Introduction: 2BEIGH3 3D Printer Update and Call for Testers

About: is an Engineer with a background in electronics, optics, mechanical designs, chemistry, plastic injection molding and plastic die tooling.

WOW!  I want to thank everyone, including the instructables site for an absolutely amazing 3 months!!!

Again, thank you everyone for the incredible help and wonderful comments!

  It's hard to believe that the 2BEIGH3 was released just last May21st.  And now, the first of August, there have been 52,000 views, 68+ followers, 158 public comments and over 2,200 private emails and comments!
  I can honestly say, given all of the comments, that the combination of a dual purpose machine, in addition to a new high strength material was of major importance to a lot of people all over the world!
  I also want to thank everyone for their patience in waiting for my responses to all of the questions as at times, it was literally overwhelming.
  As there is no peer review, like that of others using your technical information and drawings to duplicate your efforts, I want to update everyone on the efforts of others with respect to the 2BEIGH3:

Currently ( These are users I know of through emails and comments):
There are 14 people that have built the low res CNC version and have been cutting parts.
There are 28 people in the process of building the low res CNC version in order to build the 3D Printer.
There are 3 people that have built the low res, then Hi Res CNC version and are also cutting parts.
There are 4 people that have built the lo res version and used it to build the 3D Printer parts.
There is already one person who has successfully built and tested the 2BEIGH3 3D Printing extruder.
Within the next few weeks, there are three people that will be ready to print in Nylon.

Hacking the 2BEIGH3
    And most important to me, is that just under half of these people have hacked the design to accommodate their specific needs.
The reason this is important, is that to an extent, the design would help a greater number of people in that if someone had a CNC and only needed a fast X/Y table for 3D Printing, they could easily separate the table from the rest of the design and continue on.  There were three users that had fast CNC machines, and just needed an extruder and hot-end.  They are already printing ABS, and are about to move toward Nylon.  There were people that had assembled 3D Printer kits and wanted to be able to print Nylon.  They used the slotting method to grab Nylon and are testing the strength of their extruders now!  There were people that had 3D Printer kits, and wanted to use the electronics and motors in a CNC setup.  They grabbed the pipe frame, some open source CNC SW and a cutter.  They are already cutting parts!  There are at least five people that had smaller DIY CNC machines and have upgraded to a much larger pipe frame configuration.

The location of those building the 2BEIGH3:
USA, Canada, India, Germany, Norway, Brazil, Mexico and I'm sure I'm leaving someone out!

And more!  Because of everyone's interest, comments and support, the 2BEIGH3 received a huge amount of great web attention!
From hackaday to engadget and around the world in blogs and 3D Printing sites that I never knew existed, came articles, references and requests for more information.  It is amazing that if you Google "3D Printing Nylon" the first Google image is a part from the 2BEIGH3 and the majority of web links refer to the 2BEIGH3.
  It is without a doubt that your interest, your comments and your sharing through social networks pushed the 2BEIGH3 to where it is today!

 Of all the comments, and questions, there was always that one open issue!
So taulman, If we can't use trimmer line, and can't get Nylon rod, where do we get the Nylon to Print????
And that is the one consuming issue I've been working.

3D Printing Nylon co-polymer is available here!

   External testing results are starting to come in and after a final adjustment in the co-polymers, I am finally pleased with the quality of 3D Printed results.   This was a huge undertaking and has been a whirlwind development in chemistry and processes.
   The call for testers is closed, however due to the overwhelming requests, we believe that those who signed on late or exceeded our limit deserve a chance to have a say in there efforts and results.  Therefore, while it may take a week or so, we still plan to send out samples to those that were willing to help us in this test effort.

   At last count, we tested:
17 total co-polymer combinations with 6 base nylon variants
3 extrusion methods
3 pH combinations
over 1,400 delamination tests
4 Chemical degradation tests
100's of 3D Printer certification part tests
1000's of feet of line from 2.1mm to 3.4mm

I rejected all of it due to any one issue or combination of issues.
Until the final co-polymer passed all testing with excellent results, specifically in the final 3D Printed part.
618 truly stands on it's own.

