3D Printer Cantilever 2.0 C3Dt/c




About: Avid 3D printer builder, currently completing my 3rd printer design. If you like what you see and maybe even implement what provide, consider supporting me on Patreon.com: https://www.patreon.com/Core3d_tech...

This is my latest completed project to date. I'll be happy to build one for you (see update below), but if you must go it yourself; here is the instructions for the C3Dt/c (c for cantilever) by Core3D.tech. This printer was presented at MRRF2018

It is the culmination of many of my other intructables and I will refer/link to those as needed.

The 3D printer is a Cantilever printer with the following features:

  • 200mmx200mmx260mm Build volume
  • Heated bed
  • Auto Bed Leveling using inductive sensor and Aluminum bed
  • Linear Rails (MGN12 250mm) on both X and Y axis
  • Dedicated Parts cooling
  • Runing KFB2.0/Marlin 1.1.8
  • Bowden Extrusion with MK8 Extruder
  • 8080 Inc 1010/1020 frame
  • Auto tensioning on X and Y Axis
  • Double Rod Lead Screw Z axis using 12mm rods for extra stability.
  • V6 All metal hotend with cooling adapter for Noctua cooling fan (ultra quiet)
  • SD card reader as well as accessible USB port for direct computer access or OctoPrint

All the features you can ask for, in a small and compact build. This printer doesn't just do it all; it looks great doing it.

Here's me chatting with 3D Distributed about the C3Dt/c

Update: As of this morning 5/17/2018, I've received over 10 requests for delivering a fully assembled unit. It was never my intention to start producing these. I will figure out what pricing would apply but be aware, this is my hobby, I could (would want to) only build so many of these.

All the 3D printed parts that are part of this printer are now available as a set on ebay https://www.ebay.com/usr/core3d.tech

If you are simply looking to get started into 3D Printing, there are many other options available and many cheaper than what I could build this one for (including the rock solid Prusa I3 https://shop.prusa3d.com to which I am not affiliated). So with that out of the way....

If you're patient you can see the entire assembly (down to the last screw) here:

Update 7/30/2018: Some of you seem to have made it through the full build and are requesting information about the Marlin configuration. I've uploaded MY version of the configuration.h today. DO NOT blindly copy this into your set of Marlin files. Parameter names change between versions. I have marked all the changes I made for the C3Dt/c printer with //c3dt/c. Simply search this file for "c3dt" and update your configation.h accordingly (as it applies to the features you have implemented).

Step 1: Power Unit Assembly

The C3Dt/c printer is built, around the universal 12 Volt Power switching unit. It's important to get the universal one, as it has all the tapped holes in the exact same positions. This implementation relies on those. It also relies on the Power Unit's cooling fan to force air in the controller unit. Granted, this feature is somewhat experimental as the air coming from the unit is not exactly cold. I still hope this offers better than passive cooling of the controller.

12V 30A DC Universal Regulated Switching Power Supply $18.85 on Amazon https://amzn.to/2r52uRt

For this build the C3Dt/c uses a Power Socket Switch http://amzn.to/2E3Shhathat is 10A fused.

You can clamp wires into the power switch using the tightening screws. If you insert wires directly, DO NOT tin them prior. Not tinning them creates better contact, less chance of them coming loose and thus less chance of arcing (with possible smokey consequences). You can also opt for adding wiring disconnects and fork connectors for proper connections to both Power switch and Power/rocket inlet.

Wiring Quick Disconnects http://amzn.to/2CqLyIx

Fork spade wire connectors http://amzn.to/2F8zcrx

The Electronics case is mounted on top of the Cover (the two holes with square caveties under them). Insert 2 square m3 nuts ( https://amzn.to/2HWYm0P ) into the socket and line them up with the holes. They should fit snug but it could help to add some hot glue after inserting for keeping them in place.

Before finishing up, it's probably a good idea to check if the live wire, really is live. Plugged in and turned on, test with a volt meter (if you're wiring live 110V, you really need to own, and know how to use, one). If you mistakenly swap the Live with Neutral, thing will operate as expected but when you turn off your printer (via switch) power is still present.

Before enclosing the Power unit, run the 12V output wires between the unit and the case. They will end up powering the KFB2.0 (out of sight).

If you plan on adding additional 12 Volt features, it could be handy to add 2 spare +/- wires from remaining slots on the Power unit.


