How to make your own 2D CNC machine that converts into a 3D Printer and back to a CNC machine in less than an hour.  Costing less than a CNC machine or 3D printer! (~$1,000.00) In addition, the design will go further than the traditional 3D printer printing ABS/PLA, and move forward to printing with new materials such as 3D Printing Nylon derivatives like tauman 618 as well as Acrylic and PET. 

Latest Updates to this Instructable as of 9/12/2012:
1. There is a full 2BEIGH3 update here, along with a source for Nylon 3D Printing material here.

2. If you have a new 3D Printing material, there is a Safety Test Procedure for any new and previously untested material here.

  As a sample of the unique new properties of just one of these new materials, Here is a 3D Print of a Childs NYLON Prosthetic Insole on the 2BEIGH3 3D Printer.

     With the 3D Printer configuration of the 2BEIGH3, you will be able to print parts that meet much higher standards for strength, flexibility and pliability.  You will be able to design parts that can take 100's of severe strikes from a sledge hammer and still have a soft velvet like texture.
You will be able to print parts that are almost equal to Factory Die Extrusions.  And in some cases, parts that can not be Die extruded due to complexity.  The term "delamination" will cease to be a concern.
    Nylon and it's derivative polymers have some great features that can be modified with fill density and layer height.  Imagine being able to print a permanent coffee filter, bearings that need no lubrication, pliable IPhone cases, extremely tough bands that are so flexible you can tie them in a knot and they'll still support 200lbs! 
    My hope is that people use this guide to bring their designs and projects to tangible parts and objects as paper and CAD designs are great, but unproven, till built.
My goal for this guide is to take the mystery out of both CNC and 3D printing in such a way as to eliminate that….”its all to overwhelming” feeling or thought.
Because there are several other specific machine designs out there, both CNC and 3D Printer, please refer to this machine as the "2BEIGH3" or "2 by 3" as I will within this guide.

Step 1: Goals and Approach

As I read through the 2D and 3D blogs and sites, it’s obvious that people with 2D want a 3D and people with a 3D want to try and convert it to a 2D.  They are both limited because their machines were meant for a specific action.  While CNC machines work with large X-Y lateral forces (cutting bits) they are very powerful but move very slow and 3D printers have almost no lateral force requirement (other than the platform) and move very fast.  Because neither machine needs a fast “Z” axis, the 2BEIGH3 is designed to allow you to swap out the X-Y sections, recalibrate and back to cutting or printing in less than an hour.  Actually, my 2BEIGH3 takes 15 min including calibration.
The process is going to be that we build a machine, to make a better machine to then build a slightly different machine.  And while that seems complicated, it’s mostly nuts and bolts.  I will try to specifically show you how to create or build the parts you need and where appropriate, provide detailed drawings and CAD files.
You’ll see that I have borrowed some ideas from others here on the Instructables web site, and if I forget to mention an already published detail, please let me know and I’ll update.
So before we get started, what exactly does a 2BEIGH3 look like?

About This Instructable


1,120 favorites


Bio: is an Engineer with a background in electronics, optics, mechanical designs, chemistry, plastic injection molding and plastic die tooling.
More by taulman: Is 3D Printing Safe? or  DIY Testing for HCN from ABS and Nylon 3D Print Material 2BEIGH3 3D Printer Update and call for Testers Nylon Printable 608 Ball Bearing
Add instructable to: