3D Printing Monster 3d printer build

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alexzogh

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Every year, Alibaba holds a "Global Shopping Festival" on 11/11. It's basically a copy of Amazon prime day, but given Alibaba's size, it's turned into a much bigger sale. Last year Alibaba did over $84 BILLION during their 11/11 sale, vs. Amazon doing just shy of $12 Billion for prime days.

Last year I found a giant 3d printer for sale from a company I had never heard of before, Dowell3d. The price looked too good to be true given the size and speed. I contacted the company to see if they were real (they were) and if they would be willing to use Alibaba's escrow service for payment to ensure I wouldn't get scammed. Long story short, I ordered an 1800 x 1200 x 1600 mm printer from them (like this one: Dowell3d 1816 printer ) for a fraction of what they are charging now. I added a few accessories like doors and enclosed sides and sent payment through Alibaba escrow

That was in November of last year. The company maintained decent communications throughout the process and consistently sent me videos of the printer being built and tested. Five months later, I got a call from the seaport that my package had arrived! I looked at what it would take to get it to my house and residential delivery was prohibitively expensive. I could opt for freight delivery but, I don't own a forklift, and renting one also turned out to be expensive.

So, I hooked up a trailer to my Tesla and headed to the warehouse.

20220418_114503 (1) - Copy.jpg

The well-constructed shipping box and the whole package weighed about 450 kg (~ 1000 lbs).

Wasn't easy getting off the trailer without a forklift, but we own a UTV with a winch which was very helpful, and I've slowly started to empty the box and put things together. Things were packed very densely, but everything seems to have survived the transit. I still haven't pulled the giant piece of glass out, which I guess is my largest worry.


20220426_220348 - Copy.jpg

Lots, and lots of small parts, but they are all labeled with English labels, and the documentation (both a video, and a printed manual) has big diagrams which make this a big job, but fairly straightforward if you've ever built a 3d printer CNC machine, x-winder or similar machine before.

20220426_220217 - Copy.jpg

Here you can see they've labeled the 80/20 struts, to make it fairly easy to put it back together exactly like they had built it in the first place.

20220426_220358 - Copy.jpg

Some of the parts actually came pre-built, like these struts, which I will just need to screw in place for rigidity.

20220426_215232 - Copy.jpg

This thing is big! I've started building it upside down (their recommendation) so I'm not installing extruders motors, motherboards, and power supplies on a ladder. Once I finish the frame and struts, I'll turn it right side up.

One major issue I've found is it takes a plug I've never seen before. In retrospect, I should have had it set up for 240V service, which I have multiple outlets in my rocket barn. When I was first talking with them, they indicated it would run no problem on 110/120v, so I said sure. this is the end result:

20220424_091201 - Copy.jpg

The power supply requires a nema 5-50 connector, which is a 120v / 50 amp circuit! Luckily, I'm pretty handy in the electrical box and have already ordered an outlet and a new 50 amp breaker. I should have known a heated bed of this size would need a small nuclear powerplant.


That's it for now, I'll add to this thread as the build continues.
 
Wow is right. Filament plastic raw pellets by the truckload straight from Dow Chemical?
 
Filament plastic raw pellets by the truckload straight from Dow Chemical?

Nah, he's going to have one of these mounted on the roof:
ZXgzOyC.jpg
 
Every year, Alibaba holds a "Global Shopping Festival" on 11/11. It's basically a copy of Amazon prime day, but given Alibaba's size, it's turned into a much bigger sale. Last year Alibaba did over $84 BILLION during their 11/11 sale, vs. Amazon doing just shy of $12 Billion for prime days.