Step 2: Printed Parts

This C3Dt/c consists of about 25 printed components. Yes, I get the irony, a 3D printer is needed to create this 3D printer. Been there, dealt with that by creating a 3D printer design that contains no 3D printed parts whatsoever, added, here on Instructables.com: LAMINATED 3D PRINTER (FROM LASER CUT PARTS ONLY)

All printed pieces are available (as a set only) on eBay. I'm going auction style for now as there have been quite a few request. My starting bid is $70 and before you go WHAT???? having this items printed via a printing service will run you over $700. Good luck bidding! https://www.ebay.com/usr/core3d.tech

As for the printed parts, not all printers are created equal. My printer creates extremely well fitting pieces around all 1010 extrusions. The image above shows weights hanging on one of the clip on pieces that became a bases for many of the parts. Where extra supports is needed, I've added holes that allow a screw and T-nut for adding additional strength. I did design with shrinkage in mind so all parts are fractions of a millimeter larger than in real life.

Print a few test pieces first, to verify your printer gets similar results as mine. There can be minute dimensional differences between the printer available to you and mine. Also there's expansion/shrinkage of melting/cooling plastics that each has to figure out for themselves (again each printer/process/material has it's own quirks).

Parts of this printer can be printed using PLA (especially pieces like the casing) but I personally prefer PETG. For the pieces close to the extruder and hot end, I PLA will not suffice, due to the high operational temperature. You will need to use PETG or ABS for parts like the Extruder holder/clamp and cooling fan bracket.

The image all Printed Parts above shows the orientation of all pieces on your print bed.


See each of the steps that require Printed parts. I've included the STL files there.

Step 3: Z Axis

The Z axis for this implementation is made up from the Linear Screw Double Rail Instructable. Follow the link to that one for more detailed instructions.

The length used for the Z axis is 520mm which allows for a print height of about 290mm (not bad for a cantilever). The minimum length is 495mm but going beyond, allows you to do something extra on top.

I strongly recommend, you use the available screw holes in the Nema Connector and End Connector to screw these components to the rail using t-nuts. The connector can slide up and down depending on pressure applied to them (a failing end-stop may push things out of wack).

The Z Axis design comes with a Z end stop case but since this printer uses Auto bed leveling with a proximity sensor it is not needed.

Before connecting the slider to the Bearing pillows, make sure you drop in 2 10mm (3m) screws through the back of the slider. These will allow you to add t-nuts for extra strength holding the X-Axis.

As for the orientation of the wiring, coming from the Stepper see the image enclosed. For the C2Dt/c Z Axis they point toward the power unit.


Printed Parts (included with this step):

  • Slider12mm.stl
  • NemaConnector12mm.stl
  • EndConnector12mm.stl

Step 4: Y Axis

The Y axis will hold the bed and is based of the Generic Linear Actuator with Built-in Tension Spring

VERY IMPORTANT: Before assembling the entire Y Axis, note that it is attached to the frame with a corner plate. Part 3287 (Triple Slide-in Economy T-Nut) needs to be inserted into the rail prior to putting on the nema and idler ends.

The 1010 extrusion should be at least 292mm. Any longer won't make a difference as the Linear rail on top is only 250mm. It dictates the motion range of the slider.

This Axis will be implemented WITH the built-in End stop (As part of the Nema Connector).

The difference with the Generic Linear Rail is the Linear Adapter (LinearAdapterY-Axis.STL) which is customized to hold the Bed Frame.

The Little bracket at the end of the Axis, The LinearRailBreak (at the end of the Linear Rail) is there to prevent the linear rail block to roll of the rails. If that happens the bearing balls can fall out (pain in the .... to get back in).

As for the orientation of the wiring coming from the Stepper see the image enclosed. For the C2Dt/c Y Axis they point toward the Z Axis.


Printed Parts (included with this step):

  • IdlerBracket1010_GT2_20.stl
  • BeltGrip.stl
  • NemaBracket1010_Endstop.stl
  • LinearRailBreak.stl
  • LinearAdapterYAxis.stl

Update: If the screw holes in the belt grip are too loose, try the beltgrip_027.STL

Step 5: X Axis

The X axis will hold the extruder Assembly and is based of the Generic Linear Actuator with Built-in Tension Spring

The 1010 extrusion should be at least 363mm. Any longer won't make a difference as the Linear rail on top is only 250mm. It dictates the motion range of the slider.

