Delta Rodstock 3d Printer "Printerina"

In these pages I will show you how I built and configured my new Delta Rodstock printer called "Printerina". It is important to note that all componets used for "printerina", except electronics and screws, are components found in my garage coming from stuff no longer needed

If you need additional specific information about this topic or if you want to look it personally please write an email

Some Backgound

A maker (like me) is every man/woman who is passionate to build something. For this reason the 3d printing concept is naturally linked to any "maker" nature. I would say that for a maker, the knowledge of the "3d printing Art", is really mandatory.
For this reason I wrote the following article. It is a perfect intro for this page. It will help you to understand how it works but will also be a valid refresh for some of us.

The idea of "Printerina" comes from the need to empty my garage. It was so full of stuff bought in these years or recycled from other furniture’s  that I had two possibilities. The first one was to garbage all without to recycle anything. The second option was to try to build something interesting like  I did in the past. Obviously, I select the second option and decided to build another 3D printer.  The best way to build a printer is to have another one able to print basic components. For this reeson I bought a Geeetech i3X basic printer.

Geeetech i3x Printer

At the time I wrote this article this was a very basic printer and the cost was no more than 200K. Obviously the results obtained are not the same of a more professional printer but you can find a lot of interesting upgrade on thingiverse making this printer more professional and with results surelly better.
Here for example you will see the new head I prepeared for the MK8 extruder.

Geeetech i3x modified head

If you want to realise a similar printer you should identify the right components which fit your needs. In my case I used a lot of refurbished components available in my garage. Just to make an example, in normal Kossel printers columns are made of specific alluminium bars. In my Printerina I had available some 1*012 mt Rods bar and decide to use that one to build columns Based on these decision I started collecting 3d components to print from different sites. In the Download area you can find a zip file containing all objects I used

Now the most important part: Dimensioning the printer. If you want to obtain good results you need to well dimension all components. For this reason you need adopt some specific formulas invented by Mr. Kossel. This is not an easy action and requires some help. Fortunatelly thanks to internet we have a lot of interesting resources available. Following you will see a funny calculator I found in a very interesting site called thinkyhead

Geeetech i3x modified head

See printerina in action

In the following video you will see printerina while printing a component of the new printerina 2.0 printer. For any additional information you can follow directly here a special page I build to describe this project

Printer View

My Delta kossel Printerina

Arduino 2560 cover

Box used to contain the controller

Front View of the extruder


END STOPS placed at the Top of the delta configuration


Handle for transportation pourpose

Handle to move printerina

PowerConnector with the switch

Power connector


Setup of the printer
Before to start any setup on the printer we need to collect different informations regarding dimensions and requirements. For this reason, I collected from some interesting web sites and video (YouTube) some interesting stuff you can use for this scope. First of all you need to write on a piece of paper the following metrics

Dimension file

Once you've collected all those information you can go here and download the last updated version of the merlin firmware Unzip it. You will find in the Merlin folder another folder called "Example Configuration". In this folder you will find different configuration files.
Configuration files are the files you need to change when you recompile the merlin firmware to adapt merlin algorithm to your printer. Go into the folder Delta and select Kossel XL. This is the firmware Config file I used. This configuration has the Zprobe option already active.
Now replace the two config files in the merlin folder with these two new files and open Arduino editor in order to start changing the right parameters.
If you need to learn how to compile an arduino sketch or if you need to set-up your development environmnet, you can use the tutorial I built for this
Edit the configuration file in particular you need to change the following parameters (raw number is indicated in the cirle):

This setting determines the communication speed of the printer. 250000 works in most cases, but you might try a lower speed if you commonly experience drop-outs during host printing. [2400, 9600, 19200, 38400, 57600, 115200, 250000]

My configuration is: 250000

Selects which electronics board you have. Choose the name from boards.h that matches your setup

My Configuration is: BOARD_RAMPS_14_EFB. This is the standard configuration if you use ramps 1.4 with arduino 2560

You need to configure here the correct parameter representing you extruder temp sensor (in the source code you will find different option but you need this value from your vendor)

This parameter represent the sensor number provided to you from the bed vendor

This option prevents extrusion if the temperature is below EXTRUDE_MINTEMP. It also enables the M302 command to set the minimum extrusion temperature or to allow moving the extruder regardless of the hotend temperature.

My configuration is: 10 just to check that it works

Confirm that it is a delta configuration

Center-to-center distance of the holes in the diagonal push rods.

My configuration is: 250




Print surface diameter/2 minus unreachable space (avoid collisions with vertical towers).

My configuration is: 100

Specify here all the endstop connectors that are connected to any endstop or probe. Almost all printers will be using one per axis. Probes will use one or more of the extra connectors. Leave undefined any used for non-endstop and non-probe purposes

Default Axis Steps Per Unit. In my case is 80. in order to calculate this value you need to count the number of tooths on your gear (in my case it is 20) and go on the following web site. It is the prusa web site and this calculator has been made available by the prusa printer web site

My configuration is :80

ZProbe options are available starting at raw 625. Those raws will allow you to auto bed level your printer. However, there are different parameters you will need to configure. To procede easelly, please, look directly at the source code available in the config file you will finde socket_set_timeout interesting comments to follow

Once configured all these parameters, before to compile give a look at the display you configured (starting from raw 1314) and to the Endstops format (Pull up or not) starting from raw 506

EndStops Configuration

EndStops configuration could became very complex and for this reason give a look at the following configuration web page prepeared for this occasion


In order to obtain good results from your 3d printer there are different optimizations you can implement to reach better performance.

The first suggestion I can give you is to optimize rods more than possible. Rod dimentions should be well relationed with the thickness which must be related with lenght and with global printer dimensions. Also the stability of each couple of rods requires some attention. What we need to achieve is to minimise or 'harmonize' vibrations during prints. For this reason a good suggestion is to build something 'elastic' to fix the two rods constantly at the same distance.
you can find different interesting projects on internet which can support you in this activity. In any case also a rubber band can be used to connect each coupple of rods.

delta 3d Printer Rods connector

Or, if you want something more professional you can simply adapt a spring to the right dimension like in the following image:

Rods connector using a spring

A primary concept to consider during all the implementation is the 'stability' and the capacity to soften vibrations and any movement happening during the print execution. For this reason I preferred to do something not too much heavy to grant the portability but not light to grant more details than possible during prints. A part from the wood (or plastic) selection used you need also to define an adequate amortization.
For this reason I 'copied' the idea (got from thingiverse) to use 3 tennis balls at the bottom of the printer. To do this I used another object found on the internet

Tennis Balls used at the bottom of my 3d Printer

Once this two optimizations have been implemented we can proceed to identify the right model to use as Printing Head.
First of all, let me say that you need to find a model to use also as probe for the z Axis. This will allow you to avoid complex manual configurations and obtain more accurate prints. In the following two functions you can see two views of the head I prepeared for the 'printerina' printer

Printer head left view

Printer head right view

In order to configure a ZProbe EndStop you need to be sure to buy a mechanic switch and to use it as 'normally opened' (NO). The Zprobe Endstop must be connected to the Zmin connector and the configuration should be implemented like described in the following Zprobe Tutorial
Note that I used also 2 12V Fans in order to level the temperature of the Jhead resistor. Each fan must be connected directly to the 12V exit of the power supply.

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