3D printed full size makerbot

by Webca, published

3D printed full size makerbot by Webca Jun 4, 2010

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3D printed full size makerbot by Webca is licensed under the GNU - GPL license.

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The reprap is not the only 3d printer that can replicate itself, now the Makerbot can to.

This Makerbot is made out of aproximatly 150 individual pieces that is printed on , \"yes you guessed it) a Makerbot.

My Makerbot worked hard everyday for about a month straight to finish this project, and i am immensly happy about the end resoult.
There are more pictures on the bottom of this page;)

(The pictures doesnt do it justice one bit, but it really is a thing of beauty)

Now i have added a zip file that includes all stl- and max-files.


Print every piece and glue them together to make the individual faces(Left, right, front, top, bottom, middle, back and power cover).
I simply used a hot-glue gun.

When every segment is printed and glued together, you build the makerbot as you would a regular made of wood.

I had to take a little under a quarter inch off the right side of the acrylic z-stage to make it move freely up and down past the heavy use of hot glue.

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Maybe I am missing it, but where are instructions and link to bill of materials? Is there a kit for all the non-printable components?

I've just repurposed my old Cupcake body it in a fairly modern machine, just limited by that build area...

I'm tempted to attempt building this anyway. Is it functionally equivalent to the Cupcake body?

Amazing work!

what software do you use to 3d model the parts?

I use Autodesk 3Ds Max to model the parts. This is a very expensive software, so if you are just starting out with 3d modeling there are a lot of great free modeling software out there.

Ive been following your work, and I would emplode out of happiness if you could answer a persian artists weird question. Can you print 3D paintings. I mix a few different types of primer and paint so I can put it in a squeeze bottle. I sometimes drop 500 dots which dries overnight. Can It be programmed to do such a thing?

Couldnt you just use this:

Just put paint in it :)

I wouldn't mind doing this except w/ 4 replicator platforms 'cause some of the things I need to prototype have rather large pieces lol. :-P

Someone already done this with the T-o-M? Would love to see the T-o-M printable... Cupcake is a but out of date and not sold/supported anymore.

is anyone who printed this design and switched to it willing to sell there laser cut body from there old cupcake any offers, Message me plz

Has anybody done this with a thing-o-matic yet because if they did I couldn't find it

Nobody have done this to the thing-o-matic yet.

It is a very time consuming process, unless somebody knows of any type of software that can divide up the pieces:)


so once you printed the outside frame what did you do

did you buy a new extruder and hardwear

I just moved all of the hardware and electronics over to this printed frame, and i have not used my wooden frame since;)

I am going to start printing this weekend...I have an automated build platform and one of the original cupcakes. You said it takes a month to print...how fast do you think I can get it done with an ABP? I'm going to try for 1 week :)...as long as I don't run out of ABS :) I think I am going to go with an all black color scheme kind of like you. I am going to be modding mine a lot though to add more holes to mount my boards to on the underside (I recently upgraded to Gen 4 electronics and it all doesn't fit on the side) and I want to add LOTS OF LEDS!!! I am really impressed with your stuff webca. Thanks for everything! I flattr'ed you!

Cool, cant wait to see the finished result:) You can probably get it down to one week if you can print from early morning to late night. There are some factors that can influence the time in either direction, and that is of course print-speed and fill of the individual plates.

Thanks for your kind words, and i will definitively flatter you back when your project is done:)

Can you upload the 3ds files? I can't seem to get this stuff opened in google sketchup pro. I have solidworks but I can't install it on ubuntu using wine...all kinds of issues there :( I have some major tweaks I want to do! Opening the cupcake dxf files into google sketchup makes it crash :(

And I've decided to do all black with the orange "mendel insprired low rider" :)

can u make a makerbot using a reprap?

i don't see why not...its the same concept

The icing on the cake would be a printtruder!

I have thought of it, but because of a LARGE project i am currently working on i have no time to work on "old" projects;)

If you print out an entire makerbot using every makerbot you have (let's say you start with one), how many maker bots would you have in a year? (Exponential problem?)

