1200 x 1200 Large scale DIY 3D printer - Sub33D v3.07

by sschm9, published

1200 x 1200 Large scale DIY 3D printer - Sub33D v3.07 by sschm9 Dec 18, 2016
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Please check out the Build progress and test print preview video:

There is a playlist of full build progress updates and test print videos:

800mm Ledgend of Zelda Master Sword test print:

T-Rex skull test print:

You can also check us out on Facebook:

Filament for the printer is created on our own modified Lyman / Mulier version 5 Filament Extruder:

This printer was designed to print very large scale using recycled ABS plastic (we also recycle, shred and produce recycled ABS filament).
Most of the other very large scale printers out there tend to print in PLA which is a lot less problematic at large scale.

Main features:

  • Build volume 1200mm x 1200mm x 600mm
  • H bot layout with fixed heat-bed (4 x z-axis motors to move the light weight H frame rather than the insanely heavy heat-bed)
  • 1mm nozzle, double volcano extruder hot end to increase flow rate (80W total heater power)
  • 2400W heatbed using 4 x 230V 600W 400mm x 400mm silicone heating pads (controlled with 25A solid state relay)
  • 2 x Recycled Nema23 stepper motors for y-axis, driven by single 5A CNC type stepper driver
  • 4 x Recycled Nema23 stepper motors for z-axis, driven by single 5A CNC type stepper driver
  • 1 x Recycled Nema23 stepper motor for x-axis, driven by standard 2.5A stepper driver
  • 1 x Recycled Nema17 stepper motor for extruder, driven by standard 2.5A stepper driver
  • Designed in Sketchup Make 2017, design file included in downloads (Sub33D v3.07.09.skp)
  • Frame built from 50mm x 50mm x 2mm box section aluminium
  • Total build cost is close to $2000 AUD
  • Marlin-RC firmware also included in downloads (Marlin-RC.zip)

If anyone is thinking to build something like this I would recommend using a 12mm heat-bed plate (rather than 6mm) as the aluminium plate deforms up to 5mm when heated to 90 deg C, I am using 9 x 9 point auto-bed leveling to pick up the deformation shape).
Also the 400mm x 400m 600W silicone heaters are a little small as the distance between them causes around a 10 deg C difference on the heat-bed surface between the heaters and above them).
I'm Currently fitting 4 x 150W IR heaters to reduce heat-bed deformation and maintain consistent heat on printed ABS parts.

Special thanks to Substation33 for all the support and recycled materials.

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2 days ago - Modified 2 days ago

It looks really nice and I was thinking about starting a build, any last minute suggested changes on the design or components? I probably will spend a little extra and buy preformed aluminum extrusions. Great job!

I went through the files and images, nice. Do you happen to have a bill of materials easier to work with than the SketchUp 3d file? Would help.

hello great design man looks great. ive been looking to make a larger printer to make modular dome shape portable habitats/pods/offgridd homes/cabbins etc i was wondering if your design could be modified to make a larger one say around 3mx3mx3m print area? i intend on building a structure/3d print studio out of cool room panels to put it in. Im confident with the building/electrical side of things but will need help with the tech hardware and programming even if its only being directed to the appropriate kit to buy i can figure out the. any help info and future communication greatly appreciated.

This was designed to be scaled up and down, I am looking into building a 2400x1200 version next, just keep in mind if you are using ABS or other plastics that require a heated bed, it does use a lot of power (mine uses around 3000W when heating)
Please feel free to ask any questions regarding you build.

Aug 14, 2017 - Modified Aug 14, 2017

So question, instead of fitting IR heat lamps or what not to make your heat bed why not just create your own by using an aluminum top plate of sufficient thickness and then scavenging the windings of an old transformer? Should be plenty of cable of appropriate strength and those things can get pretty hot pretty quick. Just a thought that may make it easier to engineer.

Should also be consistent heat then across the whole surface with minimum adjustments.

That would probably work, but one of the reasons for the IR heat lamps is to also apply heating from the top down to keep the heat on the printed part even (there is already too much heat from the bottom up)

2 days ago - Modified 2 days ago
Jcdunn - in reply to sschm9

Duh, that makes sense now that I think about it :). So looking forward to seeing you finish this. Getting my CR-10 in a few weeks and after building a 3d scanner this is definitely a project I want to do as the idea of 3d printing say bookcases (like the cube stacking style not full height 6') or other furniture is really really attractive.

