After seeing the incredible things that my friend Andy Bastian (check out his website and Tumblr) was churning out with his 3D printer, I decided I wanted one of my own. I elected to go with Brook Drumm’s Printrbot – it’s reasonably sized, elegantly simple, and most importantly, it’s (relatively) cheap.
In keeping with my desire to keep things as cheap as possible, I elected to build the original Printrbot, which has a 6″ x 6″ work area. Unfortunately, as other Printrbot makers have found out, the print bed – the platform that holds the heated print surface – is no longer available for that Printrbot. You can’t find it on Thingiverse, you can’t purchase it online, and you definitely can’t get it from the Printrbot store.
Consequently, I’ve gone ahead and CAD’ed up my own version. I got it cut out by Ponoko for under $25, including S&H. Additionally, my version is designed to fit onto a 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper, which lets you print out a template on your home printer to cut freehand. If you decide to do this, you’ll need to oversize the four holes that mount the board to the X axis rails slightly – this will introduce some compliance into the system, so that if your holes aren’t exactly in a perpendicular square, it won’t lead to binding/extra stress on the frame.
Update 2-17-13: I fixed the hole pattern for the heated build platform to match the current 6″ Printrbot HBP sold through the Printrbot store.