Building a RepRap 3D Printer
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Building a RepRap 3D Printer

Build your own open source 3D printer over the weekend
4.5 (26 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
245 students enrolled
Created by Packt Publishing
Last updated 11/2014
Current price: $10 Original price: $85 Discount: 88% off
5 hours left at this price!
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  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Understand the evolution of RepRap and the dynamics of open hardware innovation
  • Quickly assemble an i3 Berlin 3D printer
  • Safely connect all the cables and calibrate your 3D printer for perfect 3D prints
  • Become familiar with the most important 3D-print settings in Slic3r
  • Get to know the different print materials and how to make multimaterial objects
  • Explore KISSlicer and Cura path generator
  • Experiment with alternative solutions and software
  • Troubleshoot and prevent printing problems with ease
View Curriculum
  • . It will definitely be an advantage if you know some 3D modelling in any program.

This video course teaches you how to make a 3D printer for yourself and calibrate and adjust it perfectly. You will get to know how to solve and prevent common problems and discover alternative solutions to tailor your 3D printer to your liking and needs. You will learn how to assemble parts for your 3D printer and build it with ordinary tools and skills. The course starts off with assembling of the Y-Unit and the XZ-Unit before moving on to the extruder and wiring. Next, you will be shown how to execute some simple calibrations and suddenly you're printing in 3D with your very own 3D printer. By the end of the video, you will be a junior 3D printing expert. This 3D printer used for demonstration in this course is especially designed for easy assembly and use, and gives you a head start in building your own 3D-printers for now and for the future.

About the Author

Bram de Vries is a mechanical engineer and social scientist dedicated to open hardware. He has previously worked at Demotech, developing pro-poor technologies in Guatemala, Ethiopia, and India.

The overarching aim of his work is to open up innovations and make them accessible. For the last four years, his focus has moved from water pumps to open source 3D printing. He also tutors Blender courses.

Who is the target audience?
  • If you wish to learn and build a 3D printer from scratch, this course is for you. Even if you have ordinary technical skills, you can build and run an open source 3D printer with help of this video.
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Curriculum For This Course
39 Lectures
5 Lectures 17:33

Desktop 3D printing comes from open hardware and the free exchange of information. Understanding the history of this project will help protect its future.

Introduction to RepRap

How does a 3D printer work? This is the introduction to the main elements of the machine that will be referred to in the rest of the video.

How a 3D Printer Works

How to convert your 3D file into a printed object? A workflow demonstration with Slic3r.

3D Printing Workflow

The original Prusa i3 is a really nice printer that is easy to assemble. We have worked on it further and made it a finished product.

Overview of the i3 Berlin 3D Printer Design

Wondering how to build a 3D printer? You only need some simple tools for it. We will explain our preferences for tools.

Tools and Parts
Building the Y-unit
4 Lectures 11:40

The base of the Y-unit is built with two M10 threaded rods. A number of nuts on these rods will hold the base together.

Mounting the Threaded Rods and Power Supply

The Y-motor will move the print platform. The front and back plate will hold the linear rods.

Preview 03:04

Setting the belt tension is important to achieve correct movement without wear.

Mounting the Y-carriage and the Timing Belt

Wondering how to make a perfectly parallel movement? Take a perfectly flat mirror and adjust the linear rods.

Adjusting the Parallels
Building the XZ-unit
3 Lectures 09:09

The X axis moves the extruder from left to right. You can just slide them together.

Mounting the X Axis

The Z axis moves the extruder up and down. This is through some simple assembly steps.

Mounting the Z Axis

Timing belts are the tendons of your 3D printer. The correct tension will ensure proper movement.

Preview 03:07
Wiring Up the 3D printer
6 Lectures 20:22

The power supply converts the high voltage to a safe 12 Volt working power for the printer. For your own safety, please follow the steps in this video carefully.

Wiring the Power Supply

The 3D printer has two main units that can be taken apart for easy transport. For the best print results, calibrate them at a perfectly straight angle.

Assembly of the Main Units

Messy cabling looks ugly and can cause problems. Organize the cables neatly by making them the right length.

Wiring the Y-unit

The motors of the Z axis run in a series. Cross-link them to make them work.

Wiring the Z-unit

There are many electrical connections to be made for the extruder. Follow the step-by-step instructions to prepare the extruder.

Wiring the X-unit and the Extruder

The heatBed needs a decent cable and a well-positioned thermal sensor. Following these special assembly instructions will help you through.

Preview 03:09
Calibrating the Printer
6 Lectures 22:32

Magnetic endstops have special issues to take into account. This video will show how to glue in the magnets correctly.

Mount the End Stop Magnets and M5 Rods

Uploading the Marlin firmware to the RUMBA controller is easy with Arduino...if you know how to do it.

Software and Communication

Mounting the E3D hot end requires some special steps. You will need to heat it up; this is why you had to first finish the wiring and install the software.

Preview 03:40

This special extruder construction requires that you test the grip on the filament. If needed, you have to quickly reassemble the extruder.

Test and Mount the Extruder

The movements of the printer should be as close as possible to their software values. This is done with some simple measurements.

Calibrating the Movements of the Printer

The print platform should be perfectly aligned with the nozzle to get a good first layer. This is done by turning the three screws in such a way that a simple piece of paper just fits underneath.

Mount and Calibrate the Print Platform
Print in 3D
5 Lectures 15:37

Setting the printer and filament settings is the basic preparation in Slic3r.

Filament and Printer Settings

Print settings depend on your personal taste and the requirements of the object to be printed.

Print Settings

The first layer is the most important one. If the nozzle is too high, the print won´t stick, and if it´s too low, you might damage your print platform. Learn what the first layer can tell you about improving the quality of your printer.

First Layer

Printing in two different materials requires additional workflow. Learn all about it.

Dual Extrusion

The i3 Berlin comes, like many other printers, with a full graphic display. This opens the door to many advance settings for tweaking.

Preview 03:03
Experiments and Alternatives
6 Lectures 19:05

Cura is a user-friendly open source 3D printing software. Use the custom settings to use it for the i3 Berlin.

Preview 03:36

Kisslicer is a high-speed path generator with a freemium license. Understand the main settings to generate high-quality G code.


There are many filament resellers. Some are cheap and some are good. What to take care of when buying one?


The plastic should stick on the platform while printing, but you should also be able to get it off after the print. There are several choices for print bed surfaces.

Print Platform Surface

There are many different printers with a large variety of extruders and hotends. What to look at when you buy one?


The concept of the i3 Berlin 3D printer is straightforward and clean. There are many other techniques for 3D printing that are faster and more precise.

The Future of Open Source 3D Printing
4 Lectures 12:53

Sometimes, extra drivers have to be installed. These are needed for connecting with the Arduino board. Most Linux distributions don't support the default baud rate of 250000. There are three ways to solve this.

Software Issues in Windows, Mac, and Linux

Layer shift is a nasty problem that causes a non-aligned printed object, which is of no use to you and can be thrown away. The X or Y stepper missed some steps while printing, producing unusable objects. There are three common causes for this problem, which can all be easily solved.

Preview 03:09

Oozing is the unwanted extrusion of material during travel moves. Oozing can be prevented by temperature settings and retraction


Sometimes, the extruder doesn´t work. But don’t panic. There are three common causes for this, all of which can be easily solved.

Extruder Is Not Working
About the Instructor
Packt Publishing
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Packt has been committed to developer learning since 2004. A lot has changed in software since then - but Packt has remained responsive to these changes, continuing to look forward at the trends and tools defining the way we work and live. And how to put them to work.

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