Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!

Foldie 3D FFF Printer

by 3DPVDB, published

Foldie 3D FFF Printer by 3DPVDB Nov 22, 2014


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Foldable , Portable ,3D printable, Green, Fused Filament 3D Printer.
Designed for students.
If it reaches 100+ Likes Here on Thingiverse, I'll crowdfund the hardware parts in a kit.* Printed parts stay free!
Help speed up the development by tipping the designer or donating through https://www.paypal.me/3DPrintersVDB
Every contribution, in whatever form, will be noted on foldie3d.com with the release on gofundme.

We hope to present our final version soon,

Foldie is recently on facebook. look 4 "Foldie3D."


As long as u don't profit from it, please share, and adapt as u see fit.
This printer is designed especially for students.
No 3D printer in the world is so portable, it fits in a laptop-bag,
and can be build for under 300€. The most expensive parts are: extruder parts, electronics board & power supply.
this printer can be assembled out of wood, plastic or metal, but i originally tried to design it so every part would be 3D printable.
Except for the linear axles, a threaded rod, 4 stepper motors, some screws, bolts, washers, wiring, and electronics, i succeeded.

Maybe an idea for Nasa ... takes up less space & weight on the way up :-p

Work in progress:

  • I plan to use an Android smartphone of some sorts in the future too communicate and control the printer. It would also go on the back, in clips that pivot, facing backwards, and fold open until its next to the printer facing forward. that would allow for a 50-70€ stand-alone, wireless, 3G enabled, schoolworthy 3D printer controller.
    Android apps are easyly build, managed and learned, and a smartphone has usb to communicate with the printers Arduino-based electronics board. So why not.
    My motto:
    "If u can imagine it, u can make it"

If this reaches 100 LIKES, i'll crowdfund it. So please SHARE.*

Special thankx to
for redrawing & printing the gears of the bed lift.

UPDATE as of 27/03/2015, Foldie has no sideplates anymore.
the benefits of our new design eliminated the sideplates.
Instead, foldie has now a Foldie-worthy foldable constuction at her sexy bottom sides, wich locks her firmly into place when opened.
Her brandnew designed, multi-diameter spool holders,
are the magnetic-locking crown on the design.
take a look at her drawings, next week we'll post some new edition pics.

UPDATE as of 19/08/2015
In order 2 improve stability while printing, Foldie's extruder motor goes on the back from now on (like ultimaker, reprap,...). the extruder motor movements on top proved too rough for a lightweight plastic frame.

Last but not least:
Please only use ABS if necessary.
Think Green ;) i don't want my Thing to pollute the planet any further. on the contrary. i spent several months! researching suppliers eco footprint, calculating power usage and what not. Please carry on the trend.

UPDATE as of 19/01/2016
Several boards are being tested now the frame is sturdy & ready.
Power supplies are considered and tested.
Nylon support for heated beds is being tested.
Inquiries have been made for a sheet metal alu model.
As soon as the board satisfies me, i'll show a vid of Foldie printing...

UPDATE 21/03/2017 It seems to be a point of anoyment, to manually re-calibrate the bed, each time, after foldie has been mobile. So i thought of a solution, what woke me up mid-night, only to discover online, i wasn't the first;
The hotend is mounted on a slightly flexible mount, which presses upwards, when touching the bed, closing the Z-endstop right above it, what, in turn, allows for non-capacitive, low-cost, multi-point, printbed calibration, each time after a power up, after the print-command is given.

UPDATE 14/02/2018
The bed has gotten aluminium u-profile bed support.
This to account for the slight flexibility in printable polymers, wich would be nefast for a bed-support.
some axle rails are replaced with Igus products, in order to win space, reduce weight, and reduce cost.
Yaxle glides on HIWIN
Xaxle glides on IGUS
Zaxle glides on IGUS

UPDATE 21/02/2018
In the last update we stated that the Z would have IGUS rails. It won't.
the directional torque of the horizontal bed on the vertical slide proved too much for smooth movement. It has been re-equipped with the Rods and LMUU06's bearings.
The actual update; the transmission of the CoreXY is done by fishing silk.
Not a nylon infused belt. they were heavy, wide, and their resistance when bending and stretching had effect on the small operating space. The fishing silk is relatively cheap, (less then toothed belts/mtr) UnBeLieVeaBle Strong, doesnt stretch, in comparison too belts, is relatively naturally produced in mothfarms, biodegradable, and commonly available. Also, it withstands time when not in operation. The silk on our prototype was my dad's. He taught me too look for answers too problems in nature. He's not here anymore, but his 30 yr old fishing silk, is still as good as new. And does wonders. Thnx dad. And thank you moth's.
The silk does not slip around the motor's pulleys because they are 3d printed in TPU (flex filament).

