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Ender 3 Lead Screw Stabilizer

by elmerohueso Sep 2, 2018
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i used a fidget spinner bearing

You can't do this! It is supposed to be unconstrained. You just ensured any imperfect screw movement gets transferred into the print!

The fact that this got 3000+ likes means people who buy Ender 3 know very little about mechanical design.

I was thinking exactly the same when I saw this. The way this part is done is overconstraining the mechanical design of the Z-axis.

Video that explains quite well why this "stabilizer bearing" is a horrible idea, despite the thousands of likes:


Lol, stabilizer doesn't even come close to fitting on my Ender 3. Upright to center of my Z lead screw is 18mm. Contact of upright to center of the stabilizer bracket bearing is 23mm. 5mm too far out to work..

In this application, Creality used the lead screw correctly. The lead screw should not be restraining the bed, which is why it's only restrained at one end. By adding this mod, it will be over-constrained. The lead screw is only meant to hold the bed up, not effect it's position. If this does in fact improve your print quality, something else is wrong. I do 3D printer design, I'm not just some uninformed user.

I totally agree.
In my case the real problem was the misalignment of the parts motor / screw / T8 nut.
Lead screw alone was really straight.

With this part you solve the symptom not the disease !

Could you share links to some of the printers you've designed? Some pics of the finished builds? Maybe a vid of them running? I'd love to take a look.

Agree, this should not be used. Adding flex fitting at the bottom could be another thing to reduce over-constrained system.

If the screws aren't bent and you take the time and have the ability to align things properly there is zero negative effect in doing this. I modeled up some for my CR10S-Pro and they work perfectly.

Great if it helps you. In Tronxy X5S I had to remove factory supplied top Z mount to eliminate Z wobble and saw noticeable improvement in prints after that.

Hadn't thought of it that way, thanks for posting this. I noticed my lead screw is probably 1mm off along it's length and thought this would be necessary, but now I'm going to leave it alone

Absolutely correct. Other 3D Printer brands such as Prusa don't do this either. A small amount of movement on the top end of the lead screw is normal. If the movement is large then there are other issues at play :)

I am trying to print the screw stabilizer, and before I do that, I look at where it goes and see no screw hole. Could you tell me how you put the stabilizer in?
Thank you!

As mentioned in the description, hammer-head nuts, also known as tee-nuts, or drop in t-nuts.

you have to push it really hard

Yup. And all the pictures and "makes" are photoshopped.

/sarcasm, it's been a long day

What exactly doesn't fit? If it's the bearing, you may want to confirm you're using the right kind of bearing and that your printer isn't squishing layers to make the fit even tighter.

It can or cannot improve your print quality, or even make it worse. If your lead screws are really bend and are moving alot at the top it's better to not fix them as the irregular movement will get transfered to Y axis and result in a bad Z wobble. Great model though :D

Yah, this overconstrains the setup.

Will it work for the CR-10S ?

Specificky, is it a better version of this?

Z-Axis Rod Support for Synchronizer (Anet E12)

I didn't base this model off the one you linked to, but if the CR-10S uses 20mm extrusions (for proper mounting) and its lead screw extends past the top, it might work.

This should not be needed, might even hurt.

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I need some help with this one.

So -- maybe I don't understand. I've got the bearing, had to hammer it into the support (it was tight but not too tight for some sanding and a rubber mallet)

Tested the fit, and it fit fine.

However, the internal part of the bearing isn't rotating (Might've busted it, hope not I'll try again I suppose)

But it also seems like the Z axis screw wouldn't rotate it anyway.

Am I unclear as to how these components interact? As a curiosity, is the bearing intended to spin rapidly or freely or is it just supposed to be able to turn if necessary?

Please advise.

The inner part of the bearing should spin freely. If it doesn't, you may have broken it when hammering it into the mount.
Note that, if the fit was so tight that you had to use a hammer to get it into the mount, you likely have some settings wrong on you slicer or the printer itself.

I do believe that these leadscrews are meant to have play because of the quality of the screws

If your leadscrew top is clearly moving around, you definitely have a problem. That is fixed by replacing it with a straight lead screw.

If you use a design like this with a bent lead screw, that basically "forces the bend" into where it connects to X axis, potentially making print quality worse.

If your leadscrews are ok, I don't think this should make any practical difference.

If you have ever looked at the CR-10s lead screw design you would see that it uses a similar design to this, except the CR-10 has a slot to allow play. You're right about using this design with a bent lead screw, but most of the lead screws used on 3d printers of this capacity have a slight bend in them. I think about how I couldn't get a good print with this printer for 2 months because of a cupped build plate until I finally upgraded the bed. This is a basic, intro level hobby machine and I don't believe Creality invested in premium screws. For some of the people that lucked out and happened to get a perfectly straight screw this will probably help, but for the rest of us it would be of much detriment.

It made a huge difference in the side surface quality of my prints. If it does for you, great. If not, my feelings won't be hurt.

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Excellent (even it's not easy to put in place)! Many thanks!

Absolutely brilliant - I never even considered this being an issue, but as soon as I saw this it was obvious. Thanks!

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Am I supposed to drill holes for the screws?

No. As with most things that attach to V slot extrusions, you should attach this to the V slot with hammer nuts.

what type of hammer nut should be used?

... sorry I had a little moment there lol thanks

Does this use Z Stepper Motor shims? Some ENDER 3 printers seem to have the Z stepper slightly mis-aligned, which causes the Z lead screw to run slightly out of parallel with the frame upright.

My printer didn't need shims on the Z motor. Either way, though, the stabilizer is based of measurements from the X-gantry at top position, so it'd probably work regardless of whether the motor needs shims at the bottom.

Is it compatible with https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2925230 or even recommended to use both? I have no idea which one to take or what to do :/

Ender-3 Z-motor spacer / support

Has anyone found the 608 tobe too tight on the rod

Yeah, cant even come close to getting it down the rod. What did you do?

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Skateboard Bearing= 608-2RS Bearing
I spent some time looking to buy one until I popped one out of an old skateboard. Worked perfectly with the Z-Rod & the print. Thanks!

Thanks for this I have tons of skateboard bearings and was wondering if they would work.

You needed this improvement? Is there a visible change in prints after installing this?

Yes, there was a very noticeable improvement in surface smoothness in the Z direction. Prior to the modification, I would see slight bulges, similar to a layer shift but uniformly distributed around the perimeter, every few cm. resulting in rougness which was mostly noticeable on flat surfaces. I thought this was due to dirt on the lead screw, but the problem remained no matter how much I cleaned it.

I printed a 20mm x 20mm x 100mm cubic tower before and after the modification and was pretty blown away by the difference it made. Unfortunately, I can't find them now to take pictures.