Prusa i3 Variants

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The Prusa i3 is a Cartesian style Open Source RepRap 3D printer designed by Josef Prusa. The design of the Prusa i3 did not emerge out of the vacuum, it is actually - as its name indicates - the third iteration of a basic design by Josef Prusa, and as such it was preceded by the Prusa i2.

However, this page is not concerned with what preceded the Prusa i3, but rather with what followed it!

The design of the Prusa i3 can be described by various subjective qualities (e.g. "clean", "simple", "good-looking", etc) but it is due to some very objective factors that the Prusa i3 has spawned a large number of variants worldwide:

  • The Prusa i3 design is licensed under the GPL.
  • The Prusa i3 design and assembly process are properly documented.
  • The Prusa i3 is a low cost design.

The Prusa i3 variants use various different materials for the frame, and have specific design objectives in relation to the original Prusa i3. These various objectives can be one or a combination of:

  • a reduction in cost.
  • a reduction in the total number of parts.
  • a reduction in the number of printed parts, or their replacement altogether with parts resulting from a different production process (e.g. laser-cutting).
  • a reduction in the time required for assembly or adjustments.
  • increased rigidity of the frame.
  • increased robustness of the parts.
  • changes in the "looks" for simple aesthetic reasons.
  • other possible optimizations.

Graber i3 Laser Cut

Wood style sheet frame
Wood style sheet frame
Wood style sheet frame, made out of melamine-resin particle board
Wood style sheet frame, made out of melamine-resin particle board

This is a version of the sheet frame that is designed to be laser cut out of wood or plastic (e.g., acrylic) if you don't have access to a water–jet cutter. The only difference is that this version has support gussets on the back side of the vertical frame (the side that doesn't have the Z–threaded rods); construction is the same.

A github repository with laser cutting files has been created by S. Graber.


  • Looks professional (subjective).


  • Requires specialized tools (e.g., laser cutter).
  • Less rigid connection between XZ–frame and Y–frame part (connects in the same way as the aluminium sheet frame).

Placeholder for now

There are numerous Prusa i3 variants published on GitHub and Thingiverse:

  • P3Steel by irobri, a Prusa i3 Twelvepro remix using laser-cut 3mm steel - (P3Steel)
  • Prusa i3 aluminum frame w/ aluminum upgrades by Nathaniel E. Bolin - [2]
  • Prusa I3 using aluminum profile by ju jusujn - [3]
  • Prusa i3 Rework
  • Prusa i3 PowerCode
  • Prusa i3 EiNSTeIN
  • Ṕrusa i3 Hephestos
  • Wilson TS

Evolution timeline

Table of Prusa i3 variants