The Hardware

June 27th, 2013

I started with selecting a projector:

DELL 5100MP –

It might not be the best for the purpose, but it has a 1400×1050 (only through the Analog VGA connector) native resolution and a 300W P-VIP lamp. The extrusion, that the projector will be mounted to, should have about 50mm on both sides ( the 5100MP is about 330mm wide ) so I have it at 420mm.

IMPORTANT:You are free to select other projectors and the frame should be able to accommodate most ( if not all) of them.

Bosch-Rexroth Aluminum Extrusions 40×40 Light

4  – 400мм – Extrusion 40х40 L – for the corners
1  – 320мм – Extrusion 40х40 L – for the VAT crossmember
1  – 105мм – Extrusion 40х40 L – for the VAT tilt LS3-1
1  – 305мм – Extrusion 40х40 L – for the Z axis THK KR20
2  – 160мм – Extrusion 40х40 L – for the projector X movement
9  – 420мм – Extrusion 40х40 L – for the frame and one for the projector
26 -  Corner gussets with bolts for 40х40 - 3842 529 383
4 -  End cap 40х40 – 3842 528 968

Linear Slides:

THK KR2001A+200L for the Z Axis

It has a 140mm useful stroke and a single block. Motor mount is for a NEMA17, but need to make a motor plate.
It also has a 1mm ball screw lead – meaning for every full revolution of the screw, the
block will move 1mm. When we calculate a 1mm/200 motor steps = 5 Microns. I will not be using micro stepping on the controllers so.. 5 micron per step.

DELTRON LRS3-1 for the VAT Tilt

It has a 25mm useful stroke and a solid, built like a tank construction. Motor mount is NEMA23

You can also use a different method/device like the one seen in the video below:

  1. August 12th, 2011 at 05:25 | #1

    awesome blog, do you have twitter or facebook? i will bookmark this page thanks.

  2. Jake
    August 22nd, 2011 at 17:03 | #2

    What are the odds we can get a breakdown of the build cost?

    • Printer
      August 23rd, 2011 at 15:01 | #3

      @Jake – The costs vary, due to prices of the Bosch-Rexroth extrusions per country ( contact your local dealer ). The major cost components are the extrusions + brackets, projector and slides. I have sourced them through Ebay, so prices vary ( all together under a thou ). Most other hardware can be bought or sourced from Local hardware store and junk yards.

  3. November 17th, 2011 at 08:25 | #4

    does it matter what lamp the projector has? Can it be a LED projector?

  4. Eichman
    December 23rd, 2011 at 05:24 | #6

    This web site is really a walk-through for all of the info you wanted about this and didn

  5. Meysam
    January 25th, 2012 at 22:01 | #7

    I can’t use DELL 5100MP because it’s unreachable in my country.
    May I use projector with LCD display type ?
    What is your opinion about this type of this projector ?

    • Printer
      January 27th, 2012 at 00:07 | #8

      Hi Meysam, it can be used. Depending on the resolution and the build area you require, you can select from a wide range of projectors. For now the LCD or LCoS have not been tested.

  6. Meysam
    February 1st, 2012 at 19:20 | #9

    I have 3 questions :
    1)If I use kind of projector that has 230W light source instead of 300W light source , What does it has effect on my works?
    2)May I use projector with 1024×768 resolution ?
    3)Why did you use LEE Filter ? (Because this filter block UV light but you used UV resin)

    Best Regard

    • Printer
      February 2nd, 2012 at 21:08 | #10

      Hi Meysam, you can use a lower powered projector and turn off the Economy mode. Also it will cure a bit slower than the one I’m using, but not that much slower. I have been using mine in Economy mode – 2650 lumen and have not seen any problems. You can use any projector resolution, but your final desired tolerances will suffer, for example:
      If you require 0.1mm resolution then your max build area will be 102.4mm X 76.8mm, but if you want 0.05mm then you will end up with an area of 56.2mm X 38.4mm.

      The Lee Filters were used only for the testing phase of the printer. I still use them to focus my projector and not damage my eyes. You can use any other appropriate and recommended eye protection.

      All the best.

  7. hadi
    February 3rd, 2012 at 09:43 | #11

    Hi Printer :D
    Thanks for your grate blog.
    I think you have a mistake you use a filter that block UV and you need UV light to polymerize resin. I think you need UV pass filter (block IR and Red) am I right?

    • Printer
      February 4th, 2012 at 19:58 | #12

      @Hadi – The Filter is used only for focusing and is removed after. It protects your eyes in addition to the normal precautionary measures taken and recommended by the projector manufacturer and OSHA ;-)

  8. ChrisO
    February 4th, 2012 at 08:19 | #13

    Great work on the printer and the documentation!

    Could you include the materials for the “build base” (I mean the piece of glass that the part sticks to) and also for the vat? I saw in your January 18th post that you are planning to post about the build base and I’m very interested in that.


    • Printer
      February 8th, 2012 at 12:13 | #14

      Your Wish is My Command! – See the first February post.


  9. ChrisO
    February 5th, 2012 at 06:35 | #15

    I poked around your site a bit more today and found the BOM for the vat. ( 3DLPrint Vat BOM ) It is still regular old soda-lime glass, correct? But the build base is thicker and special borosilicate glass?

