What is the cheapest possible, real 3D printer you can buy without making one compromise after the other? That’s the question we’re asking by building a Prusa i3 MK2-style 3D printer that comes with most of the important features of the original one from Josef Prusa and requires a bit more work for sourcing and building the machine, but most importantly, we’re going to build it only with the most affordable set of parts.
This page will serve as a hub for part lists and build guides as the project moves along! All build videos and the accompanying project videos have been organized into a neat playlist!
Electronics and extruder
Each of these parts were picked for a reason – be it because they are better than the alternatives, or, as expected, simply cost less than anything else. You can find the full explanation and the accompanying video on its own page, but here are the lists of parts we’ve covered so far!
Update: Thx to the hint from FB User David Kiddell we now know about this better Mk2 Extruder Design from Geoff Sim on Thingiverse.
Frame and motion
The frame is a fairly standard i3 type – you could go with a kit or make it yourself. The cutting template is attached at the bottom of the page, a .dxf file for CNC routing or lasercutting can be found on Prusa’s github!
Frame and fasteners
The fasteners have been adapted to work with a thicker frame and to make use of the alternative components used in this build. If you don’t want to cut the frame yourself , you can also buy one!
What’s listed here is the way I’m building this printer, an even cheaper option would be to go with IGUS bushings and generic 8mm smooth rods!
Most of the printed parts are the exact ones from the MK2, however you don’t need all of them and a few have been modified to make them work with the cheaper components. Where possible, they should still be compatible with the original parts.
To get them printed, you might get lucky on eBay or print them yourself at a local FabLab or Makerspace.
These are from PrusaResearch’s Github page
Also based on the original MK2 files, but modified for the parts suggested for this build. These parts are attached at the bottom of this page!
With the standard and modified parts, you should be able to build a 3D printer capable of printing its own upgrades. The following parts are non-essential addons, like an LCD mount or bed probe protector. While these can be a starting point, there are plenty of alternative parts and upgrades available on Thingiverse and Youmagine!
Stay tuned as we move on with the build of the super-cheap Prusa i3 MK2. This page will get updated as progress is made!
You can support me without spending a single penny!