Earlier this year I decided to get a 3d printer to help with prototyping in robotics & various other hobbies. I wasn’t particularly wowed by any of the consumer-grade options available, and it seemed like sourcing individual parts for a full DIY design would take more effort than it was worth, so I went with a kit!
My requirements were pretty simple:
- E3D v6 hotend
- Heated glass bed
- >150 mm printing range in all dimensions
- Easily expanded
There were a few options satisfying these, in the end I chose a MTW MiniMax as the best value for money.
It took a few afternoons to get it up & running. I started printing with PLA as most people recommend it as the best all-rounder material, but I’ve since found PETG to be stronger, more stable and easier to print.
After (slowly) printing a fan bracket I printed a case for a raspberry pi, which would act as a print server and allow me to not be tethered to the printer during a job.
Since then I’ve added a whole series of modifications, improving print quality and ease of use:
- Y-axis cable chain (from MTW) – keeping things tidy
- Rubber foot mounts (from MTW) – to reduce noise & vibration
- Easy bed levellers (by beerglut) – the original bed levellers needed a screwdriver to adjust, these use thumbwheels instead
- 360 degree print fan shroud (by beerglut) – for more uniform print cooling
- Extruder fan mount – to cool the extruder gear & prevent it from warping PETG before the hotend
- Sprung Z-homing screw – to reduce backlash present in the original design
- Filament spool mount – intended to reduce the load on the extruder motor by mounting the spool on a bearing-supported roller, but this removed all tension from the spool and just resulted in tangled filament
- Power supply cover & switch – the kit as-built includes only minimal protection from the mains wiring at the back, and needs to be turned on/off at the wall – so I installed a fused switch with a C14 socket to make it a bit safer & easier