Prusa equipment and materials
Prusas are fused filament fabrication (FFF) 3D printers. They create 3D printed objects by extruding melted plastic in a pattern dictated by a computer program.
Prusa i3 MK3S
Build volume: 250 x 210 x 210 mm (about 9.84 x 8.3 x 8.3 inches)
Build volume: 178 x 178 x 178 mm (about 7 inches cubed)
- Pliers or clippers
- SD card
- Cleaning rags
- Isopropyl alcohol
Printing with the Prusa: The basics
Preparing a file
- Locate a 3D model that you'd like to build. This could be from a website (Thingiverse is a good place to look) or design software (Tinkercad allows you to create basic 3D designs). Download the file in STL or OBJ format.
- Open the file in Ultimaker Cura or PrusaSlicer (your choice).
- Adjust the print settings to your preferences
- Make sure that the printer you have selected is correct; If you use the wrong printer (e.g. you slice for the MK3 but then use the MINI to print), your print will fail.
- Make sure that the filament selected in the slicer is the same type of filament you will be using (e.g. if you're printing with PLA, the selected filament should be PLA). If you have a different filament selected from the one you're using, your print will fail.
- Choose the layer thickness (thinner layers will make the print take longer but it will come out looking smoother)
- Choose how much infill the print will need (if you don't have a specific amount, we recommend the inside of the print be 15% full)
- Choose the orientation that will make your file the most stable — you don't want the print to fall over partway through, since this could break your print and the printer.
- Enable supports if you have to hold up overhanging sections of the print.
- Move the file to the printer you're using.
- For the MK3: use an SD card.
- For the MINI: use a USB drive.
Get ready to print
- Spray a little bit of isopropyl alcohol on the bed and wipe it down.
- Turn on the printer.
- If the filament isn't the color you want, follow the "Changing filament" instructions below.
- Plug the storage device into the printer.
- Use the dial-button to dial down to the Print From SD (or ???) button and click it.
- Watch the print for the first layer so you catch it if it gets pulled off the bed.
When the print is done
- Pull the steel sheet off the bed and bend it to remove the print.
- If there are supports, you can use pliers to remove them.
- Use the button-dial to dial down to the "Preheat" button and preheat the printer to the proper temperature for the currently loaded filament.
- Once the printer is at the right temperature, dial down to "Unload filament."
- Pull the filament out when the printer beeps.
- Use the clippers to clip the filament at an angle so that it has a wedge shape.
- Tuck the filament into one of the holes on the spool and put it away.
- Place another roll of filament on the spool holder.
- If this is a different type of plastic, change the temperature of the printer to the proper temperature for that filament.
- Pull the end of the filament to the filament hole (on the MK3 it's on top of the extruder, on the MINI it's on the right side of the printer) and push it inside gently. Dial down to "Load filament" and press it while holding the filament until you feel that it is "grabbed."
- Follow the onscreen instructions asking whether the extruding filament is the right color. Grab excess filament with the tweezers and toss it out.
- The filament has been changed!