It’s well known in the desktop 3D printing world that you get what you pay for. If you want to spend under $300 USD, you get a Creality Ender 3 and deal with its slightly half-baked nature. Or if you’ve got the money to burn, you buy a Prusa i3 MK3 and know that you’ll remain on the cutting edge thanks to a constantly 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 argent of [Josef Průša]’s fans — the most bare-bones configuration of the 10 kg (22 lbs) box rings up at $349 USD. You read that right, just the enclosure for 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 incidentally, is set to get its own version of the enclosure sometime in the future. If you select all the bells and whistles, a fully-decked out Prusa Enclosure will cost you $700 USD, 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 matched to the dimensions of the Prusa i3 MK3, but it’s literally just a box. There’s an integrated temperature and humidity display, but the printer itself is responsible for the heating chamber. We like that you can move the printer’s control panel to the outside of the box so you won’t have to open the doors as often, though at that point the printer and enclosure will have been merged into one heavy-weight 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 only available to customers in the European Union.
In the blog post announcing the product’s release, [Josef] explains that there’s already an excellent low-cost enclosure solution for the i3 MK3 based on the IKEA Lack table, so the company decided to go all in and design something for the higher end of the market. Will the average i3 owner fork out the cash for the matching enclosure? We doubt it. But for the tech startup that’s running a small farm that they want to be as safe and reliable as possible? That’s a different story.