This LEGO printer is based on the Prusa I3 rework printer. The printer started as a A4-plotter with stepper motors from an old HP printer. After upgrading the stepper motors to Nema 17 motors I decided to build a X, Y and Z axis machine. This evolved in this printer.

LEGO and Nema 17 stepper motors are a perfect match. A default LEGO brick of 4 by 2 studs is 32 x 16 x 9.6 mm. Nema stepper motors have m3 holes at a distance of 31 mm. Attaching the Nema 17 stepper with LEGO technic, using a felt damper/isolator and m3 x 15 bolts, gives a solid base (image 4). See this Lego Dimension Guide for more lego math.

This is my first instrucable and it will not be a guide for creating this exact printer. I will give enough details to create such a printer. All information used to build this printer comes from the internet.

Warning: This printer is not a toy. Don't leave the printer while printing. The temperature of the heat bed can reach 110 degrees celcius. And the temperature of the printhead starts with 170 degrees celcius.

Step 1: Bill of Material

The printer is not a 100% LEGO printer. I don't have any LEGO Mindstorms products. Another reason is that LEGO motors are servo motors and 3d printers use stepper motors. Last reason is the software used to control the printer. I'm using Marlin for the Atmega 2560 and Pronterface on my laptop to control the printer.

Besides a lot of LEGO you'll need the following items from the Prusa I3 bill of material. The length of the rods depends of the size of the printer you are building. It's cheaper to buy pieces of 100cm than the default prusa i3 pieces.

Mechanical Parts and rods
- Smooth rod 8mm (3 x 100 cm)
- Threaded rod m5 (1 x of 100 cm)
- LM8UU linear bearing (11 x)
- Ball bearing 608 (2x)
- Flexible coupling 5x5 (2x)
- Nema 17 stepper (4x)
- GT2 Pulley (2x)
- GT2 Belt (200 cm)

Heated bed
- Y-carrier frame (1x, or use LEGO)
- Heatbed (1x)
- Glass Plate (1x)
- Binder clip (4x)
- Thermistor 100K (1x)

- Ramps (1x)
- Atmega 2560 (1x)
- Stepstick (4x)
- Endstop (3x)
- Power supply (1x)
- Ramps wiring kit (1x)
- Extruder with Nema stepper (1x)

Screws, nuts and washers depend on the build. Use m3 x 15 bolts for connecting the steppers to the LEGO.