2BEIGH3 Updates:
The following updates are notification of file and or drawings as some people downloaded these early on before others pointed out errors or omissions.
The actual files and drawings have been updated or added on the Main Site Here.

Lo Res CNC -
1. The X axis nut for the threaded rod was changed to a piece of delrin plastic that is drilled then tapped with a 1/4 20 tap.

2. The Y axis nut for the threaded rod was changed to a piece of delrin plastic that is drilled then tapped with a 1/4 20 tap.

3. The Z Axis shims are not needed for cutting most parts.

4. There was an electrical drawing added showing the electrical Power Supply connection for those that have a high current single supply.

5. The Z Axis drawer slide is known as a "Center Slide" and comes as one piece.

6. Some users have bent the retainer on the drawer slides in an effort to center the slide.  This caused the ball bearing to fall out.  Rather than set the slide so it is combined at the center, let the slide be extended slightly at table center location.  Insure that they slide to the left for X and to the rear for Y.

7. A commenter noted that the Z Axis "does" need to be at right angles to the table or even small parts will have an angled edge.

8. Read through the comments to see answers to question about replacement lpt ports for Mach3.

9. There are several answers to Driver boards and controller boards in the comments, with one as to what "not" to buy.

Hi Res CNC -

1. The X axis nut for the threaded rod was changed to a piece of delrin plastic that is drilled then tapped with a 1/4 20 tap.
     There is a new dwg in the hi res section for this part.

2. The Y axis nut for the threaded rod was changed to a piece of delrin plastic that is drilled then tapped with a 1/4 20 tap.
     There is a new dwg in the hi res section for this part.

3. The Z Axis shims "ARE" required for precision.

4. A 1/8th step controller and driver are required for precision.

5. One user noted that using the lo res CNC may attribute "shear" to the Hi Res Table.
   Shear is when the assembly x and y are not at true right angles.   This is a problem on a lot of DIY CNC machines.
   The user noted that you can measure shear by cutting a large square, measure the angle and then use a "shear" command to alter your drawing and the result is an extremely accurate part.  I tried this and it does work very well.

3D Printing -
Step 2 = As promised, I have a 3D Printed Extruder to replace our Acrylic gears!

Step 3 = A quick update as to where to get the low cost unmodified nozzles!

Step 4 = A list of faq for printing in Nylon, using the new materials as a reference.

Step 1: 3D Printed Extruder

  As part of the 2BEIGH3's 3D Printer configuration, we built a "Material Extruder", or a unit that would push the ABS or Nylon into the coupling hose and therefore on into the hot-end.  Using the lo res CNC machine, we designed a geared unit with a 1:4 ratio to grab the slippery material and force it on it's way.  We all know that gears were not meant to be made of acrylic, so I promised that I would design and release a 3D Printed Extruder.  So....

  This is a simple direct drive extruder.  The benefits of the pliability of Nylon are at work here.

1. The side bearing slots are pressure fit and self aligning.

2.  The pressure bearing is spring loaded as a function of the pliability of the side walls and fill.  Something we can't do in ABS.

3. The couplers do not need to be tapped.  They will screw directly into the openings where, again, the pliability of nylon accommodates the NPT threads.

    Take a look at the first three images.
The first image/photos shows a completed unit in actual operation.
The next, a breakout of the parts.  And the 3rd, as the CAD Drawing that shows the standard four views of the design.

1 each 4" length of 1/4 20 threaded rod.
4 each 1/4 20 nuts
1 each 1/4" ID Coupler, same as before - MMC 6412K11
3 each 626ZZ Bearings from patio door slides as before.
2 each couplers - reuse those on your current extruder.
1 each 1" piece of the small PTFE we used on the Hot End
1 each printed Nylon 2x3nylon extruder.stl printed at 2 perimeters and 50% fill
    You'll find the .stl file below.

  I've left the mounting open so users can determine how and where they want to clamp or mount the unit.  Also, the 4" threaded rod is simply what I used as I will be placing an encoder on it soon and wanted some extra room on the shaft.  You need to determine your needs as to length. 

