3D printing, sometimes referred to as additive manufacturing, is a design process that involves creating three-dimensional solid constructions that have been originally taken from a digital file.
Whether you’re new to the world of 3D printing and you want a reliable printer to get you started, or you own a 3D printing business and would like to purchase an additional, more portable printer, you might have heard of the Original Prusa Mini.
Originally created in Prague and specifically created with usability and convenience in mind, the Prusa mini is at a budget-friendly price point and acclaimed by beginners and experts, alike.
Whether you’re currently shortlisting options or are interested in purchasing this printer but would like to learn a little more about it, we’re here to help you. Below, you’ll find an in-depth review of the Original Prusa Mini, so you can decide whether it’s the printer for you or not.
From price, specifications, to standout features - we’ve made sure to cover all bases. Read on!
Prusa Company Overview
First off, we’ll start with a little overview of what the Original Prusa Mini Printer actually is, so that you can gain a better understanding of it if you’re not overly familiar with it.
Like we mentioned above, it was originally created in Prague by Prusa and continues to be manufactured there to this day. This is because Prusa Research is a 3D Printing company that was founded in Prague back in 2009 by Josef Prusa, who has grown the company from a start-up to having over 400 employees (at the time of writing).
Josef Prusa, who is still currently operating as Prusa’s CEO, began working on 3D printers initially in 2009 under the name RepRap. During this time, 3D printing wasn’t considered to be ‘mainstream’ for hobbyists or small business owners and was only really used by large industrial companies.
However, Josef and his team began developing a more simplified and easily accessible version of the standard 3D printer at the time, which came to be known as the Prusa Mendel 3D Printer. It was a smash hit and was purchased by thousands of people.
For the first time ever, 3D printing became a staple in the homes of craft hobbyists and those wanting to elevate their print business. This is why Prusa is such a well-respected and trusted name, and the Original Prusa Mini 3D Printer is a shining example of their craftsmanship and industry expertise.
Prusa Mini Specifications
Before we jump into the features of the Prusa Mini, we’ll first begin by taking a look at the specifications. Read on:
Max.Print Bed Temperature
0.05mm - 0.35mm
Max. Travel Speed
32-bit buddy electronics with STM32 + trinamic 2209 silent stepper drivers and 256 micro-stepping
PLA, PETG, ASA, ABS, Flex
Print Resume Function
PLA 1 min/ ASA 3 min
X and Y axes
2.8” graphics 65K color screen
Prusa Mini Standout Features:
To help you gain a proper understanding of what you can expect to get from the Prusa Mini 3D printer, let’s take a look at some of the Prusa Mini’s standout features:
1. LCD Color Screen
It wouldn’t be a Prusa printer if it didn’t come with a usability feature or two! By far, one of the best features of this printer is that it features an LCD color screen, which many users remark makes using it a breeze.
Ensuring plenty of conveniences, this helpful screen offers plenty of functionality and will allow you to navigate through the printer’s settings with ease.
As soon as you turn it on and it begins powering up, you’ll be greeted by a colorful LCD display screen. This will offer you a more intuitive and immersive experience, as not only will you be able to adjust settings in a flash, but preview your designs before they go to print.
2. Magnetic Heatbed
All it will take is scanning a few reviews to see that this feature is a fan favorite.
Ensuring that the printing process is streamlined and precise, this magnetic heatbed comes with flexible spring steel sheets that can be removed, which is something other 3D printers on the market do not offer.
Thanks to this, it means that when the sheet has cooled down after printing, certain parts can be removed quickly and safely by pushing them inwards, allowing them to be removed from the surface.
3. One Click Printing
Offering a quick and speedy printing service, the Prusa Mini 3D Printer will allow you to print several designs in no time at all.
As soon as you switch it on, all you will need to do is insert a USB drive with your chosen file, and the LED color display will bring a preview visual of your design on the screen.
After you have reviewed your design and are happy with it, all you will need to do is click the ‘print’ button, and the Prusa Mini will begin printing your design. It’s as easy as that!
4. Bowden Setup
If you’re already familiar with Prusa printers, then we’re sure you’ll already be aware that most of Prusa’s larger printers come with direct-drive extruders.
