3D Printer Build - Part 1

Today we had a fantastic 3D printer building event. Ben, JR, and myself got to MakeHaven around 10 AM, turned on some tunes, and opened up a rather intimidating box of 3D printed parts:

Then we saw a pile of threaded metal rods:

First, we tried hacking at them:

 But it wasn't one-button easy. And that's what we're all about at MakeHaven. Easy. And Awesome. But mostly easy. It was clear what we needed... power tools. As Peter asked at one point, "were they necessary?" No, Peter, they weren't, but they were awesome:

It's funny, the whole process was remarkably simple once you stopped looking at a massive pile of stuff and just took it one piece at a time. It's kind of like building a lego. You grab the bricks you need, and start assembling the model one subassembly at a time: 

Ben, Kam, and Frank went to town on the pile, building a sweet-looking frame in about 2 hours:

We had about 15 people come through the shop over the course of the day:

Which was great at getting me distracted talking about resin printers again. We had a great turnout with some folks helping with the build and others eager to learn more about what a 3D printer is and how it works. The general concensus was "it's not too hard." It brings tears to my eyes. We'll get 'em building a resin printer soon enough:




And here she is! The (nearly) finished frame of the Reprap Prusa Mendel we're building! All 3 axes are working great. Now we just need to build the extruder and attach the motors. Then we can connect a PC and start printing some plastic! With any luck, we'll be churning out new printers in no time. I, for one, welcome our new 3D printer overlords. You might as well too. Maybe you'll get a free printer out of the deal.


Hope to see you at MakeHaven.

- Dr. John