Prusa i3 MK3S Fundamentals

Here is your starting point for learning about the Prusa i3 and Prusa Mini. We strongly recommend reading through this before booking any consultations or pickup session. If you want to learn more about the process of 3D printing and considerations, check out our ultimate 3D printing guide here:

page3D Printing Workflow

Basic Printer Terminologies

  • Cartesian XYZ (<diagram of toolhead moving in X, bed in Y, X gantry up and down in Z>)

  • Belt-driven on XY, leadscrew-driven on Z

  • Toolhead, which has the hotend. Direct drive extruder on MK3S, bowden drive on Mini. The extruder is called the E-axis.

  • Removeable spring steel PEI sheet bed. Flex to remove prints

  • Hotend basic breakdown, diagram of heatsink, heatbreak, heatblock, heater cartridge, thermistor & nozzle.

  • Hotend compatible up to 280°C, bed up to 100°C?

Compatible Materials

  • PLA, PETG, ABS (needs enclosure)

  • Flexibles, Nylons need bed adhesion methods like gluestick and also slower print speeds

  • Polycarbonate needs enclosure and is probably pushing the limits of the printer's heating capabilities

  • Filled filaments (carbon fibre, glass fibre, flourescence, woodfill, etc.) need hardened steel nozzle swapped in.


  • PrusaSlicer recommended as it has default profiles. But any other open-source slicer works as long as it outputs .gcode files

  • Load stl file, click slice, export gcode files

  • Put .gcode file into SD card, then plug sd card into printer to start printing

Common Mistakes

  • Breaking the heatbreak (overtightening nozzle, didn't support heatblock)

  • Print looks melty (printing too hot, not enough cooling from print cooling fan)

  • Filament jams (can be caused by multiple issues such as too much retraction, etc.)

  • First layer offset (too squished, too far)

  • Not extruding (spool jammed up, filament jam, extruder gear slipping)

  • Slicing settings

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