One of my longest term projects to date has been building a custom FDM 3D printer from stock parts and materials. I’m recording some things I learned while building it here, so they can hopefully be useful (or at least interesting) to other people.
I worked through several design iterations across three different CAD software. Coming up with a full model of a full CNC machine turned out to be a workable, if unusual, way to get better at drafting and solid modelling.
Some early models (OpenSCAD)
The finalized design is a fixed bed machine with a moving gantry and a water-cooled toolhead.
The weakness of this machine’s design is the need for a lightweight toolhead. I ended up custom-machining a water-cooled carriage/cold-side combination part. I’m happy enough with its performance as is, but I still want to keep tinkering with this part of the printer.
Some more images of the printer, from WIP to ‘finished’ state:
The welded steel frame, with the carriage installed:
Laying out and installing the electronics:
Machining the y-axis carriage, one of the machine’s most complicated parts:
Other WIP pics:
The completed printer:
In the off chance you actually want to look at them, I dumped the project files to a git repository Here. No guarantees that any of it will be useful.
Thanks for looking.