LowRider as a 3D printer to make a MP3DP?

Hello all, I’ve been lurking for a while, researching, studying, etc and have decided to pull the trigger and order the parts for a LowRider. A little background on what I am wanting/planning to do.

I plan on doing a usable 4’x6’ bed out of steel since this will primarily be a CNCPlasma cutter. I have a project in the works that requires a 3’x6’ piece of stock and I figured since I was going that big, I might as well go so I can handle a full width sheet (I don’t have the space for a 4’x8’ usable table). I also will be fabricobbling an MDF top for the plasma table so I can use the machine as a CNCRouter.

My real question (and I might be asking too much out of the LowRider) is if I can also swap out a print head for it and print out the parts needed to make a MP3DP? I’ve searched the forums but can’t find any posts about someone actually using a LowRider with a print head on it (maybe I just missed the thread if there is one).

Anyway, anyone have any input for a newbie?

Thanks, Jeff

It is possible. I wouldn’t recommend it if you weren’t pretty experienced with 3D printing though.

The parts for the printer aren’t very big or hard. If I didn’t have a printer, I’d try using the one at the library (or my friends). My library has a nice lulzbot and it’s usually just sitting still.

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As jeffeb said, it’s totally possible but it won’t be super easy if you are not already very familiar with 3D printing. Getting good results is quite a learning curve with a normal 3D printer, so with those giant machines it will be one or two steps above that.

But nothing is impossible, it is actually perfectly doable and not very different from doing it on the MPCNC, so if you want to jump into this project I’ll be glad to help you and you will find support on the forum for sure :slight_smile:

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Depending on your lowrider max Z, it could also become a limiting factor to print some of the parts (the XZMotor and XZEnd are the highest IIRC)

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Thanks all for the input and support! I figured I was going to be pushing the resolution of the Lowrider but I also thought it would be fun to try.

I have almost no experience with 3D printing, lol, but you gotta start somewhere. I also have a friend who has been 3D printing for 5 years (and is printing out my Lowrider parts for me) who will help me with settings for the Lowrider.

I figured I would also get a ton of support here since everyone seems so helpful.

The “resolution” of the low rider would be the same as any 3d printer using Nema 17s, GT2 belts and 16T pulleys (which is a lot) so that should not be a problem.

The issues I would anticipate with a LR3DP would be:

  1. Very limited accelleration due to mass/flexibility of the gantry.
  2. Restricted build volume height, as mentioned above.
  3. Repeatability of gantry wheels over thousands of cycles.
  4. Gantry sag
#1 and #4 can be compensated for with software. #2 would require new Zpipes (possibly longer screws, too) to add more Z axis capacity. #3 may require some very careful adjustment of the gantry but should be manageable. I know people find normal routing tasks to not have any issue with wheel tracking, but the # of back/forth movements for routing a sign, or cutting out panels is much smaller than the number of traversals required to 3d print an object of any size.

One way to test the tracking could be to mount a pen, draw a dashed line for, trace a square in the air a few hunderd (thousand?) times, and then fill in the gaps of the line you drew previously. If they don’t line up you will end up with warped prints.

Good thoughts on the repeatability of the Lowrider. I really just want to use it to print parts for a MP3DP. Kinda doing it backwards (I know) but the Lowrider is the machine I need to metal/wood work side jobs I do and the MP3DP is something I want to play with. I’m just hoping tbe Lowrider can handle that. If not, I’ll just bribe my friend with beer to print out those parts as well. Lol.

Pretty much agree with what you just said,

1- No problem with linear advance feature activated in Marlin, it’s just that it migh print slowly. But speed might be greatly compensated using a bigger nozzle. I’d recommend 0.6 or 0.8mm if the goal is to print MPCNC or MP3DP parts, should work fine.

2- New tubes and screws will solve it

3-No idea about that, I guess it should be fine or cause minimal defects

4-No problem with bilinear probing feature enabled in Marlin. Need to build a probing system though, but that’s quite mandatory anyways.

For small prints, bed adhesion should be ok, but it will definitely be the hardest thing to solve if he plans to do big prints at some point. Other than these I don’t see much issues, the hardest part will be to physically adapt a print head on this thing. It needs to be rigid enough, have cooling and have a probing system.