Introduction: The D-Bot, My Self Made Reprap.

Picture of The D-Bot, My Self Made Reprap.

After I bought my first printer and began printing for friends, I felt I could use a 2nd printer. Instead of just buying a 2nd one, I came up with the idea to build a reprap. I had a printer, so I could print the parts. You could buy the other parts everywhere on the internet, so that wasn't a problem either. I began creating a design that was easy to built, compact, cheap and still accurate. Continue reading to see if I succeeded!

Step 1: The Idea

When looking online for repraps, I did not find any that I really liked. They all looked complex with nuts and bolts everywhere. None of them were what I was looking for. I began thinking of designing one myself.

There were a few requirements my printer had to meet:

- Compact: I wanted a large build platform, but an as small as possible printer.

- Cheap: I was on a budget, I didn't wanna go over €400. I would have to use allot of 3D printed parts to do this.

- Simple: It had to be straight forward, simple to build

- Accurate: It had to produce high quality prints, as high or higher then 3D printers on the market. With this in my mind, I went creating.

Step 2: The Design

Picture of The Design

While designing, there were allot of problems that came up. A compact design, while still keeping a rigid frame for high quality prints. It was allot harder to accomplish than I expected.

To keep costs low, I did not want to use 2 motors for the Z-axis. But I really liked how the prusa's were made, they were allot more compact than those big box printers. So I just went for a prusa style, but I left away the other motor and the rod on the other side of the bed. This gave me allot of things to think off. The frame had to stay rigid and balanced, so I went for thick 12mm rods for the Z-Axis. This gave me a lot of stability, but the weight of the 2 rods for the Z-Axis would still make this axis sag, so I placed the X-Axis motor and the extruder motor on the opposite site of the Z-Axis rods, compensating the weight of the X-Axis. This way the whole Z- and X-Axes was a lot more stable.

The extruder was another problem. Direct drive extruders were pretty expensive, even on Ebay. This would bring up the price, wich is what I had to avoid. By designing my own extruder, that is printable, I could get rid of this cost too. I went for a direct drive extruder, driven by an MK8 gear. The design is simple, but effective.

After tweeking and tweeking and redrawing pieces, I was finally ready after a few weeks from beginning this project. At this point, I still didn't knew If I met all my requirements or, worse, if he would even work...

Step 3: The Parts

To keep costs low, I had to search for cheap parts. I ordered allot of my parts from AliExpress and Ebay. These sites were good for allot of stuff: bearings, belts, pulleys, fans, cables, motherboard, powersupply,... But I had to keep the quality in mind, so for rods, linear bearings, motors,... I went for known brands. These were more expensive, but this way I could make sure there wouldn't be any quality loss because of low quality parts.

Step 4: The Assembly

Picture of The Assembly

When all the ordered parts where here and the to-be-printed parts were printed (that took my a lot of time...) I was ready to assemble. This was a part I knew would go easy. I focused on this when designing. The hardware build took me less than 2 hours! Shortening cables, setting up Marlin,.... took a little longer. I was ready for a first print after a few hours.

Step 5: The Printing

Picture of The Printing

From the first print I was impressed already. It was surely not perfect, but I was so happy he actually printed! It was a simple cube.(pic.1) The corners curled up, so I added a fan and the problem was gone. I experienced some backlash to, but I implemented an easy belt tension system so by just tuning a screw, this problem went away. I began using this printer allot, and it always gave me awesome results. I'm now using it more than my first printer, because it is a lot quieter and it sits on my desk, so I can always have an eye on the print.

Step 6: The Verdict

For me, this was a very successfull project. The printer accomplished all the requirements and is now printing on a daily base for a few months already and I haven't had a single problem with it yet. The printer prints up to 200x200x170mm. It's equipped with a heated bed and E3D clone hotend. As far as the price goes, I came up with a total of about €300, this is €100 under my budget. I couldn't be any happier!

Thanks allot for reading my instructable. If you have any questions, just shoot!

Step 7: Make One Yourself!

Now, after reading what it is capable of, it is time to make one yourself! If you are interested, I uploaded all the .STL files and a parts list (parts you need next to the printed parts). You can just download them, buy the other parts and begin to build! How awesome is that?

Because this is still a work in progress, that will probably never be finished, I have no manual or build plans. Because of the simplicity of the design it shouldn't be to hard to assemble. Run into problems? Send me a private message and I'm happy to help. If you find faults in the design while building, please also send me a message. This way I can edit the parts so that future builders won't run into these problems. Thanks for reading and happy building!


