Picture of Poor Man's 3D Printer

My goal was to build a cheap and inexpensive 3D Printer for less than 100 Dollar/Euro

What are the features of the Poor Man's 3D Printer ?

- Fused deposition modeling ABS/PLA

- Heat bed

- use of open source firmware, modified version of Tonokip

- free host software, Repetier-Host

- bowden-extruder

- max. build size 40mm x 40mm x 40mm

- resolution 0.08mm

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Step 1: Parts

Picture of Parts

Parts i bought:

- Arduino Board Mega 2560 (on ebay from china): 10 Euro

- 2 pcs. Stackable Motor Driver Shield L293D 6 Euro

- Hotend MK7 MK8 noozle 0,4mm+thermistor+cartridge 20 Euro

- PTFE Tube 4 x 2mm & 2 pcs. 1/8" BSP 6 Euro

- Fan 30mm x 30mm 2 Euro

- MOSFETs,resistors,caps,LEDs,thermistor 5 Euro

Recyled PC/printer part:

- 4 pcs. DVD/Blu-ray drives, with stepper motors ! old cd drives can't be used because they work with dc-motors

- old PC power supply, 12V/5A and 5V/2A are required

- stepper motor nema17-like from old printer for extruder

- i use a modified gear (see pictures) from an old hp printer for the bowden-extruder, optional you could get an airtripper extruder for about 25 Euro

Things that every hobbyist has in his garage :-)

- many screws, nuts and washers M3,M4,M5

- lots of wires

- aluminium-sheet for the frame, you can also use wood

- some alu/metal profiles, see pictures

Step 2: Pictures from building the chassis

Picture of Pictures from building the chassis
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Step 3: Endstops

Picture of Endstops

use endstops from dvd drive !

Step 4: Counterweights

Picture of Counterweights
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I had to made counterweights for the z-axis because the x- dvd drive + Hotend are too heavy for the small steppers

The counterweight is simply connected through a cord and a pulley with the drive.

The weight of one counterweight = weight of (x drive + hotend) /2

Step 5: Extruder

Picture of Extruder
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The Extruder was build of a gear of an old hp printer deskjet 300. I remove the original stepper (too weak) and

replace it with a bigger one, i find two of them in an epson stylus color 600.

The shaft was shorten and milled grooves with a dremel, then a metal gearwheel was placed near the shaft.

The gearwheel has one groove too.

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Gelstronic (author)  Denis3105026 days ago
(removed by author or community request)
Gelstronic (author)  Gelstronic6 days ago

Gelstronic (author)  Denis3105026 days ago
Yes, but don't use the L293 motor shield anymore, the ramps shields have become so cheap, look here for ramps 1.4 + 5 stepper driver + Mega2560.
thank sir i done moving all steppers coming soon I'll print something

I checked with as given photo but repitier host cant drive any of my stepper motor.

i connect all things as in given photo, only extruder and hotbed not connected and end stop too.

schame poor 3D.jpg

Hi gelstronic
i have done all as your given information and i upload Tonokip code in my arduino mega board and it's successfully uploaded,
but when i connect mega board with repeterhost software connecting is done, but after than no any motor response,

whats problem in this??

dintid28 days ago

Anyway to tell if a drive's motor is stepper motor or DC motor? I just salvaged some old CD drives and some old DVD drives.. and some of the motors are identical across the devices!

Paulo132101 month ago

Hello, I try to copy your printer but how did you manage in order that it don't become Hyperstatics mainly for up and down?

best regards

CK1011 month ago
jad516 months ago

Is it possible to run servo's directly off the Arduino without a shield if I use separate servo drivers and a separate temperature controllers?

Very nice work by the way :)

Gelstronic (author)  jad516 months ago

Servo drivers don't work for stepper motors, you need stepper motor drivers like these:
or buy them on ebay from china for much less.
And of course you don't need a shield but it's easier to work with.
Take a look at ebay for a ramps shield and 4 drivers from china
and you'll now what i mean !

what is the model of nema17 ?

where I can buy it

jad51 Gelstronic6 months ago

Whoops sorry I meant Stepper motors :) I really just need the pulses and limits from the Arduino. Thanks very much for the reply +1

VictorH41 month ago

what is the model of nema17?


