3D Printers

Looking for An Affordable 3D Printer? This One Comes in Below $100

At this rate soon someone might be paying you to bring an FFF/FDM home: after the $199 and the $149 3D printers here comes the sub $100 Poor Man 3D printer from Instructables. Actually those last $49 count: this is no consumer-ready, easy task as much as it is Instructables user Gelstronic’s project to build an inexpensive 3D printer using cheap China-boards and recycled old PC/printer parts. And it’s not particularly pretty either. But, it works!

Do you want to know what a sub $100/sub €80 3D printer looks and works like: here is the video.

Do try this at home (if think you’ve got what it takes): what you will need to buy is a 10 euro Arduino Board Mega 2560 (on eBay from China), 2 stackable motor driver shields for 6 euro, a 20 euro hotend MK7 MK8 4 mm nozzle (+thermistor + cartridge), six euro for tubes and pipes, 2 euro for a fan and 5 euro for resistors, caps and LEDS’s. Grand total? about 50 euro.

poor man 3d printer board skeleton

Other parts, such as gears, Blue-ray drive motors and a power supply, you can get from old computers and printers. And, if you are really thinking about doing this, you will likely already have most everything else you will need (wires, screws and washers etc) in your garage/shed/workshop.

cheap parts 3D PrinterPut all this together, in the right way, with a Bowden extruder, open source firmware and free Repetier software and you get a working 3D printer with a maximum build size of 40 x 40 x 40 mm and a resolution of 0.08 mm.

Projects like this are amazing and are sprouting up all over the world, even as a way to clear up e-Waste dumps in some parts of Africa. The result is probably not something you’d see in a 3D print shop (or on Kickstarter) but it’s about as steampunk as it gets.