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Delta-Pi Reprap 3D Printer

by MikeP-NZ, published

Delta-Pi Reprap 3D Printer by MikeP-NZ Feb 24, 2013

Description

Delta-Pi is a Rostock delta style 3D Printer.
It is still in prototype phase but feel free to follow along and build your own.
**This design is still experimental. Build at your own risk**
Official web page: reprap.org/wiki/Delta-Pi
Other Links:
[YoutTube Playlist](https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGyolvuY29uOzHDMwNHT6_VwP4YApPiwr)
[Source files and Bill of Materials](https://github.com/Makershop/DeltaPi)
[Flickr Photo Set](http://www.flickr.com/photos/86621828@N05/sets/72157632623446146/)

Recent Comments

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Great thanks, it was a great help :)

someone has already tested the Merlin-hotend?

I have added my config.h file from the repetier firmware version 0.91
This doesn't do automated bed levelling but all adjustments are now in EEPROM which makes calibration so much easier.

Hey guys,
can someone please upload the firmware.
my printer is completely've only big problems with the FW

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Instructions

A full BOM has been posted to [github](https://github.com/Makershop/DeltaPi).
The PDF's show the assembly details.
The "edrw" files can be viewed with a free viewer available [here](http://www.edrawingsviewer.com)

The towers use 19mm(3/4") or 20mm square tube 670mm long. 180 grit polished stainless tube is recommended. Choose the 19 or 20mm version of parts as appropriate.
Each tower needs 10 pieces of 623ZZ Deep groove ball bearings. There are 8 pieces in each carriage and 2 for each idler pulley so 30 pieces in total.
The arms use carbon fibre tube with 6mm OD. The tube I used had 5mm ID and was pulltruded tube. Use some 2 part epoxy to glue them together. All 6 arms need to be the same length (250mm) as close as possible so make a jig and "set" the length as you glue them. The carbon tube length is 206mm
Nothing in the design should be difficult to obtain locally. If you get stuck makershop.co.nz is my website and we will ship internationally. All the parts except fasteners and printed parts are listed there but no kitset options - yet.

**Update 11 March 2013**
Added STLs for use with 20mm tube. Some countries 20mm is easier to get than 3/4 inch (19mm).
**Update 15 March 2013**
The Delta-Pi successfully printed its first parts. After ironing out a construction defect in the hot-end we printed an Octocat. Print quality wasn't too bad. I need to add a cooling fan and there were a few cobwebs to clean off but it was a success.
**Update 5 April 2013**
Added revised top and bottom boards and hot end mounting parts.
**Update 3 November 2013**
Added a new hub design including a touch probe for automated bed levelling.
**Update 7 March 2014 **
Added Repetier firmware config.h file for ver 0.91

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Comments

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kamha on Mar 6, 2014 said:

Hey guys,
can someone please upload the firmware.
my printer is completely've only big problems with the FW

MikeP-NZ on Mar 7, 2014 said:

I have added my config.h file from the repetier firmware version 0.91
This doesn't do automated bed levelling but all adjustments are now in EEPROM which makes calibration so much easier.

Stuartblarg on Feb 22, 2014 said:

Hey Mike (I may as well direct these straight at you)

So ive been trying to calibrate the bed height and I’m running into some issues.

Ive setup some Scripts in Repetier Host to move the hub in front of each tower so I can dial in the endstop screws.

The scrips I have look like this:

Script 1

; Z Tower

G28

G0 X0 Y-80 Z0 F8000

Script 2

; X Tower

G28

G0 X60 Y40 Z0 F8000

Script 3

; Y Tower

G28

G0 X-60 Y40 Z15 F8000

Script 4

;Center

G28

G0 X0 Y0 Z0 F8000

Do these look right to you? They
seem a little low considering the printable radius should be around 125mm.

And the main problem Im having is that if I calibrate the printer to the correct height in the center the outside 3 points are about 15mm below the build platform and vice versa if I pull back the z max height in the EEPROM settings by 15mm the outside point can be calibrated properly but the center is above the platform.

