3D printers are getting cheaper and cheaper, and with announcements of new machines seemingly everyday they’ve never been so accessible or affordable. But that hasn’t stopped Mario Lukas from making a 3D printer from salvaged pages. He calls it the RepStrap and it manages to print surprisingly well.
He took some old printers and a scanner and remove the useful parts, such as the stepper motors and reused them for his creation. Mario wisely used a brand new extruder head, stepper motors and a heated print bed, as these precision parts are vital for quality print results.All of the other mechanical parts are from other obsolete devices or have been bought cheaply from his local hardware store.
Controlling the movement of the head and all associated temperatures required some electronic’s skills. The RepStrap uses an Arduino controller board to manage the movement of the stepper motors, but to save money a Seeeduino clone version was used. To control the hotends and temperature electronics from a second generation RepRap 3D printer was utilized.
To send his 3D models to the printer he used Printrun which has a simple interface designed to easily operate any 3D printer and it runs on Windows, Linux and MAC.
Mario has described in detail the build process for his RepStrap printer in a 5 part blog post, which you’ll need to translate from German. A list of the parts required for this project are shown below:
- 1x Arduino
- 4x Easy Driver stepper motor driver
- 1x Heatbed
- 1x J-Head Hotend (0.4mm)
- 1x Wade extruder
- 1x old scanner
- 1x old inkjet printer
- 3x limit of old printers
- 1x old PC power supply
- 1x timing belt
- various bearings
- Waste wood from the hardware store
- Various screws and angle from the hardware store