DIY 3-dimensional additive fabrication and personal manufacturing are rapidly expanding areas of exploration for hobbyists, amateur engineers, tinkerers and Maker-folk. The development aims to provide an alternative or complement to capital-intensive mass manufacturing for individual-level consumption, and also aims to empower the individual in the design and creation of their own goods. Because of the involvement of many demographics including said amateur engineers and hobbyists in this “research”, potential breakthroughs for the additive fabrication industry as a whole are also promising. As the technology continues to evolve on a grassroots level, the quality of products and streamlining of the process should approach or overtake levels achieved by commercial additive fabrication machines while remaining accessible to persons interested in pursuing engineering as a hobby or profession.
I mean, besides all that, I want my own 3d printer. So here’s a page listing my development work.
Not to be confused with Makerbot
My first entry into the DIY 3d printer game is tongue-in-cheek christened Make-A-Bot because of the numerous design inspirations it features from the similarly named commercial kit machines. It’s a Fused Deposition Modeling / Fused Filament Fabrication type machine that draws successive layers of an object using a continuously extruded molten plastic fiament. FDM/FFF creates structural parts that are usable immediately. Most of the deviations on this machine from existing open-source kit machines are in the interest of exploration. The work envelope is designed to be larger and taller, and the mechanics are fully custom. The machine also features some small design experiments such as flexure-mounted guide bearings and a fast-travel Z-axis. Otherwise, it uses stock Makerbot and RepRap electronics and the extruder head.
|Fused Deposition / Fused Filament modeler
|6″ x 6″ x 6″
|Thermoplastics: ABS and PLA
|Waterjet-cut aluminum structure
Laser-cut acrylic support equipment cabinet
Bed-type topology (Z-axis head, X-Y table)
|Custom thermally regulated build surface
As usual, I keep every aspect of Make-A-Bot’s build its category.