3D Printer - part 2

Progress on my 3D printer continues.

I chopped out all the MDF pieces in about an hour — it helps having a complete set of plans and dimensions, and a good drop saw! I printed out some NEMA 17 stepper motor drilling templates and taped them to the wood. It's then a quick punch-drill operation and I have all the holes in the right place to mount a stepper motor.

I soon had a good pile of bits, ready to start assembly. I started with the base by gluing on the foot/stabilisers.

The X axis motor bracket and supports followed soon after. At the end of the day I was left with this collection of components and assemblies:

This weekend I tacked the printer bed. I recut the printer bed to give me a slightly larger working area and cut the linear rails to length. Working on a sheet of ex-scanner glass,  I mixed up some 5 minute epoxy and glued the first end into position.

Turns out I got the ends around the wrong way so I had to cut out the inset on both sides. Never mind, it won't be visible when finished anyway.

I pressed in the linear rails using a vice to slowly squeeze the two ends onto the rails, after first sliding on the bearings. I then glued down the second end let it cure for an hour or so.

I added a small spacer to make sure the bed would slide over the base. This was glued and weighted overnight to ensure a very strong joint.

This morning I checked and was glad to see that it glides nice and smoothly with no binding at all, which means my rails are nice and parallel. The wonders of match drilling! Here in a past photo you can see the ends, securely stuck together with double sided tape. This ensures they get treated as a pair and all holes are square and true. I knew my drill press was a good idea!

And here is the mocked-up, finished result:

Unfortunately things have come to a shuddering halt: a fire in the Chinese postal system has claimed my two stepper motors! Without them there will be no printer! Luckily the seller is resending them for no cost, however it means a delay of several weeks waiting for them to arrive. My linear bearings have also yet to show up; again, it will be difficult to make a printer without them.

So for now I just have to play the waiting game.


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