View Full Version : custom 3d printer build

02-11-2012, 01:07 AM
hey, this is going to be a bit retroactive, as all my time and effort has been in the building of this machine and i havent taken the time to post anything.

the idea was to have a maching capable of printing a cubic foot of volume and to not spend any money... but you know how that goes... any how here's some pics....... basic frame assembly, 1/2" MDF:
x and z rails test fitted:
hotend/printhead assembly:
nearly assembled and testing motion parameters:
first "object" print:

02-11-2012, 11:20 AM
That looks great. I am a newby to the 3d printing stuff, but I have built a Cnc router. Do you have a good resource to learn hoe to make one?

Thank you

02-11-2012, 11:38 AM
well, i never found a 1 stop shop for info, unless you can gain enough info from the hydraraptor blog, i suppose it was the most informative. otherwise the info is spread all over the net, and its tough to understand it all. i've been reading for about 1.5 years and we bought a makerbot cupcake at work. thats how i figured it out. keep in mind, there are a million derivatives of every part out out there, so sorting through and aligning them all in your head can be a chore.
if you have any specific questions, feel free to ask.
you can mount an extruder head to your router base as a start, but even that takes a bit of investment.

02-11-2012, 11:55 AM
I thought about a router conversion, but would rather have a stand alone. Have you looked into the kit sold on seemeCNC? It looks like a good deal. Do you use Mach to control these machines? If so is there a add on for Mach or do you have to do anything special to Mach to use it for 3d printing?

Thanks again for your time

02-11-2012, 12:01 PM
no problem.
I personally dont see the attraction of the seemecnc kits, but their prices are supposedly good, and i'm coming from a different place than many people. I see Hoss is investing in one. keep an eye on his 3d printer thread and see what he thinks.
I'm using linuxcnc for control, no special configs in particular.
i see that elswhere in the 3d printer forum there is discussion of mach plugins and controls. its nice to have the visual feedback of some real control software like mach or linuxcnc.
also you'll need a cam software for processing models. i've been using Slic3r at home and replicatorg at work.

02-11-2012, 12:21 PM
I have been following Hoss on YouTube, I'm sure I'll pick up some good info there. I teach high school drafting and wood shop, so we get master cam for cheap. I assume that master cam will work to post for a 3d printer? Wouldn't you think? I'll look into the plugin for Mach and 3d printing


02-11-2012, 12:28 PM
I'm not familiar with master cam, but unless it has an additive process feature, i dont think it will work. but i wouldnt be the one to ask.
I hope you find something that will work for you. having access to your school workshop will be a plus.

02-11-2012, 12:33 PM
Looks like I got some homework.

02-11-2012, 05:40 PM
That looks great! I have built a 3-d Printer using the McWire design and it is barely usable. Anyway, I would love to see more on your extruder/hotend design as well as some details on your rails/linear bearings. Other than that, it looks like you have done a great job putting it together.


02-11-2012, 11:37 PM
yeah, the mcwire seems like it would have a tendency to be flaky..... i've run into it before, but to be honest i had to look it up. i have just a bare bit more info about the hotend on my site hifihamster.com in the "current" section. if i were looking to build a single filament printer, i think i would just purchase a hot end, they're pretty finicky and not much fun to build my way. i think the arcol.hu design looks nice and stable.
the filament drive is still experimental for driving 3 separate filaments, but files can be found on thingiverse.
the linear bearings have a body made of delrin (acetal) and an insert made of teflon (ptfe). everything was made using my manual 7x10 lathe and my cnc x2 mill. the build took me about 4 months of fairly solid work evenings and weekends..... it was quite an investment and turned out good so far, but still many improvements to be made. might have been smarter to build a mendel max.
P.S. thanks for the compliments.

02-18-2012, 10:45 PM
I've got some functioning videos up on youtube

multi filament extruder test in progress - YouTube

if you check my channel for multifilament there are 3 others.

11-27-2012, 02:40 PM
very nice machine.