Build the efficient and reliable all metal structure 3D Printer with top notch parts. Improved significantly with new concepts for printers. Great quality and up to 140 mm/s print speed (very fast). Built with heated bed, hybrid bowden suspended extruder, and counterweight (tested printing 21 hours straight with no motors hot). Does not require many tools to be created. If tuned well it can last forever printing. Optional smart controller for computerless printing. Print any kind of thermoplastic.
Build Area: 230mm (9 in) diameter, 230mm height (extend towers for higher if needed)
Recommend some experience with 3D printers.
Design and built by a high school student with a significant amount of 3D Printer experience, would love to hear suggestions or improvements below.
Currently working on swapping carriages for other uses(ceramic, dremel, etc).
Step 1: Gather Materials/Tools
Parts can be found at these stores, but there may be cheaper options available
- V-Slot™ Linear Rail 1500mm - 4x
- Aluminum Spacers 1/4 in - 8x
- Mini V Wheel Plate™ - 3x
- Eccentric Spacers 1/4 in - 6x
- Low Profile Screws M5 25mm - 12x
- Delrin Mini V Wheel kit -12x
- Mini V Wheel Precision Shim - 24x
- NEMA17 Stepper Motor 40mm Long, 1.2A - 4x
- Idler Pulley Wheel for 6mm Belt 5mm bore - 3x
- Toothed clamp for open ended belt - 3x
- Timing Belt Tensioner Spring - 3x
- A4988 stepper driver - 4x
- 12V 4020 Turbine Fan - 1x
- RAMPS LCD2004 with SD Socket - 1x - optional
- Limit Switch with Roller - 4x
- Arduino Mega 2560 R3 - 1x
- Open Ended 6mm Width GT2 Belt - 5x
- Ramps 1.4 Board - 1x
- UM GT2 Pulley 20 Tooth 5mm Bore - 3x
- Post Assembly T Nuts for 2020 M3 - 1x 100pc
- Post Assembly T Nuts for 2020 M5 - 3x 1pc
Any online metal store
- 0.090" Aluminum Sheet - 12" x 24"
- E3D V6 bowden kit 1x use lite version if on budget
- Groove Mount bowden Adaptor 1x
- 500g calibration weight
- Signswise MK3 Reprap aluminum Round Heatbed 3D Printer Delta
- 12V 30A DC LED power supply
- 25mm M3 Stand-offs Male-Female
- Epoxy for metal, plastic
- Traxxas 5347 Rod Ends with Hollow Balls Large Revo
- can buy anywhere: aluminum/carbon tube 4mm inside diameter 6 x ~350mm
- Power cord length based on your preference only male sides needed
- Thermistor 10K Probe Sensor (for heated bed)
- Metric socket M3 8mm - 110x
- Metric socket M3 10mm - 10x
- Metric socket M3 12mm -10x
- Metric socket M3 15mm - 6x
- Metric socket M3 20mm - 6x
- Metric socket M3 25mm - 6x
- Nylon spacer #6 1/4 in - 20x
- Nylon spacer 1/4 in hole 1/2 in long - 3x
- M3 hex nuts - 50x
- Metric socket M5 25mm - 3x
- M3 washers - 10x
- M5 socket screw 25mm 3x
- M5 washers(fender type best) - 3x
- M5 Locknuts - 10x
- 6/32 eye bolt - 1x
- M4 Screw 10mm 4x
- M4 Set screw any above 20mm - 6x
- M3 Screw 10mm or 15mm
- MK7 drive gear
- Micro servo for bed auto level
- 1/4 in plywood to cover electronics 2' by 2' or more
- Spray paint for wood - optional
- switch for power - optional
- 8 - 10 awg wires >2m
- 4 pin wire extender for extruder >500mm of wire 4x
- 2 pin plugs and extension wire for endstops and other electronics 5x (like these: http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-IDC2PIN18-Internal-... ) and bell wires
- long stretchy material used for stabilizing extruder (ex. half of surgical tubing) optional
- Table saw or miter saw (for cutting aluminum plate and extrusions) HomeDepot
- Drill Press or hand drill and bits
- Solder tools (optional: heat gun and heat shink for insulation)
- allen wrench and hex wrench or pliers
- 6/32 screw tap for 500g counter weight
- sheet metal bender (make a simple one here https://www.instructables.com/id/Sheet-Metal-Brake/... or https://www.instructables.com/id/Inexpensive-Soft-M...) or use a vice and hammer(works but not recommended)
- Dremel (or hack saw)
Step 2: Create Parts for Assembly
Cut the aluminum extrusions to specified lengths:
Make sure the 4 extrusions are spread evenly with these lengths
- 6x 372mm
- 3x 234.5mm
- 3x 750mm (~230mm print height)
Use the template to create aluminum parts:
If you print with no boarders the template can be used as exact measurements where you can cut and glue stick the template on the aluminum plate and work with that. I used GIMP to print without boarders. You should make sets of 3 for every part except for the triangle and hexagon which only 1. Use template to create the parts.
