Traveling with a 3D printer?

I travel for work, a lot. By that I mean I travel some place new every week. I’m in Wisconsin now, will be in Alaska next week. So, this really limits my time to print stuff as I am only home weekends and I need to do other things.
I have a CR-10 and a Sovol SV05 as well as an Elegoo Saturn S. None of these are easy to travel with, however when going by car, I have taken them.
I just purchased a Kingroon KP3S to take with me. (Amazon Prime Days $119!). I plan to take this with me in my checked baggage.
Has anyone here done this before? If so, what has been your experience?
I have, and want to buy some 3D printed R/C car files. These files take 13+ days total to print. With my current schedule it will take me close to a year to get these printed. I figure wit a travel printer I can set it to go in the hotel while I am working.
As for size, the 180180180 is fine for the files I plan to print as they were made to fit the Prusa Mini.

Some people have converted bed slingers into collapsible models that fit into a suit case.

I have a Kingroon KP3. It has been pretty solid for me, although I have done a few upgrades. The KP3S probably wouldn’t need much in the way of upgrades. I have never traveled with a printer, but one concern I would have would be that it would need adjustment after each trip. Primarily bed leveling likely, but things might get jarred out of square, especially since it is a cantilevered design. Another concern would be if the motel would be OK with you running a printer unattended for hours on end. True, printers don’t catch on fire very often if well maintained and if they have thermal runaway protection, but they still can be a potential fire hazard. Maybe that wouldn’t be something the motels would be concerned about, but I wouldn’t be too sure.

Thanks. I am aware I will have to set it up each time, and likely this will involve adjustments from time to time.
As for the hotel, in the past I have just stuck the “Do not Disturb” sign out. Just because I didn’t want the staff to come in and think that I am maybe “illegally printing” something, or have them have no idea what the thing is and freak out.
I chose the KP3S due to is compact and modular design. The separate power supply makes the base smaller and I think I can fit the parts in my suitcase better.
BTW, I will take it apart each time and it will go in my Pelican 1560 hard case.

I own a kp3s at home and its honestly a great machine! I do almost exclusively ABS printing on it because it requires such a small enclosure (a rubbermaid bin lol) but I have put many kilos of PLA through it too.

You could possibly set up some sort of quick detach fittings to attach the 2 pieces together, but I don’t know how much that would affect the stability of the printer. I agree with @MicroFarmModels about having to constantly re-adjust it, so you may want to add a bltouch to it. This would allow you to be a little bit sloppier with your bed leveling. Another thing you may want to add is some belt-tensioners. I have seen some models for them over the years, but I have never tried it out.


I’ve always thought there was a need for a carry along FDM printer although I have no idea what the market would be for it.

The ideal would be something that folds up into a fairly flat package and expands when you get to your destination/hotel room.

I agree that you need something like a BL Touch for the Z axis but I’d also think that you would want a self leveling bed (ie Voron 2.4) otherwise every time you set it up you’ll have to manually play with the thumbwheels.

Interesting concept, probably wouldn’t be cheap and I have no idea how many people would want one.

Kingroon has a great video/instructions for adding a 3D Touch. So i ordered one of those.
I fully understand that after banging aroung in a suitcase it will need to be fully checked and adjusted before i throw a print at it. This i am prepared for.
I guess a travel 3D printer is just not a big thing yet. I will be modifying it if possible to make it easier to transport.

Just throwing this out there as I do not know how experienced you are at 3D Printing, but there actually has fairly recently been a project that has been made specifically with this idea in mind.

The printer is called the Positron V3, and it folds up into a filament box to allow for easy transportation. It can be set up and printing in a matter of minutes, and it has fantastic print quality. You can self source the parts or you can buy kits off of places like aliexpress, I know there was talk about doing an LDO kit, but I’m unsure of any progress that has been made on that.

I have been considering one of these to take with me to university, but at the moment I just have too many projects on the go! Gotta finish some up before I start something new :grin:

Yes, i have seen it, watched the videos, etc. 2 issues i have with it.

  1. It is just too small of a print volume. I need 180x180mm for a big multi part project.
  2. Time. The positron is a project in itself. I just don’t have the time source all the parts, have PCBs made, aluminum parts cut, etc. If it was ready as either a full %100 parts included kit, or fully assembled printer, i might buy it and build it in the hotel. But it is not there yet. I hope it will be someday, when it is, i will get one. My 180mm project should be done by then.

Setup Octoprint with Octoeverywhere (or your own VPN) on a raspberry PI (or equivalent) with a camera and configure a TPlink plug so you can power up and auto-shutdown when your print is finished. You just need someone at home to remove the print and wipe the bed between prints (maybe you can train the cat :rofl:). You can slice and send your Gcode to the printer from anywhere - you plan on running your printer unattended in the hotel room anyway. You can check on your print with your phone. You could do this with all 3 of your printers and run them simultaneously. If you are worried about potentially burning your house down, get something like this:

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They do actually sell full kits with everything now,!CAD!525.90!494.35!!!389.70!!%400b0a553c16892807886333475d0806!12000031632810076!sea!CA!0&curPageLogUid=UfaUWp7QrZMu

All that you will need is the raspberry pi if I remember correctly, everything else is included in the kit. If you are having trouble finding an actual Pi there is the BTT CB1, I have a couple of them and they work fine.


Whoa, $400 for the kit and $100 shipping? That is an expensive solution. I just paid $119 for my KPS3. I think i will see how that works for me first.
As i have a pelican case and I’m not attempting to carry it in a backpack, the larger size should not be an issue for me.
But, i am glad there is now a kit. It has been a few months since i last looked into it.

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That is a solution, and i was going to buy an X1 Carbon or P1P. However this is still just a hobby and when I say I “need” to print something, I’m talking about an R/C car, or a part for my real car. Id like to print some 1:24 scale truck/trailer parts. So, investing $500+ to over $1500 for me to print “toys” just seems crazy.
When i get to a point where it is earning some income, even a little, then i can justify the larger expense.
I also just like the hands on experience of having the printer with me to watch and tinker with. Instant gratification if you will.

Yeah it is certainly a bit more pricey than your current solution,

I have messaged sellers in the past and gotten discounts on the items, so if you were interested in purchasing in the future you could give it a shot. Keep me updated on how this goes, if you have success I might have another project lined up haha!


Yes… That enclosure is a bit overkill. I print “remotely” all the time but I just did some basic safety measures. Having your printer setup on a steel workbench or concrete floor with any flammables out of the way would go a long way.

Well, so far I have been traveling with my KP3S. It is going well. I can fit it in my Pelican 1560 case and it only takes a few minutes to set it up. However, I am working on a few things to make it even better. Stock firmware is junk, it allows for a BLTouch(3DTouch), but no way to set the offset without changing it in the firmware and reloading. So, going to go with a new Marlin build. However, that requires a new screen, as the touch screen didn’t work with the offset. So, I got a new screen.
Well, the stock main board won’t allow for the new screen, no connections. I happen to have a BTT Octopus in the stash, so absolute and complete overkill, but I have it and it does fit.
I am also swapping out the hot end to a BIQU H2 V2S Lite, small, light, and again, in my stash of unused stuff.
I also have an SKR V1.3, but it does not have enough fan outputs and a few other issues.
This weeks project. Keeps me out of the bars.

Man I think your printer is having a bit of an identity chrisis :rofl:

Keep us updated on how it goes!!

I came across an old Road case (for Audio equip). as soon as I saw it I was “travel printer” Its will not be light by any stretch of the imagaination however… It will be portable and fairly large. If its something I move forward with I will keep you all updated.