Thursday, August 22, 2019

Prusa I3 Mk3S - Thermistor Woes and Superb Customer Service

Last night I kicked off a 15 hour print for a "secret LWTV" project.  Ok it may not really be all that secret - I was just trying to sound cool.  Anyway, the print seems to have stopped at the 94% completion point and I was seeing a mintemp error on the printer's control panel.

After inspecting the printer it looks like one of the wires to the Thermistor has broken from wear and tear.  I'm 99% sure this is from use error as I've been struggling a bit with the filament jamming and have taken the print head apart at least 5 times so may have not made sure the wire was clear the last time I reassembled the printer.

I went online to the Prusa support site and was able to quickly diagnose the issue via their superb documentation.   I took the picture you see above and then opened a chat box with Prusa support.  Horsa jumped on the chat with me and quickly confirmed my diagnosis and just sent me a new Thermistor for free.  Thermistors are cheap but this unit is coming from the Czech Republic and postage isn't free.  I was very impressed with the customer service and the lack of a nickel and dime attitude that I see with a lot of other tech companies.  As I think the break is due to my error, I would have gladly paid for the part and postage but this issue was never raised.

I highly recommend both the Prusa company and the I3 Mk3S printer.  Get the kit - it's a little cheaper but the process of putting the thing together really does teach you how these things work and makes it a lot easier to diagnose issues.

For clarity, the initial problem I had with the filament jamming seems to be from using Cura as my slicer and that software not being fully tweaked to work with the Prusa printer - yet another "user error" on my part.  Once I switched over to the free slicer software from Prusa, I've had no jamming issues.

3D printing isn't for everyone as it's still a developing technology but if you're a tinkerer at heart its a lot of fun and I highly recommend you incorporate it into you miniature gaming hobby.

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