Sam's 3D Printer

by Saminvent, published

Sam's 3D Printer by Saminvent Sep 16, 2012
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Sam's 3D Printer by Saminvent is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.

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UPDATE 19th JUNE Unlikely to be updating this thing in the future, do the work I've been doing on my new 3D Printer, which will be able to print with 4 extruders, print much faster and build things at 300x200x315mm. Will upload this to thingiverse fairly soon. Thanks, Sam.

Update 27th April 2013 - Printer's working well - will add more photos soon. Along with updating the rest of this page.

This is a 3D printer I'm designing and building.

Frame - Aluminium Extrusion from 8020.net its a 1.5" wide profile drilled with holes for M8 or imperial bolts. They connect with aluminium inserts and general hardware, washers and nylock nuts etc. For my first Frame I'm actually using an etch spray primer and satin black paint.

Linear motion - X and Y are Pulley driven with Z being high quality stainless threaded bar. All 3 axis are guided by LM10UU bearings and 10mm stainless rod.

I also hope to add an LCD display and possibly a tablet pc/ipad mount on top for the interface.

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Did you ever complete it?

Any update about progress of your project?

The machine's printing, but I've had problems the last couple of days with my computer randomly logging out during a print - so my 12h print of 6 large components at the same time stopped after 2 1/2 hours for example. Thinking that I may switch to printing from SD until this problem is fixed

Try to change power saving on you computer setting to never stand by (all ways on).

it was already set like that, but for some reason still went off... I did an update (EFI update - I'm on mac) but have been swapping over to repetier so don't know whether it fixed it

Hi Sam, Great looking design. I'd be interested to see a parts list if you have something available? You are probaby aware that one of the biggest issues can be the stability of the Z axis as threaded rods may not be entirely straight. I think that your design would prevent distortion in the Y axis, but think that wobble caused by the Z threaded rod may be seen in the X axis (possibly).

I currently have a RapMan from BitsFromBytes, but would be interested to see if it would be possible to morph this printer onto your frame as I feel that your design is much better.

Good luck with the project!

Hi Mark, The z axis threaded rods are only mounted by bearings at the top, on the bottom they are free to move around as they like, I haven't really noticed any problems with wobble so far thankfully, really busy at the moment, but some time this week I'll update this page with photos of my machine and make sure all the files are up to date, then I'll create a parts list

sorry, the other images weren't loading for me.. the images look good. How much for a full kit with everything including the steel and all hardware, electronics, mechanicals...

Hey dude, great design.. looks very nice. I'm keen to purchase a kit off you, have you got any photos of the unit in use? I'm keen to build it with a steel frame and aluminium components, [email protected] ~thanks

Hi, as far as the framework goes - that aluminium framework is very, very overkill - and is like 3mm wall thickness aluminium box section. As for making other components out of aluminium - this is something I have done a bit of. I'll email you with the details of what parts would be made from 5mm aluminium etc.

Have you tested the system of using threaded and smooth rods for the Z axis that are not all on one plane? I've been thinking about that for a long time, but I'm not sure how stable it would be.


Exactly what do you mean by that.

I think he means that the Z threaded rods and smooth rods aren't all in the same plane, i.e. they don't all line up like they do in Mendel variants.

Technically you could have the smooth rods 45 degrees out so the spacing between them wider than the spacings of the threaded rods and have them further forward for more rigidity - although with linear bearings and 10mm rods this isn't really neccesary as they are still spaced apart.


nice printer.

Can you tell me if i can use 10mm Igus bearings?

penny :)

Hi Penny,

I take it that's a bushing? I find that linear bearings - especially in conjunction with decent high tolerance rods are much better than bushings - which is why although I have some decent 10mm bushings I much prefer linear bearings and many people are moving away from them. There is also much les
s friction when loaded against bushing - plus linear bearings will still work if dry. I can however upload some STL files if you give me a datasheet.

are these all parts required ? great job btw. consider a lasercut ver.

I've designed it specifically to be quick for me or anyone else to produce - so part of that was to keep it stylish, simple, rigid, but at the same time use only high quality components more likely to be found on a fully fledged CNC machine. Which is why there are only a few printed parts needed - whilst they are some of the most important. The Bearings I use are From VXB and are some of the best 608 bearing available - from silicon nitride to chrome steel they all make the metal shielded bearings which need oil or grease (mine shouldn't be used with it) seem cheap and nasty - although unfortunately they aren't cheap and when you look at prusa kits you see how many are needed!! Once I've got this machine working and hopefully got my money back from printing parts for a company I work for and by making more of these printers to sell, I'll probably be designing a laser cutter and so around that time I'll try to design a 3D printer for people with a laser cutter and/or a 3D printer - the idea being that if someone has either they can make the other!! In my opinion anyone with a creative mind, a 3D printer and a laser cutter or mill is pretty unstoppable!!