Posts in this series
So as you may (or may not) have read in my July 2016 Hacks post, I’m starting the process of building my own 3D printer (the D-Bot CoreXY). This is my first progress report. There will be more posts that follow this, of course. Hopefully, they won’t have a long gap in them like the Cyclocross Frame Build project currently has.
I’ve been wanting to build a 3D printer for awhile now. Until I worked at a company that makes them, I had no idea how dang useful they are. It’d be great to be able to afford a Stratasys uPrint or Dimension, but that’s just not in the cards unless I hit the lottery. The cool part is, though, that there’s a ton of open source designs, and I do have access to a 3D printer at work. So I’m building my own.
I did have the idea of designing my own platform, as I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking on the matter, but I think it makes more sense to walk before I can run. Building on someone else’s design will give me a TON of insight on how to best approach future iterations, a topic I’ll cover in my final post on this project.
It would be nice if I could say that there was a great deal of forethought that went into the selection process. Mostly, though, I just fired up Thingiverse, and poked around for about 10 minutes before settling on the D-Bot CoreXY platform. I downloaded the files last week and got to work.
The first thing I tackled was the cable guide chain, and a case for the power supply, and then started bumping the big stuff over. The first two trays of completely done parts (shown, click to embiggen) are complete and just need the support material dissolved, and a third tray is printing now with a fourth in the queue right behind it. Thus far, all parts are orange, and I’d like to keep it that way, but I am prioritizing timeliness over consistent color. If we run out of orange, I’ll swap to whatever else is readily available. This is going to make for a Mondrian-looking shitshow when I’m done, but it’s also my first printer and I don’t care if it looks like crap.
I’m currently printing the parts for the D-Bot CoreXY at 0.007″ layer height, with solid infill in ABS plastic.
The next post in this series will probably come along once I’ve got the printing portion done, and I can do an analysis of the time and volume of materials. By that point, I’ll probably have started in on the purchase of materials in the BOM, too. I’ll also talk about the goals for the project, which will be fun to look at in a wrap-up post.
If any of you have built a 3D printer, whether it’s the D-Bot or not, I’d like to hear about your experiences in the comments below. Please let me know about any gotchas, any hacks or improvements you made, and so forth.
Image Credits: Dan Bailey/Creative Commons Zero/Public Domain (CC0).