I am thinking about building this printer, but replacing the hot end with an E3D v6. I see I can print out the parts to connect the e3d to the extruder. I want to do this because I would love for this to be a project for my high school students next year and want to get some experience with it before throwing it to them to do. I know that there are better printers out there, like the makerbot or its many clones, but I wanted to know if any of you know if this is a decent design for the type of things we do around here. For example, would it be sufficient to print off the parts that would be involved in building an InMoov for example, or maybe the Jimmy type bot from intel. I have no experience with 3D printing and want to truly understand what is going on instead of dropping a box on my desk and saying Print This. Just the way I am I guess.
Is there anyone in this community that has experience with Prusa i3 printers that could tell me if the quality of the prints would be worth this project or not? I know that a lot of this has to do with setup and configuration, but once configured, were you happy with your printer? I don't want to go down a path that I ultimately would be disappointed in. Which opensource software should I be getting familiar with? Any other recommendations?
Thanks in advance. As you can see, I have just started scraping the surface of this and a lot of questions.
Wow that's a pretty big build platform. It should print most of the inMoov parts. I think on thingiverse they are broken up pretty well to fit smaller printers so you should be good with that.
I've only owned a 3d printer for a few months but I've done tons of research. I don't know a whole lot about Prusa style printers, mostly because I had no intention on building one. It is one of the earlier 3d printer designs. They seem to be great when they're in proper order.
Which brings me to this, if you want to tinker and do a lot of adjusting and fine tuning then it's the way to go. If you want to come close to putting it on the desk and start printing, you want to go the maker bot route.
I spent a good month dialing in my Solidoodle just to get great prints. (I then moved it and that's it's own story and struggle of it's own. Not typical to be fair but, it's just where I'm at.) Now, I knew it would be some work and I'll be honest, I found the experience and knowledge gained incredibly rewarding but, if I could go back in time and have more money then I would go the MakerBot clone route, just because, now that I've done all that tinkering and have the knowledge I have, I really wish I could just sit down and say print.
I highly recommend watching a lot of you tube vids on 3d printing. Then try downloading some of the free 3d printer software programs and mess with them a little. (This may be beyond you this second but,) you can slice .stl files and mess with the slicer settings to see the different results you get without even having a printer. I did a bunch of this so when I finally did get a printer I was pretty much ready to go on the software side. AND THE SOFTWARE SIDE is a real big part of the 3d printing process.
And none of that really even covers 3d modeling and creating your own objects to print.
My thread on 3d printing may have some info you may find helpful as well.
Solidoodle 2, Ez Bits And My Other Adventures In 3d Printing.
Nothing about the Prusa printers but there should be some general info that may be useful.
And although it's geared toward Solidoodle owners, there are a few active Pursa owners over at
Lot's of info about 3d printing in general there as well.
I'm very excited to be a 3d printer owner and get excited when I hear of more people taking the plunge. There's a lot of info to absorb but once you get into doing it for a bit it all starts to seem fairly simple and intuitive.
In short, research the 3d printing process so you can get a feel for the steps involved then get some free software and get familiar with as much as you can on the software side. If you've got good hardware, you won't have to mess with it much and most of your time will be spent with software anyway.
There are a few guys I expect to chime in as well, like the XL Robot boys. They have a few MakerBots. And Jay from the UK might even have a Prusa style printer. I'm just excited to see someone wanting to take the plunge so I wanted to chime in.
I hope this was of some help.
It was. The main reason that I was looking at the prusa's was because of cost and I could build it over time and not take the entire cost hit at one time. I suppose I could do that with other kits too, but I was actually thinking about not actually using a kit and just getting all of the parts individually and making my own. It would be a fun project, but could also get very frustrating. I've been doing a lot of research, but there is so much more to do...
I understand the concept of slicing and what the system has to do to build a 3D object from a model, but it fascinates me that we have gotten to the point that this is possible. Another real concern I had was that the build area would be large enough. We will be building an InMoov with 5 EZ-B V4's over the next few years and I thought it would be cool to build the printer that is building the parts for the bot. I guess I need to go look at the parts and figure out how much build area we will need.
This printer will be used heavily because while the High School students are working on InMoov, the Jr High students will be building Jimmy, so we might need to get a couple of these over the next couple of years. Because they will have so much activity, being able to fix them is a concern also. I wont be able to go to the school and tell them to give me more money to maintain the printers and nobody else at the school is going to have a clue of what to do with them. I maintain the schools servers and network also. After watching the makerbots run at EZ-Robot non stop, I am sure that they are a very solid build of a 3d printer, but that would take away the ability of the students to be a part of building what helped them build their robot.
Lots to think about. Unfortunately, I have to make a choice in the next month or so.
Thanks for your thoughts. They were very helpful.
