The D-Bot, My Self Made Reprap.





Introduction: 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

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

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

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!

3D Printing Contest 2016

Runner Up in the
3D Printing Contest 2016

2 People Made This Project!


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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.

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..

1 reply

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,

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


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.

1 reply

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.

3 replies

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.

D-Bot Modified.jpg

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!


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.

50mm Cooling RIng.jpgz-carriage.jpgZ-Carriage-Modified.jpg

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.

2 replies

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

1kg spool was enough to print everything

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

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

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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.

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

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Sorry! It is missing indeed.

SHOULD BE 300mm!