May 8, 2010, 11:07 AM - My homebuilt 3D printer
I'm finally well on my way to building my 3D printer! I figured you guys would enjoy having something like this for yourselves- imagine all the cool props you could print on your desktop. This is what I'll be using to make a lot of the parts for my Predator animatronic cannon mechanism (and possibly Arc Reactors) as it will radically reduce costs of part manufacturing.
I started a build log here: http://multi-bot.blogspot.com/
Hopefully I'll have a good update this weekend...
May 8, 2010, 11:12 AM - Re: My homebuilt 3D printer
Wow - I'm nowhere near good enough at electronics to build something like this, but I can see all sorts of possibilities.
Impressive project...most impressive!
May 8, 2010, 11:13 AM - Re: My homebuilt 3D printer
Nice, just bookmarked your blog to see how it goes for you. I've been wondering how hard it would be to get Makerbot's print head to work on my Taig CNC (like a 5x12 work envelope)
May 8, 2010, 11:46 AM - Re: My homebuilt 3D printer
It shouldn't be too difficult- you would basically just connect the MakerBot electronics package to your stepper motors and make a mount for the print head.
I'm very familiar with Taig tools but I haven't used their CNC conversion -I'm also going to be playing around with some Linisteppers for CNC work as I'm not to sure about how the Makerbot/RepRap electronics will handle CNC machining.
You might also give Nophead a shout- his HydraRaptor is somewhat similar to what you are talking about. Since the Taig CNC is driven by a parallel port stepper motor driver board in order to use your existing electronics you would have to use something like Linux CNC and write some code. I'm pretty sure someone has done this but I don't know how successful they were.
You can see Nophead's site here: http://www.hydraraptor.blogspot.com/
May 8, 2010, 8:18 PM - Re: My homebuilt 3D printer
I found the parallel port interface-
Pretty slick machine too!
May 8, 2010, 8:24 PM - Re: My homebuilt 3D printer
May 8, 2010, 10:01 PM - Re: My homebuilt 3D printer
Actually yes! With the heated build platform it's probably the world's most expensive coffee warmer...
May 8, 2010, 10:06 PM - Re: My homebuilt 3D printer
May 19, 2010, 12:20 PM - Re: My homebuilt 3D printer
Saw the update. Looking good. I'm going to try and slowly build my own custom printer. I'll most likely spring for Makerbot's 'mostly assembled' electronics and the Keiling Nema23's. I caught a 1/2 price sale at Glacern (its still going on atm) on their linear motion rails and bearing blocks so I've ordered those from them. . Rails are large enough (640mm =@25 inches) that I should be able to get a 12x12 inch XYprint area no problem, if I move the blocks slightly inboard of the table I think pushing it to 14x14 or 15x15 inches would be doable. Glacern's bearing blocks are rated for taking 350lbs of force so I don't think that large would be an issue. I've never hand built a cnc Z-axis so I'm not sure what I'll do there, probably just look on cnczone for a few ideas and hope I can get @8-10 inches of clear print height.
I wonder if you could build one Honus that could be firmwared to print a cup and have a built in coffee/tea maker... might make a killing at the trek conventions selling it to the fans.
May 19, 2010, 12:31 PM - Re: My homebuilt 3D printer
stupid question time...
are you building a machine that will print graphics on to 3D objects (color), or a machine that makes 3D objects from 3D graphics?
May 19, 2010, 12:37 PM - Re: My homebuilt 3D printer
It's a printer that literally prints solid objects into 3d! They can be colored, too, if I am not mistaken... depending on the complexity of the piece of course!
May 19, 2010, 12:56 PM - Re: My homebuilt 3D printer
Yep, you can get colored ABS filament. Blending colors would be a lot harder so generally each print would be one color.
May 19, 2010, 4:04 PM - Re: My homebuilt 3D printer
I'm going fixed gantry moving table & it will be a dedicated printer. Since I have the Taig, I can't see needing it for milling.
I already have Mach3 and I'm using Gecho's G540 on the Taig. There's not a lot of spec's on the drives & motors Makerbot sells. I know they used the 23's before they switched to the 17's on the current design for space issues. Even if the amps/volts is sub-optimal with the 23's, they'll still work... just not at max speed/torque. If I have issues, I'll have to look at getting into EMC, I've just always avoided it.... I just don't care for Linux and I hate trying to set up a dual boot system. I just see the advantage of going with the Makerbot stuff, as I'll more or less have their forums, faqs, etc to reference instead of blazing my own trail and ending up lost with little help.
May 19, 2010, 4:07 PM - Re: My homebuilt 3D printer
With no support layer, you will be limited on what you make, and how
you print things out.
May 19, 2010, 6:36 PM - Re: My homebuilt 3D printer
That's why I went with the MakerBot electronics- it's essentially a plug and play system. The only disadvantage right now is that ReplicatorG doesn't support a stepper driven extruder (without altering firmware and even then it's a bit of a bodge since steppers don't like open loop PWM ) so you have to use the RepRap Mendel firmware if you want that (which isn't really Mac friendly.) I imagine that will change very soon but right now if you want to use Replicator G and Skeinforge (all cross platform) with MakerBot electronics you're better off using a DC geared motor for the extruder.
The other nice thing about the MakerBot electronics is that I can run it from my MacBook Pro -no more parallel ports!
In the end I'll probably use the Linisteppers for a larger CNC but I am interested to see how they perform as an alternative to the MakerBot setup. My machinist buddy just gave me a 24" x 42" x 3/8" thick Mic6 tooling plate that would make a great base for a CNC. It even has a ton of small holes drilled in it for vacuum hold down. Either that or it'll be a very expensive vacuum former...
And the printers are limited in the amount of overhang without supports but it's still possible to do some pretty amazing stuff.
Last edited by Honus; May 19, 2010 at 8:02 PM.
May 19, 2010, 10:08 PM - Re: My homebuilt 3D printer
Are the holes thread tapped? Sounds you got a chunk someone was turning into a tooling/fixture plate. Either way, nice score if it was free..... If it was my buddy, I'd get him a case of his favorite beer or bottle of scotch. Mic 6 is great to work with and that size of a chunk would probably be in the $250ish range new (looks like its averaging around $35 a square foot from Shapiro's in St Louis who's local to me)
May 19, 2010, 11:33 PM - Re: My homebuilt 3D printer
Extruders don't get near the detail of those plaster/gypsum powder or DLP light cure resin layer systems do. I wish the talents behind these DIY RP machines would try harder to emulate those systems, and eventually come up with a diy parts and guide list that anyone could follow to make they're own.
May 20, 2010, 1:00 AM - Re: My homebuilt 3D printer
Nope- the holes are very small as it was originally designed for vacuum tooling. He also checked it on his large surface plate and it's flat within .001" over the entire surface. And it was free! I still gave him some cash to go golfing with his brother.
May 20, 2010, 1:11 AM - Re: My homebuilt 3D printer
Right now the smallest nozzle size that has successfully been used is .3 mm -the extruder is always the limiting factor but the print quality has improved by leaps and bounds in this past year. Some of the more recent prints of complex parts are pretty impressive. I've been familiar with rapid prototyping since the early 90's using stereolithography so I was not terribly impressed with the early RepRap work but that has changed. That fact that you can do this at home for under a grand is pretty impressive. It's still hard to build a decent home CNC for under a grand if accuracy is your goal. Every process has its advantages and disadvantages- that's why I'm building my machine to handle both printing and machining.
There is one guy working on a home brewed SLS system and it looks pretty promising.
Last edited by Honus; May 20, 2010 at 8:05 AM.
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