Prusa MK2.5 UPGRADE kit – Worth the price & effort?

Prusa MK2.5 UPGRADE kit – Worth the price & effort?


This is my Original Prusa i3 Mk2.5 that I
upgraded from the MK2s using the Prusa upgrade kit. Even though it has many features of the latest
Prusa like the magnetic bed, it’s not quite a Mk3 and in today’s video I’ll tell you
if this upgrade is worth your money and time. Guten Tag everybody, I’m Stefan and welcome
to CNC Kitchen. The Original Prusa i3 is still the printer
I use the most often for my projects because it’s quite, reliable and just works. I purchased it two years ago as a MK2 and
then upgraded it to a MK2s a good year later. With the release of the MK3, Prusa Research
also made an upgrade kit available that made it possible to upgrade your existing MK2s
with many of the features of the MK3 and they called it the MK2.5. A very generous viewer was so kind to provide
me with the upgrade kit that sells for 200€ and if you have ever bought an Original Mk2
or Mk2s then you’ll get 50€ discount which makes it effectively cost 150€ for most. If you had purchased your Mk2s shortly before
the release of the Mk3 you should even have a 100€ discount voucher. The upgrade kit is meant for the MK2s so if
you still have a normal MK2 it is advisable to also purchase the MK2s upgrade which includes
new smooth rods, bearings a U-Bolts but that will set you back another 55€. How much of the MK3 is actually in the MK2.5? So first things first, you won’t get a 24V
system with the power panic functionality. There is also no new mainboard included so
you won’t get the Trinamic drivers with better microstepping, crash detection and
stealth mode as well as the there won’t be stall detection for the print fan. What you will be getting with the upgrade
though is a whole new extruder assembly, that features hardened steel bondtech gears that
drive the filament from both sides, a quite Noctua fan, an optical filament sensor and
the PINDA 2 probe. The new bed sensing probe includes a thermistor
that compensates for temperature drift and will help you get a consistent first layer
thickness especially when you work with different print platform temperatures. The new electronics enclosure has optimized
attachments for the extruder and bed wires in order to avoid fatigue at the locations
where they enter the box. Though, the most notable thing is the magnetic
spring steel bed. Unfortunately the powder coated beds are still
not available for the MK2.5 but the smooth PEI sheets that are applied on both sides
on mine perform very well. This bed makes removing prints so easy and
satisfying by just bending it and helps you avoiding using a spatula that killed my old
PEI sheet quite fast. It needs to be noted that this magnetic bed
sits directly on the heated PCB which makes the response time quite fast and the magnets
are suitable for temperatures way above those, the bed can reach, so printing ABS and similar
materials is not a problem what so ever. Keep that in mind if you compare the price
of this upgrade with other magnetic print plate solutions that are way cheaper but not
suitable for high temperature beds and will not work with Prusas mesh bed leveling. The upgrade kit comes with everything you
need, all parts and tools and even a pack of HARIBO that might be necessary since the
whole upgrade process will take you around 4 to 6 hours. It also comes with a roll of PET filament
that you’ll need to print out required part for the upgrade, most prominently the electronics
enclosure and the extruder assembly. I was a bit upset that they included black
filament because I always enjoyed the look of the old, orange parts. Contrary to their old printers Prusa switched
from printing all of the parts in ABS to now PET which also makes the printing process
for you easier and less smelly. Only the cooling fan shroud is provided as
a pre-printed ABS part because it has to withstand the temperatures of the heater block. The parts for the upgrade can be downloaded
either as pre-sliced G-Code or as separate stls from the Prusa site. Unfortunately, I had some issues with the