Last year I found a giant 3d printer for sale from a company I had never heard of before, Dowell3d. The price looked too good to be true given the size and speed. I contacted the company to see if they were real (they were) and if they would be willing to use Alibaba's escrow service for payment to ensure I wouldn't get scammed. Long story short, I ordered an 1800 x 1200 x 1600 mm printer from them (like this one: Dowell3d 1816 printer ) for a fraction of what they are charging now. I added a few accessories like doors and enclosed sides and sent payment through Alibaba escrow

That was in November of last year. The company maintained decent communications throughout the process and consistently sent me videos of the printer being built and tested. Five months later, I got a call from the seaport that my package had arrived! I looked at what it would take to get it to my house and residential delivery was prohibitively expensive. I could opt for freight delivery but, I don't own a forklift, and renting one also turned out to be expensive.

So, I hooked up a trailer to my Tesla and headed to the warehouse.

View attachment 516105

The well-constructed shipping box and the whole package weighed about 450 kg (~ 1000 lbs).

Wasn't easy getting off the trailer without a forklift, but we own a UTV with a winch which was very helpful, and I've slowly started to empty the box and put things together. Things were packed very densely, but everything seems to have survived the transit. I still haven't pulled the giant piece of glass out, which I guess is my largest worry.


View attachment 516111

Lots, and lots of small parts, but they are all labeled with English labels, and the documentation (both a video, and a printed manual) has big diagrams which make this a big job, but fairly straightforward if you've ever built a 3d printer CNC machine, x-winder or similar machine before.

View attachment 516112

Here you can see they've labeled the 80/20 struts, to make it fairly easy to put it back together exactly like they had built it in the first place.

View attachment 516110

Some of the parts actually came pre-built, like these struts, which I will just need to screw in place for rigidity.

View attachment 516113

This thing is big! I've started building it upside down (their recommendation) so I'm not installing extruders motors, motherboards, and power supplies on a ladder. Once I finish the frame and struts, I'll turn it right side up.

One major issue I've found is it takes a plug I've never seen before. In retrospect, I should have had it set up for 240V service, which I have multiple outlets in my rocket barn. When I was first talking with them, they indicated it would run no problem on 110/120v, so I said sure. this is the end result:

View attachment 516116

The power supply requires a nema 5-50 connector, which is a 120v / 50 amp circuit! Luckily, I'm pretty handy in the electrical box and have already ordered an outlet and a new 50 amp breaker. I should have known a heated bed of this size would need a small nuclear powerplant.


That's it for now, I'll add to this thread as the build continues.
So, are you starting with the 2.5 nozzle and working down????
 
Funny replies.

Made a lot of good progress over the weekend.

20220501_205629.jpg

Finished putting together the base frame and have most of the electronics, power supplies, lead screws, and linear bearings installed. I would not recommend this printer to someone without a fair amount of building experience. I have a lot of build experience, yet managed

I'm a little worried about the Z-axis motors. Looks like a no-name Chinese Nema 17motor, and I can't find any specs on it based upon it's model number. Given how heavy the build plate is going to be (1200x1800 glass plate + heater + large 80/20 structure + whatever gets built) I'm already thinking I may need to swap these out.

20220501_205750.jpg



Next up - install glass, heater, and lots of braces. Hoping to get this all done during the week, so next weekend I can try and get it running without turning on the heated bed, which will allow me to try it out without installing a new electrical line.
 
Hope your roof is tall enough to flip it over when time is right...

How do they keep that aluminum rail rigid enough over those distances? Diagonal bracing?
 
Made good progress on the build this weekend.

I finished the frame and put a few of the struts in. Seated the massive glass build plate and heated bed.

20220508_171631.jpg

Installed most of the electronics, and powered it up. Believe it or not, it’s easier to level a bed this size than a typical printer.

20220506_223445.jpg
20220506_223050.jpg

Everything went smoothly, except for the z axis. Stepper motors didn’t seem to be in sync, spent two days debugging, and finally found a loose wire in one of the jst-xh connectors. Looks like they messed up the crimp, then tried to force the pin in without a lot of success. Luckily, it’s an easy fix.

20220508_230806.jpg
103D20D1-7216-42DD-8666-015488444FA3.JPG




I have some international travel this week but hopefully will be printing some giant benchy test prints next weekend.
 
Made good progress on the build this weekend.

I finished the frame and put a few of the struts in. Seated the massive glass build plate and heated bed.

