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CoreXY Cube

by tempo502 Aug 3, 2014
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Hi, Happy New Year!
I read Some of the earlier comments and noticed you mentioned Carl's Alu carriage (single/dual?) can fit into this core-xy design.
But it seems to me that neither Carl's nor FF's carriage have enough space for the core-xy belt clip.
Is this the reason why the extruder motor is turned 180 then provide more space for the clip parts? Or maybe it can be achieved through some modifications of carriage itself?

I haven't personally done it, but I know at least one person has. I can't recall exactly, but I believe he used the bolts that attach the cooling bar to the carriage to hold belt clips. That in turn required minor changes to the Y carriage pieces to move both belt paths to an underslung arrangement.

Hi! How are you attaching the Z axis nut for the threaded rod to the "Z_stage_carriage_100mm"?

M3 screws directly into the tapped holes on the nut. This is intended for four-screw nuts, but putting one screw into a three-screw nut will probably work fine too.

Do you have the nut part number?

Nuts should come with lead screws to ensure proper fit. (There are several similar-looking and incompatible lead screw thread forms.) I think I used a tr8x8 screw w/ integral motor... Should be in the BOM.

Any chance you could upload this so it will fit 40mm by 40mm frame,Also what size bars are you using for X and Y.

Do you mean 4040 extrusions or 40cm by 40cm frame? 2020 is plenty stiff, there's zero reason to go larger unless you want to up-scale the entire printer. But all the parts should fit any base 20 extrusion (2020, 2040, 2060, 4040, etc). They will not fit base 40. The trick is that if you use larger extrusions, you'll have to keep the Y rods aligned with the outermost extrusion channel slots so the belt paths are unchanged.

If you mean 40cm frame, you'll have to resize the lasercut baseplate, figure out the proper extrusion lengths, and make the XY rods 100mm longer. Plus longer belts. But I don't really recommend using 8mm linear rods for larger printers, a good rule of thumb is rod diameter = length / 25. Changing rod size will naturally require modifying the printed parts.

Did some of the comments from yesterday get deleted? I wanted to save your great comments about assembling the thermal barrier tube/hot block/nozzle.

...that's weird.

Hi again,

Would you mind taking a look at this:


What do you think I've done wrong here?

Looks like you've put the blower mount post onto one of the holes intended for the zipties that hold the LM8LUU bearings in. That specific hole is oversized so you can run one ziptie around the bearing and another up over the extruder stepper to help keep it from wobbling.

The blower post (and other belt clip) go in the two round holes halfway between the two bearing slots. The blower post acts as a fixed belt clip, and the slanted belt clip lets you do some belt tensioning (in addition to slotted motor brackets if you have them). That should line up the belts pretty well with the bearings in the Y carriages.

Well, that was pretty dumb of me.

I fixed that and now have an interference problem between the printed blower nozzle and the side of the aluminum block.

I think I am going to have to drill a new hole shifted about 1/4" to move the blower fan enough to clear the block.

Any thoughts on this? I could post a picture if it helps.

Thanks for the help.

Unfortunately, I think we can chalk this up to there being a few different revs floating around for the carriage pattern/thickness. A new hole would probably work fine if it's along the X direction. Do you mean the blower needs to move away from the nozzle in the X direction, or needs to move downward to be below the hot block? Would also be possible to modify the blower duct model to make it fit your hardware.

It just needs a pure x offset, probably more like 3/8" as opposed to the 1/4" I mentioned before.

There is also a "pocket" in the blower duct that appears to be designed to catch the carriage plate. That does not line up so I think I'll have to adhesively bond the blower duct to the blower in order to make this work.

I looked over the files. It does look like your "X short" plate has holes that are spaced farther apart. I used a plate design that was either identical to or very close to your "44mm spacing carriage plate file".

The odd thing is the "pocket" not lining up with the plate however....

Hmm, that would probably explain it. I personally think spacing them farther apart is better, since it gives you more range of motion for the tensioner belt clips, but it's not a big deal and you can redrill them wherever you need to as long as the hole doesn't move much in Y. The spacing doesn't really affect anything except where the blower mount post sits.

Check this set of build pics for an alternate way to install a blower fan: https://www.flickr.com/photos/90025904@N04/sets/72157649795398404/
The fan pictured is a 12v BFB0312HA from Digikey, so you'll need a small 24:12 converter (cheap on amazon) to run it, or you could mount a different 24v fan the same way.


