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Assembly Begins
December 18th, 2010

Once I had received the finished parts, assembly moved pretty quickly as I had been eagerly waiting after a number of delays to get this machine assembled and running.

The machined parts, unwrapped and ready for assembly

You many notice in the above image that the majority of the 16 parts are fairly simple block-like shapes. This was intended to reduce the overall job cost. The cost of getting a part professionally machined is directly related to the number of different machining operations and set-ups a machinist needs to perform in order to complete a part. Sure, I could have made some wild looking parts, but I kept this in mind when designing the machine as I wanted a functional 3d printer of this size at the lowest price point to me.

Linear Ball Bearings mounted on the table

First up was screwing a matched set of THK Linear recirculating ball bearings into the ~90lb [~40kg] slab of aluminum, which serves as the foundation for the machine. These bearings are the X-axis of the machine and each rail has counter sunk through holes for the metric fasteners that screw into the base. Each bearing came with two blocks on each rail as you can see in the above picture. To maximize the travel of each axis only one block was used per rail in the X and Y axes. The Z axis uses both for rigidity.

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  1. KarlNapp
    December 19, 2010 at 1:31 am #

    What is the extruder that you use? I have a similar stage and i think i could use a new extruder. Are there more tech specs somewhere to find on your site, i can only view a few pics but not find anything on technology.

    • Jim
      December 19, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

      The extruder is 3D printed and is a modified version of a RepRap “pinch-wheel” type extruder. There will be an upcoming post about its construction.

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