View attachment 517827

Installed most of the electronics, and powered it up. Believe it or not, it’s easier to level a bed this size than a typical printer.

View attachment 517828
View attachment 517829

Everything went smoothly, except for the z axis. Stepper motors didn’t seem to be in sync, spent two days debugging, and finally found a loose wire in one of the jst-xh connectors. Looks like they messed up the crimp, then tried to force the pin in without a lot of success. Luckily, it’s an easy fix.

View attachment 517831
View attachment 517833




I have some international travel this week but hopefully will be printing some giant benchy test prints next weekend.
What size outboard are you putting on the Benchy?
 
I printed my first Benchy!



two things I learned

1) going up and down on a ladder just to check the status of a print sucks. I'll be integrating a webcam shortly...

2) A cold print bed sucks. I will really need to get my electrical work started next weekend so I can plug in the thermitic reactor bed heater
 
is it a pellet printer?
what was the cost, there is nothing on the webby about cost
 
I printed my first Benchy!



two things I learned

1) going up and down on a ladder just to check the status of a print sucks. I'll be integrating a webcam shortly...

2) A cold print bed sucks. I will really need to get my electrical work started next weekend so I can plug in the thermitic reactor bed heater


This build is awesome/crazy. Love it!

I've never used an extruding style 3D printer (resin only for me so far), so what is a common bed temperature. . . .and how big is that bed (1.2m x 1.8m = 3350 in^2)!!!!! That's quite a bit of energy going into your environment, I'd guess. I'd love to learn more about how it all works, as I'm familiar with (i.e. have designed and started-up) high temperature metal forming presses with zone controlled platens. True, the temperatures I'm talking about are way WAAAAAY hotter than what a 3D printer would be, but I'm always interested in learning about stuff like this and seeing how problems are solved.

Cool project!!!!

Sandy.
 
is it a pellet printer?
what was the cost, there is nothing on the webby about cost

I opted to purchase the pellet option, but currently have it set up for traditional filament. I'll take a photo of the setup, they did a good job of separating the hot end from the extruder, from the filament path so you can use both.

The retail price is in the Alibaba link in the first post. Currently $7700 retail not including shipping or upgrades. Retail was about 6k last year before it went on the 11/11 sale. I paid less than half that. Just be willing to wait 6 months, and be very handy to put it together.
 
This build is awesome/crazy. Love it!

I've never used an extruding style 3D printer (resin only for me so far), so what is a common bed temperature. . . .and how big is that bed (1.2m x 1.8m = 3350 in^2)!!!!! That's quite a bit of energy going into your environment, I'd guess. I'd love to learn more about how it all works, as I'm familiar with (i.e. have designed and started-up) high temperature metal forming presses with zone controlled platens. True, the temperatures I'm talking about are way WAAAAAY hotter than what a 3D printer would be, but I'm always interested in learning about stuff like this and seeing how problems are solved.

Cool project!!!!

Sandy.

Typical bed temperatures are between 60-100C. Yes, takes a small nuclear powerplant to turn on. Also why I opted to enclose the whole unit to decrease the thermal loss over long prints. The bed itself is quite dumb - no zones. it's on, or off.
 
Work has really gotten in the way of finishing this printer.

The good news is I finished the wiring. After testing it, the heated bed was very slow to heat up, even when pulling 40 amps! I'll be reconfiguring everything for 240v which will help.
 
I opted to purchase the pellet option, but currently have it set up for traditional filament. I'll take a photo of the setup, they did a good job of separating the hot end from the extruder, from the filament path so you can use both.

The retail price is in the Alibaba link in the first post. Currently $7700 retail not including shipping or upgrades. Retail was about 6k last year before it went on the 11/11 sale. I paid less than half that. Just be willing to wait 6 months, and be very handy to put it together.
And have the full load availability of the substation humming next door.....
 
Work has really gotten in the way of finishing this printer.

The good news is I finished the wiring. After testing it, the heated bed was very slow to heat up, even when pulling 40 amps! I'll be reconfiguring everything for 240v which will help.

