3. Hungary 3D printer

On this page, you will find a 3D printer made at a Hungarian school. 

In essence, our printer's general concept is the same as other schools' and the Turkish printer's, but our difference is that we use linear guides instead of 8mm lead screws. 

Their advantage is very high precision, absence of vibration, and a consistent and steady movement path. 

As a minus, their somewhat higher price can be mentioned. If asked why our school used linear guides, the answer is actually understandable - our project leaders were mechatronics and robotics teachers and in those fields linear guides are very common. We took that expertise and transformed the build of the printer in our own way. 

Required parts 

For building the base frame, we also used Sigma 30x30 aluminum profiles.

Dimensions of the upper frame profile

Screws, nuts, and fastening devices needed for frame assembly. 

X, Y, Z axis linear guides

The required lengths and parameters can be found from the images below. 

Stepper motors and timing belts. 

Like all the other schools' printers, we also used NEMA 17 motors. The timing belt for their operation and also the rollers are purchased products. The images below show our printer heads along with the automatic bed calibration sensor. To make it work, we need to activate the relevant piece of code in the Marlin software and input the recommended parameters. 

Arduino controller and power supply

For the control board, we used an Arduino board and a power supply unit, both of which were readily available from a local supplier specializing in 3D printer parts. In terms of the heating bed, we chose to use a Creality bed, as they are widely used and readily available from many suppliers. This was important because, as our printer will be used by students, the heating bed is likely to be one of the first parts to wear out and need to be replaced. Having readily available replacement parts from a well-known brand was an important consideration for us. 

Extruder attachment, filament holder and work surface adjustment screws

For leveling the build platform, we needed to use regulation wheels and their corresponding nuts, which we printed in-house. Since our build plate uses 4mm diameter holes, we couldn't use the standard regulation wheels with 3mm holes. 

The printer assembly 

Frame construction. Fixing linear guides. 

Frame construction seems to be a simple and understandable process, yet one could say that it's not the case. 

Because we use linear guides in the construction of our printer, which are very precise in their movement path, it is not possible to absolutely make mistakes in the frame dimensions and their alignment with each other. 

The accuracy and parallelism of the frame is crucial in the quality of the 3D printer and the details it will print later. However, this is amplified in our printer, as the conventional linear bearing rail "forgives" certain mistakes to some extent. Especially if it is very long - 300 mm or more. The linear guide, however, does not bend or yield in any direction and even a single dimensional error leads to the guide getting stuck. 

Therefore, accuracy and measuring tools are very important in our printer! 

Adding electronic components. 

As previously stated, the biggest "problem" in building our printer was the accuracy required by the linear guides. 

In building the frame skeleton, we learned that we need to be precise, measure multiple times, and most importantly, not tighten all screws/nuts fully right away. The screws used in the base of the printer are usually 3mm hex head, and these screws and nuts are obviously not meant for repeated tightening with great force. 

In attaching the electronics, we were already smarter and initially tightened all necessary attachments a little "gentler." This provided us with a small opportunity for setup and alignment adjustments, and in the process, we did not break any nuts or screws. 

Wiring and power supply board 

We also wanted to make our printer attractive and beautiful. We hid the wires as much as possible. It is important to keep in mind that when setting up and hiding the wires, they should not interfere with the movement of the printer's motors and work surface, and should not bend or become tense. In addition, caution must be taken when connecting motors and sensors to the wiring module - DC current is directional and connecting the plug incorrectly can damage the entire electronics control board. To avoid this, please carefully watch the video on connecting the Turkish electronics board (the final video here). 

First Printing 

There are many things in life that are incredibly exciting. Our project team and students, however, discovered that the first start of a homemade 3D printer is also an emotional and exciting experience. 

Thankfully, all the wiring was correctly connected and the X, Y, and Z axes moved in the desired direction. 

There was a small problem with the first prints as they wouldn't stick to the printing bed and started printing in the air. This was expected as we deliberately left a large gap between the printhead nozzle and the print bed to avoid scratches and "sinking" into the work surface. 

After the initial tests, we carried out more accurate bed level calibrations (with an A4 paper) and our printer then worked as it should! 

Further Actions

Our Hungarian school participated in this 3D printer project because in our school, there had been much talk about 3D printing and its future and the need for education, but no actual steps were taken towards this. The teachers involved in the project also had not previously come into direct contact with 3D printers. Now, at the end of the project, our school has a homemade 3D printer and comprehensive educational material for teaching 3D printing to any curriculum or age group. 

What next is, in our opinion, a very simple question: