Prusa Mini+, Should I add mods or will it work really good without?
 
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Prusa Mini+, Should you add mods or will stock work really good? Poll is created on Jan 21, 2022

  
  

Prusa Mini+, Should I add mods or will it work really good without?  

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512MB
(@512mb)
Eminent Member
Prusa Mini+, Should I add mods or will it work really good without?

Like the title is saying, I did just buy two Prusa Mini+ for my off side hobby activities and am wondering if any upgrades are good to install from a long term point of view for a farm that I am expanding. I also bought two Prusa MK3S+.

I really like how the printer is working, from what I have seen and experienced but what do you guys say?

Best Answer by Bob:

 

Posted by: @512mb

Like the title is saying, I did just buy two Prusa Mini+ for my off side hobby activities and am wondering if any upgrades are good to install from a long term point of view for a farm that I am expanding. I also bought two Prusa MK3S+.

I really like how the printer is working, from what I have seen and experienced but what do you guys say?

Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one and most of them stink.  But, since you asked.

You don't tell us how long you've been printing.  It sounds like you're new to Prusa, are you new to printing as well?

If you're new to printing I'd say leave things stock until you have many hours of successful prints under your belt.  Every Prusa printer I have and my friends have were outstanding right out of the box.  The only problems any of us have had were pilot errors due to being new to printing.  We're all now experienced printers with many years under our belts so we have few pilot errors these days, but until you build up your skill set, you won't know if the problems you encounter are due to your lack of knowledge and understanding of FDM printing, the modifications you've made, or a problem with the printer from the factory.  In otherwords, don't start modding because you think it's fun to customize your printer, only mod if you're having a repeated problem you haven't been able to solve with a call to Prusa or seeking advice from this forum.  Mods add complications those of us who haven't modded can't help you with.  The closer to stock you stay the larger the knowledge bank you have to learn from.  Now I'll tell you about my Mini mod.

I was an early adopter of the Mini.  Not among the first group who got the first review printers, but among the group that place an order after the reviewers had a chance to check it out.  In my group there was a 4 to 6 month delay added to the normal order delays due to some issues discovered among the review group.  I tell you this because even though my printer worked better than many of the review group, some of the problems they experienced, I fell victim to.

With that out of the way, the only upgrade I'd recommend is the Bondtech heat break.  This is a cheap ($14) upgrade and is said to solve a problem with shrinking of the PTFE tubing in the hot end.  When I got my printer it ran for months and gave me many great prints before I started running into trouble.  I started having problems with jamming and under extrusion.  I followed all of the recovery steps but wasn't very successful, I just couldn't clear the jam.  My solution was replacing the heat break with the Bondtech heat break and my printer is now working well again.  Once I had the old heat break on the bench it became clear to me why I was having a problem, I wasn't having a successful cold pull with the PTFE tube removed.  I'm not confident had I done a better job with the cold pull, the other solutions I attempted probably would have worked. 

I have a ways to go to match the number of prints with the Bondtech heat break that I got with the stock heat break before the problems, so it's hard to say how well this will work as long term solution, Bondtech claims that they've eliminated having the PTFE tubing in the heat zone which should eliminate the possibility of molten plastic getting under the PTFE tube.

As far as I'm concerned the stock extruder is fine.  When I've had issues with the stock extruder it's been a complication of another problem.  So long as my hot end is doing what it's supposed to do my extruder does as well.

Cheers

-Bob

Posted : 21/01/2022 10:15 am
fuchsr
(@fuchsr)
Famed Member
RE: Prusa Mini+, Should I add mods or will it work really good without?

There's a bunch of things I can do but the only upgrade I truly recommend is the Bondtech extruder. Plenty of people happy with the stock extruder but I found it to be q bit finicky and requiring constant adjustments of the idler screw for different filaments. Haven't had to do this once and never had a clog since adding Bondtech extruders to my Minis. (Actually, I'm using the cheaper Trianglelab clones)

Posted : 21/01/2022 1:14 pm
512MB
(@512mb)
Eminent Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: Prusa Mini+, Should I add mods or will it work really good without?

Oh, alright! So that is for the grip?

Posted : 21/01/2022 2:23 pm
Chris Laudermilk
(@chris-laudermilk)
Estimable Member
RE: Prusa Mini+, Should I add mods or will it work really good without?

I had thought I would mod mine a bunch after getting it. But, so far I've done almost nothing since it works great as-is. I've just printed up a couple of little brackets so far. Not really looking at changing the extruder or hotend parts since they are just working so far. I'm taking the (successful) approach that I did with the car when setting it up for track days: leave things alone until I find something where stock isn't working the way I want, then make one considered change and see how it works before changing other things. Also, make sure I understand that aspect and get the mod dialed in before throwing other parts at it.

