Build Your Own 3D Printer

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IMAGE SOURCE:  http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:32850 BWEVANS

One of the cooler concepts of home based 3D printing is that it originated out of a movement with a philosophy that these would be self replicating machines.  You find someone to build the plastic parts for you, purchase the metal parts (screws, rods, bearings, etc) and electronics, put it all together and you’re all set.  Once you’ve done this, you can print off parts for someone else to build their own printer or for you to build a second printer, etc.  This is the RepRap project.  If you’re technically inclined, you can check out their wiki site, look at some of the different printer types, and make your own!

It’s really inspiring to think that all of this came about from technically inclined people donating their expertise to a project they were passionate about.  

I’m just finishing up a build for a customer who is making her own 3D Printer.  She is building the Rostock Mini (pictured above).  Here is a link about that specific printer.  reprap.org/wiki/Rostock_mini

This is a delta style printer, which uses motors on a linear slide combined with a linkage to generate the x-y-z axis motion required to print a part.  Here’s a link to a youtube video of one in action

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UOq-CQsbNo

Here is a picture of some of the parts I built for her.  This also includes an upgraded Airtripper’s Extruder Component.

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I can’t wait to hear more about how this project turns out!

Update:  3/31/13

My customer, Charli from Virginia, has completed the mechanical build on here Mini Rostock.  Here are some pictures:

She sent me a very nice complimentary email:

Matt, I wanted to compliment you on the parts for my Rostock. I have heard that some people have to melt the nuts into the base pieces. Your parts are so accurate, that my M3 nuts just popped right in. I haven’t had to bore any holes to widen them either, they are right on for my M3 bolts.”

Getting a 3D printer and the associated software tuned to produce high quality parts, but I think its worth the extra effort!




Matthew Gorton
Matthew Gorton

Author

Matthew Gorton is the founder of printedsolid.com. He is a mechanical / materials engineer by education and has worked as a design, process and quality engineer in the medical, electronics, and aerospace industries. He is enthusiastic about applying all he has learned through these experiences to 3D printing and sharing that with others.



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