3D Printer – an aside

I’ve had a few discussions recently as to why I’m building a 3D printer using one of these collect the parts magazine rather than either a) buying one outright or b) getting a “proper” build-it-yourself kit from an online store.  Now seems like a reasonable time to address the reasons behind this.

If you’ve been following my 3D printing posts you’ll know I’ve subscribed to Eaglemoss’ 3D Create and Print magazine and am gradually building my own printer.  With the weekly cost of the magazine this will eventually cost me £650 and I won’t have a complete printer until the middle of next year.  While this is cheaper than buying one outright now, with the speed of change and improvement it’s likely that the printer will be out of date, and this is not the only argument:

Continue reading 3D Printer – an aside

3D Printer Part 3: Y-axis motor and testing

Following from building the Y-axis assembly of my 3D printer, this post covers the fitting of the motor and the circuit boards to test, using the pieces in issues 7 to 10 of the 3D Create and Print magazine.  It’s a good job that, even though this is a “weekly” magazine, the issues arrive in sets of four as otherwise I imagine it could be very frustrating waiting, not able to add to the printer, until issue 10.

I don’t actually see why this stage was any different to the earlier steps – if the pieces had been delivered in a different order then there would have been no need to wait until the 10th issue before starting.  I can only assume that someone may have been tempted to power it all up before it was ready, which is why the motor itself is the last piece from this stage to arrive.  Continue reading 3D Printer Part 3: Y-axis motor and testing

3D Printer Part 2: Y-axis assembly

Today I finally started unwrapping the pieces of my 3D printer.  After the issues with getting the magazines into their binding, I have been putting this off until I had the time and space to work through it properly.  I have 15 pieces to work through and this includes several circuit boards and a plug.  This entry covers the first 6 issues of 3D Create and Print by Eaglemoss Publications where we create the y-axis assembly up to the point of being ready for the motor and power.

Parts 1 and 2 and the tool kit
Issues 1 and 2 and the tool kit

The last set of pieces also came with a handy tool kit with everything I need to build and maintain the printer – another reason that I hadn’t done this earlier – no matter how many screwdrivers or allen keys I’ve bought over the years, I can never find any when I need them.  The one thing the tool kit is missing is a sharp pair of scissors to break open the plastic packaging of the printer pieces, but you can’t have everything! Continue reading 3D Printer Part 2: Y-axis assembly

3D Printer Part 1 – binding

So, today I decided to make a start on the 3D printer project.  I’ve got 15 parts now, enough to get started and also to get to a point where I can have something that moves I hope (I have a plug and circuit board in these issues).  The first 12 issues cover “stage 1” and that’s what I hoped to be covering in this first guide.

I had the mantra “read everything carefully before starting” ingrained as a child so I have a Pavlovian response when opening a  kit to read the instructions. In this case the instructions are spread across several magazines and the logical thing to do was to put them all in the binder first.  The binder takes 15 issues and looks like this:

The unfilled binder
The unfilled binder

This instructions say:

  1. Open the top and bottom flaps
  2. Remove all pegs and insert into the holes in the spine
  3. Close the top flap clipping into place
  4. Open the magazine in the centre and slip the first peg into the top of the  centre fold
  5. Do the same at the bottom, pulling the peg out slightly first
  6. Close the bottom flap, clipping into place.

Continue reading 3D Printer Part 1 – binding

Creating a 3D printer

At the start of 2015 I saw an innocuous sponsored tweet in my twitter feed for a week by week build your own 3D printer.  I’ve wanted one for a while but never really felt I could justify the cost on a toy… and then I saw the opportunity to build one myself and spread the cost… I used to spend more on coffee in a week so the justification was made and I signed up.

The printer I’m building is from 3D Create and Print who haven’t endorsed or sponsored anything in this blog.  Each issue comes with a part for the printer and a magazine with a design, with occasional extra free gifts.  I now have the first 11 issues, which includes the power adapter, so it’s probably a good time to start putting the parts together.

I’ll be filming how to assemble the printer along with a blog of any gotchas since, as anyone who has ever assembled flat pack furniture knows, sometimes just following the instructions isn’t always enough 🙂