Low Rider 3D Printer?

I’m looking to build a large format 3d printer… I’m wondering if the low rider would be suitable to adapt with a hot end for 3d printing?

Or would I be better off building a large scaled MPCNC

i’m looking to have build dimensions of printable space around 36" by 48"

thanks for any thoughts on this.


Holy shit! That will take days to print something that big, even with a 1mm nozzle. How tall do you need to print?

I’m looking to have similar build volumes or better as these https://3dplatform.com/workseries/

I’m not as worried about time to print as I am accuracy. Do you think the low rider or the mpcnc scaled up would yield better results?

Print height needs to be somewhere around 12 inches

Dui has a Giant bowden build. I don’t think you will be happy with a lowrider printer, and 12" is pushing it on any machine that doesn’t have a motorized bed. At that size your main goal is accuracy? You will need a large battery backup becuase prints will take many many days, a filament sensor unless you buy 5-10lbs spools. That is a different animal.

I mean you could do it extremely easily for under $15,000, but…you might need to get a lot more descriptive with your exact needs.

How do you plan on making a heated bed?

Dang man, that is one crazy idea. An mpcnc might work but you definitely need a bigger nozzle. Anything below 1mm for that size is a joke. At some point with big prints, a heated bed and an extruder physically capable of pumping out that much plastic is an issue. You will have to create your own nozzle, or an e3d volcano hotend might be what you need. Either way, big prints are challenging. Might be able to do it with an mpcnc with some modifications. No long legs that’s for sure. A long z axis, maybe. Bowden would help.
Just remember with printing big, you actually can’t print too slow or your layer adhesion will suffer.

Wow, those printers are wicked overpriced.

I am in the wrong biz. Or Maybe I need to make another machine.

For big prints, you have to sacrifice quality, otherwise it takes far too long. There is no point in printing huge objects with great details on a single print, it is far better to split the object into smaller pieces and glue them later, because of printing reliability.

You really don’t want a 7 days print to be ruined at day 6 1/2 for whatever reason.

The whole point of having a big surface volume is to print big things as fast as possible. The reason is simple: you limit the failure risk, and even if the result is not great out of the printer, you can easily rework big parts to make them look better. A bit of sanding, some bondo, paint and you’re good to go, a perfect and super strong part.
Reworking tiny small parts is way more challenging.

So I would recommend you to build a large printer, because it’s awesome, but not to focus on printing quality, but speed instead. Use a big nozzle, and think ahead of some of the problems you will face, especially:
-Heating bed: this is the biggest issue, I haven’t solved it yet on my machine
-Spool lenght: 1 kg goes away super fast. I think it can be consumed in half a day,
-Bed flatness: your bed needs to be very flat, which is not always easy with a big bed
-Good table structure: I recommend you to do something similar to mine, but maybe a different idea could be better. Use your imagination. You can check my build if you want, it may give you some inspiration for yours: https://www.v1engineering.com/forum/topic/my-mpcnc-made-in-china/

I think you can forget the Low rider for that, it only had a very limited Z axis lenght possibility, go for the MPCNC.

The gigantic printer at makerfaire, that was capable of printing children replicas, had a 3mm nozzle and it used pellets as input. It was basically all the parts for making your own filament.

The seemecnc part daddy

You can get larger spools of filament. https://www.pushplastic.com/collections/3-kg-bulk-reel/products/pla-10kg-22-pounds?variant=14947654215

Ryan I would love to see you make another machine for this!

I’d gladly beta test and work out issues with you on it.

what is the maximum size you think I could make with the MPCNC for 3d Printing?

That entirely depends on your tolerance for pain, and your attention to detail. As you get into larger printing, your troubles are going to increase exponentially. I could argue it would even be cubic. So if you go from 8" machine to a 32" machine, I think a conservative estimate is 64x the problems. I’ve never tried anything that large, but maybe someone who has can agree/disagree.

I bet it’s even worse than that. I can’t imagine getting the first layer down with 9 square feet of bed…

8"x8", and you’d have to be a little patient because it is a combination CNC/printing machine, but still probably not bad. This machine is better than a proof of concept, but not as good as a dedicated printer this size and price. This is a pretty typical sized machine. I have sliced (but not printed) prints that take 24 hours in this build volume.

