Building a Cheap 3d Printer

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3d printing, it sounds so futuristic...

Having the ability to turn a virtual object into something you can physically hold

I have to admit the thought of building a 3d printer sounded so complex when I began this project, I thought of 3d printers like something only the smartest engineer could create. The daunting task made me hold off buying a 3d printer kit until I realized how simple it is to create.

Today I hope to demystify the daunting task of building a 3d printer.

In reality, its quite simple to make! Not only is it simple, but its cheap coming in just under $100!

In my mind, I broke the build into easy parts; The Frame, The Wiring, and Testing.

Honestly thats all there is to it!

The best part about this printer is the features! I thought for $100 US I would get a piece of plastic that barely works but no!

It has sd card printing and even heated bed

I highly recommend you build this printer!

Lets get started

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Step 1: Watch the Video

Watch the video for an easy to understand quick guide on the project

if clicking above doesn't work, here is the link

Please let me know what you think of the video!

Step 2: Part(s)

Now normally, in my other instructables this is where the parts list would go.

However this Instructable is quite simple thanks to a great company called


3d printer:

Thats it.


Plus its extremely cheap Use this coupon "DH83D" to get $50 off until June 26 2016!

That means its under $100.00 !!!!!!

The best part is that it even comes with its own tools!

Step 3: Building the Frame

Using the tools that came with the printer its simple to assemble. Peel of the paper cover and screw in the plastic tabs. Its like a 3d jigsaw puzzle in a way.

Right now dont worry about the wires, just throw them to the side (organized)

One tip I have for you is to use a sharpie and write the size of screw and nuts on the bags. That way you already know which kind are which!

For me, the hardest part was tightening the belt. Really pull it with some muscle, the belt can take quite a large amount of force. The acrylic? Not so much...

Another tip, is when you are screwing in the threaded rods, I have learned most kits are too tight to screw in. The secret is a bit of WD 40 and a little muscle to get it in.

And when your done, you will have a skeleton of a 3d printer!

the acrylic looks great and fits well, the entire printer is very sturdy.

Step 4: Wiring

Uh oh.

This is where I'll lose some viewers.

Now its not rocket science, but this step gets a bit difficult.

One thing to keep in mind during this step is zipties. zipties, zipties and more zipties.

What I did was sort every wire into a catagory: Extruder, Powerbox, X axis, Y axis and Z axis

for example X axis catagory; X endstop wire, x axis steper motor wire then I ziptie them together, use some tape to tag the wires and then feed them towards the controller of the 3d printer.

The Powerbox is a bit confusing, in the build instructions the pictures were outdated. Make sure the positive red wire goes to V+. Dont fry your powerbox!

The tape comes in handy, simply read the tags and plug the wires into the corresponding slots.

Done! That wasn't to bad was it?

Step 5: Testing

Heres where I got my filament

I used white, but it seems to be out of stock currently

Now hopefully if you did everything right your printer should print from the start, simply plug in the sd card and hit print now. I would recommend printing something small.

Doesn't print normal?

The most common problem is an uneven bed. Heres how to fix it: put a piece of regular 8.5x11 piece of paper onto the bed. Now lower the extruder until it hovering by a sliver above the paper. Move the extruder to every corner and make sure its the same height.

Heres some of the thingiverse files I used to print (not my designs)

Sharkz by Muzz64

V29 (Whistle) by jzisa

Iphone 5c Case by sweaving

test, test, and test again.

Step 6: Done!

You're Done!

You just built a 3d Printer!

I recommend you check out to go find some more files to print

Thanks for reading this instructable please subscribe and vote!

Stay connected for future projects!

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    15 Discussions


    1 year ago

    If it is an SD card printer, it runs off of Cura... I've heard from my design teachers that it is too damn expensive for no reason.


    3 years ago

    To the Netherlands (EU) that will be €114,81 plus €160,87 =

    € 275,68.

    Possibly additional taxes when checked by customs office.


    3 years ago

    Not so cheap ! Printer + shipping for Canada : 155 + 177 - 50 = 282 US $ = 364 CAD.....if i buy it from a local shop it cost me : 389 CAD with autoleveling system

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    I'm not sure about shipping to other countires. Honestly though this is the best printer you can buy for such a low price.


    3 years ago

    It looked very cheap until i tried to order one. Doesn't matter if I use EU or US plug to order. Shipping to the Netherlands cost about $180.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Sorry I'm not sure about shipping to other countires, still $180 is cheap for a 3d printer!


    3 years ago

    hi. thank you for this post! wouldn't be possible to post a picture of the entire unit relative to some reference object? I want to see how large the assembled unit is. (want to get one, but not sure it'll fit in the apartment)
    Video is cool! I am sure you had fun producing it.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    In the video at 0:56 is probably the best reference to size shot.

    The print bed itself is about 220x220x240mm

    Just guessing id say its about 2 1/2 feet tall and about 2 feet wide

    Killer Turtle

    3 years ago

    I just ordered this one today. With the code amd shipping to US, it actually was $209.

    Size of print area is 220x220x240mm

    1 reply
    ConstructedKiller Turtle

    Reply 3 years ago

    Oh No! You could have ordered it from a different plug and saved money! I think you ordered it from a different country!