Does the subassembly in the picture look like it's on the right track?


I was wondering if you have found a preferred wiring route that would impact the orientation of the heater block?


I run the wiring forward under the heatsink and fan. Doesn't matter a lot, except that it might bump the right Y-carriage before the X endstop if you use a low-profile switch.

Make sure you leave the nozzle backed out a little bit (half to one turn) from the heater block when you do final assembly. Then screw in the thermal barrier tube to the nozzle. Then tighten the nozzle once cold and then bump it up after preheating. This ensures a good metal/metal seal between the nozzle and thermal barrier. If the nozzle is tightened against the hot block before preheating, you likely won't get a good seal and it'll leak molten plastic out the top of the hot block.

Yeah, it may take a few tries to get everything screwed together and aligned around the wiring and M6 screw. That's the price you pay for a low-height, reliable, all-metal hot end. The threaded cold end makes assembly a bit harder, but it also really improves the thermal performance.

hello tempo502 ,
if I need to use bar smooth 10mm instead of 8mm how can I do ?

thanks (sorry for my bad english)


Comments deleted.

For the X and Y rods? If so, you will need to find the appropriate bearings and then modify the design for the X_end pieces to accommodate the larger diameter.

Also, you will need Y rod flanges that accomodate the larger diameter. I think you can just drill out the 8mm flanges specified on the BOM.

I imagine the "Carriage Plate" (carries the extruder assembly) would be fine on the larger diameters bearings without modification.

Comments deleted.


I'm about to route the XY belts. I've trace out the path from the pictures so I understand the routing.

Just wondering if you have any tips about this particular step?


This is a useful reference: http://corexy.com/theory.html Particularly the last diagram on the page.

Yes, I had seen that a long time ago, it is a good site. I was wondering more about installation tips. Tension, etc?

Also, did you use thread locker anywhere on the extruder assembly? I'm wondering about the ability of that 6mm button head to stay in place long term.

Thanks as always.

You tension the two belts to get the gantry square. So install one a little loose, then install the other a little tight, then go back and tighten the first belt to get the gantry bridge squared against the frame. Or if both belts are in one clip, try tightening them both together, and then adjust one belt as needed if the gantry comes out skewed.

I don't usually use threadlocker on my builds because I tend to take them back apart. It's not a bad idea though. Blue loctite (eg 243) on the extruder drive gear setscrew and 6mm button head screw wouldn't be a bad idea.


The Type-K Thermocouple part on the BOM references a FlashForge link to a thermocouple that has a screw thread.


Does this actually screw in somewhere or is this by chance the wrong type of thermocouple?


Which hot block did you end up getting? The FlashForge TC will screw directly into Carl's T-block (M4 thread). If you bought an E3Dv6 block or a replicator 2/2x style hot block, the block has an M3 thread and you probably want to buy an M3 thermocouple from someone like P3D (http://www.p3-d.com/replicator-2-thermocouple.html).

Alternatively, you can take ANY type-K thermocouple, cut off the tip, strip back the wires, tightly twist together the bare ends, wrap the tip in a few layers of Kapton tape, and secure it to the hot block in the manner of your choosing (including just sliding it inside the insulation if you're brave). That works fine too. It's just important to keep the TC tip electrically insulated from the hot block. (Thus the Kapton tape.)

Because of availability issues, I went with this:


I feel stupid having asked the question now. I should have figured this one out. The hot block I have has two 3mm threaded holes that run parallel to the heating cartridge. So, I guess I just pick one of the holes and screw in the thermocouple.

Thanks for the referral on the M3 thermocouple. That's quite pricy by comparison but it looks to be very high quality.

Yeah, you'll want to get an M3 thermocouple if you don't want to hack at your parts (eg drill/tap one of the holes out from M3 to M4). I should mention that we've seen some quality/reliability issues with the M4 FlashForge thermocouples lately... the TC tip has been pulling out of the thermowell crimp, which is rather bad.

The P3D TCs should be very high quality... we gave them quite a bit of input on the product requirements before they started making them. I haven't used that particular P3D part myself but they make good stuff and other people have reported good quality. I'd personally shell out extra for the stranded version, but the solid version will work fine for, I don't know, maybe a thousand hours at a wild-ass guess? It all depends on whether you have any "hot spots" for flexing in your wiring bundle to the carriage.


