First Things First Budget
It is important to understand and know what kind of budget you have and what kind of quality machine you are wanting to build.
My first printer build was a Prusa i3 Style that I built for about $220 when the cheapest printer on the market was about $500. Shortly after that, the prices of printers went down a lot within that year as generic parts became more available.
Id recommend for a decent Prusa style printer, youll be looking at at least $250 for parts for a super cheap but effective printer. If youre wanting to make one that will have less headaches, then make that about $350-400 minimum. .
Build A 3d Printer Workhorse Not An Amazing Disappointment Machine
3D printers have become incredibly cheap, you can get a fully workable unit for $200 even without throwing your money down a crowdfunded abyss. Looking at the folks who still buy kits or even build their own 3D printer from scratch, investing far more than those $200 and so many hours of work into a machine you can buy for cheap, the question Why the heck would you do that? may justifiably arise.
The answer is simple: DIY 3D printers done right are rugged workhorses. They work every single time, they never break, and even if: they are an inexhaustible source of spare parts for themselves. They have exactly the quality and functionality you build them to have. No clutter and nothings missing. However, the term DIY 3D printer, in its current commonly accepted use, actually means: the first and the last 3D printer someone ever built, which often ends in the amazing disappointment machine.
This post is dedicated to unlocking the full potential in all of these builds, and to turning almost any combination of threaded rods and plywood into a workshop-grade piece of equipment.
Things To Consider Before You Build A Diy 3d Printer
Here are the things to consider before you start building a DIY 3D printer.
The Type of Printer You Plan to Build
Do you plan to build an SLA or FDM? Whatever type of 3D printer you make determines the movement of your print head and bed.
Verify the Printer Size
We have a lot of printer sizes available. So, when youre certain about your printer size, it will help you figure the type of frame you need.
The Number of Extruders
Which do you prefer: dual or single extruders? Most 3D printers have one extruder. But, if you prefer dual extruders, you should ensure that:
- Your control board supports dual extrusion.
- Configure your 3D printer to support two extruders
What Type of Nozzle?
The nozzle is one of the vital parts of your 3D printer. After all, its where the plastics come out. The size ranges from 0.25 to 0.75mm. Ideally, you should change your nozzle sizes depending on your design and desired results.
A bigger nozzle size gives you:
- A higher success rate of printing
- Faster printing
While a smaller nozzle will provide:
- A more detailed print
The Layer Thickness
The Z-axis resolution or layer thickness you work with depends on the type of printer you build. For instance, if you create an FDM 3D printer, the layer thickness will range from 0.1 to 0.3mm.
What Type of Hot End?
What Size of Cooling Fan?
The cooling fan is a must-have feature. And here are some of its benefits:
Heated or Unheated Beds
But thats not all.
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Components Needed For A Home
Once youve decided on all the specifications you want for your new 3D printer, youre ready to begin selecting the components you need. To build a working 3D printer are:
- control board
- printer frame
Control boards that are sufficient for 3D printers and are often recommended are the Arduino Mega* and the RAMPS-Shield* from RepRap. However, there are also other possibilities of different control boards available*.
Your 3D printer requires at least four stepper motors*. One for each horizontal axes, two motors for the vertical Z-axis. Youll also need a minimum of one stepper motor for each extruder.;
If you manage to get all engines running on the first try, its a stroke of luck. Normally it is necessary to regulate the potentiometer so long until it works. A helpful video can be found at the respective manufacturers site, which explains how to identify and couple the wires.
The print head consists of the extruder, an element and a sensor. There are direct extruders*, where the motor is directly on the extruder or a Bowden extruders*, where the motor is on the frame. A fan* is also recommended.
The starting point for moving the print head is the home position. The end stops help the print head to knows where the zero position is.
The print bed is important because it is the surface you print on. Its adhesion is a vital parameter of the success of your prints.;
Useful Tips For The Installation
Even if it should be self-evident: Always follow the instructions in the manual. Usually, 3D printer kits contain detailed instructions and troubleshooting guides.;
You should read them carefully before you start the assembly. In addition, some kits provide comprehensive videos of the setup and instalation, which can also give you useful hints. But in doubt, you will find what you are looking for with a simple web search and you will also find solutions for specific problems.
It is likely that you will not get everything right on the first try. Therefore practice patience. Youll be rewarded with success and the first great printed objects from your custom-built 3D printer.
In particular, the correct levelling of the printing bed is crucial for producing a successful print later. If you still have doubts, you will find helpful articles on our website or on the web, which explain the correct levelling of the printing bed in detail.
