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[Cutting costs down] Building the bare essentials only.

Posted by ishe7ata 
[Cutting costs down] Building the bare essentials only.
February 14, 2015 10:09AM
Dear all,

It's such a delight to land into the land of RepRap. I live in Malaysia and I'm planning to build one soon. I've to outsource most of the components of eBay.
However since the exchange for USD is really high, this is getting quite challenging. So I plan on building the bare essentials only, yet I'd be focusing on getting high price high quality for the components that matter. Anything else, I'll cut costs down as much as I can. So I plan on building the frame out of wood.

So for the motors, extruder, hot end, and power supply I plan to get top notch components off ebay and pay more for shipping.

Now my questions are the following:
1- Do I really need an end stop? looks like a luxury to me! can't I just tell the software not to move the motors beyond this point?!
2- Do I need the LCD screen and SD reader? I will always have my 3D printer next to my PC anyway! I can do away without that too right?
3- Do I really need TWO steppers for the Z-axis? I will use Bowden style extruder so the weight to carry will be much less. Can I get away with only ONE stepper on Z-axis?

I've made my BOM to check for best prices of Ebay. Can you please correct me if those components are not as good?

Electronics : [www.ebay.com]
Powersupply : [www.ebay.com]
Extruder: [www.ebay.com]
Hot-end: [www.ebay.com]
Heatbed : [www.ebay.com]

for the motors i've found a local dealer. So total so far, still so many things missing, I'm hovering around 150$.

What do you guys think?
Re: [Cutting costs down] Building the bare essentials only.
February 14, 2015 03:24PM
Quote
ishe7ata
1- Do I really need an end stop? looks like a luxury to me! can't I just tell the software not to move the motors beyond this point?!
2- Do I need the LCD screen and SD reader? I will always have my 3D printer next to my PC anyway! I can do away without that too right?
3- Do I really need TWO steppers for the Z-axis? I will use Bowden style extruder so the weight to carry will be much less. Can I get away with only ONE stepper on Z-axis?

1) You don't need endstops for the maximum axis positions but you will need them for the minimums (home).

2) No, you don't need SD card reader and LCD, however, you can expect print reliability to suffer until you get your computer configured right, and then may still have problems, especially if you have pets or little kids at your house.

3) No, but two steppers is usually the cheapest way to do it. The alternative is to use a single motor with a continuous belt and pulleys, the cost of which is higher than the cost of a second motor. I don't know of any mechanical configuration that would work with a single motor/screw alone.

Cheap motors, screws, guide rails, belts, pulleys, and bearings are all pretty much the same - you get what you pay for.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/14/2015 03:27PM by the_digital_dentist.
Re: [Cutting costs down] Building the bare essentials only.
February 14, 2015 04:50PM
1. It is possible to set the home positions manually by sending G92 commands. But endstop switches are cheap anyway, so I suggest one per axis.

2. Apart from the possible problems listed in the previous post, you may find that print quality at high speeds suffers, because the serial I/O speed of the 8-bit Arduino may not be able to keep up with the printer. But you can certainly get started without an SD card, and with an attached PC you don't need a LCD.

3. Some designs such as the Ormerod use only one Z motor. Delta printers use 3 motors to do all the XYZ motion.



Large delta printer [miscsolutions.wordpress.com], Robotdigg SCARA printer, Crane Quad and Ormerod

Disclosure: I design Duet electronics and work on RepRapFirmware, [duet3d.com].
Re: [Cutting costs down] Building the bare essentials only.
February 14, 2015 08:16PM
Quote
the_digital_dentist
Quote
ishe7ata
1- Do I really need an end stop? looks like a luxury to me! can't I just tell the software not to move the motors beyond this point?!
2- Do I need the LCD screen and SD reader? I will always have my 3D printer next to my PC anyway! I can do away without that too right?
3- Do I really need TWO steppers for the Z-axis? I will use Bowden style extruder so the weight to carry will be much less. Can I get away with only ONE stepper on Z-axis?

1) You don't need endstops for the maximum axis positions but you will need them for the minimums (home).