DougW30 made it! (author)2017-05-12


Thanks for your design. I've completed my version of your design which seems much different in appearance. It supports a 200x300mm bed with a Z-Axis height of nearly 450mm and I modified a couple parts to accommodate a wider base. (author)2017-03-30

I must say very nice construction. My all printers are typical cartesians but something is pushing me to give a chance this construction as well. Thanks for shaering this project.

BernardC10 (author)2016-07-06

Hi! printer looks amazing and since my wooden Repcrap has more and more problems (glue not withstanding hot summer mainly) i am looking for 4Nema17 printer and this looks, by far, the best. I have some questions (and i hope you are still looking at this thread):

How crucial for the construction are those 12mm smmoth rods? can they be exchanged with 8mm as for other axes? can you share source files for necessary changes?

Did you had any problem with wood being so close to heated bed? i know that heated bed is only 110deg C but i am always a little bit worry about leaving printer alone with wood so close to it..

Hey Bernard!

Thanks for the compliment. Yes, the 12mm's are crucial, otherwise you won't have a rigid Z-axis.

I've never had a problem with the wooden plate so close to the bed, but I've never gone above 60 degrees C so I can't tell for 110.

I could share the source files, but can't you just edit the STL's? Most programs are able to da that.

Kind regards,

DougW30 (author)2016-07-05

Here is my cooling ring (downloaded from Thingiverse) mounted to the Diamon Head Extruder Module.

DougW30 (author)2016-07-05

I modified the Foot2.stl file and created a rectangular hole which worked great for the micro-switch to flush inside. This gave me a few more millimeters (~50mm) of printable space on my printer plate's X-Axis.

AndreasDesmedt (author)DougW302016-07-05

Awesome man! I love it

DougW30 (author)2016-06-29

Here is a taste of what I'm making? Mounting a Diamond head extruder supporting upto three filaments. Still working on how I plan to set up the bowden units.

DougW30 (author)DougW302016-07-02

Belts installed, micro switches next. Shouldn't be but a week or so before my first test print starts. Will post details of the modifications I made to accommodate taller Z-Axis printing and the 200x300mm printer plate for much large printing. Also beefed up the Z-Axis Carriage as the bearing holder brackets were too weak and cracked immediately after installing the bearings.

AndreasDesmedt (author)DougW302016-07-02

Super sick! Do you have a picture of the z-axis carriage then? What did you do to the bearing holders?

How do you like the belt tension system?

Thanks for sharing!


DougW30 (author)AndreasDesmedt2016-07-02

I can send you the Z-Axis Carriage I modified if you can send me an email to dcwalmsley @

In the frontal view of the carriage, you will notice that both left and right side brackets broke when I pressed in the bearings. I plan to reprint this carriage and heat it to a point where the plastic is flexible enough to allow me to press in the bearings without breaking the brackets. For now it's rock solid although not terrible attractive.

I also added the cooling fan and ring I plan to mount to the Diamond Head extruder.

Konrad Mysza (author)2016-06-20

That's great! I'd like to build it. I think I will try when holidays end coz I will be albe to print it in school.

I have a question how much filament do all of this parts need (weight) ?

1kg spool was enough to print everything

DougW30 (author)2016-06-01

Disregard. I read further down that is should be 30x30x300mm.

DougW30 (author)2016-06-01

OK, I need help. How many teeth are you using for your GT-2 pulley?

AndreasDesmedt (author)DougW302016-06-01


MakerBox (author)2016-05-23

update: i have built it! thanks for sharing this, it works great and is a really good design considering it only has one z motor.

AndreasDesmedt (author)MakerBox2016-05-24

Show me some pics mate! :)

r.k.persson (author)2016-05-01


Shouldnt 30x30 aluminium extrusionbe in the parts list? How long should it be?

Sorry! It is missing indeed.

SHOULD BE 300mm!



MariuszJ3 (author)2016-05-08

nice - thinking of building it but your parts list is bit plain

any part numbers for the parts or where u got them

whats the best resolution that u got from the printer ?

istic (author)2016-04-29

I'm simple user, but I want to improve myself

I follow closely your creation (very attractive because singular, not expensive and seems easy to build). However, I have some questions:
- You actually use for the Z axis single M8 threaded rod and a nut? why not using T8 Lead Screw 8mm with Copper Nut? Not the same pitch?
- to couple the M8 threaded rod with the motor shaft coupler what you used?
- power supply 12V / 360W it is necessary? or a supply may be used 12v / 240W?

- linear bearings (8 and 12) are the same lenght? Whitch dimensions exactly?
- How to upload the firmware Marlin in Arduino?Can i directly use the Zip file Marlin

- I have a starting base: a Rapman V3.1 and MB Replicator that are broken. Actually, the Rapman is a bit old and not very accurate; MB replicator has migthyboard board burned. ue can I get that corresponds with your machine?