UPDATE 12th of april 2018
Happy like a kid on christmasmorning. Our Printed Foldie exceeds all expectations.
Fast, extremely accurate, 0.05mm on x&y!! and as stable as an I3.
Vid coming soon, I'm not a cameraman, it apprears...
With the help of IMEC (https://www.imec-int.com/en/home)
We will revise the most expensive parts, like the controller board, in the hopes of bringing you a more affordable, capable, 1board solution for any 3D printer.
Our goal here is to create the next "RAMPS" along with Foldie. In the same pricerange, but on a single board.

*We plan to use https://www.gofundme.com as crowdfundplatform because others have too limited payment solutions for students.

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This is so briliant, awesome dude, I need to make it just to annoy people :D

Thank you. And after yrs of unbelievers, and jealous friends assuming i'm rich, i feel you.

tried for 150x150mm, but its at 154x148 right now. still got couple ideas 4 fixing that.

To ease the readers & followers, CURRENTLY we're waiting on plastic prototype14 to finish printing& we're trying to decide wether to give Foldie internet connectivity via a Raspberry Pi, with a WiFi dongle and Octoprint for example, or to make it an IoT project with a +/-6$ NodeMCU ESP-12E DevKit.
The Pi+Octoprint gives a simple& fast camera option & the ESP MCU is the cheapest internetconnectivity solution. Feel free to give your opinion and help us decide. Do you want to vieuw the evolution of your print live on tablet/smartphone, of do you want the cheaper "just" connect & control option?

when will the gofundme campaign start? Also will there be an lcd control screen?

There is no date for the GoFundMe campaign yet, Yes, there will be an OLED LCD screen, optional smartphone connectivity, & a smartphone controller app.
We're still constantly making the printable version better, and are simultaneously testing the metal frame,
wich has unexpectedly developped faster then the printable one.
We're also struggling in finding affordable, but qualitative products necessary for a succesfull campaign.
You may expect the launch in the coming months. When the Printable version is final, we'll dress the website, and put manuals & BOM online, Our video's will be published, the GoFundMe campaign will launch, and when it's finished, all files, 3D&firmwares, will be made public, for use in open source development.

when will the gofundme campaign start? Also will there be an lcd control screen?

I stumbled across this while looking for a folding design like the Foldarap. This seems really very good, but I am not seeing much work on it in the last year. How are things progressing with it? I would like to build one of these.


Testing to bring forth the best balance between cost and accuracy. We have stability and accuracy, but we still have to many costs for our goal. Its supposed to be a low cost printer, and the rails make it a luxury printer. Also, we're trying to find a decent partner who can cut the metal version. Appears harder then it looked. At last, still looking for decent manufacturers of certain other parts too. Finding the right manufacturer is the hardest part, and is the main cause of foldie not being downloadable yet. In any case, we are working on it on a daily basis.

Is that a pic of a heated bed? Does that mean you'll be supporting it?

yup. Both firmware with and without heatbed functionality will be published.

New revisions look awesome!

tnhx, not done yet. LM6UU system was completely useless, and this Hiwin rails are too expensive. they bring Foldie's total cost at our initial retailprice.
Have two ideas left, If they do not work, Foldie becomes more expensive then anticipated.

Hey, I built the SmartRap printer recently and I found some awesome linear rods for only a few bucks in lots of sizes.
Here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CNM6RFA/ref=biss_dp_sa1

If you haven't already, then you should checkout McMaster-Carr, and Openbuilds. Their parts come at an extremely low cost, and are very high quality.

good tips ;)

This, honestly, is THE most amazing thing I've ever seen on thingiverse and really should be featured. I am 13 years old and have a 3D printer, but my parents are also separated so I bring my printer back and forth and it's a real hassle, so this is on my "To Build" list. I have two questoins: 1. When will the parts (from the STL's to the hardware) for the printer be released, and will the extruder and board come with it? 2. I really love the concept and design, but will it be able to have a heated bed? Thanks, and I really look forward to the outcome!

Hi smiley 424, thank you. We know the back and forth feeling ;). Hang in there. Foldies parts will be free for download, and a hardware kit will be crowdfunded with all 3D hardware parts as hotend, board, motors, borosilicate glass bed, bolts n screws. The heatbed will be optional. 1. it requires a seperate power supply. and 2. its actually useless and a waste of electricity to heat such a small surface. As 3D Systems prints cold with glue in ABS on her Cube printers, we can too. But it will be additionally available in a self adhesive silicone heatpad and some PEEK parts

Truly awesome work! Maybe you could collaborate with makerfarm or one of the other vendors to get a pre-packaged hardware
kit set up. That would save people who want to build the time, trouble, and expense of finding and ordering the necessaries from a bunch
of different sources.
Thanks for sharing your work!

are the files available?, i only see a single STL of the whole machine...

its still a work in progress. there still a couple adaptions too be done. nearly there. just a tiny bit more patience ;)

Comments deleted.

could you post a video of it printing?

youtube channel is in the make ;)

how big is the buildplate?

max 160mm for this scale foldie,