It’s well known in the desktop 3D printing world that you get what you pay for. If you want to spend under $300, you get a Creality Ender 3 and deal with its slightly half-baked nature. Or if you have the cash to burn, you buy a Prusa i3 MK3 and know you’ll stay on the cutting edge with an ever-evolving slicer and regular hardware revisions.
Now, it stands to reason that an expensive product will have expensive accessories, but even still, the recently unveiled “Original Prusa Enclosure” is sure to induce a bit of sticker shock in even the most cash of [Josef Průša]Fans of — the simplest configuration of the 10 kg (22 lb) box rings in at US$349. You read correctly, just the pregnant because Prusa’s flagship machine costs more than the average Chinese 3D printer. In fact, it costs as much as the kit version of the Prusa Mini, which, by the way, should get its own version of the case in the future. If you select all the bells and whistles, a fully equipped Prusa case will cost you $700 plus shipping.
So what do you get for your money? Well, for the most part, it’s just a box. We’re sure it’s very well built and the design is perfectly suited to the dimensions of the Prusa i3 MK3, but it’s literally just a box. There is a built-in temperature and humidity display, but the printer itself is responsible for heating the chamber. We like that you can move the printer control panel to the outside of the box so you don’t have to open the doors as often, although at this point the printer and enclosure have been merged into a single heavy unit, which obviously hinders transportability. The air filtration system is likely to be a popular add-on for $76, but our interest in the fire suppression system is hampered by the fact that (at least for now) it’s not available only for European Union customers.
In the blog post announcing the product release, [Josef] explains that there is already a great low cost case solution for the i3 MK3 based on the IKEA Lack table, so the company decided to go all out and design something for the higher end of the market. Will the average i3 owner shell out the cash for the corresponding case? We doubt it. But for the tech startup running a small farm that they want to be as safe and reliable as possible? This is an other story.