The Honey Badger

In early 2012 I was first introduced to FDM 3D Printing, instantly I was Hooked, I realised that I could create any geometry I could imagine. The first 3D printer I used was an Up! Plus 1 which at the time was an amazing little printer capable of printing PLA and ABS plastic, I was lucky and the School I was at bought 5 of these printers, and from 2012-2016 I spent the majority of my spare time working with these Printers, however then in Late 2016 I left that school and moved to one that didn’t have ANY 3D Printers, so it was settled. I needed to get my own! But I was broke, so the solution.. A cheap “kit” from China.

My Old Anet A8 June 2017

My first Introduction to building my own 3D Printer was the Anet A8, which I bought a second-hand kit off a dodgy site, When it arrived plastic parts were broken and we’re at best a fire hazard. So I started developing my own design, improving and iterating on the design that these Chinese manufactures had come up with. However even with the best design I could come up with I was endlessly having issues with the printer, so in early 2017 I cracked and got a Wanhao i3 V2.1, at the time a printer exploding in popularity. This printer worked like a beast, I managed thousands of hours of prints from this machine, until eventually the motherboard fried, mostly due to me pushing it too hard and trying to move motors faster than it ever intended ongoing.

My review of my Wanhao i3 V2.1


I looked at getting a replacement board but from my previous experience with the Anet, I realised that it would be cheaper to get a new printer altogether. So that’s what I did, I got an Anycubic I3 Mega V1, which I still have and utilise today, however, I’ve realised some fairly major flaws with this printer, and so I decided to build something that could do what I wanted to do!

So I developed the Honey Badger using the original Wanhao i3 Frame, I replaced all the electronics and the majority of the motion system. I also designed this with a Full Metal Hotend and a removable PEI Powder-coated Spring Steel Bed, this means that I can reach the high temperatures required for specialist materials such as PP or Nylon.

The Honey Badger Utilises a Fully Custom Electronics Housing, a Custom Hotend and Extruder Design, and a custom Power Supply Housing. To Design this I used Fusion 360, and my AnyCubic I3 Mega to Print the required parts using PLA & ABS Plastic.

For the Mainboard of the Honey Badger I chose a BTT SKR E3 Turbo, Mostly because it had TMC2209 Stepper drivers, this means that I could play with something that I’ve been wanting to play with for a long time: Sensorless Homing, which basically detects if a motor is skipping steps, and if it is it uses that position as an endstop. Eliminating the need for traditional endstops.

For the Power Supply, I used a Meanwell 12v 30a 350w DC Powersupply, this is pretty much a standard for 3D printers, most users chose between 12v or 24v, in this case, I chose 12v – mostly because my fans only supported 12v. But Meanwell makes extremely robust PSU’s and so far it’s been working a treat.

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