Introduction: LEGO Mindstorms EV3D Printer
This is a 3D printer made using Lego Mindstorms EV3 kit. The core of it is the 3D pen that dispenses melted plastic. Movement of the pen in 3 different axes is provisioned by mindstorms motors and they are controlled by lego mindstorms program uploaded into mindstorm brick. Different patterns can be made by writing different programs.
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*** Please watch the video first to get a good understanding of the steps ***
Step 2: Materials
1. LEGO Mindstorms EV3 (Brick, Motors, Axles, Hub Caps and Connectors)
2. Lego blocks
4. 3D Pen
6. Cardboard (preferably thick)
8. Rubber Bands
10. Smooth Paper (optional)
11. Laptop to write Lego Mindstorms program
12. A printer cable to upload the program to Mindstorms brick
Step 3: Building the Printer Frame
- Create 4 pillars which are at a reasonable height such that a 3D Pen can be mounted in upright position and a moving base can fit in as well. Create 2 center pillars to support the structure.
- Make horizontal supporting connectors between 4 pillars(not diagonally) to keep them sturdy and in place. Now add the other 2 pillars in the middle of 2 main pillars and keep them opposite to each other. Add another very smooth connector between the two small pillars. Basically make the structure sturdy by adding support where ever necessary using Lego/K'NEX pieces.
Now you are done with the frame of the printer. It should look like a cube with only the edges and a connector on the top
Step 4: The X-Axis
Take one of the big motors that comes with the Mindstorms and attach 4 wheels to it (2 are for the rotating part of the motor). Cut the cardboard to a square platform such that it will fit one way inside the frame. Make the surface of the cardboard smooth using a tape or smooth paper and mount it on the big motor with 4 wheels.
Step 5: The Y-Axis and the Z-Axis
Create a rectangular prism only with the edges. Attach a medium sized rubber band to the top and bottom parts of the prism, and one side on a ring that will fit the 3D Pen. On the ring, create an obtruded part, such that the part touches the button to start the 3D pen. On the other side of the ring, attach a piece of yarn that will go to the other edge of the prism and ultimately to the motor. The motor will have the string taped to its axle. Have some provision to hang the filament to the frame, so it easily feeds into the 3D pen. Also, depending on whether the 3D Pen is battery operated or not, place your printer near the electric outlet to connect the 3D Pen.
On the top part of the prism, attach 2 yarns to each of the longer sides of the rectangular prism. Make all the 4 pieces of yarn come on the middle connector of the two small pillars and attach it to the other big motor. The motor will rotate in one direction and another making the prism go up and down.
Step 6: The Mindstorms Program
Check/Use the sample Lego Mindstorms program uploaded/atached, that controls all the three motors and creates a pattern in 3 dimensions as shown.
You can write your own program to control the motors and create different patterns.
Thank you and have fun!