Prusa’s new MK4 3D Printer is now available to order in kit form

Prusa's new MK4 3D Printer is now available to order in kit form

Prusa offers customers a lower pricing with their MK4 3D Printer Kit Option

When Prusa3D launched their MK4 3D printer, the first question that many asked was “where is the kit option?”. For those who are not acquainted with Prusa or other 3D printer manufacturers, you should know that 3D printers can either ship pre-assembled or as a box of parts.

Pre-assembled units are more expensive, given their increased shipping size and additional testing requirements, but they can be used quickly out of the box, and some manufacturers offer better warranty options with pre-assembled units. On the other hand, 3D printer kits are more affordable and allow users to learn how their 3D printers operate though the machine building process. This can make maintenance an easier or less daunting process later on, but building a 3D printer takes time, and for many of us time is a luxury. 

How much cheaper is Prusa’s MK4 3D printer kit?

A pre-assembled Prusa MK 4 costs £1,054.80 (including VAT), and the printer’s kit version costs £790.80. For those who are willing to build their own MK4, Prusa’s kit option can save you £264. That money can be used to buy a lot of filament, extra nozzle options for the MK4, or simply sit in your bank account as savings. £264 is a lot of money, so Prusa’s kit option is well worth considering if you are in the market for a MK4.    

Currently, Prusa expects to start shipping MK4 3D printer kits before the end of May.

What Makes Prusa’s new MK4 so special? 

Until recently, Prusa’s i3 MK3 series has been the undisputed king of the 3D printer market, pioneering many innovations that are commonplace for 3D printers today. This includes automatic bed levelling though a sensor, various safety options, and a lot of Open Source software additions.

Prusa’s MK3 3D printer launched in 2017, and while the MK3 series has remained very popular, there are now 3D printer manufacturers that build machines that have more advanced features, faster print times, and other advantages. That said, Prusa’s strong customer service, European manufacturing, known product reliability, and commitment to open source has maintained Prusa’s place in the 3D printing world while the MK4’s development continued. 

Earlier this month, Prusa revealed the Original Prusa MK4, a new iteration of the companies i3 design that features 90% new/upgraded parts, new electronics, and the promise of an “always perfect first layer.

If you have ever dabbled into the world of 3D printing, you will know that 3D printers can be a pain to work with, especially if you invest in a cheap 3D printer without many advanced features. One bugbear for many 3D printer users is bed levelling, and ensuring that the first layer of their 3D prints are accurate. These two factors are what Prusa’s MK4 3D printer addresses fully with their “Nextruder”, which allows the MK4 to automatically dial in settings for a perfectly smooth first layer “without user interaction”.

The Nextruder is one of the MK4’s major upgrades over the MK3, offering users quick-swap nozzles, automatic levelling, part cooling and more.   

    The next important part is the Nextruder. I already talked extensively about the Nextruder in relation to the XL. The MK4 uses a smaller, lighter version of the Nextruder, but it has very similar capabilities to its bigger brother. It has the same Load cell sensor which is used to set the distance between the nozzle and the print sheet with incredible accuracy by measuring the tension inside the extruder. This means you can say goodbye to Live Adjust Z. Once you unpack the MK4 and run the Selftest, the printer is ready to lay down a perfect first layer. No more tweaking, no more asking whether you should move the nozzle higher or lower. So I guess we can delete like half of the handbook and a ton of guides from our Knowledge Base.

The Nextruder is also more compact than the previous model which gives the MK4 another 10 mm on the Z-axis, so the total print dimensions are 250×210×220 mm.

The Prusa MK4 features both WiFi and ethernet connectivity, making this printer ideal for print far setups and extremely easy to use at home. There is no need to move files around with SD cards, and no fear that your printer has any Chinese spyware. Remember, this printer is made in Prague, not made in China. For those who do not want an online connected printer, the Prusa MK4 can also be used offline.

Another upgrade that the MK4 possesses is its non-VFA motors, which tackles the “vertical fine artefacts” that plague most 3D printed parts. This results in smoother and higher quality 3D prints.

With the Prusa MK4, users will also benefit from having a new colour screen, a new 32-bit connected architecture, and a large print bed that measures in at 250x210x200 mm.

What about Input Shaping?

One of the controversial aspects of Prusa’s MK4 printer is the fact that it advertises support for Input Shaping, but currently ships without the feature. Input shaping is a feature that is designed to improve the quality of 3D printed parts and reduce part printing time. Prusa states that the MK4’s design alongside features like input shaping and pressure advance can reduce part printing times by up to 70-% when compared to their MK3 printer. Currently, firmware updates that enable this feature are said to be “just around the corner”, but as it stands, the MK4 does not support input shaping. 

On the one hand, it is a shame that the Prusa MK4 isn’t shipping with one of its most advanced and heavily marketed features. On the other, Prusa has committed to updating their MK4 design with this feature, and Prusa’s long term support for their MK3 series is a clear sign that this commitment to MK4 support will be honoured. Unlike too many 3D printing companies, Prusa are not known for selling and then forgetting about their printers.

Prusa launches their MK4 3D Printer promising an

If you want a Prusa MK4 and don’t want to spend over £1,000 on a pre-assembled printer, Prusa’s MK4 kit option is an option worth considering. Yes, this option will require some assembly skills, but its cost savings alone will be well worth it for many buyers. 

The only problems with the Prusa MK4 as it stands is its pricing and its current lack of some advertised features. Much of the former can be put down the European manufacturing costs when compared to Chinese manufacturing, as well as Prusa’s long-term support plans for their MK4 printers, and the latter is something that should be addressed in time. It is even possible that the MK4 will become more feature rich as time goes on, as we have already seen Prusa squeeze a lot of extra juice from their older MK3 design with firmware updates.

Prusa currently sells their MK4 Assembled 3D printers on their website for £1,054,80, and their MK4 Kit for £790.80.

Orders for Prusa’s MK4 Kit option before the end of May 2023 will receive  a free spool of Prusament Galaxy Black filament with their order. Orders after this date will come with a 50g Prusament sample.

You can join the discussion on Prusa’s new MK4 3D printer kits on the OC3D Forums.