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.
So today I decided to take the plunge and order the laser cut parts required to change my PB original to the PB + laser cut version. I’ve debated buying the laser cut parts in the past but never pulled the trigger. The reason I decided to buy them now is the fact that they are offering the LC and LC+ V2 parts and vitamins for $75 until the may 2013. This only left me a few weeks to decide and I felt that if I didn’t order soon they would probably sell out before the end of the month.
The V2 version is a lot better design than the first in many different ways; it offers aluminum blocks for the z-axis mounts, (not included in $75 kit but can be purchased or made separately.) I will be making my own to save some cash. I already have the majority of parts needed to finish the PB+ LC. Things like electronics, bearings, belts, motors, rods and a few other parts. This should be a relativity easy transformation. Another part I will be upgrading is the z-axis rods which are 12mm. Luckily I had 2 spare 14″ (12) mm rods that will fit perfectly. I have also designed a custom bed frame that I will be using instead of the stock V2 version.
I’m sure over time I will be making improvements to this V2 kit much like I would with any other build. I must say I’m rather excited to check out the parts as they should arrive in about a week. I will update with build pics, custom mods and other info related to this Printrbot + V2 build.
Printrbot original to Printrbot plus V2 transformation:
I recieved my kit to transform my printrbot from kickstarter to the new Printrbot V2. I decided to use a 203 watt xbox 360 power supply instead of an atx power supply because they offer better power protection and their size is more convenient. I am currently having precision rods cut on a lathe and then polished. I originally planned on taking a female connector off of an xbox motherboard. Later I decided to just adapt it over to standard 4 way molex connectors that the pb electronics bay is setup for. This will make connections to the pb setup clean and convenient. I also decided to purchase black zip ties, cable mounts and flexable cable covers. These help to organize and help sheild interferences with other wiring. Im sure eventually I will be doing some modifications to this Printrbot but, as of now I only plan on doing small mods here and there in which I will document here.
Another easy modification I have done is use the larger nuts that are a little under a half inch long. I also used to of these on both sides with a spring in between to help eliminate any unwanted backlash. This mod has served me well in the passed and I swear by its use. All ypu have to do is put a spring between 2 nuts and screw the nuts so the spring is putting tension on the opposing nuts. This keeps the nuts in place and pushes them away from another which keeps backlash to a minimum.
Below pictured: I also decided to add a deeper muffin fan that will allow me a wider range of cfms to adjust.
Here’s the printer stand I am building:
I wanted to make something to put my printer on when it was at home.so I came up with this cool little stand to put my power supply in. It has an acrylic top and a hinged door on the back t8 access my power supply if needed. I am also adding a 180mm fan that will blow on the electronics from underneath the printrbot. It will also have 3 80mm fans for psu cooling and inlets to feed the monster 180mm fan. It will work on the same basis as a laptop cooler. I will be posting pictures as soon as I get home. These pics are early on in the build as I have bought all the needed components but I need to install them. I also need topaint everything up. Im also setting eeverything up so it has quick disconnect wiring for portability.
Here are some updated pics: May 26th 2013
I decided to make a fused female mount to power my xbox power supply. Since I have two of these I figured I would semi permanently mount one on the Printrstand and the other one will be used for mobile applications. However I have mounted handles on the Printrstand so it is easy to move both the printer and the stand in unison. One of the next things I will be doing to the printrbot is making a mechanism so I can lock down the printrbot to the stand for transport. As of now the feet on my printrbot slide into a rail system that restricts it from moving side to side.