Rather than spend thousands of dollars on a 3D printer, this Maker made his own out of a DIY CNC machine and a 3D printing pen.
3D printers have come a long way over the past couple of years. However, even despite their ubiquity, many of these machines are still pretty darn expensive. The more impressive devices can run anywhere from $2,000, while DIY kits can still set you back a couple of hundred dollars. Instead, Tinkernut developed a way to build his own for less than $100.
How, you ask? By hacking a $45 3D printing pen and transforming it into an entire printer. 3D printers are comprised of four basic parts: a bed, filament, a hot end and an extruder. In the video below, Tinkernut elaborates upon his decision-making process as well as the steps that he had taken in bringing the project to life.
For the bed, the Maker employed parts from an old three-axis CNC router that he built out of CD drives, which is connected to a 3D printing pen for the hot end and extruder. According to Tinkernut, the pen made for a better choice than a hot glue gun, especially considering the fact that it already came with built-in extruder functionality.
Tinkernut’s pen featured three standard buttons: thickness, backward extrusion and forward extrusion. He proceeded to tear down the handheld gadget so that he could automate the latter, which would be simulated by an Arduino Uno (ATmega328) to turn the system on and off.
Admittedly, the makeshift machine is a bit restricted when it comes to the size and resolution of an object that it can print, but hey, it’s $100! You can follow along with Tinkernut’s exhaustive build here, or simply watch it in action below!