This Axis will be implemented WITHOUT the built-in End stop but instead will have a adjustable end stop case.

The difference with the Generic Linear Rail is the Linear Adapter, which will be replaced by the Extruder Clamp (Linear Adapter Extruder Assembly.STL and LinearAdapter Extruder Clamp.stl).

As for the orientation of the wiring coming from the Stepper see the image enclosed. For the C2Dt/c Y Axis they point toward the End-stop case.


STL files (included in this step):

  • NemaBracket1010_NoEndstop.stl
  • IdlerBracket1010_GT2_20.stl
  • BeltGrip.stl
  • NemaBracket1010
  • LinearRailBreak.stl
  • LinearAdapter Extruder Assembly.stl
  • LinearAdapter Extruder Assembly Clamp.stl
  • EndStopCase.stl

Update: If the screw holes in the belt grip are too loose, try the beltgrip_027.STL

Step 6: Assembling the 3D Printer: Frame

Now that the Power switch is wired and enclosed, all axis have been assembled, the frame can be put together.

The frame was designed to "wrap" itself around the 12V power switching unit. It's height of 50mm is extremely close to the height of 1020 extrusion.

There are a few 3D Printed parts that connect the Power Switch unit to the frame. These are not necessarily for support or strength but simply to keep the Power Unit and Electronics in place.

PowerUnit to 1020.stl: 3 M4 6mm

Power to Y Axis.stl: 3 M4 6mm

Power to Y Axis Short: 1 M3 6mm, 1 M4 6mm

The Core support for the Cantilever printer comes from the Corner plates connecting the 1020 (160mm) to both the Z Axis and Y Axis. The 10 Bolts may look like overkill but since this is a cantilever, there's only so many points of support available. The 1020 Rail has two center holes tapped on one.

Please refer to the images on how to assemble the different pieces.


Printed Parts (included with this step):

  • Power To Y Axis.stl
  • Power To Y Axis Short.stl
  • PowerUnit to 1020.stl

Step 7: Assembling the 3D Printer: X Axis

The X axis fits (clicks) into the slider of the Z Axis. It can be an extremely tight fit but that's of course for a reason. This will be the heaviest moving part on the printer and you don't want any wiggle room.

I strongly recommend adding the two m3 hex socket screws (10mm) though the back and adding two t-nut in front to further secure the X Axis.

I've left room between the pillow bearing blocks to access these hex sockets screws for tightening.

Word of caution, once the X axis is inserted into the Y Axis it can be challenging to move/remove. Based on my implementation the distance between the X Axis Nema Connector and the Y Axis slider is 4.5mm. The distance from the NemaConnector and the linear Rail is 69.5mm. Do not deviate too much as you want to reach all 4 corners of your print bed as best you can.

Step 8: Assembling the Extruder and Hot-end

The C3Dt/c uses a bowden type extruder which means the stepper pushing the filament through the hot-end is attached to the frame and not directly to the hot-end. This is done to keep the moving mass of the hot-end to a minimum (especially relevant when printing with a cantilever printer).

For the extruder the C3Dt/c printer uses an MK8 Extruder (https://amzn.to/2I5LdhZ ). Technically it can be any type of extrusion but for this design it does expect to be attached via the nema holes on the nema 17 stepper motor.

The hotend assembly is a V6 (e3d Clone, as that's what my budget allows for right now http://amzn.to/2DT17xl ) with added parts cooling and a proximity sensor. I strongly recommend this part is printed with either PETG or ABS for higher temperature tolerance.

I've added an image of the hot-end with it's loose parts. There's lot of pieces there but I think the image speaks for itself.

When you attach the proximity sensor make sure you mount it close to but slightly higher than the bottom tip of the hot-end (at least by one millimeter). Don't mount it too high as that might push the hot-end into the aluminum bed.


Printed Parts (included with this step)

  • ExtruderBracket.stl
  • FanAdapterWithPartsCooling.stl
  • (parts to connect hot-end to X axis part of the X-axis step)

Step 9: Really Step 8.1: Update to Extruder Assembly

Heaving run the C3Dt/c for a while now I've learned a few things. One of them is that the cooling fan was not properly cooling since air was coming from one direction only. The second thing was the repetitive motion (and strain) on the wires coming from the extruder assembly.

