Building my first 3D printer - Prusa i3 rework based
June 25, 2018 03:39AM
Hi Folks.

I have been quite obsessed the last couple of months with the idea of building my own 3d printer. I love DIY and making, and now that i'm all grown up (not quite, boys will be boys after all), I am trying to build my own RepRap. I am using the RepRap i3 Rework as a base, using 10mm threaded rods for base construction, 10mm threaded rods for the z-axis, and 10mm stainless steel rods for the x & y & z rails, along with LM10UU bearings (got some extra ones laying around). I am using the latest version of the Marlin firmware from the official site, and I have moved to Repetier from Pronterface, as I could not get the M119 command to send correctly from Pronterface (something in the python file was causing an error, so not quite sure what I did wrong), even though it works fine in Repetier.

I have started gathering the materials I need over the last few months, and am coming to a point where I need some advice/guidance. I have had a frame laser cut from acrylic (i know, SS is the way to go for an i3 frame, but for the moment, cost is an issue, and I got the acrylic lying around anyway so I figured I would use it). I have all the electronics I need, and I have tested all the boards, endstops, chips and motors, to make sure everything is working before actually assembling the printer and having to diagnose issues, and controlling the motors from Repetier works perfectly (I have matched the correct wires on the nema17 for the correct movement etc).

What I am struggling with currently, is the fact that I have 10mm Stainless Steel Rods, instead of 8mm, and 10mm threaded rods for the z-axis instead of 5mm, thus I need to redesign the printed parts of the i3 rework. Things I have listed for potential things to look at are, bearing size (LM10UU vs LM8UU), Smooth rod sizes, threaded rod sizes, M10 Nut in Z carriages instead of M5, and fixing the spacing on the X-carriage.

I wanted to know if anyone has done this before, and if there is anything I need to keep in mind whilst building the new models, or anyone that has modified the models and could make them available to me? Any help or direction would be greatly appreciated!

P.S. Willing to post a build log if anyone is interested in following me along in my build process smiling smiley
Re: Building my first 3D printer - Prusa i3 rework based
June 26, 2018 06:10AM

I've built a similar, but not identical printer to you. Can I assume you're building a 1.5 Rework?

My printer started with a cheap frame laser cut to the S.Graber design that was going cheap in a closing down sale. I paired this with an i3 Rework printed parts kit bought from eBay. This was the first mistake lol.

The issue with my frame/printer choice is that the frame has slots for the lateral threaded rods on the Y-assembly to go into to brace the frame. Unfortunately the i3 Rework uses M10 threaded rods while the S.graber frame uses M8 threaded rods. This may or may not be the case with yours - it depends whether your frame has those triangular plates like the S.Graber frame does. I got round this problem eventually by getting some i3 Mk2 Y-corners (M8 lateral holes, M10 longitudinal holes) and a i3 Mk2 (M8) Y-motor mount printed.

The other issue with the i3 Rework (v1.5 anyway) is that it uses the Hexagon hotend. This isn't a problem but they're not as common as the E3D v6 and it's clones. If you use the E3D v6 with the 1.5 Rework extruder assembly and X-carriage, you'll find that a M12 inductive sensor doesn't sit at anywhere near the same height as the nozzle, and therefore has no chance of detecting the print bed. I eventually gave up with the Rework extruder and built up a i3 Mk2 extruder instead. So the only remaining parts of the Rework printed parts are the Z motor mounts and the X motor and X idler assemblies!

A good thing about going with the Rework design is that it's meant to allow T8 leadscrews so you should get better quality prints with respect to Z-wobble?

If I was going to do it all again, I'd probably stick fairly closely to the i3 Mk2 design as there is a lot of good documentation available, and lots of remixed parts on Thingiverse to allow you to tailor your printer to your needs without getting into drawing up your own stuff on CAD (that's fun too, but takes a while).

Another thing to watch out for is to reduce your acceleration and jerk values from the default Marlin values as they are way too high - I just got juddering on my Z motors before I reduced them. I can find my values if you'd like. I've blogged a little about the build but mostly about upgrades I've made since.

Hope this helps.


JK3D Blog - []
Re: Building my first 3D printer - Prusa i3 rework based
June 26, 2018 06:23AM
Good to know someone tried the follow the same avenue as I did.

I am using the Rework 1.5 frame design as a base for the printer im building, using 10mm threaded rods on the Y-Axis, but i am following the main Mk2 branch for parts, as they are being maintained.
I haven't actually decided which extruder to use, but I don't quite like the design that is on the rework branch, so I might discard that completely and use a different one since i'm planning to use a E3D v6 bowden type hotend.

This information helps a lot though, everyone else has basically just commented on what i'm doing saying I shouldn't even bother looking at the rework since its not being maintained
Re: Building my first 3D printer - Prusa i3 rework based
June 26, 2018 10:46AM
I've built a number of reworks with 10mm threaded rod for the y frame, 8mm smooth rod for x and y axis and 5mm threaded for the z axis and hexagon for the hot-end.
If I was to scratch build an i3 today I'd probably look at the MK2 with leadscrews etc. Though none of the reworks I have built needed "auto leveling" I understand why people want it, particularly if they have a China quality kit.

If I didn't already have 2 scratch built reworks I'd buy a genuine Prusa i3

My updated Instructable on our Prusa i3 Build
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