A new video explores the secrets of Prusa Research’s manufacturing empire.
Fabbaloo friend Joel Telling of the popular 3D Printing Nerd YouTube channel recently visited Prague, Czechia to tour the enormous factory that produces untold thousands of desktop 3D printers every month.
I’ve always gotten a lot from factory or site tours, as you can deduce all kinds of interesting facts from observations of activities and objects within sight. Most of the time “plant tour” videos don’t do justice to what they portray, but Telling’s video is one of the best we’ve seen to pick up the best details.
Telling, led by Prusa Research founder Josef Prusa, takes us through the several sections of the now-vast 3D printer factory, including the newly built filament production facility and the famous 3D print farm where Prusa Research produces many of the parts for their products.
The filament production tour alone is worth the watch, as you will see how Prusa Research produces their premium 3D printer filament, Prusament.
What you will notice is the extreme steps taken to ensure this filament is of the highest quality. The temperatures and moisture levels are precisely calibrated and controlled throughout the process. Diameters and even color are monitored by the millisecond to ensure accuracy, which is recorded and printed with each and every spool as proof of the quality.
After watching that you will understand how questionable the activity of attempting to produce your own filament with rudimentary equipment really is. Homemade efforts may look like filament, but it cannot be of the highest quality, or even close to it. Today you can purchase very high-quality filament like Prusament for very reasonable pricing.
Prusa Printer Quality
The video tour continues as Josef Prusa explains the assembly of components into machines. But what is incredibly interesting is that the actual “assembly” steps are not really the focus of the video, nor likely of Prusa Research itself. Instead there is considerable effort spent on ensuring the quality of all the components and assemblies.
The video shows specialized testing equipment and processes employed on virtually every component that make up the Prusa devices. After seeing this, you will then understand why Prusa Research’s products are considered among the most reliable and highest quality in the industry: they spent an amazing amount of time and effort to make sure that happens.
It’s also a bit of a statement towards other 3D printer manufacturers, especially those who may not take as many steps for ensuring quality. This is what they are competing against, and it’s really hard to do so.
Starting A 3D Printer Company
This suggests that the barrier to entry into the desktop 3D printer market is quite a bit higher than one might suspect. It’s one thing to make a prototype device, but quite another to manufacture tens of thousands of devices, all with consistently high quality.
Those of you thinking of starting a 3D printer company at this point, please watch this video carefully several times to see what you are up against. You may reconsider your project.
Meanwhile, I would very much like to visit this factory myself some time in the future when the stars align.