2) No, you don't need SD card reader and LCD, however, you can expect print reliability to suffer until you get your computer configured right, and then may still have problems, especially if you have pets or little kids at your house.

3) No, but two steppers is usually the cheapest way to do it. The alternative is to use a single motor with a continuous belt and pulleys, the cost of which is higher than the cost of a second motor. I don't know of any mechanical configuration that would work with a single motor/screw alone.

Cheap motors, screws, guide rails, belts, pulleys, and bearings are all pretty much the same - you get what you pay for.

Thanks for your reply.
1) Can I still set the home position manually and the software will remember it?
2) No pets and no kids. I've seen many guides on the fine tuning of the printer and some say it's quite hard to get it right. So that's why they have this smart controller right? Can I add that LATER?
3) If it's the cheapest I will do it. smiling smiley

Quote
dc42
1. It is possible to set the home positions manually by sending G92 commands. But endstop switches are cheap anyway, so I suggest one per axis.

2. Apart from the possible problems listed in the previous post, you may find that print quality at high speeds suffers, because the serial I/O speed of the 8-bit Arduino may not be able to keep up with the printer. But you can certainly get started without an SD card, and with an attached PC you don't need a LCD.

3. Some designs such as the Ormerod use only one Z motor. Delta printers use 3 motors to do all the XYZ motion.

1) The thing is: end stops are around 20$ that's almost a 80 of the Malaysia currency here (RM) and THAT'S A LOT! So that's why I need to cut some edges!

2)So usually people copy to SD card and then go to the printer to print it?

3)I'll check those out then.

btw How about the printing accuracy of the reprap models? I know some advanced 3D printers can print moving parts. Is it possible on reprap?
Re: [Cutting costs down] Building the bare essentials only.
February 14, 2015 08:58PM
Endstops do NOT cost 20$!! You are being ripped off. I bought a set of optical endstops for even less (yes the ones with electronics so not the bare opticals).

The advantage of LCD+SD is that you don't need to have your pc on when you're printing. I had my pc once crash in the middle of an eight hour print and once it went to sleep killing the USB connection.. So I decided to only run from sd cards from then on. Keeping your pc on is for me a great disatvantage.


http://www.marinusdebeer.nl/
Re: [Cutting costs down] Building the bare essentials only.
February 14, 2015 09:04PM
Quote
Ohmarinus
Endstops do NOT cost 20$!! You are being ripped off. I bought a set of optical endstops for even less (yes the ones with electronics so not the bare opticals).

The advantage of LCD+SD is that you don't need to have your pc on when you're printing. I had my pc once crash in the middle of an eight hour print and once it went to sleep killing the USB connection.. So I decided to only run from sd cards from then on. Keeping your pc on is for me a great disatvantage.

I found cheaper endstops. But still, Is it an essential part of the build? Can I do without it?

Thanks for highlighting the build time. I think it makes more sense now. cuz maybe one part will take a day! I keep my PC on for a day, but that's not efficient to keep both Printer and PC running.
I think I can add the smart driver and the LCD later on
Re: [Cutting costs down] Building the bare essentials only.
February 14, 2015 10:16PM
End-stop switches should be super cheap. I don't know what you're looking at that costs $20, here's a couple examples of the typical switches: [goo.gl] [goo.gl]

What else are you looking at? If it's priced anything like the end-stop switches you're looking at you have a completely distorted view of the cost of a 3D printer.
Re: [Cutting costs down] Building the bare essentials only.
February 14, 2015 10:44PM
Quote
the_digital_dentist
End-stop switches should be super cheap. I don't know what you're looking at that costs $20, here's a couple examples of the typical switches: [goo.gl] [goo.gl]

What else are you looking at? If it's priced anything like the end-stop switches you're looking at you have a completely distorted view of the cost of a 3D printer.

No man wait a minute that's really cheaaap!

look at this [www.ebay.com]
they are the same right? or what?

I've got electronics for 27$ is that still expensive?
Re: [Cutting costs down] Building the bare essentials only.
February 15, 2015 09:48AM
Quote
ishe7ata
No man wait a minute that's really cheaaap!

look at this [www.ebay.com]
they are the same right? or what?

