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Thursday, 17 April 2014

My journey into building a 3d printer from old printer parts

Just because I've got nothing better to do with all my free time....

I got looking at all of the various DIY 3D printers on the market, and got wondering to myself... 

Why are there not many hobbyists re-using old All-In-One or Multifunction printers to scavenge parts from? 

My gut feel provides two answers.... 
  1. Many people have tried and failed...  but I see little evidence of this through Google searches.  
  2. The various RepRap kits have made it both affordable and technically possible through decent and thorough documentation to build from a kit, thus no need to do it completely from scratch.


Further research into true DIY 3D printers, finally led me to this incredible project out of Africa, building a 3D printer from recycled electronics.



Then I got looking at this DIY 3D printer below , and decided that I need to at least try this.



I visited Kijiji.ca  and did a search on cheap Multifunction Printers in my area.

I immediately purchased a functional Brother MFC-7340   for $25

And a Canon Pixma MG-3520 All-In-One Scanner/Printer *NEW in Box* for $20


Between these two printers, I should be able to scavenge the X/Y bed from the scanner intact. Including linear bearings, rods, steppers, gears and belts.   I will leave the dimensions as is.  I know it will be a bit strange, but...  This entire project is a bit strange.

I should also be able to get two Z axis steppers, linear rods/bearings gears and belts as well.  I will have to fashion a sturdy support  from T-Slot extrusion...

To that end,  I purchased some 80/20 T-Slot aluminum extrusion for $40







Then there are the parts that I KNOW that I cannot (should not!) make myself. 

The Electronics will be purchased according to RepRap specifications
              Electronics:  $140  or on   Ebay for $100?

I will purchase and install a prefab Extruder with Hot end:    $95

And will listen to the various recommendations for using a Heated bed:  $25

Total budget?

2x recycled printers     $  50
T-Slot framing             $  40
Electronics                   $140
Extruder                       $100
Heated Bed                  $  25

Total:                           $355

Yes, I know I can get a PrintrBot for $300, but mine will be significantly larger... 

...and I hope I'll learn more than just frustration along the way.   (Yes, I also know there will be frustration to share)


Whether I succeed or fail... I will document the journey here, in photos and possibly some video.

Wish me luck...

If you have tips, recommendations, whatever, please feel free to leave a comment below.  (Just don't tell me I'm an id10t ...  My wife has well informed me on that aspect...)





References:

http://reprap.org/wiki/RepRap
http://hackaday.com/2013/04/30/scratch-built-3d-printer-shows-rock-solid-performance/
http://hackaday.com/2013/04/05/h-bot-style-3d-printer-moves-bed-for-z-axis/
http://www.popsci.com/article/diy/check-out-3-d-printer-made-e-waste
http://diy3dprinting.blogspot.ca/2013/05/wafate-african-3d-printer-out-of.html
http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/11/08/243951594/for-a-few-hundred-bucks-you-can-make-your-own-3-d-printer
http://www.instructables.com/id/Harvesting-parts-from-a-Laser-Printer/
http://www.grassrootsengineering.com/blog/mymachine/
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/printrbot/printrbot-your-first-3d-printer
http://www.craftsmanspace.com/free-projects/3d-printers-diy-plans-and-build-instructions.html
http://3dprinters.ws/ord-bot-quantum/
http://inhabitat.com/portabee-launches-portable-robust-affordable-3d-printer-for-under-500/
http://www.techthefuture.com/featured/build-your-own-3d-printer-1-%E2%80%94-repraps-improved/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_printing
http://www.tridimake.com/2012/10/homemade-heated-bed.html
http://el34world.com/Misc/Cnc/CNC21.htm
http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Glow-3D-Printer/
http://makezine.com/projects/eventorbot-open-source-diy-3d-printer/
http://www.3ders.org/pricecompare/3dprinters/?a=DIY%20kit
http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/11/08/243951594/for-a-few-hundred-bucks-you-can-make-your-own-3-d-printer


My local 3D printer supply company:  (local being an hour or so away...)

http://www.mixshop.com/index.php?main_page=contact_us&zenid=9jh0gbklv4to338i1fmb1abp13
http://www.mixshop.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=11&products_id=147


Contact Us:Address:
Unit 121, 2400 Midland Avenue, Toronto, ON Canada M1S 5C1

Workshop: 1 (416) 792-8388
Sales & Support: sales@mixshop.com / support@mixshop.com - Hang Zhuo
3D Printing Services: 3d-printing@mixshop.com - Tong He
Other Inquiry: info@mixshop.com - Jing Guo