Electronics Robotics Technology

3D Printer Build Started!

April 28, 2016

Well it’s official, I’ve started to build a 3D Printer.

The first few printed parts have arrived and they look fantastic. I’ve been printing the parts for a Prusa i2 at the local library, but they have restrictions on how much I can print. I’m limited to 3 pieces a week, so I calculate that’s going to be just under 15 weeks to get everything printed. But hey, it’s free, they aren’t charging me a dime for any of these parts so I can’t complain. They even have a couple of courses available so I’ve already taken their basic one and am signed up for the advanced class next month.

So now that I have the plastic parts rolling off the assembly line it’s time to start collecting the vitamins. Nuts, bolts, screws, threaded rods, smooth rods, motors, all the electronics. I already had some Nema17 motors I’d ordred off eBay, I’ve been ordering them for a bit since I knew I’d be building a 3D printer eventually and pretty much any model is going to need a few stepper motors. It turns out I’ll need 5 of those for this model, I already have 3 and one more en route. So as soon as I get paid tomorrow I’ll order the 5th motor. At $15 a piece that brings me up to $75 on motors, making them one of the larger costs of this project.

I also picked up some 608ZZ skate bearings at a local skateboarding shop, unfortunately they only came in 8 packs and I needed 5, but spares may come in handy so I went ahead and bought a set. They had some pretty expensive bearings there but I went with one of the more reasonably priced ones, $24.95 for a pack. Mind you they also had sets that were $64.95 and another in the $90 range. Yikes! I already feel like I got ripped off on these bearings because they’re dirt cheap on eBay and I’ve heard many people say they’re pretty good. But it was one thing the schematic said not to cheap out on, so I didn’t.

From here I’m going to work on getting all the nuts and bolts I need, as I think the next few pieces I print will be for the Wade’s Extruder and then I can get that assembled before the rest of the machine. I will also need a hobbed bolt for that, but I’m thinking of going the easy way and getting one off eBay for $6. Sounds way easier than making my own with the Dremel.

According to my calculations at 3 prints per week it’s going to take me about 100 days to get all the printed parts. I should be able to get the rest of the parts in that time. In 100 days I will have a 3D printer… I can’t wait 🙂

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