I read that this has to do with the DELTA_RADIUS in the firmware but changing this just seems to mess up the movement.

As always, thanks a lot for all your help, I feel like im having every problem possible but on the plus side im learning heaps about how not to build a printer. :)

turuncu on Feb 22, 2014 said:

you are in the right track. your delta_radius may not be equal to 125mm due to build errors. I use 126.75 which gives me a little bit better movement.

you may also visited this link a few times but here it is: minow.blogspot.com

it is a boring and long process but if you follow it to the smallest detail you will succeed.

also you can check the joints. try to move the hub when your motors are holding torque. if the hub is able to move and hold position without motors moving then you have bad joints. this was my issue.

Stuartblarg on Feb 20, 2014 said:

can someone give me the the measurement for the printable radius to put into the repetier host. ive got the aluminum build platform off of the website but the printer obviously doesnt go right to the edge so im not sure where to measure to. Thanks

MikeP-NZ on Feb 20, 2014 said:

It should be 125mm. All that setting does is set the size of the grid on the screen.

turuncu on Feb 18, 2014 said:

Can you please release the source of the new hub? I want to edit it to make a mount for e3d hotend. Currently I have 20mm long spacers and a mounting block which makes the heater block almost in line with the hub (I have glass fiber-silicone tubing to save the hub from deforming. It doesn't even get warm). This way I save some z-height but more importantly I use the fan mount that exists on the hub with a much quieter fan. I have been printing all plastics parts because the current ones I use are very weak. I will replace them all with stronger parts so I can print a new hub just for the tidier look.

By the way,
My printer's total printing time has reached 3 days. I am getting amazing prints. Lowest layer height I tried was 50um. I am almost certain that it can print at 25um (maybe 10 too) but I don't want to spend the time to try it.

Stuartblarg on Feb 18, 2014 said:

Hey guys

I was hoping someone would be able to help me with a problem i'm having trying to set up the programing on my delta pi.

So i had not worked on it in a while and when i booted everything up its having a strange issue when I tell it to return to home.

I made a video to better illustrate http://youtu.be/fT0F6iWNuUA

When i tell it to return home, the X and Z towers seem to move as if they have already click in there limit switches while to Y tower moves up for a longer distance but will still stop before hand if the distance in too long.

I've had this problem for a while now and but it did move alright before this and i havnt changed any of the hardware, im running Repetier firmware and Repetier host.

Also im finding that the Ramps board is running very hot, i've put a rather large computer fan on it but the heat sinks still get hot to touch after a few minutes of moving the carriages up and down.

if anyone can offer advice or some firmware alternatives it would be greatly appreciated.

MikeP-NZ on Feb 18, 2014 said:

Hi Stuart,
A couple of things spring to mind. Make sure you separate the end stop wires from the stepper wires. Twist the end stop wires together along their length. Twisted pairs are a lot less susceptible to picking up noise.
Make sure you have pull-ups enabled for the end stops. and wire the end stops normally closed.
These will all help to reduce the chance of false triggering of the end stops.
If you're RAMPS is getting hot try reducing the current to the stepper motors. If you haven't used a voltmeter to set the Vref of the drivers to a known value then this is a good place to start. Remember the current rating on a stepper mortor is the maximum allowable current. You don't have to set it that high.50 or 70% of that is often plenty of torque and makes the machine quieter too.

Regards,
Mike Paauwe

turuncu on Feb 1, 2014 said:

do you have a way or a trick for setting up links? they are either too loose and the hub moves a lot or they are too tight and the hub does not move parallel to the heatbed.

I am considering buying traxxas joints.

MikeP-NZ on Feb 2, 2014 said:

This is a vital piece of information and I am sorry if it comes too late. I thought I had written it in the instructions but it appears not.
The key is "don't drill the holes in the clevis or the pivot arms any larger than 2.5mm. The holes need to be a tight fit on the M3 bolts. You should be screwing the bolts through the plastic. This tight fit is critical to the printer working accurately.

turuncu on Dec 9, 2013 said:

How tight should the carriages hold on to the towers? Currently, mine slide off around 3cm down and stop when i release them. Nothing is connected to the carriages yet. Feels like they make too much noise.

