3D Printer - Working Area 40x40x40cm





Introduction: 3D Printer - Working Area 40x40x40cm

Design Now: In Motion Contest

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Microcontroller Contest 2017

Second Prize in the
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Robotics Contest 2017

Runner Up in the
Robotics Contest 2017

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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7 Questions

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?

first of all thanks a lot for all this details and it is really almost the best article explaining about DIY 3d printing as far as I saw
I would like to ask couple of question
first of about the pieces you cut with your CNC is it good idea to use 3d printer to print it ? like it is that much reliable ?
second about the heating bed I have been reading a lot about it and I know how it works which one do you prefer making my own heating bed (42X30cm) or just make it the way you did especially am planing for a long term and reliable machine cost is not much important for me.
at last for the nozzle do you prefer me buying it mounted over the stepper motor or just building it myself (I will use 0.4 nozzle )
about the power supply how many watt should it be ? as far as I think it must be around 600 watt cause the heating bed is already consuming a lot of watt
at last I would like to thank you again for your patience and for your help
wish you all the best :)
Besher Mahaini

Having 4 heated plates on the "bed", do those plates heat between each other? Is it ok if they don't?


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

Good day Thomas.

My name is Daniel

I am planning to make your project for myself and I would just like to know I want my print area to be 1m x 1m x 1m.

How would I go about changing the lengths of the frame ect.
Hope to hear from you soon
You can give me an email on dvanrooyen1@hotmail.com



is it possible to sent me the changes for this 1m x 1m x1m project

my mail is thibo.bultynck@gmail.com


I would love to do that too, can someone help me and tell me what changes i have to make.

thanks a lot

Me too. Where is THAT Projects? Will it be reinforced? And just for Plastic?

1.impressed for the project, but i have an answer, the motors must be high torque or low torque

1.Creo que es un buen trabajo, te felicito

Me parece un buen trabajo, lo felicito. Voy a construir mi propia impresora espero me conteste mis comentaros mas adelante, de antemano gracias

In der Tat ein super Projekt

excellent travail. je suis admiratif...andré