    Also I found a source for the Teflon FEP sheet for the vat liner. Min $50 order, but a 12″x12″x1/32″ = $139, 12″x12″x1/16″ = $174, so looks like that’s no problem =) Doers it matter what type of Teflon FEP? This stuff is the “160″ variant:Teflon FEP sheet for vat

    • Printer
      February 5th, 2012 at 10:48 | #16

      Hi ChrisO, It is still regular 5mm soda-lime glass and it works well. The borosilicate was only if I could not get good results with regular. The “build base” is 10mm regular glass.
      The Teflon FEP foil works if you could manage to stretch it mechanically on top of the VAT glass and the build area is not large, and the resin is a lower viscosity.
      Sorry I don’t know what Dupont FEP 160 sheet looks like. It needs to be optically clear film ( 3mil, 5mil ).

  10. ChrisO
    February 5th, 2012 at 19:19 | #17

    Thank you much for the response!

    I found another source for the FEP, this one for the optically clear tape (film with adhesive backing). Price = $42.42 including s/h for 12″x12″.
    FEP tape

  11. February 9th, 2012 at 00:32 | #18

    Hi Peter,
    Great work!
    Is there a step by step instruction guide in the future? I am familiar with mach 3 but all the other stuff is mumbo jumbo to me.

    Also, I had an Idea that maybe the bottom of the vat could be a layer of clear silicone. Silicone will stick to glass but will not stick to anything else! Maybe then tilting the vat would no longer be necessary.

    I would like to build one so maybe I will try the silicone. I would probably need your guidance on the software set up though. Are you up for it?

    • Printer
      February 9th, 2012 at 10:29 | #19

      Hi Jerrett, there may be a “Step-by-Step”, I have not decided yet, as I will need time to synthesize and put it together. By using Mach3 Demo I only have to worry about the licensing of XP. The credit goes to John Watson for the Mach3 macro, I modified it to suit my needs.
      On the idea of a silicone lined VAT I have already tried that and it works, but not as well as Teflon. It still has a future and I will explore the idea once I have more resin and time. The vat tilt is needed unless you resin is in the 50~600 cP viscosity range.

  12. February 9th, 2012 at 20:41 | #20

    Ahh I see. I had another idea to rotate the vat but I guess the issue is not sticking to the vat but getting fresh resin between the model and the vat bottom.

  13. Rebecca
    March 7th, 2012 at 11:37 | #21

    Hi Printer,
    This is Rebecca. I came across one of your post on DENTAL LAB FORUM that you are interested in Jewelry and Dental application. I would like to introduce you our white light 3d scanner.

    Please have a look at the clip to get more information. If you want any further information, please send a mail to me.

    Thank you.

    • Printer
      March 7th, 2012 at 16:35 | #22

      Hi Rebecca,
      Nice Scanner, but a little pricey.
      I would maybe build one or go for a used Dental Wings Scanner if I need one.

  14. Jon Favreau
    April 7th, 2012 at 10:35 | #23

    Howdy! I’m at work browsing your blog from phone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the excellent work!

  15. John
    April 7th, 2012 at 17:29 | #24

    Great site Peter. I am impressed with the level of work you have accomplished here and even more impressed that you and others that have contributed to this work are willing to share your research and findings.

    I have looked over your site and many others in an effort to construct a similar device and can see each piece to the puzzle but have yet to assemble it.

    Junior has gone public it would seem with plans and even complete kits. Should I wait until the plans are available or is their a complete plan here on your site (I have seen hardware/software pages) that offers dimensions, parts etc. Guess you could say I am looking for a complete plan.

    To me this is the coolest thing that has happened in 3d printing since I have been watching its progress over the last 5 or so years.

    Thanks for sharing!

  16. John
    April 7th, 2012 at 17:47 | #25

    Just curious, I have noticed after watching Junior’s video about 1000 times that there is no vat tilt readily apparent. Is this due to the type of resin being used or am i just hallucinating?

    Thanks again

    • Printer
      April 9th, 2012 at 00:11 | #26

      @John – You may have a cloud of misinformation pulled over your eyes. Don’t believe everything you see on YouTube. Just because the video is assembled and he took pictures only when the VAT was in the up most position does not mean he is not using it.


  17. John
    April 9th, 2012 at 03:20 | #27

    Of course there should have been a strobe effect. Probably take me about ten minutes in After Effects to correct that anomaly.

    To tell the truth I’d would be happy just to pay you for the plans if your willing. If I had them I could begin construction immediately instead of waiting. I like the simplicity of juniors software tho. I have used Mach 3 and understand Powerpoint well enough but the interface on Junior’s software is a bit more elegant and user friendly.

    Anyway please consider my proposition and whatever reasonable figure you come up with would be satisfactory to me.


    • Printer
      April 9th, 2012 at 18:50 | #28

      Hi John, If you use a strobe light or a photo flash you’ll cure the resin in the VAT. It is more like a Video editing software cutting everything except every 24th frame from the starting frame. I have the general material description on every post on the blog, but you’ll have to make a few decisions before you start with plans and purchases:

      1. Max object build size XY and in Z. ( make some provisions for future quality and size)
      2. Min and Max resolution of the XY for the objects. same as above
      3. Min and Max resolution of the Z for the objects. same as above
      4. Speed in mm/h or in/h.

      Then you can start making a selection list of the projectors ( price and resolution – look for the NATIVE resolution numbers ) and from the projector size to the Frame size and VAT size.


  18. John
    April 9th, 2012 at 12:28 | #29

    Off to day job (commercial printing industry) but wanted to pose a critical question if I might. What is the maximum build size as the printer is presently configured? Here are the specs from Junior’s site:

    The printing area for the kit will be 150 mm X 112 mm X 200 mm (XYZ). The user can modify the printing area size. Printing smaller is easier and will not require any mechanical change on the machine, but printing big will require a lot of changes on the kit.
    All this required changes will be explained in our Documents.

    Please forgive me if I am a pain, seems once I am started there is no stopping until I reach my goal. In fact I am already searching for the necessary components on ebay before work this morning.

