Is the FLSUN Prusa i3 the right 3D Printer for you?

The FLSUN Prusa i3 is one of a number of 3D Printers currently available on Amazon. What I think sets this printer apart are the features you are getting for the price:

  • Print size: 200mm x 200mm x 220mm high ( 7.8″x 7.8″x 8.6″ high)
  • Aluminum 20mm x 20mm T-slot extrusion structure with injection molded and acrylic sheet cut components.
  • Dual Z motors (mounted at the top instead of the bottom which IMHO is a better design)
  • Heated bed with auto leveling (using an inductive proximity sensor)
  • 12V / 20A switching power supply
  • LCD display with SD card slot
  • MKS Gen L V1.0 integrated controller with four BT7221A stepper motor driver boards
  • Aluminum J-head Hotend and Bowden Extruder

To help get you started, you also get:

  • 2 small rolls of PLA filament (0.25kg)
  • a set of allen keys
  • a spare o.4mm nozel
  • a roll of making tape (to line the bed)
  • a USB SD card reader
  • a 2GB SD card that contains assembly instructions and software

This is NOT a ready to go out of the box printer! It will arrive in a flat package and you will have to assemble it. Plan to spend at least 8 hours for the assembly. On the supplied SD card you will find assembly instructions. They come in both a PDF document format and a set of videos. Personally, I found the PDF a lot easier to use for the assembly. If you work carefully and check your work along the way then you shouldn’t have any problems with the assembly.

Makerbase MKS Gen_L Integrated Controller

This FLSUN printer came with the Makerbase Gen_L V1.0 integrated controller. This board combines the functionality of an ATmega2560 and a RAMPS board. The five motor driver headers are Pololu pin compatible.
RAMPS = RepRap Arduino Mega Pololu Shield

MKS Gen_L is designed to be flexible in power source requirements, and can take any power supply from 12V-24V.

Makerbase MKS Gen_L V1.0

The board is pre-programmed from the factory with Marlin firmware and can be updated via the USB connected to a PC using the Arduino IDE.

Important note: if you are uploading new firmware to the
MKS Gen L controller be sure to disconnect the LCD as it will interfere with the upload process.

Hot End

This printer comes with an aluminum J-head Hotend with substantial cooling fins. Its being cooled by a 12V, 40mm fan. The 40W block heater will get this hotend up temperatures of 240-260°C

FLSUN hotend closeup

Bowden Extruder

The printer has a Bowden Extruder. Parts of the extruder are made from sheet acrylic plastic. It is a standard design and should last a long time. However, if needed, it could be replace with an all metal one as an upgrade.

Bowden Extruder

Proximity Sensor

Standard mechanical contact switches are used for homing the carridge on the X and Y axis of this printer. A mechanical switch is also supplied for the Z-axis home, however an inductive proximity sensor is also supplied . I used the inductive proximity sensor when I assembled my printer, so that I could later update the controller firmware to do auto-bed leveling. Out of the box controller firmware only supports manual bed leveling, however firmware is also provide by FLSUN on the supplied SD card to do auto-bed leveling. I intend to update the firmware in the near future.

Inductive Proximity sensor (blue device in photo)

Summary

I purchased this printer with my own money and it I feel that it is a very good value for the money! As long as you are comfortable with building and calibrating your own printer then you could end up with a very good printer for a very reasonable price. I highly recommend this printer and if you would like to consider buying one yourself here is the amazon link where I purchased mine.

I will be writing more articles on calibrating this printer and my 1st prints. So check the Tutorials section under 3D Printing for further updates.

Thank you for visiting the Maker Hangout!

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