Introduction: RGB STEEL - Low Cost, Steel Frame, Color Mixing 3D Printer

Picture of RGB STEEL - Low Cost, Steel Frame, Color Mixing 3D Printer

The RGB STEEL 3D Printer is intended to be a nice looking, low cost, strong carbon steel frame, compact, color mixing, easy to assemble reprap 3D printer.

The machine is a redesign of the famous steel frame P3Steel 3D printer, with the advantage that now it can be equipped with a Diamond Hotend that allows for color mixing 3D printing, and lodge at least 5 bowden extruders for even more color mixing.

This instructables also servers on how to install a diamond hot end onto any reprep like machine using ramps 1.4 and Arduino Mega.

Have a look at the build process here:

Step 1: The Open Source Design

Picture of The Open Source Design

The 3D design of the entire machine is opens source, download and open it using sketchup. All sizes are in 1 to 1 scale.

Download sketchup here: http://www.sketchup.com/

Step 2: List of Materials

Picture of List of Materials

Here is a list of materials you will need:

1 - Laser cut carbon steel frame

6 - Smooth rods

8 - LM8UU Bearings

2 - M5 threaded rods 32cm each

2 - GT2 belts

2 - 28 teeth pulley

3 - Mk8 extruders

1 - Diamond hotend and fan

3 - E3D extruder heatsink and heatbreak

2 - 5mm ot 5mm motor couplings

1 - 210x200x4mm glass sheet

28 - M3x12mm screws

8 - M3x30mm screws

36 - M3 nuts

1 - Arduino Mega 2560

1 - Ramps 1.4

1 - Arduino CNC Shield

6 - Micro stepping drivers

7 - Nema 17 Stepper Motors

3 - Mechanical endstops

1 - 12V power Supply

1 - 12V Heat bed

2 - 100k ohm termistor

1 - Resistor for heating the Diamond Hotend

Step 3: Laser Cut Carbon Steel

Picture of Laser Cut Carbon Steel

Download the vector file in .cdr and .dwg format and have the parts laser cut on a 3mm carbon steel sheet or similar metal.

RGB CARBON STEEL Frame characteristics:


- Allows top center LCD mounting

- Allows up to 5 Bowden Mk8 extruders

- Allows up to 5 filament spools

- Allows up to 5 extruders (still untested)

Step 4: Y Axis Assembly

Picture of Y Axis Assembly

Mounting the Y axis is the same as the P3Steel version:

http://reprap.org/wiki/P3Steel_Y_axis_assembly

Step 5: Y Axis Assembly

Picture of Y Axis Assembly

Mounting the X axis is the same as the P3Steel version:

http://reprap.org/wiki/P3Steel_X_axis_assembly

Step 6: Z Axis Assembly

Picture of Z Axis Assembly

Mounting the Z axis is the same as the P3Steel version:

http://reprap.org/wiki/P3Steel_Connecting_X_axis_and_Z_axis

Step 7: Painting the Parts

Picture of Painting the Parts

If you intend to print the parts follow these instructions:

http://reprap.org/wiki/P3Steel_Steel_Frame_Parts_Painting

Step 8: RGB Logo Back-Light

Picture of RGB Logo Back-Light

In order to implement back-light for the RGB STEEL logo, i used 3mm Cristal acrylic panels. The process is simple, you just need to cover the acrylic panels with a red, green and blue piece of thin plastic in order for the white light to turn red green and blue.

You than need to power the LED's using 12V from the power supply.

Step 9: Wiring the Eletronics

Picture of Wiring the Eletronics

Follow the wiring diagram and make all the connections.

List of components:

1 - Arduino Mega 2560

1 - Ramps 1.4

1 - Arduino CNC Shield

6 - Micro stepping drivers (x y z E0 E1 E2)

7 - Nema 17 Stepper Motors

3 - Mechanical endstops

1 - 12V power Supply

1 - 12V Heat bed

2 - 100k ohm termistor

1 - 1 Resistor for heating the Diamond Hotend

Step 10: Mounting the Diamond HotEnd

Picture of Mounting the Diamond HotEnd

In order to assemble the Diamond Hotend, you need to have the following list of items:

- 1 Diamond Hotend

- 3 E3D V6 or lite heat sinks

- 1 fan for the Diamond Hotend

- 3 units of 40 cm 4mm2mm Teflon tubing

- 6 Teflon tubing adapters

Here is the original post for instructions on reprap.org

http://reprap.org/wiki/Diamond_Hotend

Step 11: Mounting the Triple Bowden Mk8 Extruders

Picture of Mounting the Triple Bowden Mk8 Extruders

You will need to mount the MK8 extruders to the top o f the frame as shown in the photos.

