Building a 3D Printer Under 299$





Introduction: Building a 3D Printer Under 299$

Epilog Contest VII

Runner Up in the
Epilog Contest VII

Hello again, remember me?

I have published an instructable about how to make a 3d printer under 200$ - Tower Simple XL.

It's a low cost, full-featured 3D Printer, and the most important thing is, you don't need any 3Dprinted parts to build the 3D Printer. If I have a 3D printer,I don't have to look around how to build a 3D Printer...

If you are interested in creating a 3D Printer, you should have seen it.

And today I brought another more excellent project. Introduce my new machine - Vaster Mini3.

Salute to i3.

## Update v1.2.1 on step 23 ##


Fan duct .stl file for Mini3 published on thingiverse:

Screws and bolts list added.



Step 1: Mini3 Version 1.0

This is the original version of Mini3 , I define it as the Version 1.0

I've done a lot of work to upgrade it, the latest Version of Mini3 is 1.2.1 , at 2015-09-22. and I'll show it in the following instructable.

In fact, all the versions are very similar.

What is highlighted in picture 2?

Check this out and find something interesting,

Don't waste any materials.

Step 2: Lasercut

Wood thickness 5 mm to 5.2 mm.

Step 3: Assemble the Main Body

Pay attention to the position of the board.

Version1.1 is the same principle.

Step 4: X Axis

Assemble the X axis.

## X-axis part list ##
Synchronizing wheel ; 2GT-20T ; 1

Synchronizing belt ; 2GT belt ; 600mm

Optic axis X- 225mm- Diameter 8mm ; 2

SK08 ; 4

SC8VUU ; 4

SC8UU ; 3

F625 ; 2

Leadscrew nut- T8 ; 2

NEMA17 ; 1

End Stop ; 1


Just push-fits SK08/ SCS8VUU/ SCS8UU/ F625/ NEMA17 together.

Step 5: Y Axis

Assemble the Y axis.

## Y-axis part list ##

Synchronizing wheel ; 2GT-20T ; 1

Synchronizing belt ; 2GT belt ; 500mm

Optic axis Y- 245mm- Diameter 8mm ; 2

SK08 ; 4

SC8UU ; 4

F625 ; 2

5mm-8mm Coupling ; 2

NEMA17 ; 3

End Stop ; 1


Just push-fits SK08/ SCS8UU/ F625/ NEMA17 and Coupling together.

Step 6: Assemble!

Attach X axis to main body with.

## Z-axis part list ##

Optic axis Z- 318mm- Diameter 8mm ; 2

Leadscrew - T8 -300mm ; 2

End Stop ; 1


No zip tie, get stronger.

And now we have successfully assembled a Mini3 V1.0

Mini3 was inspired by my desktop CNC.

I used to think of transforming the CNC to 3D Printer, But its printing speed is too slow. I think if we want to use the CNC to 3D Print, it must use ball bearings instead of leadscrew.

Step 7: Mini3 V1.0

Step 8: Mini3 V1.0

Step 9: Mini3 V1.1 , a New Beginning

After assembled Mini3 V1.0, I found its potential for upgrading and created an upgraded version.

In fact, V1.1 and V1.0 are exactly the same. Except a full version of the shell and some of the details of the adjustment.

Step 10: Mini3 Version 1.1

The latest Version of Mini3 is 1.2.1


Step 11: Lasercut

Lasercut as usual.

Wood thickness 5 mm to 5.2 mm.

Step 12: Assemble the Main Body

Pay attention to the position of the board.

Step 13: Mini3 V1.1

Step 14: Electronic Parts

In this 3D Printer project, i continuing to use RAMP1.4, So it's the same with Tower Simple XL.

1. LCD 2004 *1

2. Arduino Mega 2560 *1

3. Ramps 1.4 *1

4. A4988 StepStick Stepper Motor Driver *4

5. 12V 40W Heating pipe *1

6. NTC Thermistor 100k

Step 15: Mini3 V1.2 , Instructables Edition

Mini3 V1.2 , instructables edition

## Update ##

Add 2004 LCD smart controler.

Add Mini3 extruder mount.

Fine tuning.


Step 16: Mini3 Version 1.2

The latest Version of Mini3 is 1.2.1


Step 17: Lasercut

Lasercut as V1.0 and V1.1.

Wood thickness 5 mm to 5.2 mm.

Step 18: Assemble

Assemble the main body

Remove parts from V1.1 to Version 1.2

Step 19: Mini3 V1.2

Step 20: Mini3 V1.2 Extruder Mount

I designed new lasercut parts to replace the old one.

