With plethora of sensors and stuff, the next natural step is testing the newly assembled Prusa i3 MK3S+. It is to ensure that not only the printer is assembled correctly and thus can work properly, but also that all the sensors are performing as it should.
There are several tests that the printer will ask you to complete before it agrees to print for the first time:
- Hot end/ Extruder test
- Heatbed tests
- XYZ axis wiring & motors
- XYZ length & belt tension
- IR Filament sensor
- First layer calibration
They are quite self-explanatory. Basically Prusa i3 is capable of doing self-test and to a certain extent to self-diagnose what is wrong. This blog is about how the test went. If you are keen to read more about the test, you can read from Prusa website directly here.
Filament IR Sensor Test Failed
When the printer is switched on for the very first time, it would prompt you to do printer’s self-test. To perform the self-test, filaments needs to be inserted. And quickly I ran into issue as the printer just wont take in the filament. I tried opening the extruder, tried using another filament and tried with semi brute-force to insert the filament. So I decided to contact Prusa technical help where I was quickly referred to this particular knowledge base.
The first troubleshooting requires me to open up the Einsy box to check the placement of the cable. I was rather reluctant to do this because I thought I must have done this correctly! Lo and behold, I indeed put it wrongly. See the picture below. The socket for this particular cable has 2 tiers: top and bottom. I had put the cable into the Top tier, where it should be plugged to the bottom part. Once I switched it to the bottom, the IR filaments sensor just work flawlessly!
Z Calibration Failed
This is part of XYZ Calibration test, where in my case the X- and Y- axis calibration passed but not Z-calibration. X- and Z- axis calibration values are well within the normal range. But for Z-axis calibration, it would complete all 9 points, but for some reason the status returned fail every time. I tried to troubleshoot by finding articles online and reading Prusa blog and forum. But still not able to solve the issue. Finally I decided to contact Prusa technical help. They were also not able to solve the XYZ calibration failure and asked me to go directly to run Z calibration. And it passed. So until today, the test status is that XYZ Calibration failed (with X- and Y- calibration passed and Z- failed), but Z- calibration alone returned pass. Not sure why but printer is working fine now.
First Layer Calibration
First layer calibration is primarily calibrating the Z-axis down to the smallest details. What it does is simply printing zig-zag lines. I noticed that when it was printing, the extruder is quite a distance away from the print bed. This resulted in uneven lines and not so tidy box like the picture below.
What is needed here is to live adjust the z-axis until you get the results described on Prusa blog here. In my case, I have to bring the z-axis closer to the bed until I get the satisfactory results.
You can also watch my full testing newly assembled Prusa i3 MK3S+ experience in the video below.