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Geeetech i3 X - X carriage set with circular fan duct

by lukie80 Jan 18, 2016
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the dividing walls in the fan duct is a nice idea. would it be even more uniform if you divided them in a way that was more equal? like the front holes can be divided smaller so the back ones get more air.

Hi @lukie30, many thanks for this amazing design ! You made a great work !!!

I'm looking for X and Y offset to setup the firmware for the inductive sensor position vs nozzle. Have you got this kind of information ?
My setup is a combination of your circular fan duct and initiator mount 18.3mm.

Thanks !

I think I ordered the wrong Aluminum MK8 extruder. It's an upgrade to a left-oriented stepper mk6 setup. I think it's backwards to this, with the lever on the extruder facing backwards in this orientation. I don't think there will be enough room for it to fit. Is the fan-duct-1 the only component that I will need to mirror? It looks like the carriage is symmetric except for that part.

I may also have issues with the part represented by metalplate.stl. As it's an upgrade, it's not a part I have. Can you offer any suggestions, or am I not going to be using this mount with my setup?

I suppose you bought a mirrored version used to assemble a "MK8 Dual Extruder". You are correct: Mirror the "fan-duct-1" and the "fan_duct". The carriage is symmetric.

Regarding the metalplate. Unfortunately, this this thing is not sold separately. Is is contained in the 3d Printer Kit "Geeetech Unassembled Prusa I3 X 3D printer DIY kit" and maybe other kits.

  1. You can contact Geeetech and ask if they can deliver this part separately. But it'll take 2 to 4 Weeks to deliver.
  2. An aluminum bar with 20mm x 5mm X 1m could be bought in a hardware store. But you'll still need a M4 thread cutter set to copy the metalplate.
  3. I could modify the carriage so that the metalplate is not required (=fusing metalplate with carriage). I could use the two long M3 screws holding the extruder fan for fixation of the whole extuder. Should not be a problem.

I'll talk to the machine shop guys where I work, don't think they've got 5mm bar stock in anything other than steel though, and rounding off steel is not fun..

If it's not too much work for you, option 3 sounds like the best way forward for me, would appreciate if you could do that.

Rounding shouldn't be necessary. But cutting threads in metal isn't easy I suppose. I only worked on aluminum a bit. Feels like cutting butter.

What do you think of this? The filename is: Backplate_noMetal_R.STL

I will need to print it to make sure but the noMetal_R looks like it might be just the ticket.Only concern is it looks like it might not be wide enough to act as a fan spacer replacement.. unless I am conceptualizing it wrong in my head. I'll have a play with it and let you know what I think.

As an aside, if I wanted to do further edits, what software are you using, and how different is the STEP for the nometal backplate vs the current STEP file? I was thinking of pulling it into Fusion 360 and tweaking if needs be then sharing back. I'm not very good, but gotta start somewhere I suppose.

I'm not sure, what you mean by fan spacer replacement. The "mounting bracket with the two holes" is placed between the heat sink and the fan. I could also place the bracket after the fan.

The difference is small. I just filled up the space between the two protruding arms and left a symmetric hole for the throat. Then I added the small mounting bracket. But I still have to upload the STEP version of the new model, I forgot it. Every decent CAD program can edit STEP files which are the best choice for sharing models.

I'm using Solidworks but Fusion should be a good choice too. Indeed, learning the basics of CAD takes only a few hours with the help of tutorials. So it is definitely a good decision to learn it. Alternatively FreeCAD could be an option. Althoug I never tried it, I wouldn't go with OpenSCAD.

By the way. I use this program to measure STL objects. It allows measuring distances between center of round holes and faces and much more: http://www.3d-tool.com/en_free-viewer-download.htm. Good choice if I have to rebuild models based on STLs of other people.

Edit: Backplate_noMetal_R.STEP is uploaded.

That's where I thought it'd be going, my heat sink is held in place via a bolt through two m3 nylon spacers.

https://robosavvy.com/store/makerbot-stepstruder-mk7-complete-kit.html is my assembly, with a different fixing to the x carriage.

