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Ender-3 Gantry mounted cable chain

by Coutermash Nov 15, 2018
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I printed this. Yes, it does work.

However, threading the wires through is a pain, and on my printer though presumably not all the heater and thermistor cables needed extending in addition to the extruder wires. The X axis endstop is also a little tight.

I would love to improve on this design but unfortunately the source files are not available.

The source file is included, it is the F3d file generated using Fusion 360. Granted I used parts from other designs as entailed in the thing description, so they are wireframes as they are imported STL files (meshes). When the file is brought into Fusion 360, the timeline feature has been reversed to before the meshes are implemented so it can be easily modified to your needs before any changes to the stock part that I imposed upon it. Should you want the meshes, simply roll the timeline forward before working on the part.

I agree that having to remove the wires from the hot end carriage to feed them through is difficult... but only for the first assembly, I haven't had a reason to fiddle with it again since installed. I also wanted to make sure to not compromise the part. I'm sure there is a good solution for that, I am no master engineer, nor am I an expert in material strength thresholds, so I went with what I knew would work and not break or be fragile.

I am very interested in what changes you would implement to make it more assembly friendly.

I wonder if the Chinese are changing the lengths of the wires in newer releases of this machine? I'd imagine it is a possibility. Though easily remedied with a Dupont terminal kit and crimper tool. Wires can be made to any length of your choosing. I Think I spent 40-50 dollars US for the tool, a variety pack of male and female terminals and a large multi colored ribbon cable. Its come in handy a few times for different mods and tweaks(like a filament run-out sensor)

My apologies. I didn't notice the extended history of the .f3d file. However note that the meshes have not been converted to Brep format and the overall setup seems unfinished. Did you use Meshmixer or similar to finish the design?

Another issue that I encountered was that when I imported the mesh into Fusion it had tens of thousands of facets. This seems to be overkill especially since many of the facets are on the front face of the X axis cover. I did reduce the number of facets before conversion, but the result created slight variations in the height of adjoining faces so working with the mesh became a pain.

I ended up using Coillote's model of the Ender 3 (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3044639) and working from that. I've added a few photos of what I've done so far based on his and Creality3D's work.

Creality Ender 3 assembly

That's definitely one way to do it. I wanted to keep it a single part, but making it 2 piece is certainly one way to make it happen!

It sounds like you had some of the same issues I had while working this part in fusion. I was able to get a final STL from fusion for the part as is. And I agree with you, working the meshes in fusion definitely was a pain. I can't begin to tell you how many times my fusion crashed while working on this.
Just to clarify, you imported the part into fusion as a mesh from the STL? I have no idea why it would facet a flat surface. I have noticed fusions mesh reduce feature works best with STL's when it is set to "accurate" but then you run into fusion making the part overly complicated. But it tends to be much closer to the original than something weird and lumpy.
Sorry the part in the F3d file feels unfinished. Hence why I have the timeline set to where it is, because that was where the fusion modeling ended, and the parts I wanted implented came in. they're quite literally the STL's imported and put into place. I did attempt the Brep, I don't remember what exactly happened, but that it wasn't working in the way you'd expect it to, and it was more difficult to manipulate than the wireframes.

I've still got a lot to learn, and reading your comment affirms to me that I'm not the only one that runs into what sounds like it should be simple thing, that turns into a royal pain in the butt.

Good luck with your design! Definitely post finished pics of it, its looking awesome and Id be thrilled to get to print your design and try it out

Anyone know what size screws the gantry mount takes for the X Switch? The stock screws surely don't look like they'll fit.

The holes are deliberately small; however, this is too small. Try drilling them out first before cutting the threads as you will have a good chance of stripping the phillips screws otherwise.

The X end stop switch holes are intentionally small. The reason for this is so the screws will thread into the seemingly too small hole and will actually thread the hole as the screws are installed. Be careful not to overtighten, as it could strip out the threads and then you'll have to print a new part. I used all stock hardware from the original cover to install this modified one.

What I did when I put mine together was, I put the screws into the holes before putting on the endstop, and made sure NOT to bottom them out, but to get them close. Then when I was ready to put on the endstop, they were already threaded, and when they did bottom out, gave a nice firm grip on the part.
Hope that helps, let me know how the installation goes

Oh Noooooooooooo! Now I NEED this!

Any more in depth photos available? would like to see from different angles if possible.
Thank you

I just have the one picture and the 3d model view of the part, as I had thought it was pretty straight-forward. Since I've already printed and installed it, I honestly am not too keen on the idea of taking it apart again to take pictures. If you can provide me with a more specific description of what you're looking for, I'll be happy to see what I can work up.

hello! can you add a back photo to see the cable management?

Sure thing!

Keep in mind, I use a solid state relay, a dual Z stepper setup, and mosfets all on the back and underside of my ender, Just so you are aware :)

Thanks =D
Ok... you have feets for the structure and you pass the cable under it... this is a interesting idea to use with my top mount extruder =D

You're welcome, if I may offer yet a little bit more inspiration,
What if, just for your extruder, running the wire inside the grooves of the extruded aluminum? Similar to how I passed wires for the second z stepper and the solid state relay, behind the mosfets in the pictures you saw. I would imagine that would work well because the extruder is no longer on a moving axis, it will be mounted to the top of the frame. The benefit would save you time trying to figure out how to run the extruder wires, through the moving cablechain, for a stationary object.

Whatever you decide to do, post a picture of it, I'd like to see how it turns out

Yes I do apreciate tje inspiration =D
I express myself wrong in the previous comment. I wanted to say this wold be a great option to my printer now that i have the extruder at the top instead of using somethink like this https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3132855 because i dont have the extruder there anymore. But the idea of running the cables inside the grooves is great, I must try that! My current setup is like this https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3724186 but i'm waiting for a longuer cable from ebay for the motor

Stock Ender 3 & A10 Hot End Chain Links
Top Mount motor Bowden Extruder nema 17 2020 extrusion (Ender, Geeetech)
by Seltix

What kind of cable extension stuff do you reccomend? I love the look but I'm a bit of a noob when it comes to wiring and my soldering iron broke (super cheap one and I don't have the money to replace it right now)

I'd recommend saving up to buy Dupont donnectors. For a kit of the terminals and the plastic covers that go over the crimps, as well as the special crimp tool will set you back about 20 dollars for a cheap set (I'm willing to bet you could find it ever cheaper looking at chinese sources)
Soldering will work and you could easily buy a Harbor Freight soldering iron that will "get'r'done" with splicing in a small length of wire. Though you'll want to get heat shrink tubing to cover up the splices.
Its really a matter of personal preference, and what you feel is within your abilities and comfort.

Will this work for tevo tornado?

Not sure, I don't have access to one... Does a tevo use the same gantry x cover as the ender 3 or cr10 style printers?

Thank you! What x-carriage mount did you use?

I designed my own in fusion 360 using the plastic part off the printer to input my dimensions. I linked the F3d file for others to use and make adjustments for whatever flavor chain they're using

Sorry I guess I meant the hot end side

I used the bullseye petsfang and modified the "base" part file to incorporate the cablechain. Unfortunately, Petsfang creative license does not allow for derivatives, So I am unable to share that file :(
I may take some time and take some other models I have found and remix them to be able to do this as a universal system regardless of what parts cooling fan is being used

Understood, thanks!

The universal hot end side for the chain to mount to is posted, Lemme know what ya think

Thanks, I designed something similar, but I will print yours as well and let you know!

Can you post the files so I can remix this pls

I posted the fusion 360 file that I made from the stock x cover, anything beyond that was mostly playing with meshes