Though question, if you are having heat issues with the motors, or were prior to the heat sink upgrade, what do you predict the effect will be with heating the entire enclosure, and is there a method to further cool the motors with the higher ambient air temps?

This is Mechanical Engineering Student, who wants to make this large scale printer.
I have some curious things about this printer.
The mainboard used in this one is Arduino Mega, Ramps 1.4 combined.
What i want to ask is this : does the A4988 motor driver can endure the 4 nema stepper motors(in Z axis)?s

I have used a 5A CNC driver to drive the 4 x Z-axis motors connected in parallel, The A4988 driver is only good for around 2A max which would not be high enough to give enough torque with the Nema23 motors, however you could easily run several additional A4988 stepper drivers off the main board to drive each motor with 2A etc.

Thank you for your kind reply.

I found 4 stepper motors that have enough torque and current.

And I also bought another motor drivers for backup.

I think A4988 motor driver can handle the current of 4 nema 23 stepper motors.

Again, Thank you

Are there any special wiring requirements?

I have not yet put together a complete wiring diagram, but it's not very different to a standard 3D printer, I have tried to supply info/diagrams on the differences (CNC stepper wiring etc.)

is it possible to build this printer smaller? something like 600mmx600mmx600mm? what could be the changes?

I have already scaled down the design to this (may publish this in future if there is enough interest), If you give me your gmail address I can share the google drive folder with the design
It was a simple job of reducing frame member lengths etc

Could send it to me too? Please

Sure, if you can message me your gmail address I can share with you also

Hi I would like to build one . where did you get the build plate and other parts?


The build plate is half a 2400x1200x6mm sheet of aluminium (had to buy the whole sheet so was not cheap)
The bracing underneath is 50x100x5mm angle.

Does this print with good accuracy?
I would like to build something similar, but don't want to waste time and money if it is unlikely to be useful

Yes, it is surprisingly accurate, There are some ooze issues with the 1mm nozzle which I am not happy with yet.
I would recommend running off 24V to allow you to increase non print movement speeds to reduce ooze issues etc

please does anyone have the wiring diagram

I have not yet put together a complete wiring diagram, but it's not very different to a standard 3D printer, I have tried to supply info/diagrams on the differences (CNC stepper wiring etc.)

Jun 7, 2017 - Modified Jun 8, 2017

what is the thinkness of profiles in your project?

also if you can share freecad version of cad file it will be awesome.

Edit: i was saw profiles information on your description sorry about asking stupid question, however freecad version of cad file still be awesome for linux users.

Sorry I could not find an easy way to convert Sketchup to Freecad other than using STL component export/import, but this would be a big job.

Where did you get the double volcano hot end from? cant seem to find it online. Thanks again

It's simply 2 volcano's connected with a 6mm throat with a 3mm bore

Gday! any details on the black spacers around the screws on the carriages? made of rubber? where to buy? thanks for sharing your work btw. hope its still going strong

They are actually silicone/rubber bushes found inside most large multi function printers (they are on the 8 and 10mm rods that grip/feed the paper)
I use them as springs (which you could probably use to supplement), you could also look for a thick walled rubber hose?

Is there a list for all of the electronic components and non-printed components so I can have a parts list for the full assembly?

Sorry, still working on new Extruder etc, will supply more info in the future when more complete

Do you have a wiring diagram to wire every thing up? and what software did you use?

I have not yet put together a complete wiring diagram, but it's not very different to a standard 3D printer, I have tried to supply info/diagrams on the differences (CNC stepper wiring etc.)

The firmware is Marlin (supplied in the download), I usually use Repetier Host and Slic3r for slicing jobs etc.

Hi, Awesome Project !!-

How does it works the kinematic compatibility with marlin? is a XYZ printer? how does it works in marlin ?

It's a standard XYZ H-Bot type printer, so only some tuning in Marlin for appropriate acceleration settings, axis dimensions and autobed leveling setup etc

I'm not seeing the wiring schematic. Am I just blind or did Rikhard get the schematics on special request? If so how would I go about getting a copy for myself?

I think Rikhard was referring to the general wiring images (after the T-Rex image above), I have not yet put a full schematic together as it will change after the extruder upgrade. If you have any questions re wiring, please feel free to ask.

Oh ok thank you.