For the cooling I decided to try a new fan that is smaller but packs more punch and for the design I tried to wrap the shroud as much around the nozzle as possible.

For the mini cooling fan assembly I'm using #2 3/8inch srews

The top part of the bracket (minifanAdapter) is connected to the present extruder clamp (no redesign required or additional clamps required) by two of the 3/8 Inch screws. The screws are self tapping but you could pre-drill two holes (with a very thin drill bit) to make it easier. The stretched holes allow for upward and downward movement to keep it a few mm above the nozzle tip.

The 40mm fan that cools the extruder heatsink will be attached using the method as shown in https://www.instructables.com/id/30mm-to-40mm-Fan-... using the 30mm_to_40mm_fanAdapter.stl


Printed Parts (included with this step)

  • miniFanExhaust.stl
  • MiniFanAdapter.stl
  • Wire Stabilizer Clamp.stl
  • Wire Stabilizer Support.stl
  • 30mm_to_40mm_fanAdapter.stl

Step 10: Electronics

For the C3Dt/c printer, I decided to experiment, mounting the electronics case over the Power unit's cooling fan. As it kicks in it blows it's air right over the main board and out the electronics case. It's not exactly active cooling as the air might be warmed up a bit but I believe it might beat passive cooling (no fan on controller at all).

I've not not witnessed any skipped steps or overheating which seems to indicate this is working well.

Keeping the printer compact makes the process of packing all of the electronics inside the case a bit of practice in patience.

For a clean look I've decided to use the Expandable Braided Sleeving (http://amzn.to/2C3sbJZ ) to keep all wiring together.

The large hole at the bottom of the electronics case fits right over the fan exhaust from the power unit. The small hole is to keep all the wiring coming into the case together.

I found it useful to first get all the wiring through the small hole leading them to the bigger compartment to subsequently slide the controller board behind it.

Note: The ventilation slots on top and at the front of the case are very fragile. It works but thin "spokes" break easily. I probable need to re-design this in a way were I can orient the print differently for stronger ventilation holes.

The orientation for the controller speak for itself. The "chips" all point downward and the usb port slides into the square opening at the front of the electronics case.

For the specific wiring of the KFB2.0 I refer you to the instructable WIRING THE KFB2.0 3D PRINTER CONTROLLER
It, in turn refers to an article I wrote on my blog on how to wire the Proximity sensor at core3d.tech

I've created wire clips that fit around the bundled wires with braided sleeving to keep the wires close to the Z-axis. I personally didn't use more than 3 but you can use more if so wanted.


Printed Parts (included with this step)

  • ElectronicsCase.stl (Updated to have stronger construction)
  • WireClip.stl

Step 11: LCD and SC Card Reader

The C3Dt/c uses a 12864 LCD display with built-in SD Card reader. The case kind of speaks for itself. the LCD fits exactly inside the case and is tied down with 4 m3 6mm screws.

The back of the case has two openings for the 2 ribbon cables that connect the LCD to the KFB2.0


Printed Parts (included with this step):

  • LCDCase.stl
  • LCDLid.stl
  • LCDKnob.stl

Step 12: Bed Assembly

Update 8/29/2018: I have recently swapped out the 3D printed bed carriage with an aluminum one with the same dimensions.

The carriage can be found here (not affiliated): https://www.fankhauser.me/products/aluminum-y-carr...

This bed comes with pre-drilled holes for the MGN12 rail suggested in this instructable. If you end up using the more compact MGN12 block where holes are 20mm and 15mm spaced, you can special request these holes instead.

The bed carriage for the C3Dt/c is 3D printed which was done purely out of necessity. Ideally you'd want a metal (rigid) frame that is thin. I could not find a 220x220mm metal frame that had screw holes for linear rail block.

The linear adapter on the Y Axis has a large surface to receive the bed frame. Make sure this is smooth. Even the smallest bumps can slant your bed.

For the bed itself I recommend a combination of a aluminum 200mmx200mm (219x219 in actuality) with a silicone heating pad. There's a kit available on ebay at 3D Printer RepRap V2 Aluminum Heated Bed Build Plate /w 12V 200W Heater Full Kit

it comes with scews, bolts and rubber inserts to separate carriage from bed. The bolts will be replaced with regular m3 bolts that will fit inside the sockets underneath the carriage (they should fit snug, but if they fall out, try some glue on the outside of the bolt before inserting).

