Monthly Archives: May 2014
We’ve built a lot of medium to large sized 3D printers but, we haven’t ever tackled a small or mini 3D printer. I just came across some 5-6mm rods with matching bushings so I thought, ” why not?” Since we are still working on our Aluminum Plus, I figured that I can start on the mini printer while building our Plus. I will continue to update as I go. All design ideas and concepts will be laid out here for others to use.
I’ve started to draw up different designs to see what will work and what won’t work with a mini 3-D printer. I don’t want to dump a ton of money into this build as it’s more of a fun side project. I also want to keep costs down to show that 3-D printers can be built cheaply as I’ve done in the past. More than likely I will use a RAMPS 1.4 controller to run the setup because they can be had for a reasonable amount of money. I’ve started to stockpile parts and separate things that I think will go great for this build.
Here’s a quick design I threw together using Sketchup. I also kept in mind the parts I have available.
My plans for this printer once it’s finished is to use it as a teaching aid. It will be great for transportation, due to its size. Eventually, I will more than likely I will donate it to someone that would have a good use for it.
Update: June 1st 2014
A few more parts that I have collected include Kevlar string which I plan to test with a pulley setup as well as some UMHW that will be used as a swappable bed. I will be custom designing the majority of pieces due the space constraints.
I’ve always wondered wether or not Brook would release a CNC machine. I got the answer to that question when he released info on a CNC machine plan to be released late fall. Brooks goal was to make a beginner CNC machine that was both easy to use and affordable to the beginning user.
CNC machines are what we call subtractive manufacturing while 3-D printers are considered additive Manufacturing. Having both would definitely cover the majority of needs for a small to medium sized shop. A good portion of us advanced users started off with multi-axis CNC machines. I was lucky enough to have CNC experience passed down to me through friends and family. The first 3 axis machine I had ever built was a desktop sized CNC machine. The nice part about desktop sized CNCs is that they are typically large enough for most projects but, still small enough to fit in most spaces. Printrbot’s CNC looks to fall in line with these types of setups.
Printrbot’s CNC shows lots of promise with a wireless setup that will allow you to operate the CNC from your iPad. From what we’ve heard, the build is open source with the control setup being excluded. The reason behind the closed source control software is due to it being built outside Printrbot’s shop. Early pictures show that it comes with a nice controller case with a large emergency stop button that is a must when owning a CNC. Having completely enclosed electronics is also important due to all the dust that builds up during operations. No word yet on if Printrbot will offer a dust suction system which would help to keep the particles to a minimum. Nema 23 motors are used on this platform which are quite a bit larger than what were used to.
I can imagine that Printrbot will continue to let their CNC platform evolve after it’s release in the late fall/winter timeline. I do know that Brook has a lot of passion when it comes to both CNC and 3-D printer design. This passion translates into a great product at an affordable price. RepRap Squad will defiantly be following the progress on Printrbot’s CNC and updates will be posted here.