Under Revision: This Instructable is being updated to reflect the latest version of the DeltaTrix 3D printer, as produced for my Kickstarter project. Until this message is removed, the update is still in progress. The entire previous version is still available in the form of a PDF (actual instructions + pictures) and a rar file (all other files). See below for the PDF and rar file.

The DeltaTrix 3D printer is a capable and novel 3D printer, designed to be simple in construction, yet effective in functionality. It it fully Open Source, so feel free to post improvements on the Instructables website, just don't forget to let me know in order to put links in to your own instructions...

Many thanks to Barrie for doing the video! Also thanks to Jason Mahar for publishing his song 'Pumped' as copyright free music.

Several improvements have been made since creating the initial printer. I will soon make updates to this instructable, in order to document these improvements. I will still make the files available for the initial version, but might organize them in a better way.

In 2014, a Kickstarter campaign was launched: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1142241325/290437546?token=4400fa2b

A change log is attached to this first step. Current version: V0.14+ (Under Revision!!!)

Richard Tegelbeckers

PS. Just so you know, I applied for a trademark for the actual name 'DeltaTrix '. I have no problem with anyone referring to the name DeltaTrix, as long as they do not try to sell anything as being 'DeltaTrix'. By all means, refer to your thing as being compatible with DeltaTrix, just do not sell it as being a DeltaTrix. Thanks, Richard.

Step 1: Background & objectives

As a mechanical design guy, I have been very interested in the ability to print the stuff I design as actual objects. In the recent past I have tried entering a few competitions on Instructables in the vain hope to win a 3D printer, but so far I have always missed my objective by a tiny amount. I have given up trying to win one by now, so I ended up designing my own. This Instructable is the result of that effort. Thanks Chris, for a signed copy of your book 'Makers'. It formed part of the inspiration to publish my design here as Open Source, in stead of keeping it all to myself...

