TOME - Portable 3D Printer

Portable and self contained FDM 3D printer designed to be the ideal tool for field hospitals short on supplies and nomadic engineers alike.

Similar projects worth following
The overall dimensions for this project are subject to change but are currently 4" THK x 8" x 11" when folded, with a print volume of a 5" cube. The TOME will have an integrated battery pack (Battery chemistry has not been decided) and a removable filament reel cartridge. Current plans are to make this a PLA only printer with a heated bed for better adhesion. Custom designed XYZ drive and extruder, full CAD and assembly drawings will be available as components are finalized.

More to come!

Current Build progress:

Preliminary Goals: 

1. 4 Hours of print time on battery, 6 with extended battery pack

2. Two filament cartridges: Standard will hold enough filament to print a solid 3" cube, extended will hold enough filament to print a solid 5" cube

3. Accessible hot end that is easy to remove and replace

4. Wireless printing and distributed printing. TOME printers will be Wifi enabled to allow a desktop application to distribute larger files among several printers. There has also been discussion about allowing "Print sharing" where TOME users can make their TOMEs position be shared and allow other users to request prints. 

5. Auto leveling bed: An actual auto-level feature will enable printers to work remotely with minimal operator interference. 

The goals for this project may evolve to encompass more features as this project matures. 

View all 13 components

  • The TOME Status

    Philip Ian Haasnoot02/03/2016 at 21:46 0 comments

    First off I would like to thank everyone for the continued interest in this project, to give a brief update on the project:

    The TOME team had to put this project on the back burner to focus on other ventures. This summer we will be re-launching the project with the goal of producing the first fully-functional prototype and doing some real world testing. Keep your eyes peeled for updates!

  • Out of the Running

    Philip Ian Haasnoot09/30/2014 at 23:59 1 comment

    It was with great sadness that Corey and I had to shift our focus away from the Tome to more pressing matters, as the deadline for the second video approached we tried our best to shift working schedules and find time to produce updates but ultimately were unable. We are still going to update the project as time allows, and will hopefully get the TOME to production one day. 

    Thank you for all of the support and interest, we hope that you will all continue to follow our development into the future. 

  • 3D printing and GrabCAD

    Philip Ian Haasnoot09/18/2014 at 06:20 0 comments

    I was able to 3D print the nut retainers today and they came out great, still need to order the Shapeways parts to really put the entire assembly together. I'll be kicking that order off this Friday and will have enough components to get the Z-axis together and operational. I'll keep plugging away at the design for the X and Y axis but wont be able to get parts in for those until after this second round of judging. 

    I also took a moment to update the GrabCad project located here: with more finished components. Please note that these parts may change over the course of the design, and new versions will be marked V2 when I update the files. 

  • Back in action

    Philip Ian Haasnoot09/17/2014 at 06:09 0 comments

    With the looming deadline I have had to dramatically reorganize my schedule in order to continue working on the TOME. I hope to provide CAD design updates throughout the week. Tonight I worked on the Z-axis anti-backlash nut cover, tomorrow I hope to have Z-axis stage and the X-axis carriage  finished on both sides, and will be clear to begin work on the Y-axis and the extruder later this week. 

  • TOME Test Rig

    Philip Ian Haasnoot08/27/2014 at 08:31 0 comments

    I was able to pull myself away from my other projects to give the TOME some love tonight. I've had this makerbeam sitting around for quite some time, generally I use it for quick test stands or supporting rigs for projects that i'm working on. The TOME rear plate will be re-cut in order to attach to the frame properly (Zip ties are temporary). I feel that attaching the backpane assembly to a rigid test fixture will enable us to perfect the mechanism and get great prints. Once we fine tune the motion mechanism we will make the TOME fold, this will help narrow down causality if our print quality degrades once the folding mechanism is instituted. 

    The StepperStack 2's arrived today and are currently wired up on the test board below. We are using an Arduino Uno, with a spare Joystick breakout from Sparkfun to drive the StepperStack 2's. The goal is to have a very rudimentary drive setup just to test the mechanism, the first prototype will then transition over to the Sanguinololu once we are ready to start printing. The goal is to spin our own board for the first portable prototype, for now our effort needs to be focused on finishing the XYZ Drive mechanisms. 

