Introduction: DELTA TWISTER: a DIY 3D PRINTER ANYONE CAN MAKE (FOR LESS THEN 400 BUCKS)

The 3d printer that i am about to show you how to build is not only one of the most affordable printers, but also is on of the most simplistic. Anyone can build the Deltatwister! You don't need any 3d printed parts or cnc machine to make this printer...Everything except the extruder can be made using hand tools like I did. Being 15 years of age i designed and built this 3d printer. Practically anyone with basic mechanical skills can build their own Delta Twister! Having a print volume of over 1000 cubic inches this printer really has it all...for only $400 compared to $800-3000. If you like what you see then please vote for me! I would really appreciate it.

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Step 1: Gathering Your Materials

You will need:
(1)Ramps v1.4 circuit board with drivers
(1)Arduino mega 2560 circuit board
(3) 36" 8mm linear rods
(6) 8mm linear bearings
(2) 3/8 in wooden dowel rods(4 feet each)
(12) 8mm rod ends
(4) nema 17 stepper motors
(3) stepper pulleys for a 5mm shaft
(1) 6M legnth of belt that fits your pulley
(1) rep rap heated bed.
(3) 3d printer endstops
(1) pc powersupply.
(3) computer fans
(1) j-head printhead
(1) extruder with a bowden tube(airtripper has a good unit).

(1)Meter of 1.75 mm Teflon tubing

This should total out to well under $400.

Step 2: Building Your Frame

The frame is key to a successful 3d printer.
What I did was make two equilateral triangles with sides two feet in length. I then cut 4.5 inch equilateral triangles off each of the vertices. I then made 3 pieces 4.5x38" as the sides. I included a picture of the triangle if that will help.
I then used 1" sections of 2x4's to act as supports for the main pieces. The long pieces are all 38 inches x 4.5 inches.

Step 3: Making Your Rod Supports

What i did to make my linear rod supports was i cut a 1" section of 2x4 i then drew a line straight down the middle. I then repeated this for the other sides. After that, i measured 2" out from where the two lines intersected longways and made a mark. This is where the two holes were drilled(8mm). You will need 6 of these. Try to machine these pieces as accurate as possible. I recommend a drill press, but if you can make a jig to do this perfectly that is okay too.

Step 4: Cutting Rods and Dowels to Size

You will need to cut your 8mm rods to a little bit less than 29" each. It is important that they are no taller because that will throw off the geometry of the machine. The dowel rods must be cut to 12" each and sanded on the ends so that you can screw them onto the rod ends.

Step 5: Making Your Arm Carriage

Conveniently, 8mm linear bearings fit perfectly onside 1/2" pvc pipe. All you must do is drill holes in the sides and zip tie pipe holders onto the pvc pipe. Drill two 8mm holes in the holders and slide a 3 1/2" section of 8mm rod through. After this add additional stability by screwing in 1/4" x 2 1/4" bolts on. The pictures are pretty self explanatory.

Step 6: Screwing in Rod Supports

It is important that your rod supports are exactly where they should be. Any wood screws will do the job, but jist make sure you don't split the 2x4. The rods must be 100 percent parallel to each other an at 60 % angles.

Step 7: Making Motor Mounts

Your motor mounts don't have to be pretty, they just have to do the job...holding the motor securely in place. All I used was a motor shaped piece of plywood and garden wire to tighten it down. Once your 3d printer is complete it will be easy to print yourself a motor mount.

Step 8: Making Your Printhead Carriage

Just try to make this as accurate as possible. Mistakes can mess up your prints. Ideally your printhead carriage will have sides at perfect 60 degree angles...Once again though, it should be simple enough to just print one out once you are finished with your printer. All that I did was zip tie the 8mm rods on the sides. Your carriage can be pretty much any size; you will just need to edit the size in the firmware.

Step 9: Attaching Your Endstops

All you need to do is simply zip tie the endstops where you want them. The only necessity in this step is that they must all be at the same height and the arm carriage must activate the endstop when it moves up in a process called homing. You will understand this process more once your printer is built. It basically auto levels the system.

Step 10: Wiring It All Up

Here is a wiring schematic provided by rep rap wiki. Just follow the Schematic and you should be good to go!

Step 11: Belt Pulley System

Basically all I did was go to the hardware store and buy a sliding door roller. I put it on a 1/4 inch screw and tensioned the belt with two pieces of plywood holding the pulley down.