Can you tell me what is between the blower fan and the extruder assembly?

It seems to be some sort of heat sink?


Which piece specifically are you looking at? The blower duct to the nozzle, or the piece the blower fan attaches to? Or do you mean the 40mm heatsink between the extruder drive and extruder fan?

Check the pictures attached to this Thing, there's a good photo of the extruder carriage with blower fan installed.

It's a heat sink. I just don't see the heat sink on the BOM so I was wondering what you used.

Good catch, that's missing from the BOM. I used to buy QU-BD's heat sinks, but they look to be out of stock. Anything on ebay for "makerbot heatsink" that is 40mm x 40mm x 10-15mm heat sink should be fine -- the main thing is that it has the two NEMA 17 template holes and a hole in the center to accommodate the stepper shaft. The standard Makerbot size is 11mm thick and you can find tons of those on ebay. Personally I prefer 15mm thick and thin fins for better heat shedding to improve PLA reliability.

The length of M3 screw required to hold the extruder assembly together will vary with the heatsink thickness. You can always shim the bolts with a printed fan shield or a stack of washers, or just cut the bolt to length.

Ok, I see a lot of the 11mm thick sinks on eBay.

Not sure it's critical but can you tell me the orientation of the two NEMA 17 holes in the extruder assembly?

Two long M3 screws go all the way through the fan, heatsink, cooling bar, and into the two lower holes in the NEMA 17 stepper faceplate. Then the two upper NEMA 17 stepper screws are used to attach the spring arm idler mechanism for the extruder drive. Most extruder drive mechanisms do not need the screws to go all the way through the heatsink and fan, but to be safe you have the option of buying a heatsink with all four NEMA 17 holes drilled.

Ok, so, two more questions please.

1) Is the fan blowing at the stepper or drawing air away from it? I'm assuming it is drawing air away.

2) I had that printer spring arm assembly printed that you mentioned in the BOM. Do I need to shim the heat sink slightly away from the spring arm assembly to allow the arm to move freely?

Blow air onto the heatsink. I don't know why this works better, but it definitely does.

If the printed assembly is narrower than the cooling bar (which it should be) then you don't need to shim anything. If it's wider than the cooling bar, you should shim between the stepper and cooling bar or find a narrower extruder arm. I'm pretty sure it's fine though, I used the one in the BOM for a while. At worst I think you should only need to file/sand the arm a little to deal with printing tolerances.

Ok, and regarding the nozzle blower duct, I don't see how that is held in place. I have to have it printed as well.

EDIT: Also, that blower fan. You made the comment about it being a bit overpowered. That is 4.6 CFM. DigiKey has one at 3.9 CFM but it is 12 Volts. I assume I can pull 12V from somewhere???

The duct fits snug enough on the XY carriage plate to stay put. (Assuming you pick the right version for your plate thickness, anyway -- the Sketchup source files for the X carriage have different versions.) The piece that sticks into the blower fan helps hold it in place. You could also use a little bit of kapton tape or hotglue or whatever if necessary.

There's no 12v in the system unless you run the entire printer on 12v or add a 24v-12v converter just for the fan. (Some people do that.) But the best way to manage fan power is to use the LCD menu option built into all the Sailfish CoreXY builds. I run mine around 40% typically. Dan added that feature after this Thing was posted.

Hi Again,

I'm confused by the BOM entry for the LCD panel. In the BOM is specified a panel from FlashForge but the connectors point "up" as opposed to your pictures that show what is apparently a Wanhao LCD with the connectors pointing "down".

I've been scratching my head here wondering what to do with this FlashForge display...

Hmm, good point.
Option 1: I used the FF panel and ran a bunch of female-female jumpers to connect the LCD to the button panel.
Option 2: de-solder and reverse the plugs from the FF panel, and use the Wanhao cable.
Option 3: buy the correct FF cable to suit the version of the button panel you bought (I believe you want cable 1) from http://www.flashforge-usa.com/shop/flashforge-cable-set.html .

I've got those female-female jumpers. The problem is that they will interfere with the electronics box from Dan's design as the box has a "lip" at the top where the LCD display is located.