You would have 2048 makerbots by the end of the year;)

Day 1 - 1 makerbot (it makes 1 more)

Day 2 - 2 makerbots (it makes 2 more)

Day 3 - 4 makerbots (it makes 4 more)

Day 4 - 8 makerbots (it makes 8 more)

Day 5 - 16 makerbots (it makes 16 more)

Day 6 - 32 makerbots (it makes 32 more)

Day 7 - 64 makerbots (it makes 64 more)

Day n - 2^(n-1) makerbots (it makes 2^(n-1) more)

Day 365 - 2^(365-1) makerbots

Day 365 - 3.7576681324381331646231689548629e+109 makerbots

You'd hit 2048 makerbots on the 12th day. LOL. :)

Well, it takes a month to make one makerbot, not a day;)

Or print molds and do it faster. :-)


    • technically not a makerbot, but you could port it over. :-P

Now we are talking;)

I've just started printing this out and not read all the comments. So I don't know if anyone has noticed that front#2 and front#4 should be switched.

No, they are correct. But i think i know what you are doing wrong... When assigning the pieces to their place (laying them out on a table), you put them face down. And then the pieces are numbered from left to right and top to bottom (like text in a book).

Have you decided on a color-scheme yet?

I just wanted the top faces to face outward because of the smoother finish. Only one piece so far(bottom right corner, front#10) I should have flipped over in RepG. So I just ended up having the bottom layer face outward on that piece instead of doing it over. It still works. I'm printing them out in white ABS.

Don't you have a heated platform? I got this super glossy surface when printing on my heated platform, and that is why i arranged all my pieces with face down:)

Its going to be really cool with a white one;) I am currently working on a new project using mostly white ABS..

Why not dovetail everything really snug?

Print your own 3d scanner kit?

There is a missing peice on the power panel?? Could You upload it? T=I an recent comment you said there were 8 there are only y and 6 is a duplicate.

sorry about that, i see that now. The missing piece is named makerbot power 4 and can easily be found on the very bottom of the page.

Are you far from getting it done?

Yeah I am. my bot has been inactive for awhile since my winter break ended i don't have much time.

Could you upload Gcode for each side which would work for the ABP. So that everyone with an ABP could print the sides in one go.

Im sorry, but i do not have the time to do something like that:(

No worries. I am going to print this once I get my makerbot built. Since I have time on the weekends I can do the gcode for each major part. Maybe I could email you the gcode so that you can post it. Great work!!!! This is such a cool concept! :)


Yeah! Great work!

Hallo, i am Jacky, have you get your Makerbot built? i would like to purchase one, but i like to check the quality first. Could you help send your sample which one is made by the makerbot built?

Thanks in advance. ;)

get a good profile going before you start to make gcode. (test it on the machine you are going to print the thing on). once you get a profile you can open up skeinforge and turn on polyfile and it will process an entire folder of stl files with the same profile. you will need to check the files first (center and put on platform) but it goes pretty fast and you can run the files while you sleep.

That sounds like a good idea:) I cant wait to see pictures of your makerbotted makerbot. Have you decided on a color scheme yet?

I think I am going to go with black ABS. Question: On the power supply panel the 6 part is listed twice. It is the same part. Is this an error or is it supposed to be printed twice?

It is probably an error. The power-panel consist of eight different pieces, and no two are alike:)

anyone else made one yet?

Has anyone tried using acetone as an adhesive for something like this? It would be nice to be able to mend all individual pieces into a larger part and have it nice, continuous and smooth.

I've been using acetone on everything I print out lately. If you print a few solid layers around each object you can sand things down fairly nicely then dip/coat them in a small amount of acetone and hang them out the window to dry. It's not that hard to get mirror finishes like this. It also works really well for bonding parts together. I've had some parts that were made of 4-5 pieces and the seams formed together such that people have not been able to tell they were bonded. Also the parts I coat in acetone seem stronger overall than the parts I don't. Acetone also makes most parts airtight and if you toss waste plastic into a bowl of acetone and make a slushy you can use it to fill larger gaps or coat your build platform for some super sticky smooth prints (If you don't have a hbp or even if you do and for some reason stuff doesnt stick)

Sorry for the late addition to the topic.