material sticking to the bare PEI but finally got it to stick with an application of Magigoo. I also printed this great universal spool
holder from Mirkoengineer so I could finally throw away the one that came with my Mk2 and
this one has served me very well since! When you have the parts printed out you can
start with the upgrade process which is very well documented and available in many different
languages. Even though Prusa Research provides great
instructions it will still require you to disassemble a good part of the printer and
put everything together again which might not be something for everyone. I didn’t find any issues with the instructions
during my 5 hours that I spent working on the upgrade and even though your need to re-run
a couple of wires, no soldering is required. I also took this as an opportunity to do an
overhaul of my machine with cleaning everything and replacing nozzle, thermistor, heater cartridge
and heater block which were kind of worn from the hundreds of hours of printing. Finally you just need to upload the MK2.5
firmware and after a short calibration run you are ready to go. So I’ve been now using my MK2.5 for the
last couple of months and don’t regret the upgrade at all. It has to be noted the print quality will
not improve notably with the upgrade because the electronics stay the same, though the
print results were already great before. The only thing that might improve a bit is
the overhang and small details performance since the new fan shroud cools your print
now from all sides. Unfortunately, the new shroud and it’s placement
make the printhead a little bigger which caused me some problems in my filament tests where
I print my coupons sequentially, so clearance is very important. The filament sensor is very nice, makes loading
new material very convenient and prevents filament run outs efficiently. Still some materials don’t work perfectly
with the optical sensor where the printer recommends to turn it off. Even though the printer noises from the steppers
stay the same, the Noctua fan removes that horrible high pitch sound during prints which
makes running the printer in my office even more pleasant than it was before. The new PINDA 2 probe works great and since
I change my materials and therefore the bed temperature quite often saves me quite a lot
of hassle getting the first layer right. This is, with the new spring steel bed the
reason that made my Original Prusa is now even a bit better than it was before. The magnetic bed makes removing parts so easy
and it also enables me to use some spray adhesives that I just wasn’t comfortable using before
next to my smooth rods and lead screws. I’ve also been using the bed to put PLA
parts for annealing in my oven and with the print platform still attached, greatly helps
avoiding warping during that process. So in summary, do I think it is worth spending
around 150€ on this upgrade? If you only print PLA on your Prusa then you
really need to think about if, effectively, a removable bed and a filament run out sensor
is worth the price, especially if you consider that you can nowadays get good 3D printers
for around the price of this upgrade kit. Also if you bought your Prusa fully assembled
and are not comfortable taking it apart on your own, maybe think twice about this upgrade
because it will require some tinkering. But, if you are someone who regularly uses
different materials and you need a reliable printer, then I think the upgrade is well
worth the price! The bondtech gears make extruding even difficult
material just a bit more reliable, PINDA 2 helps getting perfect first layers and the
removable bed is just awesome. But what do you think? Would your rather spend the money on a new
printer or would you invest the money in your old work-horse? Let me know down in the comments. Thanks for watching everybody. If you enjoyed the video and learnt something
the please leave a like, take a look at my other videos and subscribe to the channel. If you want to support me in making these
videos than consider becoming a Patreon. I hope to see you in the next one, auf wiedersehen
and good bye!