I hope buit it soon

Thank you for your answers and your help.

pantalone (author)2016-04-29

Really awesome job. You managed to get a very large build platform in a very small space, and the result looks neat, tidy, and professional (more so than many of the commercial printers).

EricK62 (author)2016-04-28

This looks simple and well designed. Did you use a CAD modeling software (like Solidworks AutoCAD, or Inventor) to create the entire design? I was just interested in whether there is original CAD files available instead of STL files for the components and a 3D assembly with the rest of the non-printed parts. I like to have native CAD to work with if/when I make mods or updates to designs.

meisenbaugh (author)EricK622016-04-28

Google Sketch-up for pros or free version works for those with skill also works well and it's free not like auto cad. Only the professional version cost a little. Proper use and apps can a 2 D or 3 D printer create stunning models as well.

Build_it_Bob (author)2016-04-28

Great job ! I am impressed with the planning and the results.


WayneH36 (author)2016-04-28

Are you going to make your design available on-line? Ever think of making a complete parts list available with suggested sources?

tward6 (author)WayneH362016-04-28

Everything you are looking for is included in Step 7. I just finished downloading all the files and have not yet checked the parts list for sources.

DougW30 (author)2016-04-28

Hi Andreas,

I did a quick review of your parts list and noted that there are a few things that would be helpful to know if you could add them to it.

What power supply would you recommend as well as the motherboard?

I recently built a laser engraving table from a this website ( and MichealD99 created a great BOM list which also provided links to where he ordered his parts. I know that it a bit more work, but it certainly helps those interested in building a exact clone of your great design and I'm sure it will add brownie points towards votes in your favor. :-)

Keep up the great work. OBTW, I'm impressed with your design and plan to build another printer but I'm thinking of dual print heads. Any suggestions and recommendations on adding this to your design and making it successful?


Doug W

tiff3d (author)2016-04-22

I feel ya. I can never find a big print area 3d printer. I am also looking to build one for making big parts. maybe some where like 25x25x35" inches. would like to build a robot so this build area will be nice. plus I want to make custom parts for my Honda shadow bike. cant wait.

manomesrobian (author)tiff3d2016-04-28

U r 3d designer. Do u live in USA.?

Nextprojectawesome (author)2016-04-28

Dude this is awesome! Great job. You mentioned established brands, which ines?

MarkB35 (author)2016-04-28

If I am reading this correctly, I would already have to have a 3D printer to make this new one.

pmcclellan1289 (author)2016-04-28

Just FYI, to "allot" is to set something aside for a purpose. A lot of something is several, many, or much.

Grammar aside, great build!

amartinez86 (author)2016-04-24

Too bad I have no idea or got a 3d printer or the money to make one. It looks madly amazing. I hope you win. You got my vote

Thanks allot for your response!

knightd23 (author)2016-04-19

Hi Andreas,

Thanks for your work. I would like to know, if possible, what's type of printed are? PLA or ABS? Other question is possible to provide the code that receive the data from the computer and ativate the right outputs from the board?

AndreasDesmedt (author)knightd232016-04-20


I just added the preconfigured Marlin firmware! Just flash it to the Ramps and you're good to go!

knightd23 (author)AndreasDesmedt2016-04-20


AndreasDesmedt (author)knightd232016-04-19

Hi. Mine is printed in PLA and works flawless. I will upload the firmware for the board in the following days ;)

schiaucu (author)2016-04-20

Hello, great job, would you like to send me the software files? I would like to build one for my friend as gift for his birthday. It does not afford to buy one. Thank you!

AndreasDesmedt (author)schiaucu2016-04-20


I just added the preconfigured Marlin firmware! Just flash it to the Ramps and you're good to go!

AndreasDesmedt (author)schiaucu2016-04-20

I will upload the firmware in the following days, happy building and don't forget to vote!

srah1 (author)2016-04-19

Great job! Looks awesome.

AndreasDesmedt (author)srah12016-04-19

Thanks, feel free to make one :)

zencuke (author)2016-04-18

The design looks quite nice. I particularly like how compact it is. How did you design the printed parts? Did you start from scratch or were you able to copy any of them from other projects? I usually have to do several iterations (for each part) before I end up with something that works, i.e. fits etc. A project like this would have taken me months. If you did it in weeks I'm impressed.

zencuke (author)zencuke2016-04-18

Any chance you could put part files etc on github and link to it here? More pictures would be nice as well. It is hard to get a good feel feel for your design just from two almost identical pictures both from the same perspective.

AndreasDesmedt (author)zencuke2016-04-19

Added pictures and files now! Check the latest step ;-)

zencuke (author)AndreasDesmedt2016-04-19

Great. Thanks.

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