As you may know, the main subject of this blog is 3D Printing, 3D Printers, especially DIY 3D Printers.
At first, when I fall in love with 3D Printing, I had a Ultimaker2, and time after time, I didn’t see other option than building my own.
I’m not that a handy man as I already said, but now, everyone can afford to start this kind of crazy project: Internet is here to help us!
Today, we will talk about 3D Printer kits.
Unfortunately, since I’m not doing this full time, I won’t build all of them. Or do I? Depends. It will required a huge amount of time, of money and of place. Anyway, it’s not a question of “which is the best printer?“, it’s more about awareness of what’s going on around.
W.Afate is a african project from Togo. Developed at the WoeLab, the project was initialised by Kodjo Afate Gnikou and Sénamé Koffi Agbodjinou. They raised £3 188 (~ 4 471.6€) on a £2 586 (~3 627.2€) objective. This 3D Printer cost less than $100 (~90€) to build.
Earlier in 2015, Le Monde shared this video :
The problem of ewaste is a huge problem in our times now, so this kind of project is an excellent alternative.
3D Printers allow to print prosthetics for war injured civils. Most of medical prosthetics can be really expensive and difficult to afford. Which 3D Printers, you just had to wait.
Mikelllc shared on Instructables.com his project: the eWaste. According the result, it costed around 60$ (~55€) to build recycling electronics items. You can have a look at this page to have more precise idea.
To build this printer, they unmount different devices (CDs drives, floppy discs drives, etc.) to buy a minimum of components. As the W.Afate, the goal is to reuse a maximum of the existing material.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a Pro account to look at the detailed steps in a PDF. As you can read on the website, they bought a minimum of things, such as RAMP, Nema 17 stepper motors. I think it’s possible to reduce the cost without laser cuts parts.
In the video above, they used a computer armature, which can be a good alternative and pretty easy to find.
This printer had a look much more Rock’n’Roll as the W.Afate. He spend a total of47$ (~42.8€ ) for all the elements. That’s quite impressive.
According to 3Dprint.com, it’s still a work in progress. Indeed, you can look at the mounting instructions on Instructables.com, it’s really interesting and amazing how he shows creativity to find electronics parts to finally arriving to do what he wants. I’m really looking forward to look at the final results.
RepRap is shorter version of Replicating Rapid-prototyper. This project started in 2004 by British engineer Adrian Bowyer. To learn more about this, you can go on the RepRap Wiki, where everything is explained on the beginning of the project.
Lots of models exist, because it’s a open source project. Most of the time, you can buy kits and you had to build the printer by your own. You have different prices from 336.00€ (VAT + expedition fees) with the Fisher Delta Maker up to 1 300€ Mondrian 2.1 with a mounted kit. FIY, the main project I’ve been working in this blog, the FoldaRap, is around 500-600€.
As told you before, I picked up this one because I can easily transport it and I was hopping to print some part by myself to decrease it price. But unfortunately, things didn’t come as expected.
Actually, as soon you’ve got a 3D printer, you can use it to create another 3D Printer. This is the case of the Snappy, which cost around 300$ (~275€). This one is 73% printable, but you might have a long time of impression, depends of the printer you use to do it.
The Prusa, which is quite popular, is around 470€, the unmounted kit of RepRap World.
You can have a lot of kit for reasonable prices, but you can still try to go for more cheap if you buy the pieces online.
You can have a look at all the RepRap models conceived in here.
The Reach Printer
The Reach Printer is another transportable model from 249$ (~227€) by Fusion.
Nate Rogers, designer, entrepreneur and tattoo artist, started his printer to have a higher quality printer for a reasonable price. You can know order the full kit online on reach3dprinters.com.
The design is quite simple and the overall looks quite solid, which I believe is good for a transportable printer. Also, the $249 (~227€) kit is pretty simple, but you can easily upgrade the printer :
- for an additional 25$ (~23€), you can purchase a geared extruder kit which doubles the printing speed from 45mm/s to 90mm/s
- for an additional 25$ (~23€) again, you can have a LCD screen with SD card reader like in the Ulimaker2
- and for an additional 25$ (~23€) on more again, you’ll get a MK2 PCB heated bed (100k Thermistor and power wires pre-soldered).
You can receive a full assembly printer for 399$ (~363€). Be careful, this printer is only available for delivery in US!
There’s not only people who creates 3D printers open source kits, some companies sell them for educational purposes, or proposed the unmounted kit for a more reasonable price.
The Lewihe Play is a 3D printer which comes as a kit. The project is to have available printers for educational purpose. It was announced at first in May 2015 for 89€, but without the electronics parts.
Even if at first it was to allow the user to equip the printer as you want. Now you can buy the unmount kit for 299€.
Makibox 3D Printer
If you go up to £290 (~406€), you’ll have the heated bed a better hot end, and 4 roll of plastics. This is quite a good deal, since it’s 1 KG filament roll, so you’re ready to go for a little while.
Count between about 80 to 100 dollars (~73 to 91€) for shipping and Europe delivery.
The fact of buying an unmounted kit of 3D Printer, you save money. First, because this technology started to be more and more affordable. Secondly, when the kit is not mounted, you don’t have to pay for someone who build it for you. But as Brook Drumm says in the video above, or as described in the MakiBoxClearance website, “the job of assembling the printer takes an experienced person about 4 hours, but it could take a novice longer.”
Take this in consideration, I made a subject here before, 3D printing is more and more seducing due to low prices, but you just had to keep in mind you might need to get your hands dirty. I believe mounting your Printer with you own hands will help you to understood how it works. According to the price you put into your printer, it might have a better printing definition. If you’re a novice, you might make mistakes, it won’t be as annoying as if you bought a cheap 3D printer. You can still improve it adding some add-ons (LCD screens, etc.), and improve its configuration. When you understood how it works, it’s time to level-up.
Then it will be easier for you to build a more high-level kit, on the strength of your previous experience.
FIY, I’m living in UK, so most of the prices I’ve got are in GPB. Conversions are made with the current change rate and might evolve.