3D Printer Build – Initial design and thoughts

For a while I have been looking at building my own 3d printer. I think this will be a great project that will challenge me and be fun while also being a great help to projects down the line. I have decided that I want to build the whole thing from scratch if possible then use it to produce parts to upgrade it. For the most part this decision was made because I felt like I wouldn’t be really designing and building it if I was using others plans and parts. This isn’t to say I haven’t looked at pictures of others and taken thoughts from it. It is one thing to reverse engineer something and another to just buy/use plans. I will therefore try not to buy anything 3d printer specific (like hot ends or their parts) but try to build them out of other off the shelf parts.

I have decided to use what seems to be the most common setup for the 3 axis of movement: The bed will move in one axis and the hot end will move for the other horizontal axis and the vertical one. It will be similar to the RepRap Prusa. RepRap has been an incredible source of knowledge. My main difference is I will not be using 3d printed parts in the original design.

RepRap Prusa

I also stumbled upon a guy in Germany who built his initial printer with wood and drawer slides. He did it because it was hard to source the parts in his area of the world. I will be self imposing this.

Anyways, I look forward to getting this project underway. I already have most of the parts to build the guide frame (precision rods, threaded rods, etc) that I got from McMaster-Carr. These are probably way overkill for what is needed but I got them at a good price and it is nice to know that I have guaranteed straight rods to start out with.