I had always wanted a 3D printer, but the price of one had always scared me away. Until I found the Replieko 3d printer for 350 USD. This kit contained everything I needed, from all the small nuts to all the electronics. The service from replikeo is downright amazing, they respond to all emails within 2 days. In addition to that, they sent me a replacement screen when they forgot to do so in their order, and when I found out that my electronics did not work, they sent replacement electronics too! One more bonus was in customs. In the postage they changed the value of the shipment to 100 USD so I did not even have to pay customs!!
My only external costs were a screwdriver, and some epoxy glue. For the price that this 3d printer is available at, there is no better option, I say that as I have worked with machines such as the maker bot replicator 2, maker farm pursa I3, maker bot simple, Delta printers, Aluminium I3, and the Mendel max. All the aforementioned machines are around a thousand dollars. The replikeo kit, at half the cost, produces just as good if not better print results. But be wary there is going to be a lot of tinkering, and problem solving to do.
I chose the plexiglass variant since it had extra support for the z axis, and It was twice as thick as the iron version. If you wish to spend the extra 50$ to upgrade to the aluminium version, then do so, but you will still have to make z stabilisers for the best print quality. These z stabilisers are provided on the plexiglass version
Before you buy this printer I highly recommend that you buy a few spare parts such as:
A good quality extruder - My extruder was horrible, the nozzle diameter was somewhere between 4.5 - 5 mm instead of the advertised 4mm. It also leaked, and was not stable in the extruder body.~40 usd
Good brand filament - This makes such a huge difference. The 'free' filament form replikeo is absolute garbage. It clogs, has air bubbles inside, and is heavily tangled. Once it got so tangled that it pulled the x axis above the nuts holding it. Better filament rid me of all these problems, and made my print quality much better.~40 dollars
Extra hobbed bolt - My hobbed bolt is fine but it is a common problem with 3d printers, so it is worth getting one, especially since it costs ~ 4-5 dollars
Glass plate- The heat bed is notorious for not being level. This makes it impossible to lay down a first layer. This problem is further escalated if you are printing in ABS, as it gives the printed piece a weak spot to flex from. A glass plate fixes is problem. ~
Step 1: Building the printer
The official build guide is listed here- http://reprap.org/wiki/Prusa_i3_Rework_Bill_of_materials
I had no issues following the instructions provided above, and my printer was running under a week.
A few people were stuck on assembling the end stops which has an incredibly stupid design. The solution to this is to use a flat screw driver, and to bend the connector slightly upwards, so that the screws can slide in. I have attached a photograph of this above.
A great place for tips is this forum which contains many active users with the exact same 3d printer.-
Do note that Replikeo has really stepped up their game in terms of shipping, so don't worry about a broken package arriving
Once all your electronics are correctly assembled as per the picture attached above, then move on to the software side.
You will need-
Modified marlin with calibration for this printer (regular marlin will work fine but more calibration will be required.)(credits to syl-20)
Cura (or Slic3r)
Arduino to compile marlin.
If you have a lcd screen then follow This Guide
Compile marlin via This Guide
You can use my Cura settings as provided in the photos above. For the best possible results, use my Cura settings, and Sly-20's marlin calibrations as a stepping stone. Use it to start, and then fine tune calibration, as every printer is unique, and has it's own tolerances.
Step 2: Tips
Take your time assembling the printer, it will not be an extremely easy build, but that being said, it isn't too hard either. If a 16 year old like me can do it, so can you. If you want a simple experience with no tinkering, go buy a maker bot. But be warned, you will not get the same satisfaction as when the printer works, and works better and at the fraction of the cost as the makerbot.
If you get stuck, You can ask questions in This Forum, the people are really friendly, and it is an active forum.
Feel free to leave a comment down below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org