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Project Summary: This is a project aims to develop a special 3D printer made of LEGO Mindstorms(R) pieces.
The whole idea began a year before when I discovered the RepRap project, as well as a milling machine made out of LEGOs. The custom drill chuck was built using a 3D-printed hand drill with a Lego axle attached on its rear. Furthermore, the voxel approach to digital fabrication makes it an awesome way to build multi-functional and modular machines.
Commons-based peer production and digital fabrication: The case of a RepRap-based, Lego-built 3D printing-milling machine. About usOpen Source Electronicsis the brainchild of a world leader in hobby electronics Futura Group srl.
Open Source Electronics is devoted to support development, hacking and playing with electronics: we share exciting open projects and create amazing products! Open Source Electronics is not just a container of ideas: it is also a web site lead by a team of engineers and geeks who will take part in the discussions and give support. Our mission is to become a reference Open Source hacking site with ideas and feedback aimed to enrich the community.
Where not specified differently, design files and source code are instead provided according to a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. With Instructables you can share what you make with the world, and tap into an ever-growing community of creative experts.
Take a piece of plastic(I used Plexiglas) or metal, something strong and flat and mount a piece of the U channel to it. If you were interested in this project it's likely you have already seen what can be done with an 3 axis(XYZ) computer controlled milling machine. Now that I got the machine back together after making the instructable and I did some engraving and made a PC board.
The frame needs to be a flat base that you can mount everything on horizontally and a goose neck of some kind to hold the Z axis (the up and down part with the motor tool)firmly in place. Here is my mill I guess its not cnc and does not follow many of your design concepts but you inspired it!
Hi Tom your design is fantastic and so easy to make this is now the second one I`ve made, I work in a uPVC window factory and so I made mine out of welded uPVC window frame. I did a bit more digging and I came up with something I felt might work so I ordered a bunch to play with.
My original, and on going, reason for building this is I want to use it to help make pinewood derby cars. Well I am using a pre-made driver board, and the motors are 60oz, so ill be able to use them later hopefully.


I just won the auction on some stepper motors on ebay and am looking in more detail at building this.
I just wanted to ask you to please explain the roller bearings in more detail, like what kind you used and how you secured them to aluminum you used. The program was written manually without a translator.He has made some changes recently but has not shared them with me. I was amazed with the idea of desktop manufacturing, so I started building a 3D Printing-Milling Machine using LEGOs and inheriting RepRap open design and knowledge.
For example, the top part of the machine oscillated due to inertia, viz the bulk mass of YZ Plane was moving back and forth on its driver (rack-and-pinion system), located at the top of the structure.
The former, is achieved via a DIY extruder being a hot glue gun combined with Lego elements. However, its processing capabilities are not satisfying and the project is now targeted to use OSHW microcontrollers, such as RPi and Arduino. That puts the real power of a computer control machining into the hands of the average human. I got 6 of them, I figure I can build your design as is then use it to help make the next version. They all worked at different voltages but all I had to do is change the light bulb to get the torq that I wanted. Try it with one of the round ball tools which comes with your dremel on the green stuff you use for sticking flowers in to make flowerpieces. However, LEGO, as modular components, make the machine hybrid, with the capability of placing a specialized extruder instead of the milling bit.
It consists of approximately 300 pieces of LEGO elements; like joints, beams, axes and so on. The project is being developed using the LeJOS NXJ Java API (which is as well open-source based) . This issued was manipulated by placing, at the bottom of the main frame, two “tendons” and two diagonal beams, one on each (rear) side. By using OSHW microcontrollers, the costs of manufacturing do dwindle, as well as the open-source philosophy is undoubtedly benefited. He has been contributing in open-source and open-hardware projects since 2010, being an ardent open-source fan. Went shopping for most of the supllies this morning, which took me from Home Depot to Ace Hardware to Big Joe's. And please dont jsut say "copy machine", i mean where would you find a copy machine to destroy?
Sacek is a member of Brazil’s ZOOM Education for Life, a 13-year-old company that is developing innovative learning projects in cooperation with LEGO Education.


A word of caution and not to discourage you especially because this design technique allows you to easily make changes.
As long as you've got more than 4 wires comming out of it you can be 99% sure it will work with the circuit. Sacek made his Mini CNC milling machine using parts from LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 building system. The bearing may need to be pressed very firmly to the rail so that the stage won't shift when milling. I am about to order some Superiors myself, don't know how well they will mount to the frame though. Later, after you are sure all the pipe joints are in the right place, you can add a drop of thread sealer to the joints and it will be a good solid structure. Also, I don't suggest getting the pipe at Home Depot, as they semm to be downgrading their one-inch pipe supply. Arthur Sacek built every piece of the machine using LEGO parts with the exception of the drill bit itself.
With it you can do 2 Dimentional engraving and PC board etching and 3D milling and modeling in Foam, Wood, Plastic and other soft materials. Also try watching the YouTube movie at the end (the last frame).New information on the Motor Driver Circuit is (HERE). Aside from that Id like to say an awsome job and to all of you undertaking this project far out, right on - ride on.
Lastly a complex series of gears raise and lower the Z axis to move the drill down into the material. The milling machine is an example of subtractive machining and is different from 3D printers (additive machining ) because they remove material from the stock versus depositing material. Personal machining is really taking off all over the world thanks to open source projects like RepRap and Makerbot.
The ability to have access to machining tools is empowering students and hobbyist  to innovate and may just be the spark we need to jump start the economy. While Sacek’s milling machine is not the first Lego CNC machine, it is certainly the most elegant I have seen. When you add the fact that a Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 kit costs under $300, you have one of the least expensive ways to make your own CNC machined parts.



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