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Posted: 9/2/2014 1:33:50 PM EST
I've posted about it in GD and we used to have a fairly big thread with folks talking about their various builds. Problem with GD though, your thread can be buried on page 6 in less than a half hour. Also SNR

Figured here would be the best place to do some knowledge dump. Lots of questions have been answered in the following threads, so check some of them 1st.

Reference thread 1
Reference thread 2

More questions answered

Search sucks, so I cant find the original thread with all the different builds. I'll add it here if I can find it.




TLDR: It will take lots of time and effort to learn how to do it, it's nowhere near consumer ready (if ever). Treat it EXACTLY as if you were buying a CNC mill and the skills you would need to use one of those. Get a Prusa i3 style printer if you do want to try jumping in.
Link Posted: 9/3/2014 11:06:06 PM EST
I am very interested in building my own unit. I have been paying attention, but haven't made the plunge. I was thinking about making a smaller, cheaper one to practice up and learn how to use the machine. Maybe a Smartrap.

I was thinking about building a larger and more complex machine after I had some practice. The big machine should have dual extruders. Maybe a Mendel90 or Prusa variant.
Link Posted: 9/7/2014 1:34:25 PM EST
I'm in the process of printing out the plastic parts for a mendelmax 1.5, so I guess I can document the process of putting together a printer. The parts that I am printing, you could simply buy on ebay by typing "mendelmax 1.5."

I will be making this bigger than "stock," as I want a very large print area.
Link Posted: 9/8/2014 2:56:12 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/8/2014 2:56:43 AM EST by FrozInAK]
If you could start over, would you just build one bad ass machine?

I am wondering if I should even spend time and effort learning a small and simple machine. The process of learning the machine would help to build my skills before I start making larger and more complex parts.

I could just direct that time and effort into building a larger machine and modify it as I go. I do kind of like the idea of getting into the game for ~$300 instead of ~$1000 for a larger model.

What do you think?

EDIT: I know how to 3d model and am handy with tools.
Link Posted: 9/9/2014 10:09:09 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By FrozInAK:
If you could start over, would you just build one bad ass machine?

I am wondering if I should even spend time and effort learning a small and simple machine. The process of learning the machine would help to build my skills before I start making larger and more complex parts.

I could just direct that time and effort into building a larger machine and modify it as I go. I do kind of like the idea of getting into the game for ~$300 instead of ~$1000 for a larger model.

What do you think?

EDIT: I know how to 3d model and am handy with tools.
View Quote



That is exactly what I did starting out. I do not recommend it. 300 dollar machines are 300 dollar machines for a reason :( When you're 1st starting out you dont want to be trouble shooting the machine itself when there are some many other things that can be causing print issues as well. The 1st half year or more, I spent more time working to fix or tweak the machine than I did anything else. Leave all that shit out of the equation. I can easily see all the crap associated with the smaller/cheaper printer completely turning people off/away from printing.

However, jump up to the ~600 buck range and you start getting nice printers. My vslot railed prusa (under 600 bucks) is so much better than my heavily upgraded printrbot simple it's not even funny.

If you build a prusa, you're going to learn all the stuff from building a printer cheaper printer. But you wont be left over with a pos. Trust me, dont go as cheap as you can on a machine that requires high precision and reliability.


The mendelmax I'll be building, I'm going to be scavenging parts (steppers, gears, electronics) from the printrbot simple.
Link Posted: 9/16/2014 8:19:44 PM EST
I started with an UP! printer and it was an excellent entry level unit. Very good print quality but of course you still have to learn the ins and outs of 3d printing.

We currently have a makerbot Z18 at work and I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE the "smart extruder". AKA jam-o-matic. I'm about ready to return it and get a Unimaker 2
Link Posted: 10/3/2014 2:02:00 AM EST
Might as well keep this going.



I received a Printrbot Simple Makers Kit for my birthday. What a gift. I built it and was printing in 5-6 hours ish. I'd say is it great machine for a newbie. The machine was simple to put together.

I think I can agree with you about spending a bit more and getting a better machine, but I can't complain about a gift. I do want a larger machine with dual print heads. Maybe in the not too distant future.

So far, I would say this is a good machine. There are belts, a z probe, and a metal extruder. This all leads to having better quality off the bat. Having the z probe just seems to take much of the work out of leveling the print bed. This can be a bad thing.

The frame is flexible, so I had to turn the speed down to get good quality. The machine was pretty accurate right off the bat. I was able to print out a 40mm square fan shroud without actually calibrating. The numbers they gave on their build site were pretty accurate. I am planning on making the upgraded plastic parts for rigidity. There are already files out there to make this machine larger and beefier.
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