11 August 2013

Velleman K8200 3D Printer (Part 1)

Another thing that has been on my mind for a long time was building my own 3D printer. I had been looking on the internet for several projects, but none of them were very clear. I found some kits, but they were a bit expensive, then just a week before my holiday I visited my local electronics store to pick something up and there was this 3D printer kit from Velleman on the counter. Complete and ready to take and for a price I thought was really interesting so I couldn't resist it and took it home including some PLA print material. The kit is called the K8200 and I started building it right away. I took picture along the way so I thought it would be nice to share this experience with you as well on my blog.

Here is the content of the box. A lot of small bags with parts, some metal parts and some electronics. I was expecting a bit manual, but I couldn't find it at first, but when I read the documentation that came along they pointed to a website. On there is the real build manual and it is rather extensive. A lot of detailed pictures. For the first step I made the mistake to print the pdf, but that were way too many pages, so I continued the build next to my PC to read a long on the screen.

The first part to build is rather simple. It is just a rod with some nuts and rings on it. At first I didn't understand what it was supposed to do, but later on in the build project I found out that this is the spool holder. The plastic material is delivered on spools as you can see in the very first picture and this thing sticks on top of the printer later to feed the material into the printer and make the spool rol turn on its own axis. Nothing fancy but still an important piece :)

The next part to build is the carriage that will hold the print bed later on. I immediately ran into trouble there. On top in the picture you see some ball bearings and below that some O-rings. You have to put these rings around the ball bearings and slide them into the black plastic parts. You need a special tool for these o-rings and I didn't have it. So I tried to get them on using other tools, but that is really impossible. Then my wife was smart enough to see this and ask me what I was doing. I said I didn't have the right tool and that it was Friday evening and the shops were closed. Luckily my wife is better into shopping as I am and told me the hardware store was open all evening :) Oh. I just spend 1 hour for nothing. I short trip to the hardware store and 15 euros further I had the right tool. To be continued in part 2.....

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