Currently, the RepRap project is on hiatus, due to physical issues with the machine and the time required to bring it up to working order. But here to fill the rapid-prototyping void is the SeeMeCNC H-1 3D Printer! Its design is based on the RepRap Huxley, which means it has a slightly smaller build area than the Mendel, but it can still get a lot done.
The unique characteristic of the H-1 is that the parts are not printed (like most RepRap parts), but instead were created by using an injection-mold process, similar to the process LEGO uses to make its bricks and pieces. This means that once the molds were made for each of the pieces, the pieces are cheaper and quicker to fabricate. SeeMeCNC started up their project on IndieGoGo (similar to KickStarter), and requested donations to cover the costs of making the molds and designs. I made a donation of $100, which included a perk of receiving a complete set of H-1 plastic parts and hardware so that a full machine could be built, without the stepper motors or electronics.
I decided that I would purchase my own stepper motors, and use a RAMPS board instead of SeeMeCNC’s parallel-port electronics. The current H-1 kits now come with resistors and a thermistor for the hotend, but since mine did not, those would need to be purchased as well. Below is the projected budget and sourcing options for the complete machine:
SeeMeCNC H-1 Project Cost Estimates
|Component||Details||Link||Cost + Shipping|
|RAMPS Electronics||RAMPS DIY Kit + Mechanical Endstops Kits wiring + PCB w/ presoldered SMT components||http://ultimachine.com/content/ramps-diy-kit||$65.00 + $8.87 shipping = $73.87|
|Arduino Mega 2560||Arduino Mega 2560 Clone from Ebay||N/A||$32.68 + $0.00 shipping = $32.68|
|Stepper Drivers||4 x Pololu A4988 Stepper Driver with Heatsink Kit||http://ultimachine.com/content/pololu-a4988-stepper-driver-heatsink-kit||$56.00 (shipping inc. w/ RAMPS Electronics)|
|Stepper Motors||4 x MAE Nema17 Dual Shaft Stepper Motor||http://myworld.ebay.com/xyz_axis_cnc_2011/||$39.96 + $7.96 shipping = $47.92|
|Plastic Parts + Hardware||H-1 Parts + Hardware Kit||http://shop.seemecnc.com/H-1-Parts-Hardware-Only-71596X.htm||$100.00 + $0.00 shipping =|
|Hot End Electronics||2 x 6.8 ohm 3W 5% Resistor; 1 x 100K Thermistor||http://ultimachine.com/catalog/electronics/electronic-components||$5.53 (shipping inc. w/ RAMPS Electronics)|
|Power Supply||Salvaged desktop computer PSU||N/A||$0.00|
Looks like it will turn out to be a nice, inexpensive personal 3D printer! I will keep up with this project’s progress in later posts.