Mini+ (kit) - Revo Micro | Antler Cooling | WiFi (4.4.0RC1)

Posted : 21/01/2022 3:16 pm
Lichtjaeger
(@lichtjaeger)
Noble Member
RE:

If you want to use flexible or filled stuff: Bondtech Extruder or similar

If you have trouble with the heatbreak or the tube inside: E3D Revo Micro hot-end

If you did the Revo upgrade: You can do a part cooling fan duct upgrade for better overhangs

Elsewise the printer works great and is reliable. Good choice for a beginner.

PS: You could also do the Base upgrade.

Posted : 21/01/2022 4:37 pm
512MB
(@512mb)
Eminent Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: Prusa Mini+, Should I add mods or will it work really good without?

The printer will be printing a lot of PETG, ASA and PLA. Not flexible that's for the Prusa MK3S+

Do you think it's necessary for a Bondtech extruder? 

Posted : 21/01/2022 4:54 pm
JoanTabb
(@joantabb)
Moderator
RE: Prusa Mini+, Should I add mods or will it work really good without?

Many people manage really well without Bondtech extruders

regards Joan

I try to make safe suggestions,You should understand the context and ensure you are happy that they are safe before attempting to apply my suggestions, what you do, is YOUR responsibility. Location Halifax UK

Posted : 21/01/2022 11:01 pm
MysDawg liked
Bob
 Bob
(@bob-2)
Reputable Member
RE:

 

Posted by: @512mb

Like the title is saying, I did just buy two Prusa Mini+ for my off side hobby activities and am wondering if any upgrades are good to install from a long term point of view for a farm that I am expanding. I also bought two Prusa MK3S+.

I really like how the printer is working, from what I have seen and experienced but what do you guys say?

Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one and most of them stink.  But, since you asked.

You don't tell us how long you've been printing.  It sounds like you're new to Prusa, are you new to printing as well?

If you're new to printing I'd say leave things stock until you have many hours of successful prints under your belt.  Every Prusa printer I have and my friends have were outstanding right out of the box.  The only problems any of us have had were pilot errors due to being new to printing.  We're all now experienced printers with many years under our belts so we have few pilot errors these days, but until you build up your skill set, you won't know if the problems you encounter are due to your lack of knowledge and understanding of FDM printing, the modifications you've made, or a problem with the printer from the factory.  In otherwords, don't start modding because you think it's fun to customize your printer, only mod if you're having a repeated problem you haven't been able to solve with a call to Prusa or seeking advice from this forum.  Mods add complications those of us who haven't modded can't help you with.  The closer to stock you stay the larger the knowledge bank you have to learn from.  Now I'll tell you about my Mini mod.

I was an early adopter of the Mini.  Not among the first group who got the first review printers, but among the group that place an order after the reviewers had a chance to check it out.  In my group there was a 4 to 6 month delay added to the normal order delays due to some issues discovered among the review group.  I tell you this because even though my printer worked better than many of the review group, some of the problems they experienced, I fell victim to.

With that out of the way, the only upgrade I'd recommend is the Bondtech heat break.  This is a cheap ($14) upgrade and is said to solve a problem with shrinking of the PTFE tubing in the hot end.  When I got my printer it ran for months and gave me many great prints before I started running into trouble.  I started having problems with jamming and under extrusion.  I followed all of the recovery steps but wasn't very successful, I just couldn't clear the jam.  My solution was replacing the heat break with the Bondtech heat break and my printer is now working well again.  Once I had the old heat break on the bench it became clear to me why I was having a problem, I wasn't having a successful cold pull with the PTFE tube removed.  I'm not confident had I done a better job with the cold pull, the other solutions I attempted probably would have worked. 

I have a ways to go to match the number of prints with the Bondtech heat break that I got with the stock heat break before the problems, so it's hard to say how well this will work as long term solution, Bondtech claims that they've eliminated having the PTFE tubing in the heat zone which should eliminate the possibility of molten plastic getting under the PTFE tube.

As far as I'm concerned the stock extruder is fine.  When I've had issues with the stock extruder it's been a complication of another problem.  So long as my hot end is doing what it's supposed to do my extruder does as well.

Cheers

-Bob

This post was modified 11 months ago by Bob

Prusa I3 Mk2 kit upgraded to Mk2.5s, Ender3 with many mods, Prusa Mini kit

Posted : 22/01/2022 6:34 pm
512MB
(@512mb)
Eminent Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: Prusa Mini+, Should I add mods or will it work really good without?

Thanks, Bob! Will take a look at this! Not new to 3D printing but I like to know what others think if something happens.

Posted : 22/01/2022 8:31 pm
betajosh711
(@betajosh711)
Active Member
RE: Prusa Mini+, Should I add mods or will it work really good without?

I voted No since a lot of issues you may encounter will come from just learning how to tweak the stock printer.

Modding would only be necessary once you hit some walls and limitations, but even then these are soft walls and limitations as they will all be things you can learn to mitigate by tweaking the stock configuration.

