- Re-engineer an existing 2D printer mechanism. There’s quite a bit of truth when someone explains that a 3D printer is similar to an inkjet. The print head moves across X and Y dimensions already – you merely have to add the third Z dimension. This greatly simplifies the work.
- Use an existing design already perfected by others. There are a couple of excellent projects that can provide the necessary designs and even the required software. The leaders in this category would of course be the RepRap project and Fab@Home.
- Buy a kit. It’s not only a proven design, but it’s also all the parts and instructions you’ll need. Two leading kit makers include MakerBot and The Rap-Man. You can also purchase assembly kits for RepRap and Fab@Home, too.