My Printers

In this first post, I want to introduce you to my current 3d printers. I’m using the word current because I’m in the process of building another and I have plans for yet another after that.

First is my PrintrBot Simple, which my wife gave me as a Christmas gift this past year. This was my first foray into 3d printing, and it was a great printer to start with for a couple of reasons. First, I had to assemble it myself, so that process taught me a lot about the mechanics of printing. Second, it requires a lot of tweaking, so gong through the calibration process several times and learning how to tune slicer settings was very important. Finally, there is plenty of room for upgrades, and lots of folks have created them. There’s nothing more satisfying than printing an upgrade and installing it on the printer that you printed it on to improve it. Here’s a shot of the PrintrBot after soon after assembling it:


Yes, the PrintrBot served me well, but soon after I had my eye on another design.

My second printer is a delta-style printer called a Kossel Mini. I first saw the Kossel Mini when I was taking a PCB manufacturing class at Metrix in Seattle. It was very impressive and I decided at that point that to was going to build one. Here’s a shot of the PrintrBot printing parts for the Kossel Mini.


A couple weeks later, the printer was (almost) finished and printing out its first calibration cube. Yes, I did eventually clean up the wiring Smile


It took several more weeks before I understood how to properly calibrate it and even longer before I could get great prints across the whole bed (after some Marlin firmware customizations). A few weeks ago, I was able to get a 30 micron print with the Kossel, which was just beautiful.  This keychain would normally have taken me about 15 minutes to print, but at 30 micron resolution, it was about two hours.  A good experiment, but not really practical for every day use.


I have several projects in the works, which I’ll be documenting.  The first one I’ll probably start with is for my PrintrBot.  I’m in the middle of doing a bowden extruder conversion, which is a mash-up of a couple of different designs, in addition to a couple of my own customizations.

I’m looking forward to talking about my projects!



  1. Hi I just purchased a delta kossel and also have a printrbot simple(1302). Crazy right… Anyway I’m having the same issue with calibrations. I use repetier and I get the bed almost level and when I turn off my delta the settings get screwed up. Printer does a concave level. Any pointers?

    • Hi Marty –
      Funny coincidence! If your settings aren’t getting saved when you turn off the printer, then they are not being written to EEPROM. Did you run M500 before turning your printer off? Also, what controller are you using and what firmware are you running on it?


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