Easy wooden repstrap

by skeat, published

Easy wooden repstrap by skeat Sep 5, 2014



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A simple easy to construct repstrap using only

  • some basic hand tools
  • timber and plywood
  • liquid nails and hot melt

Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDms-eyPZ-Y

Build a 3d printer without any printed parts, except for the extruder. Use the money required for buying printed parts to get a good extruder instead.

The objective is to create a repstrap or a temporary 3d printer that anybody can build at home using cheap and easily available materials, to learn about 3d printer and print their own printed parts required for their next printer.

No vitamins are wasted, except maybe a short length of timing belt. The design can accommodate longer smooth and threaded rods.

This design is taking Prusa i3 as reference. So the vitamins required are:-

  • 6x smooth rods
  • 1x M5 threaded rod
  • 11x LM8UU linear bearings
  • 4x stepper motors
  • 2x 608 ball bearings
  • pulley and belts
  • 1x coupling

Wood cutting need not to be very accurate or require great skill. Drilling just have to be accurate enough to be able to mount the steppers. Accuracy is required only in alignment during assembly.

The build volume is small, about 120mm x 120mm x 100mm but good enough to print out parts required for the next printer build. The idea is just to build a temporary printer. So there is a lot of wastage in terms of build volume and rod length in return for rigidity of the printer.

Update 20th Sept. 2014
Using 60 pound Spectra braided fishing line for y-axis. It is working better and easier to build.


Materials - 12.5mm x 24mm timber and 6mm plywood.

Liquid nails and hot melt are used to hold the wooden members together. That is for ease of assembly as well as to absorb any warp and bend of timber. Using screws or nails to hold the frame together will introduce tension and will twist the frame in all directions, making the alignment out.

Apparently there are different types of hot melt. In where I live, they are sold mostly in loose form without any label or description. Therefore I am not able to tell which type is suitable. Choose the type that is hard and rigid in stick form. It appears to me that those look white(slight yellowish) or less translucent is harder than those that look clear or translucent. Be sure to heat up the glue gun until it is really hot and oozing before gluing operation to get a strong bond. I don't know about using hot melt in colder environment, especially hot melt on cold metal, but maybe heating up the metal parts before applying the hot melt might help to get a stronger bond.

Liquid nails is optional. In fact the frame holds up quite well with just hot melt, just like my built. But liquid nails helps in ease of alignment during assembly, and I believe increases the rigidity of the frame also. Anyway it acts as as security to hold the wood together.
(Disclaimer: I will not be responsible for anything that might happen due to building or operation of this design build, be it due to bad gluing or not.)

Print out the dxf file and prepare the materials required. Cut out the print out and paste on the prepared plywood to cut or drill accordingly.

The build requires a flat surface like a glass table top or big floor tile. As I had not taken any pictures during my bulid, please refer to the illustrations and pictures to get an idea of the method of assembly.

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Thank you so much man. This really helps me a lot because I am looking to build a Cartesian style 3D printer then print the parts for a CoreXY or H-style printer. Not having to 3D print anything is a huge relief (don't need to get membership to MakerSpace or FabLab/ask for parts from a friend). Again, thanks a ton.
I had a few questions though:
1) What was the cost for you?
2) Can this be built using conventional nuts and bolts?
3) How is your print quality for this printer? Do you think it is acceptable to print parts for a new printer?

Many thanks,

  • Sir Fly
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Hi i loove this kind of Easy made 3 d printer

First, thx skeat!

Now I build the printer, but I don't understand the configuration of the firmware. Can anybody help me? Tutorial or instruction for the firmware? What firmware did I need for this printer???

Thanx a lot

Depends on what electronics you use. Please refer to http://reprap.org/wiki/List_of_Firmware#Repetier-Firmware
I only use Marlin. PM me if you need help with Marlin configuration.

thanxs skeat all done now just waiting for filament to try it out fingers crossed lol

Hi skeat.......I am new to all this 3D printing concept. I had gone through ur model and liked it very much. Can you please suggest me some ideas to implement this model under a cost effective budget of $300 or less. Basically i want to fabricate a cost effective 3D printer for my final yr. project of engineering.

Comments deleted.

Ball bearings are used as belt idler. As mentioned, this design is taking Prusa i3 as reference. Please refer to Prusa i3 design for anything not mentioned here.

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Yes, that's the complete Prusa i3 Rework extruder. Get it maybe from ebay or other online stores, depending on where you live.

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hi skeat finished building printer just put all electrics on but cant get the firmware to run it properly tried sprinter and marlin any advise at this time would be greatly appreciated thanxs for getting me started on such agreat project

Try a bit of googling, you should be able to get some answers to your problem. Maybe these links might give you a clue of what you need to do.

OMG, AWESOME. So many fools claim to have, or build, a repstrap and use a ton of printed parts on it. no, no, no. Loving your setup, though it isn't a real repstrap until you make one that has no printed parts on it at all and uses plain materials. You have almost a full repstrap though.

Same Firmware and config from prusa?

Which extruder you use?

Prusa i3 rework Wade exruder

Leonardo's Dream. Fabulous

This is absolutely fabulous, and I'm totally using it as a base to make one of my own. Thanks for lovely inspiration!

Changed y-axis from using belt and pulley to braided fishing line. Looks like it is working better and definitely easier to build. This will eliminate a short length of belt, one pulley, one bearing, bolt, nut and washer. Picture attached.

Grate idea of using hot glue) Great job!! Thanks.

Love it too! simple, and seems easy to do!.
I love the idea!

This shows how one can build a decent printer from just about anything; This design gives me some ideas for my next build :)
BTW; Reminds me of a makergear mosaic-type machine.