I like to go from 1.4 x 1.4 cm to 1.4 x 1.4m build area by re using the functional printers hardware parts. Has this been done before? or am I asking for “big” trouble :wink:

Kind regards, Taco


You’re asking for insane amounts of trouble :smiley: Normal 3d printers have 6mm or 8mm thick rods to guide the linear motion. Those would bend a lot when they are 1,4m long. Additionally they have to carry more weight, when one axis (ie X) is mounted on the Y axis. Therefore you need stronger motors and a very large heater mat, if you want a heated bed. To get a flat print bed you would need much thicker glass. I can just imagine how expensive a 1,4 x 1,4m and 15mm thick glass plate would be. I don’t think, that you can use “most” parts of small printers, even the electronics can’t be reused as they can’t handle the power, that is necessary for the larger motors. Get ready to invest 3000-6000€ minimum and a lot of work, then it’s “possible” to build such large printer with good quality parts. Success isn’t guaranteed and you should at least be able to design the printer and parts in CAD software on your own. If you own a CNC mill or alike then you might get to make the printer for less money, but you’d have to invest way more work.


Thanks for your reply. I thought so, to tricky and too expensive. (\still hope there is a way ->including manual and proof :D)

Maybe it’s better to invest in an existing large format printer then, Does anyone have experiences with those kind of printers?

One thing you should also think about is the resolution. What kind of accuracy can you get from the electronics when scaling up. Let me put it in the form of an example… If the printer moves the head with a resolution of 0.1mm over a 1.4cm area that’s 140 “steps” that the electronics can work with. You scale that up by 100 times, is the resolution now 10mm per step?

I’m not saying that the electronics can’t handle keeping the resolution good while up-sizing the print area. Just that it’s something to think about.

Well if he’d still use tensioned belts then there wouldn’t be any issue with the resolution. Usually the stepper motors turns a gear which has a belt mounted on, depending on the gears’ size the motor will need either 1 or 100 steps for the travel length of 1mm. The length of the belt doesn’t effect this equation, therefore the maximum movement along the axis can be as long as you want. However you have a good point, especially when it comes to slicing the print. The larger the part the larger the file, that contains the gcode and the better the resolution (given that the stl files are that detailed). Given you print a 10cm tall object with a resolution of 0,1mm, that makes 1000 layers. If you keep that resolution and scale the object by a factor of 10 (to max out your build volume) you get 10000 layers. That’s quite a difference… Taking into account that there are three axis’, not just one you end up with 1000 times the code compared to the normal build volume. Therefore you either have to get really good electronics and a giant PC, or you lower the resolution dramatically by getting something like an E3d volcano.

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Right. I need to remember that the electronics and controls have updated since I built my first positioning system (it had 256 locations it could go to).

I’ll learn a lot more when I get my printer. Soon, I hope.

Thanks for all the advice. Maybe it’s smarter to focus on commercial versions like a Big rep (starting at 38.500 euro’s,.pff !)

still I can imagine that DIY it is doable when you have such budgets. Are there any Macgyvers in the Maastricht area who like to discuss the possibilities?

I’m living in Germany, so not directly Maastricht. Still im very interested in building a big DIY printer so we might have an online meeting or so to share some insight?

Hi Marius.

I see you are experienced with robot arms. What do you think about mounting a robot with an extruder? (+ and put it on wheels?) I envision visual calibration by many (cheap) optical sensors like laser, kinect2? Accuracy of 5mm is acceptable for me.

I know real world positioning has become true and will be very accurate soon,. Or am I asking for trouble again ;D

My email is info@3dgeomedia.com.

How large do you want the extruder to be? Given you have tolerances of +/-5mm then normal 3d printing won’t work. Sounds kinda interesting, could you make a sketch to explain your ideas and maybe describe the purpose

Why can’t you print with those tolerances? Purpose is mainly for furniture. Inspiration comes from the internet, (see Pictures)