The K8200: my favorite open-source 3d printer

Hi there! It’s been a long time since I posted new entry on this 3d printing related blog, I really have to apologize because the last couple of months have been really busy with Gigamax 3D Printing Technology and parametric | art 3d print studio. The two projects did some huge things this summer, you can read about the great 3d printing events in Budapest organized by Design Terminal and Varinex on another blog about 3d printing.

3d print quality of the k8200 3d printer

3d printed on the Velleman 3d printer

Today I’m going to introduce you my favorite affordable 3d printer machine, the Velleman K8200 open-source 3d printer kit which I got from GigamaX3D for testing. The original design of the 3d printer has been developed by Open Electronics under the ‘3Drag’ project name, and they have organized the mass production together with the Belgian DIY giant Velleman company and gave it the name K8200. This is a truly massive and affordable 3d printer with a quite huge build volume of 20 x 20 x 20 cm.

The K8200 3D printer is the best choice for educational use

the k8200 3d printer at the reception of Velleman

Comparing to the well-known RepRap open-source 3d printer kits, these machines are easy to assemble, thanks to the detailed multi-language building instructions and maintenance manual. The machine is completely open-source, which means you can download the design files and modify them, and you also can hack the firmware of the machine to turn your 3d printer into a CNC milling machine or a chocolate or pasta printer making a few changes on the tool head.

My favorite 3d printing machine

One of the most poplar 3d printers of the world: the Velleman K8200 3d printer

Since its debut at the Maker Faire in New York last year, the Velleman K8200 3d printer is nowadays one of the most popular 3d printer on the market. Its affordable price, stable build and flexible construction design made this machine a great choice for hackers, makers, hobbyists and designers to entry the 3d printing world. It isn’t a plug&play device, the user has to build the 3d printer kit from scratch, but after building your very first 3d printer, you will be able to tune it to get the best 3d prints from it. It works with the open-source Slc3r software, and you can use any 3d printer host program like Pronterface, Printrun or Repetier. A lot of people use this 3d printer for different stuff, I’ve just a found a blog about a girl and her 3d printer who crates some unique 3d printed jewelry pieces with her affordable open-source machine. The controller of the 3d printer is based on the Arduino AT2560 Mega, which architecture is really similar to the well-known RAMPS controller. You can easily upgrade your 3d printer using the machine, there are some really useful downloadable parts which can be 3d printed and added to the machine. These useful hacks like the fan duct or the motherboard housing will make your cheap 3d printer run like a professional machine, you can easily 3d print things in large scale with a layer height of 200 microns.

cheap and precise 3d printer: the 3Drag machine

3d printed models made by the K8200 (3Drag) 3d printer

The Velleman K8200 3d printer can be ordered at the Gigamax 3d print webshop from stock, with all the necessary upgrade kits and 3d printing materials to set up your very first 3d printing studio at home or in your workshop. If you want to go for a better accuracy, you can purchase the Velleman 1.75 mm extruder upgrade kit, which contains a smaller nozzle (0.35 mm instead the standard 0.5 mm nozzle) and you can use 1.75 mm 3d printer filaments instead of the usual 3 mm plastic which allows you a more precise control over extrusion and retraction to print chiseled details of your beautiful models. The K8200 3d printer is a great choice for educational use as well, it is easy to build together in the studio, there aren’t any expensive parts which can damaged during the work, and it is a great tool for experimenting and pushing the boundaries of affordable desktop 3d printing and its integration into the modern digital craftsmanship.

Velleman K8200 affordable open-source 3d printer for everyone

just finished a 3d printing job

GigamaX3D has sold about 60 3d printers from this type, they also offer assembly services and technical support for the machines. If you buy a 3d printer KIT, you can get phone or mail support for a month in case you won’t be able to complete the 3d printer building process. There are some tool necessary for building the 3d printer, which also can be purchased from the company. They also organize workshops for building a 3d printer, where you can build your own 3d printer kit with others lead by the experienced engineers of the company. The workshops are usually in the Gigamax 3D Printing Studio in Budapest, but they often do free-to-attend workshops according to 3d printing events in Budapest, for example they did a generative 3d modeling for 3d printing workshop last months at Innotrends 2014 in Budapest, and they also did an open-source 3d printing workshop at the Budapest 3D Printing Days at Design Terminal.

