About this project
(Don't forget to take a look at the "FAQ" section at the bottom of the page)
- Affordable Desktop 3D Object Printing for Everyone
- Great First Printer..or Second..or Third!
- Easy to Build
- Easy to Expand or Upgrade
- High Quality Components
- Faster than most printers
- Dual Extruder Option
- Great Documentation
- Open Source
- Environmentally Friendly Options
You can create almost anything you can dream up with a Bukobot 3D printer, right on your desk!
What is Buko?
The Buko framework is the next generation of Open Source 3D Printers. 3D printers using this new framework are called Bukobots.
With many months in development, I have combined the best ideas from the open source community and some new ideas of my own into an extremely flexible open source 3D printer design. Following the traditions of “Reprap” 3D printers, the new Buko framework design is self-replicating and does not require any special machining for it’s major parts. I have carefully designed this new 3D printer to be very easy to build, very sturdy and have the ability to grow in the future without compromising print quality. Bukobots will raise the bar of open source 3D printers.
What is 3D printing?
3D printing is the process of creating solid objects from digital files. Bukobots use a process called “Additive Manufacturing” to create 3D models from digital files available on the web or created with 3D software. These solid objects can be made from ABS (similar to the plastic of Legos) or PLA (an eco friendly plastic) filament.
Here's a timelapse video of a Bukobot making the CrashSpace Pyramid logo by theron (http://thingiverse.com/thing:12726)
What Can You Make With a Bukobot?
From simple fixes around the house, like hooks for cookware or a replacement vacuum cleaner hose clamp, to custom toys and working engineering prototypes, a Bukobot is a Maker's dream come true...you can even print new parts for more Bukobots! If you are a designer, artist, engineer or a hobbyist, a Bukobot will open your imagination. A Bukobot is like your own little personal factory.
If you are new to 3D printing, then I would like to invite you to visit thingiverse.com to see the incredible things you can download for free and reproduce with a Bukobot.
Note: I have no association with thingiverse.com, I just love the site!
What Can You Learn With a Bukobot?
Building a Bukobot and creating 3D objects will introduce you, your kids, and students to the amazing world of "Makers". The Bukobot is a great project to learn more about mechanics, engineering, electronics, 3D design and many other sciences. 3D printing can be an amazing tool for teachers and parents to excite a student's interest in math and science. To help further the learning process, I am developing complete instructions on how to build a Bukobot and explain how it works.
Quick Summary of Rewards
All kits will include a 1lb of plastic filament to get you started! International shipping is extra unless noted.
NEW!!!Bukito 5 Green Kit (Low Cost, 5x5x5, Eco Friendly, PLA only) $599
Buko Mini Green Kit (5x5x6, Eco Friendly, PLA only): $750
Buko 8 Green Kit (8x8x8, Eco Friendly, PLA only): $845
Buko 8 Vanilla Kit (8x8x8 Build Volume): $999
Buko 8 Duo kit (8x8x8, Dual Extruder): $1,299
Buko 8 Vanilla Assembled (8x8x8): $1,320 + shipping
Buko 8 Duo Assembled (8x8x8, Dual Extruder): $1,950 + shipping
Buko 8 F1 Duo Special Edition Assembled (Black & Red, 8x8x8, Dual Extruder): $2,199 + shipping
More Buko Highlights:
Quality, Quality, Quality
My Bukobot kits are all about quality. I think it's very important in this new technology to have the best experience possible for it to become mainstream. I know there are some cheaper printers out there, but one way or another they compromise something to make them "good enough". All my Bukobots kits will have the best motors, electronics and components possible to make sure that it's durable, reliable and faster.
From a low cost upgrade to a fully assembled dual extruder model, a Bukobot will be less expensive than many other 3D printers without compromising performance. With the smart Buko framework, there are many versions to fit your budget or 3D printing needs. So don't be afraid to start small with a "Mini" or "Green" version because the Bukobots can always be upgraded or expanded later. Keep in mind that the Bukobots follow the Reprap tradition of self replication. After you build your first Bukobot, you can eventually print out new parts for another one to share with friends and family.
Easy to build
The smart Buko framework is designed to make building a 3D printer much easier than ever without sacrificing print quality! Even for the less experienced, a Bukobot can take just a couple hours to build. Only simple tools are needed like allen keys, screw drivers, utility knife and needle nose pliers.
Extremely Expandable & Upgradable.
With a Bukobot, you can keep up with the times with simple upgrades, I tried my best to design the Buko framework as "future" compatible as possible. Want it to print higher? Want it to print faster? Not a problem! It may just take a few longer pieces of aluminum extrusions, longer cables (or belts) and rods or maybe some simple electronic parts to get to the next level.
With your support of the Bukobot, you will be helping to create the great documentation to guide you through the easy building process of a Bukobot 3D printer. I want to reduce the time people spend looking for answers on different websites and forums to find all the pieces of information. From shipping box to your first 3D print, I will try my best to be your prime source for documentation on the Bukobot.
