Tag Archives: 3D printer

Reach is an all-in-one 3D printer, laser cutter, plotter and mill

… and it costs less than $300.

If you’re like most of us, chances are you’ve played around with a 3D printer at some point. But as you know all too well, the market only has a few affordable options for the everyday enthusiast: there are the sub-$500 plastic units with non-accesible parts, and then there are RepRaps with their fragile fames that require frequent adjustments. With hopes of solving all of these issues, Nate Rogers and his team have developed the Reacha high-quality, versatile machine with an all-alluminum frame, a large build area, as well as interchangeable modules for cutting, engraving, plotting and milling.


The Reach has everything you’d expect from a DIY 3D printer kit, such as auto-leveling, a 200mm x 200mm x 215mm volume, a heated bed and a geared extruder. It boasts V-Slot extrusions, Delrin V Wheels and a sturdy frame comprised of 1/8” laser-cut aluminum plates. With an Arduino Mega (ATmega2560) and RAMPS 1.4 shield at its core, NEMA 17 stepper motors, a precision 8mm lead screw and GT2-20 pulleys, the Reach is capable of achieving 90mm/second print speeds with an accuracy of 50 micron layers. As you would expect, the Reach works with pretty much all 1.75mm filaments ranging from PLA and ABS, to Nylon and NinjaFlex, to faux metal.


As a Maker himself, however, Rogers knew that a 3D printer in today’s market was a dime a dozen. And so, he and his crew enhanced the Reach’s capabilities using detachable toolheads: a laser for cutting and engraving, a plotter and a light mill, which together create the ultimate all-in-one machine that will be a welcomed fixture on any workbench or at any Makerspace.

An upgrade kit will soon also be available for an extra $70, which consists of a full graphics LCD screen with SD card reader, an MK2 heated bed, a 100K thermistor and an improved power supply. The Reach supports most open source software, including Sketchup, Meshlab, Repetier, Cura and Inkscape, and is currently compatible with Windows and most Mac operating systems.


Sound like the $259 device for you? Head over to its Kickstarter campaign, where Rogers and his team have already doubled their $40,000 goal. Delivery is slated for summer 2016.

A 3D printer with fully-auomated bed leveling and tool height adjustment

This Maker will never have to think about leveling or Z height again. 

3D printers are great pieces of Maker equipment, but they don’t work so well if the bed is not level with the extruder. Aligning these two elements together is commonly known as “bed leveling” or “tramming,” and, although simple in theory, needs to be highly accurate. Jeremie Francois decided to combine automating this process with setting the Z-axis offset (important when using multiple extruder heads) using a bed supported by lead screws on three stepper motors.


The motors that Francois used came pre-assembled with a lead screw, and throwing conventional wisdom aside, chose to use the screws to both drive and guide the bed. These “multi-use” lead screws are then independently controlled to touch a force sensitive resistor attached to the extruder head in different positions in order to level the bed. You can see the procedure in the video below, where he manually adjusts the bed into an offset position. The stepper motors then automatically adjust the bed in calibration mode.

Once this is done, the Z-axis can be controlled in “transparent mode” where all three steppers rotate in unison. This allows the calibration motors to act like a normal Z-axis when using the main Arduino Mega (ATmega2560) to control a print. If you’d like to get a better look at the code for this project, be sure to check out Francois’ GitHub page.

Skriware is a one-click 3D printer for your home

Skriware wants to make 3D printers as ubiquitous in our homes as more conventional 2D printers.

Although 3D printers have become more accessible throughout the years, many of today’s affordable models still require some sort of 3D design expertise or CAD knowledge. Cognizant of this, Daniel Losinski set out to create a machine that was intuitive enough for anyone to use, despite their skill set or age. Specifically, he wanted to build an in-home unit that would stand out in a market full of bulky, complex and expensive printers.


With the help of his Stockholm-based team, Losinki has launched Skriware along with a 3D printing marketplace dubbed Skrimarket. This nifty combination allows Makers to print directly from the online hub with the touch of a button.

“Our goal in designing the Skriware printer was to make it as easy and intuitive as possible. That’s why we brought to life a device that can be used by anyone — from a school kid hooked on the newest game figurines to a grandma who wants to surprise her grandchildren with their favorite superhero-shaped cookies!”


Skriware is a wireless gadget that boasts both Wi-Fi and Ethernet connection, and features a full-color LCD touchscreen with a user-friendly interface, a USB port for seamless transferring of files, and an easily removable magnetic print bed.

Though it was crafted to be both affordable and simple to use, the startup touts that the 3D printer is extremely durable, and provides high-quality results that go toe-to-toe with professional-grade equipment. Moreover, Skriware not only supports standard PLA filaments, but PET-G recycled materials as well. Great news for environmentally-conscious Makers!