I think I'm going to try to locate the Wanhao LCD that you show in your Flickr pictures. Wanhao is out of stock, which seems to be the case for a lot of the stuff on their web site. They also rarely return emails for some reason... :-(


Do you have a photo of the xyplate-short or perhaps a solid model representation? I'm grappling with the DXF file. I'm not sure if the two ovals are supposed to be cutouts or ????


I'm asking because the DXF does not appear to match the pictures that are on the Flickr link.

What are you opening it with? I've noticed autocad doesn't like something about the file format, I think it's intended for Inkscape. (Dan Newman made the DXFs, not me, sorry.) If you check x_carriage.skp (Sketchup file) there is a 3d model that can be exported/printed, or I believe you can pull a .svg outline from the Ponoko cut files.

I've been using AutoCAD 2015 on a Mac. I can try Inkscape.

Is there any particular "design philosophy" in play with regards to this piece?

It's really just a simple lasercut plate to hold the extruder assembly to the X axis bearings, and provide mounting points for the belt clips and X limit switch. Nothing fancy -- feel free to modify/substitute. For example, the X-end version with wider rod spacing will accommodate standard Makerbot-style Replicator 1/2/2x and clone carriages if you want to go that way. Carl (http://shop.raffle.ch/) sells nice aluminum carriages that will fit.

There are also some printable dualstrusion carriages on Thingiverse made by FF Dreamer owners who had their stock carriages melt due to a thermocouple circuit wiring flaw.


ust wanted to knock an idea around. I've found that the "X-end" 44mm printed pieces run really rough with those two 24 mm bearings. It gets a bit better if I push the two bearings together inside the piece. I don't think it's that the through hole is not perfectly straight, causing misalignment between the bearings, but that could be a part of it. More so, it seems as if the ball bearings themselves are "fighting" each other between the two bearings as I feel a twist in the rod as I slide the printed piece along the rod which results in friction as I prevent the rod from twisting.

Anyway, the 45 mm bearings seems to be of higher quality. Do you see any reason why I can't just switch to a single 45 in each of these end pieces?


Yeah, I've noticed that too. What's happening, I think, is that the overhang/bridging at the top of the bearing pocket has some roughness that takes the pocket out of dimensional spec. Then tightening the set screw pushes the bearing against that roughness, cocking the bearing a bit. My personal solution is to make the set screws quite loose, just the minimum force to keep the bearing from falling out. That's worked pretty well for me.

The single 45mm bearing is a very good solution.

Just wanted to let you know that the 45MM bearing setup seems as if it will work well. The movement is silky smooth.

Great! How did you fasten them in? Did you push the bearing closer to one end than the other?

Yes, I pushed the bearing to the "right" side of each of the two pieces, flush with the side of the piece.

This works well because of the way the pieces are oriented with respect to each other in the assembly, the bearings are as far away from each other as possible along that axis. I felt that maximizing that distance, although not by a lot, was a good thing.

Here is a picture: https://www.flickr.com/photos/27637384@N05/20518634275/in/album-72157652106546623/

The build is coming along nicely, although slowly. I'm in the process of ordering the xy-plate (short) and then I'll tackle assembly of the extruder assembly. After that, I take on the triple lead screw related assembly. I have to find a source for custom length lead screws as I have the longer Z axis.

Looks good to me!


Ok, so I was wrong about ordering the last part. I forgot about xyplate-short.dxf.

Just wanted to check in to see what your thoughts are regarding material for this plate. It looks like you used acrylic this build. Are you satisfied with acrylic or would 3mm aluminum be more appropriate?


Acrylic is fine as long as the printer is not enclosed and you're responsible about always letting the hot end cool down below ~100C or so before powering off the printer. I haven't had any issues with standard Ponoko 5.2mm clear acrylic.

If you have access to aluminum though, I'd definitely recommend it.


On the BOM, one of the items is:

Hot Block & Thermal Barrier / shop.raffle.ch/shop/hot_end/

They have been out of stock and now they don't even show this item. This company also does not reply to emails....

Was wondering if you could point me to an alternative source for this part? This is the very last part I need to order.


