Hello, everyone! We are on a roll this week! After releasing the exciting Smooth Variable Layer Height, I have some better news today! MK2 has been around for almost a year! Wow time flies!
The MK2’s that we are shipping now are quite a bit different than the first ones we got out the door. For example, it did not have the auto-calibration feature. Since then, almost every part has been tweaked, reinforced or optimised for better assembly. We iterated very rapidly, basically every two weeks or so. For us launching a product does not mean the job is done! If we find a way to improve it, we cannot resist. I love to believe, that this is the reason why we are successful.
MK2 life in numbers
- ~18000 shipped
- 10 firmware revisions
- 5 drivers revisions
- 5 big assembly instruction updates
- 5 big handbook updates
- Countless printed parts updates
Our farm has grown to 184 printers and they run 24/7 in very hot and harsh conditions, we have been collecting data and different failures which occurred throughout the year. We sat down and tried to improve everything to prevent most of these typical failures. Before I show you the details of the improvements, I just want to note that MK2S runs the same firmware and the same g-codes. The print quality is the same as with a brand new MK2 so no need to rush with upgrading. We are gradually rolling this update to the production. Price remains the same and upgrade kit from MK2 to MK2S is available for $49. Upgrade will contain smooth rods, better LM8UUs, U-bolts and misc fasteners. G-codes to print the upgraded printed parts are available. Now let’s get down to business.
Better LM8UU mounting on Y axis
On our farm, parts never cool down completely. This makes them quite hard to remove and sometimes our staff has to use excessive force. This way of removing the parts weakens the zip ties holding the LM8UUs on the Y axis and allows the whole bed to wobble. This reduces the print quality slightly. MK2S is now using U bolts to hold the bearings. From our farm experience it works very well and is quick and simple to install.
Better LM8UUs and smooth rods
MK2 bearings might have been little noisy, so we sourced better bearings and rods for the MK2S. They are matched together and run very smoothly and are quieter. The smooth rods are now ground and hardened stainless steel. Igus polymer bushings upgrade is still an option for even less noise, but I think the new bearings are pretty good as they are. If you still want to upgrade, we strongly suggest to get the printer working with stock bearings first as Igus can easily bind when ever so slightly misaligned and prevent successful XYZ Calibration. BTW these better parts were used on pre-assembled printers for couple of weeks already 😉
Better P.I.N.D.A. probe mount
Loose print or overhang curling up might have broken the old mount. Not with the new one. As a bonus, the probe is much easier to adjust, just loosen the two holding screws and move it where it needs to be.
Improved cable stress relief on extruder
If the cables were not routed to optimally on the back side of the X carriage or if some users left out the nylon reinforcement, the cables tended to break from fatigue. MK2S has reinforcements to further stress relief the cables. Improper cable management is the number 1 cause of failed probes and nozzle cooling fans which leads to clogged nozzles.
Better electronics cover
The most commented part of our assembly instructions was the RAMBo mini cover, more specifically that it is hard to mount on the frame. With the revised version, you can easily mount the RAMBo into the housing and just slide it onto bolts on the frame. The cable bundle from the X- carriage have been re-routed to the top now to prevent sagging of the wire harness over time.
This is pretty much it. Thank you for your continued support and always look out for new announcements 🙂 Happy printing!