About the Author: Michael Flood

75 Comments

  1. You should print Prusa's new spool holder that was released with the mk3 (looks quite similar to the one you already use)

  2. Already have my upgrade since about half a year. And I'm pleased. Only on thing that made mah headaches was the not even surface of the bad. Without tinkering there is a dent of about 1 mm on the right side. But as always: thanks for sharing!

  3. I upgraded my prusa MK1 to MK2.
    Then to MK2S and six months ago to MK2.5.

    It is incredible. <3
    But sometimes I have trouble with the bed leveling. :/

  4. Already upgraded my MK2S with a Buldtak flexplate system and Noctua fan. This may have cost me almost $150 but it didn't cost me as much hassle. Plus my workload won't benefit much from the bondtech and pinda2 anyway.

  5. I just completed the same upgrade a week ago. My upgrade kit came with the powdercoated sheet and it’s great. So far I’ve printed PLA, ABS and PETG. All materials sticked nicely to the powdercoated surface and almost popped off by itself after cooling down. It’s definately worth the money

  6. Got a chinese mk52 clone for my original Mk2 for around 70 USD on AliExpress ~ After flashing the mk2.5 firmware, I had to modify the heatbed with double side tape and circle cut out aluminum foil for xyz calibration since the chinese manufacturer didn't include it on the pcb board. Nevertheless, it's been running fine ever since. The spring steel is slightly warped, but it has improved my quality of life in removing prints off the heatbed. Im actually quite impressed the 2.5 firmware works even without upgrading the noctua fan, filament sensor, or the pinda probe ♥️

  7. This video comes at a good time, I was asking myself if I should upgrade my MK2. You answered all my questions, Stefan, thanks for that!

  8. i have already upgraded to MK2.5 with the powdercoated sheet and it's work very fine.
    I Have two questions for you!!
    It is possible and if you want that u can share your file setting on S3D for prusa MK2.5.
    have you already tried to apply acetone on the steel sheet? let me know if it damaged??

    Thanks a lot for your video .

    !!!!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!

  9. Back in the day I would have said go for it. But when I see what a 200 euro Chinese printer can do… They are getting better and better. My hypercube evo still prints nicer then the ender3 but for that money its a very nice starter machine.

  10. After Upgrading my MK2S to a MK2.5 I had some problems – especially regarding overhangs.
    But now I found the BEAR Mod Project. I upgraded my MK2.5 to a BEAR including the new X-axis and new extruder. And now it prints really great with the profiles by Chris Warkocki.
    Only test missing are overhangs because I now print the Upgrade for my other Prusa ^^

  11. Did you experience any difficulties with overhangs with the new fan shroud? I find that it didn't perform very well at certain angles/orientations, and ended up printing a different one that worked at bit better.

  12. I upgraded my mk2s to the mk2.5. Worth every penny. The filament sensor, and the bed have paid for themselves in convenience alone.

  13. I printed that same spool holder as well. Trouble I have with it is certain spools with smaller diameter hub tend to not fit. AMZ3D for example. Printed a bearing roller instead.

  14. I NEED TO KNOW IF YOU REALLY MOVE YOUR HEAD THAT MUCH WHILE TALKING OR IF ITS JUST FOR THE VIDEOS
    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

  15. Lmao does it really come with gummy bears? (damn i kinda wanna go get some sour gummy worms now) That removable bed is pretty dope though, should be a requirement on high end printers nowadays.

  16. It's cool, but i just built a 3d printer from parts for 120$. It's not as good as this, but i think it's pretty funny how overpriced things are.

    i speak in generally about 3d printers btw.

  17. For the Trina mics you got the mod to use them for x and y axis for about 60€ (30€ board and 33€ for 4 tc2208+ radiator) and then the silence is there.

  18. Haven't watched the video yet: No. Not a chance in hell. Worse in almost all ways.
    Will update after I watch 😉

  19. I would consider "Original Prusa i3 MK2/S to MK3 upgrade kit". I hope they will do MK3 to MK4 upgrade IF new printer comes out!

  20. Upgraded two MK2S to MK2.5 and received two powder coated textured PEI sheets since the upgrade after a looooooong delay. The powder coated spring-steel PEI sheets alone made the upgrade worth the expense for me. I just love the texture. That said I do own and like very much my Ender 2 and Ender 3 as well and I can see how others may hesitate when for roughly the same money they can get a whole printer almost doubling their output for a select few filaments. But yeah – great upgrade of an already great printer. Thanks for sharing. Cheers! JM

  21. I'm considering getting the MK2.5 upgrade kit to add on to my "Dolly" printer (following Tom's videos – although since I used a hotend, motors, part fan, high-quality belts [with Gates belts & pulleys on order!], linear bearings, etc. from E3D, a genuine Smoothieboard, Capricorn tubing, genuine BL Touch, Trinamic SilentStepSticks from Watterott (connected to the Smoothieboard via my own custom PCB), Noctua heatsink fan, etc., my particular Dolly build doesn't quite follow Tom's original "as cheap as possible" concept 😂).

