Introduction: Edge 3D 3.0 - a $200 3D Printer

Picture of Edge 3D 3.0 - a $200 3D Printer

Let me just start by saying that this isn't like most "budget" 3D printers. This has all features that a normal one should have; 2 Z axis motors, LCD, and a reliable extruder (Stepstruder MK7). As the title suggests, this project costs less than $200 (USD) to make, with no reused parts. This project took several months to design and about a week of assembling along with trial and error for testing new parts. This printer was built with a Full Spectrum Laser at my local makerspace, along with a Robo 3D printer.

Update: I have sold two 3D printer kits, will be selling the next four in either late May or early June (can't make any promises). I am also selling laser cut acrylic for this at 30 dollars US. Leave a comment if you want laser cut acrylic and I can usually ship within 3 days of payment. You can do so through my new website, down below.

New kit: Everything except 3d printed parts for $220 US comment below if you would like one.


New features: Bigger enclosure to fit all of the wiring, better extruder, built in LCD, Better Y axis belt tensioner, cool looking air vents, less gluing, layered bearing holder for a stable X axis, new logo, faster to laser cut because of fewer joints, more precise measurements for the USB and power connectors and overall better prints.

Step 1: Print Quality

Picture of Print Quality

As you probably know, print quality is a huge aspect when you want to buy or build a 3D printer. The attached image is of an octopus, printed at 250 microns (for speed, can go higher res.) at 35mm/s.

One of the biggest problems of a cartesian 3D printer can be from z wobble. Z wobble is when the coupler that attaches the motor to the threaded rod isn't completely straight. From experience, no 3D printed one will work, unless you have linear rods for both threaded rods. My design only has linear rods for the primary threaded rod, so an all metal rigid one is required. A flexible one will not work properly.

Here is the octopus file:

The second image is of a low poly t-rex, printed at 100 microns, which isn't as optimized for the printer. It still turned out quite well.

Step 2: Specs and Info

Picture of Specs and Info


Resolution: 100 Microns - 300 microns

Speed: 45mm/sec (not yet tested beyond)

Build Volume (X, Y, Z): 145mm x 80mm x 100mm

Overall Printer Size: 100mm x 265mm x 270mm

Threaded Rod: Imperial 5/16 inch, optional metric upgrade

Step 3: Parts and Tools

Picture of Parts and Tools

Here are the parts and tools that you will need to make this project:


Stepstruder MK7 Extruder

RAMPS 1.4 board (includes Arduino mega)

Nema 17 stepper motors (I bought from Alibaba, so I don't have a link.)

8mm Linear Rod

LM8UU Linear Bearing x4


Endstops x3

3mm acrylic (look for a local plastics shop, or buy pre-laser cut from me, just leave a comment)

16x2 LCD

GT2 Pulley x2

GT2 Belt

USB B to B Panel Mount Extender

DC Power Connector

688zz Bearing

Threaded Rod 5/16th inch with 5/16 inch nut (can buy at a home depot)

3D Printer wiring pack x5:

608 bearings x1:

M3 8mm screws x1 lot of 28:

M3 25mm screws x1

M3 10mm screws x20


Rigid Coupler


Laser cutter or laser cutting service (Check if there are any local makerspaces nearby)

3D printer or printing service

Soldering Iron and Solder

Wire Stripper

Computer With Arduino IDE and Cura

Step 4: Laser Cut and 3D Print Files

Picture of Laser Cut and 3D Print Files

Use a laser cutter to cut the .SVG out of 3mm acrylic. I cut the parts out a month or two ago at my local makerspace's laser cutter. Download the files here:

If you don't have access to a laser cutter, you can order laser cut parts from me. I charge 30 dollars US, which is much cheaper than any laser cutting service. If you want laser cut acrylic, leave a comment saying so.

Step 5: Mount Ports

Picture of Mount Ports

Mount USB port and the power jack. Do this by taking the USB B extender and placing it in the rectangular hole on the acrylic side piece and putting the screws through. You can use the images as a reference. Now, to mount the power jack, push the connector through the back piece (the one with "made in canada" on it). Then, thread the corresponding nut onto the power input connector.

Step 6: Wiring

Picture of Wiring

This step is fairly complicated, so use the attached diagram.

*For the Y endstop, wire it to the Y MAX, not Y MIN. For all of the other endstops, wire them to _MIN.

