I became interested in 3D printers years ago, and inspired by a crowd funded project called printrbot.
This was a fused filament printer that melted plastics (ABS/PLA) much like a glue gun and deposited molten plastic in thin layers to make up shapes.
Ideally I wanted a powder bed printer, but this was something that I couldn't easily download plans from or buy parts for, so I though I would start with the easier option and if all worked out then I could use this to produce the parts for the powderbed printer.
At the time the final designs for their first printer were still being developed so I eagerly waited and ordered parts whenever I found more details. My first 3d printer was a partial success, constructed mainly of ABS components and metal rods, it worked and taught me a lot of lessons on melting temperatures, curling of parts, software needed to run on PC as well as firmware for electronics.
I could have invested in a fully functional prebuilt printer or one of the established rep raps, but I wanted to opportunity to learn more about putting the printer together and experiment replacing parts.
My next project was to move to the wooden frame version, this had much thicker vertical rods and a sturdier construction. I used a lot of the parts from the first generation printer, the heated bed, gears, motors and electronics.
As mentioned earlier, my ultimate goal is to create a different kind of 3D printer based on a powder bed printer that I saw on a DIY site, this deposits a layer of powder and prints with a binding liquid, building up a layer at a time. This has the advantage of the structure being able to be supported by the powder and can build up much more complex objects. I have some of the parts from a conventional inkjet printer that I plan to use, the liquid used will be experimental (part of the fun).
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