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Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!


by takigama Aug 7, 2012
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I used the wormgear and 18 tooth gear for ukulele machine heads. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3028305
It's working good for me. Thank you.

Ukulele machine heads
by JoeKer


I have downloaded the worm library that you have used, would you be so kind to post or send the code you have used in openscad to create the coupling to the engine?

Thank you.

Could you upload the freecad design files? I'm a freecad user : ) I'm trying to remix this design. The idea is to modify it for delta printers, but then to put a speedometer cable between the motor and the worm screw, kind of like how the flex3drive works, but then for delta printers, and of course, a whole lot more printable and cheaper.

Needs more support for the motor would be my biggest issue..I found that wedging some scrap 8mm smooth rod on the long section that supports the motors weight helps it from bouncing around..

Seems like this would work best with a low micro-stepping, maybe not even do any microstepping at all and just leave it at 1x. I plan to use this for a bowden setup. One gripe though, can't use a regular M3 for the worm gear. It gets stopped by the frame when rotating, figure im going to have to grind away the head and just cut a groove into so that it get's screwed all the way into the worm.

I've tried to print the worm but the edges tend to bend up while printing and the result is not as good as I'd like.

Any advice / slic3r settings?

If you are printing with PLA you are going to need a fan to cool down the print

oh well, seems like an abandoned thing...

Not abandoned, just busy with other things at the moment

I'll snap pictures latter, but if you have a guideline to printing with support that works, great! (layer height, support pattern, number of  perimeters, infill density, suport material spacing...) thanks for your reply. II'm only asking because 2 of my prints failed on the body. probably me being dumb....

I'm really interested in testing this, but I already tried to print 
the latest version with suport materials, but it failed miserably. 
So if you have directions as to how I can print this, I'm all ears.
if not, thanks anyway...

I just printed with support, where abouts did it fail? got any pics?

how did you manage to print this?
using support material? 
look at the hinge tabs (where the extruder body touches the idler) , its a huge overhang. no orientation seems possible this extruder body...

It will be very interesting to see the impact of the different friction on the worm gear.

The standard extruder sees mostly static friction and therefore has minimal wear. In your design, the worm now slides over the teeth to produce the movement.

It may require some sort of lubrication to avoid wear.

I was planning on using lubricant if i were going to use it long term myself (for now i've left that out simply to see how long the thing will last and see where it's gunna wear/fall apart).

Yes, it is known that worm-based gearbox have a very poor efficiency (
lt;0.5) , because of friction. But it is a nice way to get an important ratio in little space.

Nice design! I think you could use a smaller motor, like a Nema 11 size, to reduce the extruder footprint.

But is the worm strong enough? The strenght may delaminate it...

I was wondering the same thing myself, only way i'll find out is if i notice some wear. I did design both the tooth and worm gear with as large as possible teeth to try and avoid that, but there are other solutions. I have some impla from diamondage that should withstand the wear quite well, failing that i have some himpla coming too (tougher again). Alternatviely its a case of "print a few spare gears, you'll need them"

Another solution would be to print the worm in 2 parts, in the other direction, and glue them together. The layers will then be perpendicular of the strength direction.

Originally, i did actually do just that and backwards in the git history you can see where ts a 3-part print (motor mount and 2 part worm gear), it gets quite complex to do that though and you either end up with a huge gear or something that doesnt mesh together well.

What printer/hot-end are the mounting holes designed for?

technically it should work with just about any head that uses a 50mm/m4 mounting plate (i use jhead)..

No idea if ToM uses a "50mm/m4" plate.

50mm/M4 refers to the standard RepRap extruder size - The mounting holes are exactly 50mm apart, with M4 nuts embedded in the extruder. The hotend is mounted in the dead center between the mounting holes.

The TOM's extruder looks like the motorized part uses a similar mount, but i'm pretty sure it is different enough to not fit RepRap extruders.

I thought the ToM had a very different extruder setup? im not sure you could fit this thing on there easily

Video Please!! I just want to make sure when I build it, that it sounds and moves correctly.

lt;- two thumbs up

Add a simple filament guide screwed to the top of the motor.

No holes for the hotend screws?

uploaded a groovemount version now also.

Thanks, I'll add it to my print list...

I've uploaded a new version, still havent added groovemount, but i'll get that done shortly... theres also the option of using the jhead mount plate here, http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:26355http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... (i had a quick go with that and it works quite well). Has a fillament feed also now.

J Head Mounting Plate

Glad you like it :)

There are 2 for the standard 50mm/m4 ones... the hotends i've used all kinda swing around those (like the jhead has a plate that connects between the extruder and hotend using the same screw holes)... happy to add other hot end mounts, i just dont know what they are in terms of sizing and so forth
(i know arcol has a different one, but only cause i remember seeing Greg's being modified for it).

See http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:27887http://www.thingiverse.com/thi..., the two holes at the side near the hotend recess. If you check the scad file it shows positions for a number of extruders.

The bit at line 887


module wildseyed_mount_holes(insulator_d=12.7){



// Recess in base

for (hole=[-1,1])


With insulator_d=16 allows a jhead to b
e directly mounted (the screws fit though the slot in the hotend), also a Printrbot Ubis hotend and I think some others. Let me know if you're not into OpenSCAD.

Just above that code is positions of various other h-e.'s

Greg's Hinged Accessible Extruder With New Motor Mount
by jsturm

Oh i get whats going on now i think, the holes are so you can drop the mounting plate off a jhead? (like the wooden bit used here http://wiki.arcol.hu/arcol-hu-hot-end-v4-assembly)http://wiki.arcol.hu/arcol-hu-.... The screws coming in from the side go thru the flange at the top of the hot end?

oky doky i get whats going on now, i'll have a new design coming up soon that should fit for most things.

Looking at hot ends has given me some food for thought, and im going to redesign based on a new idea... probably take me a few days.