Print Quality vs Prusa i3 mk2


After seeing my wilson 2, a coworker decided to dive into the 3d printing hobby. He ended up purchasing a Prusa i3 mk2 and he has been showing me his prints.

I’m blown away by the quality of his prints. He prints at 0.2mm with a 0.4mm nozzle. Minimal to no artifacts on his prints. Both PLA and ABS look incredible.

With my wilson 2, I’ve struggled with print quality. The first layer sticks fine but the first 4 layers seem to flare out at the bottom. I use simplify 3d for slicing. I’ve also used his same filament and tried to replicate his settings. I’ve cleaned the nozzle (kit came with 0.5mm nozzle). I put new bearings on the y-axis. (I still have y-axis skips occasionally) I’ve lubed things up. Tried different belt tensions. (All things he’s never had to worry about)

Prior to seeing his prints, I thought many of my quality problems were due to mass of the print head and print bed. So I started looking at CoreXY designs. But after seeing his prints, I’m convinced the wilson2 should be capable of similar quality prints as they use the same basic design.

Other than environment, parts, and the slicer, the other major difference is firmware. Prusa i3 mk2 has highly optimized firmware with tons of innovations we don’t have. It looks like many of these innovations are making their way back into marlin 1.1.


  • Try slic3r
  • Buy a new nozzle
  • Try to port marlin 1.1 / prusa features into wilson2 firmware
  • New belts/pullys, motor drivers, smoothieboard
  • Buy a prusa i3 mk2 upgrade kit and create a Frankenstein


I am interested to see some pics of yours and your mates… I know taking pics of printed parts is difficult sometimes but be good if you could.

Pick a mechanical shape part like a box or a bracket, something with at least a few square edges… making organic shapes to show print quality is not always a good way to compare.

Maybe turn down your Jerk settings a bit as well to try. Try slower print speeds as well.

I think I read somewhere on the forum Marty is doing a migration to marlin 1.1 which I am pretty keen to try out as well. If you are good at firmware I’d test any thing you can cobble together. I have a few printers on the build so I can easily test firmware.


On vacation but when I get back to work I’ll collaborate with him on some comparison prints.


I finally got around to coordinating some test comparison prints. I realize these won’t be perfect apples to apples comparison but for ABS we did use same roll of filament.

Wilson2 Stock
My kit came with 0.5mm nozzle

Wilson2 Modified
0.4mm nozzle, all metal hotend, bowden extruder, aluminum bed with PEI, marlin 1.1 RC8, bi-linear bed leveling with inductive probe

Prusa i3 MK2
Normal kit, no upgrades

After many weeks of upgrades, I can report that my modified wilson 2 is on par quality with the prusa i3 mk2.

XY-axis analysis

  • Stock wilson 2: heavy ringing, poor edges
  • Modified wilson 2: minor ringing with smaller ripples, clean edges
  • Prusa mk2: very mild broad ringing, a few edge artifacts

Z-axis analysis

  • Stock wilson 2: top is rough
  • Modified wilson2: slightly rough top layer
  • Prusa mk2: smooth top layer

I still need to print a benchy to compare with his so that is coming up next.


Would you mind sharing your Bowden setup parts and photos. I’ve got a heavily modified Wilson TS and I’ve been thinking about moving to a Bowden setup for a while now, this seem to be a nice upgrade since I don’t print any flexible material.


I’m using a combination of things for the bowden extruder:

I designed a custom 2020 clamp in ABS and solvent welded them together. I’m still working on the extruder clamp.


Thanks a lot! That spool holder will be printed sooner than anything, I hate my current wooden dowel setup.


I uploaded my first thing for ya.


Did you need any new fastener for the motor mount?


The extruder motor mount? I just tie wrapped it for now and printed a 2020 bracket with a notch. But I’d eventually want to combine it with the 2020 bracket so I can get rid of the tie wrap.

I’m also using a ninjaflex strap. This was my first TPU print and this extruder supports it without binding (and via bowden). FYI, the extruder is designed for MK8 hobbed gear rather than the MK7 that the wilson2 uses.


I’m talking about the whole part that screw into the motor, but anyway you answered what I wanted to know. I need to order the PTFE coupler anyway, might as well get a MK8 gear.


If you don’t care about ninjaflex, the regular compact bowden extruder was designed for MK7. Many people prefer the MK7 over the MK8.


This is really interesting, since I own a mk2 and am building a Wilson for my next printer right now.