The MK8 extruders are fixed using 1 screw onto the frame.

Step 12: Filament Spool Holders

Picture of Filament Spool Holders

The filament spool holder was designed to allow 3 spools for filament, but can easily carry up to 5 spools.

Step 13: Triple Bowden Extruders for Color Mixing

Picture of Triple Bowden Extruders for Color Mixing

The Teflon tubes should have the same lengths i used 50cm. So you will need 1.50meters of Teflon tubing. Here are some tips on how to install the Teflon tubing.

http://reprap.org/wiki/Diamond_Hotend

Step 14: The Repetier Firmware - Configuration.h

Picture of The Repetier Firmware - Configuration.h

Download the repetier firmware at the end of this step.

Here are the main config options in configuration.h:

#define NUM_EXTRUDER 3 // number of physical extruders

...

#define MIXING_EXTRUDER 1 // must be on for mixing colors

...

#define EXT0_TEMPSENSOR_PIN TEMP_0_PIN // same termistor pin for all extruders

...

#define EXT1_TEMPSENSOR_PIN TEMP_0_PIN // same termistor pin for all extruders

...

#define EXT2_TEMPSENSOR_PIN TEMP_0_PIN // same termistor pin for all extruders

...

#define HEATED_BED_SENSOR_PIN TEMP_3_PIN // pin for heat bed termistor

Step 15: The Repetier Firmware - Pins.h

Picture of The Repetier Firmware - Pins.h

Here are the main configuration options you need to have in pins.h:

#define ORIG_E2_STEP_PIN 64 // connect to step X pin onto CNC shield

#define ORIG_E2_DIR_PIN 59 // connect to direction X pin on CNC shield

#define ORIG_E2_ENABLE_PIN 44 // Connect to EN pin on CNC shield

...

#define TEMP_0_PIN 13 // same pin for all 3 extruders using the same termistor

#define TEMP_1_PIN 13 // same pin for all 3 extruders using the same termistor

#define TEMP_2_PIN 13 // same pin for all 3 extruders using the same termistor

...

#define TEMP_3_PIN 14 // pin for heat bed termistor

#define E0_PINS ORIG_E0_STEP_PIN,ORIG_E0_DIR_PIN,ORIG_E0_ENABLE_PIN,

#define E1_PINS ORIG_E1_STEP_PIN,ORIG_E1_DIR_PIN,ORIG_E1_ENABLE_PIN,

#define E2_PINS ORIG_E2_STEP_PIN,ORIG_E2_DIR_PIN,ORIG_E2_ENABLE_PIN,

Step 16: Setting Up Repetier Host for Color Mixing

Picture of Setting Up Repetier Host for Color Mixing

First Install repetier host:

https://www.repetier.com/downloads/

Than open and select printer settings:

- Number of Extruders - 16

- Check box for Mixing extruders

Now put the RGB values for each extruder including the names for each color:

1 Cyan R0 G255 B255

2 Ocean R0 G191 B255

3 Blue R0 G0 B255

4 Violet R169 G0 B255

5 Magenta R255 G0 B255

6 Raspberry R255 G0 B169

7 Red R255 G0 B0

8 Orange R255 G159 B0

9 Yellow R255 G255 B0

10 Spring Green R191 G255 B0

11 Green R0 G255 B0

12 Turquoise R0 G255 B191

13 Cyan-Brown R83 G106 B106

14 Magenta-Brown R106 G83 B106

15 Yellow-Brown R106 G106 B83

16 Brown R83 G83 B83

Reference [ http://reprap.org/wiki/Repetier_Color_Mixing ]

