My build cost quite a bit more than the $65... but it was spaced out over months so it wasn't too bad.
I printed my parts at my local Hackerspace (Ballarat Hackerspace), most parts were printed on a Lulzbot Taz but I also printed some parts on a Prusa Mk3 (I think it was). Because the prints ended up being different colours, I've decided to call my printer BitsaBot.
The original plans are brilliant... but I did encounter a few issues along the way, some to be aware of are:
The final build shown in the youtube tutorials has some changes to the original plan (most notably a tension cable... I'm not using one so it may not be needed, but just keep it in mind).
The tutorials also don't cover the whole build so you are going to have to look elsewhere for how to put some parts together, for the extruder if you follow the build history backwards you should at least be able to find, I believe it was, a reprap instruction page for putting it together.
A note on putting the extruder together, you have to be careful installing the hotend (well the cold end portion) into your extruder... it's probably a good idea to do a decent amount of preparation before trying to insert the hotend into the extruder (think sanding and checking tolerances). Before connecting the extruder to anything else once you think you have the hotend in... just do a visual check to see if you can see through it and more ideally, if you have some filament (either 1.75mm or 3mm, depending on which version you chose to print) try passing that through the extruder into the cold end... if the hot end isn't connected to the cold end you should be able to pass the filament all the way through, otherwise just note how much filament you were able to pass through the printed portion and that should give you an idea as to whether you've got things lined up enough.
Also be careful with endstops. The instructional videos and parts are for a large style of endstop... I bought my endstops as part of a package with the ramps, heatbed etc and they are smaller. The problem here is how they connect to the printed endstop pieces (which also isn't totally explained in the videos). I ended up adding some pieces of wood that I could attach both the endstops and printed endstop holders to and that seems to be working.
Be careful with the length of screws you use to attach your heated bed to your build plate... mine turned out to be a bit too long so they kept knocking into the rail holders... I fixed this by installing shorter screws... but I'm still working on a better solution to this as my current set up has a bit of wobble to the build plate.
In regards to setting up Marlin...
There are a few things that might be helpful... I had to invert my endstops (from high to low... or vice versa, I can't remember which but they were opposite to what Marlin had as default).
The way the Y endstop is set up in this build puts it at the Max end of the build so you will need to adjust that setting in Marlin as well... otherwise you're print bed will be heading in the opposite direction of your endstop and won't know to stop.
Also be very careful when plugging things into your Ramps... there's a reasonable chance at some point I plugged my endstops in the wrong way and ended up frying my 5V regulator... since then the screen comes on but it is just a slightly blinking blank blue screen... to get the screen to work I have to tether the printer to my laptop via it's USB connector... then it runs fine (which is useful for testing etc anyway).
You will most likely want to get either pronterface or Reptier Host to dial in your settings. I did most of my setting adjustments via Pronterface but switched to Repetier when I was nearly done as I found that Pronterface wouldn't clear a previous print command... as such everytime I tried to rest the printer (software reset not complete unplug, replug) it would go back to trying to print from where it left off.
Reptier on the other hand kills the print and you can start fresh.... both may be useful, just be aware of your limitations.
Lastly... see if you have a hackerspace or similar in your local area... the benefit I got from going to mind was immense. Not only did I use the facilities to print the parts I needed but I also gained invaluable knowledge to get me started and some very very important help when I got stuck along the way.
Massive thanks goes out to sschm9 for the original plans, Firnsy at the Hackerspace for putting up with my constant need for help and to Michael Tippett from the "3D Printing and Tinkering 3DHP" group on Facebook for helping get me to a stage where I could finally print and to helping me with ideas for how to further dial in the printer from there.
I tried to attach a spreadsheet but it didn't seem to want to attach so I will add below my approximate costings and parts numbers.
Component/Part required Number required Number on hand Price (estimate or actual)
Ramps 1.4 + MEGA 2560 + Heatbed +LCD Controller + 5X DRV8825 + 5X Endstops 1 1 $52.56
e3d V6 Wade Short-distance J-head Hotend 12V 1.75/3mm Extruder 0.2-0.5mm Nozzle 1 1 $11.60
2 x GT2 20 Tooth pulley and 2m GT2 belt 1 $9.95
100K ohm NTC 3950 1% Thermistor 1 1 2 for $1.56 Aliexpress
Bearings 604zz 4.62 pack of ten, 604zz $2.96 pack of ten, 604zz deep groove $3.69 pack of ten, 608zz $2.07 for 3, 606zz $3.56 pack of ten
Threaded Rod (M6 zinc threaded rod) 2 Cut to length when installed (length dependant on zaxis stepper motor height and perspex frame plate length) Already had some… used hack saw to cut to size.
Wade Extruder Bolt (Hobbed bolt) 1 $3.87
8mm acrylic sheets from PC LCD monitors sourced from Flashdrive in Wendouree Paid $2 would have given them to me for free. $2 didn't have to but offered as token gesture.
