By Simon | 3Ders
Although MakerBot has managed to position themselves among the more famous in 3D printers, the Fused Deposition Modeling method that their machines use leave many wanting to have higher resolutions and increased material flexibilities such as those offered by FormLabs in the form of the Form 1+. However, for those not ready to spend over $3,000 on a new 3D printer and costly resins, getting SLS or SLA parts made can prove to be a difficulty. For one motivated 3D printing enthusiast, he took matters into his own hands and crafted his own SLA 3D printer using little more than some borrowed parts, an Arduino Uno and less than $10 in supplies.
Phpbb user ‘mystamo’ wanted to quickly put a printer together to test out SLA 3D printing in general while also seeing if his sourced projector (an ACER 5360 720P) would work for curing resin without any modification. Although he had to remove the focus screw so that he could pull out the focus wheel more to focus on the build plate, no other modifications were needed.
After some initial testing, mystamo concluded that the printer had a 50mm x 37mm x 40mm build envelope and set about creating his first 3D prints.
Since the printer doesn’t have any Z-axis limits, he set the build plate slightly above the resin surface with some resin protruding through the perforated board holes. In order to create the layers, mystamo exposed the first 3 years with 8-second exposures to help build a sturdy foundation. For all other layers, a 2.5-second exposure was used with a resolution of .05mm per layer.
The sourced parts - aside from the borrowed projector - all cost mystamo less than $10. These parts included an Arduino Uno that he purchased from Ebay for $5 for running code, an A4988 stepper driver from Ebay for $2, a rectangular glass vat from Dollerama for $2 to house the uncured resin, a DVD drive laser rail from Ebay for $1 and finally, a 12 AWG wire and perforated board that he already had on-hand for the build plate.
For his first print, mystamo chose to manufacture a Terminator skull that’s roughly the size of a golf ball. As far as the pictures can reveal, the print looks surprisingly well-done considering the machine that it came off of.
While mystamo hasn’t revealed the instructions for the build in-full yet, at least we now know that it’s possible to build an SLA 3D printer that typically costs thousands of dollars for roughly the price of lunch and a few spare parts laying around the house.
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