Introduction: Aluminum 3DPrintMi - 3DPrinter Assembly Guide

Aluminum 3DPrintMi is an open source, Reprap 3D Printer and the next iteration of the original3DPrintMi. As part of the Reprap movement, it has the ability to self replicate by printing a portion of itself and assembled together with fasteners.

For more information, please visit the links listed below:

Summary
After building the original 3DPrintMi, I continued to make improvements in an effort to reduce cost and further increase the ease of assembly. The Aluminum 3DPrintMi retains a few sub-components from the original design but with a few changes. The frame was redesigned using aluminum extrusion 2020s, significantly reducing assembly time, part count, and overall cost per unit. To improve the user experience in operating the 3DPrintMi, an induction probe was added into the final design, streamlining the bed leveling process. After printing 1000+ hours with the Aluminum 3DPrintMI and listening to other 3DPrintMi users, I have determined that it's current state is ready for release and, as usual, open source and free for the public. Enjoy the build!

Getting Started
This guide will provide you the step-by-step instructions on how to assemble the printer's frame, assuming that the user has already pre-assembled the electronics before hand. I highly recommend you review the pictorial guide to get a good sense of what to expect. The pictures are self explanatory and the written instructions are there to aid the assembly.

Step 1: Getting Started - Review Bill of Material and Collect Your Tools

Bill of Material

Before you start buying the materials, you will need to complete the BOM by selecting the desired selections based on your preferable budget, setup and convenience in sourcing the parts. The options are highlighted in orange and the parts will auto-update the price and source link so take your time selecting your material.

Sourcing the printed parts may be a bit tricky since you will have to search around for someone or someplace with a 3D Printer. Look around if there's a local Hackerspace nearby, most likely they have 3D Printers that you can use or pay someone to print them for you. If you can't find anyone, PM me and I can work something out.

Tools

  • Digital Caliper
  • Wire cutter (to cut zip ties)
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Slip joint pliers
  • 2.5mm/3/32" Hex screw or a thin Phillip screwdriver (depends what kind of M3 screws you use)
  • Reaming tool (to enlarge holes if part quality is low)

Step 2: Know You Printed Parts

These are the parts that make up the printer. They are ready to be downloaded and printed on any 3d printer that has a build area of at least 152mm x 152mm (6" x 6"). Refer to the BOM to see the number of printed parts needed.

The Printed parts are listed as follows:

  1. Y End Motor_AL
  2. Y End Idler_AL
  3. Y Carriage_A_Ver.2
  4. Y Carriage_B_Ver.2
  5. X End Motor
  6. X End Idler
  7. X Carriage
  8. Extruder mount
  9. 2020 Corner Brace
  10. Z Motor Housing_A
  11. Z Motor Housing_B
  12. Bottom Z Rod Brace
  13. Z Coupling
  14. Top Z Rod Stabilizer_A
  15. Top Z Rod Stabilizer_B
  16. Top Z Rod Brace
  17. Endstop mount
  18. Knob
  19. Y Carriage Extender_A
  20. Y Carriage Extender_B
  21. Spool Roller_A
  22. Spool Roller_B
  23. Filament Feed Guide
  24. Induction Probe
  25. Blower Fan Duct
  26. Blower Fan Holder

Step 3: Sub-assembly - 2020 Corner Brace

Total: 14

Parts

  • 13 - 2020 Corner Brace
  • 26 - M3 x 10mm
  • 26 - M3 T-Nut

Notes

  • Do not tighten, leave it loosely fit
  • Some T-Nuts will need to be taken off the corner braces and installed into the frame

Step 4: Sub-assembly - Endstop Mount

Total: 2

Parts

  • 2 - Endstop Mount
  • 2 - M3 Hex nut

Notes

  • Use slip joint pliers to insert M3 Hex nuts

Step 5: Sub-assembly - Knob

Total: 8

Parts

  • 8 - Knob
  • 8 - M3 Hex Nut

Notes

  • Use slip joint pliers to insert M3 Hex nuts

Step 6: Sub-assembly - X Carriage

Parts

  • 1 - X Carriage
  • 1 - Extruder Mount
  • 6 - M3 Hex Nut
  • 4 - M3 x 25mm
  • 3 - LM8UU (Optional to install now, can wait until later on)

