I want some indication to all the workings of 3D-Printers and the basics of design. All links regarding DIY 3D-printer are welcomed.


I would guess that a printer made in the following way would be both poor quality, and annoyingly frustrating, as well as requiring constant tinkering/re-adjustment. Also, if the chassis of the CD/DVD drive is incorporated into the design (as below) then the print volume is rather small, given the inherent limited movement of a CD/DVD mechanism.

If the steppers are used without the CD/DVD chassis then it might be possible to increase the print volume but then you would need to spend extra on the rods and support structure for the X gantry, the Y-axis print bed, and the Z-axis movement. If you do that, then the steppers from the CD/DVD drive probably would not have sufficient torque to move the additional weight - by incorporating the CD/DVD chassis the inertia of the movement has been kept to an acceptable minimum.

By using the CD/DVD drive's stepper motors you are only really saving the cost of buying three or four actual, more powerful and useful, stepper motors (as well as the cost of the additional rods and support).

That said, it could be quite amusing to make, and show off, and also provide some satisfaction if you do manage to print a tiny frog, parts for another printer, or whatever, with it. However, I wouldn't expect it to print anything to any great accuracy/tolerance/precision/etc., but it would maybe give you something unusual to talk about at dinner parties.

An example

There is this (IMHO unjustifiably1) popular (i.e. well linked-to) Instructables guide: EWaste 60$ 3DPrinter, which describes making a 3D printer from old desktop computer parts2.

$ 3DPrinter">EWaste 60$</span> 3DPrinter

According to E-waste printer looks nice, prints really, really small, it has an awesome print volume of 37 mm x 37 mm x 18 mm.

Apparently, all you need is to salvage:

Then purchase these standard 3D printing components:

  • RAMPS & Arduino Mega or RepRap Gen6/7 - Capable of running Marlin/Sprinter frimware
  • Nema 17 stepper motor for the extruder - Either this, or better still something from RepRap Wiki - Nema 17, i.e. Kysan 1124090/42BYGH4803, Rattm 17HS8401, or Wantai 42BYGHW609.
  • MK7/MK8-type direct drive gear for extruder
  • PTFE tubing
  • Hotend (throat, heaterblock, nozzle)
  • Heater
  • Thermistor
  • Cables, female connectors, heat-shrink tube.

To make the frame, you need a 325 mm x 362 mm, 5 mm thick acrylic sheet, and use this template (missing files):

Laser cut template#1

or this one (cnc-calisma-yalniz.dwg):

Laser cut template#2

You will also need to 3D print these parts (the links to which have died):

  1. Extruder idle
  2. Extruder body
  3. Hot end holder

Once you've gathered all of the parts required, you can then try to work through the incomplete assembly steps of the Instructables guide.

Other links


1 Most, if not all, of the links for the printer above are dead (this variant, mentioned above in Other links, is much more complete). However, with a bit of knowledge, and common sense, it should be possible to work through those omissions:

  • Marlin software - easy enough to find on Github
  • The frame laser cut - the original file is missing but an alternative is still available
  • The 3D printed parts for the extruder - as the links have died, you'll either need to find reasonable facsimiles on Thingiverse, which shouldn't be too hard to find, or buy them from cheap Chinese suppliers:
    • Extruder idle
    • Extruder body
    • Hot end holder

2 Funnily enough, whilst searching around looking for information to fill in the gaps in the above answer, I found this question on 3DP.SE: Missing print steps in e-waste 3d printer


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.