First, attach the carriage with 4 hex socket scews to the Linear Adapter on the Y axis.

Cut the rubber rubber tube to get 4 piece approximately 5-10mm and place (balance) those on the carriage. Next put the Aluminum bed with attached silicone bed (wires pointing towards the back) on top of the rubber connectors and insert screws.


Printed Parts (included with this step):

Bed Carriage Printed : Bed Carriage.STL (attached)

Step 13: Material List Full

Following is the list of parts used, with links where to get them. I am an Amazon affiliate and if you order through the links below you do end up supporting me with a few dollars (generally, enough to buy new Filament at the end of the month).

You will be able to source many of the items cheaper directly from China via outlets like AliExpress but it will take time and patience to get them.

8020 Inc Aluminum extrusion (you can get used extrusion on eBay but there's no gaurantee for exact 90 degree angles). I also had some of the items pre-tapped.

I note about links to products. I'm an affiliate with Amazon so where possible I put out links to Amazon.com for 8020 product. Prices on Amazon prime are pretty much in line with direct sales at 8020.net:

8020 Inc.




For items purchased directly from 80/20 Inc, consider shipping charges (my orders have been $13.99 shipping/handling) (shipping is included in most Amazon sourced items).

Step 14: Conclusion

I set out to build a Cantilever printer based on a set of universal actuators I designed. I ended up with a 3D printer with all the features the big boys offer (including auto bed leveling). As promised at MRRF2018 the design is now available for all.

The C3Dt/c (Core3D.tech cantilever) is a compact and in my opinion not just functional but also aesthetically pleasing.

Total cost with items sourced from the US lands between $500 and $600.

This instructable should offer you all the steps in recreating this printer. If you're in need of the 3D printed parts, shoot me a message and I'll look into making these available.

In the next few weeks, I'll be adding instructional videos for each step, so come back and check it out.

Here it is at work

BTW, if you like what you see and maybe even implement this instructable, consider supporting me on Patreon.com: https://www.patreon.com/Core3d_tech . It took many hours and about as many discarded prototypes to design. Every bit help. Thank you in advance.

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    89 Discussions


    Question 6 months ago

    You quote the build volume as 200 by 200 by 260 but do not specify what units you are using. What is the build volume?

    2 more answers

    Answer 6 months ago

    Sorry, too emerged in 3D printer world where all units are millimeters. 200mmx200mmx260mm 7.9"x7.9"x10.23"


    3 months ago

    first print!!! now to dress it out get all the wires into the box. I added led lighting for the bed, was able to get it into the bottom side of the X axis. having an issue with the bed heating up above 90 c not sure what is going on there. don't know if I'll need to go higher only time will tell.

    6 replies

    Reply 2 months ago


    I get an compile error in arduino is there another point that needs to be changed to compile properly? if so you have not highlighted that location. I have been going thru the Marlin documentation trying to figure this out. there are 100+ pages to read through!! looking for a shortcut


    Reply 17 days ago

    been up and running for 2 months. been making parts for my CNC's running gear.
    Have you tried filament putting a filament run out sensor on this unit?


    Reply 17 days ago

    Not sure I caught this message. Did ever reply and/or did you get it resolved?


    Reply 3 months ago

    That is awesome and kinda unreal to see my design implemented. Thanks for posting that. 90c might be challenging with the MK2 beds. You might want to consider insulating it from below. I don't really go beyond 60c which is what works fine for PLA.


    Reply 2 months ago

    All dressed out and working great!!! My first major print was a filament holder for the back of the printer this turned out to be a 3.5 hour print " go big or go home" had some miss ques just learning the machine but got my holder. Question I have do connect thru USB to the printer? If so what's it called? how about Cura do you use it? or what do you use for slicing? I know alot of questions. You should be very proud of your creation. Still learning what works best. Anyone else thinking about this build will really enjoy it, good solid machine. next a gantry machine based on what I learned with this build. bigger is better!!!!


    Reply 2 months ago

    Thank you, this is awesome. There's a few in the works I believe, but yours is the first completed one.