Notes

  • Use slip joint pliers to insert M3 Hex nuts

Step 7: Sub-assembly - Z Motor Housing

Total: 2

Parts

  • 2 - Z Motor Housing A & B
  • 12 - Square Nuts
  • 2 - Bottom Z Rod Brace
  • 8 - M3 x 18mm
  • 16 - M3 x 10mm
  • 2 - Nema17 Motor
  • 2 - Vinyl tubing
  • 8 - M3 Hex Nut
  • 8 - M3 Washer

Notes

  • Use slip joint pliers to insert M3 Hex nuts
  • Skip the Nema17 Motor installation until the frame assembly

Step 8: Sub-assembly - X End Motor

Parts

  • 1 - X End Motor
  • 2 - LM8UU
  • 1 - GT2 16 teeth
  • 1 - Nema17 Motor
  • 4 - M3 x 10mm
  • 2 - Zip Ties

Notes

  • Do not press fit the M8 Hex Nut yet, it will go on the threaded Z rod
  • Use Zip Ties to secure LM8UU Bearings

Step 9: Sub-assembly - X End Idler

Parts

  • 1 - Y End Motor
  • 2 - LM8UU
  • 2 - F608ZZ Flanged Ball Bearing
  • 1 - M8 x 35mm Cap Screw
  • 1 - M8 Hex Nut
  • 2 - Zip Ties

Notes

  • Do not press fit the M8 Hex Nut yet, it will go on the threaded Z rod
  • Use Zip Ties to secure LM8UU Bearings

Step 10: Sub-assembly - Y End Idler

Parts

  • 1 - Y End Idler
  • 4 - M3 x 10mm
  • 2 - M3 x 18mm
  • 4 - Square Nuts
  • 2 - F608ZZ Flanged Ball Bearing
  • 1 - M8 x 35mm Cap Screw
  • 2 - M8 Washer
  • 1 - M8 Hex Nut
  • 2 - M3 Hex Nut

Step 11: Sub-assembly - Y End Motor

Parts

  • 1 - Y End Motor
  • 7 - M3 x 10mm
  • 2 - M3 x 18mm
  • 1 - Nema17 Motor
  • 1 - GT2 16 teeth pulley
  • 4 - Square Nuts
  • 2 - M3 Hex Nut

Step 12: Sub-assembly - Z Coupling

Total: 2

Parts

  • 2 - Z Coupling
  • 8 - M3 Hex Nut
  • 8 - M3 x 18mm
  • 8 - M3 Washer

Notes

Install 8mm lead screw during frame assembly

Step 13: Sub-assembly - Top Z Stabilizer

Total: 2

Parts

  • 2 - Top Z Stabilizer (A & B)
  • 2 - Top Z Rod Brace
  • 4 - M3 Washer
  • 3 - M3 x 10mm
  • 4 - Square Nuts
  • 4 - M3 x 18mm
  • 4 - M3 Hex Nut

Step 14: Sub-assembly - Spool Holder

Total: 2

Parts

  • 2- Spool Holder (A & B)
  • 4 - M3 x 10mm
  • 4 - Square Nuts
  • 8 - F608ZZ Flanged Ball Bearing
  • 4 - M8 x 35mm Cap Screw
  • 4 - M8 Hex Nut
  • 4 - M8 Washer

Step 15: Sub-assembly - Filament Guide Holder

Parts

  • 1 - Filament Guide Holder
  • 1 - M3 x 10mm
  • 1 - Square Nuts

Step 16: Subassembly - Y Carriage

Parts

  • 1 - Y Carriage A
  • 1 - Y Carriage B
  • 2 - Y Carriage Extender A
  • 2 - Y Carriage Extender B
  • 8 - Sub-assembled Knob
  • 4 - LM8UU
  • 6 - M6 Thin Hex Nut
  • 2 - M6 x 110mm Cap Screw
  • 4 - M6 Washer
  • 12 - M3 Hex Nut
  • 12 - M3 Washer
  • 8 - M3 x 18mm
  • 4 - M3 x 25mm
  • 1 - 200 x 200mm HeatBed
  • 1 - 200 x 200mm Glass
  • 1 - 200 x 200mm 28 gauge galvanized steel sheet

Notes

  • Use 28 gauge galvanized steel sheet for Induction Probe setup
  • Drill out hole with 1/4" drill bit If using 1/4" Cap Screw instead of M6