    Thanks again for your trouble


    • Printer
      April 9th, 2012 at 18:39 | #30

      Hi John, I have configured mine currently @41 micron 57.25 x 43.25 mm as I’m doing models for the jewelry industry.
      I have scaled it down to 28 micron and build size is appx. 36mm x 28mm. Again for high quality jewelry, but only single pieces.
      Also have tested it @75 micron and build size ~ 100 x 76 mm.That was only for testing. I have no use for a resolution of 50 micron or above, but the projector can be modded to work at 100 micron ( build area 140mm x 105mm ) or 200 micron for a 280mm x 210mm ( almost A4 size ) and 130mm Z Vertical.
      Seems he has it set around @150 micron if using a projector with a native resolution of 1024 x 768 .


  19. John
    April 9th, 2012 at 22:53 | #31

    Thanks very much!

    This is good news indeed.

    For me .005″ ± .002 is adequate. Having the ability to adjust to a finer resolution is an added plus which I will take advantage of in the future. Thanks very much for taking time out to help me on this.

    Hope you will have a chance to consider my offer regarding plans. Oh, and if by this request I am breaking some rule of etiquette here then please let me know. I’ll blame it on senility and call it a day.

    To be frank, I am just tired of spending hours processing files in Geomagic Studio then sending them to New York and waiting four weeks to get them back. Then I get to pour a mold, pour some wax, send it out for another four weeks. Lets not forget to mention the expense involved.

    This will save me oodles (large quantity) of time in the end.

    Thanks again,

  20. April 15th, 2012 at 04:23 | #32

    I know of ways to remove the lamps from almost any dlp projector. Could replacing the lamp with a high powered UV led improve the process? If the colors are removed and one source is used the image will be “monocrome” I have done this before with a single white LED and the results were a very crisp b/w image. With UV input it would function the same. Just my .02

    • Printer
      April 16th, 2012 at 23:00 | #33

      Hi Wayne, I would guess that it will work. It will need some collimation, but I’m keeping it KISS. If it works, why mess with it?


  21. Toby
    April 15th, 2012 at 19:42 | #34

    I have some questions regarding the printer and UV cure resin in general.

    1. You mention X travel. What is this? Is this the tilting if the VAT, or does something else move?
    2. Is VAT in acronym for something or does it just mean a container for the resin?
    3. You mentioned that the tilting VAT is only needed for 50~600 cP viscosity resins. Why not just use a different viscosity resin and eliminate a complex element of the build?
    4. Is the purpose of the silicone/teflon lined VAT to prevent the newly polymerized layer from sticking to the bottom of the VAT? The instructables laser diode video uses the top surface of the resin instead of the bottom as the cure point. Would this solve the problem?
    5. How do you control the layer height? I understand you could use the Z travel to control it to some extent but there would still be problems for any areas where the new layer is not backed up by the previous layer (e.g. towards the end of printing a ring where the circle begins to close up; whats to stop the light from shining too deep into the resin?). You mention dye to make it opaque bit this doesnt seem like it would give you much control over layer height.
    6. I think you mentioned somewhere that the exposure time does not change the layer height. Did I understand this correctly?
    7. Can light intensity be used as a means of speeding up the printing? You mentioned that you have your projector on Econo mode. Why? Couldnt you just turn it up and print quicker?
    8. In the post titled “First Fully Printed Object” you said that there was enongation due to not having vertical compensation. What did you mean by this? Is the problem calibration of the Z axis? Or does the part stretch and droop because it’s soft and suspended from the top?
    9. Early on you were troubleshooting some problems with barrell distortion (rounded edges) from the projector. I’m not sure I understand exactly how this was corrected. You added a spacer to move the front lens further away from the projector. Is that all? Did you need to purchase any special lenses etc?
    10. Does the projector cause a great deal of localised heating on the bottom of the resin VAT? Does using plexiglass fix this, or does the heat cause problems for the plexiglass?
    11. You have some excellent looking photos in your gallery. I’m afraid that the colour of the resin makes it hard to see the surface detail. Is it possible for you to post some more pics where the surface detail is easier to see? I would love to see some of the other things you have printed too.
    12. What are some of the really annoying challenges that need to be overcome in order to get good quality prints like your rings?
    13. How would you rate the DLP method against other methods that people might be considering (e.g. the extruders, CNC, plaster and binder printing etc.) in terms of convenience and quality?

    Many thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I was very happy to stumble across your site. You are playing an important part in the history of our species. William Blake said that anything possible to be imagined is an image of truth. I’ve imained lots of things but I’m having trouble making them true. When we all have your DLP printer, William Blake will be very happy with us!

    • Printer
      April 17th, 2012 at 00:00 | #35

      Hi Toby,

      phew I’ll try to get through all of them:

