In 2011 I became interested in 3D printing. Being able to design and print objects was (and still is) an amazing concept to me. After reading more into it I decided to buy a Makerbot Thing-o-Matic 3D printer kit, which was the go-to 3D printer kit for hobbyists at the time.
A couple years later I ran into the limitations of the Thing-o-Matic printer and I wanted a 3D printer that was more rigid and had a bigger build volume. Instead of buying an off-the-shelf printer I decided to try to build something better on my own. I liked the versatility and features of Makerbeams and I chose to build the frame of the printer out of those.
The printer went through many iterations (as can be seen by the various colors of plastic used in the printer) and I have experimented with several motion systems during that time. In the end I ended up settling on the CoreXY motion system.
In short, the CoreXY motion system allows the stepper motors, which are generally the largest part of inertia in a 3D printer, to remain stationary. As a result larger accelerations and faster printing are possible.
Further details and pictures of the 3D printer are shown below.
A time-lapse of the printer in action.
Extruder: E3D Titan
Electronics: Smoothieboard, Raspberry Pi for wireless control & camera
Build volume: 200 mm x 200 mm x 280 mm (~ 8″ x 8″ x 11″ )
Files & Print Settings
If there is anyone who is interested in the .STL files of any of the 3D printed parts of the 3D printer, please leave a message and I will upload them somewhere.
The printer works superbly and is able to print in high detail. The rigid Makerbeam frame in combination with the printed lightweight moving parts allows for fast printing without loss of quality.
Over the course of this project I learned a lot, not just from designing and building the printer, but also from the many problems that I encountered and had to solve along the way.
If you liked reading this article or have any questions about this project then feel free to leave a comment or check out some of my other projects linked on the all projects page.