Sunday, February 28, 2010

Good deals for cranky robots.

We all have stuff that we have to buy to feed our machines, and there are some really good places to buy the stuff. Just wanted to call out a few of them.

Kapton Tape

8mm apton Tape at Deal Extreme for $2.19
24mm Kapton Tape at Deal Extreme for $4.20
101.6mm Kapton Tape at Tape Depot for 1mm for $92, 2mm for $105

Cool thing about the 100mm roll is that you can Kapton your Makerbot build plate for $.33, or your Darwin/Rapman for $1.50.

100mmx100mm Kapton sheet pre cut at Makergear for $3.50 (Don't have to drop $100+ dollars for something you will rarely replace if treated right).


Pololu is hands down the best source for stepper motors. They have tons of nema 14, 17, 23 and basicly any size in between in stock. They also allow you to select the torc you need. Shipping was only 5 dollars for a stepper motor to my house in USA,NC. Same $12-20 dollar price range all the lower price stepper motor retailers sell for, but this one ships from inside the US.

Phidgets has a great selection of Stepper motors. NEMA 14 & NEMA 17 steppers for $15 a piece, NEMA 23 for $21. Quick shipping and the motors look perfect (I have not ran my NEMA 14 yet, so can't say how well they WORK though).

Erbyers over at ebay consistently has NEMA 17 motors for $7. They are basically the same stats as the Makerbot NEMA 17, with a double shaft.

Kysan Gear motor sku 1156006, same gear motor sold by Makerbot. Kysan shipments usually take a long time, but if you need the gear motor, and Makerbot's out of stock, good backup way to get it. (If Makerbot is in stock, buy it through them, that way you are supporting their business model, only use this source if they are out of stock). $15

Makerbot specific items

Makerbot has the lowest price on Natural ABS, and they are the only ones that sell 4032 PLA. They also now have 5lb rolls of RED, GREEN, BLUE, YELLOW, and BLACK ABS. Can't go wrong with Makerbot, when they are in stock.

Ultimachine sells 5lb rolls of 4042 PLA in black, green and clear. Their PLA is very inexpensive, with the clear being only $50 and colored $60. They ship quick and are great folk.

Villageplastics is a great back up place to buy plastic from. They will sell you what ever colors they are running currently without a set up fee. Also they will run What ever color you want for a $50 set up fee, plus the per lb rate. There quoted price is a little higher than Makerbot , then they charge to %3 for credit card. So it'a a great backup if you can't get the filament cheaper at Makerbot. If you are going to buy, I suggest you place your order over the phone, that way you don't have to trust your card to email. Phone # 330-753-0100

Makerbot specific items

$35 dollar heated build plate kit at Makergear, it works great, looks great (when done it looks and works like it was part of your bot in the 1st place, always a sign of a GREAT kit) and the build plate goes on and off a Makerbot just like the original build plate (no plugs, it magneticly connects like a Macbook). The kit is no harder to put together than the Plasturder. I also have to say that their heater core kit, thermistor kit, and laser cut plastruder replacement parts (wish I didn't know this) all rock the casaba. They also sell 1lb rolls of LOTS of different plastics. They are great folk over there.


As everyone knows has the electronics in kits, and 1 off. MOST reliable source, when they are in stock.

Full set of RepRap electronics (equivalent to Makerbot gen 3) for $215, plus they include the power supply & cables, and it uses the ribbon cables like the standard RepRap. It's over in the RepRap forum. Also they sell out of their ebay store. The lady that's doing it claims to have plenty in stock and could ship VERY quickly. **btw I have not bought from her yet, so Caveat emptor and all that.

Reprapsource sells the Arduino based electroncis for Mendel at their site. Unfortunately they are in Europe, with killer VAT and shipping.

