Quite a while ago, on the occasion of my 3D printer beginner guide, I also gave a little buying advice with various recommendable models. I still consider the machines from Prusa Research to be the best that an ambitious hobby plastic melter can buy. Print quality, support, and most importantly reliability are outstanding…at a price. But since the printers are open-source and all the details have been disclosed, cheaper replicas are offered on sites like AliExpress. I bought such a clone out of interest and will compare it with the original in the following article.
Shipping and packing
I ordered the clone from AliExpress through one of the most popular sellers called Fysetc. They ship directly from a Spanish warehouse, so within a week it was delivered completely duty free.
The whole thing was packed in a simple cardboard box, which unfortunately contained too little filling material. This allowed the frames to wiggle out of the extra foam protection cut to fit and fly around. Annoying, because if they get bent, this will lead to losses in print quality later on.
With me it went out again smoothly, only the large Z-frame stood at a corner slightly high. With a smooth surface and some weights, I was able to smooth it back out. Not the end of the world, but a few more sheets of foam could avoid such unsightliness.
All other accessories and small parts are safely stored in different boxes, even the heating bed was wrapped in bubble wrap. I was a little worried about the power supply though. As you can see it is right on the edge, an awkward bump in transit at this point and there are dents or defects. A little more protection would certainly be in order.
Scope of delivery
The kit contains everything for a Prusa MK3S, apart from the printed parts:
1x aluminum frame + 1x front plate + 1x rear plate + 1x Y carriage
3x U bolts
10x LM8UU bearings
smooth rods kit – 2x 320mm + 2x 330mm + 2x 370mm
Aluminum Profiles kit 2x 205mm 3030 + 2x 120mm 3030
4x Antivibration Feet
1x MK52 magnetic heated bed + 1x steel sheet + 2x PEI sheets
30cm sleeve cable for heated bed
motors kit – Nema 17 stepper motor and z axis 320mm motor
Einsy board + 2004 LCD display
IR filament sensor with cable
power panic with cable and switch
P.I.N.D.A V2 sensor
heatsink extruder radiator with block nozzle kit xml-ph-04
Accordingly, the two boxes are full of loose small parts and electronics. With the stepper motors, special emphasis is placed on transport protection and they are packed in a suitably cut foam block.
Also praiseworthy is the exact labeling of each screw and nut, so you do not have to search long later. True, they are not resealable sachets, but still. This is where the first difference to the original becomes apparent: various hexagonal wrenches are included, but magnetic screwdrivers and cutting pliers are not.
And to say it again explicitly:
The cheaper final price of less than half is of course caused by using different or mostly cheaper parts than the original. I’ll go into that more in the buildup section in a moment.