The Velleman k8200 3d printer has got a really fine 3d print quality

dine details and amazing bridging capabilities of the Velleman 3d printer

If you have been at the Maker Faire in Rome last month, you must have met the K8200 3d printer modded to a truly affordable chocolate 3d printer. It was quite a big hype for the new hack, because usually chocolate 3d printers are quite expensive nowadays. With some simple hacks, you can slide your plastic extruder tool to the side of the machine, and you can mount a chocolate or pasta extruder in place. You just need to make some mods in the firmware, and you can start 3d printing with chocolate. The project is under development, but the files are available for download so you can build your won chocolate 3d printer from scratch and you can get technical support for your build. If you already have an open.source cheap 3d printer, why not to try some new things?

If you are not into sweeties – you girlfriends surely does – you also can turn your Velleman 3d printer into a CNC milling machine, which can mill PCBs or soft materials like foam or some woods like balsa. You can download the design files for some necessary plastic parts which can be 3d printed, and after that, you can mount a Dremel or a Proxon milling machine in the place of the plastic extruder tool. You have to download and flash a new firmware on the board using the Arduino software, and after that you can use the same software for generating the milling tool paths and the g-code for the machine. That sounds great, doesn’t it? Check out this amazing video while the Velleman K8200 3d printer is printing a chocolate mug in a couple of minutes. Would you like to have your morning coffee in a cup like this? I definitely would!

upgraded 0.35 mm extruder for the 3Drag 3d printer

0.35 mm extruder upgrade with 1.75 mm filament diameter for the Velleman K8200 3d printer

Upgrade the Z axis threaded rods for the Velleman 3d printer

Threaded rod upgrade for the Velleman K8200 3d printer to print up to .100 mm layer height

The best thing in the K8200 3d printer is, that its design allows you to modify it for special printing jobs. For example, if you want to have a stand-alone 3d printer, which can work without any USB connection, you can purchase and SD module, which is a stand-alone controller for your Velleman K8200 3d printer with an integrated LCD display and an SD card slot. You can control and override your 3d print settings during the 3d printing process, you can browse and load your gcode files from the insert SD card and it is easier to load and reload 3d printer filaments in your machine than ever. With this affordable standalone controller for your 3d printer, you’ll have a perfect machine for production of small series. If you want to 3d print with special materials like flexible 3d printer filament or conductive 3d printing material, you can do all these things with this machine for about 550 €.

This 3d printer can work as a CNC mill

Velleman 3d printer as a CNC mill

The Velleman K8200 3d printer is a perfect xmas gift as well, because it is not only a 3d printer, it is a multifunctional DIY personal fabrication station, which can help students, designers and engineers to turn their ideas into physical object using affordable and easy-to-use digital fabrication techniques like CNC milling or 3d printing. You also can mount a CO-laser on the machine to build your very own laser cutter on engraver, which will be a useful tool in your 3d lab. If you want to decorate your 3d printed artworks, you can use the 3d printing pen or 3d pen from GigamaX, which works with the same 3d printer material, so you can draw and sketch in the 3d space or on the surface of your 3d printed objects.

3d printed sculptures anyone?

beautiful 3d printed model made by the Velleman 3d printer

3d pen for drawing in 3dThe 3d pen is a nice and creative toy for kids from the age of 12, you also can create some unique 3d printed christmas ornaments using you 3d pen and some 3d printer filament sticks. And you also should stay tuned, because in a couple of weeks, the brand new 3d printer of Velleman, the K8400 Vertex 3d printer is going to arrive to the GigamaX 3D Printing store, which will set the line for affordable opensource 3d printers. It will work with dual extrusion mechanism and bowden extruders, which allows you 3d print quick and precise using different materials or colors in the same model.

the new 3d printer with the new dual extruder head

new and improved extruder mechanism of the forthcoming Vertex 3d printer

You also can 3d print your models with PVA 3d printer filament which is a water-soluble support material, so you don’t need to remove your support structures manually, you just have to put your 3d printed model into hot water and wait until the support will dissolve.

this brand new Vertex 3d printer will be available for pre-order in a couple of weeks!

First working prototype of the Velleman K8400 Vertex 3d printer

3d printer at the research and development of the Velleman company

one of the first prototypes of the forthcoming Velleman K8400 Vertex 3d printer

the prototype of the new 3d printer by Velleman

3d printer prototype at the Velleman HQ

Vertex 3d printer with dual extrusion 3d printing mechanism

The dual extruder of the K8400 Vertex 3D printer

When I visited the Velleman HQ in Belgium in September, I also spent some time in their R&D department and made some shots from the working prototypes, here are some sneak-peaks of the forthcoming brand new Velleman K8400 Vertex 3d printer! How do you like it? It will available for a pre-order in a couple of weeks at the GigamaX 3D Print webshop!