In saying this though, I upgraded my extruder to the bondtech and it has been night and day difference in print quality, consistency, and even some artifacts that I used to have to adjust for.

If you're dying to mod your printer, i'd definitely recommend the flexible printer feet on prusa printers as well as the Z-Axis brace to significantly reduce noise and vibration.

Otherwise a tool and nozzle holder, or a front USB holder would be simple and fun mods to start with while maintaining your ability to get used to the stock printer.

Posted : 25/01/2022 2:38 am
Tuna209 liked
Oliver-Andre
(@oliver-andre)
Eminent Member
RE: Prusa Mini+, Should I add mods or will it work really good without?

Isn't the only possible answer yes anyways, if you ask to do something or not? 😉

But realy, no need to modify anything if you do not have heatcreep. If you have heatcreep, forget about Bondtech Heatbreak etc. Simply do one Change that is completly free: Modify the connector of the hotend fan. Remove black cable and connect it to J21 Pin 2 (marked in green in the Photo).

GND on hotend fan connector is PWM, set in firmware to about 38%. Doing the mod,  it goes up to 100%. Loud, but nearly 3 times as much cooling the coldend. No heatcreep ever again.

Of course this is overkill (and loud). But for free.

If you invest about 15€, you can buy a Noctua 5V like used in mk3 and connect it this way. Still about 50% more airflow than stock configuration, so no heatcreep anymore - but silent.

 

Posted : 21/04/2022 8:45 am
rinkel
(@rinkel)
Estimable Member
RE:

I can absolutely recommend the MK3S dual gear extruder for the Mini(+). It's an awesome upgrade and makes the extruder very quiet.

You can find it here:
Prusa Mini Dual Drive Extruder Revision 6

It a design from @djkirkendall and remixed by @Infantryman

 

 

Posted : 14/05/2022 11:35 am
Jamehz liked
Jamehz
(@jamehz)
Active Member
RE: Prusa Mini+, Should I add mods or will it work really good without?

I second this. The printer is now nearly silent, and can now handle softer filaments. For the price of a Bondtech gear set, it's well worth it.

Posted : 14/07/2022 3:35 am
Bazim
(@bazim)
Eminent Member
RE:

Can somebody please explain to me what means that losing the 3:1 gear reduction from the original extruder? With this one: Prusa Mini Dual Drive Extruder Revision 6

Posted : 20/07/2022 7:02 pm
Jamehz
(@jamehz)
Active Member
RE: Prusa Mini+, Should I add mods or will it work really good without?

The Mini's stock gear is huge compared to the spline driving the filament, hence the large gear ratio. I'm not sure why, maybe it has something to do with pushing filament from one side. Even with the direct dual extruder gear, the stepper motor's movement is so fine that there's basically no reduction in resolution.

I love this mod. It's been flawless so far, and makes the printer nearly silent since there isn't a middle gear clicking around when retracting.

Posted : 21/07/2022 3:15 am
Bazim
(@bazim)
Eminent Member
RE: Prusa Mini+, Should I add mods or will it work really good without?

 

Posted by: @jamehz

The Mini's stock gear is huge compared to the spline driving the filament, hence the large gear ratio. I'm not sure why, maybe it has something to do with pushing filament from one side. Even with the direct dual extruder gear, the stepper motor's movement is so fine that there's basically no reduction in resolution.

I love this mod. It's been flawless so far, and makes the printer nearly silent since there isn't a middle gear clicking around when retracting.

Thank you very much for the information. But I still do not understand why is a losing the gear reduction (from original to this mod) is a negative thing. Because here: https://www.printables.com/cs/model/56487-mk3s-extruder-for-prusa-mini/comments

Someone is saying things like: 

Nice mod. The biggest issue with this is you lose the benefit of the gear reduction on the stock mini extruder.....

but the point still stands that you removed one of the biggest advantages of extruder design these days. The gear reduction. Have you looked into the bondtech extruder for the mini? It provides the best of both worlds. You've removed 1/2 the advantage of using the bondtech gears.

The mk3s extruder is also lacking this great feature. To add to this, you also used what is probably the worst revision of the mk3s extruder. It's been known for quite some time that the filament path isn't straight on the r5 extruder. If you take a look at the r6 parts, you will see that prusa has FINALLY corrected this.

What is the adventage of gear reduction? And does this 6th revision have it? Like the person is saying to look at R6 parts where PRUSA has finally corrected it? 

I want to install it because of this what you said: silent since there isn't a middle gear clicking around when retracting. But there are also 2 small gears connected to each other and one is drived by the other one.

Anyway thank you for reacting and trying to help with my questions.

Posted : 21/07/2022 3:06 pm
Jamehz
(@jamehz)
Active Member
RE:
Posted by: @bazim

 What is the adventage of gear reduction? And does this 6th revision have it? Like the person is saying to look at R6 parts where PRUSA has finally corrected it? 

