3D printers can be a great manufacturing solution in modern days because they are easy to use and also very affordable making them ideal even in the small industry or in a learning environment. When looking for the machine, we want reliable options like the LulzBot Mini 2 Vs Prusa MK3 that are not only capable of printing good details but also coming with some useful features to ease the job. If you are also eyeing for the same machines, let’s see what they can offer here.
In this comparison, we are going to talk about:
- What are FDM and SLA Printers
- What are LulzBot Mini 2 and Prusa MK3
- How are the Design of LulzBot Mini 2 and Prusa MK3
- How are the Build Volume of LulzBot Mini 2 and Prusa MK3
- How are the Building Bed on LulzBot Mini 2 and Prusa MK3
- How are the Performance of LulzBot Mini 2 and Prusa MK3
- LulzBot Mini 2 Vs Prusa MK3
FDM and SLA Printers
We have so many interesting technologies to try and some of them are also very useful on a daily basis such as how they can be helpful in your learning process or work related tasks. 3D manufacturing or additive manufacturing is one of the most popular nowadays and this is thanks to how the machines are getting cheaper too. In the past, it was quite an inclusive hobby or tool that only few people can afford or understand the process for how expensive the machines are.
Today, you can spend less than $200 and bring home a useful machine such as the Ender 3 from Creality. This brand is very popular when it comes to affordable machines but they have more to offer too like the Creality CR 6 SE Vs CR 10. The entry-level machines are ideal for beginners or experienced users. For new owners because we don’t have to spend much on something we are currently developing skill on and for experienced users because we can upgrade them as needed by adding or changing the parts.
When it comes to 3D printers, you can choose either FDM or SLA which use liquid resin to make the product. FDM is the one that will build your product from solid plastic like PLA or ABS and is through a melting mechanism. In this type of machine the filament will be heated until a certain temperature so the hot end can deposit it layer by layer. The machine usually moves in three axes and typically the building bed will stay at the same level but move in Y axis.
On the other hand we also have SLA or resin printers and what makes it very different from FDM is that this type of machine is using liquid resin and source of light to cure the said resin, also layer by layer. The light source is what sets them apart because they can come from a laser or another type of light like a projector. Since liquid resin is naturally messier to work with, it is the less popular option for beginners, especially when they are often smaller in printing volume as well.
The difference between FDM and SLA printers is not only the material and building process but also the level of quality because in general the liquid resin is more capable of working on finer details or thin layers of prints. However, because the material is liquid resin, it has a strong unpleasant odor and we have to care for it too before storing such as washing and post-curing to enforce the strength, especially for functional usage.
|LulzBot Mini 2||Prusa MK3|
|Product Dimensions||22.5 x 20.1 x 17.7 inches||21.06 x 20.08 x 18.7 inches|
|Shipping Weight||3.5 Ounces||28.51 Pounds|
|Best offer||Check price||Check price|
About LulzBot Mini 2 and Prusa MK3
In general, the FDM printer is the most convenient compared to SLA but both machines have their own pros and cons so we will leave it to which seems more suitable for the application. If you are here then we assume that the machine needs to be both reliable and convenient which is why an FDM printer is a good option to go for. There are actually so many out there to choose from and some of them are also very different.
For those who want to use a machine for professional purposes, the LulzBot and Prusa are two amazing options to consider. These brands have been around for quite some time and while they are not everyone’s favorite for the high price point, they are among the best when it comes to machine performance. They carry some of the most interesting professional printers that we can rely on, especially if you need a ready to use machine that always works wonderfully.
Some that are ideal for a home use are LulzBot Mini 2 and Prusa MK3 which are similar but also different from each other. These machines are quite popular for what they can offer but the premium price point makes them not as versatile and useful for just any maker. For 3D printing, we can spend much less but of course, chances are high with those entry-level machines to require some upgrade or even constant maintenance from time to time.
These machines are highly rated for their performance because you can work seamlessly and get good results every time. The LulzBot Mini 2 and Prusa MK3 are not a basic machine as well which makes them come with some features to consider and our favorite part is they are also convenient. In comparison, for these variants the build volume will be the most important to consider as they are quite different from each other but for the quality, both are similarly amazing.
LulzBot Mini 2 and Prusa MK3 Design
Similar to most FDM machines, these two are using the Cartesian system with a single building bed and a single extruder too. The building bed will stay at the same level but move along the Y axis while the extruder is moving up and down along the Z axis and left and right along the X axis. The machines are very solid as you can see on the sample picture above and they are coming out of the box as almost ready to use.
The build quality is impressive but for a compact machine they are very neat looking as well to look great on various places whether it is in your working table, classroom, shop, etc. The layout is similar but not identical with the Mini 2 enforcing the structure using this boxy frame. It is also placing the component on the side of the machine instead at the bottom and while the control panel is very similar, they are placed at different spots.
LulzBot Mini 2 and Prusa MK3 Print Volume
Now let’s talk about what the LulzBot Mini 2 and Prusa MK3 can offer because they are quite different here. We don’t have to buy a massive machine just to get started with the printing hobby and these two are ideal for you if capacity is not the main focus as they are quite small here at 6.3 x 6.3 x 7.08 inches compared to 8.3 x 8.3 x 9.8 inches. It should be enough for hobby and prototyping or creating functional parts but we must choose wisely too.
LulzBot Mini 2 and Prusa MK3 Building Bed
Next let’s take a look into the building bed of these printers and starting with the Mini 2, this machine is using a borosilicate glass surface or PEI which is very reliable in terms or performance. The bed itself is heated up to 120 degrees for maximum adhesion, for various materials and it is working really well too in practice. The glass bed also produces a very smooth surface but is easy to remove once it cools down. As for the Prusa, this machine is using a steel sheet instead.
This layer is claimed to be easy to maintain and help remove the printed object from the surface conveniently. You can choose from three different surfaces to use however, from the smooth, textured, or satin to provide the different needs while printing including when we are working on different materials. In addition, we are also glad that LulzBot Mini 2 and Prusa MK3 are easy to work with because they are coming with auto bed levelling in order to ease the printing preparation.
LulzBot Mini 2 and Prusa MK3 Performance
Moving further, let’s talk about the performance and printing result with LulzBot Mini 2 and Prusa MK3 as this is the most interesting part. Thankfully, when it comes to printing results these two are amazing and much better than typical entry-level FDM printers that we are familiar with. The test print comes out beautifully with plenty of details and no issue at all which proves that these machines are well made out of the box. In comparison, the Prusa is not as quiet however.
Since none are enclosed, we have to keep it away from children and pets in the house. They are also expensive for the amount of build volume and they work well too with various types of materials even though the level of quality is not always the same across these materials.
Both LulzBot Mini 2 and Prusa MK3 are an impressive machine if what you want is a good and reliable printer that is easy to use but also works well everytime and with a wide range of materials. In comparison, they are very expensive for the build capacity but worth buying for the overall performance that leaves a good impression. In addition, they are also fast to get used to if you don’t have time to tweak the machine further.
You can go amazing with any of them based on which seems to fit in the application the most but with a higher build volume and lower price point as well as similar features, the MK3 is the more convenient option to go for.