One of the better tech things I’ve gotten over the last couple of years is my Prusa Mini+ 3D printer. I’m a software guy through and through, and messing with hardware is definitely not my best skill. Can I do it? Sure, in a pinch. I don’t like doing it though.

Paradoxically, I ended up getting a Prusa Mini+ KIT. Yes, a KIT of all things, and me a software guy with an aversion to hardware stuff. Why? I did that because I knew that if something ever went wrong with it, I wouldn’t be shipping the whole printer back to Czechoslovakia a repair. At the time, I figured the best thing to do would be build the whole thing, figure out what I did wrong after building the thing, and get some experience. Because sooner or later, something was going to screw up, and I wanted to be able to fix it.

It took months to get the printer, because it was right after the pandemic, and they had a long backlog. I put the printer together in three nights, after work. It did come with a instruction booklet, but the thing that came in REALLY handy was the online-instruction guide. Why? Because users can add comments, each step of the way! If something is particularly tricky, users will make a comment about that. If the mods agree, then the instructions are updated. Pictures for every step. Made putting it together a real breeze.

After I got everything put together, I switched it on. It booted just fine. I inserted the first filament into the printer, and it worked fine. A few z-axis adjustments later, and I had a good first layer. Not bad for a software guy, but this 100% is because of the engineering that went into the printer and the online instruction guide.

About six months later, the filament wouldn’t feed any more. After a quick investigation on the community forums, I found someone that had a similar problem, when to the Prusa website and found some instructions on how to fix my exact problem. Since I built the thing, I knew I could take apart what I needed to, and get it fixed. And I did! One adjustment, and I’ve been printing ever since.

That’s just my experience. Yours will vary, of course.

Bottom line: My advice is to 1) get a kit, because you’ll want to be able to fix it later. 2) Follow the Prusa online build guides, they’re great! Of course, that only works if you get a Prusa. I don’t have experience with other 3D Printers.

The Prusa Community is great. Look for them on the Prusa forums, and the Prusa Reddit group.