Super thanks for the wiring scheme. You where the only one who has it correct +++

Great work dude,, Thx for including the .Skp file so I can get a better look at your Design Style-

Great work!
I've been working on a modified version of your printer design and have finial gotten to the point of ordering parts. Would it be possible to get a parts list for your extruder design? I want to make sure I build it right the first time.


Brilliant work as always! What'd the final Z Resolution come out to?

Cheers, I usually print using half the layer height of the nozzle diameter (0.5mm layer height with 1mm nozzle), although I am printing the first layer at 200% (1mm layer height)

I have not tested printing at anything lower than 0.5mm layer height as yet but it should work fine (it would just be really slow)

The printers z resolution is just as insanely high as most non delta printers, with 1.25mm (thread pitch) / 3200 (steps per revolution) = 0.00039mm per step

When you say 3200 steps per rev, I assume you're talking about microstepping (1/16)? If I could get my hands on a .1125deg stepper my head might explode haha.

Hi, I am from Russia, and I want to make xxl printer like it this.

I want to know what are you use motherboard for this project. Maybe you can give me сonnection diagram. It's interesting

Thak you!

Hi, I used an Ultimaker v1.5.7 board because I liked the larger board and connector options for easier wiring, but a RAMPS 1.4 board would work just the same.

A lot of people have been asking for a wiring diagram, looks like I will need to make some time to get one drawn up :-)

If the aim was not to use recycled material, would not aluminium Profles work better?

Would have been easier, but more expensive, also I did use a fair amount of recycled aluminium in the frame and heatbed

Do you thing 45x45 mm aluminium profiles would suffice or do you think 65x65 would be better?

Both would work, although the 65mm would allow higher acceleration settings if you have enough torque available (45mm would be the cheaper/slower option)

would you suggest using the same profiles for all? or would it be better to have the frame in 65x65 and the head-holder (what is this part really called?) in 45x45? That would mean less mass to accelerate?

please provide wiring diagram

Ive been searching for months for my next large build.

found it. awesome work dude!

Cheers, please let me know if you need any info on have any questions

i like the size of this is there a clay printer one im interest on make one for myself

It would probably work fine with clay if you swapped out the extruder with a syringe type design for paste, maybe like this one:

Bowden style paste extruder

Hi I am from Germany and I am fascinated about your large scale printer.

You used the Ultimaker Board... is it possible to tell me the exactly way how you installed the 5A driver and the NEMA23 Stepper?
Maybe you have any serialnumbers for me.

For my exam I want to build also such a big printer.

Thank you for your help.

There are only 2 signals per driver you need to take from your Ramps (or what ever board you are using) to connect a stronger cnc type stepper driver, the P- (pulse negative or sometimes called step) and D- (direction negative) which usually control the small onboard 2.5A 3D printer stepper drivers

The E+ (enable positive) P+ (pulse positive) and D+ (direction positive) are all tied to +5V

Check out this image which shows how to connect cnc drivers to a Ramps 1.4 (what I found and used for reference):

Thank you for your very fast reply,

may have you some data from your stronger stepper driver? And maybe some data from your extra powersupply?

Here is a link to the 5A stepper drivers I have been using:

I used an old ATX Dell server power supply with 60A on the 12V rail (this powers all the stepper drivers and extruder heater etc), although I will be upgrading to a 24V supply in the future for faster non print movements (less time for extruder ooze)

Perfect. :)

Is it right that you finally using 7 NEMA23 Stepper? (4 Z / 2 Y / 1 Z) So I need also 7 stepperdriver?

Jan 12, 2017 - Modified Jan 12, 2017
sschm9 - in reply to Miro2901

7 Nema 23 stepper motors (4Z / 2Y / 1X), but only 3 drivers:
1 x 5A driver for the 4 z-axis stepper motors (all motors wired in parallel and driver set to 4A drive current, so each motor gets 1A)
1 x 5A driver for the 2 y-axis stepper motors (both motors wired in parallel and driver set to 4A so each motor gets 2A)
1 x 2.5A driver (standard 3D printer driver) for the single x-axis motor and driver set to around 1 to 1.5A

The extruder is just a nema17 also running off a standard 2.5A 3D printer driver


Hm, maybe a stupid question, but are your stepper motors all the same?

Or should I buy smaller for the z-axis?

