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3D Printing Discuss 3D printed items and 3D printers as they relate to RC


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Old 06-29-2016, 10:09 AM   #1
jtcrowder49
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Default Let's build Our Own 3D Printer!

So, you think you want a 3d printer? Maybe you don't, or maybe you're just interested in learning about the process. Well, you came to the right place. I don't consider myself an expert on the matter, however, I've spent quite a bit of time around them.

Background:

I've spent the last two semesters here at UA printing various things hobby and school project related. In my spare time I volunteer at the 3D printing and prototyping lab called The Cube and I've taken a class on 3D printing processes. Over the last two semesters I've dealt with some of the nicest and worst printers money can buy. Including Stratasys Dimension, Objet, and the ever so awful Makerbot. Unfortunately, personal and hobby items must be printed on the Makerbots. The last two semesters the Makerbots have decided to act up so I decided enough is enough and it's time I invested in my own 3D printer.

Buying Vs Building

Maybe you've decided it would be fun to build one of these on your own or maybe you want to print something before the weekend and you have a wad of cash in your pocket just jumping at the chance to be spent on a cool printer to impress all your friends.

Honestly, this thread will be focused on building a machine. My personal opinion is you get more for your money and you actually know how to fix any issues you may have. If you really must buy something my suggestion to you would be to watch reviews from a 3rd party on YouTube. (Thomas Sanladerer)

Preliminary Design:

$400 or less. Is this possible? Without sacrificing print quality?

Originally, I wanted a decent cartesian (XYZ) printer. Nothing fancy. Just something to get the job done. I'm proficient in Solidworks and I had desired something simple to use with a large build space.

Unfortunately, the desk space I had available coupled with the build volume I wanted did not work out the way I had hoped. (Along with high cost.) So, I scrapped those plans and started over.

Design 1:

At a minimum I wanted something that could print ABS and PLA, but also had enough space to print 250 size FPV race frames. It needed to have a heated bed, heated build chamber, and still fit inside my allotted desk space.

I had taken looks at the Delta style (ABC) printers, and had shy'd away sue to their complex nature. In reality, this printer proved to be everything I was looking for while keeping the parts count low and having a simple design.

The basic parts I needed were:

A set of the 3D printed or milled aluminum pieces from the plans
Aluminum Extrusion for the frame
Tee nuts and M5 button/socket head caps screw

There are more parts, but I found these the most difficult to acquire. I was fortunate enough to get my plan parts printed at my university library and extrusion from eBay, however, all these parts can be bought from eBay.

At this point I had my design specifications and budget in mind, but how much of extrusion did I need? What about the diagonal rods for the effector (hot end carriage)? I had no idea! Luckily there are calculators on the internet now to help you figure all of this out.

To achieve a minimum build volume of 292mm round by 255mm tall (11.5x10 inches) I needed aluminum extrusion in lengths of 406mm and 750mm (16x29.5 inches).

This worked out great because the vendor sold lengths of 500mm and 1000mm.

Unfortunately, I was unable to find anyone who would cut the extrusion to length. I was able to call in a favor from a friend of mine but after thinking on it the task I was requesting was too time consuming for me to feel comfortable asking him to make 9 cuts on aluminum extrusion.

So, I settled for the lengths I could get ahold of and that was 500mm by 1000mm. This gave a slightly wider printer than I wanted but allowed more print space and height.

I ran with this design and will be documenting my build on this machine. It is worth mentioning that I am trying to keep the cost of this machine under $400 but it is not crucial. Print quality comes first to me.

The Build:

A more detailed parts listing and what I used with associated costs...

All plastic or milled plan pieces (kossel style) $0
500mm 6020 Aluminum Extrusion x3 $22.50 + 12.65 Shippnig
1000mm 2020 Aluminum Extrusion x5 $50.00 + 7.35 Shipping
3 GT2 16T timing pulleys and 6.5m of belt $16.85
3 GT2 16T idler pulleys $10.00
10 Pack LM8uu linear bearings 8mm bore $8.50
3 Mercury Stepper Motors from SparkFun (I had these) $0
RAMBo Controller Board (eBay auction) $49.00
Raspberry Pi 2 (I had this) $0
50 M5 tee nuts and 50 M5 BHS $19.85
Inductive Bed Sensor $3.99 + 2.60 Shipping
5 pcs pushrod damping spring $2.99 + 2.45 Shipping
5 pack NEMA 17 cork gaskets $5.85
Web cam 720p (I had this) $0

Cost to date (6/29/2016) $214.58

Next up on the purchasing list is the following:

E3D V6 Hotend I plan to go 12V with volcano pack
Six 8mmX800mm linear shafts
Heavy Duty all metal ball links
Some Carbon Fiber for diagonal rods

That should be enough for me to get the machine operational and dive into the firmware set-up.