Note: The polarity of the motors doesn't particularly matter as it will just spin the opposite direction, which is easy to fix either by switching the connector, or through the firmware of the printer. Also, the polarity doesn't matter for the heater resistor or the thermistor.

Step 7: Assemble Enclosure

Picture of Assemble Enclosure

To build the laser cut enclosure, start by taking the top piece (the one with the holes to mount the motors), and placing the front piece (the one with the logo) and placing it on the end of the top piece with the 2 motor mounts. This is now the front of the unit. Parallel to the front piece, place the "back piece", which is the one that is the same as the front, only it has a hole for the power connector and it has "Made in Canada" on it.

Now, place the assembly onto the bottom piece (the one that is like the top one). Finally, place the right piece (one with the rectangular hole) on the right side of the assembly, doing the same with the last piece, just on the left side.

You will need to remove some of the panels during the tutorial, so try to remember where each panel goes.

Step 8: Wire and Mount LCD

Picture of Wire and Mount LCD

In this iteration of the 3D printer, there is a built in LCD for showing the stats of the print, like the temperature. I'm just using a generic 16x2 LCD that you can find for cheap. This step is optional, though I think it is worth the extra 3-5 dollars.

Use the attached wiring diagram to wire the LCD to the RAMPS board. I recommend soldering straight to the pins on the RAMPS board. I just used some super glue to mount the LCD to the acrylic.

Step 9: Assemble X Axis Pt. 1

Picture of Assemble X Axis Pt. 1

Mount three stepper motors to the top acrylic piece using M3 5mm bolts. It is a bit more difficult to mount the SC8UU bearings, so I'll use a few pictures along with the instructions. There is a small acrylic piece that has the correct spacing for the bearing (3rd picture). Take this piece and bolt it to the top acrylic plate using M3 5mm bolts and nuts. Now, you can place and bolt the SC8UU bearings onto the top piece because there is support for it underneath. This step is to prevent the bearings from shifting mid print. Finally, you can push 4 bolts through each of the SC8UU bearings, then tightening them with a nut.

Now, use super glue to mount the X endstop to the left side of the top piece. Push the X axis linear rods into the bearings.

Step 10: Assemble X Axis Pt. 2

Picture of Assemble X Axis Pt. 2

In this step, we will add the X axis sideplates and the linear rods to the bearing assembly.

Hold the linear rods in the bearings and press fit an X side piece to each side of the rods. Now, push the GT2 pulley onto the shaft of the nema 17 motor and use an allen key to tighten the setscrew in the pulley, making sure that the setscrew pushes into the flat part of the shaft. Next, Take the 3D printed Bearing mount and press fit 2 688zz bearings onto each side of the mount. Finally, use M3 8mm bolts to connect the mount to the motor.

Take about 8 inches of GT2 belt and push about 1/2 an inch through the left side piece and push the belt through the bearing assembly as shown in the last picture. Then, push the GT2 belt through the right sideplate and use hot glue to secure it to the outside of the side piece.

Step 11: Take Apart and Assemble Extruder

Picture of Take Apart and Assemble Extruder

The MK7 extruder comes pre-assembled, but you will need to disassemble and add a mount to it. For the extruder mount, there are two halves that bolt together. Take the two 3D printed parts and two M3 20mm bolts and m3 nuts and set them to the side. Remove the lower two bolts at the front of the extruder and then remove the fan and the heatsink. Then, there will be a black injection molded part. Remove the two bolts on that and lift the black piece. Now, place the 3d printed part shown in the 3rd image and place it where the black piece was and replace the black piece on top of the 3d printed part.

Now, Re-assemble the whole extruder. Then, take the other 3D printed extruder mount piece and place 2 LM8UU Bearings into it, then place it onto the other side of the 1st extruder mount piece. Finally, finish the extruder by tightening the two M3 20mm bolts, making sure it goes through both of the 3D printed pieces.

Step 12: Y Axis Pt. 1

Picture of Y Axis Pt. 1

The Y axis is one of the most difficult parts of this 3D printer, but I will try my best to explain it in two parts.

Start by taking a 608 ball bearing, a 5/16th inch threaded rod and a 5/16th inch nut placing them to the side. Bend the belt into a loop and put it into the "Y Axis End Cap" and push a 608 ball bearing onto the loop as shown in picture 3. Then, take a 1 1/2 inch piece of 5/16th inch threaded rod and turn a 5/16th inch nut on one side, and place it on the "Y Axis End Cap" as shown in the 3rd image. Finally, tighten it with another nut at the bottom part of the cap. Now, take the end of the belt and push it down into the extruder mount as shown in the fourth image.

