Print Rite DIY – A 3D Printer from Hobbyking | LBSFilm

3D Printer

Print Rite DIY – A 3D Printer from Hobbyking

September 6th, 2015 by Lukas Bachschwell

Dieser Inhalt ist auch auf Deutsch verfügbar

The Print Rite DIY is one of the cheapest 3D Printers currently available. So I couldn’t resist to try it out. Hobbyking started to sell it in July 2015, when I was on vacation in France, and since I was playing with the thought of getting myself a 3D Printer for some time by then, I decided that this would be the perfect starting point to learn what a good 3D Printer takes. The first thing I noticed was, that this printer had no heated print bed built in. But for 325€ (including shipping) you get 20x20x17 cm build area, SD or USB Control, and even “1 kg” of PLA. (unfortunately I didn’t measured the weight, since I think it was way less than 1 kg…) It took me about 30 minutes to get the printer to run. It comes with a USB Drive that even includes a step-by-step video. Although the Mac Version of “Repetier-Host” was not on it, i quickly found it on the web. Also, the printer comes with 2 presliced gcode-files, one rectangular “xy-resonance test”, and a vase kind of thing (with 0.2 layer height, and unfortunately it is not watertight on the bottom =P)

Printer 1Printer 2The two testprints

The Slicing Process

The most important thing I learned from this printer is, that in most cases a failed or low quality print has not much to do with the quality of the printer, but with the users settings when slicing an object. I tried Slic3r (built in to repetier host as well) and Ultimaker’s Cura. I got good results from both, but I’m still not finished learning. One thing I found particularly helpful is the “Visual Ultimaker Troubleshooting Guide”

Possible Problems:
Make sure that the Cooling Fan is always on (also on the first layers), since the this printers hot end will clog every time if you extrude without it. Also Make sure you’re not retracting more than 4.5 mm (also causes cloggs).

If you ever run into a clog, open the two screws on the fan and remove the motor, then try to pull out as much filament as possible. (keep the hot end heated during the whole process) Unscrew the small white plastic cap and try to push the smallest imbus screwdriver (that came with the printer) trough it. If you need to push something through the nozzle itself, I recommend metal guitar strings.

I’ll update this section as I discover helpful tips…

Heated Bed and glass build platform

Short after I experienced the first “warping” issues on larger prints, I decided to upgrade to a heated printbed. Also, the printer comes with no good way of leveling the bed at first, so I was thinking of a better solution for that as well. I ordered a Prusa Heatbed MK2a and a thermistor at RepRap Austria. Since the heatbed is a bit larger than the original build platform my brother and I designed and printed some parts to fix that (See image). I cut off the original corners of the acrylic plate and screwed on our new corners, then screwed on the MK2a, using springs, to make leveling the bed possible. (Small Tipp: The screws that hold the original acrylic plate on the bearings shall not be too tight, since this will cause more friction) Also, the z axis calibration screw is not the best thing. I replaced it with a longer one, and added a locknut to tighten it down properly after calibration.

New CornersCalibration Screw Mod


Here is the printbed’s wirering:
I connected the heater to the two flat connectors (“E BED”) and the thermistor to the one labeled “BEDTEMP”:

Printbed wirering


The printers controller board (running Marlin Firmware) comes with the connectors for a heated bed and its thermistor. I wired everything up and gave the printer a larger power supply unit, since the heated bed draws a lot of current. Then I got myself some 20×20 cm glass plates, with and without sanded top. The sanded top surface was my idea to get rid of the painters tape I use to get the first layer to stick, but it didn’t work out the way I hoped… I’ll keep experiment on this…


The glass Plates


OctoPrint on a Raspberry for webcontrol and time-lapses

Since I found printing with a computer nearby is rather impractical, and putting the files on the SD card as well, I searched for a better solution and found the OctoPrint project. There is also a precompiled Image for the raspberry pi with raspicam support called OctoPi. So I converted the OctoPi Image to squash-fs and added it to my raspberry pi 2’s berryboot menu. I also printed a case for the pi, with a mount for the raspicam. Here is a small time lapse from the pi:

The pi

That’s it for now. I am really happy with the printer (especially considering the price I paid). It is definitely not the most reliable printer, or most exact printer, but for learning 3D printing on the cheap it is absolutely perfect. Here are some of the results:

All my PartsWhite PLABlack PLA


The 3D printed Marble maschine

This is Tulio Laaen’s 3D printed marble maschine (v2), Printed in white RepRap fillament in 0.2 layer hight. It took around 15 hours to print only the track and I used painter’s tape for the adhesion. I printed the spiral and the spinning wheels in black Velleman fillament.

