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Folgertech Prusa i3 2020 X-Axis Upgrade Gen-2 (Openbuilds V-Slot Rail System)

by sonnylowe Feb 25, 2016
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Hey Sonny-

Figured I'd share my mods with you. I printed the parts for this earlier this year and finally got a chance to put everything together and start printing again. I love the mod but have come across an issue.

I was tightening the belt and noticed that the screw head was sinking into the plate. Could be that I just didn't use enough fill. I added the black metal motor mount instead of using washers. Who knows, could be a platform for an as yet identified add-on!!

I noticed my x motor gets pretty hot lugging all this weight aound. Have you had the printed plate warp from heat? I may need to lean how to tune my motors!

Here are a couple of pics and vids of my build. I'd be curious to get your thoughts on the sound levels as I don't totally remember how it used to sound!!

Thanks again for making this upgrade available. It was fun to do!!


I recently purchased the parts to do the X and Y mods, still need to print the Y items. I'm hoping to get at least the X gantry replaced, perhaps this weekend.

In the not too distant future, I'd like to increase the print bed size and have seen several who have gone to 200x300mm. Anyone have thoughts on increasing the X size as well by replacing the three 2020 cross pieces?

I am going to leave my X OB 2020 long on the right side in case I decide to try this route unless someone sees a definite problem.

I also plan on increasing Z by using the displaced Y rods and longer 2020, would probably replace the threaded rod with Acme at that point as well.

What size and length bolts are you using to attach the X motor mount to the OB gantry? Seems like they're fairly long.

I noticed your 2 nut's with the spring's on the leadscrew's.

Do you feel this is an improvement?

I was about to do the same thing, but with a spring around the leadscrew, but everyone on the reprap forums told me not do it.

They claim the backlash in the nut's is necessary

I had run mine like this for about a month before I posted this and have been running ever since with no issues. I find it really helps when you are using auto-bed-leveling, otherwise I don't think it's absolutely necessary.

Hope that helps,

Thanks man! I also use auto level myself, also with a probe.
I will give it a try.

Nice design Btw ;)

I have some 1204 ballscrews from an old printer I would like to use. Any chance I could get the CAD file for the X-carriage mount?

Of course you can, which one do you need exactly???


Just uploaded as both a Solidworks Part file and STEP file...have fun :)

What are you using for Z endstop mounts? The stock ones do not work with this setup?

I'm using auto bed leveling so I use a probe for Z not a endstop. I would suggest sliding a T-nut into the slot under the rail, then a 5M screw, it will tighten against the inside of the rail. You should be able to position it in a way to contact the limit switch on the endstop.

I did a quick CAD model to illustrate what I was talking about...


Good idea. I will give that a shot tonight. Thanks!

Love the design so far though, so simple! I am also upgrading to the Itty Bitty extruder with e3d v6. I am going to upgrade to the vwheel Y axis after this and expand my bed size.

So glad to hear you like the upgrade. My printer is so quiet now I have to check in on it to make sure it's still printing ;-)

I really like the Itty Bitty extruder as well, I did a few design chances to work around hardware (Drive Gears and Bearings) I had lying around, but it's basically the same setup. There are a few guys extending the bed, seems like it's working well!?!?

Here's a Micro Extruder I'm working on, I've been running it for a month or so on my Canti Printer...it needs a few adjustments, but works great!!! Here is picture sitting beside the Itty Bitty Extruder...


Let me know how the screw works out and please keep us all informed about the extended bed...


Screw worked out fine. Are you still using a bltouch sensor? If so, I got mine today and am looking for a mount that will work with the openbuilds gantry e3d mount.

So far really liking the x upgrades and new extruded. Installing the y axis upgrade tonight.

Where do I get one of those grey bearings?

They are Igus RJ4JP-01-08 Linear Bearings, you would need QTY (4). I bought mine directly from Igus in RI. (US)

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Thanks, it helps. This 3d stuff is a Brave New World for me, been 50+ years since I played with rectangular motion theory sort of thing.

If you are worried about inertia than as per theory, one needs to mess about with the jerk settings in Marlin that should handle the "Ringing". The problem with Martin is that it assumes x and y are same values. Guess one could play with the Planner to handle x and y jerk differently --- that could be a royal pain.

St. George

Very true, adjusting jerk could help, but that's not a world I want to get into LOL For now just slowing down rapid a bit did the trick :)

Like the design, but have a question on how the x-axis drive motor is attached. Don't have a picture of the back so looks as if you are using 2 or 4 spacers, guessing 9mm. Also what length bolts?
Why didn't you just use the Nema17 mounting plate, weight or you believe its cheaper sort of thing.
As to your comment in description the original and Gen-1 versions have two motors hanging off the rail/rods so the weight shouldn't be an issue. Gen-2 should have less twist in that the motor weight is in the center of the rail, yes moving but still in center.

I will be messing about with Y Gen-1 upgrade using a new 30x20cm heatbed that is now out there. Will see how that works out, waiting for y-carriage to come back into stock.

PS The dude that croaks with the most tools/toys wins
St. George

Thanks...St. George!!

I'm not at home right now to look, but I'm pretty sure I used 6mm spacer along with e few 1mm spacers. It's the basic OB Ganrty plates setup. Per fixed wheel - Gantry Plate - 6mm spacer - 1mm spacer - wheel - repeat in reverse order - Nema 17 mounting plate. For the adjustable wheels replace two of the 6mm spacers with two eccentric 6mm spacers. I'll try to snap a couple photos next time I have a chance...

I didn't use the OB Nema 17 plate because it doesn't really allow you to adjust belt tension...my plate allows you to do that by simply moving the motor along the slots. I start with the motor all the way down and the belt as tight as I could get it...then slid the motor to create a bit more tension.

The two motors are more of an inertia issue that balance (starting and stopping)...I'm running it that way now and the extra weight doesn't cause any problems with my prints, but it can be a bit noisy if you don't slow the rapid moves down a bit...I did that in S3D.

Very cool, I'd love to see how the 30x20cm bed turns out. I left the rail on mine 500mm long just in case I decided to try the same thing...please keep us posted :)

Haha...couldn't agree more LOL

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