Do you think there is value in putting insulation (maybe fiberglass is good for that temp range, but didn't check) to minimize heat loss during heat-up? Passive, cheap, minimal personal exposure if done right? Every watt that goes in wants to get out, so if you can insulate during heat-up, you might see a big improvement, even if the running current is high. Just some thoughts. Always looking for an update, as the project is interesting to me for sure.

Sandy.
 
My printer is a lot smaller, but still biggish by printer standards at 330x330x400. I have it wrapped in roofing sarking, aluminium foil on woven generic plastic, and place a sheet of it cut to the size of the bed during warm-up. Foil side to the bed. This reradiates the heat back into the plate surface and makes a massive difference to the warm-up time.
My startup sequence is to preheat the bed, REMEMBER to remove the sheet of sarking. Home, level bed and set z-0 offset. Heat nozzle and then print.

You could use aluminium-clad fiberglass to reduce the losses from the bed during warm-up further, but I didn't as I wanted some heat to warm up the build chamber. And it's a lot easier to just pull a thin sheet off when the time is right.
 
Last edited:
Every year, Alibaba holds a "Global Shopping Festival" on 11/11. It's basically a copy of Amazon prime day, but given Alibaba's size, it's turned into a much bigger sale. Last year Alibaba did over $84 BILLION during their 11/11 sale, vs. Amazon doing just shy of $12 Billion for prime days.

Last year I found a giant 3d printer for sale from a company I had never heard of before, Dowell3d. The price looked too good to be true given the size and speed. I contacted the company to see if they were real (they were) and if they would be willing to use Alibaba's escrow service for payment to ensure I wouldn't get scammed. Long story short, I ordered an 1800 x 1200 x 1600 mm printer from them (like this one: Dowell3d 1816 printer ) for a fraction of what they are charging now. I added a few accessories like doors and enclosed sides and sent payment through Alibaba escrow

That was in November of last year. The company maintained decent communications throughout the process and consistently sent me videos of the printer being built and tested. Five months later, I got a call from the seaport that my package had arrived! I looked at what it would take to get it to my house and residential delivery was prohibitively expensive. I could opt for freight delivery but, I don't own a forklift, and renting one also turned out to be expensive.

So, I hooked up a trailer to my Tesla and headed to the warehouse.

View attachment 516105

The well-constructed shipping box and the whole package weighed about 450 kg (~ 1000 lbs).

Wasn't easy getting off the trailer without a forklift, but we own a UTV with a winch which was very helpful, and I've slowly started to empty the box and put things together. Things were packed very densely, but everything seems to have survived the transit. I still haven't pulled the giant piece of glass out, which I guess is my largest worry.


View attachment 516111

Lots, and lots of small parts, but they are all labeled with English labels, and the documentation (both a video, and a printed manual) has big diagrams which make this a big job, but fairly straightforward if you've ever built a 3d printer CNC machine, x-winder or similar machine before.

View attachment 516112

Here you can see they've labeled the 80/20 struts, to make it fairly easy to put it back together exactly like they had built it in the first place.

View attachment 516110

Some of the parts actually came pre-built, like these struts, which I will just need to screw in place for rigidity.

View attachment 516113

This thing is big! I've started building it upside down (their recommendation) so I'm not installing extruders motors, motherboards, and power supplies on a ladder. Once I finish the frame and struts, I'll turn it right side up.

One major issue I've found is it takes a plug I've never seen before. In retrospect, I should have had it set up for 240V service, which I have multiple outlets in my rocket barn. When I was first talking with them, they indicated it would run no problem on 110/120v, so I said sure. this is the end result:

View attachment 516116

The power supply requires a nema 5-50 connector, which is a 120v / 50 amp circuit! Luckily, I'm pretty handy in the electrical box and have already ordered an outlet and a new 50 amp breaker. I should have known a heated bed of this size would need a small nuclear powerplant.


That's it for now, I'll add to this thread as the build continues.
God damn! Awesome!
 
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