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Ender3 x-axis damper plus!

by iskorenitel Feb 17, 2019
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Printed and put it to good use, amazing job! I am going to keep an eye on the belt to make sure it doesn't wear by rubbing against something but it looks as straight as the original metal piece.

As the piece lacks the small cavities to properly fit dampers with the 2 small dents on one side, I had to sand them away with Dremel.
It might be cool to add those little holes to the design on a next release.

To complete the setup I only had to flip the X-stop switch, move the Z-stop a bit higher and, obviously, recalibrate the bed level.

I used nice quality PLA but I wonder if something like "HD" PLA would help robustness...

I can update, but my dampers lack those dents, so I need a good plain photo of one with them next to the ruler for scale.

I got this printed and it looks amazing...just like the photo. I installed it on my Ender 3 Pro and found, like hetile, that I still needed a bit more angulation to account for stretching of the belt. The other issue that I ran into is that I could not get the x-axis extrusion level. I use a ruler underneath the x-axis to make sure the left side and right side are the same height. With the stock x-axis mounting plate, there is some wiggle room to adjust it and then tighten it down. But there are two guide rails on this part, one above the x-axis and one below, that lock the x-axis extrusion into place and made it so I couldn't adjust it to level.

Thankyou for bringing up another issue. I will do my best to upload the fine tune angle solution in a few days.

I made guide rails to provide extra srtength because we are replacing a metal sheet with PLA part and my prototype cracked exactly in this place when I tried if it was strong enough. I left 0.2 mm for the wiggle you are talking about but it seems that sometimes it's not enough. Can you tell me how far your right side of the x-axis frame should go up/down so that I calculate extra space between the guide rails and make changes to the model?

Have you checked the angle of your vertical frames? It also has some room to shift before the screws are tightened.

Thank you for the response. So I have checked my vertical frames, and everything is square. I put mine together using this guide on YT https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=me8Qrwh907Q which is VERY thorough. In my case, I still needed about 3-4 more millimeters of vertical drop to get it level. I don't think it was the lower rail that was stopping it, but the upper left corner of the upper rail. You are correct that every printer will have a slightly different setup based on how well the user built their machine and variance in the parts. I ended up putting the sheet metal piece back on for now because my x stepper motor has a removable pulley and I have a BL Touch for Z height adjustment. What I probably need is just an angled spacer to put between the damper and the sheet metal mount.

I have checked my assembly and it had less than 1 mm difference between the left and right side. Corrected the design anyway, now this problem should be gone. In case you would like to try again I don't think it's worth time and plastic to reprint, I would just cut a little off the rail with the knife. Can't tell you if a simple spacer will do for removable pulley because I am not sure about the length of a rotor axis, but you can try it now, the spacers are uploaded too. You may have to stack a combination of them to get it all right.

That's awesome! Thank you. I actually designed a couple of spacers myself (I didn't know you were going to as well). The spacer worked great. Mine goes from 2.6mm to 0.4mm (not sure of the angle) and it works really well. For people wanting to try it, be sure to put the spacer in between the motor and the damper. Otherwise you will need longer screws.

After many hours of printing with this, I think there might be not enough compensation on the inner part of the mount. I will update with some picture but once tighten, the belt pull "too hard" on the pulley and it's not SUPER straight so the belt keep on getting pushed to the outer-part of the pulley just enough that it catches the rail on the front (and make a super annoying sound) and it can't be compensated by belt placement. I can minimize belt friction by reducing the amount of tension on the belt to a "almost" uncomfortable level.

There might be differences in the amount of "bending" from one damper to the other I guess..

Would you be able to post a "more compensated" version of this ? How can I "help" calculate the amount needed? I can take super close-up pictures and measurement. I guess the most useful way would be to re-mount the thing without the cover/end stop holder so I can "see" (and take pictures) the "bending". I'm in no rush (I know you're away from computer :) ) and I'd be willing to print more then one version to test (that would also give me an excuse to re-print it pink like the other part.. I know.. pink is weird.. But that was the least-used color at that time and went with it and now, I kinda find it funny and my daughter loves it)

I was thinking maybe just a bunch of different space insert (like 0.25mm, 0.5mm, 1mm, etc..) (that would fit the mounting screws between the damper and the thing so it wouldn't move) could do the trick and let people adjust your design to whatever play the dampers add ? (and that doesn't require an entire disassembly and reprint). Not sure if that's doable..

Let me know what you think :)

Indeed that might happen due to different dampers. I think I can work something out for enthusiasts like you without reprinting the whole thing.

I've made an update with different spacers like you had suggested. You can try it now if you like.

Thank you very much! I will be looking at this tonight. I was about to try to add some washer because as you can see in the attached picture, the belt rub quite massively against the metal thing. I've already ordered replacement belt as I've printed over 100h with this and there's clear sign of wearing on the belt. I have to admit that I was thinking about reverting it altogether because the belt rubbing on the metal is far more annoying then the stepper motor itself.

Thanks for looking into this!

This one looks like weak rubber on damper. Still think it should work fine after setting correct angle. Mine also didn't fit well for the first prototype but after some tuning i got completely wear-free silent belts on both axis. Good luck with that!