There is a plastic welding solvent called Weldon 3 that would work great for this.

Not that i know of, but it could probably work:)

Or you could use this http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4156http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

Plastic Welding Gun (Plastruder MK4)

Hey Webca,

i'm just new all this, but i really want to build myself a 3d printer it would help me so much bringing my ideas to life. the only problem is that i dont know were to start. could you push me into the right direction? like refer me to somthing of how to build a 3D printer and were i can learn and read more about it, i just can't find the right information.

kind regards
N3s5 :)

Nevermind, i already found a intruction site. but tips and extra info is always appreciated :-P

If you need any help at all, i would be glad to help in any way i can;)

What function(s) did you use in 3DMax to cut an object into jigsaw pieces? Did you have to do it manuel or is there a built in function?

It is all done manually im afraid. This is because the joints have to be carefully placed to keep the structural integrity .

just discovered something that is of great use to anyone attempting this

TeamTeamUSA just posted in the blog about an automated slicing of a folder of objects.

"skeinforge will slice a folder full of files via the Meta
gt; Polyfile tool.Using Skeinfox I copied a working profile then enabled the Polyfile tool and saved the copy as the batch version of the profile. I used it on a custom sized Transformer and it worked great!"

How cool isnt this;) I am honored..

i will be doing it. i have all the gcode files now for my machine after the first one i printed, just have to fine tune the conveyor to print without rafts. cant wait for it to arrive :-D

this is the kind of job where support material would be completely awesome. you could stack 5-6 parts on top of each other with support between each layer and do everything in 1/5th or the time or less. should be done by tomorrow i think

If you are just going to make the structure then that would probably work. But when every piece is made on a heated build platform, the surface becomes like a mirror, shiny and smooth.

That way it ends up to be really beautiful:)

If you are going to make one, im in here just about every day ready to answer any question you might be having during the project:)

thanks, i am almost done (printed top, bottom, middle, left, right and back) , have to do the front and then figure out how to make a mendel x axis to go along with the y axis that i have printed.. i am putting all the electronics below so i am skipping the power panel for now till i can figure out a good way to keep access to the reset, power and SD slot.

Cool;) Cant wait to see the pictures:)

Did you use the same color scheme as i?

Remember that the power panel is also a part of making it as sturdy as possible.

i think i am going to need to redesign the power panel (at least drop some holes in it)

i am not sure about the second color yet but the main body is the new super ridiculous glowey red.


That looks incredible. Cant wait to see the end result:)

Great job;)

ok need some help.. the front panel confused me for a while and i ended up making a few extra prints.

you need to rename a few of your files on here and erase 5-7 its a duplicate of 1-6, you also have #15 in twice


the reason for this is that there used to be an earlier version and i ended up combining parts.

Part 1-6 used to be part 1 and part 6, and so on.

I had totally forgotten about this, so great job bringing this to my attention so i could simplify it;)
( the front panel parts have been re-uploaded with new names)

The pictures you uploaded looks incredible =-O

whew.. still have more to go but that was HUGE all the frame parts are done. i cant decide to do silver PLA or black ABS as the secondary color (x/y carrage, rod caps bearing caps, text, etc). I printed two left walls so i can put the electronics underneath. I got a miniature version of them a long time ago they will fit perfectly inside the bottom case. I have a power brick that will go outside.


thanks for all your work

how is it holding up? are you using the printer regularly?

really nice work

Yes, its holding up nicely. I have been using it almost every day since i made it;) So im never going back to the wooden chassis... :)

Parts makerbot back 9 10 11 overlap each other. How do you separate the pieces to print them individually?

