For this printer I will be using the standard and simple setup of an Arduino Mega and a RAMPS 1.4 board. The Arduino Mega is the brains of the printer and will process all the g-code instructions from the .gcode files from either an SD card or over USB and tell the printer how to move, heat up, extrude filament etc by signalling all the motors, heaters and sensors on the printer which are connected via the RAMPS board, which in turn is connected to the Arduino Mega via the GPIO pins.
Tag archive for all things to do with the P3Steel Prusa i3 3D Printer, and mine. The P3Steel is a remix of Twelvepro’s redesign of Josef Prusa’s i3.
A little info about the P3Steel Prusa i3 3D Printer:
Leonardo – the prototype P3Steel printer – was designed and built by Irobri in April 2013, after attending a local Maker show in Zaragoza, Spain. The main frame structure, built from laser-cut 3mm steel, is extremely strong and simple to assemble, and eliminates the need for several printed parts due to the use of steel parts instead of threaded rods for the “Y” subframe (as in the original Prusa i3 and many of its variants).
- Steel as a building material has several advantages over e.g. aluminum
- Steel is one of the least expensive building materials available – structural steel is 10 times cheaper than aluminum.
- Laser cutting steel is easier and cheaper than cutting aluminum.
- Steel is stronger than aluminum.
- Steel is 3 times heavier than aluminum, although this could be considered both an advantage and a disadvantage, in the sense that a heavier frame does not tend to vibrate as much as a lighter frame. Also, if we consider the total weight of the printer, the difference between an aluminum frame and a comparable steel frame is not that much (around 2.5kg extra).
- Structural (carbon) steel requires painting or galvanizing for protection against corrosion. Stainless steel, of course, does not require painting.
The P3Steel design is for 3mm thick steel and with lots of carvings to reduce weight. All square holes and tabs have special rounded corners for accommodating corresponding parts and give a very good fit between parts.
The design has slots for M3 nuts in the places where the screws fit so no threading is required.
Improvements over the standard Prusa i3
- Stronger frame due to the use of structural steel.
- Solves the frame flexing thanks to its reinforcement squares.
- Simplifies the construction, eliminating the complex subframe of threaded rods in the Y-axis.
- Once assembled, everything is in place, no adjustments needed.
- Eliminates the need for several printed parts.
- The steel mounts for motors and rods are much stronger than their plastic counterparts.
- The only two threaded rods needed are the ones for the Z-axis (5mm).
- Uses shorter smooth rods lowering the build costs.
- Once assembled, it forms a compact, solid structural unit that can be transported as a block.
New 3D printing time lapse test using my P3Steel. Still yet to install Octoprint or a webcam, so have been testing with taking time lapse sequences on my old Canon Powershot A570 and a custom firmware from CHDK. This was for my eldest daughter who is in high school for her Geography class.
Now that all the axis are complete, we can install the endstop/limit switches. These are simply a switch which is triggered mechanically by one of the printers moving parts hitting it, be it the hotend, print bed etc.
Following on from the x-axis build – I skimmed over the last part, just “installing with the z-axis rods and threaded M5 screw”. This post helps to expand on this part, installing the x-axis and carriage onto the printer with the installation of the z-axis smooth 8mm rods and the z-axis screw – which for this build is the standard M5 threaded rod. Read on!
Building one of the more complex parts of the P3Steel which hosts the hotend carriage and connects the x and z travel together. Read on for a detailed breakdown of the x-axis setup and installation.
Either by fault of my own or tolerances in the steel rod or frame after successfully wiggling and inserting the rod, they did not fit snug and were not tight enough, This caused the rods to move as the print bed went back and forth. I did not want any possible movement in the rods, so investigated Thingiverse for a simple clip bracket to hold the rods in place at each end. A couple of minutes later and there was a simple little bracket design by user Hobsie which looked perfect and resolved the issue.
Y-Axis Carriage Now that the clamps are sorted it’s time to fit them to the blank y-carriage, as seen below. The 2.5 DXL frame uses four points to fasten bearings, some holes in the middle for the y-axis belt tension block and the bed screws holes at each corner. The middle “sticky-outy” part seen below … Read more
Bronze Bushings or LM8UU Bearings The standard Prusa builds (and most other 3D Printers, CNCs, engravers etc) use LMU88 linear bearings for all linear rod movements. They are the go to part when you use 8mm smooth rod as your axis guides and are cheap, easy to use and readily available. The quality of these … Read more
The steel frame of the P3Steel could easily scratch up any surface it sits on, and vibrations and movement may be translated down through it’s legs. I am building the printer on a table, so was very aware of scratching it(!) A look on Thinkgiverse shows a lot of different feet for the printer, but … Read more
Part of the frame assembly (or just after) is to fasten the y-axis motor mount and belt idler. They sit either side of each other at the two ends of the printer frame. This is where this 3D printers starts it’s path away from the standard version and takes on Toolson’s upgraded and improved parts.