Prusa Mendel Visual Instructions

Providing a visual guide to the steps given on the wiki page on how to construct a Prusa Mendel.

The document is available as a PDF in several resolutions.

The source files for this document are available on github, and any issues can be raised in the project issue tracker.

Jeff Moe has kindly uploaded the files to Lulu should one wish to order a printed copy. (Please note these are older versions).


  • TianChang
    March 22, 2011 - 2:51 am | Permalink

    This looks beautiful!

    Thank you for your work. Must have taken a lot of time.


    • TianChang
      March 22, 2011 - 2:56 am | Permalink

      Gary, one more thing,

      On page 60 of the High Res version, step number 4, the Z-smooth bar top clamps, the hex head should be on the side of motors, while the rest of the bolt sticks outwards. If one puts in the other way around, it will get in the way of the motors.

      • March 22, 2011 - 9:36 am | Permalink

        Thanks TianChang. It didn’t take all that long really – I found that once I got into the flow I could produce the images pretty quickly because importing the STL files meant that all the hard work (creating the models) was done. What really took too much time was making the belts look acceptable!

        Thanks for the suggestion for p60. I had blindly followed the steps and had forgotten that I had to do as you say whilst building mine. I will update the wiki and the document when I next get a chance.


        • TianChang
          March 23, 2011 - 2:26 am | Permalink


          Somemore tips since I just finish a prusa build and it is still fresh in my mind. =D

          I may be wrong to, but I had to change out my z-motor coupler bolts too, perhaps down to M3 x 20. I find that with the current lengths, I cannot reach the maximum z-height that the machine is capable of.

          And also you might want to include a note to say that “you might not want to secure the z-motors if you have wobbling issues with you x-axis” This is especially true if your threaded rods are not straight. I am at the moment, still trying to rectify that on my build.

          Hope this helps too.

          • TianChang
            March 23, 2011 - 2:33 am | Permalink

            I mention about the z-motor coupler bolts because the spinning bolts, if too long, will start scraping against the z-axis smooth bar guides.

            And also, you might want to include a warning against tightening the bar clamps too tight. I over-tightened mine and the plastic showed white marks on it. I had one which even cracked but is still doing well. hehe. Maybe we can include some sort of a guide (range of values of something) to the compression on the bar clamps?

          • March 23, 2011 - 7:36 am | Permalink

            Thanks TianChang, These are great tips. I found the same as I was building mine, and so I will incorporate your comments into the documentation when I next get a chance.

            I think these notes and tips should definitely go into the wiki – the question is how to make the suggestions (e.g. modifying the Bill of Materials to use M3 x 20 bolts as per your suggestion above) so that it’s clear and without confusing newcomers. Perhaps I will try and contact the original authors and get some ideas.


  • March 22, 2011 - 9:42 am | Permalink

    Great job!

  • Chris D
    March 22, 2011 - 7:44 pm | Permalink

    I look forward to reading this

  • March 23, 2011 - 1:05 am | Permalink

    Amazingly and terrific excellent! I’m author of a german instruction. but this isn’t as nearly as excellent then yours. Which software are you using for your superb pictures?

  • March 23, 2011 - 8:48 am | Permalink


    Where did you learn this great skill ?

    Simply amazing results !!!

    Well Done 🙂

    This will make my life easy :0

    thanks Rob

  • March 23, 2011 - 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Hi and thanks for making the effort to explain the terminlogy for the novices!

  • March 24, 2011 - 3:07 am | Permalink

    Would love this in PDF format for easy off-line viewing

    • March 24, 2011 - 4:17 am | Permalink

      ah, just realised that the high res is a pdf, might want to make that a bit more clear 🙂

      • March 24, 2011 - 8:12 am | Permalink

        Ah yes, good idea – I have updated the page to say that the files are PDFs. Cheers.

  • epengr
    March 26, 2011 - 10:42 pm | Permalink


    Love the build instructions! I’m following them for my build.

    Found one issue. You instruct to have the x-axis smooth rods flush on the idler side and protruding on the motor side. As a result you have an interference on pg 75: the smooth rod is occupying the same space as the motor. (I don’t have my motors yet, but it appears that this will be a real problem, not just a modeling issue.

