Posted : 01/02/2024 4:13 pm
Brian, BaconFase, AndyInSwindon and 1 people liked
monkfe
(@monkfe)
Active Member
RE: Time to pull the trigger?

My buddy and I placed a deposit on the same day, Aug 2023, yesterday we both received our final payment emails with a "latest" delivery date of end of May 24'. At the end of the month they will be ending the pre-order status of the MK4. So that's good news...

Posted : 01/02/2024 4:36 pm
AndyInSwindon
(@andyinswindon)
Trusted Member
Topic starter answered:
RE:

Thanks everyone, those were some well constructed and positive responses. The mk4 upgrades I have recently completed have renewed my excitement in 3D printing, and the XL just seems like the way to go. I’ve now happily pulled the trigger on putting down the deposit on a 2 head model, and suspect once I get my hands on it and get used to it I’ll be springing for the extra 3 heads. I just have to work out where the heck I’m going to put it now!!!! 

This post was modified 4 months ago by AndyInSwindon
Posted : 01/02/2024 10:25 pm
nhand42 liked
fuchsr
(@fuchsr)
Famed Member
RE: Time to pull the trigger?

The XL is large but not crazy large. All my printers live on 24 inch deep workbenches. I was concerned the XL wouldn't fit and even bought a 30 inch deep table just to find that it fits okay on my regular benches, with just the LCD display jutting over a tad in the front. You do need to leave about 5 inches of space between table and wall.

Posted : 01/02/2024 11:24 pm
Agkirk
(@agkirk)
Estimable Member
RE: Time to pull the trigger?

Where did you find the 1-5 head upgrade?  I've looked everywhere on the Prusa parts page.

Posted : 02/02/2024 12:58 am
fuchsr
(@fuchsr)
Famed Member
RE: Time to pull the trigger?

https://www.prusa3d.com/en/product/original-prusa-xl-single-tool-to-five-head-upgrade-tools/

 

Posted : 02/02/2024 1:12 am
Agkirk liked
Brian
(@brian-12)
Estimable Member
RE: Time to pull the trigger?

 

Posted by: @diem

I have read mixed responses on the XL, with some believing that it is a worthwhile investment, reliable, and capable, with the other side of the coin pointing at unreliability and other negative aspects.

Don't be fooled by the forums, most people never think to visit until they have problems.  Of those a significant proportion refuse to believe that anything can be their fault and so dive deeply into settings and modifications while selectively ignoring basic advice that doesn't chime with their preconceptions.

My guess is that the vast majority have none of the problems that are shouted about here, Most XLs are probably like mine - it just works, it's quiet, stringing (with dry, standard filaments) is very slight, the heads don't drop off, the first layer really is perfect every time and the very few, very small dots left by the bed probing procedure are trivial to deal with.

Multicolour work with the default 0.6mm nozzles is not quite so crisp as with the Mk3/MMU but fit 0.4mm nozzles and you get back the precision and by comparison it is much quicker and wastes very little filament in wipe towers - I never got my MMU to print multi-materials properly 'though multicolour was fine, the QL does both seamlessly.  That said I don't print multicolour figurines or gaudy toys, my colours are mostly in labels and scales so my useage is limited.

In their latest video Prusa claim to have a 0.2% returns rate, they don't say how many of those turn out to be user errors.

If you do buy one you will have to make filament drying and bed cleanliness your new religion ... but you already knew that.

It's too soon to comment on long term maintenance and wear but it seems likely to be no more trouble than the Mk3 apart from being bigger so a bit more to do.

It *is* noisier than the Mk3, most of the sound is fan noise but the head changes are the loudest; when printing smaller parts, I still have to look across the room to check whether a print has finished.

Cheerio,

This exactly. You are going to mostly hear from the people who had an issue and not those that didn't.  This goes for any product.  These days you really need to read reviews for any product with a good mental filter to block out the junk. 

Plus nowadays with things like YouTube and forums, there are no credentials for the people spewing content. I have seen many reviews from people that when you listen to what they are saying and look at other content from them it's obvious that they are not very experienced and often don't know what they are talking about.

