Even though the Original Prusa MINI+ is a compact printer, sometimes you might feel it takes up a little more space than is necessary. There is the filament holder standing nearby, the unwieldy PSU “brick”, perhaps an extra print sheet, USB drives, assorted parts and tools…it all adds up quickly.
Enter the MINI Base!
We came up with a solution, a relatively simple printed upgrade that gives your MINI+ a bit of a majestic presence, while actually saving space and neatly organizing the extras your MINI+ needs, all at the same time.
This four-legged beast is designed not only to look cool, but also to provide maximum functionality and storage space for all the goodies mentioned above.
“No legs bad, four legs good!”
– George Orwell, Animal Farm (kinda…)
Probably the biggest improvement over the vanilla MINI+ is that with the MINI Base, you don’t need extra space for the filament holder and the PSU, as both the spool and the “brick” are now stored under the printer.
While it makes the MINI+ stand taller, trading width for height is usually a good tradeoff, unless you keep your printer in a short rack or shelf.
Best of all, the assembly is quite easy and only needs a few pieces of extra hardware. In total, it shouldn’t take more than 30-40 minutes even at a relaxed pace.
Some of the steps are optional, for example, the power switch relocation. If you feel uneasy about messing with the power cables (although this step is actually not hard at all), feel free to skip it.
Printing All the Parts: Summary
Of course, all parts are designed to be easily printable on the Original Prusa MINI+ itself. Apart from one component, the right front (RF) leg, no supports are needed.
Note that you can significantly lower the printing time by increasing the layer height (you can easily get away with 0.30mm, we have chosen 0.15mm just so the parts look a bit fancier in the photos 🙂 )
Feel free to use any color combo you like! PETG is an ideal material for such a project, because of its durability. If you must, PLA would do (the parts are not mechanically stressed or subject to excessive heat), but we don’t recommend it.
All 3D models are available on PrusaPrinters as both 3MF and STL files.
Main printed parts checklist
Optional printed parts checklist
(sorted approximately by their importance)
Other Hardware & Fasteners
For placing the filament spool under the printer:
For relocating the filament sensor:
- 2× M3x20 screws
- 3× zip ties
Optional (for relocating the power switch and USB port)
- 3× M3x30 screws
- 50cm USB extender, a 90° (right-angle) male and a female connector (note that there is some leeway, so a normal non-90°connector would work, too) – example at Amazon.com
- 50cm power cables (12-19 gauge) with Faston female connectors (blue or red size) – example 1 and example 2 at Amazon.com. Hopefully, you should find a lesser minimal quantity/length for sale, on the other hand, you will have plenty of surplus for other projects 🙂
Step by Step Assembly Instructions
We suggest combining reading the written instructions with watching the included video. If you mess up something and don’t know how to fix it (like, disconnecting a cable from the electronics by accident, etc.), you can check the MINI+ kit assembly guide.
Before you start, turn the printer off and disconnect the PSU cable!
- First, carefully disconnect the display box cable.
- Unscrew the front part of the Y-axis. There are four larger screws holding the part itself and two smaller screws holding the Y-belt idler. You will need 3mm and 2.5mm Allen keys.
- Place the printer sideways and remove all the anti-vibration pads. Put them into cutouts in each MINI Base leg. Remove one screw from the bottom of the Z-axis extrusion.
- Now, slide the rear right leg onto the right Y-axis extrusion. Before you do so, make sure you place the display box cable neatly into the corresponding groove on top of the RR leg, so it doesn’t get pinched.
Note: If you have any troubles sliding the leg onto the extrusion, you can use a slightly different approach, also shown in the video: remove the extrusion from the printer first, mount both legs separately and then return the whole assembly to the printer.
- Continue with the front right leg. Secure both legs to the Z-axis extrusion (using the same screw you removed in step (3).
- Attach both front and rear left legs as well. No screw is needed to secure the parts on this side.
- Screw the front part of the Y-axis and the Y-axis idler back on.
- Reconnect the display box cable.
- There are two trays for storing tools. One is placed behind the display box and is accessible all the time, therefore it’s suitable for things you might need even during a print job.
- The other tray is placed under the heatbed and is more suitable for tools and parts you might not need that often (say, extra nozzles, lubricant, etc.).
- The insert in the front left leg can be used to store extra USB drives. The insert in the front right leg can either be purely decorative (as on the photo), or it could house the power switch and the USB port:
Relocating the power switch and USB port
The following steps (12-15) are optional, you can leave the power switch and USB port where they are. However, it’s really convenient to relocate them to the front, so you don’t have to reach around to the back of the printer all the time.
- Open the printer electronics box, disconnect and remove the power switch. You can use Chapter 5, Steps 8 and 9 of the MINI+ kit assembly guide for reference. There is a safety latch on the side of the switch – press it to remove the switch from the electronic box. Connect the new 50cm cable with Fastons into the Buddy board. Connect the USB extender to the USB port. Thread both cables through the upper insert in the rear right leg, like in the picture.
Note that in the video, we extend the power cable by soldering/heat shrinking, however, this is only necessary if you can’t find a cable long enough or want to reuse old cables for some reason.
- Press both cables into the zig-zag groove and thread them all the way through the holes in the front right leg.
- Take the “female” end of the USB extender, put it into the upper front right leg insert (see the picture) and secure it with three M3x30 screws. Do not overtighten them, so you don’t pinch the cable too much or crack the printed part.
- Insert the power switch into the lower insert and connect to the Faston cable.
- Close the electronics box. If you use the filament sensor, use a new cable cover part, since the sensor cable will now lead under the printer, which leads us to the following step:
Relocating the filament sensor
This step is rather mandatory because when you store the filament spool under the printer, the sensor in its original placement would hang there at a weird angle. If you don’t use the filament sensor, just replace the existing PTFE tube with the new long one and continue with step (19).
- Attach the sensor holder to the bottom of the base using the two M3x20 screws. You can choose between a position near the front leg or the rear leg, it’s completely up to you.
- Insert the new long PTFE tube into the filament sensor. Place the sensor into the holder and secure it with a zip tie.
- Slide the filament spool onto grooves in the inside of the MINI Base legs. Make sure it turns freely.
- Insert the PSU brick into the holder and mount it onto the base from the rear side. If you have the older version of PSU, the holder is attached with screws to the rear side of the printer.
The alternative PSU
There is a slot for storing an extra print sheet.
Well, almost. Before printing again, make sure you run the printer calibration, just in case (when partially disassembling the Y-axis, the printer geometry might have changed slightly).
That is it! We are eagerly awaiting to see what you all come up with to make the MINI Base your own, different color combinations, new improvements, additional mods, all come with loads of potential.
Enjoy your MINI Base and as always,
– David Schwarz, Vlado Turek, Vladimir Kafka