Is it possible to fix 7 Stepper like: http://www.ebay.de/itm/262038499806

It would be better if they are all the same, the ones in your ebay link look perfect for all 7 mottors (plenty of torque etc)
You could use slightly shorter nema23 motors for the z-axis, but the ones in your ebay link would be better
Mine are different because they are recycled motors and it was hard to find a perfect match

Perfect. I have orderd these 7 motors now. Also the drivers are ordered. This takes a little time.

Thank you very much for your help. Is it possible to contact you if I start to fix the printer and I have any more questions?


I would be very interested to see how you go with your build, contact me any time if you have any questions etc

Hi, and greets from Germany. The Project is moving on, and i have a question. I have the ultimaker board v2.1.1. I am not sure how to connect the stepper Driver with the board. I Need the 5V signals but I am not sure how to connect?? May you can help me or send me a Picture at [email protected] If you use the Google search for this ultimaker board maybe you can mark the positon of Fixing the wire.

Thanks a lot and happy easter

Hi Miro

I have uploaded a few new images (after the T-rex skull image) which shows how to connect the CNC stepper drivers to the RAMPS board and a few images of how I modified my Ultimaker board for the CNC driver 5V, Direction and Step connections.
Hope this helps.

Since the bed is stationary, would you think it possible to use a different heat source like Warm up brand heated flooring? You can make it exactly the size you want. Take durock, thinset and screw to wood plywood. Run the warmup wire on top of that, don't forget to add and check heat sensor before going any further. Make a frame around this as a box 1" higher than the wire, mix and pack mud (1:3 ratio of portland cement to course sand) use very little water. You want the mud stronger than usual. Take some mud squeeze it, should stay together than bounce it off hand if it breaks in large chunks than it good. Take stick wider than box and run across to make perfectly flat. Let dry, than take kerabond and glue metal to the dimentions of wood frame to lock everything in place. Slip your machine over this square. I use metal bed with kapton tape and hairspray (aqua net). With the bed pre heated I spray it and then hit print. By the time the extruder heats up the hairspray is just the right tackiness. When the print is done you smack it with a scraper handle and it pops off. After the bed is half cooled down of course. This trick I haven't had ripped kapton, I've been using the same tape for over a year. Wipe the bed with a wet towel after a couple times cause you get build up. I hope this helps with your machine. This way should give you the most even distribution of controlled heat. You could even take and enclose the whole thing in plexiglass as well, drafts and people walking by can mess a print up as well.

Interesting idea for a heatbed, could be a great low cost option for a really large printer (something I am looking into)
The current printer is already enclosed and have just finished fitting 600W of IR heaters to heat from above (to stop taller printed parts from cooling/shrinking etc.), Thanks for you thoughts and comments.

I'm absolutely gob-smacked. O_0. Amazing work. BTW, where did you get those silicone heaters from?

Thanks:-), the heaters were found on www.aliexpress.com:

There are tons of different sizes/voltages etc (even can get them custom made)

This is really cool keep up the good work

Cheers, I had no idea it would generate so much interest (regret not recording more of the build process)

Comments deleted.
Dec 19, 2016 - Modified Dec 19, 2016

Need 3mm glass (1/8") and slather with ABS juice to get good adhesion (glass will also help even out the temperature fluctuations of the heaters), with large flat ABS prints you will need about 10-12 loops of brim around object to prevent warping/lifting.

Insane build!!!! Awesome!

Cheers, looked at using 6mm tempered glass but decided to stick with aluminium at the moment due to the proximity sensor issues and large thermal mass increase (may still implement in the future if the IR heating is not enough to solve the issues)

Actually started using ABS juice over plastic primer (plastic primer stays on the aluminium and the ABS juice bonds to that and the part), also using 40mm brims on the prints to keep them down

I meant 3mm 1/8" glass...6mm is almost 1/4" and I tried that on a smaller 220x220, nice thick glass, but a little too thick and very hard to heat, but it heated evenly for sure.

Yeah, glass doesn't work with auto-leveling bed, didn't see that part sorry.

Still a crazy HUGE build plate!

I'm using an 8mm proximity sensor so 3mm would be ok as long as the glass has a metal backing.
2 x 3mm sheets of glass with aluminium foil in between would probably work ok.
Other option would be to use a capacitive sensor and just glass.

Gives me something to think about and options to try, thanks for the comments.

Wow. This is the perfect combination of over exaggeration and genius :) Brilliant :)

Cheers, It's probably just that I have too much time, electricity and ABS plastic on my hands (also run a solar farm)