Over the weekend while browsing through AliExpress for my usual random electrical stuff I came across two new listings for the frame of a P3Steel 2.5 DXL edition. Clicking through to them and viewing all the images noticed it was MY kitchen… THAT’S MY FRAME!
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.
With the frame painted and dry, first thing to do is bolt together the main structure. It slots together like a jigsaw and there was absolutely no issues or problems in this process. All the bolts and nuts used to secure the main frame parts are M3 bolts and nylock M3 nuts. The RepRap Wiki suggests … Read more
The steel needs to be protected from the elements before it starts to rust – even if kept indoors the moisture from the air will begin to rust it. Because of this you need to either apply a protective layer of paint, use stainless steel which is less susceptible to rusting, or use galvanised steel. The cheapest option for me is to simply paint the frame, so that is what I did… read on!
This is the start of my build log of the Prusa i3 P3Steel, and the start to most of these kits – you need something to screw and bolt everything else to – a frame!