Normally, 3D printer kits come with standard slicers, but you will most likely need further soft- and firmware. There are a lot of free downloadable options available that can improve not only the performance but also the features of your printer.
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What About 3d Printers Would You Build Another One
Yes, definitely! Its actually already planned, and this time I want it to be perfect.
If you would like to learn more about how to build a 3D printer with simulation, you can watch the recordings of the;SimScale 3D Printer Workshop.
Discover the benefits of cloud-based simulation by creating a free account on the SimScale platform. No installation, special hardware or credit card is required.
Store Your Filament Properly
Most filaments absorb water including ABS, nylon and flexible materials. It is very important that you keep them dry, thus the importance of proper storage.
So, store the plastic bins with desiccant between uses. Similarly, you can dry the spool of filament by placing it in the oven over a few hours at very low temperatures.;
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Hello World With Your 3d Printer
Once we have configured the program to print , we must click on Prepare Print, which will generate the G-Code, and then we will click on PRINT. A new window will appear called Panel impression. In the new window, we select to print, and the printer starts to get the optimum temperature.
Next we have the JOG tab, where we can control our printer axes, make homing clicking on home button and extrude and retract plastic.
Finally we have the TERMINAL tab, where we can see if there is an error in printing.
To start with the printer can use the method of calibration cubes.
This is a simple method that tests the settings of your 3D printer. You can print test cubes each of a different size. This collection contains 10 different sizes reaching from 5 to 50 mm with increments of 5 mm.
This is a plain, simple and accurate 20mm cube for use with calibration:
If you are having problems with uneven surface finish in things with curved surfaces, this calibration shape provides a quick print shape with a diversity of surfaces to check.
Choosing The Motion Structure And Frame
Before you even worry about the other components, you need to think about the mechanical arrangement and frame material of the 3D printer. There are different kinds of FFF/FDM 3D printers, the most popular and the most recommended for a DIY beginner is a Cartesian 3D printer.
In a Cartesian XZ Head setup, the 3D printer has a gantry structure with an extruder mount that moves up and down on the Z-axis and side to side along the X-axis. Meanwhile, the print bed moves on the Y-axis, perpendicular to the X-axis. While relatively easy to build, a Cartesian XZ Head mechanical arrangement is prone to stability issues due in part to the constant lateral movement of the print bed, so a robust frame is a must.
In a Cartesian XY Head setup, the hotend is fixed at the top of the 3D printer and moves on the X-axis and the Y-axis while the print bed moves up and down on the Z-axis. This particular mechanical arrangement has a more complicated structure and requires a cube or rectangular frame. On the bright side, a Cartesian XY mechanical arrangement can print faster on average and has better stability.
The Original Prusa i3 MK3 is an example of a 3D printer with a Cartesian XZ Head structure while the Ultimaker 3 is an example of a 3D printer with a Cartesian XY Head structure.
Accept 3d Printing Projects
The easiest and most practical way to make it profitable is to accept 3D printing projects. There are individuals who want 3D printed items or 3D models but dont want to purchase a machine. So, offer to do the job and let them pay for your service.
You can join 3D printing communities to find potential clients. Moreover, there are many websites for commercial 3D printing where you can take 3D printing orders.
To make things more convenient for you, here are some sites that offer those services.
Geometric Correction: Patching And Sanding
Depending on the accuracy of your printer and the size of the printed parts, its almost inevitable to have slight voids or incorrections where the parts meet. Automotive putty sticks to the resin well and should be applied to the surface in thin layers to patch these inaccuracies. Alternatively, use;resin to fill;the seams and cure;it using a UV pen. Sand lightly after each layer dries to help bring the part towards its final form.
Sanding will help you remove support marks and any remaining inaccuracies from your model. Start with carefully dry sanding the surface using ~150 grit sandpaper to remove large support marks and level the edges where parts meet. Once the parts surface is even, wet sand it with ~320 grit sandpaper to remove all remaining layer lines. Move the sandpaper in a random motion to avoid creating a grain. In most cases these two steps will create a smooth enough finish, but you might continue increasing the sandpaper grit count by a factor of ~2 and wet sand the entire part until the surface reaches the desired smoothness.
For larger parts, a combination of power and manual sanding can save you considerable time. Power sanding works best on large flat surfaces, but can easily destroy small features, sharp corners, and the subtle contours characteristic of SLA printing. Power sanding also creates a lot of dust, so make sure to prepare the surrounding area.