The 3D Printed Marble maschine by Tulio on thingiverse

Marble Maschine Top Marble Maschine with ball Marble Maschine Back

3D scanning with an old Kinect

I’ve got myself an old Xbox Kinect once and used it for 3D scanning before. But now with a 3D printer I finally have toe oportunity to print my scans. I used a software called Skanect . The Process is actually quite easy: you take the kinect and move it around your object. (Make sure it’s lit properly). After you made sure that the mesh is watertight you can export it as .stl and send it to the printer. Here are some screenshots, and the results can be seen here (and this is only the demo version of the software)


scan1 scan2The prints

Update 2:

In the meanwhile I got myself a PiTFT Touch Screen and found this project.

I started to rewrite the PHP Scripts (since they are written in a totally chaotic way) and added some buttons to move the printhead to certain points to make manual calibration easier.

Also thanks to Joachim Zimmer you can now try to wire a lcd screen and an encoder directly to the printers mainboard! Check out his post here.

Dieser Inhalt ist auch auf Deutsch verfügbar

  1. Hallo habe mir den Print Rite DIY gekauft, bin mit zufrieden, mir ist die Druckfeder vom Extruder abhanden gekommen, wer hat die Maße von der Feder da ?

  2. Hallo Lukas. Habe meinen Drucker ähnlich aufgebaut wie du. Aber ich habe eine Filaprint Platte auf das Heizbett geklebt. Kein Haarlack oder ähnliches mehr nötig. Die Investition ist es wert. Seit dem hat der PrintRite keinen einzigen Druck mehr versaut.

  3. Hi Lukas,
    sehr informative und nützliche Seite hast Du hier

    habe meinen PrintRite DIY so zeimlich genauso wie Du aufgebaut (beheiztes Druckbett, OctoPi usw), allerdings verwende ich für die Haftung auf dem Druckbett HAARLACK auf glattem Glas (hitzebeständiges Glas), absolut kein Tape mehr nötig 🙂
    Außerdem kann ich zur vermeidung des “wobbelns” auf der Z-Achse auch noch dieses Teil
    sehr empfehlen.

    1. Hallo Dagomar, sehr cool! Die z-achsen Verstärkungen muss ich auch unbedingt ausprobieren =D, Ich bin momentan dabei alles auf ein RAMPS-Board umzubauen… Den Tip mit dem Haarspray hab ich auch schon bekommen und es funtioniert super! Irgendwann muss ich diesen Artikel wieder aktualisieren, vermutlich nach dem Umbau. Danke für den Kommentar!

  4. Xavier Mauricio Garvizu Teran says:

    alguien puede pasarme las configuraciones del slic3r para usar en repetier?? no logro afinar las impresiones después de colocar el hotbed en la print rite

    ah por cierto alguien intento poner un sistema autonivelante?? esta interesante eso con un sensor capacitivo en la misma punta del extrusor!!!!! ademas de ya olvidarnos de calibrar la cama todo el tiempo al menos a mi me pasa eso

    1. Hi Xavier, sry but I don’t use Slic3r anymore, I use Cura.
      For the selfleveling you must reprogramm the existing controllerboard (but we need to know more about the board to do that…) or change it to a different one

  5. Hello, for the Firmware, I got the original firmware source from hobbyking, if you wanna have it you can email me.
    But the board is some sort of Sanguino and I never got it to work that I can flash the new firmware.

    1. WOW that is great news, yeah pls email me !!! ( I can try to flash it and share my experiences afterwards =D

  6. I put a heated bed on my printer, and the wires from the computer 430w power supply all the way to the power conecttor get pretty hot from 80 to 95C. That is way to hot I assume, and have dsconnected it for now. Any ideas you may have would be a great help.

    1. Hi Patrick,
      what kind of wires did you use? make sure to use thick ones for increased currents.
      Best Regards,

  7. Großartiger Artikel. Habe meinen Prusa gegen den Print-Rite ausgetuscht und lasse gerade die Brackets drucken. Der Prusa hat mich zur Verzweiflung getrieben. Der bekommt nun ein GRBL-Shield für Gravuren mit einem Broxxon Fräser.
    Ich möchte gerne meinen Raspberry Pi mit dem Print-Rite verbinden aber der will sich nicht verbinden. Hast du ein ähnliches Problem gehabt? Und wenn ja wie hast du es gelöst?

  8. Lukas , thanks for your great work . where is the positive an negative on the print to connecte the heated bed? com13 positive and com 12 negative? thanks!

    1. Hihi, I actually don’t know, but it should be easy to figure out… Since it is a heatbed the only reason to care about its polarity is if you have mounted LEDs on it (like it is possible on the prusa heatbeds) otherwise you don’t need to care because a heater is basically similar to a resistor. Also if you have LEDs on it just check if they work and if not change the polarity, there is really nothing you can damage by doing this
      Best Regards,

    2. checkout this video series here for a build guide.