    The FDM 3D printer we are using to prototype parts is printing everything undersize, and any hole is oblong making it tricky to get our parts to fit properly. We are discussing SLS printing with a local company here in AZ, if all goes well we will have more accurate parts to work with. Currently you can actuate the Z-axis carriage (with spindle installed) by turning the Z-axis lead screw, however due to tolerance issues caused by the 3D printer we are using we cannot spin the X-axis spindle just yet. I'm going to adjust the spindle model to give us some clearance just for this test print so we can get one half of the drive mechanism moving under power. Stay tuned!

  • Stage 1 Video

    Philip Ian Haasnoot08/20/2014 at 18:09 0 comments

    Here is the first round video for the TOME, we're hoping to have much more to show soon and are working on this project as much as our schedules allow. 

    Stay tuned!

  • System Diagram V1

    Philip Ian Haasnoot08/17/2014 at 21:40 0 comments

    Below is the preliminary system block diagram, I noticed a few mistakes once i uploaded it so I will update the diagram before the deadline on 8/20. Filming for the video wrapped up today and I will be making the necessary edits before uploading it to Youtube which will hopefully be done sometime Tomorrow night or Teusday afternoon. 

  • Mind the Gap

    Philip Ian Haasnoot08/11/2014 at 16:13 0 comments

    I apologize for my lack of project updates for the past few weeks, several other projects have popped up in the meantime that needed my attention. Being this is essentially the last week to get our video together I will be focused on documenting the overall system architecture, and  will be overhauling the project documentation to reflect where we are currently. 

    My estimated timeline

    8/11 - System Architecture block diagram
    8/12 - Electrical BOM for PCB (This will be a preliminary list)
    8/13 - X-xis drive CAD model finalized 
    8/14 - X-axis drive design 3D printed
    8/15 - Y-axis drive design completed
    8/16 - Y-axis drive design 3D printed
    8/17 - Prototype Assemble

    8/18 - Video shoot and editing 

    Unfortunately we will not have the funding to fully build the prototype by the video submission deadline, but will continue building up the prototype and will hopefully have a fully working prototype by November. 

  • NEMA 14 issues

    Philip Ian Haasnoot07/14/2014 at 05:22 0 comments

    So I worked on assembling one full side of the Z-axis today and ran into a few issues. The first is that our NEMA 14 steppers that were purchased from Pololu have a slightly longer shaft than the original batch from an alternative supplier. I should have measured them prior to any machining but didn't think to do so. The model has been updated to reflect the new shaft length, the only major change is that the X-axis square drive has a slightly shorter engagement with the coupler. Once the parts are modified I can install the last bearing and begin assembling the clamshell prototype. 

    Here is the full assembly with the backpane, the top bearing mount appears to be floating in this image because I had not yet opened up the dowel pin locating holes to the right dimension. 

    And here you can see the dowel pins inserted. This backplate is the original one I cut which is why it does not have holes to provide access to the guide rod clamping set screws from the back. I hate wasting material so I'll be adding these tomorrow on the drill press, the model has already been adjusted.

    I plan on uploading the following parts to GrabCAD this week since they have been prototyped and are unlikely to change:

    1.     Z-Axis Guide rods
    2.    Lower Motor Mount
    3.   Upper Bearing Mount
    4.   NEMA 14 Coupler
    5.   NEMA 8 Coupler
    6.   Spectraline Pully 

    The Z-axis clamshell still needs to be modified and prototyped before it will be ready for release. 

  • Z-axis Parts Finished

    Philip Ian Haasnoot07/12/2014 at 06:09 0 comments

    Preliminary prototype parts for the Z-axis (X-axis drive side) were completed today. I need to swap out the upper bearing mount and lower motor mounts as they were modified since the initial print. The goal for tomorrow is to have this side of the Z-axis running back and forth, with the ability to also run the X-axis spectra line pulley. 

    Progress has been slower the past few days than I was hoping, family and work tends to get in the way of projects. I'm hoping to have the opposing side of the Z-axis finished this weekend so that I can focus on the Y-axis truss that is causing so much controversy. 

    This weekend I will also be cleaning up this project, I think we have been doing a decent job of posting build/design updates. However I think the overall project description needs to be dramatically expanded, the BOM needs updating with all of the new parts. 

    Please post any comments and let us know what we can do to make this project better! 

