Over the last 12 months, we’ve certainly seen a fair share of new 3D printers hit the market. While many of today’s printers range in terms of size, extruders, composition, materials and hardware, none may be as unique as the one recently created by Dutch Maker Harold Reedijk.
As 3DPrint.com notes, Makers have been constructing their own 3D printers using 3D-printed parts for a while now — a trend that is commonly seen throughout open-source RepRap movement. Meanwhile, we’ve also begun to see some manufacturers, like Lulzbot, begin to mass produce their own parts on 3D printers — a number of which are based on AVR and Atmel | SMART microcontrollers.
Reedijk, who has owned an Ultimaker Original 3D printer for quite some time now, is no stranger to tinkering around with his Arduino Mega 2560 (ATmega2560) based printer by adding and replacing various components. In fact, he’s even created his own heated print bed, as well as even more recently replaced the entire hot-end on his Ultimaker.
“After a while I asked myself whether I could make a printer on my own. I had access to aluminum extrusions, so I decided to use them for the frame. I didn’t want to make the printer entirely from aluminum parts, as it would be too expensive for my budget at that time, and I knew that RepRap printers used printed ABS parts for construction purposes. First I tried PLA. It was hard enough for construction but when there was pressure on the parts they just broke. I didn’t want to use ABS, just because of the bad fumes alone, so I searched for alternatives. At that time ColorFabb came out with XT. I bought a spool, printed some test parts to test the general strength, toughness and impact strength, and it exceeded my expectations,” Reedijk told 3DPrint.com.
Subsequently, the Maker elected to go ahead and use the ColorFabb XT to build his 3D printer, which was based on the design of his Ultimaker Original. He did make a few modifications, however, which included increasing its print volume to 220 x 220 x 215mm, adding a heated print bed, including an integrated power supply, and using a Ubis ceramic hot-end.
Reedijk revealed to 3DPrint.com that he drew the aluminum extrusions of the printer in his 3D Program around the print be dimensions before making the parts for the frame.
“After that I sourced all the parts, built up the printer, step by step, drew all the XT parts and printed them out. At that time, I thought I knew enough about 3D printing, but during the build process I learned a lot more about printing itself (temperatures, print orientations, effects of cooling, etc.), the material XT itself, and the do’s and don’ts when making a printer.”
When all was said and done, the DIY 3D printer looks (and yes, works) perfect. You can see it in action below!
Interested in learning more? While Reedijk’s future plans are still undecided, you can head over to his official website here.