    It would be almost worth it just for that print bed, and getting the Bondtech extruder would be nice too. The filament sensor and PINDA 2 probe will be useless to me, as without support for the filament sensor in Smoothieware I can't make use of it, and I already use the BL Touch instead of the PINDA probe. But I sorta feel like I should buy some stuff from Prusa since I built a clone of his printer 😉

  22. The EINSY RTAMBo with the Trianamic dirvers, 24v, new hotend etc are part of the MK2/S to MK3 upgrade. But this costs 499€

  23. I made the upgrade as well. Although I got it for around 99€, since I purchased my MK2S only shortly before MK3 release, already the magnetic bed alone is such a joy to use that this alone would justify the upgrade for me. The improved cooling of the hotend (not printed part) is imho the second best reason. Never had a clogged nozzle with PLA since then.

  24. Its sad that there are no new software updates for the mk2/s / I have the pinda2 and some prusa laser sensors lying around but i have to port the MK42 Bed into the newer firmware and also the board stuff for the MKS gen 1.4 board. Then it is easy to use TMC 2100 for xy 😀

  25. Hi Stefan! Do you have a video where you explain why post curing a PLA printed part? I see at your video putting a printed part into the oven but I don't understand why. Thanks in advance!

  26. i have a tevo tarantula and a ender 3, my tevo was good when it worked but was a massive pain trying to get to work, this ender 3 at the same cost is far better in every way but i couldn't justify spending that money on an i3 for convenience

  27. This is the wrong moment to upgrade. Prusa stopped selling new printers with PEI powder coated spring steel unless all voucher owners could get such spring steel. Before that decission you could get the upgrade to 2.5 with the powder coated spring steel. You may will get it again after all voucher owners are served.
    I got myself an MK2.5 upgrade with PEI powder coated spring steel some months ago – for 149€ even without owning a mk2/mk2s (I had a mk3 but without PEI powder coated spring steel). I wanted the PEI powder coated and to get it I ordered the complete upgrade… I used the other parts to upgrade a chinese printer.

    For the printhead: On thingiverse there are upgraded versions with Bondtech BMG. I changed my mk3 and can only tell: much better extrusion consisty! So you may change to an BMG design directly. Maybe also with a pencake stepper (or even a .9° pencake stepper)

    For the colour: You might print the new head any colour you want, as the filament sensor do not work reliable anyway. The reason: PETG is reflective. so even if it is black, its reflective as hell inside. Maybe prusa ingeneers made testing with black ABS and changed to PET only in production, not thinking about the different reflctions of petg and abs. I solved this by painting the filament chamber in non reflective black paint, now no false alarms. But if you have to paint the inside of the chamber anyway, you could print it in any colour you want.

    For upgrading further ("mk2.9"): All MosFET on the Einsy switch ground. So you could get the Einsy (or a clone from china) and upgrade the mk2.5 even further by changing the board. You can use a small 24v supply for board and steppers, connecting ground from 12 and 24V supply, connect heatbed to +12V and headbed- on the einsy. I got an einsyclone from AliExpress on black friday for 56€… You can also get a prusa power panic on ali about 9€.
    So it would be become full mk3; you could use prusa mk3 firmware.
    So also sensorless homing, quite stepper drivers etc would work.

  28. I don't even have to watch this video to know that the answer to that question is hell no it's not. Unless you want to take a good printing MK2 and cause it to have the same for extrusion and ghosting issues that the MK3 has.

  29. This is a great upgrade. I converted direct from MK2 to MK2.5. MK2 was a kit so doing the upgrade was fairly simple.

  30. My mk2 and mk2s are staying the way they are. I'm gonna add u-bolts to the bed on the mk2 but otherwise these machines are super reliable and great printers. that kind of money would be better spend on a dozen or so print removal tools to find one that works perfectly (the Reptor scraper on amazon is super great). I have a different printer with a runout sensor and its next to useless for me. It has never actually saved a print or allowed me to "fix" the problem and continue continue after it stops everything. basically all it does is prevent the machine from scorching some filament in the hot end during breakage or runout

  31. Great video. I have purchased a few upgrade kits for other printers throughout my years of printing. Most of them were worth while upgrades, but you make a good point that the price of decent entry level printers have dropped so much recently that it may not be worth it anymore. That's an interesting thought.

