If you read my interests, you probably know that I love studying the 3D printer we have at school to see how it works. If anyone wants to know more about 3d printing, there is a really cool article here. Anyway, I spent about a month (as an engineering student I know how important research is) sketching designs and building prototypes. After that I finally found a design that fit my needs. This printer is based on the brain of a mindstorm NXT because it is easy to program and my arduino chip is burnt out and I'm still trying to save up to buy a new one. This printer only prints as accurately as you program it, but I will show you the best method of programming. The design includes x-axis and y-axis movement as well as z-axis movement used to pump down the printing material.
Time to make: about 4 hours if you have all of the pieces in front of you
Parts: Lego mindstorms kit and assorted lego box as well as a hot glue gun, tin foil, string, a printer, ink for the printer, a computer, and power to you house.
What did you make: I used the above parts and about a months worth of research to develop my design for a 3d printer that prints out a glowing material as accurately as you can program it. Not nearly as good as an industrial one, but a great project nonetheless.
How did you make it: I worked alone and used the 3D printer in my school as reference to how to build one. I had about 50 different design sketches before I started to prototype and then I had 3 prototypes.
Where did you make it: I created this in part at school (sketches) but mostly at home. I spent whatever extra time I had free from homework to work on this project.
What did you learn: I learned the importance of good and thorough research as well as refining my skills as an engineer.

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
1-40 of 43Next »
Edgar1 year ago
Very nice work! :)
Went to by Blog:
And a piece of good news, there's a Raspberry Py / Arduino Hybrid, now:
searx (author)  Edgar1 year ago
Robo-labs1 year ago
very cool, I once made something similar to this except it was a cnc not a 3d printer. since then i did build a Printrbot 3d printer but hope to build another out of lego mindstorms
photo (1).JPGPicture 002.jpg
nice job!, did you have to program it manually like this instructable, or did it print from a 3d model on the computer?
searx (author)  matstermind1 year ago
I had to program everything manually. I'm only familiar with the nxt basic programming software so my programming was limited to motor functions. I'm sure someone out there is capable of converting 3d images into an NXT program but that person, unfortunately, is not me.
Were did you get the software original programming software for the Lego mindstorms for windows 7 from? Or is your mindstorms a older version(LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT)(not 2.0). Because I have the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT and I now cannot use it because we no longer have any windows xp computers in our house.

Please Answer!

Thanks, and cool post!
Hello. I recently just got the software on Lego's website for free. Google it. Hope this helps!
Please give me a URL I have been looking for it for ages!
and this works with the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 1.0?
Let me check... Loading..... I think it should. If not I will keep searching.
Were did you get the software original programming software for the Lego mindstorms for windows 7 from? Or is your mindstorms a older version(LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT)(not 2.0). Because I have the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT and I now cannot use it because we no longer have any windows 7 computers in our house.

Please Answer!

Thanks, and cool post!
Sorry, were I wrote " and I now cannot use it because we no longer have any windows 7 computers in our house." I meant to write windows xp, not windows 7."

Thanks, and sorry about that!
searx (author)  xXLab_ManXx1 year ago
I have 1.0 and just used the cd that came with it.
I am also using 1.0 but the CD only works for Windows XP, it says so on the little paper CD case it came in.
searx (author)  xXLab_ManXx1 year ago
can you post a picture of the cd and case?
i don't think i have mine anymore but i found a picture of it on the web and it is the exact case/envelope it came in!
The software it came with will work just fine. Windows 7 is designed to be compatible with software written for all previous versions of Windows since Windows 95 I believe. It only says Windows XP on the CD case because XP was the most recent integration of Windows when it was released. Obviously,they could not write that bit was compatible with Windows 7 if Windows 7 did not exist back then.
That is true but yet it is not compatible, it gives me errors, and lots of others have this problem too and have to use virtual machines. Virtual machines do not work on my computer. The installation wizard tells me things like I need to have at least 210 KB RAM, I don't know who even has 210 KB RAM but I have 8 GB.
Hmmm.. That's really weird.

I did some searching and found this:

Skip down to the "Installing NTX-G 1.0 (kit 8527) on Windows 64-bit/7" section and follow those instructions. Cheers!
IT WORKED!!!!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!
askjerry1 year ago
Nice project. Your arduino can be fixed... Just replace the AVR and load the bootloader. You may want to look at BASCOM... Programming directly is much cheaper. $5 programmer then $2 to $6 for the chip instead of $40 for an arduino.

Look at my instructable on BASCOM for more information.

Email me if you need help.
mrnadnad1 year ago
Awsome work! do you think it is possible to use arduino instead of NXT mindstorms education (because arduino costs way less) and maybe print more complex objects then the "S" you did?
searx (author)  mrnadnad1 year ago
I originally planned to use my arduino and some servos but unfortunately I burnt out the chip and have no money to replace it.
Cool. Always fun to see an NXT used for a new exciting purpose. What an amazing toy!
rimar20001 year ago
Awesome work, congratulations.
searx (author)  rimar20001 year ago
Thank You!
wilgubeast1 year ago
Very well done. Any chance you could swap in your own print material? Maybe a caulking gun full of Oogoo? The device itself is solid, but hot glue isn't the most robust material in the world. (Which is a silly quibble given that you MADE A 3D PRINTER.) Awesome work.
searx (author)  wilgubeast1 year ago
Sure, a few quick modifications and you could have a caulking gun 3d printer. It wouldn't be that difficult to change once the rest was built.
fidgety21 year ago
first thing first
1. cool instructable good job
2. any form of tampering with a webpage on instructables (whether it be your own work or not) especially one that is entered in a contest in a attempt to illegally acquire votes is wrong and a violation of the contest rules and will get you banned from instructables
searx (author)  fidgety21 year ago
I just wrote some javascript that any member on the site is also able to do and I tried to remove it from the contest but it doesn't give you the option. i was not trying to illegally do anything and I hope I didn't disrupt anything. Also, "tampering the webpage" is definitely not what I was trying to do. It all started when I used my code in a prank instructables. I also made sure everything was reversible and was not permanent and the owner of the site said "Nice work! We're working on fixing the holes, by the way." so I don't think he thought of it as disruptive. Although most thought it was cool, I removed the script from all instructables when I got a negative comment as I didn't want to displease anyone.
Not that I want to do this, but javascrpit is interesting to me and i was wondering how you accomplished it
searx (author)  Coolnventions1 year ago
I really don't want to tell people because I have seen how mean people get even if you are not trying to do harm and I don't want people's feelings hurt. Also I'm sure the owner of the site would not be very appreciative of me telling people how to do this as it would mess up the site. Sorry.
Danjor1 year ago
I do not like the full auto thing it is a great instructable but forcing me to follow you favorite this is not cool.
what do u mean by "forcing me to favorite"
He somehow made it so when we looked at his instructable we automatically voted for him, favorited his instructable, and started following him. He even said so in the first part of his instructable but he took that part off.
That should make him disqualify automatically
I'd love to see a video of it in action.
DoxxRoxx1 year ago
(removed by author or community request)
What date was this instructable posted? ;)

'auto'-(fav, vote, whatever) isn't possible unless you hijack the site and insert some js to do that work, which is a very _very_ unlikely situation.

Cool instructable, I like how you're making do with what you've got to actually do something, granted the results aren't as accurate as more upmarket 3D printers, but that's not the point, a good embodiment of instructables' spirit.
1-40 of 43Next »