    I think the rods need to be flush with the motor mount side and there should be no clearance issue on the idler side.

    I second TianChang comment. Anyone reading should be careful not to over tighten. most of my clamps are showing stress marks. It’s surprising how little you need to tighten it to make it secure. Go a little bit at a time and check it to see if it moves.

  • March 26, 2011 - 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Hi epengr, Thanks for the comment – and now that you mention it I now remember that I had exactly this issue when mounting the x motor! and had to slide the smooth rod over to the idler side.

    I will update the document next chance I get.


  • March 27, 2011 - 6:03 am | Permalink

    Hey, I put your PDF into a Lulu project, so you can easily get a printed version:

    If you want to do a project on there or somewhere similar, let me know and I’ll take that one down.


  • Jpage
    March 30, 2011 - 5:14 am | Permalink

    Thanks so much!
    This has helped me quite a bit as a newbie. There are a few differences between these instructions and the maker gear Mendel prusa kit. I’m not finished yet, but so far I have found that the J2 dimension is 250 for my kit and the pulleys use smaller bearings than the 608s in the instructions and also the fender washers are not required. I’ll try to keep track of the other differences and post them.

  • Fabien
    March 30, 2011 - 11:05 am | Permalink


    Thanks for this great work! I don’t see any licence, on the .pub. Could i use it to translate it in another language ?


    • March 30, 2011 - 11:25 am | Permalink

      Hi there, The original instructions on the Wiki are GPL and the .pub is GFDL, and so you are free to use it as you see fit – and a translation would be a great addition!

      And if you let me know the link to where the translation lives (once it’s written of course) I will happily put a link to it on the blog page if you wish.


  • xjw
    April 5, 2011 - 11:25 am | Permalink

    great job!

  • April 23, 2011 - 3:21 am | Permalink

    A quick tip for getting the 3rd threaded rod into the vertexes that probably belongs in these instructions- run the inside nut on the first end you put in way up the bar so you can drop the bar through the vertex enough to line the top end up with the other vertexes hole. Otherwise, you might get people trying to force them in on an angle and breaking things.

  • May 3, 2011 - 5:00 pm | Permalink

    I’m using these instructions to build my first RepRap. They are really great.

    In Part 2, I didn’t find the length of the threaded rod that I should use. Another source said it is 294mm.

  • Andres Vahter
    May 23, 2011 - 7:32 pm | Permalink

    It is said on Bill Of Materials section that 2 frame vertex are needed.
    This cannot be correct, if I followed instruction it seems like 6 frame-vertexes are needed.

    The same issue seems to be on:

    I also received kit with 2 frame-vertexes from Ebay. I might be too tired to understand it – really, there should be only 2 of them?

    Correct me if I am wrong.

  • Andres Vahter
    May 23, 2011 - 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Ahaa, now I see my mistake: “These instructions were started with an earlier Mendel model, therefore all vertices are shown without feet.”

    Ofcourse, I have to use vertexes with feet.

  • June 10, 2011 - 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Hi, in Part 7 Instruction 8 you say to tighten the screws in the idler but not the motor, yet later on in the document you say to shift the rods over as they (may) interfere with the x motor. Wouldn’t it be better to tighten the motor at 7/8 with rods flush with the end of the holes, and let the idler be the adjustable end, since it doesn’t matter if we have rod sticking out the end of the idler?

  • June 19, 2011 - 11:05 pm | Permalink

    BTW the instructions now have the Z axis support rod going under not over the bottom of the two triangles, this keeps the belt from dragging.

  • Seb
    July 22, 2011 - 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Amazing work! Thank you so much, it will help a lot!

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  • Rota
    August 27, 2011 - 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much!! That is amazing!

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  • Jay Roth
    October 22, 2011 - 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I haven’t started building a machine yet, just in research mode now. I must say, these instructions rise to Lego level — if you have ever put together a Lego set, you know what a compliment that is. Bravo!

  • Rich D
    November 5, 2011 - 5:49 am | Permalink

    Such a great help for new prusa builders!!!

