Prusa i3 ION

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Release status: working

Prusa i3 ION.PNG
3D printer inspired in the Prusa i3
CAD Models
External Link


Front image Prusa i3 ION
The 'Prusa ION V6' is a 3D printer inspired by the Prusa i3, but with many changes, improvements and updates. It has been designed by the technical team of ThingiBOX, an online store whose products are related to the world of 3D printing.
The objective of the project was to design a structure made of acrylic where all the parts were cut with a CNC laser machine, the other objective was to keep all the electronic components inside the printer so that it looked clean and tidy. To facilitate the cooling of the electronics, there are two fans working.
The maximum printing volume is 200x200x150mm in a heated steel bed with a silicone base and on top of a borosilicate glass (prepared for the abrupt change between temperatures), so you can print with ABS without any problem (if lacquer is applied).
The extruder is a metal E3D v5 that can heat up to 300 ° C. In this printer you can use all kinds of plastic material (ABS, PLA, etc.) available in the market. There is the option to choose the diameter of the filament that the extruder admits, so we offer it in 3 mm or 1.75 mm. The nozzle has a 0.4 mm hole in both cases.
There is also a fan (and its support) for the radiator of the extruder whose function is to prevent the filament from clogging the conduit.
To drive the filament, there is a cogwheel that increases the force that can be made step by step and drives a bolt with MK8 nut.
For the Z axis (the height) it contains the Tr8x8 bars because that improves the print quality significantly.
For the movement of the other two axes, GT2 pulleys and synchronous belts are used.
For electronics; An Arduino MEGA 2560 is used along with a RAMPAS 1.4, which also includes 4 A4988 controllers that drive 5 NEMA17 stepper motors. Also included are 2 limit switches and a capacitive sensor for automatically autohome axes and autocalibration.

To provide the necessary power, a power supply that emits 12 V and 5 A (60 W) is also provided, since the hot base is rated at 220V and does not consume amperage.
The cables that are outside the base of the printer are confined in a cable chain to protect them during the movement of the axis and so that everything is tidy.
On the back of the base there are two connectors, one to connect to the AC power switch and an integrated USB connector. It also has a space if you want to connect a Raspberry Pi (not included) to control the machine with Ocotprint over the Internet.
Also included is a 2004 LCD that incorporates an SD card reader, to control the printer and print parts directly from the screen.

Technical Data

Frame White methacrylate 10mm Transparent methacrylate 5mm
Smooth rods 304 Steel, tolerance H9
Threaded rods Thread Tr8x8 or M8 (optional)
Print volume 200x200x150 mm
Extruder E3D v5 (All metal)
Filament diameter 1.75/3 mm (optional)
Filament types All types (PLA, ABS, Nylon, etc...)
Electronics Arduino MEGA 2560 - RAMPS 1.4
Drivers 4 x A4988
Power source 12V/5A
Build platform Steel bed with silicone base (220 V)
Display LCD 2004 with SD card reader



Axial fans
Unlike the original Prusa i3, our version has an opening for the electronics and the printer’s power supply. Thanks to the housing the electronic components such as control boards, power supply, cables and connectors are stowed in an orderly and safe manner.
Two small axial fans ensure the cooling of the electronics. The power supply features a built-in temperature control that cuts off electrical power in case of overheating.
Heated bed
The maximum printing volume is 200x200x190mm. The objects are printed on a 3 mm thick borosilicate glass that has a low thermal expansion. Under the glass, we place a heated steel bed that provides additional stiffness and at the same time allows to print filaments that have problems of adherence when printing at low temperature, such as ABS.
Depending on humidity conditions and room temperature, the heated bed can reach a temperature of 130ºC.
The extruder is an E3D v5 full metal hotend that allows to print at temperatures as high as 300ºC. It is compatible with almost all available filaments. The nozzle has a 0.4mm diameter, this is a compromise between printing precision and speed.
An additional fan prevents the filament from melting before time and thus clogging the duct. The extruder incorporates standard components and can be completely disassembled; this makes cleaning and spare part replacements easier.
MK8 drive gear wheel
The Prusa i3 ION uses a MK8 drive gear wheel to feed the filament into the extruder. The wheel is fixed on an axis with a gear on one end which increases by factor five the power that is transmitted by the motor. This way we can use a smaller motor in the extruder, reducing the motor’s inertia and increasing printing quality at the same time. This applies specially where the extruder suddenly changes its speed, for instance when printing corners.
Z axis
For the Z axis (which is responsible for lifting the printer head), it contains the Tr8x8 threaded rods because they considerably improve the printing results. Traditional, uncalibrated metric bars are significantly less expensive, but can cause ripples in the printed object that are more visible in the object's workshop.
With the Tr8x8 bars we use machined POM nuts that completely eliminate the inverted bar, typical in traditional threaded bar configurations. For even greater precision, our POM nuts are 10 mm longer than the usual nuts.
For the movement of the other axis of the printer, it uses synchronous GT2 and belts with manual tensioners.
Arduino MEGA 2560
Regarding electronics, this printer includes an Arduino MEGA 2560 controller together with a RAMPS 1.4 screen that incorporates 4 A4988 controllers that move 5 NEMA17 stepper motors. Also included are 2 limit switches with cable and a capacitive sensor for autohome and auto-calibration.
The external wires of the printer are kept in a cable chain. In this way, the cables are kept in order and safe while the axis moves.

Socket with switch
Two connectors are situated on the back side, one for the AC power supply through a socket with switch and one for USB connections in case you wish to control the printer directly from your PC.
The housing features also an opening and bores for a Raspberry Pi 2 (not included) which allows to connect the printer to the internet and control it via Octoprint.

LCD 2004 screen
A 2004 LCD screen is included to monitor the printer. The screen driver includes an SD card that allows you to load designs without the need for a PC.
There is no need to modify the firmware for the configuration of the screen. With this board you can control the printing speed without having to wait for the hotend to cool, preheat the printer, modify the firmware parameters or change the filament in the middle of the printing process; all this without a PC

Other versions

An XL version with a 200x300 printing surface is also available

Where to buy

 - Complete Kit in ThingiBOX Now Available!
 - Complete Kit XL in ThingiBOX Now Available!