      1 – X is my letter of choice to tilt the VAT. You could use the Y, Z, A, B, or C. Just picked X.
      2 – The word “vat” is just that – a tank or a tub for holding liquids.
      3 – rather it can be used only with low viscosity resins say 50~600 maybe up to a 800~900. With the higher viscosity, the vacuum force is much too great and you will need to use it with an additional method to lower that force ( maybe a shearing action first and then tilt).
      4 – That is the idea of the teflon also. Yes, the Top-Lit will eliminate this problem to a degree and create another 3 “problems” – because you will have to find a way of smoothing the resin from the top to control the uniform thickness of the layers and you have to find the money to fill a bucket with resin say 2 gallons if you want to print a large object 8.5L x $200 per liter = $1700 just to fill it with resin. Also you need to compensate for the metal going into the resin and raising the level.
      5 – Hope you will try it with dye and see the results for yourself. I can cure a layer of 10 micron with the right concentration and exposure time. It is very effective, believe me.
      6 – You misunderstood it. The longer exposure time after a certain point does not mean a thicker layer. So, if I expose the resin for say 2 min and 20 min it is all the same thickness. The layer is controlled by the dye very effectively and that is what you want.
      7 – I can take steps to put more energy in the resin, but you need a somewhat controlled process. If I give it all I’ve got, the resin might start to develop cracks and it might not have any tackiness to bond to the next layer. So you do not want to fully cure a layer – only a partial cure and the next layer will have somewhere to grab onto. If you want to speed up the printing – yes it can be done, but it is a matter of priorities – a little bit longer to print, but problem free. When I separated a layer too fast, I cracked a glass vat 5mm thick. Do I want to run on the edge and twist metal possibly breaking the printer just to shave off 10 minutes?
      8 – The part does not droop or stretch, but when you try to control a stepper to 25 micron you will end up with some layers being slightly more than 25 ( maybe 27-28 ) micron thick. So you scale the object in the Z axis by the amount you measure from you prints (in CAD at the time of design ). You kind of compensate for that thickness. Or you can alternatively move the Z axis by less than 25 micron and it will work also. Most printers have this problem and have either one of the solutions, maybe others.
      9 – I did not replace the original lens. I just moved it outward. The barrel problem is when I used an additional lens to try to not mess with the factory lens. Only a spacer.Keep reading you will get the idea.
      10 – Actually the localized hearing is good for lowering the resin viscosity. It makes it a bit more reactive. I’m not too concerned about it at this point. When I close up the sides ( Yes,I will leave all the other posts – I’m not JR ) I will see if it is a problem for the projector mainly and then for the resin. but I have already planned a fan to take care of the heat if I need to.
      11 – I’ve got some other things printed, but with the same color it will be hard to see. There will be more in the future and will try different dyes.
      12 – Since this is a labor of love, I’m not annoyed by anything, rather it provokes thoughts and one of the big challenges was the Teflon Foil. Should it be adhered to the plexi, should it have a balloon of air under it, should it be of silicone… After reading some ( there isn’t a lot of information on it, but was hard to find ) and testing some I got to this point.
      13 – It is probably the most streamlined and simple of the above – 2 axis ( or even one axis and a solenoid ) and a projector. 3 axis + Extruders – not a good XY resolution, CNC – 1 ring at a time or max 4-5 at a time on a rotary and it is great – my wax mill is good to 20 micron, but I don’t have a rotary axis yet, Plaster is messy and does not serve me the purpose, although powder wax binding maybe a good option. When you print with resin, then why would you need an extruder in terms of speed?

      The most interesting side effect is, that you can now print what once you thought was impossible to exist and it is very hard for some people to shake that off to free the mind from restrictions that are self imposed.

      Happy Easter Mate!

  22. Hans
    April 21st, 2012 at 22:48 | #36

    I am planning to put a machine together. It will have small travel small build requirements and high resolution looking for between .025 and .050. I want to use my projector, Its an Optima-TH1020 –>>

    At max resolution 1920 x 1080 16:9 with .050mm z resolution what can i expect my build area to be?

    • Printer
      April 27th, 2012 at 09:14 | #37

      Hi Hans, you can expect a 1/4 of the size of the 100 micron. 1920×1080 will give you a 192mm X 108mm @100, so @50 you will get a 96mm x 59mm. At 25 micron you can expect a further reduction of the area to 48mm X 29.5mm in XY. As to the Z resolution, you can use any Z you want, but practical is 25 micron. You can go to 10 micron if need be, but the build times will be longer.

  23. John
    April 24th, 2012 at 02:59 | #38

    Can someone help me with a posting? I continue to have difficulty in understanding how it is possible to lift the exposed resin from the teflon foil without lifting it up from the bottom of the vat. Is it secured there in some way? This confounds me as everything else seems to make perfect sense. As I have little else to occupy my time until i receive plans from junior I have been doodling in 3d. I posted them on your facebook link for the fun of it. I suspect much of it will be inaccurate especially the build base. Am thinking I will use a dovetail slide with locking mechanism on the build base instead of the wing nuts. I am fortunate to have access a full machine shop so this will simplify things a bit for me. Mostly thinking of cosmetic changes until I can buy and assemble the real thing.


    • Printer
      April 27th, 2012 at 09:08 | #39

      Hi John, I don’t have a machine shop ( a Drill press and a few other basic metalworking tools ) and I chose the wing nuts as a hardware store solution. They do extremely well.
      There is a teflon film with an adhesive on one side. I was sent a sample, but it did not work – meaning the cured resin was “sucked” from the build base and ended up in the VAT. You can try it if you can get a hold of it. If you look at the Videos from JR you will see the teflon film laying in the VAT.

  24. John
    April 26th, 2012 at 03:39 | #40

    I found a bargain basement projector that allows for a resolution of 1280 x 1024 XGA – 1100 ansi lumens and a contrast ratio of 500:1 I am concerned about the poor contrast ratio and the amount of light produced but do you think it would work. It would enable me to start on this project now instead of waiting two more months. The price iss excellent as it includes two additional bulbs.

    It is a Compaq MP2810…found on craig’s list for $200.00 American

    • Printer
      April 27th, 2012 at 09:32 | #41

      Hi John,
      Cons: The Compaq is a 1024×768 Native ( the XGA is actually the compressed resolution ) and the bulb is 120W – pretty weak. The bulbs last 1000 hours ( ok, you have 2 more ), but most modern projectors have bulbs that last at least 2000 hours.

