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.
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.
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.