The main objective is to come up with a 3D printer that is good in performance (amongst other things, it is very fast...), looks great on a desk, and is gracious during the actual printing. It is also important to enable some experiments and upgrades in the future. I am thinking along the lines of 3D scanning and dual print heads. Do you have an idea for an improvement yourself? Publish it on Instructables and use 'DeltaTrix' as one of the keywords, so others can easily find it!
<p>Hello,</p><p>I've baked one complete deltatrix kit at May 2014 with delivery at fall and then at winter and still not delivered.<br></p><p>Do you plan to finish or refund it?<br><br>Rregards,<br>Jan</p>
<p>Hi Jan. A new update will be posted on Kickstarter coming Monday, which will show where we are and how we will progress. Best wishes, Richard.</p>
<p>hey how i send what i want for print?? A usb cable??? </p>
<p>Can you provide url with update?</p>
<p>Still nothing.<br>Should I wait or it is definetly scam?</p>
<p>For buying Mechanical and electronics for Prusa i3 visit :<a href="http://makemendel.com/" rel="nofollow">http://makemendel.com/ </a>All accessories available in stock with high quality with reasonable cost and selling world wide across 45 countries world.</p><p>Thank you in advance.</p><p>Happy Printing :)</p>
<p>Hey Richard,</p><p>Great design, both functionally and aesthetically. I have the parts sitting in my eBay cart as we speak and I have worked to measure the dimensions of the panels as I plan to attempt the cuts without a CNC setup. Before I pull the trigger, the last thing I need to be sure that I can accomplish from your instructions is the firmware setup. Form earlier comments I see that you have drafts that you are sharing and potentially a more formalized version complete. Are you still willing to share?</p><p>Thank you for your contributions and the vast amount of time you have spend thus far!</p><p>- Jeremy</p>
<p>Hello Richard,</p><p>when do you think you will release a new kickstarter campaign? I can't wait to hear from you :D</p>
<p>Hi Warren,</p><p>I assume you refer to the aluminium tubes on top of the carriage. The tubes are cut from a length of aluminium tube (8mm Outside Diameter x 1mm wall thickness) I obtained from my local DIY shop. I cut them to just over 14mm and file them down afterwards, so they are exactly 14.0mm (check with callipers). Finally, I drill them out to 6 or 6.5mm to fit the carriages. I am not yet selling the plastic bits, but should do so soon.</p>
<p>Hello Richard,</p><p>I'm trying to put together the bits and pieces to build this printer. I really like the Delta look. I have gotten the same Igus rail and carriage system you used with the exception of the extensions on the carriage in the center photograph. Is that an accessory for the carriage? If so do they have a part number or location I might get them? Also I know you are very busy building for the Kickstarter program (congratulations on that) but I will be in need of the plastic bits - can you give me a price?</p><p>Thanks</p><p>Warren </p>
<p>Hi, I would like to know if I can use a raspberry pi as a controller instead of the ramps.</p>
<p>Hi. A RPI does not have a lot of IO ports and it is not necessarily <br>good at doing real time stuff, as it uses a Linux operating system. Of <br>course, there is also LinuxCNC, which is actually used for doing <br>real-time stuff. However, for 3D printers (in 2014) the majority of <br>available OS firmware is written for 8 bit AVR or 32 bit ARM based <br>electronics. A RPI can still be useful for 3D printing, as it can act as a host. Visit Octoprint.org to check out the possibilities...</p>
<p>Hi, gr8 job. I wish if you can post updated CAD model here so that i can machine the structure on My CNC. I see that many plastic parts can also be machined on CNC,</p><p>I am sorry the kickstarter can not get the funds within the time. </p>
What type of distance sensor did you equip your machine with as you mentioned at the end of your instructable and how did it work? I am thinking about trying this and am curious of the results!
<p>Hi Braden, the sensor I used is this one: </p><p><a href="http://www.wayengineer.com/infrared-sensor-for-intelligent-car-accessories-p-1066.html#.U71Qv7HN7qw" rel="nofollow">http://www.wayengineer.com/infrared-sensor-for-int...</a></p><p>I have not yet tried auto levelling as I do not really need it.</p><p>Many consumer level printers lack rigidity, which results in the need for frequent re-calibration. The DeltaTrix frame has been designed to address this issue, by using a very sturdy frame structure.</p><p>Does your own printer need to be re-calibrated often? It looks like you copied the basic frame structure from my own design, so I expect it to be fairly rigid as well.</p>
<p>Hi there,</p><p>I was just wondering if you are going to be starting a new Kickstarter at any point soon. I would love to get a kit of this build as it is hard for me to do the wood working myself and I don't have any connections which would make this easy for me to do. Unfortunately I missed your last Kickstarter and cannot make a pledge. I already own a 3D printer but I absolutely love your design!</p>
Hi. Many thanks for your interest! The plan is to send the kits for the current Kickstarter in August, after which I aim to launch a new Kickstarter. Right now the production need to be set up, but for the new campaign everything will already be in place. This should lead to shorter lead times. Thanks again, and check back in a little while!
<p>Awesome! Thanks for the quick reply!</p><p>I can't wait to see the changes reflected on the original Instructable that you have up. I love the new look of the printers :)</p>
<p>I really want to make one of these since i can't no longer invest in the project on kickstarter :(</p><p>i am having difficulties getting the exact parts though, can you please update the BOM ? i am having difficulty finding info from pulley and below please and thank you</p><p>much appreciated, i love this design more than any other 3d printer in the market, thank in advance</p><p>... peace &amp; love from New York</p>
Hi! At the moment I am very busy sorting out the kits for Kickstarter. Part of the work is in finalising some of the latest design improvements and documenting everything I have changed/updated since publishing the initial Instructable. By the time I will be sending out the kits, I will update the Instructable (including the BOM) so it will reflect the latest version of the DeltaTrix 3D Printer. If you have any specific issues before the update, let me know what it is and I will try to sort it out! Also, I am concidering launching a new Kickstarter after sending the kits for the current campaign...
<p>my homemade CNC</p><p><a href="http://www.linkbucks.com/4258f063" rel="nofollow">http://www.linkbucks.com/4258f063</a></p>
I just made my instructable if you want to check it out. Its called the delta twister 3d printer
<p>ok i have some questions 1 can i just router the frame because i dont have a cnc machine and how much money did you spend on this total</p>
<p>To router the main parts for the frame would be fairly difficult, as accuracy is essential. The design has been created to make use of the precision a CNC can offer. As long as the panels are correct, the frame would allign by itself. However, anything is possible! If I would not have had access to a CNC machine, I probably would have tried a router as well, making use of jigs or other methods for achieving the desired accuracy. In regards of cost, check my earlier reply to SeppePuelings (about a month ago, on this page).</p>