MikeP-NZ on Dec 9, 2013 said:

The method I used for setting the tension was to press my thumb against one of the outer bearings and roll the carriage. If I could easily stop the rotation of the bearing and cause it to slide on the tube then it is too loose.
You don't want excessive preload on the bearings. without belts or arms attached it should have very little rolling resistance.
It should certainly fall under its own weight when vertical. I haven't checked but I would expect it to move under its own weight with just a shallow incline. Don't forget that there needs to be a washer between the bearings and the carriage. and the washer size given in the BOM is important. Larger washer sizes may not work properly.

turuncu on Nov 11, 2013 said:

8 months have passed since I decided to build this model and I still couldn't print all the plastic parts (motor mounts and carriages left). All other parts have been lying on the ground for the last 6 months.

Anyway,
I reckon you still use your printer. How is it performing? Can you provide some more print videos?

Also out of curiosity, how fast can it print?

MikeP-NZ on Nov 21, 2013 said:

Development is stalled a bit on the prototype due to lack of any free time. I hope to have a big push over the Christmas break.
I've got bed probing working on the protoype. But haven't had time to post updates. There are a few others who have successfully built and are printing with theirs.

nkdurrett on Nov 9, 2013 said:

Is there anyone in the US that would print the parts for me and ship to oklahoma?

Stuartblarg on Nov 3, 2013 said:

yay new things, i really need to get around to finishing this, holidays are coming up soon so hopefully i'll make some more progress.

cameron20020 on Oct 19, 2013 said:

Would anyone be willing to print off the printable parts for a price?
if so, how much would you ask?
Parts would need to be sent to Sydney Australia.

Would print my own, but dont want to waste anymore money trying to get my solidoodle to work.

andyc_nz on Oct 25, 2013 said:

I could. :) Will message you.

robsbots on Aug 26, 2013 said:

I've printed just about everything bar the central hub. I can't seem to get this to slice and print. Is there an error in the published file, or could someone send me a different copy to try.

Thanks

voidmaker on Sep 17, 2013 said:

I also got problem printing the hub. I found the hotend just moved around and printed nothing but air. When I opened the file with some STL tools I couldn't see the object as if the object was floating somewhere I couldn't see. Anyway, I was able to fix it using Autodesk software and the print came out nicely. I'm not sure you have the same problem I have but just let me know if you want to try my file.

SteveCGarry on Aug 17, 2013 said:

Mike, decided to live dangerously, and build one. Getting the parts from the UK. Only one change I can see, use electronic end stops rather than micro switches, Can you point me in the direction of the changes for the firmware, and which version you are using. Arduino mega with Ramps 1.4 will be in control, with a 2004 display and SD card reader, PSU to be decided, and e3d-online hot end. tube will be 20mm, and I may make it a bit taller than the "standard", to allow some wiggle space. Also looking at a possible ait guide to go round the hot end, to help with local cooling.

Can you put something up about how you calibrate the unit, and the best piece/s to use for test printing. Are you using a glass or aluminium bed, and is it heated? What levelling have you put in, and possibly most important, how's it performing?

Longer term, I'm sort of hoping it may be possible to have a multi filament hot end to allow colour printing, but that will only happen when the basic unit is working.

Anything I need to watch out for?

Thanks

Steve
(Based near Dublin in Ireland, and 3 D printing is still pretty new here)

MikeP-NZ on Aug 17, 2013 said:

Hi Steve, I added a couple more photos and a link to the Flickr photo set where there are even more photos.
I have added bracing to the back corners and turned the machine 180° round so there is a single tower at the front and 2 towers at the back. The firmware I am using is Repetier but I am probably going to switch to Marlin and implement the bed leveling probe. Bed leveling is a major step forward for this design and I would recommend you incorporate it from the start.

weish on Aug 1, 2013 said:

This may be a dumb question, but how did you mount your build platform? I Can't tell what it rests on or how its leveled.

