How to make a 3D printer

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There has been a sudden splurge in 3D printers all over the world. What was seen a few years back as an exclusive domain of obscure manufacturing industries can now actually be built at home. Besides the fun of making your own 3D printer, there is also the cost factor to be considered. By making your own 3D printer, you will have the added benefit of using the cheapest 3d printers for sale in the comfort of your home.

This is a hands-on experience and you will need the help of all your technical skills to build your own 3D printer. There are bits and pieces of information on how to make a 3D printer online but for making a workable one, you need to a thorough guide.


An overview of how to make a 3D printer

3D printers work by printing 3D images layer by layer. They have essentially three layers to them. One is the X-frame that moves from left and right. Then there is the Y-frame that moves front and back and finally the Z-frame that moves up and down. Normal 2D printer would have only the X and Y frames.

Now to feed as well as melt the plastic filament, there is the extruder that should be fixed on the X-axis frame. The extruder is responsible for melting the plastic filament and pushing it out (extruding it) through a small hole with a diameter less than 1mm. This extruder is what keeps moving when you actually want to print a 3D image. The entire model of the extruder along with the three frames is referred to as a Cartesian robot.

The movements of the printer are controlled by a computer with special software called STL files. These STL files are transformed into G-code and the G-code eventually travels over the USB (Universal Serial Bus) to the Cartesian robot. The G-code tells the Cartesian robot where to move and what to do. Alternately, you can install a card reader called an SD-reader on your printer model. If you have an SD-card, then you do not require a PC to control your printer.

The assembled X-carriage (The X-frame carrying cold-end, hot-end and a heat barrier) is controlled by a motor and a belt. Printed material is printed on a printed plate. A printer plate consists of two plates both bottom (which rests on the X-axis) as well as the top plate. The printer plate moves on four springs and four screws.

You now have to fit in an electronics board that controls the printer. This electronic board has to perform several tasks such as transfer and process of G-code instructions, control heat and control the motor. The most electronics board for building the cheapest 3D printer is the RepRap model. This is the standard electronics board that comes equipped with an optional SD-card reader and extra heater.

To build a standard 3D printer, you also need five stepper motors that control the three frames as well as the extruder.

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