In the world of 3D printing, 3D printers are perceived to be outlandishly expensive. Years ago, this was absolutely true. Today, however, the price of 3D printers has become much more affordable.

Let's say you are on a strict budget, and you're trying to find a way to squeeze in a 3D printer. Is it possible? 

ABSOLUTELY! Try to check out our top 10 best 3D printers under $500!

If you don't mind working with your hands and finding creative ways to troubleshoot issues, you might be interested in a 3D printer DIY kit. It's a great way to save money and still acquire or make the 3D printer of your dreams.

You will then be able to​ make extraordinary 3D creations and maintain the health of your pockets!

Continue reading for more information about 3D printing DIY kits!

What Is A 3D Printer DIY?

There are many 3D printers on the market that are already assembled, or at least mostly assembled. These are the 3D printers that could potentially run up your bill.

DIY printers are much more affordable because the components can be packed and shipped more efficiently and, of course, it takes the manufacturer much less time because you are the one assembling or building the 3D printer, not them.

3D printers are believed to be some of the best and most quality 3D printers, and they are a great way to go if you are able to understand the basic mechanics of these machines.

If you are inexperienced, you might as well be brave, take a shot, and save yourself some cash! During the process, you will quite literally learn the nuts-and-bolts of how 3D printing works!

Below, there is an example of a 3D printer. Check it out!

3d printer diy

Assembling A Kit

Depending on which 3D printer DIY kit you choose and depending on your knowledge and experience level, expect to spend between 1 and 16 hours assembling your 3D printer.

We have compiled a list of specific parts and technicalities to consider when you are choosing the 3D printer DIY kit that fulfills all of your needs. Check them out below:

Bed:

Think about what you value in a 3D printer. In order to do so, first, consider if you want the bed to be moving over the z-axis or the y-axis.

Beds that move over the z-axis can achieve higher printing speeds, while beds that move over the y-axis can handle more weight, are easier to maintain, and are mechanically simpler.

If you are an inexperienced 3D printer, it might make more sense to have a bed moving over the y-axis because of the simplicity factor.

Frame:

At first glance, it may seem like all 3D printer DIY kits consist of the same materials. When they are assembled, however, make sure that you look at the smoothness or rigidity and the weight of the 3D printer.

The frame of your 3D printer could potentially be flimsy, which could lead to distorted and skewed prints. To make sure this doesn't happen to you, be sure to select a kit with solid heavy frames made of wood, metal or melamine.

Many 3D printer kits, however, come with a metal frame that is so thin that it doesn't provide great stability. Look for a frame that ranges from 3.0mm to 6.5mm in thickness.

Extruder Feed System:

Next, consider what type of extruder feed system you would like to work with. Typically, most people choose between a Bowden type or a direct extruder feed. It all depends on what type of 3D printing you will be doing.

Direct extruder feeds are placed on the moving parts of the 3D printer. With a direct extruder, you will lose printing speed and print quality, but you will be able to work with specialty flex materials. Bowden extruders, on the other hand, can print at higher speeds.

Let's take a closer look the advantages and disadvantages of each extruder type...

Direct Extruder Feeds:

  • Advantages:
  • More accurate direct feed of filament to the hotbed.
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    Handles flexible filaments better.
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    You will always be able to completely finish your filament spool.
  • Disadvantages:
  • The motor holds additional weight, which can make it challenging to quickly change printing direction.

Bowden Extruder Feeds:

  • Advantages:
  • Lighter weight on the moving parts, which allows for higher accuracy prints.
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    Less momentum, which allows for faster printing times.
  • Disadvantages:
  • You need to fine-tune the extruder to compensate tube length play.
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    It is harder to print flexy filaments because the extruder has problems gripping the flexible material.
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    You will not be able to finish your filament spool, which will always leave you with leftovers.

Filament:

Filament spools are going to be one of your most expensive running costs, so be sure to take a look at a filament guide. For the most part, you will typically be choosing between moisture free filaments and dust free filaments. To make sure you are getting filament that will fulfill all of your 3D printing needs and result in quality prints, make sure you are choosing a good filament.

Pros And Cons To DIY 3D Printing

PROS:

  • You will have the peace of mind knowing that you have all the parts that you need to get a functional printer.
  • You will have all of the electronics, structure, bolts, nuts, screws, washers, wires, etc.
  • All of the parts that you will receive are meant to be fit together.
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    You will receive a manual to help you along the way.
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    There is an entire DIY 3D printing community that can help you build your 3D printer.
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    DIY 3D printing kits are cheaper.

CONS:

  • The only way to customize your 3D printer for your own preferences it to purchase additional parts.
  • You may not be able to upgrade at a later date.
  • Your DIY 3D printer may be locked to some configuration or software.

Is A DIY 3D Printer For You?

So now, you're probably asking yourself if a DIY 3D printing kit is for you or not.

If you are a person that enjoys working with your hands, troubleshooting errors along the way, and saving some money while doing so, DIY 3D printing kits are perfect for you!

If you don't mind spending the extra money to have it already assembled upon arrival, it might not be the best idea to purchase a DIY 3D printing kit.

Either way, you can't go wrong!

Please feel free to leave a comment below. We would love to hear your thoughts!

Happy printing!

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