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PRUSA Research presents the Original Prusa MK4 – the long-awaited successor to its flagship 3D printer

Yesterday late afternoon, PRUSA Research announced the launch of a new 3D printer – the Original Prusa MK4. This was quite surprising, because until then, there was no indication that the successor to the popular MK3 model would ever appear at all? Meanwhile, the device was not only officially presented, it was also possible to order it until noon today and receive it before Easter!

MK4 is based on 32-bit electronics with a new architecture, has a new generation extruder (Nextruder) known from the XL model, Live Adjust Z system consisting in applying a perfectly smooth first layer and support for fast 3D printing with Input Shaper and Pressure Advance functions.

Many additional functionalities have also been introduced to facilitate the use of the device – quickly replaceable print nozzles, WiFi communication, web camera and many others. In addition, her work was even more muted.

Although at first glance the new MK4 looks identical to its predecessor, PRUSA claims that 90% of all parts have been replaced in its construction. The only components that have remained the same are the Y-axis profiles, a few bearings, the heatbed and the power supply. The aluminum frame has been replaced with an all-new, injection-molded aluminum-based alloy that is injected into a two-piece mold.

Other improvements include:

  • increased working area at the level of 250 x 210 x 220 mm
  • a stiffer frame and thicker Z-axis rods that dampen vibrations, which is especially important for 3D printing at higher speeds
  • full color control screen
  • a light bar below the screen to visually identify the current state of the machine
  • quick-change printhead system with V6 adapter for using third-party printheads
  • fully automatic calibration
  • magnetic filament end sensor
  • USB-C interface
  • job recovery after power loss.

The new filament feeding module – Nextruder is a modified version of the one installed in the Prusa XL. It is much larger than typical extruders in 3D printers of this class and, thanks to its design, lead to much less slippage of the filament and smoother 3D printing. The video of the device in operation shows that a typical print that would take ten hours on the MK3 model can be 3D printed on the MK4 in just 3.5 hours. This is the result of the input shaping function and vibration damping frame, which is supposed to provide a 2-3x speed improvement. Josef Prusa claims that a 3DBenchy test model can be printed in 20 minutes.

MK4 is operated remotely using WiFi and the long-announced Prusa Connect. Additionally, it uses encrypted data flow to increase security. Several new sensors have also been introduced to provide additional safety and reduce operational problems:

  • a thermistor with a thermal break which should prevent serious clogging of the head
  • hardware overheating detection
  • overcurrent protection
  • dual voltage monitoring.

The control panel offers the ability to “3D print with one click”, which appears to be a way to connect directly to the Printables 3D model repository. There is also a way to restart 3D printing of previously printed models. An interesting feature is the Non Vertical Feature Artifact, which is supposed to reduce artifacts on vertical surfaces. Another is that the table alignment check before 3D printing can only be done on the area that is actually to be used – this avoids the relatively slow process of checking the entire surface of the build table.

As for the prices:

There are also three different upgrade options to convert the MK3S+ to MK4. The manufacturer produced the first few hundred devices, but they were sold out in less than 24 hours from its release. The current waiting time is 5-6 weeks, but it can change on an ongoing basis.

PRUSA Research has also announced the launch of a new version of the MMU3 module, allowing the use of up to five different filaments in the same 3D printing process. It is intended to replace the earlier version of MMU2, which was quite a failure.

Source: www.prusa3d.com
Photo: www.prusa3d.com (press materials / all rights reserved)

Paweł Ślusarczyk
CEO of 3D Printing Center. Has over 15 years' experience in buisiness, gained in IT, advertising and polygraphy. Part of 3D printing industry since 2013.

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