3D printers are ubiquitous now, but they are still prohibitively expensive for some people. Some printers cost thousands, but even the cheapest options aren’t exactly cheap. [Daniel] he decided this was unacceptable and set out to make a basic 3D printer for less than $100 including just the basics needed to create anything out of melted plastic.
3D printers are essentially four parts: a bed, a filament and hot end, and an extruder. In a previous project, [Daniel] he used parts from old CD drives to create a three-axis CNC machine that he uses for the bed. To take care of the hot end and extruder, it uses a 3D printing pen that mounts on the CNC machine and clever: a 3D printer!
However, it’s not as simple as strapping a 3D printing pen to a CNC machine. The pen and the CNC machine have to communicate with each other so that the pen knows when to drop the filament and the CNC machine knows when to move. For that, [Daniel] I went with a trusty Arduino to turn the pen on and off. Once it’s up and running, it’s time to start printing!
[Daniel] Please note that this is a relatively limited design in terms of print size and resolution, but for the price you can’t beat it. If you’re interested in getting started with 3D printing, a setup like this would be perfect. 3D pens are also a fairly new idea, and it’s interesting to see them used in different ways like this.