3D Printing
Getting started 3D Printer Project build it yourself DIY

“Do It Yourselfers” never had it so easy, online resources today enable people to easily start & complete projects unimaginable just 10 years ago. However, the challenge today is over coming project paralysis created by an over abundance of online data, options, and design variations that are available for download. Recently many 3D design file repository websites have become very popular on the Internet, and most include many 3D STL models which can be 3D printed at home. Oh, right, you don’t have a 3D printer! OK, that makes a 3D Printer a first priority project. Poking around the Internet for many hours I quickly became disillusioned by the over abundance of different designs & versions … to cut a long story short, the design I found most appealing based on cost, complexity, stability and availability of parts was the PRUSA i3 (version 3) with 10mm rods, an open source design that originally came out based on 8mm guide rods with M8 threaded rods … a stiffer more accurate version followed with 10mm/M10 rods, that is the one featured here in this article.

The 3D printer pictured here, is the first 3D printer I built. The hot end is a unique design I fabricated, it’s all metal, with a one piece stainless steel nozzle tube and aluminum heat sink. It’s patterned after some good design features seen on popular E3D and Prusa hotends.

The extruder is a unique design, setup with a PGL35 gearbox motor direct drive. The motor was modified, the drive shaft was extended (replaced with longer shaft), to enable the use of ball bearings on each side of the knurled filament drive pulley. Normally these motors experience wear and print poorly, since the main output shaft has no ball bearings and is not stable in its single narrow bushing … the extended shaft ball bearing setup solves this issue.

RepRap.org PRUSA i3 Rework – open source information, directions, download printed STL files


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