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Building Printers

Over the past 3 months I have been building a number of larger 3D printers and I would like to share what I learned with you!

The first thing is you set your sights at a reasonable target. This was a fairly simple for me, I wanted to make a 12’x12’x12′ printer to print computer parts. The focus in this case was speed and volume. I wouldn’t be printing any small figurines because they simply don’t pay.

I modeled the design on the Lulzbot, go big or go home. So lets jump into what I built. This printer can print at roughly 100 to 125mm a second with no issue. This is due in part to the fact that the X-axis is very light and I have two steppers driving the Y-axis.

 

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As you can see this is a fairly large printer.

Starting with the frame assembly I required 8 pieces of 80/20 1’x1’x18′ extrusion, that is right this was built using American measurements. So each piece of extrusion is 18 inches long and was cut with my miter saw which has a carbide blade. I then printed 8 corner brackets, 2 Z motor brackets, and Z top brackets.

 

This is the corner bracket that you will need 8 of to complete the project. The holes are sized for 1/4-20 screws.

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STL Files
  • frame-outside-corner-bracket
Color:
Render:
Capture:
Download STL

 

 

This is the top bracket that the Z-Axis screw goes through. As you can see its fairly simple. It is specifically meant to be used with 1’x1′ extrusion not 20mm extrusion.

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STL Files
  • zaxis-top-bracket
Color:
Render:
Capture:
Download STL

 

This is the bottom bracket that the Z-Axis screw goes through. This is a little more complicated but you get the idea. Essentially the Z-Axis components tie both the front and back half of the frame together.

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STL Files
  • zaxis-bottom-bracket
Color:
Render:
Capture:
Download STL

 

You ultimately end up with a frame that looks like this.

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This completes the first portion of the printer more to follow in the next few days.

Posted in Fun Hacking, Machining

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