Annoyed and frustrated by 3D Systems buying out and then stopping the production of the RapMan 3D printer. This was the first kit printer Belgian design duo Unfold adapted to print with clay and has subsequently been copied and widely used by others, I decided to develop my own replacement 3D printer. Based on the delta type of 3D printer my aim has been to use parts that can either be made with basic DIY tools and skills, or ordered off the internet. The design is specifically for printing in clay but could be adapted to work with other materials. Many other self build 3D printers use parts printed in plastic but with this project I did not want to be reliant on already having access to a 3D printer.
This document is not a blue print for building a 3D printer but more my documentation of what I have done. My experience is as an artist and not as an engineer or computer specialist so I am sure there are many improvements that could be made but this is what works for me. I welcome others to take up the design and develop it further but only in a private or research and education context. Please respect my ethos of sharing and the humanity to be found in generosity. This project was borne out of the disgust of the practices of big business so please do not blatantly use the information I am offering for commercial gain.
Being more interested in what might be creatively produced with 3D printers I am happy to contribute openly to the growing knowledge based around clay and computerisation but it come with a warning. As difficult as it is to pull all the technology and computerisation together I suggest it is even more difficult to do something creative, fresh and meaningful with this technology. I look forward to seeing what others can do with it. By 3D printer standards this is a rather primitive tool set, but it does offer an accessible way into a very exciting new way of working with clay.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you 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 LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
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! We also offer the LulzBot TAZ – Open source 3D Printer and the Printrbot Simple Metal 3D Printer in our store. If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!