View all 29 project logs

  • 1
    Step 1

    3D printed parts can be found at this Shapeways Shop:

View all instructions

Enjoy this project?



georgefomitchef wrote 01/15/2016 at 16:47 point


Maybe it will be interesting to you

Tutorial how prepare Gcode to make laser engraving using inkscape

Here is the video

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jasmine Brackett wrote 08/15/2014 at 22:30 point
Hello Philip & Corey.
I just wanted to remind you of what must be on Hackaday Projects by August 20th for TOME to be considered for the next round of The Hackaday Prize:
- A video less than 2 minutes long describing your project. Put it on YouTube (or Youku), and add a link to it on your project page.
- At least 4 Project Logs
- A system design document. Please highlight it in the project details so we can find it easily.
- Links to code repositories, and remember to mention any licenses or permissions needed for your project. For example, if you are using software libraries you need to document that information in the project details.

You're Astronaut or Not tshirts should be with you shortly. Thanks for entering and good luck!

  Are you sure? yes | no

samern wrote 07/13/2014 at 13:33 point
Hi Philip. I love this idea and will be the first in line to buy/build one. Can you tell me if you plan to allow for the unit to be plugged in at the same time (e.g. in case it will be clear 4-6 hours of battery will not be enough)?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Philip Ian Haasnoot wrote 07/14/2014 at 05:07 point
Hi Samern, thanks for commenting.

The plan is to include a wall power adapter with the tome so that it can be run via a standard outlet for longer prints. The deciding factor for the power supply specs will depend on what is considered to be an acceptable charging rate.

Most likely we will supply the TOME with a 12V power supply which will give the community the option to upgrade to any suitable alternative power supply if they wish to have faster charging rates; The maximum charge rate will depend on what type of battery chemistry we ultimately come to an agreement on. I would still love to use LiFePo4 cells, however the power density makes it a more difficult chemistry to use for this application.

If you were the end user, what would an acceptable charge time be? Personally I think a 2-3 Hour charge time while not printing, and a 4-5h charge time while printing would be acceptable.

  Are you sure? yes | no

samern wrote 07/14/2014 at 12:49 point
Hi Philip,

Thanks for your response. I have no issue with your charging times. I think they are pretty standard for the sort of thing you are doing. Plus, if I leave it plugged in all the time and only take it off when I am truly going portable then it is what it is. It's too bad a USB's 5V is not enough to drive all the electronics, motors and hotend, but I think the charge time (and the power supply you provide) also is going to depend on whether one day you choose to allow for ABS as well as PLA. Heck if it were viable, I'd rig a solar panel to it and go totally green.....

  Are you sure? yes | no

Philip Ian Haasnoot wrote 07/14/2014 at 15:23 point
It's funny you bring up the Solar Panel idea, I actually was an engineering consultant for BioLite LLC and plan to illustrate how the TOME can be charged using alternative sources of power. Solar, BioLite stoves, wind, even pedal power would be usable to charge the device. I've also built several solar powered race boats and have experience with solar arrays. The charge time would vary depending on the Kw output of the solar array, I'm wondering now if it may be useful to include suggested alternative energy layouts for charging the TOME off-grid.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jasmine Brackett wrote 07/09/2014 at 21:45 point
Hello Phillip, your project has been featured over on today.

Also, did you know you if you go to edit your project you can put links to other sites in the left hand side? It's a good way to show off where you have been featured.

Keep up the great work.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Adam Fabio wrote 06/18/2014 at 02:05 point
Desktop 3D printing is almost at a point where it's a "mature hobbiest" technology - but it would be great to see it make it's way into places where it can save lives. You've got a great idea in TOME, Thanks for submitting it to The Hackaday Prize! I love your CAD views, but don't forget about the real pictures are your parts take shape in the physical world.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Philip Ian Haasnoot wrote 06/18/2014 at 02:44 point
Thank you for the comment Adam. I think it is funny you should mention bringing our designs into the physical world as it is precisely what we began doing today. Corey and I have extensive backgrounds in manufacturing and the equipment necessary to fabricate the TOME in our personal inventory. Please keep up to date on our project, the cadence will be dramatically increasing very shortly.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Similar Projects

Does this project spark your interest?

Become a member to follow this project and never miss any updates