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Why Should You Do It Yourself
Like we said earlier, building a DIY 3D printer is a cheaper option. Asides from that, you can do it yourself if youre a 3D printer enthusiast that loves a bit of challenge.
But, the process requires your time and patience. Building a DIY 3D printer exposes you to the endless possibilities of customization. And it also helps you to learn about the machines inner functions.
Are 3d Printed Parts Strong
3D printed parts are definitely strong enough to be used to make common plastic items that can withstand great amounts of impact and even heat. When you bump up the infill density, increase the number of walls, and improve the wall thickness, youre adding to the strength and durability of a 3D printed piece.
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Can You 3d Print With Gold
3D prints with real gold are typically not produced on your average FDM printer. Though there are plenty of PLA filament brands on the market with gold color or even blends of real gold in them, these filaments produce models that dont really look golden. Instead, manufacturers have two ways of making gold 3D prints.
Learning How To 3d Print Has Never Been Easier
3D printing is an ever-evolving and expanding field. If youre a beginner at 3D printing, the number of possibilities and applications can seem so vast, it can be a bit overwhelming when youre just starting to know how to 3D print.
In this beginners guide to 3D printing, well explain what exactly 3D printing is, how it works, how to 3D print, the best materials for beginners, and what you need to get started.;
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How 3d Printer Work
There are various ways to get it, but the most common is to disjoin the 3D model into a very thin layer that is printed one on top of the other, and after that fix them, we have a 3D object.
To make it better sympathize, lets check at one of the most used processes, stereolithography: the printer produce a thin layer of resin and draws a thin straight section of the product with a laser beam. That laser solidifies the pattern he drew and sticks it to the next layer of resin, and so the process is repeated layer by layer. At the end of all that resin come forth the 3D object designed.
You can see below image for better understanding.;
This is not the only method and different materials like as dust or metals can be used, or even liquid plastic material that solidifies when leaving the printer, but the concept of layers constantly implement.;
3D Printing objects are commonly measured in centimeters . but some printers can reach up to several meters. It is also a slow process that needs solitaire: for a 100-gram object, something build complex objects may require several hours. Finally, mention that the materials they use in the 3D Printer are not cheap.
New 3d Printer Here’s How To Create Your Own Printables
Free tool Tinkercad makes it a snap for first-timers to create 3D objects for printing.
Recently I got the chance to spend some time with a Micro 3D Printer, my first foray into the world of turning a spool of plastic filament into, well, just about anything.
I had lots of fun downloading existing designs from sites like Pinshape and Thingiverse, but eventually I wanted to create objects of my own. Unfortunately, I don’t have a degree in CAD or access to any kind of 3D-design software.
Good news: Turns out you don’t need either one. Autodesk’s Tinkercad is a free Web-based design tool that enables you to create 3D objects, then download those creations in a printer-friendly format. Here’s how to get started.
Step 1: Head to Tinkercad and sign up for a free account using Facebook, Twitter or your e-mail address.
Step 2: The service will immediately walk you through a lesson to help you learn basic navigation, followed by another lesson that teaches camera controls, and so on. It’s a good idea to go through all of these, just to familiarize yourself with the environment.
Step 3: When you’re ready to create your own object, return to the Tinkercad dashboard, then click Create New Design. The tool will immediately send you to the design page, complete with a randomly assigned name for your project. You can change the name by clicking Design > Properties, though this can happen at any point along the way.
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Wiring Diagram Of Diy 3d Printer
DIY 3D Printer wiring diagram is very easy if you follow the instruction in video and follow the below image wiring diagram.
Below diagram is with LCD & Hotbed. This LCD is not necessary if you have a laptop. but your use of 3D Printer is high than every time connect the laptop with 3D Printer is not a good idea.
In LCD you can get the slot for micro SD card. So you can feed that G-code through the SD card.;
The Z Axis Stepper Motor Holster
You’re going to need the metal sheet again! Go ahead and bend it as shown in fig.1. This is almost the same as the holster you made for the Y axis stepper motor, so you shouldn’t have any trouble measuring or making it. If you do, refer back to steps 3 and 7.
Once you’ve made the holster, slide the threaded rod connected to the motor through one bearing, screw on the coupling nut structure to the threaded rod, then slide the rod through the other bearing and finally attach the motor to its holster . Make sure the U-channel rails are not on top of each other but fit in side by side.
Congratulations! You’ve finished building the 3D printer. You can put away those saws that drill! 🙂
Let’s wire it all up now. You’re just a few steps away from printing your first object!
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