Category Archives: 3D printer

3D printer build – Z axis test

I got the last few pieces in for the vertical axis. Here is a quick video of me testing the movement. I might need to re-drill those top blocks as the alignment might be slightly off. Either way I am really excited how well it is coming along and hopefully Ill get a few days to work on it in the next couple weeks to get the gantry in.

3D printer build – z axis construction

So after a couple month hiatus I finally got back to working on my 3d printer. For Xmas my girlfriend gave me an awesome work bench which I will post a review about later. So after putting that together I sat down to add in my vertical (z) axis.
Originally the plan was to add in more blocks in the corner to allow a threaded rod to run the length. After cutting some blocks out I realized they wouldn’t fit. So instead I took the older/current ones off and added an extra hole on them.
These length wise rods would hold and allow adjustment of the stepper motors that control the vertical axis. I made the height line up so the flat wood piece would rest on top of the stepper motor when the motor sat level with the surface the printer is on.

Above is the blocks with all appropriate holes for the stepper motor, linear rod, and length wise threaded rod.
One thing I had been thinking abut was how to add the stepper and vertical control rod together. I finally came up with drilling a small block first with the size of the stepper motor shaft then drilling part way with the bigger control rod size. I would then add in some polymorph (awesome stuff) and while it was still hot, push in both shafts/rods. This appears to have worked really well but we will see how it holds up under use.

Still have all the electrical and some small support stuff to take care of before I can test it out. Super excited to get this working!

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.