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Assembling Your Own 3D Printer

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  • Re:3D printers suck (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Monday January 30, 2012 @10:10PM (#38872841)
    The beauty of a Mill is that it's a self improving tool. One of a machinists favorite things to work on is his mill. There are entire forums dedicated to buying these cheap harbor freight mills and then using them to make new, better quality parts to improve them with. The real trouble is finding the material relatively cheaply to make the parts with. Buying new steel or aluminum is expensive. If you work somewhere that has scrap, or know someone that can get it, you can do it pretty cheaply. A buddy of mine built his own smelter and melts down aluminum rims and engine blocks to pour his own ingots.

    If you are REALLY hardcore, you can 'almost' build a mill entirely from scratch. First you need to build a smelter, which is not very difficult, then make some parts out of wood... cast them, pour them, sand... sand... sand... then there are tricks for making parts that are totally smooth that again involve a lot of sanding. In the end you have to buy bearings, the chuck, some other odds and ends. You can make the motor, but you're really trying to do it the hard way if you do. Once you have all of that done, you have a mostly aluminum mill. Which you quickly use to make steel parts for your next mill, because it sucks. But it can be done. The point is, once you have a mill, you can make nearly anything given enough time.

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

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