After having bought my first Prusa i3 mk3, taking care of two additional i3 mk3 (not going to add the plural “s” to the end to avoid confusion) at work, and later selling my mk3 to my workplace, I was confident enough that I know the inner workings of the mk3 to the point I could build a clone of it.
In fact, the idea started out as a “custom” i3 style build with the following design goals:
- 24V operation
- TMC2130 stepper drivers, preferably in SPI mode
- Prusa mk52 heatbed or clone (as I have some spare PEI coated steel sheets laying around, after upgrading the printers to powder coated sheets, which was a pain in the bum to source, but I digress)
- genuine E3D hotend, and preferably a Bondtech extruder
- sturdier frame than the i3 mk3, ideally a cube, but not a requirement
After summing up these requirements, I came across a guy selling a 3030 extrusion kit for a Prusa i3 mk2 and mk3, known as the Zaribo mod. It was about 60€ for the frame cut to length, pre-drilled and tapped where it was needed, and it came with the smooth steel rods. At this point I knew it’s going to be an i3 mk3 clone
I ended up buying the frame with the rods, a motor kit locally (for Aliexpress price), where the two Z motors had built-in leadscrews, a Lite6 hotend directly from E3D and the rest came from Aliexpress and eBay, namely:
- MKS Gen L v1.4 board with 4x20 character LCD module
- four TMC2130 v1.1 driver modules (I wish I bought 5)
- MK52 clone heatbed
- belts, pulleys and linear bearings (although I’ll replace them soon with Igus Drylin bushings)
- Bondtech gear clones
- power supply
I sourced the Y carriage and the PINDA 2 probe directly from Prusa, just to support them.
I’m still waiting for the MKS board with the LCD and the belts and pulleys, otherwise everything else is put together. Also the printer has no filament runout sensor at the moment, but everything is prepared, so an i3 mk3s filament sensor is a drop-in thing.
The harder part will be the firmware. I will try to port the Prusa i3 mk3s firmware to the MKS, as it looks like there are mk2 ports. If I fail, then I’ll go with Marlin… any advice regarding porting the i3 mk3s firmware to the MKS will be appreciated.
Here is how it looks like at the moment:
The Z motors don’t sit at the bottom of the frame, so I could squeeze some extra Z height out of the thing, and I’ll need to redo both X-ends so trapezoid nut hole pattern lines up with the brass nuts. Right now I just printed an adapter, which isn’t a very elegant solution IMHO and it limits my Z height a bit
Right now, here I am with this project. Any ideas will be appreciated, and any questions will be answered