3D Printer - Working Area 40x40x40cm





Introduction: 3D Printer - Working Area 40x40x40cm

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Second Prize in the
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Robotics Contest 2017

Runner Up in the
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Hello everyone, in this project I want to show you how to make a 3D Printer.

I always wanted to have a diy 3d printer. The easiest way to make it is print frame parts and coonnect it with aluminium profiles or somethink like that. But I didn't have acces to any 3d printer. So, I used my cnc machine to make all nessesery parts and when 3d printer was almost assembled I printed plastic parts whitch were hard or imposible to make on cnc machine. And now i have a 3d printer with working area around 40x40x40 cm :)

I made a video and step by step instruction how to make it.

Step 1: Watch the Videos

I made three videos which show you step by step assembly of 3d printer. Videos will give you a good overview, but most important information are in the next steps.

Step 2: Materials, Parts, Tools

Frame materials:

- Aluminium profiles 20x20x2 mm
- Aluminium sheet 3mm
- Linear Rail Shafts 12mm
- Linear Shaft Bearings 12mm
- A lot of Screws, Nuts and Washers
- Stepper Motor Mounts

Drive components:

- Stepper Motors Nema 17
- Timing Belts GT2 6mm
- GT2 Timing Pulleys
- Screw Rods


- Arduino Mega 2560
- Ramps 1.4
- Stepstick A4988
- LCD 12864
- Power Supply
- Heated Bed
- Heater Block
- Endstops
- Thermistors
- A lot of Wires


- Cnc Machine or 3D Printer
- Belt Sander
- Angle Grinder
- Drill
- Sandpaper
- Screws drivers
- Soldering Iron
- Pliers

Step 3: Project

Before I started making my printer I thought about different solutions and I made 3D project in Autodesk Inventor, it gave me a good overview on the whole machine. Dimensions of all parts you can download below.

Step 4: Frame Parts

Frame is made of aluminium profiles 20x20x2 mm. I thought about v-slot profiles, they are easier to connect but much more expensive. To the other elements I used aluminium flat bars 40x10mm, 40x8mm, 30x10mm and aluminium sheet 3mm. First, I cut all profiles(20x20) to the desired length and improved the edges on belt sander. Next I milled all parts. After milling I removed the holding tabs, improved edges, drilled holes and made threads.

Step 5: Frame + Y Axis

Connect aluminium profiles (585mm and 620mm length) with corner connectors using screws. Remember about the angle of 90 degrees ! Cut the linear rail shafts to 620mm. Screw Y shafts holder to the frame. Put in linear bearings to the bearings holder and put them on shafts. Next screw the bed bottom to the bearings holder. This is a platform for the bed.

Step 6: Frame + Z Axis

Connect aluminium profiles (560mm vertical and 585mm horizontal ) using corner connectors. Screw the Z bottom shaft holders. Connect 2 pieces of the frame with the Z mount plates. Still remember about 90 degree. Cut the shafts to 588mm and connect them with the Z bottom and top holders. To strengthen construction, screw the aluminium angle profiles from top to the bottom.

Step 7: X Axis

Screw bearings to the X Plates and put them in the Z axis. Remember about a bearing holder+nut one of each side. Cut the shafts to 624mm. Connect bearings with X Bearings Holder and screw them to the X Plate Extruder.

Now frame and axis are ready :)

Step 8: Motors, Endstops, Drive Components

Screw motor holders to the frame. Y axis holder was too high. So, I cut few millimeters from the top. Screw the motors to the holders and endstops to the frame. Triggers are made of steel and aluminium. Z axis trigger is adjustable. Timing belt connectors are made of steel and aluminium too. Next screw the gears, pulley wheels and timing belts. To the Z axis I used M6 threaded rods but only for test. I'll change them to 8 mm threaded rod with trapezoidal thread. Nuts are made of teflon.

Step 9: Bed, Extruder, Hotend

To make adjustable bed I used screws and hard springs. Top bed is connected to aluminium profiles and bottom bed. I didn't' had a that big aluminium sheet. So, bed is little to small but still work perfect :) On the top of the bed is 4 mm glass. Glass shapes are rounded with sandpaper. Extruder and hotend are made of aluminium. They are connected with teflon pipe.