  32. Great video! Just a note, they included black filament because the extruder assembly needs to be black because of the filament sensor. Ah, and one more thing, based on my experience at least, the mk2s have a slightly better printing quality than the mk3.

  33. Awesome! I'm probably going to get one but I've been waiting longer than I thought would be required for shipping times with powder coated beds to go down to < 2 weeks.

  34. In my experience, it was definitely worth it just for the new probe. The i3 is still my go-to bot for PETG, and dialing things in when switching to/from PLA was just a pain.

    That said, mine's more a 2.75 now. After getting the frame all squared up again, I spent a little more on a bottle of Loctite. Hasn't gone out of square since.

  35. I got a Matterhackers Pulse which was sold as a Prusa all assembled with better parts. Looks the same but has a garolite bed and E3d V6 and Bondtech Extruder. What I would like to upgrade is the E3D V6 to a PT 100 and a copper block as without that you should not run the regular thermistor above 285 (according to E3D and I have bumped up against this quite often with certain Nylons especially when printing with the .8 Nozzle. We use the printer in a probably not common way as we do not do models but are building a 32x30x50 in (or something close to that) robot weighing 150 or so lb. So its lots of big frame parts and lots of planetary gearboxes and such. Whole projects takes about 15-20kg of filament. Its a robot for a FIRST Robotics competition (FRC team 1989) We will find out this years task on saturday and then have 6 weeks to complete the machine – design, build program and test. If successfull it most likely will be the first ever 3D printed robot competing in an FRC competition. So any upgrade we are interested in is printing big parts fast and accurate enough. And yes to stay within the rules we have to do it with an average cost of $30/kg for filament. So a lot of ABS, PETG and some Nylon of the basement bargain price variety. There is no rule that says $30/kg but there is a rule that usually says no more than $3000 in parts on the robot and with the costs of computers, sensors, motors, motor controllers etc etc that leaves about $600 for 15-20kg of filament. So based on that a higher temp hot end and a heated bed that can actually reach 120 would be great as there is some $25/kg PC at Hobby King we would like to try. If you are interested we just started a youtube channel and will post regular videos of our progress and findings just click on my face I guess

  36. Great video! I am curious which filament was used in this video! Especially the matte black(the last print shown in the videos) and matte white(deadpool bust) one!

    I want to print matte but with an vulcano hotend it is not possible by playing arround with temperature.

    Danke schonmal! =D

  37. Hab das Upgrade damals gleich bestellt – und ewig gewartet bis es endlich kam. Da gingen ja zig Monate ins Land. Und meinen MK2s hab ich 31 Tage bevor der MK3 rauskam bestellt. Keine 100€ Nachlass – „nur“ 50€. Wegen 1 Tag. Auf das eigentlich gekaufte Powder-Coated Bed wart ich immer noch. Noch nicht mal den Gutschein erhalten (man darf ja nochmal zahlen). Dass man die Teile für das Upgrade selbst drucken muss (das Prusa PETG hat meine Nozzle völlig versaut) – davon stand bei der Bestellung auch nix. Wurde Monate später dann dazu geschrieben.

    Auf dem glatten PEI hält bei mir fast kein PLA. Warum weiß ich nicht. Auf dem Bett des MK2s ging’s ja auch wunderbar.

    Ich weiß nicht. So gern ich Prusa auch mag – ich komm mir mittlerweile etwas verarscht vor … da mein Hauptmaterial eh kaum hält und ich daher alles immer Dutzende Male von vorn starten muss hab ich meine Drucke auch ziemlich eingestellt. Irgendwann ist mir da echt die Lust flöten gegangen. Schade drum. Aber wie du schon sagst – allein das magnetische Bett, der Lüfter und das Wechseln des Filaments mit dem Sensor sind das Upgrade grundsätzlich wert.

