The Most-3D-Printed 3D Printer

The most awesome things about having a 3D printer is that you can create almost anything which includes parts for the 3D printer itself. Different materials give power to your imagination and allow you to go beyond the 3D printed vase. So much so that one maker has gone as far as 3D print the bearings as well as the axis screws and nuts and it works!

The RepRap project was the first project to incorporate 3D printed parts to make it self-replicating to a certain extent. The clamps and mounts could be easily printed, however, this project uses a 3D printed frame as well as two linear bearings for the y-axis and z-axis and one for the x-axis. The y-axis is a 3D printed rack-and-pinion while the z-axis is made of a 3D printed screws and nuts. So basically, the servo motors, extruder/hotend and limits switches with mounting screws are the only part that need be bought at the store.

Even though in motors are running hot causing mounts to get soft, heat-sinks are predicted to resolve the issue. This one is not designed for accuracy though it can be a great resource for budding engineers and hackers to get their feet wet with customizing 3D printers. Check out the video for a demo.

From 3D printed guitars to RC Planes, there is a lot you can do with micro-manufacturing and all we need now is a 3D printed motor to get things rolling.

46 thoughts on “The Most-3D-Printed 3D Printer

  1. Ah, the march towards material processes of multiplied multiplicity moves on unabated, though from the perspective of essential construction primitives the lowest energy (Noether type) asymptotic self assembly still a ways to go, good thinking fodder though, thanks :-)

    1. Whats annoying to me is that this style seems to be bleeding into regular life more and more, a freind who I’m gonna call clickbait from now on held me on the phone for over 15 minuets the other day just to tell me that she had hit a big chunk of ice in the road with her tire and needed to get them all re-balanced. Whats whats wrong with short and to the point anymore?

      1. Is she testing an Ai linguistic inference script with selection criteria eg set as attention span such as reading from the app then speaking to you (100% individuals voice generation a distant asymptote) ?
        Variations of this appearing in various marketing approaches, simple people easily misled and manipulated, I’ve been looking at this issue for ages with interest in the rubbery region between so called spirituality and intellectual function crafting algorithms to explore divergence in vocabulary eg to ellicit or maybe provoke by ‘banging the tree to observe which worm like’ mechanical retaliation arises vs intuition pointing to some deeper consciousness level ;-)

          1. Hmm, if people only wrote sentences utilising words that ‘went together’ then language would converge on a static (boring) crystalline like construct – which as evidence of last few hundreds of years just in English has shown hasn’t been occuring. New concepts can emerge randomly from all sorts of places such as errors in language transcription as well as ordinary experiments by the young, mistranslations, attempts at humour, bad eyesight and bad writing etc There is wide but, scattered evidence that crafting paradigms from little used or novel word conjunctions can provoke exploring different thought structures leading most smplistically to new products or more efficient processes. Since many humans and cultures have moved beyond nature’s primal imperatives for; food, shelter and sex to many layers of abstraction such as maths and physics in respect of combinatorial complexity then new practical possibilities have arisen. Of course the process is always subject to being tested by personal, cultural and practical selection criteria in terms of survival of the; idea, device, process, product etc.
            It’s irrefutable and becoming more recognisable far more is dynamic with less reliance on static constructs though many still emotionally attached to primitive ideas of certainty and projecting that on new paradigms cannot go far. Its all a mix of permutation explorations in the grand scheme of things, so focus on the most important thing first by far ie Health and have fun – dammit ;-)

  2. Very impressive and it must’ve been a lot of work. But I don’t think this is for beginners though. Even with someone who knows what he’s doing (the creator), it’s probably very hard to get it to print at all and getting prints to fit well enough. At the end you can see the amount of compliance/backlash and the layers seem uneven and shifted, even at that slow speed (15mm/sec?). Not surprising with 3D printed lead screws and movement parts. It’s probably much easier for ‘budding engineers’ to buy a cheap kit and start from there.

    I know I did, and it wasn’t really a great prusa i3 clone. But it enabled me to build a CoreXY also with my CNC for machining aluminium plate stock. Print quality is pretty good now and a lot faster too (70-80mm/s from 40mm/s) :)

    1. The creator doesn’t seem very confident on its accuracy or ability himself, I got the impression that this is really just a proof of concept.

      Agreed that it’s easier and more education to get a cheap kit. I got an Anet A8, and I’ve learned so much :D

    1. He is adding .177 bbs in the linear slides and uses a belt on the z access on the mulbot so I think the snappy will still win but I’m not sure how exactly these are judged. Would like to see a more detailed write up on it somewhere.

  3. So clearly, the real solution is that we move to a punch-card-controlled, stretched-ninjaflex-powered 3D printer with an oil fired nozzle, and we can finally have a 100% self-reproducible printer! (Hmmm, could we print the nozzle out of wet graphite powder paste…?) I’d ponder thusly making history myself, but as we all know, no idea you can possibly have is worth having any more – it has not only been already formulated by someone else, but there is likely already a video of it on YouTube somewhere. YouTube search, here I come…

  4. We’re 99% there! All that’s left is the PCB and its components, servos, heating elements, nozzle, wire harness, and power source.
    They said it couldn’t be done guys, but we’re soooo close to self-replication I can feel it.

    1. Maybe. But.. when it happens will it be the virally spread, evolving, singularity inducing explosion of progress that we once hoped for? Or will it just be a “useless machine”, far less practical than a cheap chinese Prusa clone that happened to win it’s creator a ton of one-time “internet points” but will only fade away into obscurity?

      Maybe I need to drink more coffee this morning…

      1. “Because it’s cool” is the primary use case for a 3 d printer anyway.

        I reckon printing the frame is still a reasonable goal, but printing belts and lead screws is probably not so great.

        I’m also more of a fan of a couple extra M3 bolts than printing snap-together and having the instructions say “use superglue if it’s not sturdy”.

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