I'm decide to make this using easy driver,

so is it easy to same drive with easy driver same as L293D stepper driver?

Gelstronic (author)  Brijesh Sondarva1 month ago
I recommend RAMPS

Very nice! A larger build area could probably be had by scavenging three
printers. A fair amount of inkjets nowadays even come with A3 size

DMXM2 months ago


One question I have build one with ramps 1.4 and the moves works fine

but the abs material does not hold on the table.

What can I do

Thanks in advance

Gelstronic (author)  DMXM2 months ago

use some sugarwater or haispray

Gelstronic (author)  Gelstronic2 months ago

and show us a photo/video of your machine !

DMXM Gelstronic2 months ago

Ok I'll send you a video soon

DMXM DMXM2 months ago

Ok here is the video of my machine. Hope you like it

Thanks to Gelstronic for this very good instruction.


Gelstronic (author)  DMXM2 months ago

Wow ! Congratulations, that looks very good and the noise is much less than my one !

Nice to see that someone build it .

I see the german description on youtube, do you also come from Germany ?



DMXM Gelstronic2 months ago

Yes I'm from Germany

With the poti on the ramps board I could limit the output current so the steppers weren't so noisy.

And yes fischertechnik is very nice :D



DMXM DMXM2 months ago

On Monday

I'll show the printer my teacher and the class :)


P.S: I'm 14 years old ;)

Gelstronic (author)  DMXM2 months ago

Yeah, i think they'll like it !

If you are interested in listen podcasts here are two links where the printer is


minute 7.40:

minute 28.

DMXM Gelstronic1 month ago


Sorry for the late answer. I was on holiday

Your podcasts are nice I heard them completly

Have a nice day


Gelstronic (author)  DMXM2 months ago

P.S. Wish i hadn't sell my fisher technics 30 years ago :-)

ishaan19962 months ago

hi, can you please list the mosfets, resistors, capacitors in the comment, i am unable to understand the value of components written in schematics, in this way i will get an idea about the value and can compare with the schematic. And how did you supply 12v and 8v seperatly to both the steppers on the same board.

Thanks in advance

Gelstronic (author)  ishaan19962 months ago
Resistors, 180Ohm, 4700Ohm,1500Ohm,10000Ohm
electrolytic capacitor (polarised) 10microFarad

For seperating the voltages i cut off the VDD pin from the pololus
and connect them directly via wire to 8 Volt

Thanks that helps a lot, and how did you power the extruder separately in L293D Shield.

Can you upload the schematics for RAMPS driver that you used in the later update of your project.

schildress42 months ago
I wonder if u can use a printers drive motor for a larger print?
TomM92 months ago

Hi Gelstronic,

I have two questions that i hope you can answer.

1. How can i use tonokip with the Arduino Uno?

2. Can i connect the extruder and heatbed to the Arduino Uno?

Thanks in advance,


Gelstronic (author)  TomM92 months ago
theoritical yes, look at this link:,119383,122498
TomM9 Gelstronic2 months ago

Oke thanks! To know for sure i have bought a Mega. Because it's too complicated for me :P Later on i will take a look at the Uno. :)

DMXM2 months ago


I have one question. How can I setup my ramps1.4 to use with 5v Steppers from cd Drive?

Thanks in advance

Gelstronic (author)  DMXM2 months ago

I supply the three A4988 stepperdriver (X/Y/Z) with 8 Volt. For this I took a LM317

and drop down 12V to 8V. The A4988 won't work with voltage below 8V and 12V

is to much for the cd-steppers

wliu32 months ago
Would it be possible to replace the axises to let it print larger pieces?
Gelstronic (author)  wliu32 months ago

Maybe, give it a try !

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