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  • January 11, 2012 - 7:46 am | Permalink

    Great work!

    Will you be updating the instructions for Prusa Iteration 2?

    • January 11, 2012 - 10:09 am | Permalink

      Hi, Josef asked me a while ago whether I would and I agreed, but so far he hasn’t gotten back to me. I’m not sure whether he wants the instructions to be a part of his Thingidoc, a PDF, or website, etc. Also, I created the first revision as I was building my own Prusa and so it was easy to create the images for each step as they were already written on the wiki.

      In the mean time I put up a web page that uses Thingidiff to compare the parts between the two versions, and I converted,and cleaned, the STL files to Google Sketchup format ready to build the images – they are in the 3D warehouse.

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  • jin
    February 8, 2012 - 2:01 am | Permalink

    I have a few general questions to anyone that has built this. I am considering building the Prusa Mendal but I am unsure if my small apartment would work…..or my girlfriend would appreciate a 3D printer in the living room…. How loud is this? same as a regular paper printer or louder? Does it give off fumes? Could this be a fire hazard? or at least smoke detector hazard?

    I am trying to weight the pros and cons before I go down this rocky road of 3D printing. If there is anything else I should know that would help.

    • jin
      February 8, 2012 - 2:13 am | Permalink

      and how long does the prints take. Final question. How much plastic is used and how much would typically cost?

      • February 8, 2012 - 9:17 am | Permalink

        Hi Jin, If you go the the forums ( you will see that may people have already asked these questions. I will however say that the printer should be considered a workshop tool not like a paper laser printer for example. That means it is louder than a regular printer and could potentially be a fire hazard (the hot end can get to ~200°C) so care has to be taken. If space is a problem then perhaps consider a huxley or wallace as these are smaller.

      • Jussi
        October 7, 2012 - 7:12 am | Permalink

        For the girlfriend problem, my wife actually thinks reprap looks cool (i got black plastic parts and very shiny smoothrods/threaded rods) so she let me build it in the living room 😀 and now its in our bedroom 🙂

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  • April 18, 2012 - 7:40 pm | Permalink

    These look like awesome instructions on how to build a Prusa Mendal. If you are interested in the technical specs and feedback on the actual 3D printer check out 3D Printing Pad. It also compares the Mendel to all the other 3d printers on the market for household right now.

  • April 20, 2012 - 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Hi Gary,
    Thanks for the guide! I have a comment.. In part 2, step 1 you refer to the bottom rod (which is a 12″ rod, one out of six of the FRONT-REAR rods..) I mistook that and used the BOTTOM-TOP rods (3 18″ rods) and had to unscrew nuts and bolts for 20 minutes.. 🙂 Could you update that line to ‘the bottom of two front/rear rods’ in your next revision? Thanks again!

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  • June 5, 2012 - 9:16 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the visual guide, it helped a lot being able to look through it before I began ordering all my parts for my reprap prusa mendel build. People like you is what make the reprap 3D community so Incredible.

    Thanks for spending the time to make such a great document!

    • June 5, 2012 - 9:37 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Clint! Glad the guide is proving useful. Best of luck with the build!

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  • September 21, 2012 - 10:12 am | Permalink

    Hello, is this manual for prusa v2 ?

    • September 21, 2012 - 11:06 am | Permalink

      Hi. No, this is for the v1. But I believe they are quite similar, so it might help a little.

      Good luck on your build.

  • Paul
    October 6, 2012 - 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Simply amazing!!
    I’ll look forward to build mine!!
    I’m off-the-hookly thankful to you!

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  • Jose Amendoeira
    November 8, 2012 - 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Wow! Spectacular job!

    The RepRap community is amazing me since i discovered it, with it’s level of commitment and selflessness! I can’t wait to build my own Prusa and start contributing myself!

    Thank you very, very much!!!

  • tomas
    November 18, 2012 - 3:48 am | Permalink

    hi i am from argentina y buy a prusa mendel , but y need mode informacion about programing the printable object , y used the program slicer to configure all that stufs ,
    other question sometimes when im printing at half of the printed the object takes of from thje bed , what could it be ?
    any informacion you have , manuals etc can send it to my email

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  • Peterthinks
    July 7, 2013 - 2:43 am | Permalink

    This is beautiful work!