I want to install it because of this what you said: silent since there isn't a middle gear clicking around when retracting. But there are also 2 small gears connected to each other and one is drived by the other one.

It's hard to say if the Mini's Dual Extruder revisions follow Prusa's MK3S revisions since it involves significant modifications from the MK3S design. I might have to ask! There may be a reason they're calling this current one Revision 6.

I've just read a bit on the gear reduction discussions, and yes, there seems to be some difference between some other extruders with larger drive gears versus the MK3S Bondtech gears in terms of being able to extrude filament "smoother" with smaller motor steps but by most accounts it seems to be at a near-microscopic level that we can't really see with the human eye. For what I'm printing, I can't really tell. I may have to test some vase mode prints with shiny silk PLA to see if there are any artifacts to note. I myself am using a lot of PolyTerra PLA with the matte finish so flaws are much harder to notice.

One benefit is certainly the silent extruder. Yes, there is the second gear being pushed by the other, but there is a line of filament sandwiched in between so you don't get that gear backlash like the Mini gear has. Between the gears and filament they just move in unison.

Another benefit I've just confirmed is the ability to print softer filaments. I've just successfully printed a test square of TPE 85A - it's nearly as soft as 'al dente' spaghetti - and went great! I used the Filamentum Flexfill 92A profile to start. (For some reason this forum isn't letting me upload images to show my results). There is one weird quirk happening that I think PrusaSlicer 2.5 will fix with the new Pressure Equalizer feature, but for the most part it's working!

I was always able to print harder TPU with the stock Mini extruder and treat it almost like PLA, but this soft stuff was never an option until now.

This post was modified 5 months ago by Jamehz
Posted : 21/07/2022 4:36 pm
Bazim
(@bazim)
Eminent Member
RE: Prusa Mini+, Should I add mods or will it work really good without?

I need to read is few times because my english is not so good, but you seems to me like really experienced guy. Thank you for the information.

I was worried because that one person was telling like the gear reduction missing in this mod is really really bad and disadventage. And I understand now about the backlash of the gears in the original one that this does not have. Again, that is really a thing that is bringing me to this mod.

Next you are talking about the smaller motor steps. I looked in to the settings of my printer and I have extruder steps like 325. And in the mod page is written that you need to change this motor steps to 140 so it is much smaller than the original one. Or is this opposite? Smaller number = bigger steps?

Do you need also playing with the tension screw of the doors like on the original one? Or this is another benefit because the tension is absorbed by the teeths so you don't need to be that precise with the tension screw (with spring)?

Posted : 21/07/2022 6:22 pm
Jamehz
(@jamehz)
Active Member
RE: Prusa Mini+, Should I add mods or will it work really good without?

 

Posted by: @bazim

I need to read is few times because my english is not so good, but you seems to me like really experienced guy. Thank you for the information.

I was worried because that one person was telling like the gear reduction missing in this mod is really really bad and disadventage. And I understand now about the backlash of the gears in the original one that this does not have. Again, that is really a thing that is bringing me to this mod.

Next you are talking about the smaller motor steps. I looked in to the settings of my printer and I have extruder steps like 325. And in the mod page is written that you need to change this motor steps to 140 so it is much smaller than the original one. Or is this opposite? Smaller number = bigger steps?

Do you need also playing with the tension screw of the doors like on the original one? Or this is another benefit because the tension is absorbed by the teeths so you don't need to be that precise with the tension screw (with spring)?

No problem! Glad I can help in any way I can.

When it comes to the extruder steps, yes, the smaller the number, the more the filament will feed along with the motor movement. I think the value represents "Steps Per Millimetre" so the dual extruder value (140) outputs filament 2.3 times more than the stock value (325). How much of a practical difference does that make? I really don't know. 140 steps for a millimetre still seems pretty fine for my purpose.

Yep, there's a tension screw (actually the same spring and screw as the Mini extruder) to adjust, and I've found I need to tension it very little since there are now two sets of teeth gripping the filament. I currently have it set so the end of the screw is flush with the hex nut on the door, and has been fine so far. It leaves very shallow indents on the filament and hasn't slipped so far. Printing TPE 85A has been fine with that setting as well. 

Posted : 21/07/2022 6:42 pm
fuchsr
(@fuchsr)
Famed Member
RE:

Do you need also playing with the tension screw of the doors like on the original one? Or this is another benefit because the tension is absorbed by the teeths so you don't need to be that precise with the tension screw (with spring)?

This has been the main advantage of upgrading to the Bondtech dual drive extruder (or in my case, the Trianglelab clone). I haven't had to adjust the idler for months, even though I print a wide range of materials and brands.

Posted : 21/07/2022 6:47 pm
Jamehz liked
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