Modern additive printer – not a cheap pleasure. To become the owner of a high-tech “machines” have to shell out hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Many supporters of the three-dimensional printing are wondering how to build a 3d printer with your hands? If the device can reproduce the details of all shapes and sizes, why not try to print to the same printer?
Self, as an alternative to commercial models
In fact, engineers are already not the first year struggling to make a three-dimensional printing technology available to the public.
For the first time on self-reproducing mechanisms began in 2004. The project is called 3d printer reprap. Devices of this type can reproduce exact copies of their components.
The first was a printer called “Darwin”. He was able to reproduce about 60% of their parts for children up. He was replaced by “Mendel”, able to work not only with plastic but also with marble dust, talc and metal alloys.
Despite the fact that the principle of reprap gained trust among users of printing equipment and has gained immense popularity among engineers and enthusiasts, it can not be called perfect.
The base cost of a standard platform for creating similar clones of EUR 350. A professional self-replicating machine capable to print your own electrical circuits is 3,000 euros.
In both cases, the buyer will have to put a lot of effort to ensure that its copy operate fully.
Collect 3d printer
First of all, you will have to shell out for components that today it is impossible wholly to make on a normal printer. Novice engineer have to buy, to install and calibrate:
- sensors for measuring the temperature of the extruder nozzle and the heating table;
- — stepper motors driving the print head and the build platform;
- — stepper motor controller;
- — end sensors to determine “zero”;
- — thermistors;
- heater of the extruder and the desktop.
The above parts are selected based on the dimensions of the device and the purposes which are put before him. The total budget of home-made apparatus can be easily compared with the cost of a cheap FDM printer with average print quality.
Reprap printers — semi-finished products in the world of 3D
In reality to collect a 3d printer with your hands is harder than it might seem at first glance. Unfortunately, the technology of reprap are far from perfect and is targeted primarily at people with an engineering degree. For all other provided kits that you can put together following the instructions and firmly holding the screwdriver.
For example, a DLP printer Sedgwick v2.0 Kit. Photopolymer machine is designed for printing models of acrylic. Available in a choice of two versions of the device: with a tank volume of 75х75х50мм and 75х75х120мм. Ready device is able to print with a minimum layer thickness of 100 micron.
In turn, recruitment Engineer (Prusa i3) allows you to collect printer layer-by-layer fused deposition modeling ABS and PLA plastic with thickness 0.3-0.5 mm. the Volume of the working chamber is 200х200х180мм.
Kits for self-Assembly are constantly being improved. In 2015, went on sale the first printer series PRotos v3, the German manufacturer German RepRap. The device like other models of this type are sold in disassembled form.
But the manufacturer has taken into account the previous shortcomings and presented a kit to assemble which was a lot easier than ever before. The novelty is equipped with a ready-made platform for printing, aluminum reinforcing pillars that give it additional strength, coil cables branded with the prepared connectors and assembled boards.
If previously self-assemble properly working printer, it was almost impossible, thanks to the efforts of German engineers, each buyer received the opportunity to build a device for three-dimensional printing, is equipped with two extruders.
It is noteworthy that the engineers of the company PRotos v3 decided not to limit the possibilities of printing machine and taught her all kinds of plastic, such as ABS, PLA, PP, PS, PVA, smartABS, Laybrick, Bendlay Laywood and.
The cost of the kit is 999 euros. On the other hand, assembled at the factory the printer is sold at a price 1559 Euro.
How to assemble a 3d printer from scrap materials
For a place in the category “the cheapest 3d printer with your hands” can compete just two candidates. Model EWaste will not cost more than 60 dollars, assuming you can find suitable details, borrowed from old appliances.
You will need two CD/DVD drive, floppy drive, computer power supply, connectors, shrink tube and motor NEMA 17.
Instructions can be found here.
An alternative is to use plywood, nuts, cables, bolts, and aluminum scrap. Attach all this to the step-by-step motor and heater cartridge using a soldering iron. The detailed Assembly process of the Egyptian ATOM 3D you will find that here.
By the way, to acquire their own printer it is not necessarily expertly wield a blowtorch. Enough to out a few copiers.
To embody the idea into reality engineer needed steel rails, three plastic bearing, metal profiles, 4 motors, two of which support the function of a microstrip. In addition, the author of the project used a thermistor to the stove, 3 optical sensors and the connection cable.
Perhaps the finished Assembly does not Shine, designer frills, but quite decent to cope with the printing of the usual ABS plastic. The cost of homemade is unlikely to exceed $ 50, provided that some parts were the author’s ideas available.
However, with proper skill, you can try to build something more perfect. Chinese engineers from the company Makeblock specializing in the development of robotics, has kindly offered your “recipe” inexpensive machine for three-dimensional printing.
The printer was assembled from available tools and sold on the open market mechanisms. Chinese developers used proprietary frame Makeblock platform of the type i3, which you can buy in the store.
For the electrical part meets Arduino MEGA 2560+ RAMPS. The device is controlled by a desktop computer with pre-installed special software Printrun (download).
. But this kit is slightly cheaper than the commercial model, as it is a full-fledged platform for rapid prototyping. Public stereotype saying that the rep-rap is just a budget toy, has sunk into oblivion together with the statements of NASA.
It turns out, the astronauts plan to in the near future to take a few similar printers in space. The intention of the engineers, self-replicating printers will help to save valuable space and lift capacity of the Shuttle. It is planned that they will be used for building space bases on the moon and Mars.
As the ink of 3D printers will use fine sand.
Which variant to choose – you decide. Self-replicating printers are rapidly evolving and evolution. But this kit is slightly cheaper than the commercial model, as it is a full-fledged platform for rapid prototyping.
Rep-rap 3d printers allow to save some tens or hundreds of dollars, but the final sample will have to customize what the print quality may suffer. Homemade printers is an option for people with engineering backgrounds and remarkable patience.