Makerbeam 3D printer
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DIY CoreXY 3D Printer

In 2011 I became interested in 3D printing. Being able to design and print objects was (and still is) an amazing concept to me. After reading more into it I decided to buy a Makerbot Thing-o-Matic 3D printer kit, which was the go-to 3D printer kit for hobbyists at the time.

A couple years later I ran into the limitations of the Thing-o-Matic printer and I wanted a 3D printer that was more rigid and had a bigger build volume. Instead of buying an off-the-shelf printer I decided to try to build something better on my own. I liked the versatility and features of Makerbeams (10×10 aluminium extrusion), so I chose to build the frame of the printer out of those.

In this article I will share some details and pictures of the 3D printer. While building the printer was a great learning experience, I don’t recommend anyone to go down the same route as I did and build a 3D printer out of Makerbeams. Aside from not being that rigid, they also are not very cost effective compared to 20×20 or 30×30 extrusion.

Front view of a DIY 3D printer made out of Makerbeams and 3D printed components.
The 3D printer.

The printer went through many iterations (as can be seen by the various colors of plastic used in the printer) and I have experimented with several motion systems during that time. In the end I ended up settling on the CoreXY motion system.

Top view of a coreXY motion system.
The CoreXY motion system.

In short, the CoreXY motion system allows the stepper motors, which are generally the largest part of inertia in a 3D printer, to remain stationary. As a result larger accelerations and faster printing are possible.

Further details and pictures of the CoreXY 3D printer are shown below.

Image Gallery

A time-lapse of the printer in action.

Technical specifications

Kinematics: CoreXY
Extruder: E3D Titan
Electronics: Smoothieboard, Raspberry Pi for wireless control & camera
Build volume: 200 mm x 200 mm x 280 mm (~ 8″ x 8″ x 11″ )
Other: Z-Probe

  • Tim is the founder of clevercreations.org. He is passionate about building, repairing, and anything DIY related. When he is not busy writing about these topics, you can find him in his workshop.

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