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Printing in Plastic: Build Your Own 3D Printer

Book Description

Printing in Plastic: Build Your Own 3D Printer is your gateway into the exciting world of personal fabrication. The "printer" that you'll build from this book is a personal fabricator capable of creating small parts and other objects from drops of molten plastic. Design a part using a modeling tool such as Google SketchUp. Then watch while the Fabricator head sweeps back and forth and upwards, depositing plastic in all the right places. You can build anything from a replacement tab to hold a bookshelf in place, to a small art project, to a bashguard for your bicycle. If you can conceive it and design it, you can build it, and you'll have fun doing it.

Printing in Plastic is aimed at creative people comfortable in using power tools such as a table saw, circular saw, and drill press. Authors James Kelly and Patrick Hood-Daniel lead you through building a personal fabrication machine based upon a set of blueprints downloaded from their website. Example projects get you started in designing and fabricating your own parts. Bring your handyman skills, and apply patience during the build process. You too can be the proud owner of a personal fabricator—a three-dimensional printer.

  • Leads you through building a personal fabrication machine capable of creating small parts and objects from plastic

  • Provides example projects to get you started on the road to designing and fabricating your own parts

  • Provides an excellent parent/child, or small group project

What you'll learn

  • How to assemble your own 3D printer

  • The ins and outs of design software

  • How to design and produce three-dimensional parts made from plastic

  • How to replace small plastic parts in household objects

  • How to create art objects

Who this book is for

Printing in Plastic is aimed at creative people comfortable using power tools, such as a table saw, circular saw, drill press, and so forth. The book is aimed at those wanting to create and fabricate tangible objects from plastic. Crafters, carpenters, electronics hobbyists, and others comfortable working with their hands will find the instructions easy to follow and the projects rewarding.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Dedication
  3. Contents at a Glance
  4. Contents
  5. About the Authors
  6. About the Technical Reviewers
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Introduction
    1. What Exactly Do I Get?
    2. Welcome to the Future!
  9. Chapter 1: Before You Begin
    1. What is a 3D Printer?
    2. Questions and Build Help
    3. The 3D Printer is Evolving
    4. Videos, Building Instructions, and Parts
    5. We Want to Hear from You
  10. Chapter 2: Hardware and Tools
    1. The Power Tools
    2. Some Hand Tools
    3. Drill Bits and Counterbore Holes
    4. Summary
  11. Chapter 3: Tips and Advice
    1. Read the Entire Book First
    2. Examine the Plans
    3. Print the Plans at Actual Size
    4. Verify All Measurements
    5. Label the Parts
    6. Head to the Discussion Forums
    7. Summary
  12. Chapter 4: Cutting the Parts I
    1. Before You Begin
    2. Lower Structural Sides – Parts A and B
    3. Table – Part C
    4. ZY Plate – Part D
    5. X-Axis Motor Mount – Part E
    6. Upper Structural Sides – Parts F and G
    7. Summary
  13. Chapter 5: Cutting the Parts II
    1. Y-Axis Rail Support – Part H
    2. Table Bearing Supports – Parts I and J
    3. Z-Axis Rail Support – Part K
    4. Z-Axis Bearing Support – Part L
    5. Z-Axis Motor Mount – Part M
    6. Z-Axis Nut Mount – Part N
    7. Machine Back – Part O
    8. Extruder Bearing Hinge I – Part P
    9. Extruder Bearing Hinge II – Part Q
    10. Summary
  14. Chapter 6: Advanced Cuts and Drilling I
    1. Z-Axis Nut Mount – Part N
    2. Z-Axis Motor Mount – Part M
    3. Summary
  15. Chapter 7: Advanced Cuts and Drilling II