I'll have a tinker with the new STEP file, might move or chop and change the mounting point to make it work with my exact setup.

Again, thank you!

**edit Had another look and I see how you intend it to go together. I have another idea, can you give me an opinion as it would work with my setup and the idea of mounting using the space in my heat sink for the nylon spacers.

http://a360.co/2fXww56 is where I am currently standing, but I need to figure out how to mount the printed bearings to the back, might put in captive nut cutouts instead or something whereby holes can be tapped into, or maybe just epoxy nuts in the holes and come in from the opposite side with the bolts for the obscured section.

Replacing the spacers is a very good idea. It is more stable and does not waste space. Well done.

I cannot follow you with mounting the bearings. You can use M4 screws from the front to fixate the SC8UU blocks which have M4 threads. Or am I missing something. My printed bearings have threads too and you can use M4 nuts from the back to fixate them further.

In my modifications, the blocks that are replacing the spacers block access to one of the M4 screws from the front. So rather than inserting the bolt through the front of the assembly, I would insert the bolt from the rear of the assembly, and fix with a nut on the front face.

I've thrown in a bolt with close to the right size to illustrate the problem I'm seeing. Couldn't quickly find an exact bolt, but this is the right diameter, if a bit long. I think the a360.co link from above has the new edit.

If I am right, I won't really be able to fit in a bolt with an overall length greater than 15mm in that spot. An Allen bolt head (at least the ones that I have) have a 4mm tall head, leaving 11mm of thread. the wall on the back plate is 3mm, so that leaves 8mm of thread to hold the bearing.Might be sufficient.

I suppose I can use a 3-bolt fixing, but superglue the bearings in place if 3 bolts is insufficient.

Three bolts should be sufficient.You can help with additional nuts.

Helo! this X carrier system works with the Geeetech Pro b? Thank you

If the separation of the smooth X-rods is 45mm then the carriage should fit. However, I do not know if the X-min-switch will be hit correctly. Furthermore it looks like my carriage is wider than the carriage of the "Geeetech Pro b" thus you could loose build volume in X-direction.
You could check the dimensions of your printer and compare them to the dimensions of my carriage. I use this program to measure STL models: http://www.3d-tool.com/en_free-viewer-download.htm

Thank you very much for the info and your creations! a greeting

It is the parted named "fan-duct-1_no-support.STL" and should be in the files section.

Made one and installed it today (I decided to use Kev0's fan duct with it because of metal heat sinks I chose to add to the throat -- http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1366129)
I also made a bracket for an induction sensor that fits onto your design. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1752818

Geeetech fan duct for lukie80's carriage
by Kev0
Induction sensor bracket for lukie80's carriage
by NTT

That's a good solution for the sensor. Nice.

Thank you.

Seriously though, I had spent a long time looking for a design applicable to my printer that would elegantly incorporate a cooling system. Yours ticked all the boxes.

I love how it makes use of the existing fan to blow air into the nozzle cavity. This actually works to blow air directly over the throat/barrel heat sink I installed. And it is definitely lighter.

Kudos for sharing

Hi. Im trying to replace original carriage, as they force you to use a 38mm barrel instead of standard 30mm ones. Does this carriage needs 38, or can work with 30mm?

Anyway, great job!

Thanks. Well, it is made for the 38mm barrel or throat. You could use a 30mm barrel (cables fit through a hole), but then the circular fan duct has to be be removed. This would give you around 11mm of reduced height (13mm max). See very last picture for clarification.

I printed the fan duct several times. Its nearly unprintable because of the tight exit holes. I changed the design for my purpose to get more air out to exit, but still no luck. Tis fan duct blocks the airstream right at the beginning, sad to say. The other parts work great!

Sorry to hear that. The amount of air flow is low indeed, but there is not much room between heat block and print bed. I'm printing quite cold (175°C with PLA - I don't know if my sensor is correct) and with the big flat side downwards without support. The air flow could be increased if I gave up the output being close to the nozzle. I'm thinking how the tight space problem can be solved. In the meantime: I found a very systematic fan duct testing elsewhere:

I redesigned a new main fan duct, it works like a charm http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1366129

Geeetech fan duct for lukie80's carriage
by Kev0

Is the circular fan duct compatible with the original i3x carriage?

