as it is currently, there are several questions that gave info about a specific printer. While I tried to add the appropriate names for these kit-printers, I feel that it technically is inappropriate for these to actually have this tag. Even as the DIY tag contains the "assembled from a kit by the end user" in the wiki, there is also non-commercially in it, meaning it seems to be meant for a true DIY kits like Hypercube or such. They are so vastly different, that I fel we should encourage the following:

  • pull any comercial kits out of the tag
  • add a tag or use for questions that struggle with the assembly of a kit together with the specific model's tag
  • enforce the specific tag of the kit for questions having problems with it

2 Answers 2


To me, the dividing line between "DIY" and "not DIY" is who you deal with if a part is defective when you get it.

If you're contacting different vendors for a jammed bearing, a miswired stepper motor, or a dead controller board, it's DIY. If you talk to the same person regardless of which part is defective out of the box, it's not DIY. So, from Greenonline's examples, 1, 2, and 3 are DIY, while 4 and 5 aren't.

Yes, that means that a printer can evolve from "not DIY" to "DIY". For example, if you start with a preassembled Prusa i3 Mk3, but then replace the V6 hotend with a Volcano hotend in an extruder found on Thingiverse, switch to a 320-watt Meanwell PSU, replace the display with a touchscreen, change out the ball bearings for sleeve bearings, upgrade the steppers for more precision, and install a BuildTak bed, you've now got a DIY printer.


It got too long to fit in a comment:

That does seem sort of reasonable. A DIY printer should be one that has been sourced from various parts. Or should that also include (or be exclusively) DIY designs? I mean, DIY means Do It Yourself, so a commercial kit, is literally a DIY printer, even though it is following a recognised design. It may seem a pedantic point over semantics but what is classed as DIY? Is it:

  1. A true home brew, DIY design? And everything made from scratch with a lathe and possibly another 3D printer?
  2. Following a RepRap design straight of the Wiki/Github and printing the plastic parts yourself
  3. Following a RepRap design straight of the Wiki/Github but buying the plastic parts (because you don't yet have a printer)
  4. Following a RepRap design straight of the Wiki/Github but a complete kit
  5. Buying a commercial printer available as a kit, in kit form.

To me, there is not much difference between the last two, if the commercial printer is derived from a RepRap. Even 2 and 3 are just as DIY as each other, really.

So, just to play devil's advocate, here are four real word scenarios...

  • Would you class a P3Steel as a DIY tag or as a printer-kit tag if the frame was purchased as a kit from Poland, but the rest of it was sourced separately from various places, such as Chinese eBay vendors?
  • Likewise, a Kossel, whose plastic parts were bought from a eBay vendor and then the aluminium struts were cut to length in the back streets of Bangkok - would that be a commercial kit (because the plastic parts were available commercially), or DIY?
  • Also, a Wilson II, whose plastic parts were from MJRice (the designer of the Wilson), but the aluminium came from a cottage industry aluminium extruder in Vietnam, who you had had to walk miles to find. Commercial kit or DIY tag?
  • Now, twisting it slightly... What about a complete Wilson II kit? Where the entire frame and kit has been purchased from an eBay vendor, or MJRice. Is that commercial or not?

There seems to be a fine line between the last two. We might need to be very specific in the tag definitions if people aren't going to get confused.

If, all four examples are DIY then fine. If none of them are, because the plastic parts were purchased, then ok, we have a very strict definition of DIY.

Just for completeness, the first three scenarios are my personal purchasing experiences, where I considered them as DIY printers.

Now, to be fair to your question, I think I know what you mean. You are referring to printer kits from established manufacturers that are available pre-built, or as kits. Is that right? I just want to clarify what defines a commercial kit and a DIY kit.

Does that make sense? I might have got a bit carried away.

  • $\begingroup$ I would pull the line between 4 and 5: as soon as you buy a complete kit, it is no longer DIY. But if you Frankenstein a Prusa i3Mk1 with an e3D hotend, it is a good ammount of DIY. The thing why I want the separation is for troubleshooting: the more alteration from a proven/comercial design there is, the less experience with the base model helps. For example the Creality printers seem at times to have weak couplings to the PTFE tube. TronXY skips on an eccentric nut on their printers, making other means of tightening the rollers needed... all that is endemic to their printers, not the... $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 19:29
  • $\begingroup$ ...general overall design. $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 19:30
  • $\begingroup$ I agree totally with your sentiment, well, 95% of me does. But surely some of the issues that are experienced by the commercial kit builders, will also be the same as those experienced by true DIY builders, so whilst tagging them as by their brand/model/Marque is a very good idea, shouldn't they also be tagged with (or retain) the "superset" tag of DIY? Oh, hold on, you are saying that issues specific to certain commercial kits shouldn't have the DIY tag? So long as those issues really don't crop up in other DIY printers, then yeah, I think that I agree. Don't just take my word for it though $\endgroup$
    – Greenonline Mod
    Commented Jul 10, 2018 at 19:38

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