What really sets Skriware 3D printer apart is that it can be connected to the Skrimarket. With one click, Makers can 3D print designs directly from the online marketplace. There’s no need to adjust, change or process the file. You just choose the model, hit “print” and you’re all set! Within minutes, an object appears on your desk. And for the more experienced bunch, have no worries — you can also download and edit the files available on the Skrimarket.

Skriware measures 330mm x 345mm x 425mm (13.1” x 13.5”x 16.7”) in size and offers a print area of 150mm x 150mm x 130mm (5.9” x 5.9” 5.1”) with up to 50-micron print layer resolution. Meanwhile, the printhead speeds vary for different sections of the print. Outer perimeters have the lowest print speed of 25-40mm/second, as they are crucial for print quality. Infill is printed with 60-80mm/second and travel speed is up to 150mm/second.


Sound like the 3D printer for you? Head over to Skriware’s Kickstarter campaign, where its crew is currently seeking $50,461. Delivery is slated for April 2016.

The NX1 produces objects 40 times faster than other 3D printers

This incredible fast 3D print creates objects at the speed of one centimeter per minute, without sacrificing quality and accuracy.

Do you feel the need, the need for 3D printing speed? Then one Rome-based startup has quite the thing for you. Nexa3D has unveiled what they call the NX1 3D printer, which boasts printing speeds of up to one centimeter per minute, a rate the company claims is 40 times faster than others on the market and roughly half the price.


Using their patented LSPc (Lubricant Sublayer Photocuring) technology, the NX1 is being billed as the quickest desktop 3D printer to date — a completely standalone device equipped with Wi-Fi access, a native OS and an accompanying app that enables you to print from anywhere.

Powered by four mechanical arms, the NX1 is able to churn out whatever 3D-printed ideas come to mind with ultimate speed — all without sacrificing accuracy and resolution we’ve come to expect from SLA machines. Featuring a sleek unibody frame, the printer combines high quality engineering with an overall experience that’s user-friendly in every way possible. The NX1 offers a build volume of 4.7” x 3.5” x 7.9” (120mm x 90mm x 200mm). Unlike other printers, NX1 doesn’t need screws and bolts either. Instead, the platform is anchored in place with magnets.


Whereas other desktop devices depend on a refill process that involves everything from bottles to gloves, NX1’s unique design employs an integrated resin cartridge system that eliminates any headache-causing refills in the middle of a print job. Simply put your resin cartridge in the slot and the NX1 takes care of the rest. Upon completion, the machine automatically recaptures and reuses any remaining resin left in its tank, making it ready for the next print job without wasting a drop.

“While everybody else was thinking about how to keep users happy as they waited hours and hours for their 3D objects to print, we focused on simply eliminating the wait times in the first place,” its creators explain. “Extreme speed, desktop design, high precision and smart features, make the NX1 different from any other 3D printer.”


Forget about waiting hours upon hours for your high-res object to be finished, the NX1 will have your job done before you can even finish your cup of morning coffee. For instance, a 50mm x 50mm x 50mm cube takes roughly seven and a half minutes, compared to the 250 and 260 minutes of an FDM and SLA printer, respectively.

Ready for a new era of 3D printing? Then head over to NX1’s Kickstarter campaign, where the Nexa3D crew is currently seeking $170,133. Delivery is set for March 2016.

Maker creates his own 3D printer for under $100

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!

Build your own e-waste 3D printer for $120

As the saying goes: One man’s trash is another Maker’s 3D printer.

Electronic waste (or e-waste for short) is an interesting side-effect of our high-tech world. Sure, your Pentium II computer was still pretty cool after it survived “Y2K,” but by 2010 or so it was probably in a landfill. Making this even more wasteful is the fact that there were probably working motors and mechanical components that could have been salvaged from it. If there were a good way to collect these components, and something they could easily be used on, that might make a dent in e-waste.


Though it might not solve the world’s pollution problems, this 3D printer, made in part with e-waste, at least lets people reuse some of the good parts from old computers. Per this project’s excellent writeup: “By upcycling e-waste such as old DVD drives and PC power supplies, the Curiosity not only costs less than $150, but also educates children and adults about e-waste, environmental issues, recycling and upcycling while learning everything about 3D printing!”


The kit that they have available includes a laser-cut frame and an Arduino Mega (ATmega2560) with a RAMPS shield for print control. You, as the end-user, need to supply two DVD drives and a floppy drive, as well as a power supply and tools. I could definitely see this printer being quite a bit of work to build, since you have to “harvest” parts, but coming in at just under $150, their build kit is attractively-priced and should teach you quite a bit about how a 3D printer works.

Baby 3D is a palm-sized 3D printer

Baby 3D prints in your hand, gets put away in a shoebox.

