In addition, the printer may only be available
in kit form. The Rostock Max falls into this
I used to build model airplanes back in the
day. I can remember hours of enjoyment
constructing each craft, and building 3D printers
can be just as enjoyable if you take your time and
follow the instructions. Taking time to assemble
things right will reward you with a 3D printer that
creates better “prints.” It isn't a race, so take your
time. While assembling your printer, if you
encounter a problem don't be afraid to ask
questions on the manufacturer's forums. That's
why they are there.
Let's take a look at some of the pictures I took as
I assembled the Printrbot Jr. and the Rostock Max 3D
printers. There are three reasons why you may want to
assemble a 3D printer from a kit:
1. Savings. On average, you can save up to $100 by
assembling the printer yourself.
2. Fun. You enjoy building things.
3. Knowledge. You want to learn and understand the
interworkings of your 3D printer.
I ordered the PrintrBot Jr. this January 28th
and it arrived 12 days later. The parts (shown in Figure 2)
were well packed.
The PrintrBot Jr. is normally shipped with a laptop AC
adapter, but they were out of stock and sent me an ATX
power supply which is a required upgrade if you want to
add a heated bed to your printer. They later shipped me the
laptop AC adapter when it was in stock. In addition, the
main extruder gear was warped so they had to send me a
replacement, along with some missing lock nuts.
The printer frame is made from 1/4" five-ply birch
plywood as shown in Figure 3. The parts are laser-cut and
fairly easy to remove from the sheets. They contain small
tabs to hold them in place, so some cleanup of the parts
will be needed.
You will need only basic tools like the ones shown in
Figure 4. While you can get by with a Phillips screw driver,
a power drill will make the assembly go faster. The file and
razor knife are used for part cleanup.
You can find instructions for building the Printrbot Jr. at
can also view the online document as a PDF. This will allow
you to download it to your computer.
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