Step 17: Repetier Host - Configuration for Color Mixing

Picture of Repetier Host - Configuration for Color Mixing

Insert this code onto repetier host printer settings - scripts

; Cyan
M163 S0 P1

M163 S1 P0

M163 S2 P0

M164 S0

; Ocean

M163 S0 P5

M163 S1 P1

M163 S2 P0

M164 S1

; Blue

M163 S0 P1

M163 S1 P1

M163 S2 P0

M164 S2

; Violet

M163 S0 P1

M163 S1 P5

M163 S2 P0

M164 S3

; Magenta

M163 S0 P0

M163 S1 P1

M163 S2 P0

M164 S4

; Raspberry

M163 S0 P0

M163 S1 P5

M163 S2 P1

M164 S5

; Red

M163 S0 P0

M163 S1 P1

M163 S2 P1

M164 S6

; Orange

M163 S0 P0

M163 S1 P1

M163 S2 P5

M164 S7

; Yellow

M163 S0 P0

M163 S1 P0

M163 S2 P1

M164 S8

; Spring Green

M163 S0 P1

M163 S1 P0

M163 S2 P5

M164 S9

; Green

M163 S0 P1

M163 S1 P0

M163 S2 P1

M164 S10

; Turquoise

M163 S0 P5

M163 S1 P0

M163 S2 P1

M164 S11

; Cyan-Brown

M163 S0 P2

M163 S1 P1

M163 S2 P1

M164 S12

; Magenta-Brown

M163 S0 P1

M163 S1 P2

M163 S2 P1

M164 S13

; Yellow-Brown

M163 S0 P1

M163 S1 P1

M163 S2 P2

M164 S14

; Brown

M163 S0 P1

M163 S1 P1

M163 S2 P1

M164 S15

Step 18: Adding a Multi Part Object for Printing to Repetier Host

Picture of Adding a Multi Part Object for Printing to Repetier Host

Add a multi part object to your print plate and position each part in the correct location. Than assign a color to each part.

Select one of these objects at the end of this page for a first print test:http://reprap.me/diamond-hotend.html

Step 19: Color Printing Results

Picture of Color Printing Results

More photos coming soon waiting for colorful filament to arrive :)

Comments

avaccaro (author)2016-11-25

Nice Instructables: thanks for sharing.

I have one question on your kit list: is the CNC sheield actually needed? Wouldn't it be possible to directly interface the RAMPS board with the stepper driver?

mulapreta753 (author)avaccaro2017-05-29

RAMPS only supports 5 (five) engines and to use Diamond it takes 6 engines. Expansion is for this engine.

ncp10 (author)2017-04-07

How to connection a cnc shield wiring to Ramps 1.4 .

jcelnino (author)2016-10-31

Good Morning,

it is possible to find the file is in dwg to Parasolid?

thnks

Make Zone (author)2016-09-12

is it loud?

pedroamz (author)2016-09-01

Great job.

Thanks / Obrigado

aldricnegrier (author)pedroamz2016-09-06

You are wellcome :)

datnewsome (author)2016-07-12

What is the build size of this 3D printer? And would it be better to get the parts and build it or just but it off the site?

aldricnegrier (author)datnewsome2016-07-24

Hello Datnewsome,

It all depens on your budget, your time and experiance builing 3D printers.

Ks Pey (author)2016-06-16

Can you make a clearer illustration about what pins should I connect the components to the CNC shield and RAMP 1.4 board?

aldricnegrier (author)Ks Pey2016-06-29

Hello, the eletronics wiring image is 5512x3228 pixels, just zoom in to find the pins.


MaxunmM (author)2016-06-14

Hi, some of the electronic components that you have here I cannot find the same models that you use in your build. If you could provide a link to where you bought the electronics from I could finish the build.

aldricnegrier (author)MaxunmM2016-06-29

Hi, I get all electronics from china, try aliexpress.

alan christo (author)2016-06-03

what is the total cost of making it ?

It depends on your suppliers and shippiing costs, probably 399 USD to 599 UDS.

thank you :)

lmarques1 (author)2016-06-02

Nice project, I will do one for myself.What is the size of the smooth rods?

lmarques1 (author)lmarques12016-06-02

And the size of the GT2 belt

aldricnegrier (author)lmarques12016-06-12

The same as P3Steel V2.5

aldricnegrier (author)lmarques12016-06-02

The same as P3Steel size V2.5.

  • 385mm for version 2.5
  • 2x Ø8x341 mm for the Y-Axis (350mm for versions 2.01 and 2.5 of the frame).
  • 2x Ø8x320 mm for the Z-Axis. (330mm for version 2.5)

I will update the instructables with these values as soon as i can.

jdahl2 (author)2016-06-02

Thanks for sharing this very useful guide. I have all the parts except for the frame. And I think I'll spend some of my upcoming summer vacation on building one.

aldricnegrier (author)jdahl22016-06-12

Nice :)

MaxunmM (author)2016-06-02

Hi, I'm actually looking to make one of these and would like to know what thickness metal to buy if you can only get the steel in imperial sizes?

aldricnegrier (author)MaxunmM2016-06-12

3mm

RobotHacker (author)MaxunmM2016-06-02

The standard for 11 gauge steel sheet is closest at 3.04mm.

