Class Syllabus – Make a 3D Printer

Make a 3D Printer Workshop (MOST Delta)

Date: TBD

Location: TBD

Register on-line at:

Registration deadline: TBD


  • James Mitchell –
  • Jesse Jenkins –
  • Steven Fan

Outline: This is a  4-day, 16-hour course to build a 3D printer from the ground up. Through this course you will learn how to use a 3D printer and the underlying mechanics, electronics, and software. By the end of this course you will be able to begin your adventure at the frontier of additive manufacturing. 

What is 3D printing?

    • 3D printing is an additive manufacturing process where a 3-dimensional object is created layer by layer from a computer model to a physical object. In this course you will be building a FFF (fused filament fabrication) printer which utilizes biodegradable PLA (poly-lactic acid) thermoplastic as its primary material.

What is RepRap?

  • RepRap stands for Self-Replicating Rapid Prototyper; a project that in 2007 ignited global interest in 3D printing. RepRap initiated a rush of grassroots innovation in additive manufacturing and open source hardware. This course is a part of the RepRap project.

What is open-source-appropriate technology (OSAT)?

    • Open-source: “developed in the open and licensed in such a way as to allow their designs to be used, modified and distributed freely.” -Wikipedia
    • Appropriate technology: “technology that is designed with special consideration to the environmental, ethical, cultural, social, political, and economic aspects of the community it is intended for” -Wikipedia 

Example Course schedule:

Week 1 – Feb 14 –  Saturday – 1-5pm Printer primer
Assemble frame, electronics,
Week 2 – Feb 21 –  Saturday – 1-5pm Extruder/Effector/Tie-rods and pulleys
wiring, firmware
Week 3 – Feb 28 –  Saturday – 1-5pm
Firmware and Software/Finishing


Week 4 – Mar 7 –  Saturday – 1-5pm Calibration/Basics/Troubleshooting


Class expectations: Attendance is required to complete your 3D printer on time. You will need a laptop that can play videos, connect to wifi, and has functional USB ports. Mac or PC is ok.

Printer Statistics:

  • Print media: PLA only (a heated bed and upgraded power supply can be added, expanding media options)
  • Filament diameter: 1.75mm using a a Wade’s reloaded geared extruder
  • Nozzle diameter: 0.5mm j-head mk v
  • Print volume: 230 mm diameter,  210mm high cylindrical build volume
  • Resolution: 100-350 micron layer height, minimum pixel size determined by nozzle size (500 micron)
  • Melzi print controller w/ integrated micro-SD card reader or RAMPS 1.4 w/ optional LCD/SD screen
  • 7 micron positional accuracy (GT2 timing pulley and belts with 1/16 microstepping)

Outside Build Resources:

Class Tuition:

  • Get a 3D printer all to yourself – $1300
  • Build a 3D printer for us – $300 
  • You’re welcome to build a printer with an additional friend (up to 2 friends) at no additional cost

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