This kit will add rigidity to your printer, giving you prints often.
Does it work and is it worth doing?
Just see maker zsonybrasco's before & after shots:
Here is a good, and short, article on 3D printer rigidity:
To compliment this mod, have a look at my Z Extensions:
(For an additional 37mm of Z clearance)
This layout was powered by beer... just like lots of hobbies... so if you like this layout and you want to buy me one... or two...
A huge THANKS and CHEERS to those who've already shouted.
This design uses two 8mm or 5/16" threaded rods. The rods lock in the base and have adjustment on top. These rods brace the Z axis towers, towards the front of the Y axis, keeping them vertical and square into the build plate.
There are two braces for the Y-axis, front and rear. These enable by stopping the Y motor torque from pulling the frame ends the Y belt to be tensioned properly.
No need to drill any new holes at the printer, but you do need to replace some short 3mm screws for longer ones (10mm). The short screws are reused for the Y braces.
See "Directions" below for further detail.
Our buddies over at "3D Printer Wiki" have also put together a build guide for this mod:
Let us know what you think.
Any feedback is welcome, within reason ;-)
My i3 was among the first batch as a result of the generation of packaging not being among the design that is best, and it suffered a flogging.
Try as I might, I was not able to adjust the Z axis to be square; there simply was not enough available from the OEM fasteners . An otherwise amazing printer was less than ideal. Design time...
The design files may be edited with the free 3D design software from RS, DesignSpark Mechanical. You can get it from Radio Spares website "rs-components dot com", just look for the "DesignSpark" link in the regional distributors front page. http://www.rs-online.com/designspark/electronics/eng/page/mechanical
All files have been inspected in Simplify3D. All documents compliant and should be manifold to your slicer. Tested in Cura & S3D.
With the printer there's none of those rocking that owners are currently reporting. The design would be completed by gluing rubber pads and aids greatly in isolating noise from the printer being amplified by your desktop/table.
The stl's with the following settings:
1mm to 1.2millimeter walls or 3 shells, and about 50 percent infill @ 0.2millimeter layer height (appears to be sufficient).
PLA or ABS, or your choice of plastic.
They're rock solid in PLA!
Sufficiently over-engineered, shall we say.
I do not recommend ABS (not for any hobby grade 3D printer) but it will work if it doesn't warp too much.
No supports required. (Caveats below.)
No rafts required.
Parts that are printed that are recommended list:
1x BackFootRight.2.2. stl
1x BackFootLeft.2.2. stl
1x Back_Y_Brace.5. stl
1x Front_Y_Brace.3. Stl
(You may use different variations, this is just my recommendation.)
Got a Malyan M150 i3 3D printer? Use these http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1509637
Spare NutPlug files have been uploaded, just in case someone needs them; being parts these can come from the printbed. Then ignore these files if yours publish OK.
Parts Needed to buy:
2 x 400-410mm lengths of 8mm or 5/16" threaded rod,
4 x 8mm or 5/16" nuts,
2 x 8mm or 5/16" Nylocs (lock nuts or locked nuts, or glue may be used)
20 x M3 x 10mm (or longer if you can't find 10mm)
4x Rubber feet (whatever you've got that fit, self adhesive or glue-on)
1x 4.8mm wide cable tie or zip-tie (or similar size)
1x M5 x 20mm machine head screw (only if your front Y belt idler has a domed head)
If you would like to make the Y belt idler even more inflexible, use a M5 x 30mm and an additional Nyloc nut and a washer or two. (See pictures and search comments for "M5" for more detail.)
Obvious for some but there can be a couple of hurdles.
Your printer may be off-square or bent and you don't realise it.
Before placing any strain release the tension on the four screws which fasten the Z-towers into the Y-axis. Failure to do this may result in distortion of your printer!
If there's not enough range of movement, to make the axis square, remove each of the to Y-axis screws. (One screw per tower is enough with this mod.)
Lift the nozzle about 25mm or 1" off the print bed; to prevent the nozzle bottoming out. (Some people have reported that this happening due the Z tower pivoting when being squared.) You may need to adjust/move your Z limit switch to compensate in cases.
If you are having trouble inserting the rod:
So that the front feet are over the edge of your table/bench move the printer. That way the rod lifted up through the hole in the bracket, and easily can be dropped than the table's grade.
