Introduction: Building a 3D Printer Under 299$

Picture of Building a 3D Printer Under 299$

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

Picture of 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

Picture of Lasercut

Wood thickness 5 mm to 5.2 mm.

Step 3: Assemble the Main Body

Picture of Assemble the Main Body

Pay attention to the position of the board.

Version1.1 is the same principle.

Step 4: X Axis

Picture of 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

Picture of 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!

Picture of 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

Picture of Mini3 V1.0

Step 8: Mini3 V1.0

Picture of Mini3 V1.0

Step 9: Mini3 V1.1 , a New Beginning

Picture of 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

Picture of Mini3 Version 1.1

The latest Version of Mini3 is 1.2.1


Step 11: Lasercut

Picture of Lasercut

Lasercut as usual.

Wood thickness 5 mm to 5.2 mm.

Step 12: Assemble the Main Body

Picture of Assemble the Main Body

Pay attention to the position of the board.

Step 13: Mini3 V1.1

Picture of Mini3 V1.1

Step 14: Electronic Parts

Picture of  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

Picture of 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

Picture of Mini3 Version 1.2

The latest Version of Mini3 is 1.2.1


Step 17: Lasercut

Picture of Lasercut

Lasercut as V1.0 and V1.1.

Wood thickness 5 mm to 5.2 mm.

Step 18: Assemble

Picture of Assemble

Assemble the main body

Remove parts from V1.1 to Version 1.2

Step 19: Mini3 V1.2

Picture of Mini3 V1.2

Step 20: Mini3 V1.2 Extruder Mount

Picture of 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!

Picture of Finished!

Finished and run some tests.

Step 22: Vaster Mini3

Picture of Vaster Mini3


Step 23: Mini3 Version 1.2.1

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of Mini3 Part Display 1




Step 26: Mini3 Part Display 2

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of Mini3 V1.2.1

Step 29: Mini3 V1.2.1

Picture of Mini3 V1.2.1

Step 30: Mini3 V1.2.1

Picture of Mini3 V1.2.1

Step 31: Cube Test

Picture of Cube Test

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

Step 32: Cube Test

Picture of 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.


stefstefstef2 made it! (author)2016-12-18

Here is mine...


  • LED light
  • spool holder
  • filament guide

works fine

requires fine adjustement of the plate but really efficient for a so "cheap" printer.

works fine !

Tolrac (author)stefstefstef22017-10-31

HI, have you the firmware ? Can you send me to ?

Nic865 (author)stefstefstef22017-01-06

Hey, I was wondering if you could please help me.

Did you use Cura and the hex file provided? and if so how did you get it to work?

I have built one of these, its fully assembled but I can't connect the printer to Cura and there doesn't seem to be the option to manually select a com port in the new version like how you can in Pronterface. But I'm not sure if that is the problem. Since Cura isn't working for me, I uploaded the hex file using xloader and LCD is lighting up fine with the text etc but its still useless as I can't connect to the program in order to print. I also tried Pronterface and used sprinter. The printer connected fine and I can manually move the motors with the x,y,z commands but the end stops etc don't work and when I press homing buttons, all the x,y,z axis try to keep moving and won't stop unless I pull the plug. I assumed the values in the firmware are wrong somewhere because it was not written specifically for this printer but I don't know what the correct values or settings would be for this printer to work.

I don't know what to do since this is my first attempt at trying to do anything like this. Any help would be much appreciated.

stefstefstef2 (author)Nic8652017-01-07

Hi, I first used the hex file provided with the instructable. If you want to, you can. I did it for the firsts prints but I moved to Marlin Firmware. If you want to print, you have to put your gcode on a SDcard. For me it is safier but if you want to manage your mprinter, you should try Repetier. You can tune the firmware , set a lot of thing including communication issues ( Baud, COM port...) The endstop issue may come from the logic used of your contact ( NO or NC). If you can move one axis in one direction only, not in the reverse one, try to move with endstop pressed. If ok, go in the configuration.h file to reverse the logic of the enstops. This printer is niced but in my opinion requires some minors adjustement in the design. Building a bigger one with two extruders & heated bed. tell me !

Naimbo (author)2017-09-16

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

Could you please send me the files at

Thanks again

EdwardS130 (author)2017-09-05

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

Or a link to download the files would work too.

JacekB6 (author)2017-09-02


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

saminazeri made it! (author)2017-09-01


That's look great and I made it. Can you send to my email all files of this project? Firmware for ramp 1.4



symptomm (author)2017-07-08

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

best wishes


walterflorian_ (author)2015-11-24

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

VishalD19 (author)walterflorian_2015-11-25

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

symptomm (author)VishalD192017-07-08

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

walterflorian_ (author)VishalD192015-11-25

But the sd slot where you put?

