How To Supercharge Your Prusa MINI 3D Printer

By on November 4th, 2022 in Hardware, news

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The Lvl2 Prusa MINI upgrade [Source: Kickstarter]

A new Kickstarter project hopes to make Prusa MINI 3D printers a great deal better.

The Prusa MINI was introduced a couple of years ago to address the demand from the company’s clients for lower cost equipment. Prusa Research designed an unusual device that definitely did reduce costs, while still providing a very good product.

Some of the ways Prusa Research reduced costs on the Prusa MINI included:

  • Reducing the build volume
  • Use of a Bowden extrusion system
  • Simplified cantilever-style frame
  • Software adapted from the company’s other systems

The project was a success, and an enormous number of Prusa MINIs have been sold worldwide. We even have one ourselves at the lab, assembled by yours truly. You can read our hands-on review of the Prusa MINI here.

Those owning a Prusa MINI might have a slight bit of jealousy for those with more expensive Prusa models. That emotion could be quashed by a new Kickstarter project from Czech-based Strojtools. (In Czech, the name means “machine tools”.)

Comparing a stock Prusa MINI with the Lvl2 upgraded version (note base not included, see below) [Source: Kickstarter]

The project, called “Lvl 2”, or “Level 2”, is a kit that can modify a stock Prusa MINI 3D printer to increase its effectiveness.

Carrying handle included with the Lvl2 Prusa MINI upgrade [Source: Kickstarter]

The kit contains 3D printed parts that are used to:

  • Reinforce the cantilevered X-axis
  • Reinforce the Z-axis
  • Add a carrying handle
  • Increase device stability and precision

There’s also some optional replacement magnetic print surfaces. Unlike the standard Prusa Research plates, which are flat or textured, these replacement plates offer hexagonal or “brick” textured patterns.

Optional textured build plates [Source: Kickstarter]

All of this implies the upgraded Prusa MINI will 3D print objects with much more precision than the stock configuration.

Strojtools explains how all this works:

“Strojtools’ LvL2 will significantly enhance the quality of the Prusa Mini and Mini+ 3D printer. Due to the fact that this is a hobby printer, it is built simply and is designed for home use. The dimensional deviations of the individual axes are above 1mm, even after the best setup. This error will be partially compensated by the software, but only for placement on the pad.

This means that, for example, a printed cube isn’t a cube and can have deviations even a few millimeters wide. Printed figurines probably won’t notice it, but more accurate parts will.

In our solution, we provide pressed dural and adjustable braces for the X axis, as well as Y and Z axis braces that we designed, as well as other components (such as handles, etc.). These components upgrade your Prusa Mini or Mini+ hobby printer to a professional level.”

Note that the platform appearing in images of the Lvl2-equipped Prusa MINI is NOT included with this package. That’s a separate project by Printables contributor David Warboss called the “Prusa Mini Base”. That’s also an interesting project, although it does require a substantial amount of 3D printing and assembly.

Back to Lvl2.

The best part of the Lvl2 offer is the pricing. For a mere €60 (US$59), Strojtools will send you all the parts and associated hardware to convert your Prusa MINI into a more powerful 3D printer.

You can also purchase one of the unusual textured build plates for €60 (US$59), or a combination of both for €105 (US$103). There are several other combinations available.

Assembling the Lvl2 Prusa MINI upgrade [Source: Kickstarter]

After a viewing of the assembly video, it appears the Lvl2 is a well-thought out concept that is relatively simple to install and should substantially improve print quality.

Is this for everyone? Actually, I think it is. If you purchased and assembled your Prusa MINI, then you should be fully capable of installing this effective upgrade.

Finally, Strojtools has marked this project as “all or nothing”. If they don’t hit their sales target, the project will not proceed. As of this writing, they’re not quite at their target, but very close.

Therefore, I recommend you consider backing this low-cost, low-risk, high-benefit, and fun Prusa MINI upgrade project.

Via Kickstarter

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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