Slots/hobbs bolt:
   Images 4 and 5 show the threaded rod and how it has been slotted.  This was done by simply putting a dremel cutting disk in the small drill press and slicing slots every 30 degrees, or about 12 slots.
   You only need to slot about 1/2" where the material will come into contact inside the extruder.  I suggest building the extruder up without the pressure bearing, then using a marker to mark the location where the pressure bearing will contact the nylon.  Then remove and slot as needed.

Pressure bearing:
   The pressure bearing is held in place by a 2" 1/4 20 screw.  Because there will be considerable pressure, a nut is not needed.
The screw head will contact the outside of the shaft bearing, but that part of the shaft bearing does not rotate.

   Having slotted the rod, assembly is simple as noted in the photos.  Make sure NOT to use the nuts to compress the outside shaft bearings as it's not needed and will add drag.

   Cut a 1" piece of the small PTFE tubing we used for the hot-end and place it into the coupler about 1/2 way.  This will keep smaller material from bending  As mentioned, there is no need to tap threads into the Nylon body.  Simply push and twist the coupler into the opening and the threads will catch, and then screw the rest of the way, leaving about 0.100" gap.

Stepper Motor Settings:
  Keep in mind, that we called out a NEMA23 for the early extruder.  This unit will require a NEMA 23 as it is a direct drive to the shaft.  NEMA17's will not have enough axial leverage and will be prone to skipping steps.
  Because we've gone from a 1:4 gear ratio to a 1:1, we'll need to change the "Steps Per" in the Mach3 motor tuning section.  A good starting #, would be 1/4 of the current number  !

     With a 2.8mm nylon line, this extruder should be able to lift a 30lb weight.  HOWEVER!  That doesn't result into a 30 Push UNLESS
we make sure that the material path is such that the material can't "fold over".  I've had the material actually fold over in the coupling tube!
To eliminate this as I test all sizes of plastics, nylon and other material, I ordered another few feet of the small PTFE tubing.  I then cut a slit the entire length of my coupling tube and added the PTFE tubing inside of that tube.  It's extremely slick and eliminates the folding!
  With this combination, I can extrude nylon down to 205c.  (It's not very useful for anything except expensive fishing line, but, who knows!)  At 205c, nylon will not bond.

   About a month after release, I updated the 3D Printing section with more photos and breakouts of the Hot-End.  In addition, there is a better explanation as to how the seal is created at the entrance to the aluminum block.

.stl Files

1. The base for the new 2BEIGH3 extruder

2. An IPhone style case.

3. On some of my images, you'll see a large pipe flange as an image denoting strength.  pipe flange.stl

4. Harbor Freight sells a red low cost voltmeter.  I find that I drop these, on occasion and printed a few cases. 

Step 2: Nozzle Update

   I have an instructable on using a pocket oiler for a 3D Printing nozzle, yet wanted to update the information here on what they are called, sold as/by and where you can get these at an excellent price. 
1st, I have no affiliation with this company or source.

MFG = Eurotool

MFG PN = Eurotool #OIL-355.00

Available at =

Price = $2.25

My ible to modify to a 3D Print Nozzle

Step 3: Faq About Printing With Nylon and New Materials

  I have compiled a number of major faq's from public and private comments.
Users from the novice that wants to build a unit to experts that already have assembled kits or finished 3D Printers have asked a lot of questions.  I have tried to combine the questions and then answer as best as I can.
Because I have developed a new material specifically for 3D Printing in Nylon, I've used that new material as the reference for some of the answers.  In addition, with 50,000 views, there are current Personal 3D Printer users reading through the instructable as well.
   Having printed a few miles of Nylon, gives me some experience I want to share with all of you as you have shared a ton of your great knowledge with me.  So....

#1. Will you release an MSDS for the new Nylon material?


#2. Can I just use plain Nylon trimmer line?

  Trimmer line does "look" like and contain nylon, however, trimmer line or weed-whacker line also contains various additives that are destructive and or dangerous for your 3D Printer.
First, it has fiberglass to strengthen it as without fiberglass, the ends will fray/split and cause jams. Next, nylon on it's own is too flexible, so fiberglass hardens it for cutting. Fiberglass will foul your nozzle because it requires a higher temp to melt along with the nylon. The higher temp will actually boil the nylon and other additives giving off a terrible smell. The additives are there to reduce the bulk % of nylon as nylon is a bit more expensive than the additives. These additives are usually calcium based and can clog or foul your nozzle.

