Did you know you can build a DLP or SLA 3D printer on your own? Sure, it takes some time and expertise. But the solutions are affordable and relatively easy to build. While we wouldn’t advise anyone without some experience with 3D printing and DIY to take on a project that involves lasers and electricity, it’s not that hard.
Don’t miss: 20 Best Cheap DIY 3D Printer Kits in Spring 2018
The advantages 3D printers based on SLA technology compared to any FDM printer (like Makerbot, Ultimaker, all the printers with a nozzle basically) are improved resolution and speed. The drawbacks are a higher material cost and limited choices of materials you can use in an SLA 3D printer. But the resins, now costing up to several hundred bucks per liter, may get more affordable too. The original resin for Formlab’s Form-Series comes at an okay 150$ per liter. But the Form 1, being one of the more affordable options in our List of the best SLA 3D printers you can buy, is slightly above a price point where you can get a DIY SLA printer ready.
Of course, you can always buy one of those pre-assembled or ready out-of-the-box SLA printers, but do you mind spending $20 to have some fun with your first 3D printer that uses the same technology? That’s the price tag two projects have (because they already had a projector to use. If you don’t have one at home, you’ll need to get one and the price goes up accordingly).
On the BuildYourOwnSLA.com forum, user “mystamo”, shortly Mo, figured out a way to build a very cheap DIY SLA printer with the help of an Arduino Uno Microcontroller, a stepper driver, a DVD drive laser rail and a glass vat, all of which he either got for cheap on eBay or in a local store. Some wire and perf board were laying around at Mo’s home, but again each item is only a few dollars.
The printer, of course, has the ragtag homemade look. But we suppose the results it produced in the first few test runs aren’t bad at all.
DIY SLA printers could even be built as school projects. One example is the DIY SLA printer project by Dustin Klenke, a physics, robotics, and biology teacher at Union High School. His version of a DIY SLA printer costs only about $20 in parts from the hardware store (except for the projector, again).
His SLA 3D printer uses a gel, which is hardened 5-10 seconds layer by layer with a regular data projector. The beam is focused on the build plate with the help of a magnifying glass.
Each layer is a slide in a PowerPoint presentation. The PowerPoint slide from the projector is black and white. The white parts get cured, and the resin stays liquid where the image is black. After each image, the build plate is lowered for the height of one layer, submerging the printed structure in the resin again.
These cheap DIY SLA printer projects to build yourself ranging from full instructions to just some hardware to control your Do It Yourself-machine.
What is it? nanoDLP is a software to control a DIY DLP 3D printer with a Raspberry Pi. It is accessible by connecting to Raspberry Pi through a web browser
Accepts SLC file as input. Also, the software output the images on HDMI port of Raspberry Pi. It even controls Z-Axis, Shutter and other hardware.
What is it? It’s also an instruction on how to build a Laser 3D Printer. It uses real lasers, so it delivers very exact details. According to the instructors, it “is still a bit of a work in progress but so far it is working pretty well. This is mainly an experiment which started as a Delta Robot Stereolithography Printer but ended as a more traditional Cartesian Stereolithography Printer.”
Be warned: This project involves fiddling around with lasers – these can be dangerous to operate without laser safety glasses!
Where can I find it? Also on Instructables.
What is this? The “Chimera: $60 DLP High-Res 3D Printer” does not only have an inspring name, the fact that it’s an DIY SLA printer made by a 22 year old engineering graduate adds to the awesomeness. This guy also did a FDM 3D printer based on Lego and some stepper motors.
Where can I find more info? At “Chimera: $60 DLP High-Res 3D Printer.
What is it? It’a a blueprint on building your own SLA 3D Printer. The “Little Dipper” costs you under $500. Good thing is: It has an projector and resin included in the $500 (or below) budget which gives you probably the best bang-for-your-buck 3D printers using SLA resin.
Get the info: at Instructables
What is it? “Build Your Own Damn 3D Printer” is a paid video tutorial you can get for as low as 7$ and helps you build a working SLA 3D printer which amounts to 680$, projector included.
The tutorial is covering the DIY build of a high resolution stereolithography resin printer, based on the same technology as Form 1, Kudo Titan and B9 creator. You’ll be using parts from Ebay to make a high-quality printer using the same tech as the top commercial printers.
Find the instructions at Gumroad.
What is it? Hackaday has a great summary of available 3D printing resins that work with SLA printers and their pricing and availability.
Get it right here.
If we missed your favorite cheap DIY SLA printer please let us know in the comments.
License: The text of "8 Cheapest DIY Resin (DLP/SLA) 3D Printers from $20" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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