The Varnerized Prusa has been around for over a year now, turning plastic strings into plastic parts. It’s been a bit magical. But like all good things, it’s time for it to get a bit better. I’ve experienced some problems over the last year, and I finally decided to invest in some upgrades.
Firstly, I’m done with filament slipping, and the shoddy cooling fan setup of the MK2s style extruder. I ponied up for the bondtec hobbed pulleys, bearing set, and 40mm 5v noctua fan. I’ve printed all the parts to replace the extruder, and I’m going to print up some more parts in the this tone of blue to make sure things are fairly consistent.
Secondly, the heated bed. The aluminum bed I’ve been using works. But due to some issues with my existing extruder body and the way the induction probe fits, works, and gets caught up on prints (when things go badly) it’s caused an excessive amount of damage to the PEI sheets I cover the aluminum with. I’ve gone through at least 3 sheets of PEI this year. Having used the Prusa MK52 magnetic bed, and the glory that is a spring-steel sheet you can remove and pop parts off of, I cannot continue to toss money at PEI.
In my hands right now, (well not right now, I’m typing) I have an MK52 12v heated bed reproduction, along with a spring steel sheet and two layers of PEI. I’m a bit excited about putting this heatbed on the printer.
There is a slight dish to my MK52 – but I think once I get it secured to the plywood base it’ll straighten out. My only other complaint is that it didn’t come with the resistor and LED populated. I looked up the specs from the Prusa github repo for the heated bed, and harvested an appropriate 1k resistor and LED from a DC motor controller I fried last year. Whoops. I was able to get those two parts soldered onto the bed without incident, using a really old kinda junky soldering iron and plenty of flux.
Hopefully this weekend I’ll be able to make these adjustments. If I continue to have issues with the printer, I’ll be rebuilding the Y-Axis. I have some ideas of how to make it more ridgid (with wood) and potentially easier to enclose… we shall see if anything comes of these thoughts in the next year or two.