#3. Can I still print in High Resolution?   

Absolutely.  There is a slight difference in the thread size leaving the nozzle as it comes in contact with the surrounding air "oxygen".  Nylon will take on a bit more oxygen than ABS, thus making the resulting thread about 1% - 3% larger than the ABS equivalent.  This is what gives tau431 and 412 a soft hand.
   Some printers come with a fixed nozzle size and use layer height to increase resolution.  This is acceptable.

#4. What setting will I need to change in my skinning software from printing with ABS?

    Again, you'll need to adjust for the small increase in thread size as mentioned above.  You will also need to very slightly increase the speed of your extruder to keep the nylon under a small constant pressure.  This is best done by slightly reducing the material size you enter into your skinning software.  We use a 2.90 - 2.95mm for 3mm line. You will also need to eliminate the over compression of layers used to reduce delamination.

#5. What are the major differences to me if I print in nylon?

     Unlike ABS, nylon is a 100% thermoplastic.  It can be re-melted and used again and again without loosing its bonding properties.  Without getting into a long polymer discussion, here are the basics:

1. There is almost no De-lamination.  The bonding of thread-to-thread at the correct temperature is very impressive.   We mention this first as most of us that print with ABS and PLA have reduced our layer thickness in an effort to reduce De-lamination.  This is no longer required and you should be prepared to go over your skinning SW settings to adjust.  Of course, even injection molded nylon parts are subject to splitting at right angle transitions, but compared to ABS and PLA we know you will be impressed.

2. Nylon's viscosity and thermoplastic properties require that it be under a slight constant pressure during the print.  This pressure is controlled by the extrusion rate.

3. The printing temperature will be slightly higher than what you use to print ABS.  taulman has spec'd the polymer such as to keep the 3D Printing temperature very low for high strength polyamides at 248 - 270c.
(Note:  tau618 and tau525 can be extruded down to a low of 225c, however thread bonding is insufficient for layered parts.)

4. The tauxxx polyamide materials give off almost no odor as compared to ABS.  Most residual odors come from the humidity (water) that boils or steams off during printing.

5.  Nylon is hygroscopic and will absorb water from humid air and it's storage environment.  As the material enters the heater block, it creates a seal with the added pressure of new material forced in by the extruder.  The temperature at the seal is just at or slightly above boiling, so as the water steams, it tends to escape via the nozzle.  It looks a bit like smoke, but you'll know its steam as it dissipates rapidly like steam from a tea pot.  You need to keep the water absorption down as much as possible so as not to mare your prints. Storing your material in a well air-conditioned room does the trick.  If you've been banished to the garage, just place the spool in a box with several desiccant pouches.

#6. Can I print parts that have a smooth color luster?

    Yes, but only to a certain degree.    As mentioned above, Nylon takes on oxygen as it leaves the nozzle.  This gives a bit of a fine texture to the printed parts but removes the luster.
   To obtain the best shiny deep color luster possible, you simply print with a higher resolution nozzle and at a slightly lower temperature.
   As a reference, most parts you see on the site are printed at 32-34mm/s at 265c using a .42mm nozzle.  Some gears and a rod coupling  were printed at 22mm/s, .3mm nozzle and 248c. Be careful not to go so low in temperature that you loose the bonding strength.
taulman materials will not have the luster esthetics of injection molded parts due to it's base polymer.

#6. How do I get prints to stick to my platform?

   Nylon has a similar thermal cooling profile to ABS, in that sharp corners will cool faster than the rest of the part, and tend to shrink, pulling up from the platform.
   I don't suggest using Kapton tape.   Nylon will weld to Kapton tape.
   Depending on the surface area, regular masking tape can be used.  Some prefer the Blue Painters tape.  The print actually sticks to the wax backing.  As a thread is layed, it quickly melts the wax and within a sec, the wax re-hardens to hold the thread.  The Blue tape simply has more wax.
   We prefer the perforated printed circuit board material.  This is a 6" x 8" sheet  with holes spaced at 0.100" in both directions.  The Nylon will push into some of these holes and cool thus holding the print down.  It makes for a lot of bumps on the bottom surface as compared to the tapes.
  Heated tables work/help the same as they do for ABS.