Step 12: Downloading Your Firmware and Software

I use a software called repetier host for my printer. They already have a delta format which makes it very simple to use. The firmware that I download onto my arduino board is called marlin. Richard Tegelbeckers provided me with the firmware that I needed because I am awful at coding as may be some of you. Thanks Mr. Tegelbeckers!

The picture is provided by Repetierhost.com

Step 13: Test Print!!!!

It is now time to test your 3d printer out. Congratulations!!! hopefully it will look somewhat like the video.

Note: It will take a little bit of tinkering around to get prints looking like you want them to, but hey! you now have a working 3d printer!

Comments

author
baecker03 made it!(author)2014-05-12

using wood is a great idea, the only problem is trying to replicate the structure. with wood it can be difficult... I am finishing up my own printer in fact, although I have taken great efforts to ensure the measurements are very close and every part moves smoothly and has recoil tolerance to ensure maximum accuracy and high resolution. this is key if you want pieces to be close to specification and high quality. I have used lightweight steel shelving brackets for parts of the structure. this might cost more and take more time to engineer... but is stronger and lighter. hot glue is something which could be used as well as long as it isn't near parts which will become hotter. it works well to transfer heat to metal parts too.

author
bpetno made it!(author)2014-05-21

Good thoughts! thank you. Good luck with your build!

author
clickbang44 made it!(author)2017-03-18

I have to thank for sharing this build with the world! I love this design - started building this afternoon: got the legs don, reinforced them with 3/4 x 1.4 stifffeners in the middle outside, cut the base and top out - I can't wait to get it finished!!! I do have some questions: I noticed the upper rod supports are 1" as called out but your pictures show the lower supports as being quite a bit longer. How long are they? And How far is it from the bottom of the legs to the top of the base? And from the top of the legs to the top of the top?

Thank you!!!

author
graemepeek made it!(author)2015-11-13

Followed concept to produce this

2015-11-11 10.43.53.jpg
author
ashokpkumar made it!(author)2016-05-21

Hello Graemepeek,

can you share the firmware, circuit diagram please,

also if i make change to the length in any of the measurement here, do i have to change anything in the firmware,

also the circuit diagram says X, Y, Z motors, are they irrelevant to a delta printer, or which one is X, Y, Z?

author
graemepeek made it!(author)2016-06-01

The firmware is the standard grbl code.

https://github.com/grbl/grb

I did change the lengths in the firmware (look at config.h for most settings)

wire up the motors as XYZ ( i mounted them in that order around the frame) but they act as one due to the kinematics, so for example a z move all three would operate.

author
bpetno made it!(author)2015-11-17

That is awesome! It looks much more well done than my machine:) How is the print quality?

author
ashokpkumar made it!(author)2016-05-21

Hello,

if i change the length of the arms that carries the hot end, do i have to change anything in the firmware or will calibration take care of this?

author
MarkM364 made it!(author)2016-05-04

I want to just increase the printing bed area the height is fine of the printer I'm looking at purchasing.

author
MarkM364 made it!(author)2016-05-04

any ideas on what I should do

author
akankit114 made it!(author)2016-02-06

can you please send me the link from where you bought carbon fiber tubes

author
donhaynes made it!(author)2014-05-31

Is there any way we could get a bigger version of the wiring diagram? My eyes aren't as great as they used to be, and that diagram is tiny. That being said, this is a beautiful build, and I am very impressed with your skills at 15. I'm excited to build this.

author
donhaynes made it!(author)2014-05-31

Went to the wiki and got large copy of the diagram for anyone interested.

3D printer wiring diagram.jpg
author
BilalI7 made it!(author)2016-01-13

thnx

author
jtaylor115 made it!(author)2015-04-20

pretty cool man. where did you get the Rod ends at? or what are they called I need something juet like it for my kossel im building.

author
rfox4 made it!(author)2015-02-05

I am in the process of building my own delta printer and using your instructable as a guide. So far buying everything open source and as affordable as I can i've spent only $169.63 for the electronics and attempting to hold my frame to parts on hand only thing i have left to find/purchase/make is the extruder with bowden tube.

author
jmh474 made it!(author)2014-10-18

Hi there first i got to say grate inscrutable, and im hoping to be making one soon, there is only one thing i dont get in your parts list you say you only need 3 x 36" 8mm linear rods but then you got onto say cut the rods to just under 29", but you would need 6 of these rods but i dont see how you would get 6 x 29" rod from 3 x 36" rods or am i missing you something thanks, i looks ford to trying to make a printer as good as yours

author
repkid made it!(author)2014-05-10

Love the minimalism of this project. What are the tolerances like?

author
bpetno made it!(author)2014-07-19

The tolerances are not the best, as I used unsupported plastic in the arm carriage. and the printhead carriage was not held very well

author
Poppy+Ann made it!(author)2014-06-02

Hi there, just want to say what a great instructable, this is the first home built 3D printer of this type i have ever seen, i have seen a couple of kit type 3D printers of this design but they cost up in the thousands.