      Pros: You can get started, but will need to upgrade to another projector in 2 months anyway ( this goes to cons ).

      My advice: All in All you will spend 200 for something you have already outgrown. Scan Ebay/Craig for something better in the 200W+ bulb range if you want descent cure times.


  25. John
    April 30th, 2012 at 01:49 | #42

    Thanks Peter,
    I appreciate your taking time out to answer as you are my only real source of information to date.
    Is it safe to assume you have lined the vat in silicone then to prevent the dislodging of the cured resin from the build base? Seems to be the answer for now. As Junior’s videos have been edited for commercial purposes I have decided not to put to much weight in what I see, the usual practice I apply to internet images and video.

    I have observed on both your site and others a thin film which is secured to the sides of the vat with alligator clips. Mylar or some similar material. Is this held to the base of the vat with a thin layer of silicone? I have noted in past postings you have used a thin layer of silicone and it works but that it is not the most efficient/satisfactory method to date.

    What is the stand off distance from the bottom of the build base and the bottom of the vat? How do you compensate for backlash in the ball screw or does this have any affect on the build? Seems as tho this would have an adverse affect when the base is raised to provide clearance for the vat to tilt and then lowered once again into position for the DLP to do its job.

    Junior has indicated that using a projector greater than 1024 x 768 would over expose the newer, less expensive resin he is in the process of formulating. At $150.00 American per liter the cost seems very reasonable. Personally I am inclined to modest price for a higher resolution.

    I have anticipated you response to the projector question and am currently searching for a higher quality project as of last night. I am limiting myself to a 1080p regardless of the resin concerns I have.

    Can you explain exactly the exact purpose behind tilting the vat? Does it physically dislodge the exposed resin from the bottom of the vat?

    Any insight or help you offer is very much appreciated.

    Thanks again

    • Printer
      April 30th, 2012 at 13:33 | #43

      Hi John,
      The VAT is only lined with the teflon film and some plexi strips and being held with the clips. There is no silicone on the bottom. The film just clings to the Plexi and is stretched just a bit to the sides by the tension of the clips. The build base standoff question I don’t understand. There is no backlash (only the backlash in specifications from THK) since I’m using a preloaded and complete linear module. I don’t follow JR closely. The 1920×1080 should be a little larger than my 1400×1050. The tilt is necessary for the cured resin to stay stuck to the build base ( top ) and continue to build. Some resins do not stick well to glass, others stick to metal better, so it is a matter of access to resins. So the tilt lowers the force to kind of peel the cured resin layer and leave it on the top rather than being stuck to the VAT.


  26. John
    April 30th, 2012 at 01:58 | #44

    Looks as tho I am not able to edit after posting. Hope you can read between the lines. Next time I’ll use Indesign to compose so my thoughts are not so disorganized. Biggest concern is understanding the purpose behind tilting the vat.

    I am also very curious about the small build lines I have seen in your printed models and in Juniors as well. My only theory is that it must be caused by the repositioning of the build base each time it is moved up and down. Could this not be caused by the repeatability of the linear actuator? just some thoughts.

    • Printer
      April 30th, 2012 at 13:39 | #45

      Hi John, The build lines are a normal “Defect” of the layers stuck together. Believe me, you do not feel them with your finger and barely with fingernails. When you break the piece up, the insides are as if it was made in one go – it is uniform and there are no lines. Remember that it is a layered process and the smaller the Z layer step the less you can see them.
      BTW the pictures of the lines you see are done with a X45 magnification, so it is barely visible with a naked eye.

  27. John
    April 30th, 2012 at 23:34 | #46

    Ahso I suspected as much. Stepping in images appears to be similar to a human finger print only the ridges are much closer together. Well I opted for the same projector as your own because I was able to buy it for next to nothing on craigslist. Perhaps in the future when the price of 1080P becomes more reasonable I will buy one of those, until then this will do fine. Lucked out today and bought an older LP gas container I will be using for a casting furnace once the T-Rex burner arrives. Hopefully by next weekend I will be pouring some bronze. Until then I am off in search a new linear motion actuator which so far I have had little luck in finding.

    Just found one on ebay and am bidding presently. Hope to get ir for $135.00

    By the way all I intend to use this for is high resolution 3d scanning of human subjects, retopo in zbrush and final product will be a personalized bust mostly face and ears of human subjects in bronze. Currently I am sending files out to service bureau and they require a great deal of lead time plus shipping etc.

    Hope you post images of your final product on your blog as I am sure everyone will be interested in seeing the finish.

    Also hoping someone will be able to formulate a resin which provides a clean burn out. man thats a lot of hoping.

    This all reminds me of one of my first experiences with computers and printing some twenty years ago, at least where it relates to printing. Sorta like comparing a nine-pin impact dot matrix printer to a 300 dpi laser printer. The industry standard was the epson FX80 printer driver which allowed the user to index the roller 1/72″ in order to enhance the quality of output.


    • Printer
      May 1st, 2012 at 00:22 | #47

      Hi John, I wish you good luck with the auction. That will get you One big step closer as you will have the major components. The burn out might be a bit of a problem since you will be printing a thick resin ( or maybe hollow ). Generally I would add a little expense of creating a cold silicone mold and then fill with regular casting wax and know for sure that I will get a clean burnout. I was around back then too and I remember it well. The Panasonic 9 pin KX was the competitor.



  28. May 4th, 2012 at 18:15 | #48

    Hi Peter,
    I have just compared my linear slide with yours and noticed a „difference“ regarding the resolution.
    You are using a thread pitch of 1mm (=1000µm). 1000 / 200 = 5µm. Not 50!

