Now that I have settled on the next printer, let’s document the journey of purchasing Prusa i3MK3S+ (i3, from here onwards). In the process I quickly found that the only official way to get i3 is through Prusa website itself and they don’t sell fully assembled printer. But there are actually other ways to get your hands on i3.
- Purchasing printer kit from Prusa website.
- Purchasing semi-assembled printer from Prusa website.
- Getting fully-assembled i3 from a retailer in Singapore.
So what is the best option? Let’s break it down.
(1) Printer Kit from Prusa website
Cost: USD 749 (excluding shipping). This option allows to build the printer from the smallest components onward. Very detailed and clear Manual is included. I would recommend this option only if you have some background in assembling complex stuff.
(2) Fully-assembled i3 from Prusa website
Cost: USD 999 (excluding shipping). The website states that it is a fully-assembled printer. In reality, though it does not mean it is a plug-and-play set up that you can simply plug the power cable and start printing immediately. Because the printer still needs to be shipped long-distance, some parts need to be secured. As such, you need to do some minimal assembly and test before you can start printing. Instructions are provided.
(3) Fully-assembled, Plug and Play i3 from Singapore-retailer.
Cost: Around SGD 1900 (USD 1450) and typically including delivery fee. There are a couple retailers in Singapore offering this. They would purchase the printer kit from Prusa website, assemble and test it fully that it is ready to use right away upon purchase. What you need to do is simply plug into power socket, load the filament and start printing! But the price for this option is rather steep- so you might want to consider this carefully.
So which option did I go with?
I think the option of getting a fully-assembled, plug-and-play printer from a Singapore retailer is out quite quickly. This is because the price is quite steep with not real benefit to it- unless you are really afraid of tinkering with a 3D printer. In that case, then this whole thing about 3D is going to be a real challenge to you.
So now it is between getting kit or assembled printer from Prusa website. Since I had experience with building Ender 3 and built it over 2 half-days, I am feeling quite confident that I would be able to conquer Prusa kit as well. Furthermore, Prusa kit is somewhat the closest to my budget of SGD 1k. Prusa sells at USD 749 + Shipping USD 84 + GST at SGD 95= SGD 1200. So I decided on purchasing Prusa i3MK3S+ printer kit.
There are a couple methods you can choose from. I chose Invoice Payment. You may ask why? Isn’t the bank charges are very high?
So, I maintain a USD bank account in Singapore. And yes in the normal time the bank charges are very high even for small amount. But in this Covid time, the Banks are waiving the charges for international transfer. So I take advantage of this.
However, if you don’t have USD account you may check out DBS Remit. It also offers free international transfer service.
Without Bank charges and without any lousy exchange rate determined by the Bank, this is the most-economical way. But one of the drawback is that, you will not get immediate confirmation to your order. Once you made the transfer to Prusa, they would take about 5-7 days to pair your payment with your order. And only once paired, your order would be processed for shipping. In my case, I ordered on a Tuesday, made payment on the same day, then they paired my payment on Sunday and shipped the item the following Tuesday. I received the parcel just 2 days later on Thursday afternoon. It is faster than my expectations- 9 calendar days from making the manual payment to receiving the printer. Overall, it is quite a pleasant experience Purchasing Prusa i3MK3S+ from Prusa itself.
GST Payment in Singapore
You may be wondering how to pay for GST in Singapore. Do I need to go to Customs? or how do I actually pay for it? Not too worry. It is very simple. When you parcel arrives in Singapore, couriers like DHL or FedEx will send you an email requesting you to pay GST to Customs through them. And they will also tell you how much exactly you have to pay. What you need to do is to simply follow the instructions in the email and pay GST electronically. All done in 5 minutes!
Once you have paid for the GST, the parcel is then scheduled for delivery. So, no pay = no delivery 🙂