  • HE3r0
    July 8, 2013 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    is there a newer version of the guide?
    I’ve found error on page 55/56/57
    X-idler or X-motor mount, are mirrored, and as pictured on said pages will not work.

    • July 8, 2013 - 8:51 am | Permalink

      Hi there, Which version of the Prusa are you building? because these instructions are for the i1, and perhaps the i2 is different?

      • HE3r0
        July 8, 2013 - 9:02 am | Permalink

        i2 but if you look at pg 57 step 5,
        parts look different than pg 58 step 8,
        on pg58 motor mount is inline with x-idler,
        while on pg57 is on the opposite side of the Z axis.

        newertheless, guide is outstanding!

        • July 8, 2013 - 1:06 pm | Permalink

          Hi again, Now I see it, although it took me a couple of seconds to see it! Wow, never noticed that before – well spotted!

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  • August 10, 2013 - 9:30 pm | Permalink

    First i want to thank you for sharing this.
    I would like to place a link to your instructions on my website,if you dont mind.


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  • Miljan
    August 25, 2013 - 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Hello all, I have no 3D printer cause i cant afford it but i have an idea to make this from
    other materials, i am looking for a classical technical drawing so i can reproduce all the printable parts of this printer. Does someone knows where i can find that kind of drawings for Prusa ?

    Thank you

  • Wen
    September 13, 2013 - 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much. Its a brilliant guide. I am going to try it tomorrow.

    • September 13, 2013 - 2:58 pm | Permalink

      Thanks. Please be aware that this guide is for version 1 of the Prusa, and since then there are two further iterations which you might want to consider.

      Best of luck.

  • faisal hussain
    November 5, 2013 - 4:00 am | Permalink

    Maybe I’m missing something but do your instructions go over the electronics and the actual hot end of the printer? I don’t see a heat bed or resistor or thermister or hot ends included in ur bom.
    Please explain
    Thank you

    • November 5, 2013 - 9:10 am | Permalink

      Hi, yes, the instructions are only for the mechanical build – not the electronics or hotends, because there is simply so many variations to choose from.

  • pinky
    November 22, 2013 - 7:23 am | Permalink

    Hi Gary,

    I wanted to make Prusa i2,
    I founded your manual very useful but is there any way you can suggest me which hotend to use and what are the connections if I use Ramps 1.4 electronics


    • November 23, 2013 - 9:48 pm | Permalink

      Hi, There’s a lot of options for hot-ends nowadays so you really have to make your own research, but for what it’s worth I have heard the J-Head is supposed to be quite good (, and I recently bought a 3mm direct-drive hotend from which appears to be well constructed. I have only just started using it so it’s too early for me to comment on how it prints – though many people are praising them.

      In terms of the connections to the Ramps, the wiki should be able to help you:

      Best of luck!

  • Redez
    January 26, 2014 - 3:31 pm | Permalink

    This is exactly what I have been looking for to help me get started with this project!! Thanks for putting This togeather.
    One question though as I will be ordering the printed parts since this is my first 3D printer… What iteration version is this manual for (or doesnt it matter) Prusa i2 or Prusa i3



  • Redez
    January 26, 2014 - 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Please ignore my previous question, after additional research I have determined that this guide is for i2 series



    • January 27, 2014 - 10:26 am | Permalink

      Hi Eric,

      Actually the guide is for the even older i1, though it is still quite relevant for i2. i3 is, as you have already determined, a very different design.

      Best of luck on your build.

  • Kyle
    March 16, 2014 - 5:40 am | Permalink


    I apologize if my question is redundant to this forum, but are you willing/able to print the pieces this manual requires for purchase? I have a great interest in making a 3D printer. These instructions are light years ahead of anything I have found!

    Appreciation and admiration,

    • March 18, 2014 - 9:18 am | Permalink

      Hi, These instructions are for a printer that is now quiet old, I would recommend looking at more recent versions, such as the Prusa i3, or the Mendel90.

      Have a look on the reprap forums and ebay for people selling, or willing to print, parts.
      Best of luck!