Mother Nature Makes ... We Build.

BuildersBot Fuses 3D Printing & CNC Milling Into One Builder’s Dream "3dprintingindustry.com"

The BuilderBot is an Open Design machine, that uses Open
Software and Open Hardware. It is a product of open projects such as the RepRap, Arduino and Repetier .

The objective of this instructable is to guide your way throw the entire making process of building a BuildersBot machine. An open design Arduino Controlled CNC Router that can also perform 3D printing.

The instructions will cover all areas such as design, mechanics, electronics and software.

But before you go any further take a look at machine's concept design:

And also the machine build photos and the machine in action:

Finally check out the insane effects of the RGB led's on BuildersBot:

Warning Viewer Discretion Advised (Strong Language)

Step 1: The BuildersBot OpenDesign (Sketchup)

To view the the machine in 3D just Download the attached sketch file and access the BuildersBot OpenSource Design (in metric system and is in 1 by 1 scale).

Use this design as much as possible for guidance during this instructable.

NOTE: Use trimble/google sketchup to open the file.

Hi, was going to build this but can I use Sbr16 for the x and y and sbr12 for the z???
<p>I dont know, if it will work, you have to test it out.</p>
<p>Hi there great build, </p><p>i have been building my own, but i have a problem in that when testing my movement with the manual controls of repetier, y axis forward it moves, then y axis back the z moves? I read some where it might be the firmware is not for my newer board Arduino mega 2560 r3. could this be? that it is controling the incorect out put?</p>
<p>Turn off all endstops in the firmware, this will make all axis move in both directions. If the z motor moves instead of y motor , just change the cables from the motors to ramps (z to y or y to z).</p>
<p>Hi all figured it out, </p><p>turns out i needed to add the enable wire from the ramps 1.4 to the DQ542ma&quot;s as well as enable the the enable xyz in config h.</p><p>So onto the next step putting it all together.</p>
<p>Cool :)</p>
<p>Hi. May I know if I add a small motor to my 3dprinter. How do I get the gcode for cutting? In 3d printing, I just use simplify 3d to convert stl to gcode. But in cnc cutting, is it I use back simplify 3d software and convert the stl file into g-code for cutting. 3d printing is addictive, cnc cutting is deductive. So I don't think it is the same. Please enlighten me. Thank you.</p>
<p>You need to get a CAM software for CNC. I use cambam.</p>
<p>Out of curiosity what do you do for temperature control did you build your own sensor or is it included in the ramp?</p>
<p>I used a 100K ohm termistor.</p>
<p>@<a href="http://www.instructables.com/member/aldricnegrier" rel="nofollow">aldricnegrier</a> Great Build, I read all these post paying most attention to your instructions, only question (right now) is how do you control your dremel tool? and what turns it on and off while cutting. I failed to find anything, I have a all metal all acme control printer. and used your nema23 and wiring . I can 3d print and do laser engraving and want to add your dremel tool type motor to do cutting and wood carving ( using the flex cable. my laser engraver runs off the PC fan (where the 2 extruder hot head would normally go. but now I only need to see how you control your dremel tool . any advice would be most grateful</p>
<p>Hello carlsandra, </p><p>You turn the spindle on and off by hand, using the button on the spindle.</p><p>Before starting a job , start the spindle, when it finishes you just turn it off.</p>
<p>very nice design, thanks for sharing.</p><p>i'll make it too, with extra size length XYZ about 100cm.</p>
<p>Nice, i also want one with 100x100cm build area :)</p>
<p>You are a genius!</p>
<p>Thank you, i am just a normal dude with a passion for Building stuff, not a genius, thanks anyway :)</p>
<p>Howdy,</p><p>I have some old hardware from a plasma cutter and I am currently building a 3D printer myself. I am curious if it was possible to modify the firmware so that my computer can directly communicate to the hardware without any arduino interface.</p>
<p>Hey this is a really great instructable! Can this setup be utilized as a CNC mill or would modifications need to take place? </p>
<p>Hi All,</p><p>this looks like a great CNC/3D printer all in one!</p><p>I need a small CNC router as to be able to produce aluminium molds (45cm x 45 cm x 15cm) for carbon fiber parts and a 3D printer with the same build size but with a Z axis of a at least 30 cm instead of 22 cm. Can the design be easily modified as to permit that extra length for the Z axis, would there being any negative impact in doing so?</p><p>Richard</p>
<p>Hello,</p><p>I just wanted to start off by saying this has inspired my dad and I to do a project together, so I am very pleased by this instructable! Hopefully you don't find my question to trivial but when it comes to scalability, size factor, what considerations do you take into account? Other than the obvious ones like weight, strength, support, and code revisions?</p><p>Cheers!</p>
me parece un trabajo genial,me voy ha poner a ello.La resolucion del fresado y de la impresion,...es buena?<br>gracias y felicidades
<p>Hello aldricnegrier,</p><p>It's a really nice tutorial you've made ! </p><p>I'm building one as well, will post some photo's when its done.</p><p>Could you me tell me what the settings (DIP switch ) of the motor drivers are ? </p><p>Thank you</p>
Nice tutorial I read, big thanks for share it !! Question : is it compatible to Windows?? &amp; can I use arduino UNO R3 clone ??
<p>Thank you, </p><p>Yes it is compatible with windows (repetier host), you need a arduino mega, it can be a clone also.</p>
Thank you :) I want to build one too follow your instructable, but - make me worry if I can get arduino mega in best price tho (in my country)