Those are the MakerBot-style boards, which contain additional electronics to light a status LED and occasionally fry a RAMPS board when wired incorrectly. Just buy the raw switch. You don't need the other stuff.

Stupid question - Why are you fixated on buying from eBay USA when you are in Malaysia? Most of the stuff you linked above comes from China anyway, and for you China Post shipping is probably much faster than it is to North America. Why pay the markup and have to ship it across the Pacific twice, when you can probably get the same exact stuff on aliexpress.com at a much better price?????
Re: [Cutting costs down] Building the bare essentials only.
February 15, 2015 05:33PM
Those are probably OK, but they come with cables to fit a specific machine. If your machine is a different size or it uses different connectors the provided cables are going to be useless. You still have to figure out how and where to mount those little PCBs. It's probably easier to buy the switches and just wire them the way you want/need then to try to shoehorn parts from a different design into your machine.
Re: [Cutting costs down] Building the bare essentials only.
February 15, 2015 06:19PM
To be honest... I think the whole question is a bit redundant. Reprap machines are already the bare essentials. Every decision made in the design of a printer like the i3 for example is purely based on functionality. There are a lot of functions in the machines that are simply needed to start and finish a print with reasonable result.

You can buy a lot of Chinese parts, but don't buy a Chinese hotend.


http://www.marinusdebeer.nl/
Re: [Cutting costs down] Building the bare essentials only.
February 16, 2015 07:56AM
Quote
vreihen
Quote
ishe7ata
No man wait a minute that's really cheaaap!

look at this [www.ebay.com]
they are the same right? or what?

Those are the MakerBot-style boards, which contain additional electronics to light a status LED and occasionally fry a RAMPS board when wired incorrectly. Just buy the raw switch. You don't need the other stuff.

Stupid question - Why are you fixated on buying from eBay USA when you are in Malaysia? Most of the stuff you linked above comes from China anyway, and for you China Post shipping is probably much faster than it is to North America. Why pay the markup and have to ship it across the Pacific twice, when you can probably get the same exact stuff on aliexpress.com at a much better price?????

Thanks for clearing that up.
Well, I'm not in love with USA but I just resorted to ebay by default. But then with AliExpress is the quality of the components will be good?

Quote
the_digital_dentist
Those are probably OK, but they come with cables to fit a specific machine. If your machine is a different size or it uses different connectors the provided cables are going to be useless. You still have to figure out how and where to mount those little PCBs. It's probably easier to buy the switches and just wire them the way you want/need then to try to shoehorn parts from a different design into your machine.

Alright thanks man....

Quote
Ohmarinus
To be honest... I think the whole question is a bit redundant. Reprap machines are already the bare essentials. Every decision made in the design of a printer like the i3 for example is purely based on functionality. There are a lot of functions in the machines that are simply needed to start and finish a print with reasonable result.

You can buy a lot of Chinese parts, but don't buy a Chinese hotend.

Thanks for the honesty man.... I sincerely appreciate it. It took me some time to understand this. I though some things weren't really essential at first.

So all chinese no worris, but hot end get from US?
Re: [Cutting costs down] Building the bare essentials only.
February 16, 2015 08:23AM
Quote
ishe7ata
But then with AliExpress is the quality of the components will be good?

Interesting question from one who tries eBay everywhere. eBay is kind of a flea market, to say it politely. Zero guarantees on quality. Manufacturers caring about their reputation usually stay away from there.

We have a Buyer's Guide. Needs some surfing through all the shops to find low prices.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: [Cutting costs down] Building the bare essentials only.
February 16, 2015 09:09AM
Quote
Traumflug
Quote
ishe7ata
But then with AliExpress is the quality of the components will be good?

Interesting question from one who tries eBay everywhere. eBay is kind of a flea market, to say it politely. Zero guarantees on quality. Manufacturers caring about their reputation usually stay away from there.

We have a Buyer's Guide. Needs some surfing through all the shops to find low prices.

I use eBay because I know how to spot the good sellers from the bad ones! and PayPal is covering me too. That's the only reason.
I will look into the guide in more details.... I will also check Aliexpress later...

cheers!
Re: [Cutting costs down] Building the bare essentials only.
February 16, 2015 10:39AM
Hey, while some parts may be good from Ebay, it's usually used as a second store from shops that also run their own online shop.