10mm chrome steel rods recovered from office printers 6 (3 10mmX390mm) Y-Axis Heatbed rods Left rod length 281mm Right rod length
405mm Z-Axis rods: Same height as 8mm perspex frame plate length (380mm in drawing), X Axis rods: Both rods 338mm length
Nema 17 stepper motors recovered from office printers 5 5 Nema17 17HS2408 4-lead Nema 17 Stepper Motor 42 motor 42BYGH 0.6A 3D printer CNC $37.18
ATX 350W PC power supply 1 (not tested) plus 1 500W PSU from Flashdrive e-waste recyclers $10 (included the 80mm fan)
rubber bushes, heatsinks, fans recovered from office printers and PC's May have some from printer salvages. Rubber bushes recovered from printers.
Screws recovered from general e-waste (plentiful)
16mm laminated particle board base plate recovered from old kitchen cabinet material (yes in garage)
Heatbed glass recovered from office printer (yes a few options)
Cable ties (bag) (bag) $2.50
Heatbed power extension board 1 (reduces power/heat strain on Ramps 1.4) 1 $3.69
Aluminium heating plate 1 1 $18.39
M8 20mm 304 Grub Screw 1 1 $6.29
M3 Leveling spring loaded knob $1.72 pack of 5 $1.72
Heatshrink tubing $2.85 for 1m X3.5mm 1m X3mm 1m X1mm 1m X2mm $2.85
Assorted washers box Box of Assorted sizes. $4.95
M4 Nylon Lock Nut Pack Pack $3.25
M6 Nylon Lock Nut Pack Pack $2.56
M4 20mm Screws PK16 Pack Pack $3.30
M4 35mm Screws PK10 Pack Pack $3.25
M4 Nylon Lock Nut Pack Pack (of 8) $3.25
M4 Screws 50mm Pack Pack (of 5) $3.22
M4 Screws 20mm Pack Pack (of 16) $3.30
M4 Screws 35mm Pack Pack (of 10) $3.25
M3 Screws 50mm Pack Pack (of 6) $3.22
M3 Screws 35mm Pack Pack (of 8) $3.22
M3 Nut Pack Pack (of 24) $3.25
M4 Nut Pack Pack (of 22) $3.25
M6 Nut Pack Pack (of 16) $3.25
M8 Nylon Lock Nut Pack Pack (of 5) $3.25
Glass Cutter 1 1 $7.48
Binder Clips Pack Pack (of 30) $3.00
Printed part Hardware to install
x-carriage 2mm spacer v2.05 1 1 9 mins 0
x-endstop v2.03 1 1 22 mins 1 X M4 screw 15mm approx
2.5mm Heat bearing mount 3 3 20 mins each 6 X M4 bearings 6 X washers 6 X M4 screws 15mm approx
x-cable mgmnt v2.01 1 1 0
belt clip v2.02 (y-axis) 1 1 28 mins 0
80mm fan mount v2.01 2 50 mins
x-carriage v2.05 1 1 1 hour 42 mins 2X M4 Screw 35mm 2X M4 Screw 50mm 8X M3 Screw 15mm Approx 8X M4 Bearing
8mm plate bed bracket v2.03 3 3 41 mins each (actual about 46mins) 6 X M4 screws roughly 15mm 3 X M4 screws Roughly 20mm
y-axis bracket v2.03 4 4 8X M4 Screws 35mm roughly 4X M4 Screw 25mm approx
x motor mount front v 2.07 1 1 1 hour 8 mins 2 X M4 bearings 2 X Washers 2 X M4 Screws 35mm approx
x-idler mount v2.05 1 1 2 hours 59 mins 7 X M4 bearings 6 X Washers 4 X M4 Screws 15mm approx 1 X M4 Screw 40mm Approx 1
X M4 Nylon nut
y- belt clamp 1 1 2X M4 Screw 15mm Approx?
x-motor mount back v2.05 1 1 2 X M4 bearings 2 X Washers 2 X M4 Screws 15mm approx
y-endstop v2.01 1 1 1 X M4 Screw 20mm Approx
i3R_Compact_E3Dv6_Clamp_01 1 1 12 mins 2X M3 Screws 30mm Approx
y-motor mount v2.02 2 2 4 X M4 Screws 25mm approx
z-endstop v2.03 1 1 23 mins 1 X M4 Screw 15mm Approx
i3R_Compact_Guidler_3mm_01 1 (or 1.75 version) 1 41 mins 1X M3 35mm 2X M3 Screw 50mm 2X M3 Washers (possibly better with 4X washers) 2X Springs.
