Dremel 3D20 Printer Gets Modern Overhaul

Dremel’s attempt at breaking into the 3D printer market back in 2014 was respectable, if not particularly exciting. Rather than design their own printer, their 3D20 “Idea Builder” was a lightly customized Flashforge Dreamer (itself a Makerbot Replicator clone) with a new warranty and support contract tacked on. It wasn’t necessarily the 3D printer of choice for the hacker and maker crowd, but it was a fairly solid option for folks who wanted a turn-key experience.

[Chris Chimienti] says he got about 1,000 hours of printing out of his 3D20 before it gave up the ghost. Given the age of the machine and its inherent limitations, he decided to use the Dremel’s carcass as the base for a very impressive custom 3D printer with all the modern bells and whistles. He kept the enclosure, rods, bearings, and the stepper motors, but pretty much everything else was tossed out. Some of the replacements are off-the-shelf parts, but it’s the custom designed elements on this build that really help set it apart.

A print bed strong enough to park your car on.

Under the machine, [Chris] has installed a new power supply and a Duet 2 WiFi controller which itself is connected to the new LCD control panel on the front. There’s an external case fan to keep the electronics cool, but otherwise things look a lot neater under the hood than they did originally.

Moving upwards, he’s designed a gorgeous adjustable print bed and a new extruder assembly that cleverly uses RJ45 jacks and Ethernet cables to connect back to the control board. All told, the custom components have taken this once relatively mid-range 3D printer and turned it into something that looks like it wouldn’t be out of place on the International Space Station.

While custom 3D printer builds like this still trickle in from time to time, we’re seeing far fewer now than we did back when machines like the 3D20 hit the market. Most people are more than satisfied with commercial entry-level desktop printers, and aren’t looking for yet another project to tinker with. There’s nothing wrong with that, though we certainly wouldn’t complain if the recent interest into more advanced high-temperature filaments triggered something of a bespoke 3D printer renaissance.

8 thoughts on “Dremel 3D20 Printer Gets Modern Overhaul

  1. Sorry, 1000h is nothing!

    My Flashforge Creator3 has the same problem…500-700h and that linear bearings are done because you cannot lubricate them in a meaningful way (the whipers on the bearings “protect” their inside from the grease you add to the rails).

    You need to tear everything apart, give it a light wash and pack the bearings with adequate grease. Thankfully the plastic enclosure is held together with plastic clamps in addition to the screws. So every time you do this maintenance, you break 2 or 3 of them…

    Without knowing this, I had a nearly fatal breakdown after around 700h.
    I had to change the linear rods and the bearings and with good grease (industrial grease for linear motion components – not that silicon grease rubbish… that’s at least not good if you print at ABS temperatures) I got the next 1000h without troubles.

    Now it’s time to regrease everything again… that’s around 4h of work.

    If there was a 3d printer with linear rails which have a proper greasing nipples, that would be a no-brainer for me.


  2. Is that actually running the current for the heater through a network cable? Does this work well?

    I’m using a big ol’e D-Sub connector for this. I love the fact that it is removable but it’s kind of bulky and the screws can be really annoying.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.