Just as tmophoto said;) They are placed so that they can be printed out simultaneously.

Are you printing one for yourself?

they shouldn't be. there are 3 parts in that one file that are spaced so they fit on the build platform

should look like this http://www.thingiverse.com/image:17005http://www.thingiverse.com/ima...

I think it's because I didn't rebuild it on RepG 19 which makes a distinction between MK4 and MK5. I have MK5. RepG 18 lacks those additional build options. I'll find out later. And yes to Webca, that I am printing one for myself.

Have you decided on a color scheme yet?

how do you get middle 13 to print? what part does that little piece attach to?

If i remember it correctly the little "loose" piece on middle 13 isnt used on middle 13 but on the middle 14 right next to it. Just as i did on middle 15 and 16 (same situation).

If you already printed middle 13 then i would just attach that little loose piece to middle 14 with some glue.

Hope this answered your question;)

thanks havent printed them yet. can't decidebetween this or a Mendel.

Great work Webca!

Are you working on any revisions to cut down on the number of prints by combining parts? Or any modifications down the road?

Keep up the great work!


No, im currently working on something different. A revision would only reduce the number by a couple of pieces. All the joints are placed where they dont interfere with the design of the "real" makerbot.

What did you use to design all these parts?

I used Autodesk 3Ds Max.

i think this is amamzing, but my pfroblem is I'm always looking for problems. The size of the cupcake cnc limits it to certain things. is there any reason why you couldn't use it to make bigger versions of itself, after all the electronics will all be the same size regarldess, so what else would need to be bigger?

I could have made it as big as i wanted, but my goal was to make it identical to the cupcake cnc. If you are going to try it yourself then you cant just scale the entire design, you have to add pieces to the design i made;)

LMAO! Great work! This has just about been done with the Rapman, too. All somebody has to do is do STLs for their extruder. 8-)

Do you have a link? I need a few spares to print.

Webca: This is really impressive! Congratulations!

This is very cool what you've managed. Bravo!
I do have a question though. Is there any reason these parts couldn't be designed with puzzle connectors? The shopbot gang designed a house that used such a joint, so the whole thing could be assembled with a mallet. Maybe you'd still have to hot melt for rigidity, but the idea of a dismantle-able makerbot seems tempting?
Again, great job.

As there where no particular reason why i didnt make any joints for for the pieces, my priority was to make it as close to the "real thing" as possible.

And with the amount of time i spent on this project something like the joints you mention would increase the build time substantially:)

Where do you find time time to do all of these stuff? You have made some amazing things the last few month!

Your a Master Makerbot-er.......

Keep up the cool stuff!

Mark F 8-)

Well, this is something that really is interesting to me, so i simply make time. The design process doesnt usually take to long, and after that its the makerbot that does all the "heavy lifting".

It also helps to have an understanding girlfriend ;)

Pay attention, a lot more is coming....

Which program do you use to design the 3d shapes?

thanks for your work... :)


Hey Mando,

I use Autodesk 3Ds Max for designing all my files;)

I would like to take this opportunity to give a big thank you, to the Makerbot crew. About 30 minutes after i posted this design i got an email from Bre saying there was a package in the mail for me. When i recieved the package i found 5lbs of a new prototype plastic "UV-reactive", which probably means it glows under blacklight. In addition to that i got a makerbot t-shirt and the book "Made by hand" by Mark Frauenfelder (Editor in chief of make).

This is what i love about Makerbot industries, they really do care about their product and costumers, in a way that you dont see too often these days.

So i would like to say to the makerbot crew, I salute you.

Thanks Christian, we appreciate your hard work and what an achievement! We were literally in shock at what you had created- This is why we love what open-source technology can provide, an fresh outlet for users to innovate and send ideas back to the world in new forms. Keep it up! -Isaac

Congratulations! I think this is the first working RepRap design to come from outside of the original core team!

