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3D Printing - The Prusa I3 - Arrival and unboxing

After a great deal of market research, I decided that my first 3D printer would be a RepRap Mendel, specifically a Prusa I3.

One of the best parts, in my opinion, about building a RepRap is that there really is no “Standard” model.  Most kits are based on one person’s individual “build”, and will represent the choices that particular builder made.  So it is with the kit I chose: The I3 kit produced by Makerfarm.com. The Makerfarm kit has a lot going for it: it makes heavy use of laser cut wood parts, which are generally sturdier than printed parts, and it has a nicely designed and very stiff frame, which is very helpful with something that sees as much kinetic action as a RepRap (those stepper motors can really throw a lot of mass around, sometimes kind of violently!).

The kit is also very complete.  The only parts that need to be purchased separately are a power supply and a sheet of glass.

So a short while back, the kit arrived:

Shipped via UPS in a well-packed, managable-sized box.

Shipped via UPS in a well-packed, managably-sized box.


Here are some images of what the box opened to reveal:


Opening the box

A Makerfarm Prusa i3 kit, a spool of ABS, and a power supply case/spool holder.


Laser cut parts and heated bed.

Laser cut parts and the heated bed.


Stepper Motors

Stepper Motors


RAMPS electronics board

RAMPS electronics board, including a non-conductive screwdriver for adjusting motor current.

printed extruder parts

Printed extruder parts.


Prusa Packing List

Packing list – This kit has EVERYTHING!

Filament spool

What’s the point of building a printer if you don’t have some filament?

As I unpacked the box, it was clear to me that this was a complete, high-quality kit that was very well organized, with the various boxes, packages and bags arranged logically for the build process.  The materials included were of generally very high quality.

Partly because Makerfarm was running a sale, and partly because I wanted to have a small “warm-up” project, along with the printer kit, I also ordered a “Simple Spool Tower”, which is a spool holder that also houses an ATX power supply.  This thing was very easy to build; it just about fell together.  I was a little surprised at the amount of soot that was present on the cut edges of the wood in the tower kit. All of my previous experience with laser-cut wood was in the context of HO scale structure models.

The Makerfarm Spool Tower, my warm-up before building the printer.

The Makerfarm Simple Spool Tower, my warm-up before building the printer.

These models are cut from very thin stock, and the cut lines are generally very clean.   Given the thickness of the wood used in the Makerfarm kit (1/4″ or 6mm stock), I suppose this is not unexpected.  By the time I had assembled the tower (maybe 4 minutes), my hands were a little dirtier than I had planned.

The Prusa kit did not come with printed instructions, but the Makerfarm website has a downloadable PDF file with some basic information and links to videos which show very plainly how to complete each step.  Overall, the videos are very clear and do a very nice job of demonstrating the various building processes.

With my tools at the ready, my kit unboxed and laid out on my work table, I was ready to tackle the build!



7 comments to 3D Printing – The Prusa I3 – Arrival and unboxing.

  • congaree

    Congrats on your choice! I put one of these together (8 inch model) about 2 weeks ago. Very nice machine…I’m loving it.

  • Yeah, it’s a great machine! I’ve actually had it for about a month now, and I really had a great time building it. The build write-up and some vidoes are on the way, stay tuned!

  • […] and research I settled on getting a kit for a Prusa Mendel i3 printer from MakerFarm. I found an informative review and partly gut feeling and partly “the website looked good and told me who I’d be […]

  • Marco_Ca

    In your excellent 3-part review posted on YouTube, you just forgot to mention that a heated bed is included, not an option as in $2k+ kits… 🙂

    • OMG, you’re right! I meant to talk about that in part 1, but I guess I got sidetracked. 🙂 The heated bed is a HUGE added bonus, and you’re also right that even high-dollar kits either don’t include one at all, only make it available as an add-on kit, or rely on their communities to develop the mods. Good catch!

  • Robert Teeter

    Zennmaster – I was very interested in you evaluation of the printer kit. I was going to purchase one of them BUT they were out of stock at the end of last week. So I used the contact page to ask Colin when they would be in stock and he said this week. Great – I waited until today. BUT to my surprise there is a NEW 8″ printer kit that uses OpenBuilds.com ‘s new extrusions instead of the smooth rods in the original kit. What a surprise. Also the price has risen $60.00 for the kit but given what I know the cost of the extrusions are this does not seem out of line. Just thought you might like to know.

    Bob Teeter

  • Robert Teeter

    Zennmaster – Just to let you know I put hard cash down for a new machine. The build instructions are very clear and informative. Thank you for your Blog info as this has made a very large difference in my decision.

    Bob Teeter

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