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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2019

    Designing my own printer; looking for direction


    I?m not sure if this should be in this folder or the parts folder, so if it?s in the wrong place let me know.

    I?m looking to design my own printer and I?m looking for some info and hopefully someone can point me in the right direction. I?ve done some prior research and continue to do many google searches and watch youtube videos, but I thought it might be a bit better to get some direct guidance. All of this stuff seems like a bit of information overload from all the different search results and the collective experience here seems to be vast.

    The TL;DR is that I?m looking to build something as a fun project that is very stiff and has emphasis on the frame and structures. I?m looking to overbuild the frame and any parts that could flex, and I?m interested to doing so using (Mostly) off-brand parts or fabricate my own pieces, both for cost and I think it?s fun. Like engineering a car, I?m looking to cut down on what the auto industry (and maybe this industry too) calls NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness).

    As for my experience background for tackling such a project, I?m a certified Master Automotive Mechanic, I?ve been a mobile electronics technician, and I?m currently going back to school for a BS in computer science. I can read wiring schematics, solder, and fabricate things, and I love building and modifying things for fun. I?ve used 3D printers before, and have experience using a Maker Select, TAZ 5, Delta style printer, and currently I?ve been printing on my roommate?s modified Anet A8.

    From the research I?ve done, It seems that a Voron CoreXY style of printer seems like a direction I could go in, but I?m open to many different designs. If I go this route, I?d like to modify the design from the start to fit specific dimensions or address any potential weakpoints from the start. I originally thought about just taking the Prusa i3 design and building a custom framework around the main components, but I think there?s just too many limitations from what I?ve read with the design.

    The main thing I?d like to address is the materials I should use. I am unfamiliar with the popular parts used for 3D printers. I?ve gotten some research done on some things, but there?s still a ton I don?t know about. I?ll be doing more research on my own, but I?m mainly looking for specific brands and what I can get away with and the pros and cons of such things. I?ve found some info on bowden vs direct drive exruders, and it looks like I should be going with some linear rails over rods, but I know nearly nothing between say, servo A vs servo B, advantages of linear rod A vs B. Going with Board A vs Board B. This is the area in which I need help the most.

    Thanks to any help. I really appreciate it.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    not a clue on servos - though they are better than stepper motors.
    As you're clearly not doing this on the cheap (servos are a giveaway) get yourself a duet3D Motherboard:

    Whatever you build, the duet will run it and give you endless opportunity for upgrading, adding extruders etc.
    Plus a company with great support and internal knowlege.
    Chatted with the guys at the tct show a few times. Always had some impressive kit running from the boards.
    It's just about the most expensive board around - but they tell me it's worth the money :-)
    With vat these things run at 144 quid for the basic wifi board
    I've been building computers professionally for over 25 years and never come close to p[aying that for a motherboard.
    But like i said, apparently it's worth it :-)

    Structurally - depending on size on the machine. Stick to standard aluminium extrusion. 2020m 3030, 4040 etc.
    An almost infinite number of bolt on parts available, and also dead easy to make your own as well.

    Without more info on what sort of printer you want to build: enclosed, size, speed, number of extruders etc
    That's about all I can suggest :-)
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 02-14-2019 at 09:41 AM.

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