21 votes
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What are the pros and cons of collecting parts yourself, versus getting a DIY kit and then modifying it?

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 ...
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11 votes
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What parts are strictly necessary for a 3D printer?

You will certainly find that the print functionality of a 3d printer is a bit more complex than you suggest. The mechanical portions include a means to push the filament into a heated nozzle as well ...
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  • 9,847
10 votes
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Carbon fiber instead of smooth steel rods?

Steel is the best material for a linear rod when you have a fixed cross-section. It will have the least flex of any rod (aside from some exotic metals) of the same size. Carbon fiber's material ...
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  • 6,446
10 votes
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How do I wire the z-axis motors in parallel on the Prusa i3?

In the diagram, they do show the wires connecting together, which is right. You can accomplish that just about any way you like, so long as you pair up the wires correctly from one motor to the other. ...
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  • 3,181
10 votes

What are the pros and cons of collecting parts yourself, versus getting a DIY kit and then modifying it?

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 ...
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  • 3,181
10 votes
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Printed part auto-eject (automatic part removal)

While the "best" method is probably unanswerable since it would be based on very specific requirements and subject to change as soon as a better method were devised, here are some feasible methods to ...
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8 votes

How do I wire the z-axis motors in parallel on the Prusa i3?

For some unknown reason, everywhere everybody is saying that Z stepper motors need to be connected in parallel... And this was always the only obvious way, until recently some people started to ...
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8 votes

Carbon fiber instead of smooth steel rods?

I agree that steel is the best material for rails but the info provided on carbon fiber is just wrong. When making a carbon fiber part, whether a tube or any other shape, you lay the fabric in the ...
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  • 81
7 votes
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How to cut OpenBeam/MakerBeam?

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 ...
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  • 9,847
7 votes
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When building a RAMPS 1.4 based printer, can I safely plugin just some of the components to test if they are working?

If by components you mean motors, fans, or heated bed, then yes. This is even suggested in the Final Setup instructions on the RAMPS wiki. If you think you may have mistakes (in your setup) you can ...
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  • 1,503
7 votes
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Is it necessary to have both hot ends on a dual extruder printer at the same height?

I have a dual extruder Replicator 1 and having the nozzles at the same height is a must and albeit a bit of a struggle otherwise. At one point, I had to disassemble my extruder head and the nozzles ...
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  • 6,214
7 votes
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Why do 3D printers have only one limit switch?

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....
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  • 30.6k
6 votes
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How to make your own 3D printer?

Yes, look at http://reprap.org for a project that's been doing what you're asking about for about a decade now.
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6 votes

What are the pros and cons of collecting parts yourself, versus getting a DIY kit and then modifying it?

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 ...
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6 votes

HDPE as the body of a 3-D Printer?

The main consideration when building the body/frame of a 3D printer is the stiffness. The stiffer the material, the less the frame will deform under load, and the more accurate and repeatable your ...
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6 votes
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Advantages of GT2 over a rack

With a belt system, the belt engages roughly half the pulley. This, and the tension in the belt, ensures the belt always engages the pulley tightly. A belt and pulley system is thus relatively ...
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6 votes
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ABS or PLA for structural printed parts?

To answer the main question "Is ABS better for structural parts of a 3D printer as opposed to PLA". The answer, unfortunately is it depends. ABS has lower yield and ultimate strengths compared to ...
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  • 1,855
6 votes
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Building a 3-D printer

Building a 3-D printer is actually very easy, assuming that you are electronically and mechanically competent, and there are a whole bunch of websites devoted to doing just that. The principal of ...
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  • 5,717
6 votes

Ball screw: Maintaining Z axis position when motor is OFF

My question is a ball screw of pitch 4mm or 5mm, will it be able to Maintain it's position when motor is deenergized under a load of 15 kg shared by two systems. The detent torque of a typical NEMA ...
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5 votes

What are the advantages/disadvantages of using synchromesh cables instead of belts?

Looking at the specs for both the GT2 belt and the Synchromesh I'm very hesitant to recommend a Synchromesh over a belt. The first thing that sticks out is that there are both error and cumulative ...
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  • 1,503
5 votes

Would using a leadscrew with 1 or 2 mm lead, en lieu of 8 mm, result in a better printer?

From Accuracy vs Precision and Threaded Rod vs Leadscrews in 3D Printers. I have highlighted the relevant parts: In general, FFF/FDM printers use relatively infrequent, small, precise movements on ...
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  • 5,717
5 votes
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Can cheap hotend parts sourced from China actually produce good prints?

Hard to say for sure - my whole printer is cheap parts bought as a kit in China by a Chinese student who abandoned it in the US (I resurrected it after it was abandoned.) It includes all the parts you ...
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  • 723
5 votes
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Lead screws - M8 instead of M5?

as long as you match the parts that is ok. The m8 rod will give you more stiffness and will be harder to bend. As the result, you will have to calibrate the steps/mm settings in the firmware.
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  • 1,922
5 votes
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3D printer out of normal printer (HP PSC 1315)

No, Printers are not good sources Common printers contain at best one stepper motor in the scanner, and it is usually too weak for use as an X or Y stepper, but for a very slow printer they might be ...
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  • 19.4k
5 votes

Herringbone timing belt?

At a nearly microscopic level, the herringbone belt/gear combination will reduce the whoosh effect of a square profile cogged belt forcing itself into a matching profile pulley. Consider a well-sealed ...
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  • 9,847
5 votes
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Using an Anet A6 3D printer in the UK... (mains voltage issue!)

The UK uses 230 V mains voltage. The 220 V designation is from the past, Europe is now using 230 V. You do not have to worry about the frequency. You should place the switch to 220&...
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  • 30.6k
4 votes
Accepted

What does the trimpot on my Switching Power Supply do?

No doubt it's just a final tuning potentiometer. Even on the pictures you linked it's described as V adj which stands for voltage adjustment. It's a way to tune your power supply's output as it can ...
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  • 3,438
4 votes

How to properly use Polyisocyanurate (PIR) foam with the heated bed?

An alternative solution that is used with some Kossel Mini models, is a simple cardboard covered with aluminum tape (docs). This solution has the added benefit of actually improving heat-up time, ...
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4 votes

Is it necessary to have both hot ends on a dual extruder printer at the same height?

I don't have dual extruder printer myself, but to my understanding having both nozzles leveled at the same height is critical for getting successful prints. For typical FDM printers, the lowest point ...
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4 votes
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In the standard PC Cable Wire that goes from the wall outlet to the switching power supply, are they standard and what are the wire specifications?

Very basically speaking, electricity works like this: There's some source that delivers a certain voltage. You have a device that operates at a certain voltage. The device voltage and supply voltage ...
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