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Basic DIY project planning - help request!

Posted by Bonscha 
Basic DIY project planning - help request!
November 01, 2014 08:46AM

I just found out about budget builds of 3d printers and all this stuff. Before knowing there is a large community taking on diy 3d printer projects, I thought that you'd have to have lots of money for buying such a device.

Now I really consider building a reprap, but I'm not sure which model, which components to use and for which things to look.

I don't expect you to give me all info I need without looking for it myself, but I hope maybe you can make it a little easier to find stuff giving me hints in which direction I should look.

I thought about having a printer capable of ABS printing. I have a workshop where I'm able to (more or less) manufacture basic parts from wood, metal and basically any other material, so I would build the frame from wood until I have printed parts for it. I have seen pretty cheap parts on banggood, where I pay 50 € for what looks like the arduino, RAMPS, stepper controllers and LCD, 10 € per motor and the PSU I can get cheap and quick from my workplace. The printed should be able to maybe print 20x20x10 or slightly bigger if possible. A fine print would be nice, maybe exchangeable nozzles? I don't know about speed differences for different nozzle sizes, but I tend to have time for a print and won't need it asap...

For me, at this point in time, at the beginning of all planning, the following two questions have to be answered:
  • Which model should I build? What's the most advanced at the moment?
  • What will be the costs for the electronics/electrics and the over-all costs?

Seen on banggood: Set 1, Set 1, Motors, Endstops

I'm looking forward to some comments so I can read further on specific threads and guides. Thanks in advance! smiling smiley
Re: Basic DIY project planning - help request!
November 01, 2014 12:25PM
  • The Prusa I3 model is pretty popular and easy to get parts for.
  • The over-all price will depend where you´re from and how long you are willing to wait(china orders).

Prusa I3 kits www.schufco.com
Re: Basic DIY project planning - help request!
November 01, 2014 01:07PM
Hello Schufco,
maybe you had the chance to take a quick look at the links to banggood. Waiting time and ordering in China are no problems for me. What interests me is if those parts are actually useable or if they are just cheap junk. In which case, obviously, I wouldn't order them.
If anyone can confirm the quality of those items is okay, or give me a quick glance at possible downsides, that would be great.
I don't feel like burning 100 bucks for chinese crap, if I can avoid it... smiling smiley

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/01/2014 01:09PM by Bonscha.
Re: Basic DIY project planning - help request!
November 01, 2014 02:08PM
All of those parts are ok for your project, although i myself do not have experience with RAMPS 1.57. I only use ramps 1.4.
The Mega2560 is not original Arduino, but a clone. This is no problem.
Try to keep your orders light and small, probably split the orders to avoid import taxes.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/01/2014 02:13PM by Schufco.

Prusa I3 kits www.schufco.com
Re: Basic DIY project planning - help request!
November 01, 2014 04:52PM
I use a 1.5.7 board which is an Ultimake clone. There are two problems with this board.
1. The power supply connection is not designed for a heated bed. I route my heated bed to an external Fet switch.
2. It is not as common as the ramps boards so you have to know what you ar doing re setting up pins and plugging in drivers.. Most people will answer a question assuming you are running ramps 1.4.
I program my own microcontrollers so I am used to reading schematics and circuit board tracking of pins but I would not recommend 1.5.7 board to anybody that wants hand holding.
Re: Basic DIY project planning - help request!
November 02, 2014 06:25AM
So we will tackle this project as a team, 2 of us will do the metalwork on the frame and small parts while waiting for the electronics from China, and then we will try to assemble it when all three of us are together for christmas...

We will build a Prusa i3 sheet variant. Nice-looking and seemingly easy to build and maintain. I have seen full build instructions on Youtube, which was very helpful. Most questions are answered, but not all.

  • We intend to use 1.75mm filament, for intake precision purposes. Is this the only factor we have to look at? 3mm seems more common to me. Why ist this so?
  • Will the motors I have linked above work fine or should we look for 47mm long ones?
  • What will the max load of the running printer be? I have access to nearly all meanwell power supplies, which I can obtain very cheap (though some may take months to come). I have found out that the kit from nwreprap contains a "30 watts" PSU, which, at another place, is a "30 amps" one. This may work if driven at 1 volt, but I doubt this is the case... I assume 30 watts @ 12v are the minimum?
  • I didn't find something about what springs to use. Can anyone give me info about these?
  • The same for the heating resistor, though I assume a banggood "rod" will do the job.

This is about as far as I've come overnight, and I assume the parts will cost about 200 € over all.
Re: Basic DIY project planning - help request!
November 05, 2014 06:41PM
Just a warning, I bought the "Aurora" Prusa i3 from Alibaba.com. Nice kit but the X AXIS motor mounts are printed instead of injection molded. The parts were so crooked that the motors bound. I had to cut and wedge one to get the feed rods and screw feeds to line up. I have since printed these parts myself and they are straight and square. Machine works well now. Instructions were all but useless. For $300-$400 you could do much worse. Thanks to this chat room and the major learning curve dealing with many problems I have learned so much. Knowing what I know now I would get the Mendel i3. At least it's common enough to get help when things go wrong. Good luck.
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