Feb 13, 2016 | By Andre

There are extremes in just about everything you might come across in life. From natural geological phenomenon like the weather to who has the nicest car or even in simple things like how frozen orange juice is never as good a freshly squeezed. These differences exist in the world of 3D printing as well. Nobody of sound mind would suggest that a $100 Peachy Printer will produce the same range of parts as the $330,000 Objet500 Connex3. But if you care to look, there are exceptions out there that allow you to have your cake and eat it too.

A 14 year old Canadian Maker with the Instructables alias appleman123987 has just released all the necessary instructions, files and component lists to make your own 3D printer that is surprisingly robust when it comes to features and it can all be done for $200. The Edge 3D 3.0, as he calls it, includes 2 Z axis motors, LCD control screen, Arduino based RAMPS control board and the proven Stepstruder MK7 extruder. Even more impressive, it can print up to the 100 micron layer height that most of the prosumer desktop FDM 3D printers are, for the most part, limited at as well.

So how was this this crafty teenager able to figure out how to fit so much 3D printing power into such an affordable package? In short, with a lot of hard work, tinkering and access to a local MakerSpace. While none of the components in the Edge 3D 3.0 are recycled, a full spectrum laser cutter along with the shop’s Robo 3D Printer were used to produce the acrylic base, platform and non-mechanical and electrical components.

And while he does plan on selling his units with a slight markup in the future, all of the design files are available for free on Thingiverse and the Instructables instructions are more than enough to get you started on your very own 3D printer.

As with any project involving the assembly of a complex machine, sourcing all the necessary parts and tools is an important first step. Appleman123987 has provided a detailed list of where you can get what you’re after at as low a price as I’ve ever seen myself. Next up is 3D printing and laser cutting the remaining parts following in the footsteps of the RepRap tradition.

From there it’s a matter of mounting and wiring all electronics together (basic soldering skills are a necessity here), assembling the laser cut enclosure, attaching the LCD screen, connecting the Axis rods, extruder and power supply. All that’s left after that is loading the firmware into the Arduino and you’re ready to get printing.

Of course, the world of DIY 3D printing is never really that easy. It took him about a week of assembly and several months before that to design The Edge 3D 3.0. But if you have an interest in 3D printing and want to get as much out of a $200 3D printer, this might be one of your best bets.

What’s next for this self-proclaimed "builder of things" other than selling his machines? Well, for now he’s hoping to win an Instructables contest (top right link on his 3D printer page to vote for him) so he can have his very own lasercutter before moving on to develop what he calls “a new printing technology idea that is based on SLA, but with a twist.” Quite ambition if you ask me! All said, while his 3D printer won’t be producing parts for NASA anytime soon, it is an admirable entry in the low-cost DIY 3D Printer game that’s for sure.

Specs:

  • Resolution: 100 Microns - 300 microns
  • Speed: 45mm/sec (not yet tested beyond)
  • Build Volume (X, Y, Z): 145mm x 80mm x 100mm
  • Overall Printer Size: 100mm x 265mm x 270mm
  • Threaded Rod: Imperial 5/16 inch, optional metric upgrade

 

 

Posted in 3D Printer

 

 

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