Well when one of the most popular 3D printers also happens to be open source you can guarantee there will be a company that will clone it. That’s exactly what has happened here with the MK3 from Fysetc based off of the Prusa MK3. Fysetc sent me the parts to build an MK3 to test and review. As a Prusa MK3 owner I was extremely curious to see how they compared. Read on to find out!
Originally when they sent me the parts they did not yet have an entire kit to purchase yet on AliExpress. They only had most of the individual pieces. Fysetc sent me the first batch of parts which included the MK3 frame, bed, stepper motors, Einsy control board, PINDA probe, power panic sensor, and various hardware bits. Shortly after they released an MK3 power supply, e3d clone hot end, Noctua style fans, and hardware kit. I did have to supply some additional bearings and wiring from my own inventory.
I did have to 3D print all the printed parts myself and this was done with orange PETG from Amazon Basics, black PETG I had lying around, and some black ABS for the fan duct.
They now sell a nearly complete kit minus the 3D printed parts which you need to supply yourself, for $355 USD plus shipping (approx.. $75 USD to Canada). That’s a reduction of approximately $370 USD from the genuine Prusa MK3. Here’s the BOM they provide for their kit:
1*Aluminum frame + 1*front plate
+ 1*rear plate + 1*Y carriage+
3* U bolts
10* LM8UU bearings
Smooth rods kit-2*320mm+2*330mm+2*370mm
Aluminum Profiles kit- 2 * 205MM 3030 + 2 x*120MM 3030
4* Antivibration Feet
1* MK52 magnetic heated bed+ 1* steel sheet+2*PEI sheets
1*30cm sleeve cable for heated bed
Motors kit-Nema 17 stepper motor and z axis 320mm motor
Filament sensor with cable
Power panic with cable and switch
P.I.N.D.A V2 sensor
Heatsink extruder radiator with block nozzle kit
50CM Textile Sleeve Cable Wire*1
HT-NTC100K Thermistor Temperature Sensor 1m*1
24V 50W Ceramic Cartridge Heater 1M*1
1 M PTFE Tube Teflonto *1
Drive gear extruder kit
2m gt2 belt with 2* pulley
9* aluminum spacer
1set the whole screw nut kit
Assembly was honestly pretty straight forward. Following the directions, I was able to build this MK3 almost identically to the genuine MK3. The only hiccup was the Power Panic. This kit came with the sensor, but it did not come with the rocker switch or the wiring. I purchased a huge pack of rocker switches as I could not purchase a single unit and I had some spare wiring and connectors in my inventory. Using the power of the internet I was able to find the information I needed and assemble the PSU and Power Panic. I continued on and complete the assembly using Prusa’s renowned online assembly instructions.
I was able to download the Prusa Firmware and upload it onto the Fysetc MK3 without issue. I continued on and went through the start-up calibration just like the genuine MK3 and we were set for a first print.
I really wanted to see how the genuine MK3 performed against the Fysetc MK3. I printed a purple Benchy on the genuine MK3. When it was completed, I took the SD card out of the genuine MK3 and placed it into the Fysetc MK3. I swapped over the filament and printed with the exact same gcode file. The Benchy’s were identical. I was impressed but not surprised. This printer felt very similar during the build process so I truly wasn’t expecting the end results to differ that much.
I had a large wood print I had to run and some carbon fibre PLA I had to use up for a project so I installed the Dyze Design Tungsten Nozzle I received from their Kickstarter campaign and used that nozzle for the remainder of this review.
The large Baby Groot planter came out great! This was a 22-hour print with wood PLA and it printed without failure. I was very happy with the results and the photo below shows the print with supports removed.
I also printed a desk organizer for myself and I used Carbon Fibre PLA to print a few of the square tubes that are used in the desk organizer.
I also printed this entire lightsaber assembly made out of 9 pieces on the Fysetc MK3. The print all turned out good using Slic3r PE and a variety of PLA filaments I had.
I do want to note one thing I’m not as keen on with the Fysetc MK3. The MK52 heatbed I received do not have the same quality of magnets used as the genuine MK3. The magnets were much weaker on the Fysetc MK3 and that can affect prints. Fysetc has told me they have since improved their MK52 heatbed but I do not have the latest model and cannot comment on it further.
Community & Support
This section gets a little tricky. I am part of the Prusa Facebook group but if you show up with the clone looking for support your mileage may vary. There are some Prusa owners that are quite protective of Prusa as a brand and may not welcome a cloned printer with open arms.
Is it worth the $370 in savings? Well that’s truly up to the individual. It was more work to get this printer running with the items that were missing and printing all the PETG and ABS parts myself took additional time and cost. However, the printer does work quite well and prints as good as the genuine MK3 right now. I say right now because time will tell how long the components last vs the genuine MK3. You will also not get the world class support from Prusa with the Fysetc MK3 and that may be worth a lot to you. I do like having both personally and I think there is definitely a place for the Fysetc MK3.