#7. I've seen comments about fumes and Nylon.  Is it safe?

All taulman polyamides are absolutely safe for 3D Printing at listed temperatures(248c - 275c).
     It is a fact that ABS, PVC, Styrene and Nylon all generate hazardous gases when burning or reach pyrolysis.
    The comments you note, come from those of us that took physics or chemistry as part of our college courses.  In those classes, some of us burned nylon and some of us burned ABS, Styrene or PVC to generate hazardous gases.  We then went on to measure and quantify those gasses using gas chromatography.  Therefore a lot of us are concerned anytime we see others heating plastics.   Of course we don't print with burning plastics, however, some of us also heated these plastics to high (400c-2600c and higher) temperatures in a chamber with no oxygen.  When hot enough, these plastics would break down (reach pyrolysis) and start to emit gases.  Those of us that had chem classes in "Chemistry and Physics Only buildings" were allowed to burn all kinds of elements.  Those in buildings where non-chem and physics classes were taught, were usually limited to nylon as burning nylon does not have a recognizable odor like ABS that we all know so well.  People in adjoining classes were likely to hit a fire alarm when detecting the odor of burning ABS, something school administrators would not tolerate.  However, when printing with ABS, Nylon, PLA or any material, we are changing the state of elements with temperature, so make sure you vent all fumes and odors.

#8. What is the most significant difference I'll notice when printing with nylon?

Steam!  When we had a few others try a short test, they were surprised at the amount of steam that comes from the nozzle.  We opened a new bag with material stored with desiccant packs, and as soon as they started a print with a dryer nylon, the steam was almost gone.  We can't over-stress how important it is to keep your material dry.
  As mentioned above, Nylon is hygroscopic and will absorb water from humid air and it's storage environment.  The steam trail is very small, but persistent even in pre-dryed material but doesn't harm or mare prints as long as it's minimized.
   Keep in mind that the steam will appear to a "casual observer" as smoke, and you'll need to explain that it is the water in the material from humidity steaming out from the hot-end.
  The small amount of vinegar you add during the coloring process will be slightly noticeable as you print.

#9. Will Nylon foul my nozzle if I leave the heater on?

    Not as long as you turn your heater off before an hour after your print ends!
    The viscosity of All tauXXX polyamides is such that any material in the pre-exit chamber of your nozzle will spool out till empty when the heater is powered.  This is one of the advantages of All tauXXX polyamides.   What this means is that the thin material coating still in the nozzle will not change to a carbonized state like ABS.  Or simply, you can leave the heat on a lot longer without creating a piece of gunk that needs to be cleaned out.  We've left our heaters on for as long as an hour after a print with no issues at all.

#10. Is there any chemical that I should "not" use with Nylon?

   Yes, any strong acids can be a problem.  They will break down the bonding of threads and weaken the printed part.

#11.  Has Nylon been used for 3D Printing in the past?

  Yes.  It didn't take long after the initial release of personal 3D Printers for people to try nylon.  There were those, that like others, tried the nylon trimmer line route with mixed results due to additives and fiberglass.  In addition, the base polymers were the same as they had been for over 40 years.  Initial testing was done at high temperature to get the older polyamides to print.  Some, too high at 340c and higher.  This created concern as pyrolysis was close to being breached. 
   Outside of the 3D community, industrial injection molders were seeing an increase in small part production from a long list of gadgets we all use today.  Molders were pushing the polymer industry to get temperatures and die abrasion down as small parts take a lot of pressure.   Abrasion was making it difficult to get needed quantities out of a very expensive die.
Less than 4 base material suppliers answered the requests of molders.  The result was adjustments in the processes that reduced temperature and abrasion.  This is the type of process used in the base material of tauxxx materials.  Printing at 248c@80mm/s with high strength nylon is almost unheard of.  Abrasion is so low as to make injection molding nozzle life twice that of ABS and eight times that of PVC.
  Nothing is for free, of course, and esthetics were reduced along with a subtle increase in hygroscopic properties.  However, in most cases, esthetics wasn't an issue as the parts were internal to most assemblies.  tauxxx materials will not have the luster esthetics that we think of in semitransparent combs, brushes and textiles.

