As the popularity and the shipments of the Prusa i3 MK2 grew, it started popping up everywhere.
Reddit, Facebook feeds, Thingiverse. Just about everywhere you can recognize the MK2 right away from a photo that does not even show more than a few parts of the printer.
The "ORIGINAL PRUSA" on the heatbed, the "HOT!" on the nfan nozzle, the bright safety ABS orange parts.
And just about every 2 or 3 days i see these catastrophic fails on a MK2, aka Hotend blobs on Reddit, and on Facebook. Sometimes even on Twitter or Thingiverse Forums. Photo included is from Prusas own knowledge base.
These catastrophic failures can have only two reasons:
- Print lifted from the heated bed and got stuck on the big 200+ degrees heaterblock, new extruded filament will collect there as well as one massive molten blob.
- Nozzle or heatbreak not correctly tightened into the heaterblock when hot. Filament will leak out over time then, and will slowly drip almost as a liquid onto the bed, while still accumulating on the heaterblock.
More than 90% of these catastrophic failures can be attributed to the first error, the print lifting from the bed and sticking to the heaterblock.
People try to fix it almost always do it wrong, ripping off thermistor cables or damaging other components.
And almost all of these 90% could be avoided if Prusa would throw in just one or two E3D Silicone Socks
. Prusa, you supply the genuine E3D hotend already, why not throw in a 1 dollar silicone sock?
I've been using the sock since my first 'almost' catastrophic failure a year ago, never had a problem with them since.
The silicone sock has these benefits:
- clean heaterblocks & no catastrophic blobs on the heaterblock forever
- the temperature of the hotend is MUCH more stable, even without PID tuning, as you can see in octoprint's temp graph
- the Printer will consume less energy because there is no filament fan that keeps blowing some of the cold air onto the heaterblock. the Heater cartridge has to work extra hard to keep the heaterblock hot; with the silicone sock no cold air gets to it, and the silicone even has a heat conserving ability for the heaterblock. you can actually measure this with a watt meter, the printer will consume about 4 - 5 watts less with the silicone sock on the heaterblock.
- provided you cool the 3D prints adequately and avoid upwards curling prints, the silicone sock will last months. Sharp curling prints will rip off small pieces of the silicone sock, or in some cases will rip off the sock from the hearblock entirely. (the sock survives this unharmed)
Mr. Prusa, why is this silicone sock still not included even with your newest and most 'smartest
' of your Printers?
Raise the Price of the Printer for one dollar for all we care, this saves a lot of people big headaches with the issues mentioned above.