Building a 3D Printer

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Intro: Building a 3D Printer

Hello and welcome back to another instructable from Switch & Lever!

We recently acquired a 3d printer kit, the Velleman K8200, a fairly low cost 3d printer with a high DIY factor, in that you have to assemble the printer yourself, complete with wiring and soldering.

In the following steps we chronicle the unboxing of the printer, the assembly and the printing and calibrating.

Step 1: Unboxing

Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lxZuI5CJpI


When picking up the box I was amazed over just how heavy it was, I had assumed that just some aluminium profiles and plastic parts wouldn't be back breaking to get home. In the end, that may be a good thing however, as weight tend to add stability to a construction as well.


The box was filled with bags and bags and bags of well labeled, or rather, well numbered, parts. Due to the weight I had half and half expected a heavy printed manual inside, but there was none. Instead the pieces came out and were ordered, going through the list of parts making sure nothing was missing.

Since everything seemed to be there, let's continue to the assembly part.

Step 2: Assembly

Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zqaOEqUuVQ


Now that we have all the parts all that's left is just to put it together! How hard can it be, I built models as a kid, everything should just snap together, right?

Wrong!

The online assembly manual of the K8200 is very detailed, filled with photos showing every little step you need to take, every little bolt which needs to be tightened. You do however need to take pedantic care in assembling the printer, as failing to insert something in one step will lead to a world of trouble seven steps down the line.

In the end, the build was easier than I expected though, even though there were some hiccups along the line. You should have some experience in soldering before taking on this project however, and some general experience in building and mechanics definitely doesn't hurt either.

It was definitely a fun build, but it took a couple of days on and off to finish. Finish it did though, and we're on to maybe the most exciting part, actually making the printer produce stuff, not just standing as a shining monolith of technical prowess.

Step 3: Printing and Calibrating

Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f92FHc5E8qM


I made the mistake, perhaps, of thinking that ABS could be easily printed off the bat. I tried and I failed, and I failed, and I failed. Frustatingly I thought I had spent my money and time in vain, on something as useful as an ice cube in the Arctic. The printer did print, but nothing stuck where it should, and the quality was horrid.

Eventually, over time, changing settings with every print the hurdles were slowly overcome. Slow by slow the K8200 started turning out parts which were not only decent, but actually quite excellent in their quality, considering that it's a FDM printer after all.

Step 4: In Closing

I hope you enjoyed this series of videos, and that it gave you a bit of an insight in how you can get a 3d printer yourself, without spending an arm and a leg, just a lot of your own time. If you have the money to spend there are better alternatives out there, yet I have no regrets in buying this printer. The alternatives are 3-4 times as expensive, and yeild not much better prints. I also, maybe most importantly, enjoyed myself immensely in the assembly and overcoming the issues the printer has.

If you would like the 3d model of the royal crown go to the YouTube page of the third video, the link is in the description.

Do you also have this printer, or perhaps a similar one also based on RepRap technology, please leave a comment below and tell us about your experiences.


Thanks for watching, see you next time!

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    40 Discussions

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    MAlky walky

    9 months ago

    i made Christmas decorations for you guys

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    kolgerprosperer888

    Reply 2 years ago

    Greetings: I'm very new to the 3D printing and I want to know what to look for in a printer. Cost is important (I'm cheap) and the degree of detail would have to be about what one would find on a 1/76th scale toy soldier. Maintenance and cost of use would also be considerations. Esentially, this is a 'toy' for me but eventually I'd like to see if there are more things I'd need it for.

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    jeffdeweprosperer888

    Reply 2 years ago

    No its a acrylic frame, This is the one I got, Stainless steel frame, really solid.

    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Upgraded-Quality-High-Precision-Reprap-Prusa-i3-3d-Printer-DIY-kit-with-2-Rolls-Filament-free/32342171432.html?spm=2114.30010308.3.54.omUMYe&ws_ab_test=searchweb201556_9,searchweb201602_4_10037_10017_10034_10021_507_10022_10032_10009_10020_10008_10018_10019,searchweb201603_9&btsid=af997ed1-4e43-4706-aba8-5a19ee51224c

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    JustinJHCS

    2 years ago

    It's a Kit Build is a loose term here

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    RaoA1

    3 years ago on Introduction

    I m a M.E student working on a 3d printer capable of doing single color printing .How can i transform it in to multi color printing with dual extruder? please help

    thank you

    2 replies
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    文杰谭RaoA1

    Reply 2 years ago

    add another ecturder,you can study the ultimaker or makerbot

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    Switch and LeverRaoA1

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    I would suggest asking at one of the many communities dedicated to building 3d printers. Without knowing more I cannot guide you with your question, nor do I unfortunately have the time to do so. Good luck!

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    headslant

    2 years ago

    Cool. Our school got this printer from a kind parent who donated the kit. between the lunches it took us a year to build it. :)

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    Yonatan24

    2 years ago

    I really like the look of that printer for some reason...
    Too expensive for me...

    1 reply
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    Yonatan24Yonatan24

    Reply 2 years ago

    Not that I would buy a printer because it looks good, I would buy one if it was a good quality one, I just like how it looks that everything is open

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    pgada

    3 years ago on Introduction

    Hi!

    Great instructable.

    I could not understand the proper reason of using heat bed. Besides using it as platform for building entire 3D print workpiece, what are its other uses?

    1 reply
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    Simitropgada

    Reply 2 years ago

    You need a heated bed to print ABS, otherwise it wont stick to your bed and ruin your print.