    By the way: I have just finished the frame for the printer and mounted the linear slide. For the frame I have used eloxed aluminium square tubes from the DIY market, 30x30x2mm and 2m long. Sawn in pieces and connected by three-armed plastic connectors which had to be driven into the tubes. It’s cheap and stable, but very difficult to remove. More correct: Impossible.


    • Printer
      May 6th, 2012 at 13:04 | #49

      Hi WalterMo,
      Yes, the resolution in Z is 5 micron in full step. The resolution in XY ( the projector ) is around 41 micron.
      Point taken and correction made. Thanks!
      Congrats on the frame, but make sure you can’t budge that vertical if you are going to use the from the bottom lit VAT.



  29. John
    May 4th, 2012 at 23:47 | #50

    Purchased the KR2001A+200LP0-0000 today at a cost of $150.00. My original bid was $135.00 with a max of $150.00. Funny how that worked out.

    Just one question for this weekend Peter. How were you able to focus the dell into such a tight high resolution image? I have in my possession the same model projector. It appears to me that one would need to move the lens forward in order to focus the light into a tight beam. Did you remove the cover to accomplish the following from your website?

    Cut a piece of 70mm sewer pipe that is 22mm high. Slid it over the lens assembly and fired up the projector…

    Guess this part is a bit confusing. any advise you might have would be greatly appreciated. Until then I am going to disassemble this thing to see how the focusing system on this projector works.

    Thanks again,


    • Printer
      May 6th, 2012 at 13:07 | #51

      Hi John, Congrats on the auction. It is a used one – hope it is in good condition. The lens tube slides out a tad by using 3 standoffs. There is a detailed post with a walk thru. Also read the comments as the complete procedure for the dis-assembly and reassembly was sent to me by another follower.


  30. John
    May 5th, 2012 at 03:01 | #52

    Once again Sorry peter after searching about I found the pages that relate to the projector. Thanks to your excellent instructions I was able to pull it off without a hitch. Darn focus ring limiting screw was a pain but in the end it gave up the ghost. Not sure just how much additional adjustment this provides but it seems like a good idea. I am now at the point where I am to lock the focal distance and this is where I stop for the evening. Thanks again for sharing, it made my life much easier tonight and of course I now understand the concept as well. Off to see the Avengers then.


    • Printer
      May 6th, 2012 at 13:09 | #53

      Glad to be of help and that it worked out. Hope you got to the section with the 3 standoffs. It is a much tighter mod.


  31. John
    May 6th, 2012 at 21:19 | #54

    Bought the Bosch Rexroth extruded framing materials (used) off ebay just to day. Cost was $130.00 with shipping included. Purchased more than I needed but will attempt to sell what I do not use. Am currently searching for a source which will allow for a single purchase of not only standoffs for the projector (excellent idea by the way) but also the stand offs used for mounting the projector to the plate attached to the frame. So far the best I could do on ebay were nylon standoffs but I fear they may not be able to withstand the heat generated by the projector lamp. Am looking for aluminum, stainless or brass. Will also buy the gussets & corner brackets today. I now have the majority of the more expensive components.

    The one thing that really gets to me the most about this project is within the last two three months I sold my cnc sherline lathe along with some other components I pirated from work off an obsolete Crosfield Lightspeed Drum Scanner. I could have used the cnc components from the Sherline and have been half way there.

    The good thing tho is that I am selling my Hardinge horizontal mill this week and it will pay for most of the project.

    Thanks Again

    • Printer
      May 9th, 2012 at 14:54 | #55

      Ha! A drum scanner! I have not seen one of those in years. What wouldn’t I give for a lathe and a mill… Wish I had the lathes ( M550 Lathe clone of Harrison ) we used in schools. Rock solid and took a beating, but kept going. The mills were “FU 251″ – a Deckel clone.


  32. John
    May 11th, 2012 at 23:35 | #56

    For myself if given the choice I would have a combination machine. Specifically the Meyer&Berger (Astoba). Now that was one both beautiful and precise machine. The only manual lathes I have access to these days are a Miyanomatic Camless hydro-lathe (single spindle screw machine with a vertical slide, cross slide and six station turret head. and a Warner & Swasey number four turret lathe. Everything else is CNC and always in use for production. My elder brother owns the shop, I work for a commercial printer as a prepress operator.

    Am finally in possession of the extruded aluminum from Bosch but had to buy 45 x 45 as it was all that was available on e-bay. Linear slide arrived just today. Cost me $150.00 American which was 30 more than I wanted to spend but shipping costs were included. To late to back out now I’m all in.

    Could I ask where you bought the standoffs for the projector and mount? I am having a difficult time finding a source with these items available in stock. I would really appreciate it as that part can be completed in a few hours.

    Have considered welding the support structure together in an effort to cut costs as the gussets and corner pieces seem incredibly expensive but have a few more items to buy before I make that decision. Just finding a source was and still is a pain.

    The linear slide looks like a piece of jewlery, beautiful fit and finish so I am glad you suggested it. This one appears brand new except some shop residue and the rubber boot designed to protect the screw at the bottom was a bit frogged up.

    Tonight I am in the market for the two motors and two AA batteries for this so called magic mouse from Apple.

    Well, thanks again for your help and advice and as always look forward to your posts.

    • Printer
      May 12th, 2012 at 15:13 | #57

      Hi John, I was without Net for a few days ( hale and lightning storms ). Now, instead of the gussets you could use the 80/20 stuff if you have access to it. The gussets need to move ( as you have machinery you know that you may need to adjust ever so slightly or shim some piece to get it to square up ) and be set square, and level. I used the 6mm ( or 1/4″ ) hollow long nut. You can use a hollow standoff and a long bolt. About the linear slide – the important thing is to be smooth running and not have any backlash ( thou in the specs there is of course some ).


