Proposal Type:

Large

Title:

3D printer replacement: Official Prusa MK3

Submission Date:

11/12/18

Current Status:

Purchased

Proposer:

Nick G

Description:

This proposal is for an Original Prusa MK3 3D printer.

The current hackspace 3D printer is an old Reprap design and the actual machine itself is also old. Multiple members have been limited by the small build volume of the current Reprap and its inability to print materials other than PLA. In addition, the DIY nature of the current Reprap necessitates thorough inductions which may put off new users. Although Sam C donated a BFB Touch, it is, again, a very old printer and has very limited capabilities.

A new printer needs to be easier to set up, use and require less detailed inductions. It also needs to have a larger build volume and print more materials than the current Reprap. Good customer support, including installation/build instructions and user guides would be massively advantageous. Future upgradeability, either supported by the original manufacturer or 3rd parties to increase the lifespan of the new printer at the hackspace would be nice.

The Original Prusa MK3 is the latest design based on the concept of the Reprap we currently have at the hackspace. It is much easier to use once set up, as it features an improved print surface, automatic mesh bed “levelling”, filament run-out sensor, a reliable extruder, market-leading hot end, reliable electronics design, power-loss detection and print recovery. It has a print volume considerably larger than the current Reprap, especially in the Z-axis at 210 x 210 x 250 mm. The assembly manual is awesome, regularly updated and has on online version. Customer support is readily available and thorough, there is also plenty of community support for this printer. Prusa Research are continually working on upgrades for their printers, making upgrade kits available whenever major changes are made. In addition, there is a multi-material upgrade kit if the membership wants this capability in the future. Many third-parties offer upgrade packages for the Prusa MK3. Prusa have also produced their own version of Slic3r, which many people in the 3D printing community prefer over the standard version.

I have suggested a kit here in order to save £200.01, I have experience in constructing both Repraps and 3D printer kits and with the assembly manual I am more than happy to assemble the kit myself once it arrives. Assembly/installation/commissioning should take less than a day. I have considered the induction process and propose to offer inductions on the new printer myself. I will produce an induction manual to allow other members to carry out inductions, although I would request anyone wanting to offer inductions on the new printer meet with me before doing so. Inductions for the new printer will cover relevant health and safety, basic use of Slic3r and actually printing. Some basic maintenance (bed levelling, cleaning the bed, changing filament) will also be included. Inductions for the new printer will not act as inductions for the old printer, a separate induction would be necessary.

I propose no usage costs and to reduce the current induction fee from £10 to £5. These induction fees will cover filament purchases. There will be no induction fee for self-certification.

To allow the current Hackspace computer to be used with the Prusa MK3, I reccommend using an SD card reader. If there isn't already one at the hackspace or one isn't donated here is one we can buy.

PLA filament will be supplied by the hackspace. This will be under a separate medium purchase proposal so it can be added to the consumables list. I propose that the hackspace only supplies PLA. Although the Prusa MK3 can print ABS (and ASA, HIPS etc.) I propose that we limit the use of these materials as they produce unpleasant fumes during printing. Other materials (e.g. PETG, TPU, “PLA plus” and similar, “Flexible PLA”, PMMA, Nylon) should be supported, but not supplied by the hackspace. Materials with abrasive components (including, but not limited to, metal-fill, carbon fibre strengthened and glow in the dark filaments) should not be used with the new hackspace printer, although if the membership requires in the future, hardened nozzles are available to allow these materials to be printed.

Proposed Purchase:

Bought directly from Prusa. I will make the purchase and claim back the money.

Proposed Installation:

This printer will replace the old Reprap. To allow inducted members to use a 3D printer before they can arrange an induction on the Prusa MK3, the old Reprap will be kept operational and left in place with the new 3D printer placed alongside it. Once most users of the old Reprap are inducted on the Prusa MK3, the old Reprap can be decommissioned. I would like to keep the old Reprap somewhere in the hackspace, possibly on the museum shelves.

Budget:

£699 (+£8.99 for SD card reader if necessary)

Funding source/model:

Fully funded by Hackspace (from the general fund)

Resources depended upon:

Supporters

Committee Sanity Check:

Member:

A large purchase proposal needs a majority vote at a quorate meeting (see large purchase props for more info). Proxy votes are included.

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  • botlab/hsproposals/hsproposals_2018-12-11-prusa-mk3
  • Last modified: 10 months ago
  • by felix.h