21

From a general point of view, there are a few things to consider. If you buy a kit: Pros: You get some insurance that you have all the parts that you need to get a functional printer - all the electronics, structure, bolts, nuts, screws, washers, wires and so on. Most likely, all the parts you get are made to fit together. You will (usually) get a manual, ...


16

Yes, you can print most of the parts (electronics, linear guide rails, ball bearings and nuts and bolts, etc cannot be printed). Actually this was exactly the purpose of RepRap.org: RepRap is humanity's first general-purpose self-replicating manufacturing machine. and: Since many parts of RepRap are made from plastic and RepRap prints those parts, ...


15

The files used to print these objects are digital, and do not degrade in any way after each printing. There are no side effects or degradation that occurs over time due simply to printing them multiple times. This is the RepRap philosophy, and the machines are actually designed with enough tolerance for printing and building mistakes that even if the print ...


14

Unfortunately, different firmwares and different slicers require different calibration techniques! There's a lot of software-specific advice out there, like printing a single-wall calibration box and measuring the wall thickness. That's a good technique for Slic3r, but not for Simplify3D. It can be very confusing. Here's the general outline of what you ...


14

Here are few things to consider from my point of view Printing technology The first thing that you need to take into account is printing technology. The most common[citation needed] right now is Fused Filament Fabrication. "Liquid light-sensitive resin" is being used in Stereolitography and Digital Light Processing - the SLA printers I found are less ...


13

The only thing I can think of off hand is an old mod for the early MakerBot machines. It first was released for the Thing-O'-Matic I believe, but is compatible with Replicator 1 machines (and its knock-offs). Here's the Thingiverse page, but look up Automatic Build Plate. Essentially, you can use the Replicator G slicing program and there is a setting for "...


10

I think the best way to go about this would be to calibrate your printer and slicer as best you can. One of my pet peeves is when people upload STLs that have been adjusted to fit their printer/material. There are many suppliers of material that vary in quality as well as many materials and different printers that the tolerances shouldn't be built into the ...


10

I built my first printer from scratch, though it's fairly similar to an oversize MendelMax 2. It was a good learning experience, but very frustrating at times. Overall, I think I'm glad I did it that way, but a kit would have gotten me printing much faster and a bit cheaper. Here are my main impressions from the experience... You should already be familiar ...


10

The number you're looking for is the glass transition temperature (the lowest temperature at which the material can flow or warp), not the melting point. This depends on what material you're using; approximate temperatures for common printable materials are: PLA: 60˚C PETG, high-temperature PLA: 95 ˚C ABS: 105˚C Nylon: typically 70˚C or above ("Nylon" is a ...


8

1) If we're talking about FFF/FDM printers: Accuracy of the electronics and motors allows it, yes. But how FDM printers work it might be very hard to lay down layers of molten plastic so small as to preserve little details in the X and Y axis, not much of a problem doing 20 micron layer height though (Z resolution). Check this answer to find out what the X ...


7

You cannot print edible models using a "standard" consumer 3D printer without first installing an "hot end" capable of depositing edible - normally thicker - substances as well as a suitable extruder mechanism. However, there are not necessarily any technical limitations in the electronics, software, slicers etc. in a typical printer that wouldn't allow ...


7

I think it's important to remember that a 3D printer is both an R&D tool and a piece of manufacturing equipment. As such, we should treat it and it's process similarly to other pieces of manufacturing equipment (ie mills, saws, etc.). Other (albeit traditional) manufacturing methods such as a mill will typically require post-processing to parts to remove ...


7

Aluminum of almost every grade is very easy to cut with a hacksaw. I would suggest to mark clearly the cut line and to wrap masking tape at the edge of the cut. Consider to allow for about 2-3 millimeters (1/16") extra material for final finishing. Cut across the line, rotate the part ninety degrees and cut again. Once you have the guide cuts in place, you ...


7

Depends on your definition of "available" and your definition of "suitable for general use." The cheapest 3D printers are mostly Kickstarter promises that take a year or more to ship, if they ever do. For example, the Peachy 3D printer Kickstarter just imploded and failed. There have been many other failed low-cost 3D printer crowdfunding campaigns. ...


7

I do know about your budget, but I would suggest to buy a silent 3d printer like Prusa i3 mk3 which is about $1k. If you decide to tinker your printer instead than take a look on other possibilities: Trinamic drivers Most of the noise is created in motors. Definitely switch to Trinamic stepper motor drivers. I have upgraded from Prusa i3 mk2 to mk3 last ...


