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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smartmiltoys16 hours ago

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

DMXM24 days 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)  DMXM24 days ago

use some sugarwater or haispray

Gelstronic (author)  Gelstronic24 days ago

and show us a photo/video of your machine !

DMXM Gelstronic23 days ago

Ok I'll send you a video soon

DMXM DMXM20 days ago

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

Thanks to Gelstronic for this very good instruction.


Gelstronic (author)  DMXM19 days 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 Gelstronic19 days 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 DMXM19 days ago

On Monday

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


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

Gelstronic (author)  DMXM19 days 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.


Sorry for the late answer. I was on holiday

Your podcasts are nice I heard them completly

Have a nice day


Gelstronic (author)  DMXM19 days ago

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

ishaan199612 days 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)  ishaan199610 days 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.

schildress411 days ago
I wonder if u can use a printers drive motor for a larger print?
TomM914 days 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)  TomM914 days ago
theoritical yes, look at this link:,119383,122498

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. :)

DMXM1 month 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)  DMXM29 days 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

wliu31 month ago
Would it be possible to replace the axises to let it print larger pieces?
Gelstronic (author)  wliu329 days ago

Maybe, give it a try !

GIP6IW1 month ago

can someone give me a Arduino mega program for my 3D-printer?

DMXM1 month ago

Hello very nice idea.

But I have one question. Is it possible to use the RAMPS shield instead of the

Adafruit Motor shield. To drive the steppers.

Thanks in advance!

P.S. Sorry for my english I'am from Germany

DMXM DMXM1 month ago

Something like this:

Gelstronic (author)  DMXM1 month ago
that works !
DMXM Gelstronic1 month ago

Ok thank you for your answer.

Good Work

TomM91 month ago

Very nice printer Gelstronic!

Can you use a Arduino Uno instead of the Mega?

Thanks in advance!

Gelstronic (author)  TomM91 month ago
only for the solution with the L293 shields, when using the ramps shield you have to take the Mega
Oke! Many thanks!

I make this project as my college project so its not possible to use ready made component board so i want to make a complete board for drive stepper motors so i try to make a driver board with l293d and now easy driver too.

I have done my L293D driver board only 74hct595 ic in panding to atteched with him,

if you give me complete connection in my post photo so its easy to make it for me.


Gelstronic (author)  Brijesh Sondarva1 month ago
why don't you use the arduino stepper shields with L293, you can
get them on ebay for less than 3 euro(incl.shipping):

or look at the schematics how to connect the L293 and 74hct595 to the arduino

hi i feel confusion in your given schematic please give me connection in given post photo, because of sir i want to make complete driver board for my CNC and 3D printer for same as your 3D printer.

easy drive.jpgnew.jpg
hcsaki1 month ago

Why is there a need for 4 dvd/blu-ray drives with stepper motors. Isn't 3 motors enough for the 3 axes?

Colberton1 month ago
Rough measurements for the metal frame please? I really want to build this. Thanks
Gelstronic (author)  Colberton1 month ago
done, see new/last step
Mj_monsion2 months ago
What voltage did you use for the CD drives?
Gelstronic (author)  Mj_monsion2 months ago
i use 5 volt with the L293 driver, later i change to the pololu driver and using 8 Volt
I need a ardino programme
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