Mechanicals for Mendel

J-dubs talked VXB into stocking a "Mendel kit" for $50. It actually works out as a good deal. Also VXB is the cheapest place to find precession smooth rod that I have found. Again ship quick and great people

WTTools has the cheapest smooth (non precession) rod I have found. At $4 for a 3 foot stick of 8mm smooth it's a great deal. I have 2 sticks sitting at my house, and it SEEMS like it will be perfect for Mendel. My Makerbot uses precision smooth rod, you can tell the difference, but it's not DRASTIC.

Onlinemetals is a great place to buy plastic & metal (don't let the name fool you). They have 1 foot sticks of PTFE Teflon for $5, and 1 foot of PEEK for $30. Their 5/16 Teflon is only $5 for 3 foot, makes me wonder how a homemade teflon bushing on teflon rod would work on a bot... hmmm, me things I must try that.

Ultimachine has a $250 Mendel kit (all the rod is precut!). It's everything but motors, belts, electronics, and RP.

Big Blue Saw will cut all the thick sheets for Mendel in 6mm acrylic for $43 dollars. That's 1/3 less than Ponoko, and 1/2 what I can find locally. The All in 1 cut dxf can be found at sourceforge RepRap repository inside the zip file.

Goinreverse over at the RepRap forum has made a cut and paste Mccmaster parts list for Mendel. Just enter his list at the this link.

Most other things I buy from Mcmaster .

I am sure you guys have found some GREAT deals I have now clue about. Please put them in the comments and I will add them to this blog post.

Thanks to Cyrozap


  1. The mccmaster parts list is for a Mendel, forgot to mention that ;)

  2. For clarification, the "5lb rolls of RED, GREEN, BLUE, YELLOW, and BLACK." are for ABS.

    Also, to add to your list, you can get a full Mendel hardware kit at Ultimachine for only $250. From the site:
    "This kit includes all the bolts, nuts, washers, threaded and smooth rod needed to build your Mendel. Most bolts, nuts, and washers come with a few extras in case one gets lost. The rods are nice and straight. It is all packed tight and ships well. All studding and bar length cut to +0.8mm , - 0.0mm ends ground and ready for use or filed further."

    Sure, it's a little more than the McMaster list, but the rods and studding are all pre-cut.

    Thanks for the list, anyways! You're really helping to spread RepRaps by releasing those production files and now this list.

  3. Oh, and the Phidgets NEMA 17 steppers are only $14.30 USD, I think you just saw the $15 Canadian price. Yeah, their site defaults to Canadian prices.

  4. Thanks for pointing me to Phidgets, I finally found the NEMA14 steppers there to finish my mini mendel! I hope the torque is enough for really fast XY moves (< 50mm/s). Otherwise I'd have to get into more complicated motion control.
    Martijn, a friend of mine pointed me to a German supplier that delivers smooth, precise hardened rods at very decent prices:

    They will cut it for free, there are no ordering costs other than shipping which shouldn't be too expensive in Europe.


    P.s. have you done the yet? We still need more respondants. Thanks! :)

  5. I am currently only posting American suppliers. Erik, post a similar post, but for European suppliers over on your side of the pond. They need this information as much as us yanks

  6. This sounds like the sort of stuff that might be useful on a wiki page - as long as it doesn't get 'spammed' by manufaturers!

    Yep, a post for UK/Europe would also be useful. Some american companies don't ship to the UK, and even if they do with VAT (17.5%) and shipping it can get more expensive


  7. Thank you guys for all the tips!

  8. Thanks for the kind words about Big Blue Saw. We've had a several customers order laser cut parts for various RepRap variants, and we always love to hear about success stories.

  9. BTW dang you guyes, I was just getting ready to order more NEMA 14 motors, and you bought them out. Drat and double drat.

  10. Yes, I had that problem. I told people about that I found them, finally. Then I wanted to order them myself and they were sold out! I guess more people are trying to stock up to build mini-mendels?!
    Anyway. Many suppliers are listed here:
    Several are in common with the regular Mendel.

  11. for Mendel/Darwin/MakerBot heater barrels + nozzles and aluminum idler wheels for MakerBots (the Al Idler Wheels have a shallow groove along the edge to help guide the filament).

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