It is not compatible, the mounting arms will not fit. Only this one fits the original carriage: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1183519

Geeetech i3 X - Fan air channel with LED mounts
by lukie80

learned it the hard way :D i love the design of your fan duct, it is just awesome!

Why do you make your linear guides out of abs and not make an option to mount some ball bearings?

Kind regards!

Thanks. Well, you still have the option. Just use SC8UU blocks which can hold ball bearings. Search Thingiverse for SC8UU: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1172217 or http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1567953 are two of many.

LM8UU Holder (SC8UU compatible)
SC8UU compatible for 15mm bearings or bushings (with M4 threads)
by lukie80

ah of course! missed that detail... well i got a newer version of the geetech pro b and the carriage is made out of 2 metal sheets. is the design you are offering more rugged? i can understand you replace the old versions. but this printer is really great. i mean... i paid 180 euro and so shit i got the same quality as a ultimaker 2....

L-shaped Metal is good. I designed the new carriage for convenience. However, printed in PLA the carriage might sag with time due to the heat of the heat bed and the weight of the extruder.

I suppose you can print faster with the Ultimaker while keeping a good quality. Furthermore it probably has less ripple, no z-wobble and maybe other things. The quality of mechanical components is important for print quality. Nevertheless, the Geeetech has an awesome low price.

Really good work! I am trying to use this with my HICTOP Prusa i3 now and am having little trouble seeing how you would mount the direct hot end. I am assuming that the backplate is designed with the Geeetech extruder in mind? is there a block the hot end connects to affixed to the bottom of the extruder? I am redesigning this (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:366905 - all thanks to 3dsmitty) and trying to understand your setup. There are no good pics of the Geeetech extruder and hot end assembly I can find.

MK8 One Piece Heavy Duty Extruder

Thanks! You are correct. The Geeetech Extruder is mounted by a thick bottom metal plate. I have uploaded the plate and a simplified but precise model of the Geetech MK8 extruder (with and without metalplate). Here is a photo of the metal plate below the extruder (NOT the black bracket): http://bit.ly/1UVfccD The user nikolastsr made a accurate model of the extruder (without the metal plate) http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1162319.

I don't know how your extruder looks like. But the least work would be to print the metal plate and mod it for your needs I think. I'll suggest cutting out room for two M4 nuts (height 3mm) to allow for fixation of the plate (height 5mm). But I don't know if your mounting block of the extruder is not too hot for plastic.

Hope that helps.

Extruder MK8 Geeetech

Thanks! Very helpful!

One last question... How does the motor and extruder assembly attach to the plate? Are the screws affixing the fan shroud what hold the motor and extruder stable?

It is a single M3 screw and the hot-end shaft nut which fixate the plate to the extruder-assembly. Compare the upper bit.ly link (last picture) and http://bit.ly/20ilcgS . I've also uploaded a photo showing the plate from below (the 4th one). These two things fixate the assembly well.
If you mean the frontal screws: They only hold the circular fan and should not touch the extrude assembly. So in my case, the whole extruder is fixated by two M4 screws (see 4th photo) which I found to be sufficient so far.

[Stupid Thingiverse, I cannot post two external links within a comment I suppose "failed to create comment". Why failed???False positive spam detection?]

Thanks. Well, so far I did not experience any drawback but also no benefit with respect to the stability or print quality. The carriage did not bend or something. The benefits 'only' lie in the easy access to the hot-end assembly, better mounting options at the front and the cable management. The fan duct produces an weak but roundly/uniform air flow. (There is unfortunately not enough room for a stronger duct while isolating the nozzle from the air flow.)

As written in the text, the duct is close to the bed. The clamps must not be higher than 3mm to not to be ripped of by the moving duct.

Nice work!
What is your experience between the original GT i3x and this one?

It looks realy nice (cooling, cable mount .....)