Step 17: Sub-assembly - Blower Fan

Parts

  • 1- Blower Fan Holder
  • 1- Blower Fan Duct
  • 1 - Blower Fan
  • 2 - M3 x 25mm
  • 2 - M3 Hex Nut
  • 1 - M3 x 10mm

Step 18: Sub-assembly - Induction Sensor

Parts

  • 1 - Induction sensor (SN04-N probe)
  • 1 - Induction Sensor Holder
  • 2 - M3 Hex Nut
  • 2 - M3 x 18mm

Step 19: Assembly - Framing Y & Z Axis

Parts

  • 3 - Aluminum Extrusion 2020
  • 4 - Sub-assembled Corner Brace

Step 20: Assembly - Framing the Y Axis

Parts
  • 9 - Square Nuts
  • 1 - Sub-assembled Corner Brace

Notes

Use Square Nuts on the Z Motor Mount

Step 21: Assembly - Z Motor Mount

Parts

  • 2 - Sub-assembled Z Motor Mount
  • 1 - Sub-assembled Corner Brace
  • 1 - Aluminum Extrusion 2020

Notes

Remove Nema17 Motors from the Z Motor Mount in order to tighten screws

Step 22: Assembly - Y Ends

Parts

  • 1 - Sub-assembled Y Idler
  • 1 - Sub-assembled Y Motor

Step 23: Assembly - Top Z Stabilizers

Parts

  • 2 - Sub-assembled Corner Brace
  • 2 - Sub-assembled Top Z Brace

Step 24: Assembly - X Gantry

Parts

  • 1 - Sub-assembled X Carriage
  • 1 - Sub-assembled X Idler
  • 1 - Sub-assembled X Motor
  • 4 - 8mm Smooth Rods
  • 2 - Z Coupling
  • 2 - M8 lead screw
  • 8 - Zip Ties (Large Size)

Step 25: Assembly - Y Carriage/Build Plate

Parts

  • 2 - 8mm smooth rod
  • 1 - Sub-assembled Y Carriage (No HBP & Glass)

Step 26: Assembly - Belt Drive

Parts

  • 8 - Zip ties (small size)

Step 27: Assembly - X & Y Endstop

Parts

  • 2 - End-stop

Notes

One end-stop for each axis (X & Y)

Step 28: Assembly - MBE Extruder

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1236065

Step 29: Assembly - Direct Drive Vert-Xtruder

Files for the Direct Drive Vert-Xtruder available on my thingiverse page

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:137806

The Hotend used is the E3D V6

http://e3d-online.com/

Step 30: Assembly - Spool Holders & Filament Guide

Parts

  • 2 - Sub-assembled Spool Holder (A & B)
  • 1 - Filament Guide Holder
  • 1 - PTFE Filament Tube

Notes

Install PTFE Filament Tube and cut to length

Step 31: Induction Probe Setup

Setting up the induction probe for auto-leveling will take some time. I create a step-by-step tutorial on my blog couple months back along with a list of other sources that helped me get it going. The induction probe can be replaced with a simple mechanical switch for the Z stop but once you use the auto-leveling feature, you never want to go back. Follow the blog and should have it up and running in no time.

http://gyroe3dprinter.blogspot.com/2015/02/aluminu...

Step 32: Assembly Complete

Congratulations! You have completed assembling your very own Aluminum 3DPrintMi.

All you have to do now is hook up any available 3D Printing electronic board and there are numerous tutorials online that you can follow. Good luck and happy printing!

Comments

author
Jacksmithy1955 (author)2016-08-03

HI

I am thinking of possibly making this over a https://www.instructables.com/id/eWaste-60-3DPrinte...

But i was wondering how much it cost you in total, bearing in mind i dont currently have access to a 3d printer

Cheers

author
vsams14 (author)2016-05-26

I remember I tried to make the original one but it wasn't so great - wobbly and unstable. But that was 3 years ago and many of my parts rusted over. Might try this version this summer. Can I modify existing parts from the original 3dprintmi to make this one?

author
wolfstep made it! (author)2016-02-09

I made the original printer and it is still going strong! I cant wait to start this newer version! If it is anything close to the original, I know I wont be disappointed. Thank you for making this printer so easy to build and understand.

3d-prntr.jpg

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