#12. What will be the biggest differences in my part from being printed in ABS and then Nylon?

1. Strength.   You will be amazed at the strength properties of the tauXXX polyamides.

2. Weight....Nylon is much lighter than ABS and PLA.

3.  The 2nd part of the hygroscopic  properties of Nylon.  tauxxx material will not hold water or other liquids.  This is why most liquid filters are made of nylon.  If you print a small cup with 10 perimeters and 10 solid faces, it will leak water or any other liquid over time.

4. Pliability - A major advantage to taulman nylon materials is the pliability that some of us have desired in our printed parts for a long time.  From stretch in bands, to elasticity in support components, pliability means that multi-part assemblies are more likely to work as designed with minimal filing, cutting and sanding.  Nylon springs can be completely compressed and return to a printed state.  Hollow tubes are possible, when needed to guide gasses through complicated assemblies.

5. Slippery Surface - Nylon can eliminate collars, U-joints, washers, separate raceways and ball joints by using the materials slippery properties.  Ball bearings that require no lubrication are easily printed. And most important, threaded holes that won't delaminate a part under pressure.

#13 Will retraction work?

   Because there is always a slight amount of pressure when printing nylon, retraction will work, but not as well as when printing ABS or PLA.

#14 You have  mentioned "RIT" Dyes for color, are there other dyes I can use?

  You can use any dye that is "acid based".  Most textile dyes and some paper dyes are acid based.  These are very light acids on the same pH level as vinegar.
(NOTE: taulman and Shakespeare used readily available dyes at Shakespeare to keep track of different material runs on the Shakespeare R&D extruder.  This resulted in several red, orange, purple and light red samples you see on our web site.)

#15.  Can I glue my nylon parts together?

  The short answer is No.  It is similar to trying to glue non-stick Teflon to non-stick Teflon.
We use a 40 watt soldering iron for melting part edges to each other.

#16. Is there any new terminology associated with printing in nylon?

   Yes, as follows:
1. "Spool Out" = Due to nylon's difference in viscosity, the tiny amount of nylon just above the nozzle opening, will melt out in an constantly decreasing diameter for about 5-10" depending on hot-end.
2. "Back Pressure" = The pressure between the thermomelt area and pressure created by material being limited from exiting the nozzle.
3. "Layer Smashing" = tauXXX materials are meant to have a nozzle dia to layer height ratio of 1:.8 to 1:.85 .  With nylon, decreasing layer height is refered to as Layer Smashing.
4. "Spider Web" = Remember, nylon was initially intended as a replacement for rubber and silk.  In textile processes, nylon is "drawn" rather than extruded.  As an example, if you pull the "spool out" from the nozzle slowly, it can create a 10 meter thread that is almost invisible.  So when you remove the spool outs, remove them relatively quickly, but don't bump into something.
5. "Tiny Popcorn" = A sound you get when there is insufficient material feeding into the hot-end for the print.  The microscopic steam bubbles combine to make an audible "pop".  When there is the correct amount of material and a tiny bit of back pressure, the microscopic bubbles can not combine, and instead are released as a small stream of steam.
6. "Safety Spit" = If your hot-end looses temperature control and the  material starts to exceed safe levels, taulman polyamide materials will literally "spit" out of the nozzle.  This is both visually and audibly noticeable.  The material will land on your table in globs of very foaming looking "spit". (Color dependent on applied dyes).
7. "Thread Compression" = Users that print with PLA and ABS have used a trick to increase the rigidity of printed parts.  This is done with reduced layer heights with ABS and PLA.  Due to nylon's viscosity, you can push more material through the nozzle, than required for your part.  The result is an even stronger part with less pliability.  There are some parts that we desire strength, but not so much pliability, such as mounting flanges or sliding guides.  These are places "Thread Compression" can help.  Please note that "Thread Compression" will add a bit to the final part and is not suggested, or needed for gears.

Again, my thanks to everyone and my appreciation for all of the great comments!