Picture of DIY Glow 3D Printer

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.

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Edgar2 years ago
Very nice work! :)
Went to by Blog:
And a piece of good news, there's a Raspberry Py / Arduino Hybrid, now:
searx (author)  Edgar2 years ago
Robo-labs2 years 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)  matstermind2 years 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.
xXLab_ManXx2 years ago
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.
xXLab_ManXx2 years ago
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_ManXx2 years 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_ManXx2 years 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:http://huestones.co.uk/node/166

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!!!!!!!!!!
askjerry2 years 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.
mrnadnad2 years 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)  mrnadnad2 years 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!
rimar20002 years ago
Awesome work, congratulations.
searx (author)  rimar20002 years ago
Thank You!
wilgubeast2 years 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)  wilgubeast2 years 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.
fidgety22 years 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)  fidgety22 years 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)  Coolnventions2 years 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.
Danjor2 years 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
gecko_girl32 years ago
I'd love to see a video of it in action.
schlem2 years ago
"as soon as you clicked into this instructable, you are now following me if you weren't already, you Favorited the instructable, and you voted for this instructable in all contests it is entered in"
Uncool. You do not get to make those decisions on my behalf. Flagged.
I didn't even notice the paragraph as I was scrolling through. I agree, extremely not cool - I don't want to follow everyone whose page I view.
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