The template is called All.png. It can be found in link below.
Then use the metal bender to bend to specified degrees.
Drill a 3/8 in hole in the middle of the aluminum triangle (10mm)
Cut the 1/4in plywood to size:
you should be able to draw a equallateral triangle from your heated bed using the straight edges, and cut it out. Then cut the corners out a decent amount ~60mm (could be flush with extrusions(harder) or not). Then put the heat bed onto the triangle plywood and mark the screw holes and drill them. Then drill a hole of size >=1/4in in the center of the triangle (doesn't matter where exactly, its where heated bed wires go)
- Mark and drill the holes for attachment of power supply and RAMPS 1.4 on the center
- 4mm holes for power supply and 3mm for RAMPS
- Cut the carbon rods in to 6 x 350mm
- screw the M4 set screws into the traxxas rod ends
- use 2 extrusions or blocks to prop the rods when they glue
- because you want both sides of the rod to be symmetrical
- prepare epoxy
- glue the set screws into the rods (push all the way in)
- adjust 2 sides of rod to be symmetrical using blocks/extrusions
- snap the metal balls into ball joints
- Do this for all six
- cut 3 1.3m long bell wires
- solder the 2 pin connectors onto it
- and solder other side to the two outer endstop connections
- heat shrink tubing when neccesary
- Use 2 0.5m 8awg wires
- solder them on to heat bed with instructions of the heat bed
Make the 500g counter balance
- Drill and tap the bottom hole on the weight
- screw the wing nut into the tapped hole
Print all the 3D printed parts (if you don't have 3D printer upload and get them here http://www.shapeways.com/create?li=nav or other places)
- Clamp.STL 1x
- Clamp2.STL 1x
- Mini V plate attachment.STL 3x *with support*
- Mount.STL 1x
- Nozzle_Carriage_Attachment_New.STL 3x
- Roller sleeve.STL 2x
- Sensor_Mount.STL 1x
- Weight_attachment.STL 1x
- Wire guide.STL 1x *with support*
- wire distributer.STL 1x *with support*
- E pieces 1x
Template and STL Files found at
Click Download ZIP in bottom right corner
Step 3: Assembly of Base Frame
- Put a 8mm M3 screw in all of the drilled holes of the aluminum plate
- screw the T-nuts only ~3 revolutions so it doesn't fall off
- Slide the parts together inside the V-slot aluminum extrusion as shown in the diagram (helps if you place on a hard surface)
- Do not tighten the screws
- Use 2 T Nuts for the top of each medium length extrusion for the heated bed
- screw in both power supply and RAMPS 1.4 onto plywood
- Then lay plywood and heatbed on frame
- slide the wires of heatbed into center hole in plywood
- put 1/4 in spacers in between plywood and heated bed of every hole
- align the T nuts where the 6 holes are
- screw 20mm screws into the 6 T Nuts and tighten
- then tighten all other screws
- Try to maintain an equilateral triangle and keep the towers vertical
Step 4: Assemble the Top Frame Piece
- Take the 3 60 degree bent pieces, put a 8mm screw in each hole.
- Screw T-nuts on each, only 3 rotations so it doesn't fall off
- slide the 3 shortest extrusions in as shown
- Put the Assembled Base Frame over this Top Frame to align the edges of the Top Frame extrusions to the edges of the tower extrusions (the longest ones)
- Now take off base frame and tighten the screws
- If you could, fillet the top edge of the end of each triangle side so the 90 degree bend plates can be flush with the extrusions
- using the 90 degree bend pieces with 2 holes put 8mm screws and T-nuts into the extrusion at each end of the triangle (Use assembled pictures at the top of instructable as reference) and tighten.
