In my Freshman year of college at Drexel University I almost built and modified a 3d Printer kit for Freshman design, however I got talked out of it. So that summer i decided to take the plunge and design, source, and machine everything for my own 3d Printer. Here is what I have accomplished so far. Special Thanks to Diken Machine Inc. for teaching me how to machine, letting me use their machines and helping with the cost of metal.
I am the majority of the way through iteration number one of this project and planning for iteration number two. My end goal of this project is to make a truly innovative and quality 3d printer. My focus is on making a great machine that can be made with minimal machining, is cost effective, more or as precise as comparable 3d printers, and that contains most of the wants of the 3d printer owner. For this project I plan to have most parts machined because of the advantages of metal over wood and 3d printer plastic. Although this could be made with a 3d printer.
The below picture is very rough and was taken by a phone. The aluminum angle is actually straight but you get the idea. This is the progress of the first iteration and where i am at this point. I have z-axis movement of the table, x axis movement, a heated bed, working and working electronics. To be completed is extruders, y axis movement, and tidying up. I learned many things from prototyping the first iteration and plan to build the second iteration after the first iteration which will be better all around. Feel free to let me know what you think.
After much deliberation about what kind of frame to use to build a 3d printer i came up with my own. I choose to use aluminum angle and rectangle bar to minimize cost, pieces, and fasteners needed. I looked into many different types of frames from 80/20 to kits that contain hundreds of pieces for the base. A good foundation is key to any type of precision machine. The frame of this machine is innovative because it requires only basic machining to make the 12 frame members and the fasteners are 16 1/4-20 bolts and 32 dowel pins. Another nice thing about this frame is versatility. There are no special brackets necessary to hold linear rods and other components because the frame can act as a bracket depending on how it is machined. For instance on the first iteration of this project i use vxb supports which cost $8.00 a piece this added up considering i needed to for each rod. So for the second iteration I plan to tap both sides of the rods and use 2 bolts. Problem solved. This is cheaper and requires minimally extra effort.
When i first started on this project i had little knowledge of electronics and went with what was popular which was ramps 1.4, however soon after later into the summer Rambo came out so i decided to use Rambo being the latest and greatest. At this point in time i would consider Smoothieboard being that it has a 32bit microprocessor as well as a modified ramps 1.4 on an Arduino Due board.
Currently I have Rambo up and running. I developed support for a 20x4 LCD however didn't post documentation because it already exists and helped me set up my rotary encoded based control panel RamboLCD I used Sdramps for offline printing which required minimal to no work. I have implemented rgb led strip lighting for the printer on Rambo however haven't yet implemented it into Marlin yet. I will post this shortly. Something i would like to develop is wireless printing via a wifi radio connected to Rambo. You could connect through an Ad Hoc network and eliminate the need for a serial cable. If you have any questions or are interested in similar developments please contact me as [email protected]
J Head based custom ceramic extruder
Air tripper extruder Air tripper extruder
not sure yet
Slic3r most likely