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Recommendations for a first build?

Posted by aumoin 
Recommendations for a first build?
May 11, 2017 10:58PM
Hi all,

My buddy and I are mechanical engineering students. We both have a couple of years of experience in using 3D printers and found them useful, so we were wondering about building our own in the hopes that it would be cheaper than buying a kit. He and I have been on robotics teams for years, so we have a good amount of experience in projects of a similar scale. We already got a hot end and bed heating element from a friend, which helps.

Any suggestions on what model to build (or buy, if it does end up being the cheaper option)? Thanks.
Re: Recommendations for a first build?
May 12, 2017 12:58AM
Being mechanical engineers and having experience in robotics and planning projects, I would say have a look around and design a printer that will suet your needs. Having a strong square base frame should be one of your main objectives, the rest should just fall in place. I think the real question here should be what to design and build, a cartesian, delta or corexy
Re: Recommendations for a first build?
May 12, 2017 10:59AM
Go here and look at what others have done and then either build one of their designs or make you own.


I built the Voxel OX Cartesian, and enjoyed the experience. The final product is outstanding, depending on you choice of extruder and controller. I went with a Prometheus Hot end and a Smoothie board for a controller. Enjoy!

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/12/2017 11:01AM by cwaa.
Re: Recommendations for a first build?
May 12, 2017 05:27PM
Buying the parts would never be cheaper than a Chinese kit, the less I have expended its around 220 dollars vs 160~180 for a kit, but designing and building your own printer is the way to go, in the process you will learn a lot and been able to customize your printer to your needs is a plus.

One advice: don't go too cheap. Get good quality electronics, motors and hotend. I'm not against clones in fact I use them a lot but I know what's crap and what's not, the better the components you buy the less amount of time you will spend trying to figure out the problems.
Re: Recommendations for a first build?
May 13, 2017 03:50AM
My usual recommendation for a first-time printer builder is the Prusa i3, especially the extra-rigid versions made of steel. The original design using threaded rod is pretty good, especially if you add suitable bracing. The reason I say this is that it's an amazingly easy machine to understand, which means that it's easy to locate and fix problems. Delta and CoreXY machines are not so easy, even though they can be better once working properly.

Do you have access to a 3D printer? If so, you can make all of the plastic parts for a Prusa, buy the pre-cut aluminium frame, and make up the rest from common hardware store parts (for the original Prusa i3 design). You can hone your skills getting this basic machine to work properly, then use it to make something more advanced in the future.

I took this route when I started - built a kit Prusa i3, found its limitations and made replacement parts, made bracing for the ali plate, changed this and that, and generally tuned the thing until it did what I wanted. I used it to make parts for a CoreXY design, which is still in the process of being tuned. At the moment, when I want to make a thing to the best of my ability, I still use the Prusa as it now does what I want without faffing around. Maybe in the future I'll get the CoreXY to the same level - I hope I will, as it can run much faster than the old machine!
Re: Recommendations for a first build?
May 13, 2017 12:16PM
o Get a Tevo kit or another one made of 2020 alu profiles. Assemble, tweak.
o Print HyperCube parts.
o Dissassemble Tevo, get additional 2020 profiles, pulleys, belts, bearings, etc.
o Build CoreXY HyperCube
o Tweak
o Design your own Delta.
Re: Recommendations for a first build?
May 13, 2017 12:39PM
Go Wild
Build a Helios


Folgertech FT-5

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