<p>Just wondering if you still have this and if you do, have you considered a bowden extruder? I made one like it, but used bowden because I didn't have two motors for the z axis. </p>
<p>very COOL instructable</p><p>If you want to buy powerful &amp; cheap 3D Printer... <br>auto leveling </p><p>(NO MORE wasting TIME - 30sek. &amp; Ready To Go) <br>super basic to use <a href="https://ultimaker.com/en/products/cura-software">Cura 3D Printing Slicing Software </a>...MICROMAKE D1 ...<br><a href="https://youtu.be/kXie0oyaHKo">https://youtu.be/kXie0oyaHKo</a></p>
<p>Thats interesting...</p>
<p>I just stumbled across this. Brilliant work.<br>Did you ever see this? <a href="http://reprap.org/wiki/MendeLego" rel="nofollow">http://reprap.org/wiki/MendeLego</a><br>I started this 5 years ago but never had the money to finish it.</p>
<blockquote><em>please make a vid how to make it this looks soo cool plus the overall price!</em></blockquote>
What is the price you think (not counting legos) this is a really neat project that I might do
<p>Ebay prices: </p><p>$80 for electronics (5 steppers), $40,00 for linear movement, $50 for Heat bed with carriage, $50 for extruder. </p><p>AliExpress might be cheaper. Electronics + heat bed for $50, A (fake) E3d v6 3d printhead $10 (use the 5th stepper).</p>
<p>Is the &quot;linear movement 40,000 or 4,000 because you wrote 40,00</p><p>40,000=no way</p><p>4,000=ultra expensive</p><p>400=somewhat okay...</p>
<p>It's closer to 40 dollar. Total costs for this printer (not including Lego) was below $300.<br><br>Prices in the Netherlands are: <br>- Smooth rod 8mm (3 x 100 cm) 3.50 euro/piece<br>- Threaded rod m5 (1 x of 100 cm) 2.25 euro/piece<br>- LM8UU linear bearing (11 x) 1.25 euro/piece<br>- Ball bearing 608 (2x) 0.40 euro/piece<br>- Flexible coupling 5x5 (2x) 4.00 euro/piece<br>- GT2 Pulley (2x) 4.00 euro/piece<br>- GT2 Belt (200 cm) 4.50 euro/meter<br><br></p>
<p>How much did everything cost</p>
<p>This is crazy! My siblings and I were huge fans of legos when we were young and now have boxes of them collecting dust in our basement. This project would finally put a use to those, and there's definitely enough legos for at least twenty printers. This reminded me though of some great 3D printing ideas that I found, <a href="http://www.monomachines.com/shop/office-supplies/3-d-printers.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.monomachines.com/shop/office-supplies/3...</a></p><p>Check out the video on the right, it's great!</p><p>What materials can you print on with this? I wonder if metal could be used!</p>
<p>This printer is capable to print like any other Prusa I3 printer. The only material used until now is PLA. <br>Metal should be possible with copperfill filament. </p>
<p>Wow, sounds great. Thanks for the info!</p>
<p>How long do the GT2 belts need to be for the z axis and the y axis?</p>
<p>All GT2 belts are 100 cm each. All rods are 50cm each. </p>
<p>What are the power supply specifications? And where could I find the right one?</p>
<p>I'm using a &quot;12V 20A 240W Power supply for 3D printer&quot; from ebay. It's a 20A version because I have one power supply for the heat-bed, 5 steppers and the extruder. </p>
<p>Thank you!</p>
<p>Love this idea and I am planning to make it myself. Would this type of motor work?</p><p>Click the link:<br><a href="http://www.ebay.com/itm/4Pcs-15mm-Dia-Body-Two-Phase-Four-Wire-17mm-Height-Stepper-Motor-/321491752573?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4ada66d67d" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.com/itm/4Pcs-15mm-Dia-Body-Two-Phase-Four-Wire-17mm-Height-Stepper-Motor-/321491752573?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&amp;hash=item4ada66d67d</a></p><p>Thank you!</p>
what do the results look like. what have you printed?
<p>It took some time to calibrate the printer. Printed the &quot;Customizable Low-Poly Vase&quot;. It's my first &quot;Made It!&quot; at instructables. Results are like a non-Lego 3D printer.</p>
thats really impressive. how long did it take to print this model? avg..
<p>This printer is awesome!! Definitely going to try and make it one of these days!</p>
<p>What an amazing idea!</p>
<p>Thank you, I've just added a timelapse video. </p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/nZb0KmKBaO4" width="500"></iframe></p><p>Shows 40 minutes in just over a minute.</p>
<p>That's great! What an appropriate piece to print :P </p>
<p>could you show a vid and other than that its an amazing idea keep up the good work</p>
<p>Added Some video's.</p>
<p>I think to be complete it needs a little Lego man sat in front of a Lego control panel. But apart from that it is brilliant!</p>
<p>Maybe Lord Business</p>
<p>print lego .... do it. </p>
<p>your picture adds to this comment</p>
love it hahah
<p>i have to say, that's rather impressive!</p>
<p>In one word: Brilliant!!</p>
<p>That's an amazing build.</p>
<p>Needs more LEGO video.</p>
Amazing build! You have my vote and my tongue... I am speechless! :-P<br><br>Have a great day!
<p>I loved Lego as a kid and boxes full of bricks but the modern Lego has nothing to do with play and games anymore....<br>Very impressive!</p>
<p>wow! I'm speechless!</p><p>this brings a new meaning to building toy!</p>
<p>great tutorial! thanks for sharing ;)</p>
Dang, this beats my idea for the contest. Nice write up. I voted for ya!

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