  33. John
    May 13th, 2012 at 01:05 | #58

    Hi Peter,

    About the linear slide, that was one of the components I was concerned about, specifically backlash. I placed the LMA on a surface plate and using an Interapid .0005″ indicator I pushed and pulled lightly on the block with very little noticeable movement. I also raised and lowered the block using the ball screw and it started and stopped with each revolution. Not a very scientific approach to be sure but I am satisfied that it is in good condition and am going to operate under the assumption that it will function to factory specs.

    It’s funny you mentioned 80/20 as my brother (machinist with engineering degree) suggested the same. I will probably stick to the original plan and purchase the gussets tho. I am just a skinflint by nature and hate spending more than most. Comes with old age I suspect.

    Any chance of getting your source for the standoffs? I have searched and searched and the best source is digi-key but they don’t have the size I need in stock. Brass, steel or aluminum frankly I’d be happy with anything I could get.

    Today I am creating 3d models of bed mattresses and box springs. Not as exciting or creative as custom designed jewelry but it puts bread on the table. Guess I am back at it then…


    • Printer
      May 15th, 2012 at 23:25 | #59

      I’ll be thankful to even have something similar to the Box Springs and Mattresses jobs, but the reality is different.


  34. John
    May 14th, 2012 at 03:03 | #60

    Am getting ready to croak. Looking all afternoon for a motor mount/bracket to install a nema 17 on the LM actuator to no avail. So do I machine my own or ask Peter if he has any suggestions? Any suggestions Peter?

    • Printer
      May 15th, 2012 at 23:15 | #61

      Hi John, I got mine from a friend, but you could machine your own. Pretty easy job and you can make it from 6mm~10mm thick Delrin or Plexi depending on your motor shaft length.
      There is a standard flange/mount from the THK dealers also.
      Hope it helps.

  35. Imran
    May 17th, 2012 at 00:17 | #62

    Hi Peter,

    Wow, love the site, and the idea. I’m just beginning to understand a comment you made about self-imposed limits. I’m seeing people hitting my design with their limits. Funny.
    So, I’ve designed this RepRap/Mill thing. Big, portable, strong, etc… It’s not a mill. It’s not a printer. It’s both. It’s neither. DLP Resin is something I’d love to add to the design. I want to make an “all in one” bot — something that can do everything — or at least — can be reconstructed ( like Legos ) to do anything.

    Accurate Z with Big mounting surface is something my machine can do. I’d like to use the Bucktown 385nm cure resins — cause they’re cheap :) I’d also like to make it a Pico projector — cause they’re cheap, easy to carry, and readily available. The Dell DLP is no longer made, and taking wild guesses at projector output is no fun.

    Any idea what Pico projectors put out good UV? Anything that I can just get from Amazon?
    Why do you need to tilt the vat ( what law of physics/chemistry/etc… causes this need )?
    Have you tried skeinforge for generating pictures to project? Any good?
    What’s the cheapest resin you’ve heard about? Know if it’s available in US?
    How did you crack the VAT by moving the Z too fast? ( Law of physics — I can’t yet imagine the forces involved. )
    What can’t I make the VAT from — Soda lime glass seems ok. Acrylic? Polycarb?
    And the build plate? ( I hear Aluminum doesn’t work well.. )


    • Printer
      May 20th, 2012 at 17:10 | #63

      Hi Imran,
      On the Pico- I have no idea since there haven’t been any reports back. You can try looking for the Optoma brand or Vivitek since we have people using them.
      On the tilt – you can use other methods if you like.
      I have tried Skein and it fails badly and is painfully slow. I sliced an object in about an hour where FreeSteel slicer did it in under 5 min.
      There is no such thing as cheap resin – just depends on what you will use it for and what physical properties you require ( ABS like or rubbery like, castable or just for a display etc… ).
      The VAT cracked because of the vacuum created when lifting a cured layer. Spread some honey on glass and put another one on top. Now try to separate them.
      You can make the VAT from soda-lime/borosilicate/plexi/acrylic ( depends on the resin you use ), but you still need a liner of sorts on the bottom that can release the cured resin easier.
      As to the build plate(base) you can use glass or aluminum, but make sure the aluminum has some roughness to it so the resin can grab onto something.

      Hope it helps.

  36. kamal
    May 17th, 2012 at 03:07 | #64

    Hi ,John , I m made mine on atrcam and cut it in wax and casted it in brass if you do have a mill machine or you know someone has it I will give you the 3d file or g- cod .

  37. John
    May 22nd, 2012 at 03:00 | #65

    Thank you very much for your generous offer. I have located one on the internet since my last post and so will not need to machine one myself. I have access to a Bridgeport but must drive a considerable distance to take advantage of it. Am waiting on second purchase of standoffs presently as I ordered a 13mm O.A.L. and want something a bit shorter to increase the image area a bit. Say to five inches in width or so. Purchased 6mm standoffs from ebay today. Should do the trick.

    Looks like the B9 creator has been kickstarted and will be up and running soon. Curious to see how it is received by this community of minds. I like the results of what I see here better but one must admit it certainly has similar potential.

    Thanks again for the offer Kamal.


  38. May 23rd, 2012 at 22:09 | #66

    Hi Peter,

    Very helpful! The answers were super useful!

    The question about tilting — Why is any motion other than Z is needed? Is it just to keep enough resin in the tank? Or is there something else — for example, does the resin need agitation in order to form a polymer?

