Think of it, that moment, the sense of accomplishment you’ll have when you’ve finished building your own 3D printer. And once your printer is completed, having the ability to bring anything you can imagine into the physical world. Doesn’t that sound great?
At Apple3DPrint, we have a passion for 3D printers along with the freedom and creativity that owning a 3D printer allows. Our mission is to help you experience the world of 3D printers, and specifically in this article, how you can begin creating your very own DIY 3D printer.
Before creating your own DIY 3D printer system, you must first understand the different pieces that constitute a complete 3D printer kit. These are broken down into 3 categories:
· Electronic components
· Mechanical components
SOFTWARE & 3D SCANNING:
- For a 3D printer to function it must first have a 3D image or model to print. To create a 3D model there are 3 main categories of software:
- Computer-aided Design or CAD tools primarily use geometrical shapes to build printable 3D models.
Free-form modelling tools allow you the flexibility to create any type of 3D model you like.
- Sculpting tools are, as the name implies, tools used to change an already existing form. Think of these tools as digital clay that you can mold and manipulate into your desired shape.
In addition to developing your own models for printing, there is an amazing online community of 3D printers who freely offer models they themselves have created.
Another option to create 3D models is 3D scanning. This method takes a real life object, scans it using lasers or other means, and then compiles a model based on the information collected from the scan.
In 3D printing, the primary component is an electronic board. This board is capable of interacting with and receiving instructions from a computer and 3D printing software. Once the printing instructions are received, the board controls the mechanical components of the 3D printer to bring to life the 3D model created via the software. Sanguinolulu boards are especially popular in DIY 3D printers.
For the actual printing, the 3D model file is parted into thousands of horizontal layers. These layers are printed by the 3D printer, one-by-one, until the job is completed and your model is now your object.
For a DIY 3D printer, you will almost certainly be using a Fused Deposition Modelling or FDM printer. This type of printer uses molten plastic filament to create objects from models.
The primary components of a FDM printer are:
- Extruder: Heats the filament and releases the molten plastic that will become the finished object.
- Filament Reel: Storage and feeding mechanism for the plastic filament.
- Print Table: The surface where the printed object is actually created. The Print table is typically made of strong materials to resist the heat the extruder outputs.
- XY&Z Axis Motors + Belts, Drive Shafts, Tensioners and Carriage: These components, working in tandem, allow the extruder to move in 3 Dimensions and create 3 Dimensional objects as a result. Their movement is directed by the electronic board.
- Endstops: End stops can be electronic or mechanical and are used to set the boundaries for project creation within the Print Table.
- Cooling fan: This optional feature on many DIY 3D printer sets helps to keep the hot part of the extruder from overheating during extended use. Extruder heat monitoring is also a feature found in many 3D printing programs.
Now that you have a better understanding of all the different parts of your DIY 3D Printer, all that’s left is to actually put the pieces together and build your own! We’ll have more advice and tips on that in our next article.
Via –Apple3DPrint Staff