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.
You May Also Like
Delft University of Technology & Maaike Roozenburg 3D Print Chinese Porcelain
China is famous for its blue and white porcelain, delicately and artfully produced and painted. Crafted mainly in the southern Chinese city of Jingdezhen and purchased by travelers visiting the...
3D Printing News Briefs: July 11, 2019
We’ve got plenty of new products to talk about in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, starting with materials from two chemical companies. WACKER announced new grades of of liquid and...
How do 3D Printed Dentures Stack up when Compared to Milled and Injection Molded Dentures?
In a new study, Korean medical researchers have been looking into the differences in quality and accuracy of several different modern ways to make dentures, with a focus on whether...
Additive Manufacturing Strategies Boston 2019 Speaker Roundup
January 29 to 31st Boston will host the Additive Manufacturing Strategies event which will be a chance for you to learn with and from your peers in medical and dental...
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.