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Swap Your Prusa i3 Mk3’s LCD Show for a Classic VFD

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The Prusa i3 is without doubt one of the most profitable 3D printer designs in historical past. As a result of it’s an open-source design, dozens of producers have bought their very own variations. Typically these are precise clones, and generally they’ve small tweaks. However real Prusa i3 3D printers are constantly rated as probably the most dependable shopper printers in the marketplace. That stated, they’ve a reasonably fundamental monochrome LCD display. Dr. Scott M. Baker determined to swap that out for one thing a bit extra attention-grabbing, and selected a classic VFD.

This mod was examined with the Prusa i3 Mk3 3D printer, however ought to work with earlier iterations and lots of clones. It primarily simply replaces the boring monochrome LCD with a cyberpunk-style VFD (vacuum fluorescent show). VFDs was once widespread in shopper electronics, as a result of they produced clear, vibrant graphics. However they’ve fallen out of favor in recent times as LCD, LED, and OLED shows have grow to be extra inexpensive. There isn’t any denying how cool they appear although, which is why Dr. Baker carried out this modification.

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The VFD itself is made by Noritake, and — very surprisingly — is nearly an actual drop-in match for the LCD that comes with the Prusa i3 Mk3. The show is a bit costly at round $90, nevertheless it’s exhausting to beat the comfort. All it’s important to do is take aside your management panel and pull the PCB out. Then both desolder the unique LCD or order a brand new PCB (accessible at printedsolid.com). Subsequent, simply solder within the Noritake VFD and put the management panel again collectively. That’s it! It ought to simply work. You possibly can even use filters if you wish to change the colour of the VFD.

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