VishalD19 (author)walterflorian_2015-11-25

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.

walterflorian_ (author)VishalD192015-11-26

Yeah, I look one tutoriol of how to add wi-fi to the printer with octaprint

DanangT1 (author)2017-06-14

Hi AlmusYang, thankyou for your great project and I want to build it.

but the .dwg file from this instructables can't open on my autocad

so, would you mind to send all files of this project with another exstension,,,like .CDR or PDF?



MaiT16 (author)2017-02-13


That's look great and I want to build it. Can you send to my email all files of this project?



aaulia (author)2017-01-08

Is it possible to use SCS8UU in place of the SCV8UU? It's harder to source SCV8UU.

mohsennoruzi (author)2016-11-30


That's look great and I want to build it. Can you send to my email all files of this project?



nuckles (author)2016-11-14

what currceny kind is it?

is it USD?

chrisj98 (author)2016-10-14

What ardiuno program did you use? I am building a two extruder printer and would like so help.

hyperstock (author)2016-08-14

Here is what I have so far.

hyperstock (author)2016-08-14

What size of nema17 motors did you use 36-78oz? Great build so far.

World ModdingT (author)2016-04-20

Hello ,

What is the size of the print area ?

mtderosier (author)2016-04-11

These instructions are awesome and the design is beautiful. I can't wait to build it!

mustafa.ashraf.796 (author)2016-04-06

where is the firmware?

arroyoht (author)2016-03-21

Hi Almus, I have built your first printer, the tower simple, and I'm wondering what are the improvements from that to this one, .

Also I would like to know if there are any parts to the Mini3 that I can print with the tower to reduce costs.


AlmusYang (author)arroyoht2016-03-21

Hi buddy. the tower simple and the mini3 is completely different in structure, Mini3 is stronger and stable, it's done with the aim of obtaining a more accurate finish.

walterflorian_ (author)AlmusYang2016-03-27

Ni Almus, Can you upload the firmware?

arroyoht (author)AlmusYang2016-03-24

Is the firmware for RAMPS 1.4 the same as used for the tower simple?

arroyoht (author)AlmusYang2016-03-22

That's what I imagined, I'll try to make this one also then, since I have a lot of leftovers from building the tower.

Thanks man for those projects it has been a lot of fun working on them.

DanielSun81 made it! (author)2016-02-28

Hi I made one frame. I'm looking but I made it longer. It's a Vaster MINI3 XL :-)

Build area 300x200 mm


DanielSun81 (author)2016-02-19

Hello, can somebody share a link to rerap I can not find it. I will build one for me.


rusenyyc (author)2016-02-05

Hello. How am I going to do or where I'm going to download the software? Do you know less about the software that helps.

DavidG230 (author)2015-12-03

Thanks for this excellent tutorial.

But what custom firware use for the 1.4 RAMPS and/or the all-in-one MKS board ?

Thank you.

walterflorian_ (author)2015-11-24

Where does the F625 go? I dont see it's place

VishalD19 (author)2015-11-15

Cannot find v1.2.1 files on

lucas0 (author)2015-11-02

Wath kind of motherboar did you use

Wai HimP (author)2015-10-30

What kind of wood are recommended for the frame of Mini3 V1.2? Also the dwg folder for the frame of V1.2.1 pls. (or told me how can I amend the dwg file of Mini3 V1.2 to V1.2.1)

walterflorian_ (author)2015-10-22

Anyone knows in what directions it moves? If it's up-down left-right and the table if it move front-back?

ROLLATEC (author)2015-10-19

Building dimensions :
12x15x12 cm
"almost 5*6*5 inch"

KoshyM (author)2015-10-16

Great project! Voted.

hackshaq1 (author)2015-10-11

I voted for you!

walterflorian_ (author)2015-10-09

What are the biggest dimensions which the printer works?

ROLLATEC (author)walterflorian_2015-10-10

Are you from Germany? I also want to know the Building Dimensions

netrix (author)2015-09-02

I have been looking recently into creating one of these and this one looks pretty interesting. Any chance you could update with links to the parts? Will look forward to the example models.

Gave you my vote so good luck in the contest. :)

samern (author)netrix2015-09-03

If we can convert the DWG files to SVG, I can upload them to Ponoko and get them cut.

mogy336 (author)samern2015-09-28

How much it cost by Ponoko?

samern (author)mogy3362015-09-28

We would need to convert the DXF files to SVG and upload to see what it will cost. Whatever it is, it will be fairly reasonable. I might take the DXF to my MakerSpace and cut it on the laser there.

AlmusYang (author)netrix2015-09-03

Thank you for your vote.
I'm busy printing some models for my friends. They are doing an interesting project and my 3Dprinter have to work for them.

About This Instructable




Bio: Maker
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