The Original Prusa MK4 was released about a half year ago already, but we are still busy adding new features and improving the overall experience with the printer – for example, our recent firmware update makes the MK4 much faster. In this article, we bring good news mainly for 3D printing beginners – those of you who have chosen the MK4 as your first printer and now are looking for sources of information to get up to speed as quickly as possible. However, even if you’ve been around 3D printing for a while, it never hurts to refresh some knowledge!
The Prusa Academy is a library of online courses on various topics related to 3D printing. So far, we have released the following courses:
- 3D Modeling in Fusion 360
- Design Principles for 3D Printed Parts
- 3D Printing and Modeling for Beginners (MK3S+)
- 3D Printing and Modeling for Beginners (MINI+)
These existing courses are very popular and got a lot of positive feedback, therefore, we wanted to expand the lineup with a dedicated MK4 course as soon as possible.
The MK4 online course
The new MK4 beginners’ course follows the same pattern as its older relatives, i.e., we start with unpacking the printer, running the setup wizard, and printing the first sample model.
We are explaining the printer mechanics and other interesting bits as we go along. In an optional chapter, you can also learn how to connect your printer to the internet via Prusa Connect.
Later lessons describe all the basic controls and menus of the PrusaSlicer app (plus a few advanced tricks), an introduction of the Printables.com model database, and the basics of 3D modeling, demonstrated on Tinkercad and Fusion 360.
For educational content, there seems to be an eternal dilemma between a text-based form (which tends to be boring) and a video-based form (which is often difficult to follow without skipping back and forth, and also impossible to fix and update later). Our course has a unique hybrid text-based form, which aims to combine the advantages of both variants. The text is color-coded, split into small chunks, and paired with a lot of pictures and short videos. There are short quizzes to test your newly gained knowledge.
If you pass all the quizzes, you can generate and download a certificate of completion.
Accessing the course
The same as the earlier MINI+ and MK3S+ courses, the new course is available for free with every purchase of the assembled variant of the MK4. It is also free for the members of the Prusa Education program.
Of course, all the existing customers who have already bought the assembled MK4 are automatically getting the course now.
If you already have a Prusa Account, just log in, click on your profile name in the upper right corner, and select the My Courses option. If you bought the printer without creating an account, you can create it now – just use the same email as when making the purchase. No other action is needed afterward, click My Courses and you are all set. If you experience any trouble, please let us know!
Please note that when you get a free course with your printer, the course is assigned to your account only once the printer is shipped.
If you would like to obtain the course with a kit variant of your printer, you can buy it for a nominal price of 5 dollars. You can also cash in your Prusameter bonus points from Printables.com.
By the way, you could find this course helpful even if you own any other 3D printer – all the info about Printables.com, PrusaSlicer, and the basics of 3D modeling (i.e., about 80% of the text) will be relevant just the same.
Updates and translations
Speaking about the older courses, faithful to our philosophy of long-term support of our products, we now made a major update to them, so they are on par with the MK4 course and reflect the most recent version of PrusaSlicer and all the current features of Printables.com. If you went through the course some time ago, you might consider revisiting it now!
The MINI+ course will receive another update soon, once the input shaper and Prusa Connect option get into the stable version firmware.
The new MK4 course and the complete updates to the older courses are now available in English, we expect all the translations to be completed by the end of October. In the meantime, there might be some minor glitches and inconsistencies in the other versions – we recommend switching to the English version for now.
We are also making some changes to the e-shop that should make purchasing the Academy courses more convenient.
First of all, you can now mix virtual and physical products in the same shopping cart.
Secondly, when buying a printer, you will see a short list of recommendations for minor stuff that you could buy together with it – the Prusa Academy courses, various add-ons, or merch items. All the things that you automatically get for free will be also listed there. This improvement should be implemented in about a week.
Thirdly, it will be possible to buy multiple copies of the same course at once. So far, it was only possible to buy the course once per account, and the rest had to be communicated with us and added manually, which wasn’t very convenient of course.
In the new interface, you can pay for as many licenses as you want in one go, and then add a list of email addresses of the students or colleagues who will get an invitation to the course. Until that particular person actually opens the course, you can edit the email address and deal with possible typos or no-shows yourself. This change is still in development and should be ready in a couple of weeks.
What’s in the pipeline
The series of 3D print postprocessing courses that we mentioned in the previous blog articles is still in the works, and it is probably the first in the queue to be released.
We are discussing whether to make a dedicated course for the Original Prusa XL and what it should include. Obviously, the XL is not a very probable first printer choice, so the course would have to be focused more on experienced and/or professional users.
That’s all for now. As always, any tips and ideas for new courses, or feedback on the existing ones, are most welcome.