- Now attach the triangle aluminum plate onto the center of the assembly with 8mm screws and T-nuts. Then tighten everything down.
Step 5: Assemble the Carriage
Click on pictures for more detail high res pictures.
Screws are M3 hex when not specified.
- use the center hexagon aluminum and 3 Nozzle_Carriage_Attachment_New pieces and screw them together with 8mm screws and nuts
- Then screw the rods in as shown in the picture with 25mm screws, but mine was upside down so I could get more height, but if you do that you'll have to cut the aluminum piece more. (The plastic print should be on top)
- Assemble E3D using instructions (http://wiki.e3d-online.com/wiki/E3D-v6_Assembly)
- Put the E3D through the center large hole in the aluminum plate, then use the E3D mount pieces to clamp the E3D with 30mm screws and nuts.
- skip to step 7 if not using a servo or induction sensor to level bed
- use Sensor_Mount piece, 2 25mm standoffs, and 2 nuts to secure them together using the male side of standoff
- use 3 15mm screw and 1 nut to sandwich E3D Mount and Sensor_Mount as shown
Step 6: Assemble the Extruder
- Take a stepper motor and the E_base printed part and 2 8mm screws and secure the part down on stepper motor
- Then use the ball bearing (not from V roller kit, the ones with 3mm hole) screw in the E_Tightener with 10mm screw and nut plus 3mm washers between the bearing and screw
- Attach the E_Tightener to the E_base by 15 or 20mm screw, it should tighten all the way and still move
- use a spring, washer, and nut to add to the tightener as shown
- and then use 10mm screws and nuts to clamp the Clamp and Clamp2 pieces together on the extruder
- Then use a big ziptie(or small) and attach the bowden attachment on the extruder
Step 7: Assemble the Sliders
The mini V Gantry Plate is based on this OpenBuilds assembly.
Follow this to assemble the slider for the 3D printer
Then attach the large 3D print that goes on these sliders with M5 screws
Assemble following the picture with 20mm screws on rods and keep the belt connector loose
keep the 3 slides on the extrusion
Step 8: Attach Top Assembly
Assemble using the picture. All screws tighten into the extrusion with T-nuts and are 8mm, except for the endstop which is 10mm.
- The 25mm standoff should have male sides screw into stepper (not too tight, brass breaks easily, learned it the hard way)
- The pulley on stepper can face either way, it just depends on where the belt goes best
- Bottom idler pulley should be screwed with the M5 25mm screw with 1/2in spacer and M5 washer with T-nut on the inside(as shown in picture).
You could organize the wiring inside the extrusions.
Step 9: Counter Weight Assembly
Use the Weight_attachment part and screw an 8mm screw through it and onto the extrusion with a T-nut.
- Put the printed sleeve onto the bearing from ebay 2x
- slide it into the 2 printed parts for counter weight
- depending on your printer put 2 or 1 washers on each side of the bearing
- Attach with 15mm screws
- Then attach onto printer with pictures shown
Step 10: Finish Carrige (Thermistor, Bowden Tube, and Probe)
- Tie a piece of string through the bearing sleeve pulleys and onto the counter weight and the extruder
- Cut the bowden tube to ~150 mm
- Push the bowden tube into both carriage and extruder firmly
Auto leveling probe:
- If using induction probe, simply screw into the hole
- If using servo:
- use a 50mm piece of material and glue onto the endstop and servo horn
- glue the servo onto the mount
The thermistor should be placed on either side of the heated bed. It can be attached using heat resistant tape. Thermal compound is optional.
Step 11: Wire Electronics
Wire RAMPS 1.4 board using the diagrams from the first picture.
Connect these using second picture:
- X endstop to red
- Y endstop to blue
- Z endstop to brown
- Z Probe to yellow
- Servo to green
Wire the power supply as shown in the picture
Note: Making good wiring connections and an electronics case is important for reliability.
Step 12: Repetier Firmware
You can use their tool to configure your printer and download firmware http://www.repetier.com/firmware/v092/
The pictures on git hub(inside the files folder you downloaded) shows my settings on the configuration, yours might be different.
There's a lot of tutorials and forums online if you get stuck.
Great tutorial for Z-probing: http://www.repetier.com/documentation/repetier-fir...
And that's it! Congratulations on your new printer, I hope you enjoy.