Fighting with computers

Computers are not always friendly.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Finishing my Reprap Prusa 3D printer

It's been a long wait to finish building my Reprap Prusa Mendel, to source all of the different parts and then to wait for some replacements of defective electronics. The building time has not been very long as I have had long waits in between, but I'd say it can be easily done over a weekend if you have all the parts.

Now I have to configure it and to master into the use of the system. My total cost is near 500€ and I have chosen some hardware to be better than average, so I guess cost can be driven down a couple hundred euros if you really push it to the bare minimums. I do not have yet any printed samples to show you though.

I can mention the companies I bought from that have given me a good service: XYZ printers (hardware), reprap-fab.org (plastic & extruder), RepRapWorld.com (electronics & PLA filament), Zapp Automation Ltd (stepper motors).

One of the things that have worked for me that can allow you to save so cash is to use both, the stepper motors and the belts, from two old EPSON printers for X and Y axis. They have enough torque to move the two axis well enough. Z axis, however, needs a more powerful motor. As I am using LM8UU bearings for my axis, I am not sure the same is true when using PLA printer bearings.

Anyway, I can recommend this project as a very entertaining one, but unless you are buying a full kit, I am afraid the process of sourcing all the parts may be time consuming. I know that MakerGear is selling a full kit in USA, but I was afraid it might become very expensive for people in Europe once you throw in shipping, taxes and customs.

All along the way, Reprap forums proved an invaluable source of information.

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