Regular readers will notice posting and community involvement has dropped off from me for months. Well, lots of changes have happened, but TL;DR we moved country. Yep, back in olde Blighty! This involved renting a tiny office, hence needing a tiny 3D printer.
Review TL;DR: Loving the Prusa Mini+
With the 0.4mm nozzle I couldn’t tell any difference between the Prusa Mk3 and the Mini+ in quality or speed, and now I am running a 0.6mm with the new Prusa Slicer I am especially happy with the prints I am getting.
The surprising part is for 90% of the 3D printing I do, I don’t think I will miss the difference in print bed size!
Prusa Mini+ Specs
|Build Volume||180x180x180 mm / 7x7x7″|
|Layer height||0.05 min|
|Nozzle||0.4 mm included (0.6mm on mine)|
|Filament diameter||1.75 mm|
|Supported materials||PLA, PETG, ASA, ABS, PC, CPE, PVA/BVOH, PVB, HIPS, PP, Flex, nGen, Nylon, Woodfill|
|Max travel speed||200+ mm/s|
|Max nozzle temperature||280 °C / 536 °F|
|Max heatbed temperature||100 °C / 212 °F|
|Extruder||Bowden system with 3:1 gearing|
|Print surface||Removable magnetic steel sheets|
- Silent Trinamic 2209 stepper drivers
- Ethernet RJ45 port and optional future ESP Wi-Fi module upgrade
- 3 thermistors, fan RPM sensors
- Bowden system with 3:1 gearing
- Auto bed level sensor (SuperPINDA probe) – no temperature drift.
- Fast preheat: PLA 1 min / ASA 3 min
- Sensorless homing for X and Y axes
- 2.8″ graphic 65k color screen with G-Code preview
Why a Prusa Mini+ and not a much cheaper option?
First of all, curiosity – I wanted to know what it was like and I could afford to buy it (yes, I paid for it with my own money but I do get a small commission if you buy via my affiliate link which I would very much appreciate).
- I wanted to be able to trust it to not catch fire if I left it unattended for periods of time.
- My days of enjoying working on printers rather than working with 3D printers are over. This is not a machine I wanted to be tweaking and tinkering with.
- The Prusa Mini+ is actually reasonably priced amongst the “just works” category of 3D printers out there, taking the above into account.
That all said, I will compare against other printers I like so you get a good idea of where the Prusa Mini+ fits into the market.
Prusa Mini+ Compared to Prusa Mk3S
As mentioned earlier, in most ways that matter the Prusa Mini+ is the mini sibling to the older Prusa, , and the build area is not that much smaller.
Differences between Prusa Mini+ and Mk3s:
- The Prusa Mini+ has a much nicer colour display.
- It’s under half price.
- Take into account import duty and shipping also.
- Network connectivity to replace Octoprint.
- Fast 32-bit controller board. Print farm software coming.
- Bowden rather than direct-drive extruder.
- Accepts USB stick rather than SD card.
In all other respects, it is a cut down Mk3s. Some folks were concerned at the fact the Z is only driven on one side but that has not been a problem, the entire machine is rigid, silent, and precise.
Prusa Mini+ Compared to Anycubic Vyper
Most people comparing 3D printers and seriously considering the Prusa Mini+ will be looking at a Creality Ender style printer as the main alternative. While the Ender 3 is likely a top option, for several reasons I chose a different machine as my main comparison. The AnyCubic Vyper.
Why the Anycubic Vyper?
I already have a bunch of 3D printers. Well, in theory I do. It remains at the time of writing to be seen if any survived the journey from Canada.
But assuming they did, I could compare the Prusa Mini+ to a lot of printers I own, but I chose the Vyper because it is relatively new and matches the price and specifications of the Mini+ so well:
- 32 bit controller board.
- Auto-level compensation.
- Colour screen.
- Quit steppers.
- Magnetic removable bed.
It’s a darned good 3D printer!
AnyCubic Vyper Specifications
● Build Volume: 245×245×260mm
● Print resolution : ±0.1mm
● Positioning accuracy: X/Y 0.0125mm; Z 0.002mm
● Extruder: Bowden 0.4 mm
● Print Speed: 80-180mm/s
● Machine weight: ~10kg
● Support filaments: PLA, TPU, ABS, PETG, Wood
● Nozzle Temperature: max ≤260°C
● Hot Bed Temperature: max ≤110°C
● Input Formats: .STL, .OBJ, .AMF
● Connection mode: Trans-flash Card
● Machine size: 508mm×457mm×516mm
Which is Better: Prusa Mini+ or AnyCubic Vyper?
Really there is not a lot to choose between the Prusa Mini+ and the AnyCubic Vyper, both are excellent machines that would serve you well. It will come down to:
- Footprint / Build area (the Mini+ is smaller in both).
- USB stick versus memory card (Mini+ also has network printing, but you could add Octoprint to either for additional cost and effort)
- Slight brand+support advantage with Prusa but both are solid, respectable companies.
- Potential shipping advantage with AnyCubic (Prusa do not sell on Amazon).
Prusa Mini+ Review Conclusion
So all that said, what is the conclusion? Is the Prusa Mini+ a good purchase?
Yes, I am very happy with the Prusa Mini+. I was expecting to add a qualifier along the lines of “despite the small size” but it is actually a good build area for what I do. So far there hasn’t been any frustration in that area at all. Goes to show it is always worth checking what YOU need to print before purchasing a certain sized printer.
The prints are excellent, it is fast enough, it is quiet, you can print directly from USB stick so no messing around with SD card readers, and even over the network though I haven’t tried that.
I would definitely recommend the Prusa Mini+ if you need a little 3D printer that punches way above its weight class.