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Bonsai 3D Printer

by caelf Jan 15, 2019
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awww it's soooooooooo cute!

Nice project, but I have one question.

Which bearings did you use for parts like X idler and Y idler for the belt?

Everything looks very well done. One question. What does one use for manual bed leveling and suspension?

A BLTouch is all that is used

Comments deleted.

I really like Your design. Do You think there is a way to scale it to fit standard MK3 heated bed?

I've already scaled everything that I need and made neccesary changes. I will use 150x150x3 mm aluminum sheet with heater resistors (oldschool stuff :P) and countersunk holes to keep existing Y carriage for now. Later on I'll probably design a new one to laser cut it from 4 mm carbon fibre sheet or just cut it from aluminum. 180W small 12V power supply should fit under the printer. I'll start ordering parts next week, wish me luck! :P

On the other hand I would like to keep it small, Use let say 150x150 mm aluminum bed with silicone heater or 150x230 heatbed. If You could upload step files that would be great! I will for sure upload a remix when it's done :)

Comments deleted.

hi again ignore first message found the file (y)

hi congrats a very nice printer , i am thinking about making one myself, i have a question about the housing box for the digital readout, is it possible to post the Cura file to print it ? Thank you .."Great Job" cheers

Hola estoy armandola con el extrusor Bowden pero a la pieza (1)_Bowden_Toolhead_Bearing_Clamp no encuentro como conectar la manguera de cables que va hacia la RAMPS o no se ve ninguna imagen que lo aclare, podrias indicarme como hacerlo ya que la pieza (1)_Extruder_Back_Plate si lo trae.

Hi, I am setting it up with the Bowden extruder but the piece (1) _Bowden_Toolhead_Bearing_Clamp I can not find how to connect the cable hose that goes to the RAMPS or you can not see any image that clarifies it, you could tell me how to do it since the piece (1) _Extruder_Back_Plate if he brings it
Thank you

Hola tengo una HOTBED con sensor de temperarutra y quisiera saber como poder conectarla a la maquina y en que parte del firmware se debe de modificar para que funcione.

Hi, I have a HOTBED with a temperature sensor and I would like to know how to connect it to the machine and in what part of the firmware it must be modified in order for it to work.
Thank you

You would connect the power wires from the heated bed to the D8 terminal (next to part cooling fan terminal) and the thermistor to T1 (next to hotend temperature sensor). As to the firmware, there should be a setting to enable a heated bed (not sure where).

Well Done! thanks for sharing.

Add a magnetic x carriage and a syringe extruder and you can have a nice little PCBs printer)) much more affordable alternative to

magnetic bed option idea

Prusa i3 magnetic X-carriage & Chimera/Cylcops support
by valpap
Chocolate Extruder
Magnetic Bed for 3D printer

Can anyone tell me how to install the endstops ? There is no picture how to assemble this parts.

This is cute, and make beautiful pieces. Congratulations !
Do the tiny size make it able to go really fast ? Or it's the same speed as all others printers ?
Is putting the spool upside the printer is a good idea from your experience ?

I haven't tried maxing out the printing speed, but it should be capable of ~80mm/s speeds or higher with proper calibration. The spool works great mounted on top of the printer. So far, I have not had any problems with it.

dont make the same mistake i did not all motor drivers are mounted the same way,
my board was delivered with DRV88 drivers all i got was smoke !!!!!

Strange, I have never known Ramps boards to come with DRV88 drivers.

Would a 120 x 120mm heated bed fit between the extrusions? They don't seem to make 100 x 100mm heated bed. I know I would have to get a plate cut or design a new one for it, which is not a problem for me.

Yes it would. The usable print area is indeed 100mm x 100mm. However, the actual build plate is 120mm x 140mm. So a 120mm x 120mm heated bed would fit.

As I measure the base plate a 120x120mm heater pad will fit well between all 4 screw holes. You can't cut these or punch holes in them so this is important. Getting this one and I'll report back results later.

Hello again sir,

in folder zip file, how to mount Bowden_Extruder.stl and 625ZZ_Extruder_Idler.stl ?


Hello there,

Do you plan an entire assembly plan?

Thanks you

Maybe sometime in the future. I am pretty busy with school for the next couple months.

Hello. Would it be terribly difficult to ask of you to design an alternate toolholders? This looks like a perfect platform for desktop laser engraver or pen plotter. I have basically no CAD skills and wouldn't know how to tackle the thing,

I would need more information on what you wanted to mount. I can't imagine It would be that difficult, as I could probably use most of the original gantry.

Sorry, forgot that thingiverse exists for few weeks due to RL stuff.
I want to mount a pen to make traces on copper-coated board with so I can etch the thing painlessly ;)

Maybe a small laser to make it into a engraver via laser too..

Hello sir,
I want to ask, what filament is used?
Does it not melt especially near the hotend?
Thanks sir

I used PETG for the hotend parts. You can get away using PLA for the other parts; however, I would suggest using either ABS or PET if you want long lasting rigidity.

thanks you sir, i will use ABS.