16"x16" (8x the volume) and it would be doable. Your prints would be in the 1 week time frame if you aren’t changing the nozzle/layer size. Quality and reliability will significantly suffer compared to the smaller machine. Even at this size, you need to understand that it’s not just a bigger volume. There will be problems, and you’ll have to find out what they are, and you’ll have to become an expert at using your slicer. At this size, you’re already way into custom parts. Finding a heated print bed this large, and being able to make it level enough to not warp is going to be a challenge.

24"x24" (27x the 8" volume) and you’re going to have to be a passionate artist and engineer, diagnosing your own problems and finding unique solutions. You could easily slice something to take 4 weeks to finish in this size with a 0.4mm nozzle. A 1mm nozzle would let you go to 0.6mm layer height, which would mean 1/3 the layers, so still in the 1 week time frame to fill this build volume.

32"x32" (64x the 8: volume) and you better be obsessed with it. It will take a lot of enginuity, patience, creativity, and intelligence. And pain tolerance. Lots of pain tolerance. It could literally be printing for months.

Like I said, I’ve never tried anything this big, but I can’t imagine it would go well if you weren’t really passionate about it. I totally trust that Dui has his big printer humming, and he can make some fantastic things with it. I’m sure it’s the right size for him. But if you don’t own a 3D printer, or you just have one you bought, but don’t know why it sometimes doesn’t work, then you really need to go smaller. It all depends on you.

One of the best, most unique things about the MPCNC is that the size is really pretty easy to adjust. If you really want to try it, and prove to yourself that you have what it takes, then build a smaller machine. Learn what it’s failure modes are, and then buy $10 more conduit, $20 more wires, and build a bigger table.

i’m very familiar with 3d printing … my needs have grown to be able to produce larger prints. I like the idea of building the MPCNC in a smaller configuration and learning the pro’s and cons’s that arise as the size increases.

In a perfect world Ryan would build a new machine as in the link in my previous post :wink:

I appreciate everyone’s feedback on here, as always a lot of great information on this forum.

For creating the heated bed I’ve seen essentially smaller heated beds placed next to each other with a glass top… i’m envisioning something similar to this style for my application

I have seen the printers you linked in a few trade shows, Rapid, I believe.

I 100% agree with Heffe’s post. I think a lot of companies dream about this, I know my previous one did. Then when we started using the printer more often and I even brought mine in, and the print times got longer, we would literally have already revised a part before it finished printing.

In the end we would just print a small piece of our prototype and test it, revise and do it again. For large parts we would make the edges or corners and just fill it with art board.

If you want a giant printer, I am working on something that might work. You would need to get more specific on what you plan on doing with it. There is no material in a standard nozzle even a large one that will give consistent results. A tiny warp over a 4’ run ends up being severe. I can not even imagine what it would take to print something 2’x2’x10". A few SSD’s and a custom controller to handle multiple heat zones on a thick aluminum plate (100% have to be heated bed to dream of getting a print to stick). Large spools means you will need some sort of filament feeder so the drag doesn’t tweak the printers geometry, a build chamber to keep the temp consistent as the temp between night and day might cause massive layer separation.

Fast printing and large printing have never interested me. I am more of a caliper guy, I want quality over quantity every time.

The reason I can’t imagine spending time on it is the troubleshooting I will be expected to do. When I finish the sand table, if it works as I am envisioning it, you can just add a z axis and make it any size you want.

Multiple beds means a custom controller. I have seen one online somewhere but I believe it was for nozzle not beds. We are not against helping you out it just doesn’t seem worth it. for the cost alone you could just have 4 regular printers making blocks that you later fasten together.

I was talking to a few of the SeeMeCnC guys at mwrrf about the partdaddy. They were printing full sized bar stools this year. I said they should sell them, and Steve said they’d have to charge between 200 or 300 dollars to break even on them! This is a printer with a 4mm nozzle printing something about 18 to 20 inches in diameter and about 3 feet tall in abs. I’m sure they get a discount on abs pellets since they are an injection molding company. Well they used to be, now they’re a 3d printer company. I forget what he said their layer height was, but it still took a few hours to finish a print.