Bergen Makerspace Transportable 3D Printer

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Introduction: Bergen Makerspace Transportable 3D Printer

About: Hobby woodworker, interested in electronics, software and systems

This is a Cartesian style 3D printer based on the popular Open Source RepRap Prusa i3 design by Josef Prusa. Further inspiration for the design came from the Folger Tech RepRap 2020 Prusa i3 which uses 2020 aluminum extrusion as the primary framing material. The key difference with the design published in this Instructable is that it can be folded up for convenient storage and transportation. It's designed to fit snugly into a carrying case that provides excellent all round protection while being transported. A key goal of the design was to minimize the size of the carrying case while preserving the 200mm x 200mm x 175mm (8" x 8" x 7") build volume.

The construction involves the assembly of several sub-assemblies which are then interconnected to form the finished unit. It is recommended that the building of the frame assembly and the attaching of the sub-assemblies is carried out in the listed order.

This design project was undertaken as a vehicle for learning the CAD package Fusion 360 by Autodesk. All the printed parts and the photorealistic rendered images were created directly using Fusion 360.

During the design and prototype stages of this project I was supported and encouraged by the staff of the Bergen Makerspace in Hackensack, New Jersey, USA which is why I named it the Bergen Makerspace Transportable 3D Printer. Their assistance, especially with the laser cutting of the acrylic components, was most helpful. If you have a makerspace in your neighborhood that you've not yet visited you might like to check them out.

John Diamond, March 2018

Step 1: Tools and Fabrication Techniques

Many of the assembly joints are made using screws which require a hex socket driver. These are metric drivers with sizes 2.0, 2.5, 3.0 & 4.0mm. A set of "L" shaped metric Allen wrenches/keys are required to be able to exert enough torque to fully tighten the M5 screws. However, although the "L" shaped wrenches can be used with all the screws it is usually much more convenient to use a screwdriver style hex driver especially if the end of the handle rotates in your palm.

Applying heat to heat shrink tubing can be achieved using a medium sized soldering iron. The tip or shaft of the iron can be held in close proximity to the tubing to cause it to shrink. Another approach which is often more effective is to use a hot air heat gun with a small diameter nozzle. A hot air desoldering station is also effective at shrinking the tubing and allows fine control of the air temperature. Be careful not to damage the insulation of the wiring that the tubing is being shrunk around with excessive heat.

The small potentiometers on the controller board need to be adjusted to set the stepper motor drive current. This requires a miniature flat blade screwdriver. However, if the adjustments are to be made with power applied to the controller (recommended approach) the blade must be non-conductive to avoid damaging the controller. Ceramic blade adjuster tools are made for this purpose and the use of one is recommended.

The connectors for the stepper motors, endstop switches and thermistors that plug into the controller board use JST crimp pins. These must be attached using a crimp tool designed for the purpose. Make sure to acquire or borrow a crimp tool designed for JST crimp pins.

The acrylic mounting sheets for the controller and touch panel need to be cut using a laser cutter. The cutting patterns are provided as DXF files.

The 3D printed parts can be printed on most domestic grade 3D printers. Almost all the parts can be produced on a printer with a 200mm x 200mm (8" x 8") bed. Although the cable chains are longer than 200mm they can still be produced on the 200mm x 200mm bed if placed diagonally. The power supply cradle used to secure the power supply into the lid of the carrying case is too large for the 200mm x 200mm bed so a pair of alternative files are provided allowing it to be printed in two pieces.

The aluminum extrusions can be cleanly and accurately cut on a woodworking power miter saw fitted with a carbide tooth blade. Perform the cuts slowly with the aluminum extrusion clamped into onto the cutter bed.

The holes in some of the aluminum extrusions can be drilled using a hand held power drill or, if you have access to one, a drill press (pillar drill).

The curves on the ends of some of the aluminum extrusions are best cut on a wordworking sanding center/disk.

You may find that performing some or all of the assembly at your local Makerspace, if you are lucky enough to have such a facility, gives you access to these tools without having to purchase them yourself.

Step 2: 3D Printed and Laser Cut Parts Files

Attached to this step is the ZIP archive containing all the STL files for the 3D printed parts. Note that this includes all the parts for the cradles that attach to the inside of the carrying case. If you don't intend to obtain and fit out the case you can ignore the cradles and the custom filament spool. If you do want to print the cradles and the printbed of the printer being used to produce the parts is too small to print the power supply cradle whole (3D printed part #59) you can print this in two pieces using parts #65 and #66 instead. All the STL files are pre-oriented to optimize their printing. An Excel spreadsheet listing all the 3D printed parts by name and number is also attached. This spreadsheet also includes thumbnail illustrations of all the printed parts to aid in their identification. All the 3D printed parts should be printed in PLA using a 0.2mm layer height, 3 layers top and bottom, 3 perimeters (1.2mm wall thickness), 35% infill without support and with a skirt unless the notes in the spreadsheet specify otherwise. Note that the cable chains and the nozzle wrench holder are to be printed using TPU which is a very strong yet flexible material with minimal strechiness. TPU can typically be printed using the same printer settings as PLA.