Hi there
is it possible to upload some pictures of your electrical connections to the board



I have just uploaded the wiring diagram to the files section. Thanks for reminding me!

Nice Printer!
If I would extend the top extruded profile more to the sides, would than the Prusa i3 top-z-Axis mount fit? OR: are the distances between z-Axis rods, lead-screw and Frame same as in the Prusas?

I'm not sure if the distances are the same. However, I have actually designed new Z-Axis mounts that attach to an extended top extrusion. I will be uploading this design in a few minutes.

have you considered changing the extruder to use the meshed bondtech gears like the MK3?

at any rate, this thing is adorable and Im probably going to build/print one.

I haven't really considered it. Maybe it will be an upgrade in the future.

I'm creating an assembled .3mf file for people to diddle with who are thinking about building it. As far as the 220mm and 211mm extrusions go, which goes where? Can't tell if the extrusions in the Y or Z direction are the longer ones. Very hard to determine a 9mm difference in photos and I can't see a distinction made anywhere in what you've put out so far.

EDIT: Added my work in progress assembly so you can see, I had my reasons for making it a 3mf. I think that creates a more conducive virtual environment for the average Joe to check things out before taking on substantial builds. I recommend viewing in 3D Builder. Once I'm done feel free to add it to the files.

I will also tell you that I have finished a bowden extruder for this printer that I should be uploading in the next couple days. It is much easier to install than the original direct drive extruder.

I look forward to seeing it. What program are you creating these in btw? And would you be willing to send over the CAD files so that if I feel a modification would benefit the printer, I can do my best to incorporate it into the original design as I build it?
For example, I would like to modify the Z_Rod_Mount files to incorporate a 608 bearing that can secure the lead screw from the top of the printer. I believe another commenter mentioned stabilizing the lead screw from the top, and adding a place for a 608 bearing to hold onto it from the top would be a quick and easy solution to implement.

I use Autodesk Inventor. I am willing to send the CAD files as you need them, just private message me your email address and what parts you would like (and in what format). It is interesting you mention including a bearing for the Z screw. You might find this interesting...

I hadn’t considered the issues with over constraining the lead screw, thank you for sharing that. I suppose now I won’t bother trying to include it.
What kind of luck have you had with those 8mm to 5mm flexible couplers btw? Most of the ones I have used introduced a subtle z-wobble because the oversized hole/set screw fastening system inherently secures the lead screw slightly off center (the lead screw hugs one side of the inner wall instead of staying centered). I ended up designing a new coupler that keeps true center between the lead screw and shaft, it’s on my page if you want to give it a try. You’ll need a few M3 bolts/nuts though.

The couplers do introduce some z wobble that is visible when viewing a print in a certain light. However, when comparing parts printed on my Prusa MK2S to parts printed with this printer, they are nearly identical in terms of slight layer misalignment (from z wobble). I think I will give your couplers a try. Thanks!

The 220mm extrusions are for the Y - Axis.
The 211mm extrusions are for the Z - Axis.
The 182mm extrusions are for the X - Axis.

I have updated the BOM with this information, thank you!

Hi There

is there also a file for the endstop housing ?


Yes, sorry. It has been added now.

Thank you for this thing! Thumbs up to you!

  • Posted with 3D Geeks Thingiverse Browser App

Hi, Great idea i love the prusa style but the hight price on the MKII is a bit high.

I have one question tho
In the BOM file what is the differnce between the 2020 extrusion, the 2021 extrusion and the 2022 extrusion. I cant find and resalts for the 2021 and the 2022 extrusions in NZ


Oops, sorry. It is fixed now. Also, I added prices and links to most items.

Cheers, do you think it can be made with out the bltouch as i think i wont use it in the printer

Yes it can. However I really really recommend the BLTouch. This is the first time I have used one, and man does it make the printing process a lot more convenient. I initially didn't want to spend ~$38 to purchase one, but I am glad I did.

If you decided not to use one, you would have to include a Z endstop switch, whether it be at the minimum or maximum position. The extruder assembly would have an empty space where the BLTouch usually sits, however you wouldn't notice it. The firmware would also have to be changed, but that's relatively easy. If you ever build the printer and decide not to use the BLTouch, message me and I'll edit the firmware for you.

That is an "error" that occurs when using auto fill function in excel. By dragging the first value of "2020" down, excel attempted to predict the next values in the series as 2021, and 2022 when in reality they are all 2020.

Thanks I was Very confuzed

Hi there
thank you for my next project to build.
printing and building won't be a problem but a little more information about electronics and connections would be very helpfull



Hi John,
I am working on a somewhat in-depth manual as we speak. The controller I used is a standard Arduino Mega 2560 + Ramps 1.4 clone (Amazon $30 - $40). I will include a wiring diagram, however, if you look up "Ramps 1.4 Diagram" and head over to google images, you'll find the standard wiring setup. I should have a diagram uploaded to the file section today.


Comments deleted.