Use 8 Aspire to generate the gcode. the problem is that repetier does not see mine gcode.<br>In fact, I had to buy a arduino with shields grbl<br>Can you help me to be able to use the ramps
<p>Do you can open DXF files in repetier?? Or like to open something with layers?? So I can configure the order of the path?? Or this is just something from the real CNC softwares out there?</p>
<p>Hello , you need a CAM software to open DFX files, than the CAM software will generate Gcode that can be fed to the Buildersbot.</p>
<blockquote>I tried to make changes to the firmware to try the CNC but I'm not starting anything and I can not change from LCD axes. where my mistake CNC has a working area of 660mm x 500mm</blockquote>
<p>Hello patiziaR, </p><p>What is the error, you need a CAM software to generate gcode for CNC functions.</p><p>Do you have a CAM software?</p>
<p>Hello patiziaR, </p><p>What is the error, you need a CAM software to generate gcode for CNC functions.</p><p>Do you have a CAM software?</p>
<p>hello, question, how does the extrusion system work with the gcode? I thought it can only handle three axises, doesnt the extruder count as a forth control plane?</p>
<p>Hello Garretth7, the firmware is for 3D printers, you can have multiple extruders if you need.</p>
<p>My thoughts exactly, at least a dual for build support, material if needed or dual color.</p>
<p>yes you can have 2 extruders guaranteed or even 3 with some minor modifications.</p>
<p>Question, about the structure of the build; I was thinking about the build volume, and someone had mentioned that this would easily support a build volume twice this size. Is that true? If so, I would guess that I might make it 1000mm x 1000mm x700mm? Considering this should this volume hold structurally for machining routing forces? Why or why not? and recommended build volume? and quite possibly your original or current reasoning for the lower Z-axis? (stability when routing - my guess) if I am looking to go higher than the designed what steps would your recommend, any stress force numbers (for manual and FEA analysis), that you could through out there would be helpful. I would like very much to do a redesign with a little higher Z-Axis ~thanks JAY</p>
<p>Yes you can increase the size up to 150% of the original size without a problem, more than 150% i don't know what could happen. Don't increase the Z axis, it is already long enough and whould increase too much mass on the stucture. Just my intuition here, i have not scaled the machine up.</p><p>800x800x350 would be a great volume</p>
<p>why did you not use GRBL afterall all you have is a 3 axis cnc machine,as now you are using 3d printing electronics to run a 3 axis machine and you have not installed the 4th axis for 3d printing</p>
<p>Hello, this is not a CNC machine, it is a CNC/3D printer. i do not know what is GRML.</p><p>I have 3 axis machine with one extruder, the extruder is not an axis.</p><p>You can connect 2 extruders if you need of even 3 extuders.</p>
<p>Did you reverse the z axis for 3d printing?</p>
<p>No, you don't need to reverse the Z axis, you just need to use CNC as negative values.</p><p>This is done using the CAM software, if you take a closer look at repetier host pictures i have on this instructables, you can see that the machine will print/cut under the build volume, this means that it will go down for CNC functions. For 3D printing you need to put the Z axis on the low point, and it will print your object upwards. </p>
If you are using a standard cnc axis setup than any z comand that is - or negative will drive the Z axis down toward the platten,If you are seting the Z axis at 0 with the nozzel on the platten than any more - or negitive commands will drive the Z into the platten. Somewhere the Z axis has been inverted or reversed wheather in software,hardware or you machine is not setup in accordance with standard operation . If the Z moves upward with a - or negative gcode command then something somewhere has been reversed regarding the Z axis.I have been into cnc for over 20 years and if you research cnc machine setup you will realize what I am refering to,an example ,look at the GRBL setup page,or any cnc setup page its an industry standard.
<p>Yes exactly, the machine is not in standard operation, because it is a hybrid machine not a pure CNC.</p><p>The 'change' is via software, and it actually is not a change. here is how it works:<br></p><p>For CNC operations you zero at Z max (1 cm before the actual Zmax for security) than you cut down on stock material.<br></p><p>For 3D printing you zero at Zmin (Zmin is the 3D builld volume base) than you build up from mirror.<br></p><p>In<br> order to achieve this you need to change the physical base of the <br>machine, when you need CNC, i put a high wooden base on the machine, <br>when i need 3D printing i remove the base with a flat mirror. have a <br>look at the photos for details.</p>
<p>3D printing at Repetier host can be compatible with the CNC?</p>
<p>yes :) for some time now, repetier host suports it and repetier firmware suports it.</p>
<p>Can i use any other extruder because i cannot find the same extruder and if i can what changes do i have to make to firmware...........thanks in advance</p>
<p>Yes, any extruder will work, you just need to reset the extruder steps per millimeter value in the firmware.</p>
<p>One of the best Instructables I've read and completely motivated to build one. I had a question on using SBR16's instead of 20's and nema17's as drives? If someone could point me to reference material would be greatly appreciated. Thanks </p>
<p>Thank you JonN6, i am glad you liked/appreciate all the hard work :)</p><p>I have not tried with nema 17, with nema 23 the machine works like a charm :)</p><p>Good luck with the build.</p>
<p>Hi,</p><p>could you tell me how strong power suppy you used? How many amps and volts?<br>Thankyou :D</p>