A second ZIP archive contains the DXF files for use with a laser cutter. It is recommended that the pairs of mounting plates for the MKS BASE controller and the MKS TFT32 touch panel be cut from 3mm thick clear acrylic sheet. Alternatively, if you would either prefer to fabricate these mounting plates using 3D printing or don't have access to a laser cutter, suitable STL files for this purpose are also included in the same archive.Either use the DXF or STL files but not both.

Step 3: Sourcing the Components

A Bill Of Materials (BOM) is attached to this step in the form of an Excel spreadsheet. This lists all the parts that are required to build the Transportable 3D Printer above and beyond the 3D printed and laser cut parts.

Most of the mechanical parts for the prototype were obtained from Folger Technologies. Many of the miscellaneous fasteners were extracted from the item called "2020 Prusa i3 Full Aluminum Frame Rev A Hardware Kit" which included the internal cast 2020 L brackets. A quantity of 2020 aluminum extrusion and the 2020 insert strips were also obtained at the same time as was the power supply, pre-drilled build plate, bed heater, stepper motors, extra M4 T nuts, belt/pulleys, flexible couplers and SK8 brackets. The 8mm drill rods were cut down from the rods obtained as "Prusa i3 Chromed Rod Set" ... don't be concerned that the longest rods are 395mm long rather than 400mm as they are still adequate. The M5 threaded rods can be obtained here or elsewhere. The L shaped corner bracket plates are readily available from hardware stores. However, if you prefer, an alternative style of corner bracket is available from Folger Technologies and you'll only need one per corner. If you use the latter choice you should substitute the 8 M4 x 8mm screws with M5 x 8mm screws and replace the corresponding M4 T nuts with M5 T nuts as well.

Miscellaneous additional fasteners, adhesives and electrical components were obtained online and from local hardware retailers.

The hotend, nozzle wrench and extruder were obtained directly from the manufacturer, E3D. You might also consider obtaining a variety of additional nozzles with different diameters. It is recommended that 0.4mm be the default nozzle size.

The borosilicate glass plate, controller board and touch panel are available from a variety of online suppliers.

Step 4: Cutting and Machining the Aluminum Extrusions, Print Bed Plate and L Brackets

Required components:

  • 2020 aluminum extrusion
  • 4 x Steel "L" shaped corner plate brackets
  • 220mm x 220mm x 2.5mm aluminum plate


Aluminum extrusions

Plan the purchasing and cutting of the 2020 aluminum extrusion to minimize waste and result in the following ten lengths:

  • 2 x 365mm
  • 3 x 342mm
  • 2 x 339mm
  • 1 x 173mm
  • 2 x 119mm

The aluminum extrusions can be cleanly and accurately cut on a woodworking power miter saw fitted with a carbide tooth blade. Perform the cuts slowly with the aluminum extrusion clamped into onto the cutter bed and your fingers well away from the blade. Please wear eye protection. The chips of swarf can be difficult and time-consuming to clean up afterwards so you may benefit from setting up some form of collector or sheet behind the saw before starting to cut.

Two of the 342mm lengths and both of the 339mm lengths will need further machining as detailed in the attached diagram. The 5mm holes need to be drilled in three of these lengths (but not in the remaining one!). The 20mm diameter rounded corners are best achieved by drawing a 20mm circle using a pencil then sanding off one of the corners to the pencil line using a powered sanding disk or sanding center. This will make it easier to keep the cut vertical and clean. You may need to cool the aluminum in water periodically while making the cut. Please wear eye protection.

The holes are best drilled using a 5mm drill bit in a drill press (pillar drill) but a hand held power drill will suffice if you are able to adequately drill the hole square to the faces of the extrusion.

Corner brackets

The corner brackets used to attach the top extrusion to the side vertical extrusions were obtained from a local hardware store and are shown in the attached diagram. They are made from steel and are 100m x 100m with 19mm wide strips.

Glue pairs of brackets back to back using thick CA glue and clamps. The countersunk holes should be on the outside of the glued up assemblies.

A 7mm hole should be drilled in the corner in the middle of a line drawn between the inner and outer corner. The outer corner should be cut to a 20mm diameter curve centered on the newly drilled hole. A sanding disk is a suitable tool for efficiently cutting the corner curve but you'll need to periodically cool the steel bracket in water to avoid it becoming too hot to hold. If it does become too hot the CA glue joint may fail. Please wear eye protection. File or sand all the newly cut edges to remove burrs.

