While 3D printers have plummeted in price and ramped up in features over the course of the last year, a determined DIY builder can put one together for around $100 or less using old junk PC or printer parts.
Past efforts to take on the task have used everything from junked DVD/Blu-ray drives to parts found in the garage such as screws, nuts, washers, M-type fasteners, discarded wire and chunks of aluminium sheet.
Xander Goldstein from Indianapolis, In. is building a 3D printer out materials he salvaged from dot matrix printers, scanners and a pile of scrap wood. He calls it the ScrapRap, and Goldstein says, at least to this point, the only items he’s needed to purchase were the extruder, some threaded rod and a ramps board, which cost him under $50 in total.
While he says it’s still very much a work in progress, the idea that someone could build a working 3d printer from some old electronic device scrap is rather cool indeed. Goldstein says he began by tearing apart a pile of printers, and from that effort, he salvaged four Nema 17 stepper motors, four 8mm linear rails, four 8mm bushings, a pair of timing belts and a pair of gears to drive the motors.
He says he also managed to cadge eight bearings from an old pair of roller blades, and after he gave them a good soaking in the engineers friend – WD40 – they were returned to good working order. According to the young tinkerer, the plan also calls for him to build a filament extruder and recycle all the injection molded parts from the printers for later use.
As his extruder, he elected to use a Bowden style, but it was adapted to allow him to use only hand made parts. The Bowden style is favored in most home builds as it reduces the weight of the moving components and, when used with a heavy stepper motor in a fixed position, the hot-end requires less force to move and allows for faster printing speeds. Such “Bowden extruders” get their name from the similarity of the device to the so-called Bowden cable, constructed very much like a mechanical throttle cable or a bicycle brake cable.
While Goldstein’s printer is far from complete, it is interesting to follow the progress of a Maker as they complete the critical decisions necessary to come up with a working design.
In fact, Goldstein is not at all alone in his endeavors, as Afate Gnikou, an African Systems Engineer fascinated by 3D printers, says he aims to produce a commercially viable 3D printer for use in his home country of Togo, and he wants it to be largely built from the plentiful e-waste he finds there.
Have you designed and/or built your own 3D printer from electronic scraps? If so, please give us a head’s up in the ScrapRap thread on 3DPB.com, and let us know what you think of Goldsten’s work.
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Stay up-to-date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and receive information and offers from third party vendors.
You May Also Like
3D Printing News Briefs, May 25, 2023: Post-Processing, Osteoarthritis, & More
We’re starting out with business in 3D Printing News Briefs today, as Exentis appointed Eric Bert the President of Exentis Americas, and 3YOURMIND announced Alexandre Donnadieu has been promoted to...
Stratasys and Desktop Metal to Merge in $1.8 Billion Deal
After US stock markets closed on Wednesday, May 25, Bloomberg reported that “people familiar with the matter” told the website that 3D printing industry pioneer Stratasys (Nasdaq: SSYS) was “in...
Zeda Opens 3D Printing Facility in Cincinnati to Serve Regulated Industries
Today, California-based Zeda, Inc. announced that it has officially opened the doors to its new 75,000-square-foot advanced manufacturing facility in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company, which rebranded to Zeda from PrinterPrezz...
US and Australia Form Clean Energy Pact as WTO Head Calls for “Reglobalized” Supply Chains
Amidst the G7 summit in Hiroshima last weekend, CNBC interviewed the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, concerning her general outlook on the current state of international...
Upload your 3D Models and get them printed quickly and efficiently.