This project started last year, there was an article Popular Science about a college professor that made a "3D printer." I remember thinking to myself "holy crap... I want one." Of course at that time $2300 was a lot of money for a high school student to shell out for a hobby. From then my goal has been to eventually have my own 3D printer.
After some research I came across the RepRap
project and decided it would the most cost effective route. I like making my own electronics and I was expecting the MakerBot Store
to start offering the motor controller PCB's again, but they never did. So I set out to create my own motor controller board. I wanted 4-axis stepper control, power regulation, parallel port connectivity (in case a CNC router became more important) and opto-isolated I/O's all one board.
This instructable follows the steps I used in order to create my Quad Stepper Controller.
Why a 3-D printer ?
- because they're awesome, they can create something from the ground up. This something can take almost any form that will fit inside of the printable area. All the 3-D printer requires is plastic filament and a design. Currently I am planning on building a RepRap
Mendel, buying it piece by piece in order to avoid knowing the full price :)
What will I print ?
- everything; the ability to print almost anything your imagination comes up with is priceless. Some of the things I might print could be enclosures, mounting hardware, tool holders, prototyped parts and of course RepRap parts to name a few.