Some makers and engineers prefer to use stock 3D printers for their projects, as it functions as intended and produces excellent prints, depending on the model. Others, such as doublec4 (Chris Ch), opt to go the custom route to give their printers increased options and performance. In this case, Chris decided to upgrade his Dremel Digilab 3D20 printer after encountering several issues, including getting stuck on a single layer while printing.
"The original printer was getting hung up around the same layer and exhibiting some other strange behaviors. Some of the hot end wiring was also shorting out. It was destined for scrap, but I found that the mechanical parts of the printer were overall pretty solid, and it was a decent printer despite being old (2014?)," Chris wrote in his post. "I figured the control system was the first thing that needed to go and it sort of snowballed from there.”
Chris outfitted the 3D printer with a Duet Wi-Fi control board, which he mounted on a 3D-printed adapter to align the board’s ports to the back of the case cutouts. He also installed a Panel Due 5" touchscreen, kinematic mount bed leveling system, custom spool holder, all-metal hot end, and a hot-swap PCB hot end. Additionally, he replaced the original 24V power supply with a much larger 350W (@ 24V), which will eventually power a heated bed in the future.
After making a few adjustments to the printer, including spool placement and feed tube, and calibrating the system, Chris managed to create a few functioning test prints and is satisfied with the overall print quality in its current form. While the 3D printer is still an ongoing project, Chris has uploaded a detailed walkthrough on his Duet3D project page with links to schematics and parts needed to build his platform, for those who would like to recreate it.