Anyways thanks for sharing as you did.  There are others that think like you but just don't go out of their way to say it. 

Posted : 02/02/2024 2:30 am
Frio and nhand42 liked
BaconFase
(@baconfase)
Estimable Member
RE: Time to pull the trigger?

If you want some more positive anecdotal evidence: the biggest issues I've had with my XL5 was finding a corner on two of my nozzle seal assemblies that needed some elephants foot sanded off, and one was missing a spring. Otherwise, I've had a pretty great/uneventful time. The big stringing uproar was pretty mild-to-nonexistant for me. No tool wobble. No tools getting knocked off from going out of bounds. No tool on tool violence. Bed adhesion is great. Never had to mess with belt tension or grub screws. No loadcell issues. No filament sensor issues. Prusa's shiny USB working fine. I can start/monitor/stop a print from a different room with PrusaLink. Cancel object feature works as advertised. Multi-material model/support is amazing. As long as I take proper care of my filament there's no snapping in inconvenient places.  It's louder than the MK3 but no excessive resonance issues compared to some screamers that people have posted. Wipe the bed clean, start the print, then go do something else for a day, the end.

I have a well functioning MK3S MMU2S too, but its more or less gathering dust. Hard to justify going back to the purging ways when I can literally just not waste, get a better print, and have it done faster on the XL. I am all about the gaudy multi-colored spaceships/figurines and now I can print them bigger, better, faster.

 

In case you're that limited in space: know that the XL is very rear-heavy (like a 90/10 split if not even more) and you can move the feet to any position along the bottom extrusions; you don't have to have the lcd in the front; and its pretty easy to bypass the side-sensors to position spools somewhere else if you really want.

XL-5T, MK3S MMU3 || GUIDE: How to print with multiple-nozzlesizes do read updated replies || PrusaSlicer Fork with some flags removed || How Feasible is Printing PETG for PLA supports very

Posted : 02/02/2024 4:21 am
Marc, fuchsr, Brian and 1 people liked
EastMemphis
(@eastmemphis)
Estimable Member
RE: Time to pull the trigger?

Thanks for the link! Purchased the upgrade last night. A couple of weeks from now, I'll have it. 

Posted by: @fuchsr

https://www.prusa3d.com/en/product/original-prusa-xl-single-tool-to-five-head-upgrade-tools/

 

 

Printables: https://www.printables.com/@EastMemphis_905139/models

Posted : 02/02/2024 1:11 pm
Agkirk
(@agkirk)
Estimable Member
RE: Time to pull the trigger?

Thanks

Apparently I didn't look hard enough. Ordered my 2-5 kit with 2-3 week wait. 

Nothing but good results from my XL.

Posted : 02/02/2024 1:47 pm
Brian liked
AndyInSwindon
(@andyinswindon)
Trusted Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: Time to pull the trigger?

Hi all,

Well, I did end up upgrading my order to a 5T semi-assembled unit which arrived this week and is now sat on the bench.

Initial impressions are pretty good, assembly was pretty straightforward, and after reading pages of comments and 'advice' I do get the impression that a lot of builders were over complicating / over thinking the process.

Was a bit of a shame that the print fan was DOA on Tool 5.  I found the connector to the tool board had badly fitted pins, so the connector pushes out as the plug is inserted.  Have managed to remedy this temporarily whilst Prusa send a replacement fan.  Not a biggy, but for this price I don't really expect to have to be mending things straight out of the box, but I guess that's just life.

Very impressed with the tool change speed and consistency.  Also, as others have said, nothing prepares you for the size and weight of this thing!  After building in one room I had to strip off the spool holders to get it through doorways comfortably.

Have also bitten the bullet and updated to FW V6 - may as well get used to it before I get entrenched in the old FW

Just need to think of some worthwhile things to print now 🙂

Posted : 25/04/2024 7:11 am
fuchsr and nhand42 liked
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