I could try switching the damper but I'm afraid all the one I have are all the same.. Hard to tell.

I was about to print one of each of the spacer but.. I'm not too sure how these should be printed.. The first layer at 0.2 is fine but none of them will work without support and I'm not too sure how it will be removable from there but I'll give it a go. Maybe it should be printed on the "large" side down the bed but that will probably require a brim.

update: 3rd failed attempt.. I'm really not sure how you intended this to be printed.. The first layer being at 0.2 and support z distance at 0.1, cura just doesn't want to print support that thin (make sense since first layer is at 0.2 and 0.1 distance + 0.2 layer heigh, it won't add up.. ( I tried with your profile too). I also tried "cheating" by adding a brim but there's still a part of the thing that's just printed in thin air (the hole)

This might be a noob problem but I can't figure it out

update2: I ended up lowering your spacer Z -0.16 to get it flat on the bed..

It prints without supports. In cura please select model than rotate => lay flat option

Ok.. I just learned something.. I did not realize the model loaded at an angle, that's a first for me.. Usually when it's loaded at a "wrong" angle, it's kinda obvious like 90-180-270 degrees..

Both size of this model, aren't "flat" as they load.. But with the "lay flat option" I guess it rotated it a tiny bit, just enough to remove the bottom "step" I guess and now yes, it will print without support.. I'm printing it right now..

Thanks for answering! :)

I can also confirm that this thing is working #1!

I have updated my make with some pictures


Ender3 x-axis damper plus!
by hetile

Just printed this out today. It's working great! Ran into a couple of things I figured I should throw out there for anyone doing this. When it comes time to put the new printed piece with the rollers, you may need to loosen the eccentric nut on the one wheel. I couldn't quite get the bolt through the last wheel until I did. Also, I didn't end up needing to print a new cover, I was able to simply flip the switch around and it fits perfect and actuates as it should.

Thanks iskorenitel for this great upgrade!

I also had to reajust both z-eccentrics. Flipping the switch is a nice idea, saving some time and plastic.

For some reason, this print failed on me about 7 times always on the first layer, always at the same spot no matter where I placed the thing on the bed.. "Combing mode" was the problem, needs to be set to "Not in skin", this will get rid of the travel line in Cura 3.6 at least.

This time I'm half way in and I think it will work.

Are you still happy with the design? Still using it?

Thankyou for a feedback. Indeed, I have "Not in skin" combing mode turned on for all of my prints so I haven't come across that problem. I also have a lot of other non-default settings fine tuned in cura. If you are interested I can share that or publilsh the G-code.

Many users underestimate how cura fine tuning can increase quality of prints and optimize it vs time. Those 2 hundred+ settings that are shown at maximum settings are there for purpose. I spent a few hours experimenting with them and now review about 70 quickly before I slice the model.

Yes I am using this design every day and am very happy both with how dampers work and easy and calculatable bed leveling. I switch between 0.25 and 0.4 nozzle quite often and they have different heights so it really works good.


Of course I'd be super interested in your cura profile :) I'm still learning all of those but there's so many moving part, it's easy to loose track of what affect what and some are just.. Magical.. So learning from your profile would help :)

I have printed this and your Y damper thing too and will be installing both this weekend. Only missing the nearly impossible to find m3 x 25mm that are supposed to come tomorrow :)

As per your suggestion, some 40x40 heatsink will be added at the same time (ordered those https://amzn.to/2E2pdnr)

Thanks for this design! I haven't tested the original Y or X one but your mod just make sense

Please find cura profile enclosed. Don't take it as instruction since I change a few quite often for special properties of exact projects.

I dno't bother with short bolts just take what I have and cut it as i need since 3x40 or 4x40 are always at hand.

Please check twice that you have all the parts needed before installation - just read my thing details before getting involved in disassembling, I made it a longread and tried to cover some difficulties you can face. The installation takes some time, especially for X-axis. I would start with Y-axis :-)

I forgot to follow-up on this! I went thru your profile settings by settings and tweaked mine. I learned a lot with your profile and I honestly feel like I'm way more in control with your help.

There was one setting I wasn't too sure about which is the infill overlap. The default is set to 10% yours is set to 0%. I'm not too sure what's the use of it. I guess overlapping could make the print stronger but does it really make a difference. Setting it to 0% might reduce the infill effect on the outer walls when printing with only 1 or 2 walls.. I'm still not sure about that one :)

I've also notice that your setup was set to print part by parts instead of all at once. You always print pieces like that or it was for a specific need?

A good question, thankyou. I came to a conclusion that except for rare cases you don't need infill at all. if you want to add strength just make more walls, its generally cheaper, faster and makes less influence on the quality. So bearing in mind this, I use infill more often as a support of the upper surfaces of the model and therefore I don't want to mess with overlap side surface quality problems.

Thanks for the profile! I will take a look at it and check what is different from mine and do some test prints!

I think I'm good with the pieces and I've taken apart the printer a couple of time already, I should be fine :)

The plan was indeed to start with Y axis :)