Hackaday has been reporting on belt printers for all around a decade now, considering that MakerBot unveiled (and then quickly pulled) an automated build system for their very 1st Cupcake printer. Turns out that not only has the idea been challenging to pull off from a complex viewpoint, but a murky patent condition made it tough for anybody who needed to convey their individual versions to industry. For a very long time they appeared like the fusion reactors of desktop 3D printing — a engineering that continues to be perennially just outdoors of our grasp.
But at last, factors have improved. The application has matured, and there are now various business belt printers on the sector. The trick now, as it after was for conventional desktop 3D printing, is to convey the charges down. Enter the Toddler Belt, established by [Rob Mink]. This open-source belt printer depends on mild-obligation factors and a largely 3D printed construction to get the price tag issue down, nevertheless some will come across its diminutive dimensions a little bit much too limiting…even if a single of its axes is technically infinite.
If you’ve by now acquired a printer and filament to burn, [Rob] is marketing the part package for just $130 USD. But even if you opt for the total prepared-to-develop kit, it will only set you again $180. Thinking of even the cheapest belt printers on the marketplace now have a sticker selling price of additional than $500, that is an amazing accomplishment.
Of course, it’s hard to compare the Newborn Belt with just about anything else on the current market. For one issue, save for a couple steel rods, its frame is made practically totally from 3D-printed areas. Relatively than the NEMA 17 stepper motors that are typical on even the most economical of classic desktop 3D printers, this very little fellow is jogging on the dinky 28BYJ-48 steppers that you’d assume to find in a inexpensive toy. Then once more, taking into consideration the printer only offers 85 x 86 mm in the X and Y axis, the structure and motors do not accurately will need to be prime of the line.
What really sets this equipment aside is the belt — although we’ve observed other makers go all out with their belt material, [Rob] has occur up with an impressively very low-tech solution. It’s a simple stack-up of construction paper, carpet tape, and cloth that you could probably place collectively with what you’ve received laying all over the home appropriate now.
Concerning that outer fabric layer and the printed body, the Toddler Belt offers a good deal of area for customization, a thing which was on obvious display at the 2022 East Coastline RepRap Pageant. The devices dotted quite a few tables on the show floor, and you could tell their builders experienced a whole lot of entertaining making each individual a single their have