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Building and testing the Makerfarm Prusa i3 3d printer: The Build

My original idea was to write a nice, big, detailed build log for the Makerfarm Prusa i3 printer.  The problem was, the notes I was keeping took about as long to write as the actual build did, so I didn’t really see the point in writing up a big post that pretty much went like:

X-carriage – Went together, no problems, 10 minutes.

X-idler – Went together, no problems, 10 minutes.

There was one small hiccup, though: It seems one of the plywood sheets from which the parts were cut was actually slightly thicker than spec, so the parts didn’t really fit together.  Nothing that a sheet of 100 grit sandpaper on a flat surface couldn’t handle.  I just took the parts out to the workshop and scrubbed the extra material off.  Took maybe an hour total to do everything.  Colin at Makerfarm was outstanding, and sent along a replacement set of parts that were cut slightly oversize.  Of course, I was impatient, and by the time they arrived, I had taken care of the problem.  No Big Deal.

Here is a short video showing how the parts went together while they were being thickness-adjusted:

Eventually, the parts cooperated.  That was the only hard part about putting the kit together, apart from the occasional transposition of Left and Right (I know my right from my left, the confusion was around whether the “Right” side of the printer was my right, facing the printer, or the “printer’s right”.  Anyway, it took about two evenings of work to get the printer assembled, and that included taking breaks to get the kid into and out of the bathtub and into bed.  Easy!

Here are some pictures of the parts as they went together:

X-carriage parts.

X-carriage parts.

 

 

Assembled X-carriage.

Assembled X-Carriage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assembled X-Axis

Assembled X-Axis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parts for the frame

Parts for the frame

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assembled frame

Assembled frame

 

So the printer went together quite quickly and easily.  Before I could make an actual print, though, I needed to connect a power supply and add a sheet of glass.  Because the i3 uses a heated bed, which can be a fairly high current draw, I elected to use a different power supply than Makerfarm had recommended.  I went with a 360 watt LED lighting power supply.  This supply has two rails, each of which can provide 15 amps at 12 volts.  I made another run to the hardware store for some cable to hook it up, and soon afterward the LCD screen lit up!

With the hardware finished, it was time to go to work on the firmware and the software tool chain.

 

 

 

 

2 comments to Building and testing the Makerfarm Prusa i3 3d printer: The Build

  • Jason

    If you were to build a second 3d printer, same model, would you do anything different? Paint the frame, etc.?

    • Probably not. Since I bought mine, Makerfarm has made a number of upgrades. The motors are now more powerful with D-shafts, there is an option for a Magma hot end, and some of the little issues have been fixed. So in general, I’d probably do it the same way again, but still end up with an upgraded printer.

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