Step 13: Y Axis Pt. 2

Picture of Y Axis Pt. 2

Take the Y axis and secure a nema 17 motor using M3 8mm screws. Flip over the Y axis motor mount and place a 5/16th inch nut and put it in the octagon-shaped hole. Now, put two LM8UU bearings into the top holes in the mount. Next, attach the GT2 pulley onto the shaft of the motor by tightening the setscrew. Make sure the GT2 belt is at the same height as the pulley. Push the linear rods into the front of the mount and push the extruder mount onto the railing. After that, push the "Y axis Connector" piece onto the rods and following that, the "Y axis End Piece". To finish the Y axis, push the belt down onto the extruder mount.

Step 14: Z Axis

Picture of Z Axis

In this step, we assemble the Z axis, which is by far the easiest of all of the axes. To start, take the flexible coupler, and attach it to the motor at the back of the printer. Do the same with the front motor, just instead of the flexible coupler, we will use the rigid one. Use the set screw on the flexible coupler to secure the threaded rod to the coupler. Then use the rigid coupler and secure the threaded rod by tightening the M3 bolts. Place the whole Y axis assembly onto the threaded rods.

Step 15: Power Supply

Picture of Power Supply

If you want to use an ATX power supply from an old computer, you will need to make a few modifications. I chose to use a laptop power supply because it is more compact and is silent.

Using a Laptop Power Supply:

If you want to use a laptop power supply that can output 5A at 12V, no modifications are needed and you can just plug it into the printer.

Using an ATX Power Supply:

First, check for a label on the power supply, and look for "Power Good" wire colour. Normally, the wire is green. Take the "Power Good" wire and hook it up to a ground wire. Now, make sure that none of the other wires are touching. Power on the supply and flip the power switch. If you did the first part correctly, the cooling fan will turn on. If you see magic smoke, immediately unplug it and troubleshoot. If it still doesn't work, try with another power supply.

Step 16: Programming Arduino

Picture of Programming Arduino

Downloading the Firmware:

You will need to have the Arduino IDE installed onto your computer. Next, go to GitHub and download the firmware optimized for the printer. Also, if you bought an Arduino other than the one that is linked in the parts list, you should check if it has the cheaper serial chip "CH340g". If it does, you will need to install extra drivers: If it is the normal serial chip, you will not need to install any drivers.

GitHub Link:

Adding the Firmware to the Arduino IDE:

On your computer, Unzip the firmware and rename the folder to "Marlin". Find the "Documents" folder, and find the folder called "Arduino" and open it. Within the Arduino folder, look for the libraries folder and drag the "Marlin" into it.

Uploading the Code:

First, plug a USB cable into the USB port on the 3D printer. Then, open the Arduino IDE and go to File --> Libraries --> Marlin. Once Marlin is open, click "Verify". Once it is finished compiling, press upload. If the code does not compile, leave a comment below and ask for help.

Step 17: Printing...

Here is a video of it printing. My camera battery was dying so the video isn't very long. The first few layers are a raft because the print bed wasn't level.

Step 18: Tuning

Picture of Tuning

To get the best print results, you will have to do a bit of tuning, and there are may ways of doing so.

Y axis shifting: If the Y axis of your printer starts to shift during a print, Check the tension of the Y belt. Make sure that is it tight, but not too tight. Basically, when you push the belt with little force, it should be able to move 1-2mm

In the 1st attached image, you can see the resolution of the printer when the belts aren't completely tight, and when the Z axis threaded rod (the front one) is a bit wobbly. The Z wobble is an easy fix for the most part. To fix it, Make sure that the Z coupler is straight in the centre of both the Threaded rod and the motor shaft. The 2nd picture is when the 2nd Z coupler is perfectly straight (only achievable with a rigid coupler).

As you can see in the 3rd image, I printed a cover for a raspberry pi zero, and it is the right size. You may calibrate the printer if you want slightly better results, but for my printer, it is calibrated well enough.

Step 19: Finished!

Picture of Finished!

Thank you for viewing this instructable! If you liked it, Please like, comment and vote. Also, If you have any questions, please leave a comment down below.


Zach Sousa (author)2016-07-09

New kits available: everything EXCEPT 3d printed parts. I have around $900 tied up in inventory and I'd like to sell it off.

