Nikolai Bulatov, a lecturer in the university's Faculty of Radiophysics, explains that he first got the idea to make the printer in his free time, while pursuing his passion for technology.
"Insofar as 3D-printing is a very interesting and up-and-coming technology, there are a lot of sites and videos. And I decided to have a go as well."
"We waited for the necessary parts for a few weeks, but the printer itself we put together and calibrated in just three evenings."
Bulatov acknowledges that the task may sound daunting to the uninitiated, but seeks to reassure prospective students:
"It's only at the beginning that the assembly of a 3D-printer seems to be something cosmically complex. When you get down to work, it turns out that it really isn't."
"The aim of my online course is likewise to explain just how simple everything is, and that every student can also try putting together their own 3D printer at home."
The online course could be just the beginning of Bulahov's efforts to bring 3D printing to every home; depending on the success of the online version, the academic says he may also put together a campus course on the subject.
Bulatov took his own home-made printer to his laboratory at work, where he uses it to make parts for research on lasers at Tomsk University's Department of Quantum Electronics and Photonics.