Step 10: Steel Platform

This step is not necessary but is good for your machine. The construction is little flexible when you put on force. To reduce it I welded simple platform with steel profiles.

Step 11: Electronics, Heated Bed, Power Supply

The brain of the printer is Arduino Mega 2560 with Marlin software. To arduino are connected Ramps 1.4 shield and LCD 12864 Smart Controller. To power the printer I used a ATX power supply (very cheap and quite). But if printer works with 4 heated beds my old atx isn't enough. To power the 4 heated bed I used a power supply from old server station. To control which bed will be turned off or on, I made small control panel (schematic below). If I need use more than 2 beds, I have to turn on biggest power supply(a lot of noise). Of course you can power everything from 1 power supply, but I got my power supplies for free and this solution is good for me becouse I mostly use 1 heated bed. On the bottom of the heated bed is a cork board to keep maximum heat. In the rar file is Marlin program with my settings, but they aren't final (works good but can better).

Step 12: First Printing

Before machine was completely finished, I printed a hotend holder, fan holder, z axis threaded rod holder, smart controller enclosure and filament spool holder.

Step 13: Finish :)

3D Printer is completely finished :)

Just heat the nozzle and print something !

If you enjoy please subscribe my Youtube channel for more projects.

Thomas Workshop Youtube Channe

l If you have any questions, please leave a comment below :)



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    11 Questions

    Hi Thomas, You did a brilliant build and I was fascinated by your videos.! I know your structure have to be modified for using it as CNC, I have milling one, and now need another with big working field as You did. I have a questions:

    1) In which manner We can transfer G codes to Arduino?

    2) In which manner You create a 3D codes for 3d print? I have AutoCAD and Inventor and also a BobCAD/CAM V24 and V25, just for milling and I'm not so complete satisfied, and also Mach3...TKS for answering!!

    i done all the steps which is given above and i stuck with the electronics . do any steps for the electronics also. please send me the link.


    I build all the steps according to tutorial and used arguing and marlin given by you . But it is not working . Can you guide the steps of the software also as a video please . Calibration for printer and how to print please . Thank you

    Hi Thomas and community, i want to know about the quality of the impression? Is it good? Since some people tell me that maybe if it is not very popular maybe the printer can be vibrate and affect impression quality.

    So, i want to know if someone has armed it and share your experience with this kind of printer.

    hi, I would like to know the connections of the fans on the extruder on which pins should be connected? thank you

    Hi Thomas, such a brilliant build and your videos were very oddly satisfying to watch, however, I didn't really get the purpose of the two parts made in minute (10:08 till 10:55) could you please fill me in!!! thank you anyway for being awesome. greetings from Egypt.

    I'm sorry I mean in video part 2 (frame assembly)

    What type of extruder/hot end did you use? I didn't find it in the parts list. I'm trying to do this build in my classroom with middle school students. Thank you.

    Hey, you have made a very nice 3D printer. Can you send the model (inventor files) in one rar?


    What would it cost to have you make and send me the parts for this build?

    wow amazing project man! what's the nema 17 model for this? thanks!

    This is for anyone to answer. Can this project be modified to do cnc and lazer cutting/edging? BTW all ready busy assembling Y and Z axis

    why not? cpuld you explain?

    YES of corse,no problem you can even dload a carry case for a pen or laser or mill. on thingyverse

    Yes on both counts but in practise you won't be able to use it as a cnc. The setup is not rigid enough to handle the lateral load and will not produce precise parts in anything but the softest of materials. Laser conversion is totally possible, but unless you're very confident in what you're doing I would not build a diy laser cutter. Also I'm quite sure harmonic vibrations will be an issue at the high travel speed of a laser cutter. And they are quite dangerous to your eyes. If you do convert it, consider encasing the entire rig in a box without windows. You can't be in the same room as a unshielded laser cutter without laser goggles.

    Excellent project, thanks for all your efforts. What do you mean exactly by 'harmonic vibrations' ? Google does not give a concise definition. Also, assuming all materials are to hand, how long would you estimate it to take to assemble ?

    Hey! I have a same that i need taad that dimension for my build. If some one knows the answer please tell me.