There is little debate that the Original Prusa i3 MK3 from Prusa Research is the best desktop 3D printer you can buy, at least in its price range. In terms of print quality and consistency, it is consistently one of the highest machines and, thanks to its iterative open source development, offers state-of-the-art functions. Unless you’re trying to get under a certain budget, you really can’t go wrong with a Prusa machine.
While the machine itself can be relied on to give consistent results, this cannot always be said for the filament you feed into the machine. In a recently published blog post [Josef Prusa] explains that his team was surprised at how poor the physical consistency was even with premium brands of 3D printer filament. As a company that prides itself on having as much 3D printing under control as possible, they felt an obligation to achieve better results for their customers. Because of this, they have started making their own filament which is to the same standards as the rest of their printer.
Your new filament, which is aptly referred to as “Prusament”, is subject to higher physical standards, which not only have diameter but also ovality. Many manufacturers only perform random checks of the filament diameter. However, bulges or changes in the cross-sectional shape can be overlooked. For the average 3D printer, this can cause slightly uneven extrusion and print quality degradation, but it is unlikely to be a bug. However, the Prusa i3 MK3, especially with the multi-material upgrade installed, is not suitable for most printers. During the test, these minor deviations were enough to cause traffic jams.
But you don’t have to take your word for it. Each Prusament spool has a QR code that links to a page that lists the exact date of manufacture, length, ovality percentage, and standard diameter deviation of that particular roll. You can even use an interactive graph to determine the diameter of the filament for a specific position in the spool and how much filament is left for a given spool weight. It should be very interesting to see what the community will do with this information, and we predict some very interesting OctoPrint plugins that will appear down the line.
Prusament is currently only available in PLA, but PETG and ASA variants will be available soon. You can now order it directly from Prusa Research in Prague for $ 24.99 per kilogram. However, it will also be available on Amazon within a month to keep shipping costs down.