Outstanding work :-D

Every 3D printer that can make strong parts (including RepRap and MakerBot) can make a RepRap. Now they can all make a MakerBot too. The more conventional 3D printers there are out there, the more replicated printers they can make. The implications for the population dynamics of this technology are as awesome as they are obvious.

Love it!

You are a maniac.

You are persistent beyond belief. Having printed out three sets of RepRap parts myself I know how much time it takes to queue hundreds of parts. But this is so amazingly original, this first Makerbotted Makerbot is a relic. I feel humbled. This is "HISTORY IN THE MAKING"!

Awesome!!! :-D :-D :-D :-D

Add Zaggo
’s Printruder II and supports (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1980)http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... and push the printcentage to the next level!




Printruder II
by Zaggo

Wow this is amazing. Is there a list of 3D printers in the UK? I'm wondering as I'd love to get this!

It would take a thousand poets a thousand years to express in words the awesomeness of what you have done.

Oh wow! I'm at a loss for words!

Impressive ....most impressive!

Can you maybe zip up all the files? =-O

Of course, its just stupidity that i didnt do it in the first place;)

Hey would you be willing to print another makerbot and sell the pieces to me?

If the price is right ill do just about anything;)

How much would you want for a full set of printed pieces for the entire thing?

It would probably cost you the price of an CupCake CNC Basic Kit minus the lasercut parts, seeing that it took me around a month to do all the printing. So if money is not a problem, i will do it for you;)

Heck, he could print them TWICE as fast now!


congrats at beating the reprap project at printed %!

The point of the project is not printed part percentage!
The point of the project is reduced numbers of non-printed items (known as vitamins).

I"ll just say what came to mind when I saw it4 first

You are crazy! And awesome of course, but especially crazy.

If you ask my girlfriend, you might just get a similar response..

Props for still having one

WOW- I think that you have a bit too much time on your hands!

At least he's using his time for creativity, not condescending. Great work Webca.

When its something that intrigues me i make time:)

Just... WOW..

That is insane.

You need medical help, but glad you uploaded the design first :)

Couple of questions -

  1. How many pounds of plastic does it take to print about?
  2. Does it sound any different to the wooden one? Quieter?

Good job, thanks!

  1. It took a little over 5 lbs..

  2. It sounds about the same. But i think you would only hear the stepper motors if you glued each individual panel to each other in addition to the screw mounts.. (just a guess).

You broke my mind.

Staggering work. Just incredible. And yeah, as someone mentioned -- with a printstruder and some printed idler pulleys, it's got to be pushing some incredible % of printable parts.

This is mindblowingly awesome! Now I feel like I should print out a mendel on my makerbot, so I can print out a makerbot on a mendel. :)

Just like the chicken and the egg, only you decide which comes first;)

lol you went through all this trouble, but didn't make a printruder? :-P

Well, there is a good reason for that, becouse making a printruder has been done before. Considering the time it took doing what i did, it just didnt make my "to do" list.

There is alot more on the makerbot that can be printed, so if i venture down that path i would definetly make a printruder;)

This is beyond...well...things! super-thing-i-tude!

Any word on the percentage of the bot that was replicated? It looks like it could actually be higher than the Mendel.

Great Googly Moogly! That must took a lot of glue =-X

And a lot of plastic... Amazing! =-O

TOTALLY AWESOME - mind blowing in so many ways...! Dude..!

Holy crap!

Somebody print out a gold star for Webca!

You should hear the response to this at MakerBot HQ- people are flipping OUT! 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-)

I N S A N E !

Just the way we like it! 8-) Really awesome, i can only imagine the amount of work invested to get all the parts in 3D and as STL, and then there is like an endless queue of skeinforging and printing. And the fun does not even stop there...

Gratz on getting it done and assembled! These pictures and all the 3D data just made my birthday even better, awesome present, dude! ;)

I was already thinkering about adapting some of the wood parts for printing, mainly the x and y stage, because i see some potential improvements to be made. Now i can just take your parts and modify them, taking a lot of work from my shoulders. Thank you!

My mouth is currently gaping wide due to the awe of this!