Basic is a small single head FDM 3D printer, designed with an emphasis on being easy to build. The entire frame is printed in a single piece, and uses parts that are readily available online.
We’ve built 3D printers from scratch before, but they all involved printing out small parts and assembling a frame. When the MakerBot Z18 showed up on our doorstep, we were very excited about the large build volume it afforded us. The 12x12x18 inch volume meant that we could finally print things all in one piece. We did some designing on our spare time, and came up with a small printer, named Basic:
Basic has a respectable build volume of 110 x 85 x 145 mm, and runs on a CoreXY gantry system. Using MGN9H linear rails keeps assembly simple and quick, and all necessary mounting points are built into the 3D printed frame!
Whenever you are going to print a complex model, you should always double check your tolerances. We printed out a few parts that tested overhang angles and hole dimensions, and based our model on the best values.
Once we had those base values down, we printed just the base to test fit the electronics and make sure that the overhanging floor would succeed. This was where our first real hiccup happened. According to MakerBot Desktop 3.8, our test was only going to take 10 hours to print… when in reality:
We also noticed that one of our Z18 pulleys was acting up a bit, which caused some of the banding that is visible in that shot. We replaced the pulley and our print quality immediately improved.
Once we were confident in the geometry of our part, we sliced up the whole model. Basic’s frame takes just about 4 pounds (or 2.2 kilograms) of plastic, so we ordered a 5 pound spool from Ultimachine. They make some great filament, and have a wide variety of colors. We chose pink.
We queued up the full model, set up some cameras, and let the Z18 run for a week.
After removing the built in support and printing out the other parts, assembly could begin!
We attached a spare Replicator 2 extruder, did some preliminary calibration, and started some prints!
Custom Sleeve for Coffee and Tea Cups by sethmoser — thing:99020
Yoda Lite by faberdasher — thing:10752
Elephant by LeFabShop — thing:257911
Platform Jack [Fully Assembled, No Supports] by intentional3D — thing:925556
Overall we’re very happy with the results! Basic is even able to print our infamous Platform Jack, a model that requires some pretty tight tolerances to work well!
Stay tuned for more information on Basic, and let us know if you’ve got a part you’d like to see printed on it!