However, this is not the case with the Prusa Mini, as it has a Bowden system that features a drive gear ratio of 3:1.
The reason for this is that it means that the extruder motor can be placed on a Z-axis column that will be able to effectively decrease the overall weight of the extruder.
Thanks to this, it means that the extruder will be able to push the 1:75 filament through a PTFE tube, straight into the hot end of the printer, and then out through the nozzle with more speed and efficiency.
This will streamline the overall printing process, and help to get your designs completed more quickly.
5. Safety Features
Prusa isn’t only well known for the performance of their printers, they’re also known for the precautions they take to ensure that your safety will be maintained at all times.
For instance, each component of the Prusa Mini is rigorously tested during the manufacturing process to ensure that it’s safe to use, and has been built correctly.
In addition to this, the Prusa Mini also features safety features built into its design, including fan RPM monitoring, certified PSU, 3 thermistors, as well as built-in self-diagnostics.
6. A Prusa Slicer
On top of all these great features we have covered, the Prusa Mini Printer also comes with Prusa’s own slicer, which is a slicer that will be able to offer a precise print profile, unlike other 3D printers on the market that feature a slicer that lacks fine-tuning capabilities.
In contrast, the Prusa Slicer allows you to use an object preview feature, which will allow you to tailor the cut with total accuracy.
However, if you would like to use this feature, keep in mind that you will have to set the Prusa Slicer to 21.1 or higher in order to enable it.
Prusa Mini - Pros and Cons
To ensure that you make the most informed decision, this section will cover both the benefits and drawbacks of this printer. Read on to discover them:
- Preheats quickly - unlike other 3D printers on the market, this one will be able to heat itself in just 1 minute for PLA, and just 3 minutes when it is switched to ASA.
- It can print multiple materials - offering plenty of versatility when it comes to material, the Prusa Mini 3D Printer is compatible with multiple types of printing material, including PLA ABS, ASA, PETG, and Flex material.
- Excellent print quality - despite its affordable price point, the Prusa Mini 3D Printer prints to a professional standard, making it ideal for those that run a business.
- Ideal for all levels - thanks to its convenient features and ease of use, the Prusa Mini 3D Printer is suitable for people of all levels of 3D printing experience.
- Prints quickly - the Prusa Mini 3D Printer can print multiple prints in a short space of time, meaning that you’ll get better value for money and more production rates, at a lower price point.
- 60-Day Warranty - the Prusa Mini 3D printer comes with a 60-day warranty upon purchase, which ensures that if for any reason you are unhappy with it, you can ask for a refund to get your money back.
- Not compatible with certain materials - even though this printer is compatible with many different types of materials as you will have seen above, it is unfortunately not compatible with all types of materials, nylon being the main one.
- Does not feature a ‘resume’ button - in the event of a power shortage, ink refill notification, or a material jam, the Prusa Mini 3D Printer does not provide you with the option to continue printing where you left off. On the contrary, you’ll have to reset the entire printer, which is both hugely time-consuming and potentially costly.
- Can be costly - if you plan on purchasing any additional textured PEI sheets, or want to use the additional filament sensor feature, they do come at additional costs, which can add up. This is something to keep in mind if you are wanting to keep your costs low.
So, there we have it! You’ve made it to the end. Thanks for sticking with us, we hope that you’ve enjoyed reading this review, just as much as we enjoyed writing it.
All in all, the Prusa Mini 3D Printer is an excellent choice, and we don’t mean just for those looking for a ‘compact’ alternative to their larger one!
It offers excellent performance, is reliable, and ensures fantastic value for money. What’s more, its portable size ensures that it will be able to slot itself into smaller spaces, so it’s great for hobbyists just starting out who don’t have a lot of office space to work with.
We also really like how easy it is to both set-up and use, meaning that it can be enjoyed by those of all skill levels.
If that wasn’t enough, the Prusa Mini 3D Printer also boasts a super sturdy construction that isn’t prone to damage, while the arm of the printer is a durable sliding block.
Therefore, not only will it be able to withstand general wear and tear, but it’s also great for those who find themselves traveling to multiple work locations, too.
Whether you’re a beginner simply wanting to learn the ropes of 3D printing, or you want to take your small business to the next level, you won’t be disappointed with this nifty little printer!