Introduction: Dollo 3D: Self Replicating 3D Printer

UPDATE: not everything is up to date on this project.

If you are new to 3D printing this is not yet a good place to start. I am still working on the documentation and will be making assumably videos in the future. If you already have an idea of how 3D printing works then just know to use the most up to date files on the github repo and do you best. Use the pictures to guide you! yes it is a cube shape.

UPDATE 2: this printer does not come in different sizes, kinda

This printer does not come in different sizes, its not like a small medium large thing. This printer can print its self larger with the SAME files. you just print more of them. I also have the .scad files included if you want to (super easy) render out your own super long/custom length extension parts. I have a few videos on how to do this on my youtube account (same handle) and you should not be intimidated by using openScad it's super simple.

TIP: Don't over complicate things

This printer is stupid simple. If you are thinking its hard, or something isn't working right then you are probably just doing it wrong. This entire printer, and all of its variants in size, shape, and function, all use the same exact stl files I think only 12ish files can make you any type of printer/cnc you want to make with this framework.


a fully printed 3D printer

make sure you grab all of the files from it includes all of the .scad and .stl files along with custom firmware for your electronics board. If you need the files in any other format just let me know and I will export them in whatever way you need.


1) Make a 3D printer that can make as many of its own parts as possible

2) Have it so the machine can scale with little to no throwing away of old parts

3) Make it easy to assemble

4) Use no more than a single 1KG spool of plastic to make.

5) Make it as low cost as possible.

6) use parts that are each to find.

7) make it durable (since it can print its own parts this isn't super high priority)

8) hope people stop asking "what if you could 3D print a 3D printer" because of course you can and its not that unique of an idea


9 x rack.scad

13 x extension.scad

8 x corner.scad

156 x bow_tie.scad but extra never hurts

2 x x_spacer.scad

6 x motor_mount.scad

6 x twist_corner.scad

2 x large_gear from gears.scad

2x middle_gear from gears.scad

1 x gear_one from gears.scad

1 x hot_end_mount

3 x gear.scad

Metal parts we hope to get rid of in the future

11 x M3x40 for the motor mounts and bed gears

5 x M3x10 for the motor mounts and bed gears

4 x M3x20 for the z motor

4 x M3 lock nuts for the bed gears Electronics and other

1 x main controller board (we use RAMBo and also like the idea of printing the PCB and mounting the components your self)

3 x end stop switches we are trying to come up with a clever way of doing with with printed conductive parts

5 x motors

1 x hot-end or whatever tool tip you want really

1 x hobbed thing, gear or bolt

1 x bearing for extruder (might be able to print)

1 x heated bed

1 x glass/aluminum that fits on the bed

4 x springs and screw for leveling your bed.


Step 1: Build a Cube

start with the basic frame, take a single corner and butt joint all 3 extension pieces to it with all 4 bow_tie slots. then on the end of each of those add corner pieces then extension pieces again until you have built out a full cube shape.

Step 2: Flat Gears

Put on the racks. first you need to decide what side you want to be up, this really doesn't matter since it should be the same on all sides. Once you have figured that out, you can start putting your racks on the top of your printer with more bow ties add rack.stl on parallel sides and to the top of your remaining extension piece. each should have 3 racks on it.

Step 3: Mount the Motors

mounting your motors. first you will need to put a gear.scad on your motor shaft, then you can take a motor and put the motor_mount_small on it and screw in the single counter sunk screw on the bottom using a M3x10 and then put it on your printer rack and make sure the gear aligned with the rack teeth. once it does you can keep it on the rack and screw in your other motor_mount_small to the other side. (make sure to do this on the printer because if you don't it wont go on after) do this for all 3 racks and make sure the motor faces out.

Step 4: The X Axis

mounting the x axis. grab your x_spacer and put them on the end of what you already have assembled on the left over extension piece and then slide that into the motor mount on each side of the printer

Step 5: Get the Frame Ready for the Bed

Get the frame ready for the bed. First you need to prep you printer by taking the crazy looking twist_corner pieces and bow tie them to the inside of the printers frame mirroring each other but keep the bottom one out on each side

Step 6: The Bed

Now take a motor and mount put the gear_one on it and mount that to your bed, then take your middle_gear and put those next to the motor and then put your large_gear and large_twist together, and put those next in line.

Step 7: Putting in the Heated Bed

Putting the bed in. This can be kind of tricky, but you have to twist your bed so it goes inside the frame sideways and the you should be-able to twist it to make it fit in the frame with the corners sticking out. and this is why we didn't put in the bottom corner_twists, because now your bed sits just under them and once you have the electronics set up it will be able to twist into those and once its in the teeth you will be able to add your last parts under it. The bed sits in the printer at a 45 degree angle so that you can use the full bed size if you scale the printer up.

Step 8: Electricity

Electricity is fun. take all of your motor and put them into the correct stepper controllers making sure that your Y motors are plugged in opposite of each other. Plug in your electronics and make sure to upload the correct Dollo version of marlin. Once you have done this you should be able to move your motors and this is where you move your z motor in the negative direction (negative because that make the hot-end and the bed closer) and once it is up at the top, you can put your last twist_corners on your printer

Step 9: Hot Ends and End Stops

Hot ends and end stops. The Hot-end should be put in your hot-end mount and should just slide and clip into your x motor mount. The end-stops are up to you, they are made to slide into the frame anywhere you want, the x end stop has a custom mount so that it can mount into the moving x axis.

Step 10: The Extuder

Setting up the extruder. Not sure what extruder you are using so I left this a little bit open ended. You can use whatever bowden style extruder that you want, (if you want you can even model up a direct feed) as for mounting, the entire frame has slots on it, so just slide it in wherever works best for your application

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