Whereas a vast majority of companies are constantly looking for new ways to increase the build volume of their 3D printers, one group of Long Island-based Makers have set out to do just the opposite. Their goal? To put a 3D printer right in the palm of your hand.


While it may sound like a crazy idea, think about it: Measuring just 6.3” x 5” x 8″ in size, you can bring the aptly named Baby 3D anywhere you want to go. And sure, it may not produce the most high-res objects known to man, it is still capable of extruding objects in less than six minutes. This makes it ideal for those working on a quick project at home, inside the classroom or even while enjoying a cup ‘o joe at the coffee shop.

“The purpose is to bring 3D printing to people who can’t fit a large 3D printer into their lives, or would like a small 3D printer for learning, or as a spare 3D printer, or simply for the novelty of it,” its creators explain.


If Baby 3D looks vaguely familiar, it’s because the printer is a miniaturized clone of the Printrbot Simple 1405 Edition. The uber mini and lightweight (only 2.5 pounds) machine can comfortably rest in your hand as it prints, while taking up no more table space than a sheet of paper.

Designed with the education community in mind, Baby 3D comes in DIY kit form and due to its small form factor, 10 printers can be easily stored inside one case — that’s perfect for classroom storage! What’s more, it is entirely open source, which enables Makers and students alike to duplicate and customize their own.


One of its most notable features, however, is its newly unveiled nozzle: the Baby 3D Thermal Barrier, which is about an inch long and will take the hassle out of tiny print jobs.

“The PTFE-lined filament path provides smooth transfer and has been tested for over a year and on multiple platforms. The thermal barrier is compatible with several mainstream heat blocks and nozzles,” the team writes. “This very small, lightweight part provides a great solution for small and miniature printer design. Source artwork for the thermal barrier will be released along with all other Baby 3D source materials, so that schools and individuals can manufacture their own.”

Sound like a handheld 3D printer you’ve always dreamed of? Head over to Baby 3D’s Kickstarter campaign, where it is currently seeking $40,000. Delivery is slated for June 2016.

This giant 3D printer can build concrete objects

This kingsize 3D printer can builds concrete objects up to 36’ long, 16’ wide and 13’ tall. 

Recently, several companies, Makers and architects have been diligently working towards creating a viable 3D printer that could build structures out of concrete. Joining them are a team of researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology, who’ve begun to employ a kingsize machine capable of printing objects 36 feet long, 16 feet wide and 13 feet tall. And while it may not be as enormous as WASP’s 40-foot-tall Big Delta that aims to quickly produce homes in impoverished areas, it does boast a rather impressive print space — something which will surely come in handy for those in the construction industry.


The printer, which was developed by Dutch company ROHACO, is extremely precise and shares a resemblance to an overhead hoisting crane in a production hall. The only difference is that, instead of a hoisting cable, the system features a jointed, swivel printer head that’s connected to a concrete mixing and pump unit.

According to professor Theo Salet and PhD student Rob Wolfs, the concrete 3D printer will surely open up a wide range of new possibilities. This, of course, calls for new knowledge, building techniques and materials to properly operate.


“One such new possibility lies in making very fine concrete structures. In traditional concrete pouring the formwork determines the ultimate shape of the concrete, and that is quite unwieldy. Concrete printing will enable builders to make details as small as a pea,” the team explains.

Aside from that, the researchers have plans to 3D print various types, qualities and colors of material, simulatenously. For instance, they envision the ability to construct an entire wall with fiber-reinforced concrete for enhanced support, an active insulation layer to retain heat, dirt-repelling concrete on the outside to keep it clean and a layer on the inside that improves the acoustics. Salet calls this “concrete 2.0,” as builders will be able to easily incorporate the needs of individuals users in the production process.


What’s more, they are looking to take this process to the next level, with aspirations of integrating smart components into the concrete printing on the spot, like wireless sensors that measure temperature or lighting that are triggered when someone walks into a room.

However, this sort of innovation is still several years out. Although functional at the moment, there are a few challenges associated with the gigantic printer that must first be overcome. While extruding a new layer, they must ensure that the underlying layer has enough bearing capacity to keep it from collapsing. Additionally, this layer should be moist enough to adhere to new ones. The team is working to find new types of concrete that can comply with these requirements.

Intrigued? Head over to the Eindhoven University of Technology’s page here.

[Images: Rien Meulman via TU Eindhoven]

Readybox may be the world’s fastest consumer 3D printer

This desktop 3D printer can extrude six times faster than existing 3D printers without any risk of clogging.

Readybox is a super speedy 3D printer reportedly capable of spitting out objects six times faster than other leading consumer 3D printers.