Preferred thermal barrier (very high quality): http://www.toybuilderlabs.com/products/thermal-barrier-tube?variant=3047264196
Backup option: http://www.fargo3dprinting.com/products/makerbot-replicator-2-thermal-barrier-tube/

For the hot block itself, you can use any typical Replicator 2 block from a variety of vendors (Such as Fargo3D) and a Makerbot style nozzle The coated nozzle from Toybuilders is very nice. Or you can buy an E3Dv6 hot block, which has a very nice heater clamp mechanism, and use an E3Dv6 nozzle. (The thread length is a bit longer so they're not strictly interchangeable with Makerbot style nozzles.)

You can really use just about any common hot block though. The Rep2 and E3Dv6 hot blocks will both have M3 tapped holes to insert a Makerbot-style thermocouple. That's the main difference -- you want a hot block with proper fixing method for your TC. There are also some height variations but most of them will work fine except the E3Dv6 block with non-E3Dv6 nozzles.

Ok, a related question please. And I should state that in terms of assembly, the extruder assembly is the only area I'm struggling with, at least currently.

Anway, the "MBE Extruder Chassis" that is on the BOM. I have one here (purchased from Quintessential) but I'm confused as to how that is used in the extruder assembly. Would you clarify for me?

Check Dan's Flickr (from the main Thing info page), it has photos showing how to assemble it.


On the HBP PCB, you use a surface mount resistor. Do you envision any issue with using a "regular" resistor here?


No issues. I use a regular 1/8 watt 4700 ohm resistor. I also usually go through my stash and pick out the one closest to 4700 rather than buying precision.

Actually, I was referring to the 10K resistor that was mounted on the board?

Oh, the heatbed LED resistor, sorry. Yeah, that should be fine unless you want to use an oversized glass sheet on top of the heatbed.

Question on those "corner" idlers. And yes, you are correct, the X ends have the 623 bearings, my mistake.

Anyway, I'm looking at the pictures of the two corner idlers. Can you specify what you have "stacked" with the flanged idler bearings? It looks like you have an M5 washer at both the top and bottom of the stack and there are somewhat unusual "washers" between the M5 washers and the bearings.

Just wondering what those pieces are.


Nylon M5 washers. I don't recall if they're in the BOM or not. McMaster sells them. They're optional, it's just a nice low-friction, low-wearing interface material.

Ok, I'll check. In the picture, it looks metallic and cone shaped. Minor detail I guess....

What pic are you looking at?

Motion control: right side closeup on the flickr site.

Hmm, ok, I see what you mean. I don't know what Dan used there. Looks like one of those special washers for countersunk screws. Best guess, it's what he had on hand that was the right thickness for his flanged bearing stackup. There's some argument for finding a washer that only contacts the inner part of the bearing, which a conical shape like that might do better. But personally I don't think it matters much, there isn't a lot of side-load on the bearings to make friction with your spacer washers.


On this piece: "X_end_44mm_rod_spacing", I'm trying to find on the BOM the hardware you used to hold the "flanged idler" bearings in place. Am I missing it on the BOM or did those items perhaps not make it on the BOM?

Thanks, as always.


Ok, I'm thinking those are from the assorted M3 parts in the misc section? Sorry, should have looked a little closer...

Yep, just M3 screws and nuts, nothing fancy. I think I used regular 623 bearings in the X-ends rather than flanged bearings. The belt is 100% captive through that channel and doesn't have much tendency to rub.


Is the part number on your extruder stepper = 17HD4063-03N ?

That link is broken. I called Makerbot but didn't get a solid answer.

I'm guessing I have the right part number or perhaps it ends in 05N ? I'm not sure anyone knows the significance of the last 3 digits.


Looks like Makerbot stopped selling them. Either of these should be 100% identical:
You may be able to find them cheaper elsewhere, or use a similar short-stack NEMA 17. These are known-good with the Mightyboard Botsteps (A4982 drivers) though.

That PN looks right, but I'm not at home to check my parts bin. I believe Makerbot uses the -03N and FlashForge uses the -05N (or vice versa?) and they are completely identical as far as anyone can tell.

Ok, well, that link is magically working again whereas it was not over the weekend. Maybe my contacting them prompted a fix.....

I have about 75% of the parts ordered for the tall triple lead screw build.

Thanks again for all the help.


I ran into a brick wall on the "cooling bar" from Quintessential. The link doesn't resolve to a part on their web site.

I contacted them and they are scratching their heads over what it could be.

Could you provide a bit more information on that part?