No Laser Cut Wood or Acrylic, No Threaded Rods to Adjust, No Special Machining Needed
One of the more difficult (and sometimes expensive) parts to get made for 3D printers are the laser cut pieces and machined parts. Seems like almost all the 3D printers have some form of laser cut acrylic, wood or special metal parts. I believe most people do not have access to a laser cutter or machine shop, so I eliminated this need in the design of the Buko framework. If it can't be printed in 3D, bought off the shelf or made at home with simple tools, it's not in the design.
"Green" (Eco Friendly) versions
With many 3D printers out there, I haven't really seen any focused on the environment. The "Green" versions of Bukobots are just that, a more environmentally friendly 3D printer. There are three ways they have a less impact on the environment:
- Uses Renewable & Biodegradable Plastics (PLA)
- Uses less power
- Most of the parts are Easily Recyclable.
The Buko "Green" models are made to specifically work with PLA plastic only. PLA is a type of plastic that is made from corn starch (or sugar sometimes) and is biodegradable. PLA even gives off a soft burnt popcorn smell while printing. PLA is actually harder than ABS, which makes it ideal for mechanical applications than need a little more strength. Secondly, they consume less energy because PLA doesn't require a heated platform to create 3D prints and it melts at a lower temperature than ABS plastic. This also makes it a bit safer for younger kids that want to explore 3D printing with their teachers and parents. Finally, being built mostly out of aluminum and plastics, you can easily recycle most of the printer itself (if you would ever need to).
The Buko framework introduces a couple of new engineering components rarely seen in 3D printers. A new material used on the Bukobots is Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE). This special polyethylene material has some amazing properties and is actually not hard to find. This material is used in some parts on the Z axis to reduce components, increase longevity and to help make things quieter. The other new component being used is the stainless steal Syncromesh Cable. This new type of cable will replace all belts to lower costs while reducing space needed and increasing strength of the axis drive system.
A major reason I decided to create a new 3D printer is my disappointment with current speeds and rigidity. I have plenty of patience for normal things, but when it comes to waiting 3-4 hours for a small 3D printed part, it's just not acceptable to me. To accomplish greater speed on a 3D printer you need a very sturdy frame and some amazing firmware. Bukobots have both. The aluminum extrusions are nearly impossible to bend and the design of the joints are made to be as strong and rigid as possible. With the amazing Marlin firmware, Bukobots are made to run faster than most from the start. With a good combination of a good extruder and powerful motors, it can probably go even faster. With a Bukobot, you can stop watching grass grow and get your 3D prints faster!
I made the look of the Bukobots an important part in my designs. I wanted my 3D printer to look cool and stand out from others. It was also important to have a very open area to see clearly what is being printed and to see how everything was working. Most of the 3D printed parts I designed have curves and cool angles to give things a more professional look. I also dedicated some valuable time to design wire guides that help hide and organize the wiring around the printer.
Being a “Reprap” type of 3D printer, the Buko framework design files will be released into the wild for the world to have. By supporting the Bukobot project, you will be helping to complete and improve these files. I strongly believe in open source and collaborative projects in technology.
Buko Model & Kit Details
The Buko framework has been designed from the ground up to be easy to build, sturdy, expandable and upgradeable. All the models have the ability to be expanded and upgraded in different ways. You can change things like increasing the size of the build volume or adding dual extruders in the future. I also designed the frame of the Bukobots to be very sturdy, which helps with accuracy and faster speeds. All the complete kits will also include the new “Syncromesh” cables instead of the more costly belts. With all these great technical features, you will also get a 3D printer that is amazingly easy to build.
The "Bukito" models are the most economical 3D printer kits we can make. These have been design to be the most affordable kits by including just the essentials you need to make great 3D prints. Easy to build and excellent for beginners or if you want a small portable printer to take around with you.
The “Green” models are the “Eco friendly” versions. These kits are designed specifically to use biodegradable PLA plastic only. Some advantages of using this plastic are:
- Requires Less Power to Operate
- Lowers Cost of Components
- Safer to Use
The “8” means the model has a minimum print volume of 8x8x8 inches (200x200x200mm).
“Mini” model have a smaller print volume than the “8” to reduce overall costs. These have a print volume of about 5x5x6 inches (125x125x150mm)
The “Duo” models have dual plastic extruders. These can be used to print a 3D object with two types of filament. Note: Dual extrusion is still experimental and some special programming may be required to setup and prepare objects to print in two colors or materials.
The Buko Bottle Opener Keychain
This is a simple bottle opener that will be printed with a Bukobot and features the Bukobot Logo. (Design Coming Soon...)
Prototype Pieces Grab Bag
In the development of the Bukobots, I have printed out many parts to experiment with and have used to test things out. Instead of just keeping them or tossing them away, I thought it would be cooler to give them to backers. With this reward, I will give you a few of these pieces that were used for the early stages of the Bukobot design. These will be yours to keep and show off to people as a piece of the Bukobot history.
NEW!!! Bukito 5 Green
The Bukito has been designed to be the most economical 3D printer using the Buko framework. Excellent first 3D printer for beginners! Easy to build and even more portable that the full Buko models. Make amazing 3D creations out of PLA (durable eco friendly plastic) and enjoy your new adventures in 3D printing!