I will also update as I continue with this project.

Delta 3D Printer Time-lapse Build (3 min 20 sec)


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Last edited by jtcrowder49; 07-10-2016 at 04:57 PM..
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Old 06-29-2016, 11:37 AM   #2
jtcrowder49
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Old 07-01-2016, 08:31 AM   #3
Baedarlboo
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Cool stuff, I built mine but it was a kit (PrintRBot). I've been able to print parts and buy longer rods to expand the print area. It's definitely easier to understand the printer if you build it yourself. Looking forward to your build.
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Old 07-03-2016, 09:12 AM   #4
wacojoe
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I scratch built a Prusa i3 and love it. Lots of fun building and learning about these machines. That was a year and a half ago, still using it and going strong.

Last winter I scratch built a OX CNC router. Boy you sure can whip out some foamies on that thing,
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Old 07-03-2016, 06:54 PM   #5
Baedarlboo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacojoe View Post
I scratch built a Prusa i3 and love it. Lots of fun building and learning about these machines. That was a year and a half ago, still using it and going strong.

Last winter I scratch built a OX CNC router. Boy you sure can whip out some foamies on that thing,
Nice, I was thinking of scraping the printRbot and using the guts for a Prusa build....but all my time got taken up by helis. lol
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Old 07-17-2016, 07:25 PM   #6
Plastixengineer
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I bought a kit from makerfarm, print mostly abs.

Works great, i recently went from slicr to cura. Loaded a file to work with the makerfarm i3v.

My prints look 100% better using cura, I am technical but I really can't say why.

I got sick of slicr not being able to produce gcode from my stl files.
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Old 08-26-2016, 10:59 PM   #7
jtcrowder49
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Hello everyone! I have not forgotten about the thread. I have been very busy ordering things and plan to update the post soon. Keep an eye out!
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Old 09-10-2016, 08:24 PM   #8
btb601
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Great, another project....LOL I was just thinking about this again. Sure would come in handy.
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Old 09-11-2016, 12:56 PM   #9
HeliJoel
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After playing with my i3 for a couple years I wanted something a little bigger and less flex. I bought some supported linear bearing rails, bearings, and then some ball lead screws for the Z axis. My plan is to build it into a steel cart. I wanted to use ball screws for X and Y but figure it would be too slow. My i3 originally had a Melzi controller but it kept dying. I bought an MKS RAMPS to replace it and it has been flawless since. I bought the same controller for my printer build.

Some day hope to get it done.

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Old 09-16-2016, 08:02 AM   #10
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I first bought a M3d, but print quality not what I was hoping for. Excessive backlash and proprietary software are the M3D's main drawbacks, however I was able to use it to build a Kossel Delta. Quality of prints on a delta is very good because there is virtually no backlash. However the limited build dimensions was a an issue for some of the projects I want to do. I'm using the delta to print a D-Bot CoreXY printer scaled up to 300x300x600mm.
I used to think that 3d printed parts were not that useful for my RC hobby, but have found proper slicer settings can get fairly strong parts.
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Old 09-16-2016, 08:25 AM   #11
jtcrowder49
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Default Let's build Our Own 3D Printer!

Just a quick update,

I have been trying to solve a few problems over the last few days (week). The printer seemed to have an issue when homing each axis. Specifically, it would move up the towers and get suck. I checked my wiring and checked it two more times after that. Cussed, and gave up. About 2 hours later I came back and tried changing the acceleration for each axis. That seemed to do the trick. It's now working (so far).

With the hope I gained from solving the first issue, I plugged in the hotend and ran PID auto tune. It worked, surprisingly, without a hitch! That was when I realized that a first print may not be that far in the future!

As of now, I have everything necessary to run the machine. Some of it is crudely attached for testing purposes.

I will update the 1st post after the weekend.

Oh, and don't hold your breath on the $400 budget.

Here is a tease.


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