  9. love the work you did on the print-rite, ive designed pretty much the same bed leveling as you have but i wont be putting in a heated yet. i was also wondering where you got the screw you used for the z axis?

    1. Hi Matthew,
      I created the screw myself from an aluminum piece on my lathe

  10. Hi Lukas, thanks for your sharing, its extremely useful! 🙂

    I bought the printer, tried with PLA and its running well so far. I just wondering if any chance we can upgrade it to a dual extruder printer? The extruder base seems designed for dual extruder, but I am not sure if the mainboard supports?

    Do you have any idea for this?



    1. Hi Nikita,
      glad you like my tipps
      I was thinking about dual extrusion as well,
      Unfortunatly I think you would have to replace a lot of parts, the mainboard doesn’t seem to be supporting 2 extruders and also the metal part that holds the hot end would need modification. It would be a nice challenge though, I might try it some day…

  11. Lukas,
    Did you have to adjust the bed size, home position for the pints to print in the correct orientation or corner? My prints just off of the back edge a bit.

    Thanks for any feedback.


    1. Hi Andy,
      Yes, most importantly I added the longer screw for the Z axis. But I also did set the correct x and y offsets in the printers eeprom. Check out the marlin firmware documentation and the reprap wiki on how to do that, if you use Octoprint as host I recommend the Marlin EEPROM Editor Plugin 😉

  12. I’ve just added the MK2b heated bed to my Print Rite using the corners you linked to (thanks – brilliant ).
    I am running the bed from an old Microsoft Games Console power brick that I converted to give out 12vDC constant via 2 banana sockets that I added to the case – mine will give up to 16.5 amp.
    As an example (
    Or (

    I added a 12v 16amp SPDT jnterface relay from Maplin ( so that you can connect the relay to the 2 spade connectors on the motherboard and from the relay connect the bed and the new power supply and now a 100K Ohm thermistor – attached to the motherboard as normal – will command heat from the bed via the relay and the exterior Microsoft 12v supply.

    Works VERY well 🙂

  13. Hello Lukas, i’m currently working to build a blower fan mount, i think it can improve the quality when printing overhangs/bridges.
    It’s s till a work in progress but been through a few iterations, still not tested yet:

    Also i’m trying to find a cheaper LCD display with dial knob, i don’t want to pay 60$ from Hobby King when they are sold for 10$ on Aliexpress, still trying to figure out which one fits.

    The printer has been fun so far, does good results and has lots of rooms to hack it and make it better.

    1. Hi Jan
      This is absolutley beautiful!!!!, thanks for designing it, I’m gonna print it today!
      Where have you bought those fans?
      About the screen: I wasn’t really able tu figure that out myself… but since I’m using octopi anyway, I added a touchscreen to my pi and modified some guy’s interface for it
      (this one: but it is a complete chaos with way too many files, I started to clean it a little bit but I’ll need more time for that… maybe I’ll add it to my documentation here once I’m finished)
      All the best

  14. Hi !

    This is very interesting, I made another plate that I can level too (with wood), but your solution is better than mine 🙂
    I just ordered a MK3 hotbed, and a power expander too. The power will be distributed to the hotbed by the power expander, not by the motherboard.
    I will modify an old computer PSU wich give 19A for 12v to feed the motherboard, the raspberry pi, and the power expander.
    The utltimate modification I would like to do is to add a capacitive sensor (to replace the Z end switch), but for that upgrade I need to reflash the firmware with the right setting (“bed auto level ON”).
    And I really don’t know if we can flash easily the motherboard since it’s a “ramps style” motherboard, but not exactly a ramps board.
    I pretty sure that it is a Marlin firmware, but I won’t flash the firmware if I’m not absolutely sure I can do that.

    Do you have any information about that ?

    Any help would be highly appreciated 🙂

    Kind regards from France

    1. Hi Guillaume,
      Yes it is a Marlin Board, but I haven’t had time yet to play with the firmware… (I was able to read it using my AVR ISP mkII)
      If you find something about it please let me know

      1. Hi, I can’t find any information about how to flash the firmware, I have no backup if it goes wrong.
        You say that you were to read the firmware, could you give me a backup of it ?
        If I have a backup to restore, I would certainly try to flash the firmware in order to have the bed autolevel 🙂

        1. Hi Guillaume, if you are brave enough for experiments I can send you my hex readout of the firmware (I hope it is complete and working, if not just drop me an email)
          If anyone else wants the firmware hexfiles drop me an email as well

          1. Ok I may have to correct that because the firmwarefile I got looks very strange, most of it is the same …

  15. hi

    i’m trying to connect an MK2a heat bed to my Printrite as you done with yours.
    You said that have change the power supply, how many amps you use?
    because i try to connect the heat bed with the standard power supply but when i turn on the heatbed the pritner switch off and then turn on after a couple of seconds.
    Have you the same problem with the standard AC?
    thanks a lot and awesome job with your printer.

