Building my first printer
February 10, 2016 06:09PM
Hey everyone,

A while ago, I bought an Ormerod 1 and made my first prints with this printer. Now after using this printer, I would like to make some improvements (i.e. the IR positioning sensor and the mounting of the printbed). The problem with these improvements I want to make is that they need a complete redesign of some parts.

After some playing on Ebay, I found a cheap ramps 1.4 kit including arduino mega, ramps 1.4 shield, stepper motor drivers and optical endstops. This made me decide that i want to built my own printer the way I want the printer to be.
Because I have never done this, I think that it would help me a lot if people with more experience can give some advice.


To get a clear picture of what i wanted the printer to be, I made the following list of requirements:
- Closed housing (no moving parts that stick out of the printer)
- Stable construction for all axles
- Cheap build
- Simple build
- Parts widely availiable and easy to get
- Larger Printable volume than the standard 200*200*200
- The least amount of bought parts (with long delivery time)
- Space for all electronics, fillament and (raspberry)server inside.
- Stand-alone and via network printing
- Only connectors on outside: power, ethernet, USB? and HDMI?
- 1.75mm fillament (no technical reason, but just because I have it and there is no reason for changing it.)
- easy changable nozzle (.5mm for fast printing, and .3 for fine printing)

I did some research and the following models caught my attention:
- Darwin
- Simpson
- Kossel
- CoreXY
- RepRap Intro
- CubeX
- M3D
- Makerbot replicator

I think that the CoreXY is the simpelest to make with simple parts, so I think my printer will become something like that, But I want to mix different concepts, and I am still not sure if this will be the final product. (Any suggestions?)

Here are some specs that i want to use. Please comment if you think if i should do things differently or if I miss things.

- housing: wooden plates, connected with printed corner pieces directly holding the precision shafts for slider bearings. (500*500*600 mm)
- 10mm precision shafts for X and Y axis
- 25*35 glass printbed (scanner part) -- no heated bed, because my experience with it is not that great and I think I can do without (I print mostly PLA, and i can prep the bed with aceton for ABS)
- Z-axis lifted on 3*m8 guided by 2 8mm precission shaft -- belt driven by 1 motor.
- Arduino mega 2650, with Ramps 1.4 shield (Marlin software?)
- Optical endstops
- 4 Nema17 motors
- T5 timing belt
- 50W J-head hot-end (I dont see any benefits buying more expensive?)
- Old 150W ATX power supply (might get more if it is not enough)
- Printed parts will all be designed by myself (except for gears maybe?)
- Octopi (I already use it with my current printer, but i want to make it part of the printer this time)

I think that the mechanical parts won't be a problem. The basic elecronics won't be a problem as well, but i have never programmed an Arduino, and i already found out that getting the firmware installed and connecting to the Arduino gave some problems. Any help on this is apreciated!

At this moment I still have to order some parts of my electronics, and design a lot of printable parts. Because of other projects and long delivery time at Ebay, this might get a slow side-project.
The project at this state is not more than a concept, the parts that I bought, were a lucky deal, or parts I need anyway and need to measure for designing.

In not too much time, I will order the J-head hot-end to make a model of the parts. When I have all sizes, I will start making the basic lay-out of the printer.
If desired or requested, I will upload some renders of what the printer/ Parts is/are becoming when I start designing.

As said, I do apreciate every advice from more experienced RepRappers.
Re: Building my first printer
February 10, 2016 07:05PM
There is quite a lot of requirements

Picked up some points as I went though it.

Ditch the 150W ATX supply it won't supply the current needed to run everything.
Get one PSU with a rating of about <=20Amps. The ones that are used to power CCTV camera systems (each cam takes an Amp, they tend to power about 15-20 cams of one PSU) For example [eu.mouser.com] It's rated power is 202W

Using Ramps and Ardunio 2650 means setting/cooling stepper driver chips and can't be networked or support it's use. So your octopi will use the low bandwidth USB connection and have connection problems when uploading large files.
You be better of using a Duet board or a Smoothie as they have 32bit processors and support a web based interfaces and have network connections.

Use a lead screw upon the z-axis it's designed for the task as it's used upon CNC machines. Using a belt driven one will give, I believe loads of back lash
Believe a guy called richrap designed a printer which used fishing line to drive each axis that had no backlash.

Use a heated bed or enclose it if you going to print ABS, it loves to be warm rather then cold. Most problems with parts not sticking when printing with PLA
Are poor z-height setting, bed not level, twisted frames, axis not square to each other.
Last point produce a print head something similar to the Olsson Block so it's easy to swap nozzles

Good luck with the build, hope it goes well for you, research it well, check out some of the other folders (groups) upon the reprap forums


Supporting 3D Printers with Parts and Build services.
Printer: Ormerod 2 (528.4) Duel extruder set-up with Aluminium X-Rib, RRPro Firmware v1.11-ch (2016-04-08)
Re: Building my first printer
February 10, 2016 07:54PM
Thank you for your quick and helpful response.

To be honest, the list with requirements is a list of requirements combined with a list of wishes.

I guess that I have to buy another power supply then..however I am not sure about that power supply you linked me to because 24v.

I think that I will stick with the Arduino for now though. It was the first part I bought before I got serious about building the printer. I started some researching after I had the Arduino. If you say it is really worth the money, I can use another power supply (650W) I have laying around to get everything working (and learning during the process), see how it is working, and change if necessary.
And as far as I know does the octopi work exactly like pronterface? I can load the print to SD (which I wont have with an Arduino) or let it send the G-code during the print? That would mean that it would not matter how big the print is because the only difference is the time that it needs to print.

About the Z-axis: I meant to drive m8 rod ends with a belt, so that I would only need 1 motor. Short after posting, I found a nice web shop for leadscrews, so I will look into that.

Is there a possibility to buy a bigger heated bed than 200*200? All I can find on the internet is that size or diameter 200. Also my experience is that the bed takes ages to get hot enough to print PLA, and never gets to the temp needed for ABS (40W)
I also think it is quite easy to add later on?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/10/2016 07:57PM by reprap_newbie.
Re: Building my first printer
February 11, 2016 02:20AM
Yes you can get heated bads larger than 200 X200, but Arduino/RAMPS won't drive them without using either dual power supplies or an SSR. That electronics is a huge step backwards from the Duet. I suggest you get another Duet, or repurpose the one in your Ormerod. Use a 24V power supply, then you can drive a heated bed of to about 290W directly. You can turn up the voltage to 28V if you need more heating power.



Large delta printer [miscsolutions.wordpress.com], E3D tool changer, Robotdigg SCARA printer, Crane Quad and Ormerod

Disclosure: I design Duet electronics and work on RepRapFirmware, [duet3d.com].
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