If you're the type who likes to do things in a hands-on way, then let us introduce you to the MakrToolbox Mk1.
It's an easy to assemble, low cost, open source 3D printer kit, and it's made by a family based technology business in Wahpeton, ND. With more than 10 years of service and 38 years experience Ernest Garner and his crew say they've used their personal experience and years of research to create a high value, low cost alternative 3D printer you won't soon outgrow.
"Everything on this kit was hand chosen, from the mechanical end-stops that have plugs so you don't have to know how to solder, to the Arduino-based motherboard that is tried and true, everything was designed with quality in mind," Garner says. "Consider the wiring; every point that must be attached with a screw fixture has a ferrule end on it. Also all of the screw holes on the printer itself are marked to aid in assembly. It's little details like this that I think will set us apart in the budget 3D printer landscape."
And Garner says he wants to make sure you know what you're getting into with his MakrToolbox Mk1.
"First and foremost, let me make sure everyone understands; this is a kit," Garner says. "Included in every Mk1 kit are all the parts, electronics, and materials to build a very nice 3D printer. Also included are detailed written instructions and this, along with videos and a public forum on our website, make it very easy to assemble."
The MakrToolbox Mk1 boasts a 6" x 6" x 6" build envelope, prints 100 micron layers with a nozzle size of 0.3mm or 0.4mm and features an upgradeable J-Head hot end which handles 1.75mm filament. It utilizes two fans. A blower fan is for support, bridging, and general print cooling while the hot end also includes a cooling fan to yield quality prints from PLA materials. It also comes with a spool holder with tubing to control filament distribution.
Garner is also intent on providing transparency for his MakrToolbox Mk1.
"One of our main focuses is that the design had to be open source," Garner said. "All of the instructions, laser cutting instructions, and plans will be available on our website – Makrtoolbox.com – once the initial kits have been shipped. We look forward to using the power of the open source community to help make the printer better and better."
Garner says his crew has two laser cutters on hand which will allow them to produce approximately 4-6 kits a day and adds that partnerships are in place to provide electronics, motors, hot ends and the other necessary bits.
Firmware comes preloaded and set up for the MakrToolbox Mk1 printer.
For a commitment of $399, you get the MakrToolbox Mk1 Basic Kit which includes everything you need to build the Mk1 3D printer which includes Ramps 1.4, Arduino mega, stepper drivers, Nema 17 motors, mechanical endstops, cabling, J-head Hot end, fans, power supply and miscellaneous other parts.
The Mk1 Advanced Kit includes everything from the basic kit and an LCD Control Panel (which also includes the ability to print from an SD card) for $449.