Update 3/20/2016: Build complete! Functional but needs fine tuning. Will submit first print shortly.
Update 3/8/2016: I updated a number of SolidWorks files and have uploaded both the SolidWorks 2014 versions and STEP files. An updated BOM has been uploaded as well. A big addition was a secondary SD card reader that relocates the SD card from the back of the LCD display to the side of the case.
Update 3/3/2016: All mechanical and electrical components installed and Marlin/Ultimaker firmware up and running. Waiting for all metal E3D V6 hot end to arrive.
Update 2/22/2016: Uploaded a new BOM. After doing some shopping around and placing my orders the total build price is under $600 now. Could have gone about $50 less building my own hot end from components but went with the pre-built V6.
Update 2/19/2016: Added additional pictures of the frame assembly, LED's, and some controller and power supply placement. I also added the engraving to the front panel
Update 2/16/2016: I've uploaded all the necessary SolidWorks files for this build as well as the BOM. Total cost is around $650 right now. A lot of it I've sourced through McMaster which is not the cheapest place. I'll be sourcing through some lower cost sites and adjusting the prices.
I started growing a heavy interest in 3D printers a couple of months back. I was debating purchasing a pre-built one but the idea of spending $1600 on something that MAYBE I'd use from time to time did not appeal to me. I decided to build my own. I loved the UltiMaker 2 and Makerbot formats so I wanted to head down that path. I'm not a huge fan of the Prusa models. I soon discovered that a lot of the UltiMaker 2 drawings are free for use so I started by downloading their STL files and converting to SolidWorks so I could customize it easier. I've come up with what I'm calling the UltiFaker 2 GO (modeled after the UltiMaker 2 Go obviously). The reason I went with the GO model is because my CNC router only has a 12 X 24" bed and I wasn't able to machine the side panels required for the larger UltiMaker 2 or UltiMaker 2 Extended. I also am trying to keep the entire build under $500.
Step 1) Make accommodations to the design to drastically reduce cost and turn around time.
I took a lot of time coming up with alternatives to the proprietary parts or odd materials in the UltiMaker 2 Go design to make my life easier and keep my wallet thicker. As an example I went with the RepRapDiscount 2004 LCD, Arduino Mega, and Ramps 1.4 instead of buying the UltiMaker 2 board and OLED panel due to the fact that the UltiMaker 2 board from AliExpress is $170 while my solution was less than $45.
Step 2) Machine the side panels, print bed, bed support, and z-axis support.
The real UltiMaker 2 GO uses a material called Dibond for the front, back, top, and bottom panels and translucent acrylic for the side panels. Dibond is really expensive to purchase in small quantities (I could have easily dropped $250 on the frame if I made any mistakes) so I decided to go acrylic all the way around. All of the acrylic I needed ran me about $75. Dibond is slightly stronger but acrylic is pretty comparable.
I was worried about machining the acrylic for 2 reasons. The minimum RPM rate of the Bosch Colt router is 16,000 RPM and acrylic needs a chip load of about .001". On a 1/8" bit that means I need to be close to 50 ft/min travel, which is not practical (and just barely possible with my lead screw setup) on my CNC router. The other issue I was worried about was excessive chipping. I took small steps down to alleviate any breakout or overheating of about .030"-.040" depending on the cut I was making. All of my edges turned out great.
This is the completed left side panel with the XY rod bearings pressed in.
This is the front panel with the RepRapDiscount 2004 LCD installed.
Here is the top panel. You can see an error on this one. After the bottom right screw recess finished cutting for some reason my router decided to skip the retract command and just shot straight for the zero position. Luckily I was standing by the emergency stop button!
Like I had mentioned machining the aluminum was a lot trickier. At 16,000 RPM you still need to achieve that 50 ft/min feed rate but my machine is just too unstable at this point to cut more than .006" at a time so it took FOREVER to cut. Both plates were about 35 minutes of cutting each. Regardless, they both turned out amazing and I only ruined 1 bit.
Here's the completed Z-axis assembly with the spring loaded print bed and linear guide bearings.
Step 3) Assembling the frame.
The first step is to press all of the bearings into the front, back, left, and right panels and add the LED's. Because I couldn't necessarily bend the LED strips 90 degrees I had to wire the sections together.
Next step was to put on the RepRapDiscount 2004 LCD smart controller to the front panel and attach the top and bottom panels.
The side panels can then be added.
Here's a sample of the LED glow. I love it! The picture shows the panels kind of yellowing out but they're truly pure white and the led glow is the cold white color.
Next thing I did was cut the Z axis guides down to size and add them to the assembly with the Z axis platform.
Here's the bottom of the unit showing the 8.6 amp power supply. The 3 drilled holes in the middle are for the Ramps 1.4/Arduino Mega controller. I just didn't have long enough cap screws on hand.
I also removed the front panel to finally add the engraving I love it! Not sure if I want to color it in or not.
Completed the assembly and waiting for hot end to arrive.
Build is finally done and fully functional! Customized the Marlin firmware to work for my setup, added the secondary SD card slot, and dressed up all the wiring. First print shortly.
UltiFaker 2 Go
This is a breakdown of how I designed the UltiFaker 2 Go as well as how I machined and assembled it. I'll include a complete BOM and all of the drawings and prices.
- Build License:
- CC - Attribution NonCommercial - Share Alike - CC BY NC SA
Reason for this BuildThe intent was to simply see if I COULD do it on my own but then when I saw the significant cost savings I HAD to do it.
Inspired byUltiMaker 2 Go....clearly