There are about 10-15 different suppliers of 3D printers and ten times as many suppliers of accessories. For almost all, the only elements that you can build yourself are the “cartridges” of printed material. From this offer stands out a provider who sees himself not as a classic manufacturer, but as a free, non-profit organization. This is called RepRap and offers on its website blueprints for a total of 4 printer models.
To build one of these 3D printers yourself, you need the following parts, which can be procured from the hardware store, from an electronics store and reprap.org :
- Light metal rods
- plastic compounds
Step 1: The Software
RepRap provides software that allows you to develop models and software yourself. It is important that Java is installed on your computer. Although Java7 is currently the most recent version, Java5 is recommended because there are fewer bugs to be expected (especially on Windows). Furthermore, to run the software, the Arduino development environment (microprocessor) and some add-ons are necessary. Conveniently, Eclipse should also be on hand to download the existing development data on Sourceforge and further develop it as the case may be. So here’s the full list of software for getting started with your 3D printer:
- Java Version 5
- RepRap software
- Arduino development environment
- Sanguino add-ons
The RepRap printer generates GCode for processing the volume model data. This code is standard in many CNC programs.
Step 2: Purchase Technology and Build It Together
The mechanics and electronics that you need to build a 3D printer yourself, you can buy in so-called kits or as individual parts. Of course, kits are more advantageous for a particular RepRap printer that already has all the parts. Due to the shipping costs, we recommend the shop Amazon for hobbyists. There is not only a complete modular system for almost all RepRap printers but also printed material and spare parts. The construction instructions are attached and the time to build up is about 2 hours.
If you have contacts with owners of RepRap printers or can produce them, you can also have them printed there.
The board can be assembled by yourself. But honestly, if you want to build a 3D printer together as fast as possible, you are not interested in time-consuming soldering and screw driving. Even if it looks neat, most of the parts probably fall back on finished boards from MakerBot.
The wiring is once again a sticking point in the assembly. This will require a total of approximately 42.4 meters of copper cable. For the Mendel there is a video for the cabling, which we advise you to watch before you start:
Step 3: Install Software
The Arduino microcontroller requires the software downloaded in step 1 to work. This must be installed. Experienced users of Arduino controllers know this process certainly for everyone else there is here a step by step guide on how the motherboard and the extruder control can be programmed.
CAUTION: The extruder must be calibrated before starting, in the firmware of the motherboard. In the configuration. H file, the value for E_STEPS_PER_MM must be adapted to the toothed shaft used.
DO NOT BUILD – PRINT? FOR URGENT
If you do not want to bother to build a 3D printer yourself and still want to own a low-cost RepRap model, you have the option to buy a used RepRap printer. In the local forum, 3D printers are offered, but the functionality is not always clear.