MikeP-NZ on Aug 17, 2013 said:

I used countersunk head bolts that are sunk into the top surface of the build plate in 4 places. There is a spring between the build plate and the base board and a nylock nut underneath the base board. I adjust the build plate so that all 4 corners are exactly the same height.

weish on Jul 24, 2013 said:

your design looks great, now i just need to find someone to print out the parts and i can start working on my own

SteveCGarry on Aug 17, 2013 said:

if it's any help, Hugh at http://www.3distributed.com/ is going to be printing a set for me for 20 mm tube in the next few days, and I'm going to be starting construction here in Ireland within the next few weeks, once all the bits are here. I will be using a hot end from e3d-online.com, and the only change I can see at the moment will be to use electronic end of movement rather than micro switches.

I spent quite some time looking at different deltas, and the concept of this one looks so nice and simple in terms of the mechanical side, I am reasonably happy that getting it to print accurately should be simpler than on some of the other printers I've seen.

Hopefully, I won't be wrong.

Steve

aortizg on Jul 20, 2013 said:

In my opinion is the best design I have seen for a 3d printer.

macdaddio on Jul 18, 2013 said:

I have to say congratulations on a superb design. I am most impressed by the linear bearings. I have been trying to create bearings like the ones you designed but your design kicks mine in the ass. I love how the bearings tighten, very elegant. I will now be adopting your design in my work. Thanks

MikeP-NZ on Jul 20, 2013 said:

Thanks for the kind words

Saphhiratz on Jul 17, 2013 said:

Since you released this on february and had some time to tinker;

What is the largest (good working setting) print dimensions you can obtain with the design? :)

MikeP-NZ on Jul 20, 2013 said:

Since releasing this in February I've had very little time to work on it further.
The recent development of automatic bed leveling routines built into the firmware should make this design super easy to assemble and calibrate.
I've added extra panels to the back corners to stiffen the structure but other than that I am still using these same STL files on the prototype.
Check the latest flickr photos to see what I mean.

Barnacules on Apr 20, 2013 said:

Does this have any advantages over belt driven systems?

MikeP-NZ on May 10, 2013 said:

This is a belt driven system. If you mean does it have any advantages over linear rod and recirculating ball guides then I believe it costs less and performs better. The 8mm rod used in the Rostock design can vary widely in quality. The cheap rod is usually undersize and rarely straight over the required length.

Stuartblarg on Apr 16, 2013 said:

Hello, i've been slowly assembling the th parts of the printer according to your production drawings and Bom and i have run into a bit of a snag.

I'm assembling the top and bottom boards the drawings state that you need 8 Socket Head Cap Screw M4 x 30mm per pillar (4 in the bottom tube clamp and 4 in the top) but in your bill of materials it says that only 12 are required for the project. also the Bill of Materials says that 16 Countersunk Phillips Machine Screw M4 x 40mm are needed but i can't figure out where.

Are these meant to go through the bottom board?

On another note i am about to buy stepper motors and was wondering what extruder you used, in it here on thingiverse? I just would like to know so i can buy the motor required for that at the same time.

MikeP-NZ on Apr 16, 2013 said:

Use 4 countersunk at the top of each tower so there is no head protruding from the top of the top plate. Use the 4 remaining countersunk to attach the hot bed. Use SHCS for the bottom of the towers.

I used http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... for my extruder.

Maker_Freak on Apr 6, 2013 said:

Would it be possible for you to upload the diagrams for the top board and bottom board as .stl files. The lesser cutter that i use doesn't recognize .dxf files, if not, that is cool too. Do you know any way convert .dxf files into .stl files.

Stuartblarg on Apr 6, 2013 said:

I know you can open .dxf files in solidworks and then save them as .stl, but that requires you to have solidworks. You can also open .dxf files in Adobe illustrator and save it as a .ai vector, most laser cutters i know can use this type of file.

