How to Build a 3D Printer

The first 3D printer was built by an innovator called Charles W.Hull in the 1980s. Since then, they have become widely available and affordable. These printers are the best option if you want to start printing high-quality images and prototypes instantly and as such, you should invest in 3D print that has been fully assembled and calibrated.

However, if you’re somewhat of an expert when it comes to assembling and creating printers for yourself, then you can also consider building your own!

This will require a lot of patience but it is a far cheaper process and ultimately, more rewarding. You’ll also be able to know about the printer’s functionality in detail and therefore be able to customize your printer to suit your individual preferences as you will have a stronger understanding of the machine’s inner workings.

This article will show you how to build a 3D printer from a kit and from scratch and I will outline both of these methods in a clear and concise way to ensure that the process is as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.

Assembling Your 3D Printer from a Kit

There are several steps that you need to take in order to use a kit to assemble your 3D printer. These are as follows:

1) Follow the Instructions Carefully

Although this may seem like a pretty obvious step, it is important that you read the instructions fully and understand every aspect. Normally these kits will provide highly detailed instructions and guides to help you resolve any issues so it is a great idea to get to grips with this and read the instructions prior to starting to build your printer.

This will only save you time and effort further down the line. There will also be detailed videos online, in most cases, and you’ll be able to search for specific solutions on google as there are numerous printer enthusiasts out there!

2) Exercise the Utmost Patience

You’re highly unlikely to be able to get things perfect upon your first attempts so remember to be kind to yourself during the process of building your printer. The end result will be well worth all of your patient efforts!

3) Make Sure That You Are Levelling the Bed

Bed levelling is one of the more crucial steps to ensure that you get a successful print. This is not a step to be overlooked and if in doubt, you should read step-by-step guides on how to do this properly.

4) Find the Most Highly Regarded Software

3D printer kits will usually come with a standardized program but if you want to add additional facilities and software, then there is an array of free options that are available to download.

All of these additions will ensure that your printer’s performance is improved drastically and you will be more than proud of its capabilities if you take the time to do this.

Assembling Your Printer from Scratch

1) Know the Size of the Printer That You Want to Make

In order to assemble your printer from scratch you will need to ensure that you have a good awareness of the size of the printer that you are looking to build. This will determine what type of frame you’ll need to make.

2) Know the Type of Printer That You Want to Make

Knowing the type of printer that you want to make is essential as this will determine the movement of the print head and bed head. You should research this extensively to determine which movement is best for the style of printing that you are going to be doing.

3) Knowing the Type of Nozzle That You Want to Use

You’ll need to have a clear understanding of how high you would like the resolution of your printer to be. 3D printer nozzles equate directly to the standard of resolution and although the standard sized nozzle is approximately 0.4mm, you will also be able to buy a nozzle with a 0.1mm diameter of a larger diameter if you want to.

4) Know the Number of Extruders That You Need

The majority of printers will only have one extruder but if you would like two then ensure that the control board on your printer supports two extruders. If you are unsure, then there are plentiful articles concerning how to reconfigure your printer for two extruders.

Safety Tips

Contrary to popular belief, safety is incredibly important when building a 3D printer and the potential risks are not to be overlooked. You should be cautious about electrocuting yourself as 3D printers produce a high level of voltage power and if used improperly, this can cause electrocution and death.

It is always recommended to use a power supply unit that has a guard and to make sure that your printer is switched to an accurate voltage (110 or 220 volts). You should also ensure that your multimeter is maintained and checked frequently and always turn the power off before connecting any parts including sensors and motors.

There is also a risk of burning yourself when building a 3D printer as the nozzle can be heated up to 200 degrees Celsius depending on what type of filament is being used during the process.

So wear gloves where appropriate and do not be haphazard when handling this particular implement. These 3D printers can also pose a fire hazard if they are left unattended so purchasing a remote monitoring system is recommended.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, building a 3D printer is a lengthy process that requires patience. You will be able to build these printers from scratch or with a kit and you should always read the instructions thoroughly when choosing the latter.

If you are building your printer from scratch, then ensure that you have researched into the specificities regarding the style of printer that you are looking to build and always ensure that the bed head is leveled.

As always, take precautionary measures and do not leave your printer unattended during the process as 3D printers can pose a fire hazard if not maintained properly.

Michael Moore
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