Not only more firmly, but also cheaper and easy to get.

Step 21: Finished!

Finished and run some tests.

Step 22: Vaster Mini3


Step 23: Mini3 Version 1.2.1

Mini3 V1.2.1 , Ultimate upgrade for 1.2 series.

## Update ##

Add Mini3 fan duct.

New control board.



Step 24: List of Screws and Bolts

## part list ##

All the number of screws and nuts.

M3*10 screws / stainless steel / 35

M3*12 screws / stainless steel / 3

M3*16 screws / stainless steel / 48

M3*27 screws / stainless steel / 2

M3*30 screws / stainless steel / 6

M3*35 screws / stainless steel / 2

M3*40 screws / stainless steel / 9

M3*6 screws / stainless steel / 15

M3*8 hexagon copper post / brass / 14

M3 spring washer / iron / 35

M3 gasket;washer / iron / 63

M3 nuts / iron / 61

M3 thumb nut / iron / 4

M4*10 screws / stainless steel / 1

M4*12 screws / stainless steel / 14

M4*20 screws / stainless steel / 9

M4 spring washer / iron / 14

M4 gasket;washer / iron / 14

M4 nuts / stainless steel / 2

M5*30 screws / stainless steel / 2

M5 spring washer / stainless steel / 4

M5 gasket;washer / stainless steel / 4

M5 nuts / stainless steel / 2

M6*12 screws / stainless steel / 16

M6 gasket;washer / stainless steel / 2

M6 nuts / stainless steel / 2

Step 25: Mini3 Part Display 1




Step 26: Mini3 Part Display 2

1.NEMA17 ; MK8 Extruder and i use 1.75 filament.

2.T8 lead screw ; 300mm*2.

3.Axis diameter 8mm ; 318mm*2 / 245mm*2 / 225mm*2.

Step 27: Mini3 Part Display 3

1.2004 LCD smart controller ; 4G SD card

2.Ramps endstop

3.All-in-one MKS board

i use all-in-one MKS board instead of original Ramps control board, in fact they are the same. MKS board is based on Ramps and it just make wiring more convenient.

Step 28: Mini3 V1.2.1

Step 29: Mini3 V1.2.1

Step 30: Mini3 V1.2.1

Step 31: Cube Test

slice by cura 0.2 layer height and 10% infill ; print with raft.

Step 32: Cube Test

slice by cura 0.2 layer height and 10% infill ; print with raft.


This is about how to build a high-performance 3D Printer under 299$.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my instructable on how to build a 3Dprinter, if you like this instructable, please vote for me on EPILOG CONTEST VII, If i won the laser system prize, i will offer free laser cut service of Mini3 lasercut files for any one who want to build Mini3 and vote for me on EPILOG CONTEST VII, please vote and come back leave a comment. (just free laser cut service, not free material and free worldwide shipping)

Feel free to comment and share this project with your friends who might like this instructable. Thank you for your support.

3 People Made This Project!


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Please be positive and constructive.




It is very nice project and i am very interested in it. In the version 1.2.1 i can see only 2 stepper mottors (MK8 extruder with stepper mottor and one stepper motor for moving in the X axis). Where do you have placed the other stepper mottors (2 for moving Z axis and one for movig Y axis) ? In the picture i can not see the mainboard (only LCD display). Where do you have placed mainboard ? Thank you very much for your answer.

Hey, I just saw your instructables and it's pretty amazing!

Could you please send me the files at

Thanks again

Can you email me the files for the project? (drivers, firmware, etc.)

Or a link to download the files would work too.


I was wondering if you could e-mail me ( ) all the files for the project along with .hex firmware. Thanks for the instructable!

is it possible to have a firmware file for this machine please ??

best wishes


And, can you upload the files of the laser cut with the screen display because that files doesent are online

I have a modified file in .ai for lasercutting. But expanded some square holes for fitting 6mm mdf. In the netherlands, it seems to be hard to get 5mm wood.
Also, download a free autocad designer, follow some tutorials and you are able to get en better LCD display en make it in Autocad. I have modified the file to fit a lcd type 12864

would you be happy to share with ai file ? i have problems to get 5mm material as well

I have not built it yet and even printed all the sides. Due the fact that everyone who has a laser cutter asks a too much just for lasercutting. Regular price is 60euros for a few pieces of wood. So still looking for a free service.

As far as i can see, the SD card will be at the back of the display. Look at some other projects here, you might want to add a raspberry for external storage and wifi.