$220 ($45 off) US for all parts to build the Edge 3.0, other than the 3d printed parts. I am selling 3 of them, first come, first serve. Reply to this comment if you are interested.

I am trying to experiment with my new design, Edge X, though I am unsure if it will work as it has no 3d printed parts, making designing much more difficult.

Zach Sousa (author)2016-04-23

If anyone wants a kit, I just ordered parts for 4 kits. $265 US per kit, just finished selling the first two. Just reply to this if you are interested.

By the way, anyone that is building this, if you have Z wobble on the second Z motor (front motor) make sure the coupler is perfectly perpendicular to the top of the case. Also, use the rigid coupler for the front motor, not the 3D printed one.

I've had some people asking if they can sell these as kits. My answer to this is yes, but please give me credit and consider making a small donation through paypal for each sold. Also, make it clear that it is a clone; I don't want to be customer support for something I didn't sell.

MarcosV46 (author)Zach Sousa2016-05-25

Hello i´m interested to buy a 3D printer kit but i need moore info about it. Could you give a phone number or an e-mail please?

Zach Sousa (author)MarcosV462016-05-27 What would you like to know?

id love a kit, but i probably cant get one until late this year if at all :(

donhaynes (author)Zach Sousa2016-04-27

Would you happen to offer just the 3D-printed parts and/or the laser cut pieces? Those are the items that I'm having the most trouble getting my hands on. Once I get this done I'll happily help others with the printed parts.

Zach Sousa (author)donhaynes2016-04-27

I do sell the acrylic-only kits. I don't think that I could 3d print the parts though. I'll PM you details.

jemrockosky (author)2017-01-31

Zach, I'm on github but I do not know which file/s contain the "firmware optimized for the printer." What files specifically should we download?

Zach Sousa (author)jemrockosky2017-03-12

Download .ZIP, unzip it, and open the .ino in Arduino IDE and compile. Make sure you have the correct board is selected.

09150306101 (author)2017-03-12

vere sekse


ChrisA313 (author)2016-12-29

I have a question! which pins do we connect the extruder fan to?

WillR39 (author)2016-12-22

how much just for the 3d printed parts I'm in the uk

AshmesH (author)2016-12-21

what is the body ? do u have any files ? for body 3d printer ?

Zach Sousa (author)2016-11-21

I'm still taking orders for the laser cut acrylic kits, now only $30 US down from $45! I will probably end sales after mid-December so buy while you still can.

I'm almost done funding my next project, a new simple plant monitor that retails for $15, if I finish funding, I can buy parts for 2000 units.

Nidhjin (author)2016-11-05

Hi mate! The slot to set the LCD screen is missing on your vectorial plans.
Good luck for the following. Cheers

chrisamstutz (author)2016-10-10

What size rigid coupler do we need?

Zach Sousa (author)chrisamstutz2016-10-10

5mm to 8mm.

chrisamstutz (author)2016-10-09

Are you still selling the 3d printed parts and the lazer cut acrylic? I'd like to buy some!

Zach Sousa (author)chrisamstutz2016-10-09

Yep! My laser cutter at my makerspace just started working last month so if you want one, they are $45 USD for a kit of acrylic and 3d printed parts. I'll have to check about the 3d printed parts though, as I'll have to contact a friend of mine to get them printed quickly because my printers are down at the moment.

chrisamstutz (author)Zach Sousa2016-10-09

Okay well ill take them, is there an email we can do further comunication over?

Zach Sousa (author)chrisamstutz2016-10-10

Yes, you can email me at:

I also have some other parts for sale if you are interested, like motors ($35 for 5) and linear rods (6 for $20).

Nidhjin (author)2016-10-04

Great instructable ! Cheers for sharing, I ordered everything and will try it asap ! Good luck for the next design

jedisalamander (author)2016-09-27

the laser cut parts in my kit did not have engraving on them, so im a bit confused

JenniferK97 (author)2016-08-19

Do you still have kits?

I live in Seattle and work in a physics shop and we are trying to put together some 3D printers for the college to use and collaborate with some community projects. Would love to talk and see if we can work out a way to get a kit or two.

Zach Sousa (author)JenniferK972016-08-19

Yes, I still have enough parts for two. I'm ordering an X-Carve because of my makerspace's broken laser cutter(s) so I will need a few weeks to get the acrylic cut. I would also like to eliminate a design flaw entirely (the not structurally supported threaded rod) by adding two linear rods. The price will remain the same.