You did a great job making it you use techniques in building just the same as i do, people laugh at some of my builds with what i have used for projects they were not designed for but i always say if it works then it is the right item for the job, why have special clamps made when a couple of zip ties will do the job just as good.

author
bpetno made it!(author)2014-07-19

Thanks! While the machine works, the tolerances aren't the best, though. I am currently working on a new machine that I will post on instructables with some of the best tolerances out there.

author
Ahmad-Jaber made it!(author)2014-07-14

I have a question for you bpetno when you made your rod supports you said that you measured 2 out from where the two lines intersected longways what was the measurement unit there

author
bpetno made it!(author)2014-07-19

I measured two inches out from the lines. Sorry for my delayed response!

author
bpetno made it!(author)2014-05-24

Here are two examples webster30! Hope these help. Btw if you need help or guidance on making one of these id love to help! Just PM me any questions!

14, 9:12 PM.jpg14, 9:12 PM.jpg
author
webzter30 made it!(author)2014-05-24

just getting into the 3d print thing. I want to make one myself.

You made it look simple. Any other examples of what you have printed with this?

author
vminzarescu made it!(author)2014-05-20

Can you please upload a high definition image of the schematic ?

author
bpetno made it!(author)2014-05-21

What do you mean by the "schematic"?

author
vminzarescu made it!(author)2014-05-21

From step 10. The image is low resolution and i can't see where the wires go

author
justbennett made it!(author)2014-04-07

I am so happy that this uses rubber bands, zip ties and bailing wire. AND it actually works. I love that you plan to use the machine to print it's own parts. Theoretically, you could improve the machine over time with better and better parts.

author
bpetno made it!(author)2014-05-21

thanks

author
das1233444 made it!(author)2014-05-11

can u upload firmware...so that i can upload it to the 3d printer as i am also bad in coding...please!!

author
das1233444 made it!(author)2014-05-08

what is the size of the printer head carriage??

author
das1233444 made it!(author)2014-05-08

what is the size of the printer head carriage??

author
Jan_Henrik made it!(author)2014-05-08

Very nice!!

author
the+lego+guy+14 made it!(author)2014-05-07

good job! whatkind of filament did you use?

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bpetno made it!(author)2014-05-08

Thank you! I used abs 1.75 millameter fillament.

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r5sb made it!(author)2014-03-22

Really nice...Voted!

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shootermatic made it!(author)2014-03-15

Great work, got my vote.

author
camvo made it!(author)2014-03-13

Nice Job.

It sure looks sturdy. What is the weight?

author
bpetno made it!(author)2014-03-14

yes, it is very sturdy. I have not weighed the machine but I am guessing that It weighs maybe 30 lbs

author
Misac-kun made it!(author)2014-03-13

Well, calibration is part of every 3D printer build.

author
RTegelbeckers made it!(author)2014-03-13

Nice job Braden! Don't forget, you can enter in a total of three contests. I suggest the 'Full Spectrum Laser contest' and (provided the printer is light enough to carry around...) the 'Portable Workstation contest'. Good luck!!!

PS. Don't tell just anyone you have a working 3D printer, as they will ask you to print all sorts of stuff! ;-)

author
Misac-kun made it!(author)2014-03-13

Or to build them one :-\

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onedumbtrucker made it!(author)2014-03-13

Great writeup and great project. Thanks for taking the time to do it.

author
bpetno made it!(author)2014-03-13

Thanks! And thanks so much for your help

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Danger+is+my+middle+name made it!(author)2014-03-12

Very cool! Thanks for sharing!

author
astral_mage made it!(author)2014-03-12

or cheaper depending on where u go.

About This Instructable

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Bio: I love engineering and playing soccer. I also play the violin. GO ZIPS. UA Commit Class of 2017
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