Prusa Mini vs Ender 3 V2 are two popular entry-level 3D printers. They are suitable for beginners, but experienced users will also find them more than capable enough to act as a secondary printer or to work in a print farm. In this article, we will show you the differences between Prusa Mini and Ender 3 V2 so that you can choose the best entry-level 3D printer for your purpose.
Key points in the comparison of Prusa Mini vs Ender 3 V2:
- Prusa Mini has a smaller build volume, though it should be enough for most common items
- Prusa Mini is easier to set up and will work pretty much right out of the box
- Ender 3 V2 requires more tinkering but offers more versatility
- Ender 3 V2 can resume its operation after a power outage
- While Prusa Mini has a magnetic spring steel bed, Ender 3 V2 has a tempered glass bed
- Prusa Mini can work with a wider range of materials than Ender 3 V2
- The printing speed of Prusa Mini is a little bit faster than that of Ender 3 V2
Prusa Mini vs Ender 3 V2: Design
Prusa Mini is an attempt from the Czechia-based company in the budget desktop-sized 3D printer market. It has many things in common with the more expensive Prusa MK3S. However, it is much more compact with a build volume of 180 x 180 x 180 mm. The obvious advantage is that it won’t require much space, and it can be placed easily on your desktop.
Although the build volume is indeed small, it is enough for most common items in daily printing. When you need to create something big, you can just split the model into smaller pieces so that you can print them on Prusa Mini. Once you get over the small build volume, Prusa Mini will actually impress you with its clean and clutter-free design, premium look, and nice features.
Ender 3 V2 is an upgraded and updated model of Ender 3, which has been in the market for quite a long time. In terms of build volume, you still get a decent capacity of 220 x 220 x 250 mm, which will allow you to print larger items easily. You will also find a Bowden extruder with manual filament feeding and bed leveling.
Although the specs of Ender 3 V2 look quite similar to its predecessor, this model actually introduces subtle yet useful improvements. For example, there is now a drawer where you can store your essential tools. There are no longer boxy metal enclosures that may get in your way. And there is a detachable display screen. Ender 3 V2 looks slick and professional. Read also: LulzBot Mini 2 VS Prusa MK3 here.
|Ender 3 V2
|15 x 15 x 13 inches
|18.5 x 18.7 x 24.41 inches
Prusa Mini vs Ender 3 V2: Setup
In terms of setup, Prusa Mini is generally easier and quicker. Although you still need to do some assembly by yourself, every part is labeled and marked. The manual provides clear instructions. You only need about one hour to get Prusa Mini ready for use.
Another nice thing about Prusa Mini is that it comes with spare parts. So, if something gets damaged, you can easily replace that. This 3D printer is a good choice for people who just want to start printing with minimal hassle.
Ender 3 V2, on the other hand, requires more tinkering. You need to read the manual carefully to assemble this 3D printer properly. The process may take about three or four hours.
Thus, for someone who is a total beginner, Ender 3 V2 may seem to be somewhat intimidating. There is some learning curve in configuring the parts to achieve the best print results. This may be less of a problem for an experienced user who knows what they are doing.
Prusa Mini vs Ender 3 V2: Features
Prusa Mini comes with many cool features. First of all, there is a color LCD screen that is very user-friendly. It will tell you how the model looks like, how long the print job will take and the elapsed time, and how much material will be used.
Then, Prusa Mini is equipped with a removable magnetic spring steel sheet bed. As it cools down, it will allow you to pop off the print results easily by flexing it inward. Alternatively, you can purchase an additional textured spring steel sheet bed, which is even better but not essential.
In the connectivity section, Prusa Mini is also quite attractive. In addition to the USB port, there is an Ethernet port that will allow you to connect this printer to your local network or the Internet. It will also allow you to connect multiple printers easily. If you already have a Raspberry Pi Wi-Fi bridge, you can use that to give wireless connectivity to this printer.
Last but not least, Prusa Mini is backed by decent support. There is a 24/7 customer support via live chat, and the PrusaPrinters community hub where you can find a blog, forum, and model repository. There are lots of passionate users who can share tips, advice, and models optimized for this printer.
Ender 3 V2 also has an integrated color display screen. It can be detached so that you can access it more easily, though the cable is rather short. Then, there is a very nice tempered glass bed with a silicon carbide coating. This bed doesn’t accumulate filament residue over time, and will allow you to remove print results easily after they cool down a bit.
There is a USB port on Ender 3 V2, but it does not have an Ethernet port. Instead, it comes with a memory card slot, which will allow you to print models directly from a MicroSD. The company also develops and provides firmware updates actively to ensure the printer remains up to date.
There are also some features of Ender 3 V2 that are not really obvious, but can be very useful. First, it has XY-axis tensioners, which you can use to adjust the belt tensions to maintain optimum print quality as the printer ages. Then, Ender 3 V2 can automatically resume a print job after a power outage, instead of restarting from point zero. Next, there is a silicone sock on the heater to prevent stray filament threads and keep the operation neat.
Prusa Mini vs Ender 3 V2: Performance
Prusa Mini is really easy to use. It works with the PrusaSlicer software, which has an intuitive user interface. You can choose between simple, advanced, and expert modes to suit your level and need of customization. There are also different printer profiles and filament profiles. Prusa Mini can work with PLA, ASA, PETG, ABS, and Flex materials.
Prusa Mini is armed with a custom 32-bit Buddy motherboard and Trinamic 2209 drivers. This enables the printer to have similar built-in capabilities as OctoPrint, including printer farm management. Prusa Mini has a maximum travel speed of about 200 mm/s, which means that it can finish print jobs quickly.
Unfortunately, Prusa Mini is not totally perfect. Some users have experienced minor issues with the extruder. It sometimes gets jammed and doesn’t produce anything. To fix this issue, you need to loosen the PTFE hot-end tube a little bit. If the problem persists, you can try replacing that part with the spare. Another issue is that Prusa Mini does not have a resume function after a power outage.
Ender 3 V2 works really well with Cura and Simplify3D. If you are new, you will need to take your time to learn using the software, but it will be perfectly functional once you get the grasp of it. The printer is armed with a 32-bit motherboard and TMC2208 drivers, and is compatible with PLA, PETG, ABS, and TPU materials.
With a maximum travel speed of 180 mm/s, Ender 3 V2 offers decent performance. One distinctive feature of Ender 3 V2 is that the motors work with very smooth movements. Thus, it is very quiet when working. You will only hear the cooling fans and subtle thuds from the bed and print head.
Ender 3 V2 doesn’t have any jamming issues, but the manual filament feeding is a little bit awkward. Nevertheless, it works consistently well. The filament always sticks nicely on the tempered glass bed when hot, and pops off neatly when cool. And the resume function after a power outage is very convenient.
In general, Prusa Mini is more recommended because it is easier to use. Beginners will appreciate the straightforward setup and software. It also has better connectivity. However, Ender 3 V2 can be your choice if you are an experienced user, and you need a larger build volume.