    I personally only connect via USB to test things and send g-code commands. I use Pronterface for that purpose (http://www.pronterface.com/). The other reason to use the USB port is for when I use my Raspberry Pi and print via OctoPrint. Other than those I print mainly from SD card (anything other than SD card uses serial communication and can impact print quality).

    My primary slicing program is Slic3r (http://slic3r.org/) but a lot of people love Cura (I use it sometimes, it seems to do better with really small items). Either one is great, it's just that you get used to the one you start with and it feels harder to switch later on.

    After Maker Faire Milwaukee I'll be writing the instructable for my CoreXY machine. With it you can go BIG!! It has room for 400x400 build plate (even though I only use 200x300 plate. You can see it depicted in my 24Volt upgrade instructable https://www.instructables.com/id/Upgrading-3D-Prin...

    If you have a thingiverse account I'd love the to see you post the "Post a Make" with lots of pictures.


    3 months ago

    just looking this over before i build it and i have a quesiton about attaching the x axis to the z axis. since the x axis belt is inside the v-slot, won't screwing on t nuts squeeze into the belt a little bit? Would that be bad for movement?

    8 replies

    Reply 3 months ago

    Good question. the answer is no, there's enough room for the t-nut and belt. Just make sure the screw going in isn't too long, that would be a problem.

    I do recommend getting the proper idler wheel at the end as the smaller version does get the belt scraping against the center of the extrusion.

    The same applies for assembling the frame. Make sure you get the short bolts to connect the 1010 corner plate onto the Y axis (.375" ) as longer ones would pinch the belt


    Reply 3 months ago

    ok thanks, i was about to try the 16t haha. you still get good belt movement though right? I'm assuming rotating the belt and motor 90 degrees wouldn't be a good idea.

    Also, what speeds can you go before it vibrates too much? would it be too heavy to add a direct drive motor?

    thanks for the awesome build, i was looking for a nice cantilever that uses MGNs


    Reply 3 months ago

    As for speed, I run mine at 50mm/s haven't tested where it breaks. It's a cantilever and will never have the rigidity of a full frame. It's the nature of the beast, especially considering this one is pushing the boundaries of comercial cantilevers that tend to stick to 120x120mm beds. My first implementation was with 8mm rods and I quickly found out it needed the 12mm rods.

    Direct drive might be pushing it. Maybe with a Pancake stepper and exchange the proximity sensor with a BLTOUCH (much lighter). Even then, I think you may be tempting the forces that re.


    Reply 3 months ago

    that's awesome for a cantilever! is there a reason for not going MGN rails for the Z also?

    maybe finding a way to attach the filament to the frame would be a cheap way to add some support.


    Reply 3 months ago

    I have a previous build on which I used linear rail on Z. Two issues there. The bed rests on a single MGN but at the center, on the Z axis it would be to the side (which is probably why the Cetus has such a small bed). There too much flex. The other issue is power loss or even end of print. The entire X axis comes crashing down everytime you power down the Z-stepper motor (or have a powerloss). I had to change the Marlin software in the core to elegantly bring home the Z axis and never to shut down the motors (which is does on cancel/stop print).

    You can see that setup here https://www.instructables.com/id/3D-Printer-Cantil...

    I took my lessons from that and moved on.


    Reply 3 months ago

    haha, i was just about to try that too, use 1 generic actuator for all 3 axes! I'm glad someone recorded his errors so I wouldn't need to repeat them again lol. it does look like it was pretty under supported, especially the bottom of the z axis. Dang that would've made it nice and simple though. There wouldn't be problems if I used a leadscrew + mgn combo right? more accurate than the belt on the cetus. Ill just sync 2 leadscrews if 1 isn't enough.


    Reply 3 months ago

    Lead screw with linear rail could work. There's a spatial challenge there as stepper motors take up room.


    Reply 3 months ago

    rotating 90 would change the orientation for the linear rail, which in turn would put all the screws for the linear block behind the extruder making assembly different. For the X axis not impossible but much more complicated for the Y axis which has the electronics on one side and attachment to Frame on the other. Since the entire bed "rests" on the linear block, not sure having it sideways would work.


    3 months ago

    what is the attachment method for the mini turbo fan ? some additional details are needed for clarification. I understand this is still evolving and you are trying make a well preforming printer, but there seems to be a need for another bracket to attach the mini fan that is not pictured.