3D Printer


here i am :)

i’m using an opensource 3d printer (RepRap project), specifically a Prusa i2. It arrived as a kit. Low price and good results. Take a “tour” on the project wiki:
(there’s also a forum)

if you are a programmer, use OpenSCAD. Or you can use Blender.
(both opensource),

Then you need to export your object in STL format. Then you need to use Slic3r (that is an italian opensource slicing sw)


to generate gcode from this STL. At this point you need a 3d printer :)

regards Mirco


  1. #1 by Celejar on November 3rd, 2013 - 8:22 am

    What’s an open thread?


  2. #2 by Lisi on November 3rd, 2013 - 9:37 am



  3. #3 by Patrick Wiseman on November 3rd, 2013 - 9:52 am

    Off topic?


  4. #4 by Curt on November 3rd, 2013 - 10:14 am

    It’s like a loose thread except when you pull on it everything doesn’t unravel.

  5. #5 by Dr Beco on November 3rd, 2013 - 3:41 pm

    Hi Mirco,

    Very nice tip. Thanks!

    I’m looking forward to build one. From the link you gave, I see there is some models to build:


    [1] Prusa Mendel Full-sized RepRap, Focused On Low Cost and Ease of Sourcing

    [2] MendelMax Full-sized RepRap Focused on Structural Rigidity and Ease of Assembly

    [3] Wallace Smaller RepRap designed to reduce part count and minimize complexity of build

    [4] Original Mendel The first Mendel design: fully functional, but more complicated than later variants

    [5] RepRapPro Huxley Smaller RepRap design to reduce part count and give portability.

    [6] RepRapPro Tricolour Mendel RepRap design that gives multi-material/multi-colour 3D printing.

    And the “Legacy RepRap 3D Printers. ”
    These designs have been replaced by more recent ones (so build them at your own risk).If you are new to RepRap, you should probably start with Prusa Mendel (if you want a big build volume) or Huxley (if you want a small machine).

    [6] Original Huxley The Original Mini RepRap

    [7] Darwin The first RepRap


  6. #6 by Mirco Piccin on November 3rd, 2013 - 4:57 pm


    i have a full working Prusa i2:
    that is an improvement of the Mendel.

    I’m also building a Prusa Air v2:
    that is quite similar to the i2, and a Prusa i3:

    This last one is the simpler to build and to calibrate. All the boms are available on the reprap site. Anyway, all the pieces are easly available on a diy shop or on ebay :)

    There are also a lot of new online stores that sell specifically 3d printer parts (electronics, extruders, bearings, pulleys, rods and so on).

    Regards M

  7. #7 by Charles Kroeger on November 3rd, 2013 - 5:06 pm

    Going to build a rifle Beco?

  8. #8 by ken on November 4th, 2013 - 7:25 am

    Our local public library bought a couple of these. They give classes on them. And if you want something printed, you email them the STL file, they’ll print it, and send you an email back when you can pick it up. I
    think they charge about 5 cents/pound… hardly anything.

    Unless you really want to play around with building it, it’s a much better way to go than having your own.

  9. #9 by Chris Bannister on November 4th, 2013 - 8:18 am

    At a guess, opposite to a “closed thread” IOW anyone can contribute, although the terms don’t make any sense at all on this list.

  10. #10 by Dr Beco on November 4th, 2013 - 10:32 am

    Hi Ken,

    I was thinking in build one actually. It can be useful, and I have some students willing to work on it.

    The problem is that we know all the history of struggle between linux and printers (and devices in general). I was wondering if this is the case with 3D printers.

    Its not easy to find devices debian/linux compatible. Tell me about building your own!

    Do you know if the model your library has works on linux?


    I think I like most the Prusa i3. It looks pretty! And being the third version, the site states: “he i3 incorporates lessons learned from the previous two Prusa designs, as well as other popular modern RepRap designs. “

    I wonder how to connect it to computer. Is it USB?

    And do you need any special driver? How debian sees it?



    PS. No, Charles. I’m not a hit man. :) Actually, I don’t like guns that much. If humanity wants to kill each other, go for it. I’ll just enjoy my lonely ride with art, programming, music, poetry, science, etc., the best I can! Cheers!

  11. #11 by Mirco Piccin on November 4th, 2013 - 10:42 am


    it’s not the case!

    you connect your pc to the printer using a USB cable. The electronic on the printer is basically a Arduino Mega (or derivated or clone):

    As you can read:
    “The Mega2560 differs from all preceding boards in that it does not use the FTDI USB-to-serial driver chip. Instead, it features the ATmega16U2 (ATmega8U2 in the revision 1 and revision 2 boards)
    programmed as a USB-to-serial converter.”

    you don’t need any drivers others than the standard. You see Arduino as a /dev/ttyACMx device (with older Arduino version the device was /dev/ttyUSBx). It’s a serial device.

    http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Software (you need the Arduino IDE to update firmware on your 3d printer, download it, it’s opensource)
    and http://playground.arduino.cc/Learning/Linux

    Regards Mirco

  12. #12 by ken on November 4th, 2013 - 10:52 am

    I haven’t done it and probably won’t. As said, my local library has two of them, the local makersalliance has a couple, and I already have too many other projects I’m working on.

    I haven’t looked recently, but I’d imagine there’s a lot of info on the web about building 3D printers.

    No idea. I should have thought to ask them when I was there.

    From the little I know, all the attached computer would do would be to slice the drawing and send the result to printer. I would imagine that gnu/linux would easily be capable of doing that.

    Good luck with your project!


  13. #13 by Jerry Stuckle on November 4th, 2013 - 12:07 pm

    I’m waiting for a 3D printer that builds itself :)


  14. #14 by Curt on November 4th, 2013 - 1:09 pm

    A self-replicating 3D printer?

    That’s in the cards, isn’t it?

    Or maybe it isn’t. The economic model may be faulty; I dunno.

  15. #15 by Thomas H. on November 4th, 2013 - 3:53 pm

    For what its worth, I have assembled a SeeMeCNC 3D printer but have not yet had it operating. The physical components for this kit come close to self-replicating. The kit consists of numerous plastic parts, four twelve volt stepper motors, two 1/4-20 threaded steel rods, four 1/4 inch steel rods, a half dozen ball bearings, numerous small bolts, nuts and washers and one machined metal part, the extruder.

    The printer is capable of reproducing all the plastic parts but this would be quite time consuming. The kit manufacturer injection molds the plastic parts.

    The stepper motors can draw as much as 15 amps each. The four controllers for the stepper motors are mounted on a circuit board connected to a 12
    volt power supply. The leads, four for each stepper motor, are optically isolated from the computer and connect to the computer from a parallel printer port. Because of the isolation there is little drain on the computer power but a usb cable is useless because of the need to control the x,y, and z steppers and the extruder stepper independently.

    I have installed linuxcnc on a dedicated computer and loaded the initial settings but the dedicated computer failed and had to be sent back for warranty repairs.

    Finally, note that while linuxcnc will run the printer the cnc programs must be written separately.



  16. #16 by John Hasler on November 4th, 2013 - 4:20 pm

    Curt wrote:

    That is the goal of the movement.

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