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PortaPrusa Documentation
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Release status: experimental

The smallest foldable 3d printer (with a full print volume).
CAD Models
External Link


The PortaPrusa is a foldable briefcase 3d printer inspired by the design of printers like the Prusa i3 and the Mowi Printer. The goal of this printer was to create a printer that could collapse into the smallest possible volume while still maintaining an all-in-one structure, as well as being robust and aesthetically pleasing.

This printer is very much a work in progress, I'm currently working on the 3rd version.


Printed Parts 19
Laser Cut Parts 23
Vitamins a lot
Cost ?
Controller Electronics I'm using a printrboard
Printing Size 200 x 200 x 180
Motors 5 x NEMA 17 Stepper
Frame Material 5mm Wood
Frame Manufacture Laser Cutter
Overall Size (Folded) 37x37x8cm
Overall Size (Unfolded) 37x37x37cm


The development of the PortaPrusa is hosted on github: Link

Printed Parts

The Repo for the PortaPrusa contains all of the STLs you need in order to make the printer. In addition, it also contains the source blend files.

The following is a list of what needs to be printed:

Quantity STL file Comments Picture
1 X-Big.stl Holds Motor X-Big.PNG
1 X-Small.stl X-Small.PNG
1 Extruder.stl Extruder.PNG
1 Extruder-Arm.stl Extruder-Arm.PNG
1 Extruder-Plug.stl Retaining plug for bearing Extruder-Plug.PNG
1 Extruder-Clamp.stl !!!Update File!!! Extruder-Clamp.PNG
1 Bed-Slide_Double.stl Bed-Slide Double.PNG
1 Bed-Slide_Single.stl Bed-Slide Single.PNG
1 Bed-BeltMount.stl Top piece of belt clamp Bed-BeltMount.PNG
1 Bed-Clamp.stl Bed-Clamp.PNG
2 BasePivot.stl BasePivot.PNG
1 BaseSlide_In.stl BaseSlide In.PNG
1 BaseSlide_Out.stl BaseSlide Out.PNG
2 Drive-Gear.stl Drive-Gear.PNG
2 Idle-Gear.stl Idle-Gear.PNG

Laser Cut Parts

You can find the dxfs on the Github

Quantity Description Comments
5mm Wood
1 Front.dxf The big sheet
1 Back.dxf The other big sheet
2 Left.dxf Side of box
2 Right.dxf Side of box
1 Top.dxf Top of box
1 Bottom.dxf Bottom of box
Whole-Frame.dxf All of it!
1 bedMount.dxf Goes under heated bed


Non-Printed Parts

Quantity Description Comments
 ? M3 nut
 ? M3 bolt ?
2 M5 nut For Z-Drive
2 M4 bolt For Pivot
2 M4 nut
11 LM8UU (Asia) or LME8UU (US, Europe) linear bearings OR If using linear bearings, don't cut costs here. Cheap ones can damage the smooth rods.
8mmx25mm pla bushings
2 M4 linear bearings These will allow the box to slide shut.
5 Bearings 4X10X4
2 320mm 8mm smooth rod X axis
2 340mm 8mm smooth rod Y axis
2 350mm 8mm smooth rod Z axis
2 230mm 4mm smooth rod box slide
2 320mm M5 threaded rod z drive
1 710mm GT2 toothed belt Y axis
1 790mm GT2 toothed belt X axis
2 1.5cm vinyl tubing, 6.35mm OD 4.32mm ID (3cm total) Used to attach motors to the Z axis threaded rods. Can be found at most hardware stores, typically used in toilets to connect refill tube to outlet.
1 Glass surface For print bed.
1 7mm 1.5cm compression spring Used to tension extruder.
1 Piano Hinges Small hinge to hold cover panel on box
2 Folding Leg Support Hinge Like this one http://www.amazon.com/Brainerd-Brass-Plated-Folding-Support/dp/B00002N9TI#productDetails to hold open box.
2 Latches You need to keep this thing shut somehow.


Stepper Motors

The PortaPrusa uses 5 NEMA17 stepper motors. Two of these motors, the Z axis motors, are connected to the same stepper driver of the electronics, which are typically wired in parallel but some builders wire them in series so that each motor gets the same amps (in case the resistances are not exactly the same).

Controller Electronics

About any RepRap controller works for the PortaPrusa. Required features: 4 stepper drivers, 1 thermistor input and 1 heater output for the extruder and another thermistor/heater pair for the heated bed. Choosing the best one for your printer is mostly a matter of taste. For this build, I used a Printrboard Rev. D. You will need a compact power supply unit (PSU), like a laptop charger. Also remember that some electronics (RAMPS first and foremost) need an Arduino as well.


Included are mounts for endstops. You will need three standard limit switches.


The PortaPrusa supports a couple different extruders. Right now, these are:

J-Head ?

Heated Bed

The PortaPrusa will support any 200mm heated build platform. I use the Mk2 Heated Bed.