Brain of Dane

Mega Tron i3 Build Part 1

21 Dec 2023

The History

My brother-in-law gave me his broken Creality Ender 3 v2 3D printer the other day. I was excited to get it home, confident that I would be able to fix it up and get back to my normal printing shenanigans. It didn’t take long to work some of the kinks out and run a couple of prints through it. Everything seems to be humming along nicely, and the prints are coming out clean.

A Creality Ender 3 v2 on a desk with filament rolls hanging behind it.

But what do I do with my old trusty Folgertech 2020 i3? Crusty, somewhat temperamental, and long in the tooth, it’s probably hopeful for retirement. All of those “vitamins”–as they call them in the RepRap world–should not go to waste! So, with a fresh, working printer, I decided I would do the most sensible thing: print another printer!

A Folgertech 2020 i3 printer sitting on a table, waiting to be taken apart.

The youtuber (youtubist? youtubite?) Shane (Fugatech) designed a printer based around the very same Folgertech vitamins I wanted to repurpose. The printer is called “Mega Tron i3”, and you can download the printable parts on the printables web site: Mega Tron i3

According to Shane, you should be able to tear down the Folgertech, print the necessary parts, and build the mega tron from the scraps. I am already andticipating a few issues with this plan.

First, I seem to recall Shane receiving his printer with a few upgrades already installed, and I believe he may have added a few upgrades to the printer over the years. He is definitely not starting from a stock machine, while I definitely am. Second, he has already stated in the design that the printer is designed to use an upgraded control board without end stops, which means I either have to add end stops or upgrade my board.

I also anticipate needing to upgrade my hotend, since the one I have is a little bit dated.

I’ll cross those bridges when I get to them.

So it Begins

Despite not having all of my marbles together, I went ahead an got started. I’ve always liked the idea of building a printer from scratch, which is why I bought the Folgertech as a kit in the first place.

The other day, I spent an afternoon and completely disassembled my faithful old Folgertech. It was a good machine. I learned a lot of great lessons about FDM printing through trial and error with. Like a phoenix, it will be reborn from the ashes as a more powerful reflection of itself.

Wish me luck, and stay tuned!

An opaque plastic bin containing all of the disassembled parts from the Folgertech 2020 i3 kit.