It's the MBE Extruder Chassis. http://store.quintessentialuniversalbuildingdevice.com/product.php?id_product=26

You can also buy an equivalent part from Robotdigg (http://www.robotdigg.com/product/53/Single-Extruder-Bar-Mount-Chassis-Block), but you'll need some specific M6 hardware to make it mount. (You run a particular length M6 bolt through the unthreaded hole.) I believe Dan's flickr build log has the details.

It's the same basic part as the Makerbot Rep2 cooling bar. But I don't believe Makerbot will sell it as a piece part, just the full assembly, and Carl looks to be out of stock of his version.


The BOM mentions a "blower holder belt clip". Do you have that stl file available?

Also, one of the files is entitled "belt clip flat". I've looked over the pictures and can't figure out where that piece is used. Would you please clarify that for me?

I've created a remix of the triple lead screw design and I'm in the process of ordering the printed parts.

thanks again

The blower holder belt clip is called Nozzle_blower_upper.stl. It replaces one of the two belt clips with an upright piece. I've just uploaded an r2 version, which is less likely to break because an M3 screw is used to hold the upper end of the blower fan.

The flat belt clip is only used if you don't want to use the carriage belt clips for tension adjustment. (For example, if you use slotted motor brackets.) It replaces one of the angled belt clips and is not needed if you use the two regular angled clips.

I actually made that flat clip specifically for a variant with non-crossing belt paths (where both belts are planar, with one belt attaching below the main X carriage plate). It doesn't perform any different from the crossing version, and the X-end design then becomes dependent on the X carriage plate thickness, so I never uploaded that X-end rev file. A couple versions of it included in the X_ends.skp Sketchup source file if you want to use them.

Those files and the explanation helped a lot. The XY plate in the Sketchup file doesn't appear to match the xyplate-short.dxf file but it does appear to look like a plate that Dan used in his triple lead screw design.

Is it okay to proceed with the xyplate-short.dxf file or is there a better XY plate design?

xyplate-short.dxf requires using a stepper with the same dimensions as the standard Makerbot Replicator 1/2/2x or equivalent clone NEMA 17 stepper. (Can buy from FlashForge, Wanhao, Mbot, Makerbot, whoever.) There is another version that fits a slightly longer stepper from QU-BD I believe but is slightly less stable. (You want the nozzle as close to the rods as possible.) The Ponoko_r2 cut files include both versions in one plate so you can just pick whichever one fits better. It doesn't look like I uploaded the dxf for the longer version, I'll post that in case you want it.

Personally, I use the Ponoko cut files and use the xyplate-short.dxf option with the proper motor. If you want to use a longer motor, you may need to do some measuring and modify the dxf.

Ok, that longer version is what I have seen in the pictures. Thanks for clearing that up. I plan to use the short option as you have.

which firmware is used?
Can i use the ramps 1.4 ?

I like Mightyboard/Sailfish. Like James mentioned, you can use RAMPS with Marlin or Repetier. Sailfish will outperform either of those though because the code is optimized more. (This matters when doing models with lots of small segments at high speeds.)

Smoothieware, MachineKit, and RepRap Firmware for Due also have CoreXY support.

We have been using a Mightyboard clone with Sailfish firmware but Jetguy and myself recently tested a Ramps-FD (Due based) with Repetier firmware and that supported CoreXY. You should be ok to use ramps 1.4 with any firmware that supports CoreXY (marlin and repetier).


First of all, thank you for publishing all of this information.

I've been looking at DIY 3D printer plans for a couple of weeks now. I think this is what I want to build. It seems to have the right mix of high quality and modest cost.

I do have a question. I've seen some plans that involve a heated volume which apparently prevents plastic delimitation in the part. Would this type of design support such a setup or do you think the heat would affect those belts such that they would soften and stretch?

Sorry if this is a stupid and/or novice question....

I use mine for PLA and PET, which don't require heated chambers. The heated build plate is adequate since those are low-warp materials. (I have an enclosed printer for ABS.) But fiberglass-reinforced belts will hold up pretty well to heat. They will lengthen a small amount due to thermal expansion, but that's pretty negligible at normal chamber temps (eg 35-50C). If you want to go full 80C heated chamber for "optimal" ABS printing, I would recommend using a design with all-metal structural components or that puts the motion mechanism (plastic, belts, etc) outside the heated chamber. Just beware of patents.

