3D printers DIY plans and build instructions
RepRap 3D printers
1. Darwin RepRap 3D printer - The first RepRap
RepRap 1.0 "Darwin" is a rapid prototyping machine that is capable of making the majority of its own component parts. Instructions and all necessary data are available completely free under the GNU General Public Licence from this website to everyone.
As RepRap 1.0 "Darwin" can copy itself, once you have one you can make others for your friends; or if they have one you can ask them to make one for you. Of course, you can also make as many as you want for yourself; the more you have, the faster you will be able to make other items. RepRap etiquette asks that you use your machine to make the parts for at least two more Darwins for other people at cost, as well as using it to make whatever you or anyone else on the internet can think up...
Darwin consists of a frame made from rods and printed parts. A flat build platform moves vertically in that frame, driven on screw threads by a stepper motor. At the top of the frame there are two write heads that move horizontally (driven by toothed belts and two more steppers) extruding a thin stream of molten plastic to form new layers on the build base. The machine prints layer by layer to form a solid object. The build base then moves one increment down, the second layer is extruded, and so on. There are two heads to allow a filler material to be laid down as well as the plastic. This filler is used to support overhanging parts of the objects being built, and is removed when the process is finished.
2. Mendel 3D RepRap 3D printer
It's the second, improved version of RepRap: small enough to fit on your desk, but with a print volume large enough for you to make big things.
The machine is made up of bits bought in from local suppliers or online, and parts which it can make for itself - all the translucent structural components you can see.
3. Prusa Mendel RepRap 3D printer
The Prusa Mendel 3D printer improves on a previous design by being more streamlined for manufacture. The Prusa Mendel is a simpler remix of the original Mendel 3D printer. By default, it uses printed bushings instead of regular bearings, though options to substitute inexpensive lm8uu linear bearings or other types of bearings or bushings are available. The current version uses three 608 bearings in total, one for the X axis and two for the Y axis. The 624 bearings are gone altogether.
Prusa's main goal is to be the purest and simplest 3D printer you can build.
• It's much simpler to build it.
• It's much simpler to modify it.
• It's much simpler to print it for your friends.
• It's much simpler to repair it.
4. Huxley RepRap 3D printer
RepRap Version III "Huxley" is being developed on this and associated pages. It is based on Ed's original Mini-Mendel design, together with a lot of work already put in by ErikDeBruijn and others. Huxley is named, like all RepRaps, after a biologist: Thomas Henry Huxley.
To clarify, Huxley will be Mini-Mendel with some re-designed parts plus more documentation, defined integrated electronics (with alternatives, of course), and a selection of alternative firmware and host software configured to drive it. We will be integrating as much as possible of the work such as Brutis already done on Mini-Mendel.
The machine uses M6 threaded rods and M3 nuts and bolts (as opposed to the M8/M4 used on Mendel) and NEMA 14 Stepper Motors. The reprapped parts are about 30% of the volume of those for Mendel, which is to say it could reproduce three times faster.
Mendel can print itself, and so will Huxley. In addition, Mendel will be able to print Huxley, and Huxley will be able to print Mendel. We will continue Mendel development to turn it into a multi-material machine. Huxely will be a one-material machine, though we will probably also add a Pen Plotter so we can write etch-resist on PCBs and use an Oil Pen to facilitate separation of Support Material for overhangs.
The idea is to develop both Mendel and Huxley in parallel, with Huxley being as cut-down and minimal as possible, and Mendel being the machine with all the fancy capabilities. Huxley will be the fastest replicator. Mendel will be the most versatile.
5. Fab@Home 3D printer
Fab@Home is a project dedicated to making and using fabbers - machines that can make almost anything, right on your desktop. This website provides everything you need to know in order to build or buy your own simple fabber, and to use it to print three dimensional objects. The hardware designs and software on this website are free and open-source. Once you have your own fabber, you can also download and print various items, try out new materials, or upload and share your own projects. Advanced users can modify and improve the fabber itself.
Fabbers (a.k.a. 3D printers or rapid prototyping machines) are a relatively new form of manufacturing that builds 3D objects by carefully depositing materials drop by drop, layer by layer. With the right set of materials and a geometric blueprint, you can fabricate complex objects that would normally take special resources, tools and skills if produced using conventional manufacturing techniques. A fabber can allow you to explore new designs, email physical objects to other fabber owners, and most importantly - set your ideas free. Just as MP3s, iPods and the Internet have freed musical talent, we hope that blueprints and fabbers will democratize innovation.
Most commercial 3D Printers today are limited to one material at a time, and their proprietary technologies limit experimentation. Moreover, their price range - tens of thousands, to hundreds of thousands of dollars - is typically well beyond what an average home user can afford. Our goal with this open-source, multi-material printing is to explore the potential of universal fabrication: Machines that can use multiple materials to fabricate complete, active systems.
MakerBot 3D printers (CupCake CNC and Thing-O-Matic)
MakerBot 3D printers in general are a derivative of the RepRap project. Our goals are similar: to build cheap, open source 3D printers. With CupCake we decided to focus on making a printer that was cheap, reliable, and easy to use/hack.