    1. Z-Axis Bearing Support – Part L
    2. Y-Axis Rail Support – Part H
    3. Machine Back – Part O
    4. Lower Structural Side – Part A and B
    5. X-Axis Motor Mount – Part E
    6. Summary
  16. Chapter 8: Advanced Cuts and Drilling III
    1. Upper Structural Sides – Parts F and G
    2. ZY Plate – Part D
    3. Y-Axis Motor Mount – Part R
    4. Table Bearing Supports – Parts I and J
    5. Summary
  17. Chapter 9: Advanced Cuts and Drilling IV
    1. Extruder Bearing Hinge 1 – Part P
    2. Extruder Bearing Hinge 2 – Part Q
    3. Table – Part C
    4. Z-Axis Rail Support – Part K
    5. Summary
  18. Chapter 10: Beginning Assembly
    1. Required Hardware and Parts Summary
    2. Extruder Placeholder and Z-Axis Rails
    3. Attach the Z-Axis Bearing Support
    4. Attach V-Groove Bearings to ZY Plate
    5. Attach Z-Axis Nut Mount
    6. Summary
  19. Chapter 11: Sub-Assembly Work
    1. Required Hardware and Parts Summary
    2. Preparing the Y-Axis Rail Support
    3. Attaching the Upper Structural Sides
    4. Preparing the Tabletop
    5. Summary
  20. Chapter 12: Adding Structure
    1. Required Hardware and Parts Summary
    2. Adding the Z-Axis Lead Screw
    3. Assemble Table Bearing Supports
    4. Add Bearing Supports to Lower Structural Sides
    5. Attach Lower Structural Sides
    6. Summary
  21. Chapter 13: Motors and Movement
    1. Required Hardware and Parts Summary
    2. Adding the X-Axis Motor and Motor Mount
    3. Adding the Z-Axis Motor and Motor Mount
    4. Adding the Y-Axis Motor and Motor Mount
    5. Adding Tension Rods and the Table
    6. Adding Belts to X and Y Axes
    7. Summary
  22. Chapter 14: The Extruder
    1. Required Hardware and Parts Summary
    2. Some Soldering Required
    3. Prepare the Extruder
    4. Soldering the PTFE Wire
    5. Add the Thermocouple
    6. Add Ceramic Tape and Wrap
    7. Summary
  23. Chapter 15: The Filament Feeding Mechanism
    1. Required Parts Summary
    2. Attach Extruder Bearing Hinges I and II
    3. Add the Stepper Motor
    4. Attach the Filament Feed Components
    5. Attaching the Extruder
    6. Attach the Filament Feed Mechanism and the Extruder to the 3D Printer
    7. Summary
  24. Chapter 16: Mounting Electronics
    1. Required Parts Summary
    2. Attach Arduino Mega and Motherboard
    3. Attach the X-Axis Stepper Motor Driver
    4. Attach the Y-Axis and Z-Axis Stepper Motor Drivers
    5. Attach the Extruder Stepper Motor Driver
    6. Attach the Extruder Controller
    7. Summary
  25. Chapter 17: Wiring Part I
    1. Required Parts Summary
    2. Connect X-Axis Motor Driver to Motherboard
    3. Connect Y- and Z-Axis Motor Drivers to Motherboard
    4. Connect the Thermocouple Wire
    5. Connect the Power Resistor Wires
    6. Connect Extruder Motor Driver and Controller
    7. Summary
  26. Chapter 18: Wiring Part II
    1. Required Parts Summary
    2. Connect Motors to Motor Drivers
    3. Connect Power to Components
    4. Adding the Endstops
    5. Axis Naming Conventions
    6. Summary
  27. Chapter 19: The Software
    1. Required Hardware Summary
    2. Download Required Software
    3. Add or Update Firmware to Motherboard
    4. Install Motherboard Firmware
    5. Install Extruder Controller Firmware
    6. Summary
  28. Chapter 20: Testing and Printing
    1. Configure the 3D Printer
    2. Checking the Axes for Proper Movement
    3. Homing the Machine
    4. Prepare Skeinforge
    5. Time to Print
    6. whiteAnt Logo
    7. Summary
  29. Chapter 21: Addendum
    1. Required Parts Summary
    2. Prepare Extruder Mounting Base
    3. Attach Extruder to Filament Feed Mechanism
    4. Modify Z-Axis Rail to Hold Extruder Mechanism
  30. Appendix A: Hardware List
  31. Appendix B: Converting to a CNC Machine
  32. Appendix C: Resources
    1. BuildYourCNC.com Website Resources:
    2. CNC variation of whiteAnt:
    3. Hardware
    4. Software
    5. Content
    6. Other Resources
  33. Index