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Thursday, 17 April 2014

My journey into building a 3d printer from old printer parts

Just because I've got nothing better to do with all my free time....

I got looking at all of the various DIY 3D printers on the market, and got wondering to myself... 

Why are there not many hobbyists re-using old All-In-One or Multifunction printers to scavenge parts from? 

My gut feel provides two answers.... 
  1. Many people have tried and failed...  but I see little evidence of this through Google searches.  
  2. The various RepRap kits have made it both affordable and technically possible through decent and thorough documentation to build from a kit, thus no need to do it completely from scratch.

Further research into true DIY 3D printers, finally led me to this incredible project out of Africa, building a 3D printer from recycled electronics.

Then I got looking at this DIY 3D printer below , and decided that I need to at least try this.

I visited  and did a search on cheap Multifunction Printers in my area.

I immediately purchased a functional Brother MFC-7340   for $25

And a Canon Pixma MG-3520 All-In-One Scanner/Printer *NEW in Box* for $20

Between these two printers, I should be able to scavenge the X/Y bed from the scanner intact. Including linear bearings, rods, steppers, gears and belts.   I will leave the dimensions as is.  I know it will be a bit strange, but...  This entire project is a bit strange.

I should also be able to get two Z axis steppers, linear rods/bearings gears and belts as well.  I will have to fashion a sturdy support  from T-Slot extrusion...

To that end,  I purchased some 80/20 T-Slot aluminum extrusion for $40

Then there are the parts that I KNOW that I cannot (should not!) make myself. 

The Electronics will be purchased according to RepRap specifications
              Electronics:  $140  or on   Ebay for $100?

I will purchase and install a prefab Extruder with Hot end:    $95

And will listen to the various recommendations for using a Heated bed:  $25

Total budget?

2x recycled printers     $  50
T-Slot framing             $  40
Electronics                   $140
Extruder                       $100
Heated Bed                  $  25

Total:                           $355

Yes, I know I can get a PrintrBot for $300, but mine will be significantly larger... 

...and I hope I'll learn more than just frustration along the way.   (Yes, I also know there will be frustration to share)

Whether I succeed or fail... I will document the journey here, in photos and possibly some video.

Wish me luck...

If you have tips, recommendations, whatever, please feel free to leave a comment below.  (Just don't tell me I'm an id10t ...  My wife has well informed me on that aspect...)


My local 3D printer supply company:  (local being an hour or so away...)

Contact Us:Address:
Unit 121, 2400 Midland Avenue, Toronto, ON Canada M1S 5C1

Workshop: 1 (416) 792-8388
Sales & Support: / - Hang Zhuo
3D Printing Services: - Tong He
Other Inquiry: - Jing Guo


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