John T MacF Mood (author)MaxunmM2016-06-02

NASA sure should have used this "Calculator" trick on the first mars rover "FAIL"....

John T MacF Mood (author)MaxunmM2016-06-02

If you're using Microsoft Windows there is a unit converter in the"Calculator" thing, just tell it the from and to conversions, and you'll find your size in Imperial. I got no help for you on Apple, I can't stand their stuff, won't use it, wouldn't take it if uit was a gift or prize, except to sell it.

Most Android phones have access to many converter apps in the play store.

RO Mechanic (author)2016-06-04

Thank you for sharing. I really would like to look closer to your mechanic assembly. Could you please make a stp file from the skp one?

STP? i cant export to stp in sketchup, i need a plugin i think. Just install sketchup i think it is the easy solution.

Zantial (author)2016-06-03

can you when it maks not too much work add a list were i can get the parts or the exakt name that i can googel where i can buy it?

by the diamond Head i have no clue what i need and what not

lilshawn (author)Zantial2016-06-03

it would probably be best you just buy an already assembled machine. it sounds like you are just looking to have fun building one, perhaps look into the simple metal kit. it comes with everything you need...just put it together.

https://printrbot.com/shop/simple-metal-kit/

aldricnegrier (author)lilshawn2016-06-12

Not bad, but no color :(

rhercher (author)lilshawn2016-06-05

I love the simple metal, but it's a single filament only. They discontinued the add on board that lets users add additional extruder drivers (plus there isn't much room to add more hotends on the boom arm

aldricnegrier (author)Zantial2016-06-12

All items are easy to find, please google all the necessary items. If you have difficulty finding some item just message me.

AndreasV14 (author)Zantial2016-06-04

I have that problem to

ʎʇʇəqı (author)2016-06-05

what is the length of the gt2 belt?

Just copy the build of the P3Steel v2.5.

ʎʇʇəqı (author)2016-06-05

also, is stainless steel suitable for the frame?

Yes all steel is just fine, just make sure your laser can handle stainless steel.

Edgar (author)2016-06-08

Parabéns! Here's a Blog post where you come first on the News: http://faz-voce-mesmo.blogspot.pt/2016/06/algarve-diy-3d-elecrow-cooperar-criar.html

aldricnegrier (author)Edgar2016-06-12

Thank you Edgar. Thanks for sharing.

joaoduarte (author)2016-06-12

Cool work Aldric!

aldricnegrier (author)joaoduarte2016-06-12

Thank you Joao ;)

JasonRumler (author)2016-06-06

I am planning on making one of these for my first 3d printer. I have access to several at my University, but want one for my home. I downloaded the drawing for the frame, but when I view them in E-drawings, the units come out very strange. Just to make sure, all of the units are in mm, correct?

lfoss (author)2016-06-02

Just one comment:

RGB STEEL seems to be using orange, green, and purple filament. Perhaps OGP STEEL would be more appropriate? =P

aldricnegrier (author)lfoss2016-06-02

Nice :) great observation i am waiting for cyan magenta yellow to arrive, RGB is a catchier name than CMY :)

DhanyS (author)aldricnegrier2016-06-04

Very Interesting made 3d print, like Prusa Product. Share information your produtct is great. i see complete part on your website, expensive price to available coming Indonesia. :)

ChuckF9 (author)aldricnegrier2016-06-02

You could call it CYM STEEL. (Sounds like sim)

aldricnegrier (author)ChuckF92016-06-02

Not bad, but RGB STEEL, just seals the deal :)

Pa1963 (author)2016-06-02

The laser cut frame is pretty, but if I were to build one, I think I would build it out of stock tubing/channel. I think it would be cheaper. You'd pay a bit more in material cost, but I think you'd save money by not having to pay for laser cut parts. If I was buying one, the savings in shipping cost might make the laser cut plate price more attractive. Thoughts, anyone?

About This Instructable

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Bio: Do not follow the ideas of others, but learn to listen to the voice within yourself. Aldric Negrier aldricnegrier
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