One of the best things about Open Hardware plywood-case 3D printers, mills, lasers, plotters is how easily they can be customized. John Abella, organizer of 3D Printer Village at World Maker Faire and a veteran 3D printer builder, transformed his MakerBot Replicator into an impressive custom (Unofficial) Replicator XL by cutting his own case, taking care to document his disassembly and re-assembly, and working with a number of talented software/firmware folks (especially DNewman & Jetty) to make the necessary adjustments to accommodate the increased build volume.
This isn’t a hard process, but it’s also not a one hour job. I had to lengthen at least a dozen wires (stepper power / fan power / extruder heaters) by a few inches. The thermocouple, HBP, and endstop wires on mine were all long enough.
The case design DXF files on Thingiverse for the Replicator are WRONG. These are not the production files – and it messed me up a bit. The mightyboard power / usb / reset button location has moved, requiring some dremel adjustments. On the files I uploaded I think I’ve resolved it, but haven’t tested it yet. You might have to dremel these sections a little still.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has thrilled us at Adafruit with its passion and dedication to making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed that our community integrating electronics projects into 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you take considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless EL Wire and LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you have a cool project you’ve made that joins the traditions of 3D printing and electronics, be sure to send it in to be featured here!