    1. As I said in a earlier reply I’m currently using a 12V 22 Amps PSU

  16. I am in the process of doing something very similar with my print rite. I can’t find any specs for the motherboard though. I’m wondering if the board can handlemthe 10 amps for the heated bed? The cable from the power supply can’t and each circuit on the power connector onnthe motherboard can only handle 8 amps, my mother board only uses one circuit. Do you know Wherein could find specs for the motherboard?
    Keep up the good work!

    1. Unfortunatly I don’t have any info about the board as well (just what I can see and measure myself…)

  17. Hey thank you for all the details about the MK2a heat bed ! very useful !

    Can you tell me the specs of the new power unit you are using ?
    Andwhat about your 3d corners ? are they holding the heat up ? is it PLA o ABS ?

    thanks a lot !


    1. Hi Ben, the power unit I’m using has a 12V output of 22Amps, the corners are printed in PLA, the distance from the headbed is enought to prevent any heatproblems (I’m running the heatbed at 65 degrees celsius, haven’t testet 100 yet)

      1. thank you Lukas !

        i ordered a 12 V 15A PSU before you answered, but I’m relieved now. It will work 😉

        I forgot to mention that I rebuild the corner part my self based on your idea and published it here:

        Ii also mentioned your website as initial idea.

        Thanks again


  18. Hi Lukas,
    i want to thank you for sharing your know how and experiences. If i may i would like to ask for some advice from you. i am having a problem with my printer after trying to print some parts that never started to print. it seems to connect with the software but wont respond to any commands. after power-up it only blinks rapidly nonstop. i have tried to get help from the manufacturer but they don’t seem to be able to help.

    this is my first printer and i have no experience with these things. do you have some suggestions that i could try.


    1. Hi Josef, the rapid blinking is normal, what host application are you using? Repetier? Make sure you selected the Marlin/Sprinter Firmware and the correct Serialport and Baudrate!

  19. Hi Lukas

    Is there a chance I could have the file to print out your bed brackets to mod my printer?



    1. Yes sure!

  20. Hi Lukas

    Like you I’ve got a Print Rite 3d and soon decided on a heated print bed. A few basic mistakes I made in my eagerness to get it fitted and working has caused me a few problems. My “solution” to the large size was to use some parts from a modern Meccano set (another of my interests) to extend the size of the original bed. As I said eagerness took over when I mounted the extensions under the bed and happily leveled everything and started to experiment with ABS and soon I was getting all manner of failures and was approaching the “throw it all in the trash” stage. I started to be more methodical in my approach and realised that the original bed had deformed with the heat because in effect the extensions mounted under the bed were literally pulling up the corners as tension was put on the heated bed to level it. This has caused the centre of the bed sink and the connector block for the X axis drive belts is now hitting the centre rod of the frame and causing obviously the bed to lift up as it passes over. I was baffled at first when the print nozzle datum kept changing all the time and now it’s clear what the cause was, in some ways a relief but just as much I was annoyed with myself for not considering all the possible faults before I started, as I said eagerness can really mess things up lol. As I was an engineer for 30 years I should have known better but these things will always happen and we live and learn (sometimes).

    Like you I have all sorts of varied hobbies which have developed even more since I retired, at one point I was part owner of all the fibreglass moulds for the Ford RS200 rally car and we were going to build more faithful replicas than those available but too much time and money and the project never got off the ground. I play about with a 50 year old Datsun Roadster that I’ve been involved with since 1997 but only actually owned it since 2006 (that in itself is another story), Meccano has always been a sort of background interest since I was a kid but now according to my wife I have too much but as I don’t recognise “too much” and now have stuff from the very start to some fairly modern stuff but I don’t really like the plastic stuff they’re using now but at least some came in useful. I’m in the process of building a model railway in the attic, have an interest in large scale live steam models, model boats, a mild interest in photography and the list goes on.



    1. Hi Keith, thanks for your comment! I didn’t knew Meccano, when I was younger I used to build stuff with Matador, but that was much simpler =D, I also own 2 model railways: a Kleinbahn (at my granny’s place) and several boxes of LGB tracks and locomotives. I think 3D printers are the perfect tool for modelmaking and rc 🙂

  21. You rock! Thanks! I owe you a beer 🙂

  22. Great article, can you post some pictures of the wiring setup for the heatbed also?

Leave a Reply