Most people seem to be able to build most kits in about a day. I went pre-assembled because I wanted to start printing asap. Now that I've owned my Solidoodle awhile and understand how it works I'd like to build a larger printer and I'll probably go the kit route next year. When I was last looking it didn't seem much cheaper to go piece by piece than it was to get a kit. So it may be worth it just to be sure you'll have EVERYTHING you need, and not get half way through and figure out you need to order another part and wait for it.
That kit looks good and seems like a good fit for what you want to do. It has a great build space. Most home/personal 3d printers don't even go up to 12". I'm sure there are some but 5"-9" seems to be the norm. Especially in the pre-assembled market. I've not looked at the InMoov files on thingivese in a while but I'm pretty sure they were split up to fit on a 8" or 9" bed. Mine is 6" and the few I tried were just a little big for my printer.
What I am finding in messing with the files is that some of them are really tall (Z) more then long (X or Y). Its an interesting project. I cant wait for the Jimmy project to be posted.
I think that I would have had a heart attack if I were in Jr High and could build a Jimmy type robot. I would never have left school if I could have built a InMoov robot. That is why I agreed to take over these programs. Building a 3d printer is cool enough, but knowing that you then will use it for cool projects like this makes it even cooler. I think the class will be a lot of fun and you will see some new faces show up asking some questions. My goal is to get the students to learn how to research and document their progress. This Community will be a really cool way to do that and hopefully motivate others to have some fun with the EZ-B.
I'm glad there are folks like you steering kids in this direction. Best of luck. Keep us posted on how things go.
If you want to build a 3d printer without a kit here is a link to how to build one but you can change it to suit you. this 3d printer was built with arduino But maybe you can build on switch the ezb
The Ben heck show
There are other videos of how he upgrade this 3 d printer that he built here is one
The Ben heck show
I have been pricing out all of the components. It comes to around $550 to build a reprap if you get all of your own parts. I can pick up a solidoodle or a asterid for about $500 and add my own upgrades as time goes on. One thing that I am finding out is important is that you want to have the 3D printer enclosed but there is a patent on that so, you would have to enclose it yourself if you don't want to spend an arm and a leg on one. I also figured out that an 8x8x8 build volume is pretty large after messing with a lot of the InMoov stl files.
Right now I am looking at this one.
I guess the first thing I would do is change out the power supply so that the other things would be possible. I can add plexi to the outside of it using a seal and some magnets. I can also add the screen and sd card reader later. My computer won't get bogged down when printing and I have a dedicated machine that stays on 24/7 and can do the printing. It is on an APC so hopefully that will keep it up and going if there are any issues. Another machine will be creating the G-Code, and placing it on my network for this machine to use. Also, I like the larger screen option instead of the one they offer on their site. I would add a bed heater and would eventually change out the extruder. They are using all reprap components so it will be easy to fix if anything happens. It comes built and ready to run, so I will be able to learn more about 3D printing itself, instead of the hardware. I am sure that all of the additions would kick it over $700 but it would be one heck of a reprap in an enclosed box with a filament holder. Who knows, I might even end up adding multiple extruders. I have seen a 4 extruder block so that could be possible in the future. All in all, it gives me a base to build off of for about $550 shipped.
I think the students will be building a reprap from scratch. We will price the parts and build the frame, and then get the electronics purchased and put in. This will be a really good learning process. I have just become inpatient for a personal one I guess
That Astrid looks like a solid unit. I hope you keep up a thread on this when you guys start building.
Well, after days of researching and thinking, I pulled the trigger today and purchased a MakerFarm I3v kit to build. I completely did a flip-flop after analyzing how much it would cost to add all of the parts that I would be adding to the Astrid unit and remembering something that I always told my employees. When I got into management about 25 years ago, I promised myself that I would never ask an employee to do anything that I wasn't willing to do. I have kept true to that. While the students aren't going to be employees, I still feel the same way about them, so I didn't feel good about having them build a 3d printer if I wasn't willing to do the same.
I researched many kits and found that the people who have built the MakerFarm kit were more happy with the kit and the finished product than pretty much any other kit out there. i had considered sourcing all of the parts myself, but the cost was just about as high with the kit, but with many more trips to the hardware store because of forgotten pieces and such. Also, there are extensive build instructions with the MakerFarm and more choices for hot ends. The kit comes with everything that I was going to do to the Astrid, just in kit form. After watching all of the build tutorials and videos on youtube, I am very confident in how easy this kit will be to put together. In addition, there are some mods to this unit like auto leveling that I will be adding. From what the forums are saying, this is the I3 kit to buy.
I also had a bid going for a duplicator II on ebay. It got up to a higher cost than purchasing from the company so I backed out. 3d printers are almost as wanted as the ez-b 4 by the fine folks on the internet
I will be documenting the build and posting it. Its always nice to have another person in this community with experience on building a reprap or repstrap as it might be. More to come!
Makerfarm i3v kit