y-idler v2.02 1 1 53 mins 1 X M4 Screw 30mm approx 3 X M4 Bearings 2 X M4 washers
LCD spacer v2.01 4 4 22 mins each 8X M4 Screws 15mm roughly
PSU corner 4 34 mins each
40mm extruder heatsink 1 1 30 mins
i3R_Compact_E3Dv6_Extruder_3mm_01 1 (or 1.75 version) 1 4X M4 Nuts 2X M3 Nuts 2X M8 Bearings 1X M8 Nylon Nut 8X M8 Washers Approx 3X M3 Screws 15mm Approx
z-motor mount left v2.01 1 1 4 X M4 Screws Roughly 15mm 1 X M4 Screw 20mm Roughly
z-top right v2.01 1 1 1 hour 55 mins 2X M4 Screw 25/30mm Roughly 1X M4 Screw 25mm Roughly 1X M6 (606) bearing 1X M6 Nylon Nut
z-motor mount right v2.01 1 1 4 X M4 Screws Roughly 15mm 2 X M4 Screw 20mm Roughly
z-top left v2.01 1 1 1 hour 29 mins 1X M4 Screw 25/30mm Roughly 1X M4 Screw 25mm Roughly 1X M6 (606) bearing 1X M6 Nylon Nut
Ramps brackets 1 1 1 hour 6 mins 4 X M4 15 mm Screws Approx
Big_and_Small_Herring_Bone_Gear_Nuclear 1 1 Hobbed Bolt
4X M3 Bolts 50mm Approx, 4X M3 Nylon Nuts (or Standard Nuts) 16X M3 Washers 4X springs
For those wanting to use Raspberry Pi, I bought myself a Pi Zero W and had a lot of trouble getting octoprint onto it, it looked like it was flashed but kept coming up with the error "Kernel panic-not syncing: VFS:Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block (179,2)"
The solution ended up being flashing the card from a different card reader (my standalone multi card reader gave the error... an old laptop's card slot fixed the issue).
It's also possible it was using the Micro SD card in an SD card adapter that helped... but keep your eye out for that error code and if you get it... rather than buying more cards, try flashing via a different reader/writer.
So I had a few issues, but I think I've sorted them out... I'll list them here so other builders can hopefully benefit from my experience.
1: Octoprint wasn't connecting, looking at the pi zero the LED would basically keep flashing and eventually would go out. I'd been using an old Samsung Galaxy S4 (or S6 or there abouts) charger for it... that stated its output as 5.0V 2.0A. I then used a more recent Samsung charger that stated its output as 9.0V 1.67A or 5.0V 2.0A and it's been working ever since, the latter one does state it supports fast charging so I'm guessing something about the way they have it set up is more favourable to use with pi zero W's.
2: I was suffering from layer shift, mostly in the X axis but also in the Y.
X axis shift looks to have turned out to be my X axis rods were slightly converging on one side (the right side), this caused the X axis mount to have a tougher time moving on that side and obviously then caused the shift. To fix the issue I added some small pieces of rubber (I used some rubber I had been given after a Cosplay prop making workshop, it comes in sheets and the stuff I used I think was 5mm... but I cut it smaller to fit the holes I needed).
I also tried to tighten the mounting screws a little more.
Y axis shift looks to have been simply the set/grub screws in the pulley had come a little loose, I tightened them as much as I could again and I've just managed my first successful print after these fixes so hopefully it is indeed fixed.
3: When fixing the X axis issue, the left hand X axis mount developed a slant to it which meant the Z axis (for leveling purposes) was skewed. I fixed this by adding a "tension cable" on the bottom of the X axis mounts... my "tension cable" is very low tech... simply a piece of twine with loops tied at both ends, one is fixed to a screw in the left hand X axis mount... the other is tied to a zip tie which is then looped and tightened around a screw on the right X axis mount... it seems to be providing just enough tension to keep the X axis rods more level with each other and my bed leveling seems ok now. I should note that the tension cables do actually feature in the original build but only in the post build wrap up video... they are featured quite prominently but their purpose isn't explained or where they came from... so just know you can use a low tech solution if you need to.
I have also made some upgrades to the printer since getting it all together, the two I highly recommend are:
Z Endstop Fine Adjustment Prusa i3 - Anet A8 (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1776429)
Though it obviously wasn't made specifically for general DIY printers... the fact that it is made with a Nema 17 profile means it fits just fine. I installed mine on the left Z axis motor and put the adjustment screw mount on the Left X axis mount (there are actually some screw holes there already that you can use to mount it. This has enabled me to finally hone my bed level and has massively improved my prints, they stick to the bed better and they have a much better first layer.
Self-centering tapered-thread Z-axis coupling (5/6/8mm) (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:396781)
I had originally used some rubber bushes that I had pulled from the 2D printers I had salvaged for parts and they did work... but once I lubricated my threaded rods I think the lubricant got into the rubber bushes and made them swell and they no longer gripped sufficiently.
The tapered-thread Z-axis couplers allow you to tighten the grip on the threaded rod and the drive shaft with minimal issue... be aware you may need to print these with a raft though as the tapered-thread make for small points of contact to the build plate and mine came loose the first time I tried printing them and made a mess.
I also had a slight issue with my right hand pulley on the X axis... basically the bolt that held it in place had too much tension applied and had developed an lean to it which caused the pulley to move around. I fixed this (or at least it seems to be working so far), by adding a "face plate" over the top of the X axis mount which gave the screw a point to go through before going through the pulley and finally the X axis mount behind it... I also swapped the bearings for a pulley (I have quite a few spare). I added some washes and a spare bearing to the bolt to help align the pulley with the pulley attached to the motor on the other side. This seems to have stopped the excess movement but needs a little more tweaking as there is enough movement in it at the moment to cause some metal rubbing on metal noise... I suspect I need to add another washer or two to make it more secure.