Easy build delta printer

From RepRap
Jump to: navigation, search

This will be a page documenting a delta printer design that can also be adapted to other designs that is made from inexpensive and easy to obtain parts, and can be made with simple hand tools.



Even though the cost of building or owning a 3d printer has been reduced significantly, it is still too expensive for most people.

Using pvc can reduce the cost significantly, and makes it easier for just about anyone at any skill level to assemble one.

The frame when assembled and glued together is strong, easy to scale to different sizes, and adapt to different types of printers.

The Frame

The frame consists of pvc pipe and fittings. PVC is easy to find, inexpensive, easy to work with and can be reinforced to be strong and rigid.
pvc frame

Pvc is fairly strong when short pieces are used, but longer pieces can be used also if you use a metal rod or wooden dowel inside of the tubing.

The fittings allow an easy way to adjust for specific angles.

The Slides

The slides consist of 3/4" fittings that have the top of a plastic PETE water bottle inserted into them, the process involves inserting the fitting into boiling water to soften it then compressing the bottle top into it. Since not all bottles are made with the same tolerance they should be tested to fit before installing them in the fittings. The bottle tops should slide freely over the pvc pipe but not have too much play, certain brands have better quality.

The fittings will soften in the boiling water after about two minutes, the water needs be at a pretty good rolling boil and you have to work fast before the plastic re-hardens, the key is to not deform the bottle top, I was successful on my first try.

The 1/2" pvc used for the uprights will need to be cleaned and polished, acetone works well though it evaporates quickly and is volatile. After they are cleaned and all of the manufacturer's ink is removed they can be polished with silicone based tire shine.

There are several advantages to using this type of slide such as low cost, they are easy to reproduce, have very close tolerances, and use recycled materials.
top cut with ratcheting pvc cutters
top inserted in fitting

Also the plastic has good wear resistance and slides easily over the pvc.

Motor mounts

The motor mounts can be made from any type of sheet materials including HDPE plastic sheets that were made from recycled milk jugs or printed on another printer. The nema 17 motors just fit in between the fittings.

It's important to note that not all pvc fittings are the same dimensions and using all of the same parts from the same

manufacturer will ensure they all line up properly.
motors mounted on hdpe

The Spectra line drives

The spectraline drives are made to be adjustable, easy to replace, durable, and cost effective. They consist of a threaded pvc fitting on the motor, a pulley with an adjuster at the top, and a retaining and tension system on the carriage. 65 pound test spectraline can be found at most major retailers and will glide easily over the pulley without damaging it.

The tension system can be adjusted so there is little to no backlash after the strings are properly broken in.
spectraline drive system
captive ball swing arms