PVC pipe frame for a 3d printer

Hello, I would like to know if anyone has any advise about building a 3d printer with 1/2 inch pvc piping. The pipe will be used for the rails, because they are cheaper than metal rods. I want to modify t connectors so that they are what slides along the pipe.The pipe will be parallel, and held together by right angle elbows. I will mount it on a flat board. Is there any problems I may encounter? Thanks for any help.

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Forget it!
PVC is neither stable enough for proper framing parts, nor a substitude for linear rails!
If linear rails are too expensive and you don't mind the wobble (otherwise you would not ask about PVC) try sliders for kitchen drawers.
You get them from slim and light to extra heavy duty supporting over 50kg.

jbaker22 (author)  Downunder35m2 years ago

Does the same apply to metal pipes to? I will only be using 2 foot long parts. I can use a long level to check for warpedness.

Metal pipes should be fine as long as they are rigid enough, e.g. not using 2mm brass pipes from the model shop.
The original Prusa was build with 8mm threaded rods, just to give you an example of options.
Threaded rods also makes the alignment a bit easier, but that of course depends on you skill level with pipes and their connections.
Pipes always have the problem of connecting them properly, so once all is totally aligned you might want to spot weld or solder the pipe connections.

jbaker22 (author)  Downunder35m2 years ago

Thank you!


djaco2 years ago

I'm finishing up a printer built from 1/2 inch PVC pipe and it's printing nicely, so far. CoreXY with 12"x18"x18" build volume, but it uses MakerSlide for linear motion. Files here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1014884

More discussion here:


iceng2 years ago

Having used pvc pipe and metal rods I can tell you pvc is not as uniformly round as metal rods.