3D printing buildings and entire streets – will additive manufacturing revolutionize the building industry as well?

Hi there, today it’s going to be about some really special appliances of 3d printing, this brand new additive manufacturing technology, which has been applied in the rapid prototyping industry for many years now, but in the last couple of months, it seems to bless the housing and building industry as well.


The advantages of using 3D printing technology in building industry would be quicker construction, lower labor costs, and less waste produced. It is also a potential way of building extraterrestrial structures on the Moon or other planets where environmental conditions are less conducive to human labor-intensive building practices. The layer by layer building technique of the most common 3D printing techniques offers a large scale of opportunities for architects and designers, but unfortunately, they haven’t got the chance for experimenting because the usual 3D printers have a build volume of about 300 cubic inches so it isn’t enough for some large scale or 1:1 prototypes or building structures.


That scale fits for the most 3D printed projects in almost every scene, such as jewelry, shoes, furniture, and 3D printed art work. But there are already some really inspirational and progressive experiments and researches at Loughborough University (UK) which is inspired by 3D printing with concrete and which is said to be capable of producing full sized building components with a degree of customization that has not yet been seen. It could create a new era of architecture that is adapted to the environment and fully integrated with engineering function. It sounds pretty weird, doesn’t it?

Research is under way to flexibly construct commercial and private habitation in around 20 hours, with built-in plumbing and electrical facilities, in one continuous build, using large 3D printers. Working versions of 3D printing building technology are already printing 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) of building material per hour as of January 2013, with the next-generation printers capable of 3.5 metres (11 ft) per hour, sufficient to complete a building in a week.


A dutch architect is planning on constructing a two-story, futuristic “Landscape House” using a custom-designed 3D printer. He uses a D-Shape printer, which combines thin layers of sand with some bonding material to create a similar finish to marble. The building, then, will be 3D printed in chunks — about 20 feet by 30 feet — and be constructed from the ground up. That’s what additive fabrication is all about, isn’t it? Janjaap Ruijssenaars’s 3D printed building is scheduled to be built in 2014.

“ The Landscape House couldn’t be built with conventional technology — the 3D printed frame will be one huge piece of rock, entirely seamless, with steel and glass extras installed on the sides. Its shape is meant to “celebrate landscape”, but it’s also a demonstration of what might be considered the efficiencies of 3D printing rather than any kind of revolution. “ (Ruijssenaars)


Let’s conitnue with another awesome 3D printed architectural project! Do you know Softkill Design‘s Protohouse for a great example of additive construction that really would be impossible with bricks and mortar and other traditional building materials? Let me introduce you this amazing concept of this complex organic structure, which can remind you on sci-fi scenes.


The Protohouse of Softkill Design experiments with the architectural potential of the latest Selective Laser Sintering technologies, pushing the boundaries of huge scale 3D printing by computational designing using parametric and generative algorithms that can micro-organize the printed material itself. With the support of the huge 3D printing company Materialise, Softkill Design fabricated a high resolution prototype of a 3D printed building at 1:33 scale. The 3D printed model consists of 30 precisely detailed fibrous pieces which can be easily assembled into one continuous cantilevering structure, without need for any adhesive material. The arrangement of 700 micron radius fibres displays a wide range of flexible and dynamic architectural textures and the capability to fabricate built-in  architectural elements, such as structure, furniture, stairs, and façade, all in one instance. That will really inspire the contemporary architecture, just you wait!


And I want to introduce an other awesome concept, the project came from the MIT Media Lab, and it’s actually a progressive and experimental collaboration between computational architecture and bio-engineering. Neri Oxman and her team at MIT has built a pavilion using silkworms and the technology of 3D printing: just check out this awesome video about the project, it really looks amazing!

SILK PAVILION from Mediated Matter Group on Vimeo.

2b3d Budapest 3D Printing Days

Hi there! Did you know, that there was  3D print show in Hungary in June? Okay, first, I had to apologize because I posted my first and last article on this blog a couple of weeks ago, but forgive me, I have been really busy in the last couple of months, and I really enjoy it! My 3D printing passion is getting greater, and the best thing is that many people are getting interested in my 3D printed designs as well!

