Jan 202015

The extruder is done and mounted on the X axis. I also got some thin glass and replace the heavy 6mm thick mirror. The mass of the print bed was too high and I was fearing some lash caused by the weight.

Jan 152015

Ok, after working on this for a couple weeks I have some perspective to share.

If you want to do this with parts from a local hardware store.  Don’t bother.

There are vendors on ebay that will sell you all this hardware in a bundle.  Yes, its about twice what you will pay at a hardware store.  But, its all the correct sizes and you don’t need to keep driving to get something you forgot.  In fact, if you search for “Prusa i3 Rework” or “Prusa i3 Einstein” you will find bolt sets and rod sets.  And, considering I bought the wood frame, there is a vendor that bundles all three together.

So, I feel this challenge is achievable.  But, I wasn’t really worried I would be able to do it.  Did it save any money? Maybe, but not much.  Did it save time?  No way!

If someone offered to hand me all the parts I needed for an extra $20-30 so I wouldn’t have the hassle of multiple trips to Lowes and Home Depot (Some seriously frustrating because they never restock this stuff)?  Heck yeah!

In fact, there are a couple kits from US vendors.  One even comes with a real J-Head from hotends.com and the exact same quality motors I am using.  Search for “Prusa i3 kit” and read which one uses a real j-head.  I’d go with that one and be printing last week for about the same money I have in this thing.


The $400 kit mentioned about is good. But, if I had to do this over, I would get the MakerFarm Prusa i3v. Their V-Channel design adds all the strength and stability that is lacking in the default i3 design. It is only about $100 more than a DIY kit done to the original specs, but has many advantages. The MakerFarm design will negate the need for most upgrades you need to do to a regular i3. Someone build a time machine and tell me this!!!

Jan 142015

I got these couplers from ebay for $5.  So worth it.  I have seen other solutions like 3D printed clamps and hoses.   This is so cheap and works perfectly with the #10 threaded rod.  Why go with these other solutions?

Notice the bolts on the stepper motor.  The only M3 bolts I could find were 10mm and 16mm length.  10 was too short for this mount and 16 was a little too long.  So, I added washers.  So, between the washer and not using the bolt head inset, this worked fine.

Jan 132015

After more research, melting these seems to be very a common solution.  Worked great.

That goop is some Super Lube, a PTFE (Teflon) grease.   Before mounting, I ran the rod and the nut up and down with a drill and some Super Lube on the rod.  I did this for two reasons.  General lubrication and rust prevention because these are just simple steel rods.

Jan 132015

The best thing I found to use for the extruder hinged guidler is these toggle bolt screws.  I removed the funky nut from the toggle end and it fits perfectly.  These may need to be shortened slightly, but will work brilliantly.

(Note: See in the first picture how the X axis rods have some room to come out the end of the mounting plate?  This is great and allows you to adjust the distance between the two plates to align with the Z rods for a smooth ride)

Jan 122015

I don’t know if this is typical for these printed parts.  But, I have been substituting #6 ANSI sized bolts/screws for where the plans call for M4 metric size.  This should be easy to fit because #6 is actually .4 mm smaller in diameter than the M4 bolt diameter.

But, I have found I need to drill out most of these holes.  Especially in the extruder parts.  But, strangely, they are more than roomy enough on the X axis to extruder parts.  Many times this has been good because it makes for a nice firm grip on fixed parts.  Some I don’t need to drill out and just screw the bolt into the printed part and the smaller hole seems to help make things stronger.  So, just a warning.  This may be required even if you use metric screws/bolts.

When drilling, run the drill backwards.  THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!

This is the small gear for the extruder.  This was WAY off like it was meant for a smaller stepper motor.

I had to sand out the j-head socket with a ring of sand paper around my finger.  You want a tight fit, but not so tight that you need to use so much force that you can break the j-head!  Also, I drilled out the support screw holes to fit the #6 screws.  Should fit great now.

Jan 112015

After watching the videos I linked in a previous post.  I have finished the main structure.

The motors, Arduino/Ramps, and power supply have been completed.  I am wiring it up with no power yet.  Will double and triple check all connections prior to power-up.
Frame completed

Jan 102015

The Prusa i3 Z axis is moved by some nuts on some threaded rod.  In my case I am using #10-24 threaded rod and #10 nuts.

These must be a bit larger than M5 nuts.  So, I did some searching and found a common solution is to melt them into the support.  It works.

Jan 102015

I have started on a journey. Learning to build an astromech droid. I have chosen to build the imperial droid called R2-Q5. He was in the service of the Emperor and stationed on the Death Star.


The above picture shows R2-Q5 aboard the Death Star II during Darth Vader’s visit prior to the Emperor’s arrival.

R2-Q5 was charged with storing the Emperor’s plans against the Rebel Alliance within its memory bank as well as being personally responsible for programming hyperspace co-ordinates directly into Emperor Palpatine’s shuttle during covert missions.