If you find your rod does not align to both holes, in the foot into the top bracket, your printer is bent! (Mine was too, "hello sailor", welcome to the club.)
If your printer is bent:
There are two big machine screws. Release the tension on both screws until you have enough movement in the Z-axis to fit the rods. If there's not enough motion with both loose screws, then you need to remove one screw from each tower (I removed the rear most screw, but it doesn't matter which just do exactly the same on both towers). YOUR Z TOWER CAN NOW FALL OVER... DO NOT DROP IT!
The front Y brace uses a 4.8mm wide cable tie to tension the belt idler bolt. (You may recycle the 3mm by screws, left over from the Z brace mod, as these will fit the front Y braces).
(The latest printers from the factory have domed nuts on the front Y idler, so there's nowhere for the zip-tie to grip. You can replace the screw with a x 20, of not use a zip-tie. The brace should hold on OK with no zip-tie should you re-use the short M3 screws.)
Squaring your printer:
Get yourself a large engineers/carpenters square, any tools store or hardware store should have them or you may slip your fathers (he wont miss it instantly). Place the printer on a smooth horizontal surface (Mums dining table is typically the best; she had daddy pay a fortune for it.) The base of the rods are fixed to the front feet. Adjust the nuts using the balls to square the printer into the tabletop/bench-top. It may be tricky to discover a straight edge on the printer Z-tower to use your square against; I used the front edge bend, or closest to the corner that is outermost. (If you're using mums furniture, be careful not to scratch it unless you have younger/weaker siblings.) Once everything is square, tighten the balls. Then recheck for square. Repeat until satisfied. Your printer should have the ability to return to its place of rest. (Scatter some of your smaller sisters toys to cover any "tracks" you may have left.)
Now home level and the axis the print-bed.
Print something with long square borders in the Y and Z planes, and check the finished print against your square (your new one or dads old one, if he hasn't missed it yet).
In preventing noise from the printer being amplified by your 19, gluing rubber pads assists. Self adhesive rubber feet are available at hardware stores and supermarkets. These will make your printer quieter!
Nuts, how many?
As few as 6 nuts, or as many as 8, depending on which front foot layout you pick.
At least 1 nut on each rod should be a Nyloc. I suggest one Nyloc nut within each foot.
Then Loctite, if you do not have at least one Nyloc because you need something to prevent the threaded rod from ever vibrating loose, or turning or glue the bottom nut to the front foot.
Additional reading, should you wish...
Use brims if you're printing the "BottomxxxxxForOneNut.stl" parts; as the little "nut plug" does not have a lot of surface area on the print mattress. (5 brims worked OK for me.)
Bases/feet print as they would stand/mount when finished, and may require a little support but only touching the build plate... they probably don't really need that.
Back legs print level, no support required.
Choose "balls" or "balls mk2", your choice, smooth or grippy.
Just publish the balls as they appear in the preview, with support disabled, and to complete infill.
The round plug, in the middle of the ball, is for support and it will pull out cleanly with needle nose pliers; so you don't need to enable support in your slicer for the balls.
- All versions-
2x Balls.stl or 2x ballsMk2.stl (your choice)
There is two options of feet:
-if using two nuts on each front foot (this requires two more 8mm or 5/16" nuts)
(also found on "Plate2.stl")
1x Balls.stl or 1x ballsMk2.stl (your choice)
- For a single Nyloc nut and a glued plug on each foot-
(also found on "Plate1.stl")
There is two options of feet:
( 1.) (also found on "Platex.stl" documents)
BackFootxxxx.2.2. Stl very sturdy and have big bases for bugger rubber pads, and
Foot_Rear_xxxxx. Stl that are faster to print but do not have much bottom are to stick on rubber pads onto.
There are two documents for the Back Y Braces:
"Back_Y_Brace.4. Stl" is for many people and "Back_Y_Brace.5. Stl" is for people contemplating the use of a cable chain on the Y-axis (it has the fairly obvious additional bit/horn with all the holes). Cable chain should be 7mm x 7mm ID, which is the same generic chain used elsewhere on the Di3. You can get it on eBay etc. (Like the Front Y-axis brace, this new brace also uses the short M3 screws left over from the other pieces.)
I've printed the one and it works.
Far more rigidity on the back frame plate now; I have a motor mount fitted before anything else does, and it flexes. There was flexing at the point where the cables go through the frame without bracing.
The choices that are above work it is a matter of aesthetics and personal option.