© @andreashepherd on Instagram

© @andreashepherd on Instagram

I’ve just attended on an event organized in Budapest last week, from the 11th to 16th of June. Maybe I was wrong, I haven’t been there as a visitor, I’ve been there as professional exhibitor with my parametric | art brand, I had an own corner at the exhibition. So I could exhibit my 3D printed designs and my desktop 3D printer has been printing all the time while I made some workshops and lectures as well. This conference and expo with workshops was for all the people who are interested in high-tech gadgets, like desktop 3D printers, parametric design, 3D printed unique design objects, additive manufacturing, generative architecture, parametric 3D modeling with Grasshopper and other 3D arts. That was such a big deal for me, you know I’ve just started my 3D print blog about generative design in the last couple of months, and this huge hype all-around was totally unexpected. I hope it starts something cool…

© Design Terminal

© Design Terminal

The show was called 2b3d Budapest 3d Printing Days, organized by Design Terminal, a governmental institution responsible for the development and support of the hungarian creative industries, and is to encourage young artists and engineers working in the national creative industries – including local 3D printing enthusiasts – to emerge domestically, and to direct the attention of domestic and international investors to the potential business opportunities behind their talent. For tourists, Design Terminal at Deák tér is the best place to go if you are interested in local urban art, design and other creative civil projects.

© Design Terminal

© Design Terminal

Te event attracted a lot of people and had a huge amount of significant 3D printing organizations exhibiting including, Leopoly, FreeDee, Protokat, Rapid3D, Catalyst, Varinex, Fablab Budapest, Kitchen Budapest, and me as parametric | art. The topic has been geared to provide the audience with a strong foundation and explanation of how 3D printing is today, how it will change our future and what business opportunities are on the horizon. In addition to the several tutorials and seminar sessions, attendees found an exhibition hall packed with the desktop and industrial 3D printers and 3D printed objects like generative 3D printed jewelry designs, prototypes, designer lampshades, toys and medical demonstration tools.

© Design Terminal

© Design Terminal

Although the show had a quite small footprint, it was well-packed. The young team of Design Terminal did a manage it well, I’ve count about hundreds of attendees in the exhibition hall and seminars every single day, and the tutorials and conference attracted many attendees as well. It’s such a big deal, because I bet that about 1/3 of the audience was totally new to 3D printing. And based on how crowded the exhibit hall was—every time I approached it, I saw a wall of people—there was a lot of interest in just watching the machines running.

© Design Terminal

© Design Terminal

I absolutely enjoyed the lectures and the workshops, although unfortunately I wasn’t able to watch them all. One thing that impressed me was how well the crowd mixed—it included a huge amount of people who were completely newbies, plenty of people from the “desktop” 3d printing world, and some people from medical and design industry, whose printers cost several times more than my little MakerBot Replicator 2 desktop 3D printer.

© Design Terminal

© Design Terminal

There were some really interesting discussions and debates about 3D printings applications. Journalists caught up with the 3D printing experts to find out how 3D printers and the third industrial revolution will change our lives. I also had a workshop on Thursday about generative 3D modeling and parametric design, the attendees have 3D modeled a parametric bracelet using the totally free Grasshopper 3D for Rhino, and then, we’ve optimized the geometry to 3D print in on my exhibited desktop 3D printer. I think it has worked, although it wasn’t enough time to make something more complex because of the lack of time. One design has been 3D printed, and I’m going to send the 3D printed model to the designer for free, he gets it as a gift.

© parametric | art

© parametric | art

I want to discuss the pros and cons as well, so I should write something about the negatives as well. (If there were any of them…J) What I missed about the lectures and seminars was how we should use the several tools (especially open-source, free or cheap ones), including Grasshopper, Meshmixer or Blender to prepare our 3D models for 3D printing. I still can remember when I was starting out with 3D printing, that I had no idea which tool was for designing models, for messing with models, and for repairing the meshes to avoid issues while 3D printing. And I bet that the newbie’s to the scene will have some trouble with their own 3D models when they want to 3D print them as well…

© @bonooobong on Instagram

© @bonooobong on Instagram

Honestly, I got very tired for the end of the week, but it still has been such a great pleasure to be there because it has started something in Hungary, in this little country with a lot of creative and smart people. All the segments of the 3D printing scene have been represented by local hungarian companies, a new high precision DLP 3D printer – invented by two guys – has debuted on the event as well. It was nice to be a part of this cutting-edge event! I just want to thank Design Terminal for the great event management, and thank you everyone for being there and making it legendary! See you next time on a forthcoming Grasshopper or 3D print workshop!

© T-Gla

© T-Gla