  38. I have an MK3, and use mostly PLA. I think that the removable bed and filament sensor are well worth the money. I remember on my old printer, I would print something, only to have it delaminate during removal from the bed. With the removable bed, this never happens. And with the filament sensor, changing colors, or even materials, is so easy. Just choose Auto Unload, pull it out as soon as it beeps, cut the end of the new filament on an angle, and insert it until it is pulled away from you. The system even asks you if the color change is complete, and feeds more filament if it's not.

  39. For anyone having an issue with the PET sticking. I found for the first layer 250c nozzle and 70c bed temp with gluestick worked perfectly. After that, the regular temps (within Slicer PE) will work.

  40. Stefan great video, you may want to check out the 7×7 first layer calibration that being developed on github. I was having trouble in some areas of my build plate and this worked fantastic. I’m using a V3 clone powder coated build plate which has more problems than the Prusa plate but it helps both. Interested in your thoughts.

    https://github.com/prusa3d/Prusa-Firmware/issues/1239

  41. Stefan, did you try using a extruder mod with proxy idler for an improvement in reliability of the filament sensor?

  42. Would do my own upg with aliexpress parts. The discount makes it worth while, but not at regular price…Side note: Hopefully the mk4 has linear rails

  43. Hi Stephan, I have self assembly a prusa MK2 clone. It prints very well but I have to solve some issues that I am not comfortable with, for instance: the noise level, improving the bed leveling with a sensor, try new drivers, etc.
    That makes me think if it is time to buy a new 3D printer and sell mine or just upgrade mine (new logic board, new bed, new frame like prusa bear edition frame, etc). It would cost me about 350/400 usd
    What do you recomend? It is advisable to buy a prusa MK3 nowadays or should I just upgrade the major issues and wait for a new model?

  44. Haven’t watched the video yet but I have had my 2.5 upgrade for many months now and definitely don’t regret it. Super great price with the generous voucher and brings all the big features

  45. Just a tip. Bend the bed outward then inwards, you don’t have to bend nearly as far and the part pops itself off.
    Not sure if you knew this but just judging from what you did in the video.

  46. Es ist ein bisschen lustig, wie du manchmal Wörter aussprichst, aber echt cooler Content und echt gutes Englisch!

  47. Thanks for posting this Stefan! I've got my upgrade kit and just need a free day or two to do the upgrade.

    I too thought about putting the money towards another printer but decided to get the 2.5 upgrade because I just don't have the time and space to run and maintain 2 printers. My Mk2 has served me well with great performance and i'm looking forward to the quality of life improvements.

  48. Did you know that I record a bi-weekly PodCast with Thomas Sanladerer?

    LISTEN TO IT: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzUgJrG-w_KQexroYkJR9XQ

  49. for traveling purposes is the Prusa 3D printer easy to disassemble and reassemble again? I very new to 3d printing and so far I really like the Prusa because you can print up to 5 different filaments, or as a new be would you recommend that I buy the Ender 3, and or the Monoprice mini MP i3 instead? I'm at a loss at the moment on which 3D printer I should buy, and that can the Prusa print Flexible Filamnet?

    The items that I plan on printing are charms like figurines like say a Mass Effect small statue, key chains, coasters, cos-play items like an Assassin's Creed Odyssey helmet and sword etc.

    I hope you can help me out please.

  50. CNC Kitchen can you do a video on this new new new kit as iv seen no videos on this kit ?
    Original Prusa i3 MK2.5 to MK2.5S upgrade kit
    Reference: MK25-MK25S-SELF
    Condition: New product
    Upgrade kit for the Original Prusa i3 MK2.5 to Original Prusa i3 MK2.5S. With this upgrade we are introducing a completely reworked extruder with a new filament sensor.
    https://shop.prusa3d.com/en/printer-upgrades/899-original-prusa-i3-mk25-to-mk25s-upgrade-kit.html#

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