Fleamarket would be a good name, as mentioned before winking smiley I bought very cheap opto endstops once from there, but they were actually from the same shop I found before, only cheaper. Turned out they didn't even have the opto kits anymore, so instead they just sent me the opto endstops that were already assembled and they worked flawlessly.

It takes a bit of experience to know where you can buy something and even still I run into trouble sometimes.


http://www.marinusdebeer.nl/
Re: [Cutting costs down] Building the bare essentials only.
February 16, 2015 12:46PM
Quote
ishe7ata

I use eBay because I know how to spot the good sellers from the bad ones! and PayPal is covering me too. That's the only reason.

I wouldn't count on PayPal covering you. They may resolve an issue in your favor, but that doesn't mean they will actually return the money. You will be much safer using a credit card and use their dispute resolution.
Re: [Cutting costs down] Building the bare essentials only.
February 16, 2015 01:06PM
Quote
ishe7ata
1- Do I really need an end stop? looks like a luxury to me! can't I just tell the software not to move the motors beyond this point?!
You need endstops to create a reference point where your unit to home and zero out it's position. With a Cartesian-style printer (i3, Mendel, etc) X and Y probably could be manually set but you wouldn't want to have to recalibrate your z-axis every print. You want something that doesn't move that can set the exact point and remember it, whether it's at z-min or z-max. Just use a couple of snap action microswitches. They don't have to be optical, hall effect, FSR, etc. Just a good old snap action will last longer than your printer most likely and will set you back a whole $1

Quote

2- Do I need the LCD screen and SD reader? I will always have my 3D printer next to my PC anyway! I can do away without that too right?
Yes, you don't have to have, albeit forcing you to use a computer or a raspberry pi for instance to interface with your printer.

Quote

3- Do I really need TWO steppers for the Z-axis? I will use Bowden style extruder so the weight to carry will be much less. Can I get away with only ONE stepper on Z-axis?
Depends on your printer design. Mendel and i3 style printers usually use two motors to keep both sides in sync. You could use belts or a drive shaft to link them, or some designs like Ormerod have a cantilevered arm that don't require two motors.
Re: [Cutting costs down] Building the bare essentials only.
February 17, 2015 12:49AM
Alright guys,
thanks for clarifying things up. I checked up AliExpress way much cheaper. I'm ordering some parts soon.

I will post a new post if I have any other questions.

CHEERS!
Re: [Cutting costs down] Building the bare essentials only.
February 23, 2015 04:55AM
Hi there ishe7ata ,

I live in Malaysia too, in fact in kuala lumpur.
I ve been following this forum for quite sometimes, I learnt my 3d printer mostly from this forum,
and there are a lot of great people here.

I acquired my first 3d printer about 9 months ago from china. It lacks documentations and other stuffs,
but this forum helps me to go through the installations. Now I got myself a fine working machine, but of
course, it contains some flaws here n there.

Then about 4 months ago, I took the courage and built my own 3d printer, and at the moment i am doing calibration on it.
Maybe I can offer some help to you to achieve your goal.

Thanks!

THIS FORUM IS GREAT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Re: [Cutting costs down] Building the bare essentials only.
February 23, 2015 06:22AM
Quote
drunkenraptor
Hi there ishe7ata ,

I live in Malaysia too, in fact in kuala lumpur.
I ve been following this forum for quite sometimes, I learnt my 3d printer mostly from this forum,
and there are a lot of great people here.

I acquired my first 3d printer about 9 months ago from china. It lacks documentations and other stuffs,
but this forum helps me to go through the installations. Now I got myself a fine working machine, but of
course, it contains some flaws here n there.

Then about 4 months ago, I took the courage and built my own 3d printer, and at the moment i am doing calibration on it.
Maybe I can offer some help to you to achieve your goal.

Thanks!

THIS FORUM IS GREAT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hi, thanks for your reply, very happy to hear this smiling smiley


http://www.marinusdebeer.nl/
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