Hi there, thanks for this great machine!
I only have experience with my simple ctc i3 and would like to make your machine.
I am currently sourcing the parts on your BOM. but i run into the extruder.
Could you tell me more detail about the hotend? It seems there are many versions, long, short, wade, i cannot figure out what type i need exactly. What type did you use?
With friendly greetings.

The hotend I used is an E3Dv6 clone. This is the exact hotend I am using :

If you decide to purchase an E3Dv6 hotend from another supplier, be sure that the dimensions match the picture I have attached to this comment.


So a standard E3D v6 or clone works? Is ithe V6 "Mini" smaller in some way? Thanks again!

This is magnificent, thank you for uploading!
Have you considered using a Bowden style extruder instead of the direct drive in order to reduce print head inertia? The PTFE tube would be so short I doubt the usual drawbacks of a Bowden setup would even come into play, especially if you used Capricorn tubing.

EDIT: Just went through your BOM and noticed there's no word on what you used for a power supply. I really would like to replicate what you've created here but I'm not sure which PSU to get.

Thanks for the feedback! I considered using a Bowden setup when I was designing the printer; however, I wanted the filament spool to rest on top of the printer instead of being a separate object. A Bowden extruder would most likely have to rest where the current filament spool sits. Though I do agree with you that many of the drawbacks of Bowden systems would be negated due to the small size of the printer.

As to the power supply:
Because the printer does not use a heated bed, I used a 12 volt 10 amp AC / DC adapter (looks like a laptop charger)
Here is a similar one:

You could even use a 12 volt 8.5 amp adapter (102W), but I wouldn't go any lower. You will also need a female socket such as this one (for connecting to the ramps board):

If you wanted a traditional PSU, you could get something like this:

Sorry for being longwinded, I will update the BOM.


Do you think a 623zz bearing will work in place of the 633zz? The inner diameter is the same, and the difference in outer radius (since the center point will remain the same) is only 1.5mm. I've got 95% of the parts needed to build this from previous builds and old printers, I'm trying to reuse parts wherever possible.

EDIT: I would also like to add that the E3dv6 clone you linked in the BOM is a bowden style, is that correct?

The 623zz bearing should work with some slight modifications to the extruder "lever." I will upload a modified version tonight.

Thank you for pointing out the hotend. All the clone E3D hotends I can find on Amazon have a bowden coupler screwed in to the top. These will not work for the Bonsai's extruder because they do not allow a PTFE (Teflon) tube to travel through the heatsink to the back of the nozzle. Even if you unscrew the coupler, the heat sink does not have a hole big enough for the PTFE tube to slide through. You will either need to somehow find a clone E3D hotend that has a coupler EXACTLY like the one in the picture attached to this comment or purchase the Genuine E3D Lite6 (Better option), which is actually only $29 on (link in updated BOM). The genuine Lite6 will be far more reliable than any clone you can buy and is guaranteed to fit.

Hope this makes sense!

I think what I’ll likely end up doing is using a Bowden style and modifying/adding on to your design to allow the top mounted spool holder AND the Bowden extruder. Of course whatever I produce I’ll be more than happy to share with you as a contribution to this project, but I may not be able to tackle this for a month or so. So if you had plans to make a Bowden version for people, certainly don’t wait for me lol

Sounds great. I'll let you know if I release a Bowden setup.


This is something I would actually be interested in building, is it possible you could do a basic parts list? Also how much did it cost for all the parts? That said, beautiful little machine, I recognized the Prusa styling immediately.

I will be including prices in the BOM soon.

Thank you very much :). Also, could you include a BOM that's not excel? I'm sure a few of us ( myself included) don't have it.

I attached a PDF in the files section.

There's a BOM in the files, but it doesn't include the pricing.

Nice. But I see just one flaw:
The z-axis rods are cantilever supported at the top. This basically cancels out all the benefits of stiff and rigid frame of aluminium profiles. The bottom mount point is much more robust than the top one. if you could redesign the top mount to match the stiffness of the the bottom one that would make a perfect match.

You make a good point, a more sturdy design will probably lead to less Z artifacts. However, they are surprisingly rigid in both the X and Y directions, more so than my Original Prusa MK2s. Time will tell whether the design will need to be updated. Thanks for the feedback!

I don't think the z-rods apply any pressure on the top mounts in the Z direction, as they also rest on the motors...

I was rather thinking in Y axis direction. With any rapid table movement there will be some vibration that the Z-axis top clamps are not carrying well. This may result in carriage swinging back-forth.

I see. You're right, the top bracket could be better (in fact, without the 'space' behind the thread, it should be ok).

Yes - this is exactly what I was thinking about. Great job anyway. Should be good printer for fast and precise prints. I find that even if I have a 20x20x40cm printer I very seldom use that much of a space. Mostly these are small items that should fit into your design.

Could the top 2020 extrusion be extended and provide another anchor point to the top brackets? That would provide added support without a significant redesign of the top bracket.
BTW - Thanks for sharing the design.

You know, that's probably the best way to solve the issue, at least without designing overly large brackets.

That's a very neat machine!