I've PM'd you for more details

KyleM74 (author)2016-08-07

How long does the threaded rod need to be?

KyleM74 (author)2016-07-16

Hi, I was wondering was wondering what size and what type of filament prints with? Does it work with 1.75mm PLA

Zach Sousa (author)KyleM742016-07-16

It uses 1.75mm. I don't think that it works with flexible filament though.

KyleM74 (author)2016-06-09

What holding torque do the motors need to have? They are the last part I need to get.

Zach Sousa (author)KyleM742016-06-09

The holding torque of mine are 2.2 kg/cm. Detent torque is 120g/cm

jedisalamander (author)2016-06-07

how many stepper moters are required?

Including the extruder motor, 5. The extruder does include one though, so you only have to buy 4. Since they are typically around $17, the price goes up quickly. I buy my motors for $7 each from alibaba.

Alex02Q (author)2016-06-03

Hi, I'm 13 and would LOVE to have a 3D printer, I have no experience with any of this stuff so how easy to build, or should I just buy an of the shelf one? And if I buy the kit does it come with all the parts needed (including 3D printed and laser cut parts)? Thanks

Medelis (author)2016-06-03

very COOL instructable

If you want to buy powerful & cheap 3D Printer...
auto leveling

(NO MORE wasting TIME - 30sek. & Ready To Go)
super basic to use(Cura 3D Printing Slicing Software )...MICROMAKE D1 ...

RocketPenguin (author)2016-03-03

First off, nice 'able.

But one thing that really gets me, for pretty much any instructable with a relatively low price tag (Or almost every instructable now days)-- They always require you to have access to stuff like a laser cutter, a 3D printer, CNC mill, etc.

Those are most definitely NOT low price tag items.

Now, you might be lucky to have access to tools previously mentioned... But many of us don't....

I remember back in the day when the average person could build pretty much anything off of this site... Now, the minimum requirements are a SLA/FFF printer (or both), laser cutter, CNC, Mill, metal lathe, and so on.

I wish I had a local Makerspace ;_;

Sorry for the rant :P Great tutorial!

Zach Sousa (author)RocketPenguin2016-05-30

Next 3d printer will require zero 3d printed parts. Its almost completely designed, will be posted in about a month. It will stil use laser cut parts, but you can still cut it with a rotary tool.

Yonatan24 (author)RocketPenguin2016-05-30



Core3D (author)RocketPenguin2016-03-03

I don't know what city you are in so there may be no Maker space. I just joined one exactly for this reason. I recently heard our local library is looking into creating a "mini" maker space that will have a laser cutter. You may want to check into your local libraries.

timatee4545 (author)Core3D2016-03-07

Another resource you might check out are hacker-spaces and their wiki. They have a pretty good list of locations. For example, my local hackerspace gives me access to a bunch of these tools for a very minimal fee, like a mill, engine lathe, and laser cutter. Also it's filled with really friendly and informative people. Also a shop cat.

I live in the Branson/Springfield area of Missouri... The nearest hackerspace is 5 hours drive :'(

jedisalamander (author)2016-05-24

could i get a laser vut kit in a different material?

Sure, what material?

i was thinking wood

Sure, I think I have some 3mm Baltic birch at my makerspace. The laser is currently down (usually is) and will be working in about a week so I cant cut it out until then.

jedisalamander (author)2016-05-10

how much more is the pro version kit than the standard?

I haven't designed it yet. I've been busy coding a website, which will eventually be used to pay for the kits. I've actually started to design one that is smaller and (a lot) cheaper. Not entirely sure if the technology that it's extruder would use is entirely plausible (I know it works, but I've only tested it at really low speeds).

I can give you a discount for the regular version if you want. I'll pm you for more details.

For 3d printing the laser cut parts: this is definitely possible, just you would have to probably do some filing or sanding because a laser cutter has a slight kerf, whereas a 3d printer doesn't. This would only be a very slight difference though.

discount? please pm me the details.

I PM'd you a few days ago.

oh yeah! sorry i forgot!

jedisalamander (author)2016-05-09

do kits come with the 3d printed parts?

About This Instructable




Bio: My name is Zach Sousa and I'm a Canadian highschool student that has a passion for making.
More by Zach Sousa:CNC Oak Watch BoxCNC Camera SD Card HolderEdge 3D 3.0 - A $200 3D Printer
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