    • Printer
      June 14th, 2012 at 21:28 | #67

      The motion is necessary for the layers to “peel” and stick to the build platform and to be separated from the VAT. Other motion can be used as Sliding motion in Michael Joice’s Printer ( see “Other Printers” section )


  39. June 9th, 2012 at 11:38 | #68

    Hi Peter,

    when you talk about the print area, which is distance between the projector lens and the actual layer in the 3d model? I think the projector lens modify the resolution in each projector brand, isn’t it? In several comments before you say that 1920×1080 projectors can do 192,0 x 108,0 print area, why? it depends the distance between the projector lens and the print place, isn’t it?

    • Printer
      June 14th, 2012 at 21:20 | #69

      Hi Jesus,
      Print area is the actual projected rectangle from the projector at a particular distance. The projector modification is different for every brand, but similar in concept. The 1920×1080 can shine a rectangle of 192x108mm if the distance of the projector to the resin is adjusted so the resolution is 100 micron ( one pixel from the projector equal to actual 0.1mm ). It does depend on the distance between the lens and the print place-Yes and also depends on the size of the print area ( the modification of the projector ).


  40. Jackson Ng
    June 12th, 2012 at 14:31 | #70

    Hello Peter

    I think LED has advanced rapidly at leap & bounce. The long lifespan of LED is worth considering in long term. I think most DLP projector is using P-VIP mercury lamp with A/C power supply. You might need to cover the power to DC to power the UV LED. I have no experience how well LED UV with work in such application. I am in scientific equipment business. Many of my clients has requested LED light source for our microscope & I had modified successfully for several different applications. My customers simply love the advantage of LED. Below is just one of the available LED. I guess there many other maker as 365nm is not that rare as 254nm.

    • Printer
      June 14th, 2012 at 21:08 | #72

      I think it will be a good candidate projector for 3D printer!

  41. June 14th, 2012 at 15:41 | #73
    • Printer
      June 14th, 2012 at 21:07 | #74

      I’ve seen it the day E-Tech announced it.

    July 1st, 2012 at 19:41 | #75

    im thinking in use a lcd diplay to buil a extra super simple sla dinamic mask 3d printer, what do you think about it ? . thanks

  43. JGrimes
    July 21st, 2012 at 02:15 | #76

    Hi Peter,
    Nose to the grindstone these last four weeks have left little time for the project but have purchased the last pricey component off ebay, a Deltron LS3-1 for the tilt mechanism. 90 dollars American. Next weekend will pack everything up and head to my brother’s machine shop to cut the aluminum extrusions to size. Then it’s all glass and electrics. The one thing that has kept me on this mission has been the large build size of the device. Otherwise I might have just purchased the B9 printer. Hve you any idea if Junior Veloso will be selling his kits, components and software? I can’t seem to locate him on the internet and my emails have not been returned. I like the looks of his software and have a separate partition on my laptop running Windows Ultimate.

    Enough said. I may be asking for your advice in the near future when the time comes for assembly and thanks for your help in the past. Owe you a pint or two before this is all over.


    P.S. Looking forward to more images of your work. Here is something you may have already seen but if not you will find it most excellent work.

    • Printer
      July 21st, 2012 at 12:20 | #77

      Hi John,
      I’ll be glad to help with whatever I can. I have seen the work of TS Wittelsbach and du Rose. Amazing! as usually Zbrush is used for some rather grotesque creations ( with a few exceptions ).


  44. JGrimes
    August 7th, 2012 at 23:12 | #78

    Hi Peter,

    Just received an email from Fernando at Spotamaterials regarding the Spot-IC and he indicated he would be receiving a volume of the base materials for this resin this week. He also mentioned he would be able to send out samples for those who wanted to test it. I would submit my request but it would be a bit premature as my printer remains in pieces on the basement floor at the moment.

    Thought I’d mention it in case you are interested. Well, back to the grindstone for me as I’ve miles to go before I sleep.

    Best Regards

    • Printer
      August 11th, 2012 at 23:44 | #79

      I’ll get in touch with him. Thanks John!


  45. Charlie
    February 11th, 2013 at 12:24 | #80

    Hello Peter,

    very nice, we are looking for an 3D printer a long time.

    We needed for our project Modeltrain very small parts.

    Can you help us, and make some demonstration Parts. We can send STl files or else you need.

    Best regards form germany


    • Printer
      February 12th, 2013 at 19:24 | #81

      Hi Charlie,
      I’ll drop you a line.


  46. ken
    April 24th, 2013 at 05:13 | #82

    The linear slide is expensive, isn’t it?

    Is there cheaper one? For example, that it is made in China.

    • Printer
      April 26th, 2013 at 14:13 | #83

      They start from 200 and up.
      You can check Ebay or Craigs.


  47. Anderson Ta
    June 26th, 2013 at 23:44 | #84

    Not sure if its been mentioned previously, but the vat cross bar should be 340mm and not 320mm. If you could change that, we could probably save others from making the same mistake.

    Unless I’m the one doing it wrong?

    Also, I just bought a lot of THK KR20 stages (4″ and 8″). Let me know if you are interested in any.

    • Printer
      June 27th, 2013 at 22:04 | #85

      Hi AndersonTa,
      The VAT cross member is 320mm, because the printer box bed is 500mm X 500mm X 400mm. The cross bar sits between the two frames 500mm X 500mm on the sides. The overall width of the printer ( when looking at the Linear slide column from the front ) is 400mm. The two Extrusions are 40mmX40mm. Adding those two ( for both sides ) is 80mm and 400mm-80mm=320mm.
      All specs on the extrusions are correct ( If anyone notices anything wrong – please let me know). I had to also physically go and measure the printer LOL just to be sure :-D

      On the KR20′s – I’ve sent you an email.


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