Thanks. I assume you printed all of your parts but can you make a recommendation for a printer? I like the "green" plastic by the way.

I want to build this with a Z cage height of 780.

If you're looking for a 3d printing service to make the printed parts, I'd recommend finding a local Makerspace or hiring out the work on MakeXYZ. But Shapeways is popular if you want a professional service bureau. Alternatively, look for a "RepStrap" type design that doesn't require printed parts. You can order lasercut components from Ponoko.

780mm is probably too long for a 10mm rod, cantilevered Z stage to have sufficient rigidity. The build plate will flex like a diving board when working near center-span. I'd suggest switching to Dan Newman's triple-leadscrew design if you want to make the Z stage really tall. (Check the remixes of this Thing.)

Did you print the 44mm X "end pieces" yourself? I'm having trouble finding someone that can print that due to the blind holes in the piece.

I've printed a bunch of them, on a regular single-extruder printer, with no support. All you need is PLA with good cooling. The only geometry that isn't really easy to bridge is the two nut pockets for the bearing set screws. It's fine if those are a little messy... you'll just need to clean out the pockets with tweezers or an exacto-knife. And, to be honest, the bearing set screws aren't needed at all if you have a tight fit on the bearings.

Thanks for the recommendations.

Yeah, I reduced some beam deflection formulas to just including Moment of Inertia and length. Based on that, it looks like a 16 mm diameter would suffice but I would rather go the route you suggest.... I think I'd like to get that aluminum box built with center spans as well.

I've got a standard comment followed by a standard question...I like the design but I'd like to extend the design to have a larger print bed--preferably 12" X 12". So the question is how big do you think this design can go with the specified 10mm and 8mm rods before, in your opinion, you quality and/or print speeds begin to suffer?


It all depends on the acceleration values you want.

Assuming everything else is constant, 300x300mm would require adding roughly another 100mm to the X and Y rods, up from 300mm to 400mm long. Deflection at the center of a doubly-supported beam increases with the cube of beam length, so 1.33x length gives 1.33^3 = 2.35x more deflection from a given acceleration force. So you would need to dial acceleration and max velocity change down by about half to get comparable print quality.

Nice design! was planning to build one but i have bigger aluminum profile in my shop. Was hoping to find the original cad files so i can adjust them myself. Would you share them or are they somewhere on the world wide web already?


All source files are attached in the Thing Files (DXF, SCAD, and SketchUp SKP).

What did you make your duct out of for the filament fan? I'm looking to make a custom rig as well.

I used ABS for mine. As long as your hot block is insulated, that should be sufficient.

Ah, great. Thank you very much for help and support.

Would you share the source files. I would like to modify it for Nema23, or could you, please, do the changes to the involved parts for Nema23?

All the source files should already be up. Specifically for XY you want Belt_Motor_Brackets.skp and for Z you want Z_stage_100.skp. These are Sketchup files.

It is very easy to change the bolt pattern, but you should probably offset the XY motor brackets to make sure the belt departs the stepper pulley at the appropriate location for a straight belt path to the X-end idlers. Otherwise you will get slight Y position error at the rear of the bot.

what sizes on aluminum parts (profile 20 * 20 mm) and how much in?

I used a Misumi 5-series 2020frame kit, part number listed in the BOM. The kit comes with sufficient M5 t-slot nuts and medium-sized aluminum brackets to build the frame. Adding some bigger and smaller brackets is recommended to optimize the structure strength.

Extrusion lengths included in that kit to make a 340x340x440mm outside dimension frame are:
4x 420mm (uprights)
6x 300mm (4x lower horizontals plus 2x upper horizontals)
2x 340mm (2x upper horizontals)

Very nice printer. I plan do build one with RAMPS 1.4 electronics. Do you think using plastic corner brackets will weaken the frame a lot? I will try to simplify as much the BOM and rely more on printed plastic parts. Also I plan to use dual extruders.

Will it weaken it? Yeah. But I don't know how much. Lots of people use plastic brackets with aluminum extrusion and it works fine. Personally I think the Misumi HAUBE5-2020 kit (which comes with medium size brackets) is great and not too expensive. But I'm sure you can make a good printer if you use big, beefy PLA brackets. I'd stick with PLA though since it's the stiffest mainstream filament.

Thanks for posting and improving on the design!!!