7

Yes, printers can print printer parts. With the right design, all non-metal/non-electronic parts can be printed on an FDM printer, and a laser-sintering based printer (SLS/DMLS) can even produce metal parts, as long as they fit the printbed. The fact, that a printer can create all the fastenings to build a new printer with just the electronics and linger ...


7

Can a 3D printer make a 3D printer? Not without a bunch of other parts Could you use a 3D printer to make 3D printers parts? To some extent. What is the most of a 3D printer that can be built this way Basically you you can't print the precision mechanical guides, you can't print the electronics, you can't print the parts that need to get hot, you ...


7

In principle you only need the minimum axis position (or the maximum), the offset to the bed and the size of the bed in the direction of the axes. Fortunately, you can specify this in the firmware: E.g. in Marlin Firmware offsets are defined as travel limits: // Travel limits (mm) after homing, corresponding to endstop positions. #define X_MIN_POS -33 #...


7

Depending on the exact mechanical load and material used to print, you might get away with 100 °C. Next to the melting temperature required to print the material (which will always be substantially higher than the maximum useable temperature!), you probably also want to have a look at the glass temperature of your specific material. Around that ...


6

Strictly by looking at the technical specifications of an FDM printer, there are a few things to note regarding the maximum print quality you can expect to achieve: The minimum layer height - here given to be 0.1 mm The nozzle diameter - here given to be 0.4 mm Minimum layer height: On a finished print, the minimum layer height will affect how visible ...


6

A few months ago I bought a cheap (220 USD) Prusa i3 kit from China and put it together. Putting it together was fun and still a bit of a challenge. It was also nice to have pre-configured firmware already loaded onto the Melzi board that came with it. So for the downside: The board (Melzi) that came in the kit only supports one extruder so if I want to add ...


6

An option that might be feasible for some situations (depending on your setup) is Sequential Printing - a feature provided by some slicing software, for instance Slic3r. In short, this allows you to print multiple objects one at a time rather than simultaneously. This has some obvious benefits, but also some downsides: Benefits: Each object is finished ...


6

I moved to a plain glass heated bed with a brush applied acetone and ABS mixture. Using an old emptied nail polish bottle with brush, I added some acetone and then threw in ABS pieces until it reached a brush-able consistency. I then brush it on the glass build plate where I believe the print will occur, and it works very well. On removal of the part the ...


6

Using negative pressure ventilation and a suitable organic filter will limit your exposure to toxic compounds, but won't completely remove them from your environment. Enclose your printer in as air-tight a box as you can manage, then use a fan to suck air out of the box. This negative pressure will ensure that any leaks in the box will not allow gasses to ...


6

The reprap printers have often been compared to plants, providing fruits to you and the possibility to reproduce themselves. This analogy holds in both good and bad ways. Any life form can reproduce itself only so often without artefacts (mutations) being introduced. It takes a bit of skill to build, configure and run a reprap printer. While the parts can ...


6

Possible causes for the printer not printing correct dimensions: Incorrect number of steps/mm in firmware settings Belts are not tight enough Pulley slips on the shaft Looking at the picture, I would go for the first case, because distortion looks regular. Try checking microstep settings on your board, and settings in the firmware.


6

If you keep the head hot during the pause, and over the print, you will melt the material already deposited. If you move to X0 Y0 (like on a layer change) and pause there, you can cool off the head (or not), but will want to prime (advance) some material before resuming your print - or risk an initial void, as the heated material will expand and drip to ...


5

MakerBot Industries had a mod available for their early open source machines called the Frostruder. It was basically a syringe connected to your print head. I saw this in action at the University of Washington a long time ago. Check out the legacy ReplicatorG in action! I like to relate 3D printing as "A hot glue gun on rails". The beauty is that a lot of ...


5

You can, but that doesn't mean it's very easy. You don't have to buy a special printer, but you need a special extruder (such as http://www.structur3d.io/). Most of these systems can print anything with the consistency of Nutella. However, many parts of the printer may not be food safe. Another option (if you simply want 2d designs) is something like the ...


5

Depends on the glue and on your tolerance for messy undersides on your prints. It's fairly common for some of the glue to come off with the print. Or you may have marks from scrapers or rafts. Do you want to touch up that spot and have some artifacts on the bottom of the next print, or clean and redo the bed to get everything flat? Gluestick is pretty easy ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible