Arduino Contest

Runner Up in the
Arduino Contest

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.


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

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!



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We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.




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.

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

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!!!


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?

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

any ideas on what I should do

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

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.

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

3D printer wiring diagram.jpg