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3D Printer Design Guides for Custom Machines

Posted by Trexation 
3D Printer Design Guides for Custom Machines
June 08, 2017 05:05PM
Recently I have taken on the task of trying to build my second 3D printer, I built a Repstrap-ish machine about a year ago but it has several fatal flaws that I hope to overcome. For the design of my second 3D printer, I am in search of information that details how to make a high-quality custom machine. I have read through Digital Dentists SoM guide several times but was wondering if there were similar articles on the design principles of a well built 3D printer that is not budget oriented (I plan to spend about $800+ and already have some of the components). I hope to compile a list of guides from some of the response here.

(None of these guides are my own work)
Son of MegaMax - http://www.instructables.com/id/An-Almost-Reliable-High-Precision-3D-Printer-Son-o/

Re: 3D Printer Design Guides for Custom Machines
June 08, 2017 06:11PM
My latest, Ultra MegaMax Dominator, has >2x the build volume of SoM and cost around $800-900 (it might take another $100 to finish up), and is considerably simpler to build.

See this thread: [forums.reprap.org] This thread contains the whole process from concept to construction including many mistakes made along the way. The end result is working very well. Principles remain the same- rigid frame, good bearings, and reliable electronics and extruder/hot-end.

I don't have the details ready for public consumption yet, but they will soon be posted to my own web site.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/08/2017 06:14PM by the_digital_dentist.

Ultra MegaMax Dominator 3D printer: [drmrehorst.blogspot.com]
Re: 3D Printer Design Guides for Custom Machines
June 08, 2017 06:31PM
I'm not aware of any 3d-printer specific documents, but positioning systems in general are extremely well studied. For our purposes linear motion is a solved problem. There might be some room for creativity in the low cost space, but people have been building vanilla cartesian motion for a long time.

The requirements of a 3d printer are not particularly different from those of pick and place, lasers, liquid handling, etc... Machine tools in particular have been studied for hundreds of years; and although the average machine tool is much heavier than a 3d printer the general principles still apply.

The most important principle to remember is that performance is limited by the weakest link. You can build a massive 4060 extrusion behemoth, but if the timing pulleys are mounted on m3 screws cantilevered into aluminum sheet it has all gone to waste.

There are also some general rules to follow when designing and assembling systems with linear rail but that will all be in the datasheets.

PS. Read the datasheets and application notes. Too many people use linear bearings on drill rod, when they clearly state they require g6 tolerance shaft with very specific hardness and surface finish requirements. If you are using Chinese parts check the webpages of the genuine article to learn how to properly use the parts.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/08/2017 06:33PM by 691175002.
Re: 3D Printer Design Guides for Custom Machines
June 08, 2017 07:05PM
While motion systems are well understood, the devil is in the details of construction using available materials, components, and tools. Most people building printers have neither the budget nor the motivation to find that stuff for themselves and want a BOM with links to order pages and pricing, and Ikea type step by step assembly instructions. I suppose they want to assemble it themselves because they feel it will be cheaper than buying a kit or ready made printer. A few of us like the challenge of designing, sourcing the parts, and building the printer without any instructions. It's a time consuming and sometimes expensive process, but the feeling of accomplishment is hard to match.

Ultra MegaMax Dominator 3D printer: [drmrehorst.blogspot.com]
Re: 3D Printer Design Guides for Custom Machines
June 08, 2017 08:10PM
Just came across this:


About this workshop
The SimScale DIY 3D printer workshop series enable students, 3D printing enthusiasts, and professionals to learn how to use engineering simulation for developing and improving the design of a 3D printer.

During three workshop sessions, participants will learn the fundamentals of engineering simulations and will expand their knowledge by improving the design of the RepRap 3D printer.

Every session comes with an optional homework assignment. Submitting all three homework assignments will qualify you for a free a certificate of participation.

There is no prior knowledge or software required to join this free workshop series. All participants will get free access to SimScale including all simulation features.


The DIY 3D Printer Workshop will consist of a series of 3 one-hour webinar sessions
The live, online sessions will take place on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. Central European Summer Time, with the first session starting on June 21st
Learn how to virtually test and optimize 3D Printer designs
Get dedicated and individual support to learn how to perform fluid dynamics, structural, or thermal simulations.
Receive a Certificate of Completion by submitting all 3 simulation homework assignments
Re: 3D Printer Design Guides for Custom Machines
June 08, 2017 08:20PM
The guides are out there. To compile it all into one source would be quite a book....

Like most complicated subjects though... It's sometimes easier to dive in and figure out the questions you need answering then to have it explained from scratch
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