Now in 3D
February 15, 2014
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The latest gizmo that has captured my attention is the 3D printer. For those that are absolutely clueless, it is a machine that “prints” small objects, usually plastic, by depositing layer upon layer of extruded material. Some of the objects that can be created are quite complex.
I started looking at commercially produced units, which are quite nice, but the price tag is too steep. Then I found RepRap. Thank you open source movement! I spent a few days reading through the material and forums, until I settled on building a Prusa Mendel model. The main advantage with this model is the low cost; estimates put the price tag from $400 to $600 depending on how you source parts and what is included in the build.
I was not looking forward to the time-consuming effort of hunting down parts myself so I decided to buy an assemble-it-yourself kit. I’ll get the satisfaction of building the printer without the headache of supply chain logistics (I’ve dealt with enough of that at work, thank you very much.) Based on a plethora of good reviews and praise for the company owner, I decided on a kit from MakerFarm, the 8” Prusa i3.
The box arrived the other day. Unpacked and sorted a bit, the kit looks like this:
MakerFarm 8″ Prusa i3 Kit (power supply not included)
I am following the MakerFarm build instructions and videos. The X Carriage and X Idler assemblies went together quite easily. After assembling the X Motor assembly and started on connecting these parts into the X Axis, I noticed my allen wrenches were somewhere I could not find. I did the best I could with the available tools and called it a night. Tomorrow will include a quick trip to the shop before continuing the build.
X Axis Assembly
To be continued…