Maker_Freak on Apr 4, 2013 said:

Hi,

can you tell the dimensions of the top and bottoms boards (length and width). I downloaded the specs, but they don't give me a sense of scale on the part regard the the boards. Also where exactly should I place the hole on the boards.

MikeP-NZ on Apr 4, 2013 said:

I've uploaded a PDF drawing with all the dimensions included. The shape is changed and a few more holes added but everything else is still the same.

turuncu on Mar 28, 2013 said:

hi. i am planning to make one for myself. i want to supply everything locally. can you take a look at this link:
http://www.promodelhobby.com/U...

this is the closest thing i could find to arms. i am not sure though because it translates as carbon fiber pipe.

also is there an easy way to make a jig? there is a laser cut thing but i assume it will be expensive for a single piece.

MikeP-NZ on Mar 28, 2013 said:

My Jig was a scrap of plate with 2 holes drilled in it. The important thing is that all arms are the SAME, not that they are exactly 250mm. The holes were the right size for the bolt head and 250mm apart. Then I applied glu and assembled each linkage, set it in the jig and then placed it to one side for the glue to cure. That tube looks just like mine.

Stuartblarg on Mar 28, 2013 said:

What was wrong with the old Carriage file that required a fix? Should i print my parts again?

MikeP-NZ on Mar 28, 2013 said:

There was nothing wrong with the 19mm carriage. I just deleted the thumbnail image and there's no way to re-create it except delete the file and upload it again. The 20mm carriage was missing the support material for the bridge.

Stuartblarg on Mar 10, 2013 said:

how long is the carbon fibre tube that makes up the arms? I'm looking around your drawings and I cant find a set dimension. i want to figure out how much i need to order from your site.

MikeP-NZ on Mar 10, 2013 said:

6 pieces at 206mm.

Stuartblarg on Mar 4, 2013 said:

If you don't mind me asking, how long do you think it will be until some sort of kit is available? i don't mean to sound pushy its just this will be the first rep-rap i build and i don't want to start without a better idea of what i'm doing. I am very excited about this project.

MikeP-NZ on Mar 4, 2013 said:

There won't be a kit for at least a couple of months yet.

Stuartblarg on Feb 28, 2013 said:

I can't wait until you release a kit for this. I really want to try and give it a go.

tencent on Feb 26, 2013 said:

To allow any size square tube, you could change the carriage design to look at little more like a Kossel. His beams are currently 45 degrees rotated compared to yours but that would not be hard to redesign.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/j...

MikeP-NZ on Feb 26, 2013 said:

This design only works because the beams are rotated 45°. The small bearings run on opposite corners of the tube.

tencent on Feb 25, 2013 said:

Looking for square tube stock in the US seems to be a little difficult as everything is in standard, is 3/4" tube an acceptable replacement? That comes out to 19.05mm so I would imagine its close enough if not the same.

MikeP-NZ on Feb 25, 2013 said:

19mm and 3/4" are essentially the same in this case. I will need to create a modified set of parts for use with 20mm tube though.

gchoinka on Feb 25, 2013 said:

how is the noise level of the bearings on square tube? nice work.

MikeP-NZ on Feb 25, 2013 said:

There's no doubt it's noisier than my Prusa-Mendel. But I think it's the top and bottom board and the desk top it sits on that radiate the noise rather than the tube.

C-line on Feb 25, 2013 said:

Very nice job. What is the straightness spec on the square tubing?

MikeP-NZ on Feb 25, 2013 said:

I don't actually know what the spec is but it's straighter than the last set of 8mm linear shafts I bought. They were almost 1mm over 760mm

tencent on Feb 24, 2013 said:

Looks great! Are you planning on making this a kit when you get it all sorted?

MikeP-NZ on Feb 24, 2013 said:

Yes a non-printed parts kit is definitely in my plans. Maybe printed parts too

jpickens on Feb 24, 2013 said:

Your universal joint design is about the best I've seen. Great job!!

cerberus333 on Feb 24, 2013 said:

I like the use of square tube and "generic" bearings.

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