Ami! The 3d printer project

After announcing this project of mine aimed at creating an american made 3d printer I received allot of positive feedback. I am going to outline the goals of this projects and well as where it starts and where it plans on going. Please forgive any grammatical and spelling errors. and please understand this is a 1 man show.

Goals!

  1. As American made as possible
  2. Fully open source
  3. 100% assembled and packaged in America
  4. Priced to compete with prusa
  5. Create a community around american design and manufacturing

Starting Printer Specifications.

  1. Starting 8" cube (thats ~203mm cubed)
  2. arduino mega processor
  3. Ramps 1.4
  4. klipper Firmware
  5. Bowden Drive
  6. PETG Plastic Parts
  7. Thermal Runaway Protection
  8. Auto Bed leveling
  9. heated bed
  10. upgraded external driver mosfets
  11. a4988 stepper drivers
  12. Built in led lights

I am want to start out simple to begin with and as time goes on I want to build out features. I don't have unlimited time or money to devote to making a complete do all beast of a machine so features will have to come out in phases. I am going to start with basically making a prusa knockoff and move on to build out my own features.

Now for some explanations of the decisions made for the starting printer. First to address the arduino mega w/ ramps 1.4. I chose this board for 2 reasons. 1. I have a lot of experience working with and programing this specific board because I convert all the printers I get over to this board. 2. When the time comes this is an easy board to manufacture. and I want to manufacture as much of this printer as possible. Next why a bowden drive? Well this comes down to my end goal for what will be standard for this printer later on. I will explain this bellow. Upgraded external driver mosfets. honestly once we can manufacture the ramps boards ourselves these will not be necessary. however in the beginning its just an added layer of protection. a4988 stepper drivers....they are easy to use and source and wont be hard to swap out once I get the firmware configured for the tmc2208 drivers. Built in led lights. I feel personally these are a must. its a super easy feature to add, and makes printing much more enjoyable if you can see whats going on.

Planned Upgrades that will become standard

  1. Built in battery backup
  2. modulare heads
  3. tmc2208 stepper drivers
  4. wifi conectivity
  5. filament sensor
  6. linear rails (x,y,z)

Now for some planned upgrades after the initial release. I build batteries for a hobby. I use a ups for my printers and have always wanted to build a battery backup system that auto detects power loss and saves a print state so prints are not lost. this seems like a feature needed for the 3d printing market. I also really want to make a modulare head platform. Specifically for switching out extruders quickly and switching between bowden and direct drive. The reasoning for this is I personally have wanted something like this for myself and it seems to be a desire I see voice across many threads. I also plan on using TMC2208 stepper drivers later on after I can spend some time in the firmware configuring stall guard(I am hoping i can used this feature to detect extrusion issues and prevent filament/ time waist). I'm not using them in the beginning because to be honest I have no experience with them and don't want to over promise and under deliver. I want to make the raspberry pi with octoprint a standard feature of my printer at some point. When building and researching this I will also experiment with klipper to see if it is a better alternative to marline when the system has access to a better proc. Wifi connectivity isn't something i personally have a lot of experience with and it seems to me to be a reasonable request. however I can't offer it right away because with network connectivity comes security issues. I don't want to release I printer that allows some randow to log into you printer. reflash the firmware and light your house on fire. Because of this wifi will be a later addition. little things like filament sensor and skip detection are things that i hope to add. please remember this is a one man project and i still have to work for a living. if i can turn this into my full time job that would be AMAZING. However I am being realistic. I understand my target market is limited. and it takes time to build an audience and community. anyone interested in the project please follow me here on my website and like my facebook page. Thank you for your time and interest in my project.