Morgan Vitals (Why should I build a Morgan)

Morgan is designed to be easy to build, easy to use and affordable, with less Vitamins than most – for example:

  • 4 x Stepper motors
  • 9 x 608z bearings
  • 4 x LM8uu
  • less than 1m smooth rod
  • 12 x M8 nuts etc.

Although the cost of some of these minor vitamins are negligible  the idea is not to only to bring down cost, but to lower the overall complexity of the design.

The process of printing with Morgan is exactly the same as any other RepRap.  The Firmware takes care of the inverse kinematics that translates X and Y to Theta and Psi

Here are some vitals of the currently released Morgan:

  • Configured build volume: 200x200x250 – 10 litre   The possible build volume with a half-moon shaped build surface can be up to 30 litre (longest possible printable component could be more than 500mm
  • Build price is dependent on the amount of recycled materials used.  In the prototype the wood was salvaged from old packing crates, the pipes were recycled from old office furniture, half of the 608 bearings were re-purposed  etc.  Some of the more expensive components are also optional, like the heated bed, LCD display, SD card reader
  • Print quality is not overly dependent on the quality of materials used, excepting possibly the linear elements in the Z-axis
  • Print quality is also not highly dependent on the quality of the assembly, as long as the calibration is done according to the instructions.  The firmware takes care of the rest.

Morgan is a long way from hitting the $100 material cost because of the excessive cost of some of the exotic vitamins, like the hot-end and electronics.  These should be a lot less expensive, and it will be the focus of my research to find the way to make the material cost drop below that target.

Of course kits will never retail at those levels.  People need to be paid to do that, and their time is expensive, but makers should have a choice depending on how much they are willing to pay versus how much time they are willing to spend.

A heartfelt thank you to the generous people that donated to Morgan to date.  Your contribution, be it time, or money will be worth it when the next disruptive technology is spawned from the 3D tools we are seeding into the world now.


10 Replies to “Morgan Vitals (Why should I build a Morgan)”

  1. So.. with say.. documentation on what electronics are needed (steppers etc.) what would a ‘mechanical kit’ (plastic parts, PVC, bearings, rod & belts) cost out of the box? I ask as I have a Prusa that has given me nothing but headache and this looks like a VERY simple and rewarding place to put the parts. Got my credit card in hand 😉

    1. If you have a prusa, you basically have all the vitamins save the 6805 bearings to build your morgan, with parts to spare!

      What electronics do you currently have?

      You might need to get two DRV pololus, 32 uStepping is vital, and if you can (but not immediately) replace the arm drive motors with 400step (0.9 deg) motors.

      Again I wish I had a “normal” job that would allow me more time to get everything in order. I should have time this weekend to put a bit of work into the assembly instruction.


  2. Current Electronics would be a standard hot end (.5mm) 5xNema17 Steppers and Arduino Mega with Ramps 1.4 wLCD kit & 3 endstop switches. As for location.. Im in the US (Zipcode 46901) Any predictions on when your kit will go public?

  3. Hey there,
    Which pieces increase to increase the Z build height?
    I am thinking smooth rods, threaded and maybe lead screw? Of course PVC legs would need more too.
    Most of the rods I’m ordering appear to be in 1M lengths so why not take advantage?

  4. I’ve taken the liberty of doing some material reduction of one of the parts in sketchup. This is the “PSI arm A” with a bit of plastics reduction I believe that there’s room for plenty more reduction. However, if I should not be doing this, please tell me.

    Anyway, this is just a bit of quick messing around, but brings the cost from $76USD to $44USD on shapeways. I left out the two holes on the longitudinal shaft and changed the “pointed” divots to “square” [look underneath the model] and i removed some material on the tube with the 6 point hole. I don’t *think* these changes will affect strength after looking at the assembled printer pictures. I don’t own or really have access to my own 3d printer, but i really like the simplicity of this printer design; and I think these reductions can speed print time and save materials. If it is acceptable, I will continue on material reduction [and make the parts look neater; the truss is a hack].

    1. Hi ill13,

      I tried trusses before moving to the “pipe” design. The arms have significant twist force on them when the PSI arms are at 90 deg, and then the truss tend to flex too much.

      It is open source though, and you can do whatever you like with my designs, no problem. Just know that there is a big box full of failed printer parts under my desk…


      1. OK, cool! Well, if there’s a ton of torsional stress and the truss idea is no good…then maybe reinforcing the pipe with a sort of snap-in steel or aluminum rod or shaft can alleviate some of the materials cost. Either way, it looks like i need to get my hands on an actual printer before spending too much time doing what you have already done!

        1. Yes. This would be a better idea. I even designed a part to do this initially, and might return to it in future. Of course there are other challenges surrounding that solution, but the ideas are brewing already for a future version of the machine.

          In the mean time I need to work on getting the instructions improved.


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