Hello I have wanted a 3d printer since I heard about them but I couldn't afford one, I am 12 and have advanced electronic but basic arduino skills, could you please put a list of all the parts with specific names, it would make my year, Thanks.
<p>Hi,</p><p>There is a BOM (Bill Of Materials) in step 6. Check it out and let me know if you need more information. Good luck!</p>
Thanks i just sent you my email!
I am now ready for the testing phase of my 3d printer! Any chance you could send me those files for arduino? Thanks so much for putting this instructable up
<p>Hi, sorry not to have replied earlier...</p><p>Send me a private message with your email, and I will send it to you. I still have not fully cleaned up the code, so I do not yet want to publish it properly.</p>
Looking at your design, I am hopeful now that a 3D printer is a possibility. <br> <br>Quick Question: How Do I procure parts when I dont have any one nearby who can 3d print? I do have someone who can laser cut acrylic or wood. Does the geometry of the 3d parts lend itself to a laser cut? which are the parts I can laser cut and which I can machine on a lathe or mill? <br> <br>
The upright panels for the machine frame need to be machined with a (CNC) router. The other panels could possibly be cut by other means, but all the laser cutting machines I know of cannot cut the thickness required.<br> <br> In terms of the 3D printed parts, some could possible be cut on a (CNC) mill using a 3mm straight cutter: spacers for the switches, brackets for idler pulleys, linear carriage brackets (no. 1) for clamping belts, motor brackets, nozzle bracket. The linear carriage brackets (no. 2) for holding the rods and the end nozzle carriage would be difficult to machine.<br> <br> At the moment I am running a <a href="http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1142241325/deltatrix-3d-printer-open-source-and-fully-hackabl" rel="nofollow">Kickstarter campaign</a> where I am offering the DeltaTrix 3D Printer in kit form. It is also possible to just get hold of a panel set. If other options would be required, ask and I could add them, eg. 3D printed parts only, or panel set + 3D printed parts only. The Kickstarter will receive a big update in a few days, so make sure you keep an eye on it!
Thanks for the advice on the linear rods. I am using 8mm steel rods about 30 inches long. Would that present any sort of a problem? And thanks il wait until you publish the firmware
The<a href="http://reprap.org/wiki/Rostock" rel="nofollow"> Rostock 3D printer</a> uses similar size rods. There will most certainly be some deflection, but as plenty of peoples have been using Rostock type printers I am sure you will be able to get away with it.
Is there any way you could send me the arduino code that you made for this printer? Im really horrible when it comes to coding. Being 15 i havent taken coding classes and dont know how to make that part of the printer. If you dont want to give out that code its fine. Thanks!
My firmware is not yet ready for publishing, as it needs some cleaning up. When the time comes - which should be fairly soon - I am planning to publish the documented code on this very Instructable. Together with the publishing of the code, I will include full instructions on how to setup the printer and how to make changes to the firmware. If you<em> really</em> cannot wait a few days, send me a Private Message with your email address and I will send the 'dirty' files by email. PS. As you are building a printer with linear rods, make sure the rods are thick enough and not too long, otherwise their deflection could become an issue.
Thanks to you i was able to design my own printer and am currently building it. Dude you are my hero. Haha im using linear rods instead of your slide though because i do not have access to a cnc machine. Thanks aton and good luck with your kickstarter!!!!
Nice one! Good luck with your build if you decide to publish it, send me a link!
Oops, I made the last comment whilst the PC was still logged on under my wife's account...
I cant download the parts spreadsheet ? Theres something wrong with the download link I think ? Could you fix it please ? Thanks !
I just checked the link and it was working fine. Do you have Excel installed properly? I suggest trying again and if is still does not work, send me a Private Message with your email address and I will send it as as an attachment. Cheers, Richard.
The DeltaTrix 3D Printer is now avaliable as a kit on <a href="http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1142241325/deltatrix-3d-printer-open-source-and-fully-hackabl" rel="nofollow">Kickstarter</a>!
The DeltaTrix 3D Printer is now avaliable as a kit on <a href="http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1142241325/deltatrix-3d-printer-open-source-and-fully-hackabl" rel="nofollow">Kickstarter</a>!
Good news, my Kickstarter project has been accepted! I will be launching it on the 26th of December 2013 at 18:00 pm GMT. Have a wonderful festive season and the best wishes for 2014!
Sir what were the dimensions for the base and top. I am building one of these and dont have a CAD to open your designs in. Thanks!
There are a few free viewers available for download, which will be able to open the zipped *.dwg file from Step 3. I recommend <a href="http://www.autodesk.com/dwgtrueview" rel="nofollow">Autodesk DWG Trueview</a> if you are running a Windows PC, but there are also other alternatives available from <a href="http://http://usa.autodesk.com/support/viewers/" rel="nofollow">Autodesk</a>.<br> <br> If you have to do with older hardware, like me, the latest viewers can be a little demanding. In this case it could be best to use the 2008 version of DWG Trueview, as located on <a href="http://download.cnet.com/DWG-TrueView/3000-6677_4-10690117.html" rel="nofollow">cnet.com</a>.<br> <br> Use a viewer to take the measurements, straight from the model. If you have too much trouble with this, let me know as I might consider publishing proper engineering drawings for the panels.<br> <br> Good Luck!
Just to let you know, I just submitted a <a href="http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1142241325/279745424?token=f2a306b0" rel="nofollow">Kickstarter project</a> and started a<a href="http://www.instructables.com/community/Kickstarter-for-DeltaTrix-3D-Printer/" rel="nofollow"> forum topic</a> in relation to this.<br> <br> Let me know what you think about it!<br> <br> Thanks,<br> Richard Tegelbeckers
very nice, how much do you think it would cost to build one? wich arduino board did you use?
The biggest issues with building a printer, will be getting the CNC machined panels and the 3D printed parts. You will need access to a fairly large CNC machine and spend some time programming it. Also, as a standard 8x4ft piece of plywood will yield panels for three machines, there would be a lot of waste if you only needed one set. The best way to get 3D printed parts, is by using a friend's 3D printer. Online printing services would be fairly expensive (I actually did win my first set of parts in an <a href="http://www.instructables.com/contest/makeitreal/" rel="nofollow">Instructables contest</a>!). As a one off, it would cost upwards of &pound;550 for all the other bits, on top of the cost for CNC machined panels and 3D printed parts. As the electronics I used <a href="http://reprap.org/wiki/RAMPS_1.4" rel="nofollow">RAMPS v1.4</a> and an Arduino Mega 2560 R3. On my friend's machine we actually used a non-original, compatible Mega.

About This Instructable


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Bio: I am a Dutch design engineer, living in Wales (UK) and working in steel industry until recently, as my request for voluntary redundancy did get ... More »
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