I got the bug to build a 3D printer Feb 2012 and in a month I had one built and printing out decent parts. I'll do my best to document what I bought, how to build it, calibrate it and put it to work below.
I started by searching google and youtube about 3D printing and there are many many types out
there. Many are designed for the home hobbyist and won't cost an arm and a leg to build if you are
willing and able to do most of the work yourself. You can find plenty of complete running printers or
complete DIY kits but if you want to save money you just have to shop around. 3Ders.org has a price
list to compare printers from $350 to $24,000. The type I built is one of the most popular designs
called a Reprap Prusa Mendel. Reprap.org has a wealth of information on these. Most of the information I needed to build it was found searching that site. Plenty of people have done this already
and any problem you might have has no doubt been discussed before. The main page gives a history
of the different incarnations with links to show you how to build and use the printer and I recommend
that's the path you take. I just plan to show you what and where I found the info so you might have an
easier time of it.