The brainchild of University of Maryland engineering student Brett Potter, the ReadyBox was born out of his own frustrations with the lack of quality in most user-friendly devices. He discovered that although many of these printers are affordable, they aren’t always so reliable. Constant malfunctioning leads to ongoing maintenance and new parts, none of which are cheap. Making matters worse, the speeds associated with such 3D printers generally run on the slow side of the spectrum — not great for when time is of the essence. So as any Maker would do, Potter decided to build a unit of his own that fully satisfied his appetite and met each of his demands.

“Our dream is to push the 3D printing industry forward to the point where 3D printing is a truly household technology. In order for this to happen, consumer 3D printers need to be as fast and as reliable as the industrial printers currently on the market. Readybox is designed to be the next step in achieving this goal,” Potter shares.

As the Maker explains, a majority of 3D printer movement systems max out at around 200-250mm/second, often restricted by friction and the heaviness of its own components. Not to mention, even if a printer can overcome these obstacles and its speed, it is then limited by extrusion as most extruder motors can only apply a certain amount of force to plastic filament before the filament breaks or the motor stalls.


Thanks to Potter’s patent-pending extrusion system, Readybox is able to avoid these constant hurdles and to apply significantly more force to the plastic. This eliminates clogging and enables the filament to flow faster than previously thought possible. This means that, although Readybox uses a larger 0.6mm nozzle, it can move at speeds much faster than existing machines on the market — we’re talking up 400mm/seconds and layers between 50 and 450 microns thick. To put things into perspective, models that would normally require upwards of 20 hours on other gadgets takes less than three hours on ReadyBox.

And not only can it produce objects with incredibly great detail, its impressive build volume allows it to take full advantage of its high speed. Designed to provide users with a professional-grade service on their desktop, Readybox will automatically calibrate itself, level its heated build plate and clean its nozzle before going on to the next job, thereby ensuring that every print is as accurate as the first. These features, coupled with the clog-free extrusion system, eradicate the most commonly experienced problems seen with other consumer printers.

In terms of electronics, ReadyBox boasts a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 core and an easy-to-use LCD screen with SD card support so that it can print by itself, even when a PC isn’t present. Additional specs include:

  • Printer size: 550cm by 55cm by 56cm (21.5” x 21.5” x 22”)
  • Print area: 33cm x 33cm x 33cm (13” x 13” x 13”)
  • Layer thickness: 0.05mm (50 microns) to 0.4mm (400 microns)
  • Top print speed: 400mm/second at 0.05mm layer thickness
  • Travel speed: up to 700mm/second
  • Nozzle: 0.6mm
  • Filament: PLA (2.85mm or 3mm)

Ready for faster prints without sacrificing quality? Head over to Readybox’s Kickstarter campaign, where Potter and his team are currently seeking $12,500. Delivery is projected for next spring.

The Eleven is an open source desktop 3D printer

The Eleven is an affordable 3D printer with a large build area and high precision. 

Developed by Canadian startup ISG3D, the Eleven is a hackable desktop 3D printer with an open-air design. Boasting an impressive build envelope of 22cm x 40cm x 40cm, the machine is capable of creating decently-sized objects in a variety of filaments like PLA, ABS, Nylon and NinjaFlex.


Inspired by the Prusa i3 and based on RepRap mechanics, the newly-revealed gadget was built specifically with Makers in mind, not to mention hackers thanks to its open source nature. Its stripped down composition provides users with the ability to make improvements of their own, and customize it to their liking.

What’s more, the Eleven features a sleek open-air body, resembling that of the Prusa, and can easily fit on any desktop or workbench without taking up too much space. The printer is equipped with a heated bed, a user-friendly LCD screen for menu navigation, a resolution of up to 100 microns, and can precisely extrude layers as thin as 0.1mm. With a print speed of up to 100mm/second, objects can be spit out relatively quickly with a great degree of accuracy. In terms of hardware, the desktop device is driven by the mighty combination of an Arduino Mega (ATmega2560) and RAMPS 1.4 along with a set of NEMA 17 stepper motors, and runs Repetier Host software.


The Eleven’s simple design makes it convenient to swap out filament spools, accessible for quick repairs or tune-ups, and pretty portable with a weight of roughly 30 pounds. Meanwhile, its frame is comprised mostly of aluminum, which offers enhanced stability and reliability during a print job. Plus, to give the gadget a little personality, the team has even added a series of LEDs that lets users choose from up to 15 colors and for different effects.

  • Printer size: 33cm x 60cm x 60cm
  • Build volume: 22cm x 40cm x 40cm
  • Layer resolution: <100microns
  • Nozzle: 0.4mm
  • Filament: PLA, ABS, Nylon (1.75mm)
  • Print speed: 100mm/s
  • Power supply: 240W
  • Connectivity: USB
  • OS: Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Software: Repetier

Sound like a 3D printer you’d like to have in your Makerspace? Head over to its Kickstarter page, where ISG3D is currently seeking $8,402. The first batch of units is expected to ship in February 2016.