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Electronics Design Club

Matt's 3D Printer

Summer 2013 - Matt Robertson



3D printers have become popular for hobbyists in the last few years.  I wanted to build one to use to make kits and enclosures for my various electronics projects.

Manner of Operation

My 3D printer is a popular design on the internet called the Mendel90.  I purchased it as a kit and assembled all of the parts (which took about 10 hours).  A custom Arduino circuit board controls the machine, which consists of 5 motors (1 to move side-to-side, 1 to move forward-and-back, 2 to move up-and-down, and 1 to push plastic filament), 1 heated end with a nozzle (which extrudes controlled amounts of plastic), a heated bed (which helps the plastic stick to the surface as it prints), and the frame and hardware to make it move.

A 3D model is drawn up on the computer, then software "slices" the model into layers, which are "printed" one on top of another to generate a 3D model.