As I write more stories about 3D printing, not only do I want to purchase my own printer, but I want everyone — especially K-12 schools — to have access to a 3D printer, too. It’s such a remarkable technology, and although it is getting cheaper, cost is still prohibitive in the 3D printing space. But, let’s let our inventiveness and creativity make up for what our wallets can’t provide, okay? Necessity is definitely the mother of invention, and this project, to build a 3D printer from a 3D printing pen, is one example of how money won’t keep the masses from getting their 3D printing machines.
Daniel, of Tinkernut, has hacked a 3D printing pen to provide us with a very inexpensive option for a 3D printer (that has limits on resolution and print size, of course). So let’s review a little about how he does it. All 3D printers have four basic parts: bed, extruder, a hot end, and filament. That’s it!
In a video called “How to Make a Cheap 3D Printer” (check it out below!), Tinkernut takes us through the details of building this machine.
First, he decided that a 3D printing pen makes a better choice for the project than a hot glue gun, although it costs more. Tinkernut states that “…a hot glue gun would be cool, but then it would require us to build a motorized extruder from scratch.” So the pen wins as the option to build from due to the fact that it comes with extruder functions that are built-in.
Tinkernut then proceeds to take the pen apart (shown very clearly in the video) so that he can automate it. The pen comes with “extrude backward” and “extrude forward” buttons, and the idea is that the “extrude forward” button of the 3D printing pen needs to be automated and then controlled by an Arduino.
That makes sense enough to me, but for the uninitiated, it is really critical for you to follow Tinkernut’s video if you are planning on trying to build your own 3D printing machine from a pen. The directions are straightforward enough, and by then end of the video, you will see that it is possible for you to try this at home. But as Hackaday reminds us:
“It’s not quite as simple as just strapping a 3D printing pen to a CNC machine, though. The pen and the CNC machine have to communicate with each other so that the pen knows when to place filament and the CNC machine knows when to move. For that, [Daniel] went with a trusty Arduino in order to switch the pen on and off. Once it’s working, it’s time to start printing!”
Of course, as 3D printing pens become more common, we are sure to see more people trying this type of elaboration. Tinkernut is ahead of the game, as he impressively achieved his original mission to build an affordable 3D printer that works, even if resolution and print size are limited by his main instrument– a 3D printing pen. Will you be trying this project? Let us know in the Under $100 3D Printer Hack forum thread on 3DPB.com.
Check out the tutorial below:
You May Also Like
Maker Publishes Instructables About 3D Printing Favorite Vintage Games
Whenever I visit Target to pick up something in the toy department, whether it’s a present for my nieces or one of my friends’ kids, I also enjoy stopping in...
A Universal Swiss Knife in the Pocket of Every 3D Printing Enthusiast
The company known as 3Dsimo s.r.o., a manufacturer of 3D pens and multifunctional devices recently showed their newest product, and it is already available for pre-order. At the Maker Faire...
3D Printing News Briefs: August 28, 2018
We’re talking about business, cool products, and events in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, followed by a how-to video on smoothing your 3D prints and a student competition project. Nano...
3D Printing News Briefs: August 18, 2018
In 3D Printing News Briefs, in which we share news about some upcoming events, and then move on to business, science, and 3D printing pen art. Europac 3D and Addition...
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.