Buko Mini Green
This is a great starter Bukobot. If you are new to 3D printing or want to start with something more simple, this would be a good choice. This kit includes a complete Bukobot with a build volume of 5x5x6 inches (125x125x150mm) and works with eco friendly PLA only.
Buko 8 Vanilla
This is the flagship Bukobot. This gets you a complete kit of the Buko 8 Vanilla 3D printer featuring 8x8x8 inch (200x200x200mm) build volume, a single extruder, heated platform and prints with both ABS and PLA plastics. This is a great 3D printer for anyone that wants to print amazing 3D prints that is easy to build, affordable.
Buko 8 Duo
Same as the “Buko 8 Vanilla” but includes dual extrusion capabilities. This model has the ability to print 3D objects with two types of filament. Dual extruders can be used to print in two colors or use a second filament as support material (like PVA water-soluble filament).
Buko F1 Duo (Special Edition)
If you want the best looking 3D printer on the block, you need this model. Inspired by Ferrari, this special edition has a red and black color scheme with dual extruders to match. This model also comes pre-assembled and ready to go when it arrives at your doorstep. It will be built and tested by me before it ships to make sure you get an awesome looking and printing Bukobot.
Why reaching this goal is important to Buko
I believe in the value of high quality products and as with most projects, to keep costs low (and without compromising quality), many vendors require orders of higher quantities. I have set up some great deals with vendors to offer backers these high quality components at great prices if the goal is reached. If you help me reach this goal, you will be supporting more than just a great open source 3D printer, you will be helping open source 3D printing get to the next level. Thank you for your support and don't forget to tell your friends about the Bukobot!
Currently, all complete Bukobot kits will include the "BUDASCHNOZZLE 1.1" hot end and a custom filament feeder to work with this nozzle using a powerful geared stepper motor. I'm using this extruder because from my tests, it seems to be the best one out there. It's very reliable, fast, simple to install, easy to clean, easy to change nozzle size and no weird glues or chemicals.
The Bukobots are designed to work with 3mm sized filament, but you can change this to 1.75mm filament later with some minor extra parts.
I'm am still determining the exact power supply needed for each of the models, but I will not be using cheap "computer" power supplies because they are not designed to handle the needs of a fast and strong 3D printer. The power supply included will be more reliable and have more than enough capacity needed to run the Bukobots. They will also be 110v and 220v compatible and is commonly found online if you ever needed to replace it for some reason.
Calibration is very easy because the Bukobots will come ready with "default" presets to get you started and should be accurate for most situations. In addition to publishing the values on our site, the included firmware will have the exact settings needed for all axis (X, Y & Z) and a very good value for the extruder. Depending on the quality of the filament, you will only need some minor adjustments to the values in the software to compensate varying sizes in filament stock. Calibration will also be explained in the instructions (that I will be creating) not just to help you understand how you printer works, but how to adjust things if they seem to be off or if you want to change something. All settings are easily done through software.
All software included with the Bukobots will be open source based, so you will have a huge community of users and developers as an added resource.
Bukobots will have the "Marlin" (https://github.com/ErikZalm/Marlin) firmware pre-installed. This firmware is compatible with many "Reprap" controller softwares.
I will be using the program "Repetier-Host" (https://github.com/repetier/Repetier-Host) to walk you through the process of printing 3D objects in the instructions because it's has the best features and is easy to use. This program works on Mac, Windows and even Linux.
Currently, I have a special deal with Panucatt Devices to include their Azteeg X1 and soon to come X3 boards for the Bukobot electronics. If you want to see the specs, check out the page at http://www.panucatt.com/azteeg_X1_reprap_3d_printer_controller_p/ax13dp.htm.
Yes, absolutely! Actually, Sketch Up is extremely popular with 3D printing.
The main "bridge" between a 3D program and the printer is the "host" program (which controls the printer). These host programs usually use Skeinforge or Slic3r to "slice" 3D objects into a "tool path" to print the 3D object. Currently, skeinforge and slic3r read the very common "STL" and "OBJ" type of 3D files (and some other types too). So any program, including Sketch Up, that outputs to one of these formats should work just fine. Most high end 3D programs (AutoCAD, Solidworks..etc) also have ways to produce STL files, sometimes with just a simple plugin.
Here is more info on these two "slicing" apps:
This is a quick list of other popular 3D programs that can produce STL or OBJ files, and are Free:
Absolutely! This is what open source is all about. If this Bukobot project is successful and later down the line I make some improvements or modifications to a model that you have, you will most likely just need to download the new designs and print out them out to install them.
After this project is successful, I will be offering simple "upgrade" kits for those that want dual extruders. The upgrade kits will include the dual extruder X-carriage, an additional motor, hot end, the extra hardware and optionally new aluminum beams and rods to widen the frame.
The rough specs for Bukobots (as they stand right now but can change later) are these:
Extruder nozzle size: 0.35mm
Filament Dia: 3mm
Z layer height tested (so far) : 0.1mm
X & Y axis precision: approx. 846 micro-steps per mm
Motors are Nema 17 (1.8 degree, 1/16 microstepping) and at least 4Kg-CM holding torque.
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