Aluminum print bed plate

The aluminum plate should be fabricated from 2.5mm thick stock and drilled according to the diagram. A suitable predrilled plate can be obtained from Folger Technologies although an additional 10mm hole will need to be drilled. Remove any burrs from the drilling.

Step 5: Base Frame Assembly

Required components:

  • 2 x 2020 aluminum extrusions, 365mm in length (square ends)
  • 1 x 2020 aluminum extrusion, 342mm in length (square ends)
  • 1 x 2020 aluminum extrusion, 342mm in length (both ends have one corner rounded but not drilled)
  • 1 x 2020 aluminum extrusion, 119mm in length (square ends)
  • 4 x Feet (3D printed part #31)
  • 2 x Base clips fixed (3D printed part #30)
  • 5 x Internal Cast 2020 L-Brackets
  • 6 x M4 T Nuts
  • 4 x M4 x 8mm button head socket cap machine screws
  • 2 x M4 x 5mm set screws

Assemble the front and side aluminum extrusions separately from the rear extrusion which should have the short piece loosely attached so that it can slide. Ensure the two Base Clip Fixed components are slid onto the two side extrusions with their M4 T Nuts and set screws positioned within the slots in the printed parts. Do not tighten the set screws yet. Once the Base Clips have been attached the rear section can be attached to the sides. Finally, attach the feet 10mm from the ends of the front and rear extrusions using the M4 button screws and T Nuts.

If the feet don't have a non-slip surface you'll need to obtain some suitable self adhesive thin rubber non-slip material and cover the bottom of all four feet.

Step 6: Vertical Frame Assembly

Required components:

  • 2 x 2020 aluminum extrusions x 339mm (one end with one corner rounded and drilled)
  • 1 x 2020 aluminum extrusion x 342mm (both ends with one corner rounded and drilled)
  • 2 x 2020 aluminum extrusions x 119mm (square ends)
  • 2 x L bracket assemblies
  • 2 x Internal cast 2020 L brackets with M4 set screws inserted
  • 12 x M4 T nuts
  • 4 x M4 set screws
  • 8 x M4 x 8mm button head socket cap machine screws
  • 2 x #10 x 1" pan head sheet metal screws
  • 2 x Beam endcaps (3D printed part #35)
  • 4 x Base clips mobile (3D printed part #32)

Assemble the extrusions using the internal cast 2020 L brackets to attach the lower short lengths to the verticals and the L brackets for the top corners so that the curved corners on the extrusions match up with the curved corner on the brackets.

Attach the beam endcaps to the short extrusions using the #10 sheet metal screws which should self tap into the center hole of the extrusion. Pay careful attention to the correct orientation of the endcaps.

The base clip mobile components should be attached to the short extrusions using the M4 T nuts that have set screws inserted.

Step 7: Frame Hinge Assemblies

Required components:

  • 16 x 3/4" flat washers
  • 8 x M5 x 20mm hex head machine screws
  • 8 x M5 locknuts
  • 12 x M4 x 8mm button head socket cap machine screws
  • 12 x M4 T nuts
  • 2 x Lower hinges (3D printed part #10)
  • 2 x Upper hinges (3D printed part #11)
  • 2 x Long links (3D printed part #12)
  • 2 x Short links (3D printed part #13)

Assemble the parts and tighten the locknuts so they just have a small amount of friction when the joints are moved. The two hinge assemblies are mirror images of each other.

Step 8: Frame Assembly

Required components:

  • Base frame assembly
  • Vertical frame assembly
  • Left hinge assembly
  • Right hinge assembly

Place the lower (longer) plate of the left hinge onto the inside surface of the left base extrusion and slide it as far to the back as possible. Tighten the center button screw to lock it to the base extrusion and ensure that the T nut has properly engaged with the extrusion to lock the hinge in place. Tighten the rear and front button screws on the lower hinge plate. Repeat to attach the right hinge to the base frame.

Place the vertical frame into position with the flat end of the upper hinge plates flush with the front of the small extrusion on the bottom of the vertical frame. Tighten the center button screws first and ensure that the T nuts have properly engaged into the extrusion before tightening the other button screws.

Test the hinges by folding the vertical frame forward till it lies flat on the base frame. Return the vertical frame to the vertical position.

Step 9: MKS BASE Assembly

Required components:

  • 1 x MKS BASE V1.5 controller board
  • 1 x Lower acrylic sheet mount for the MKS BASE controller
  • 4 x M3 x 12mm button head socket cap machine screws
  • 4 x M3 locknuts
  • 4 x M3 flat washers
  • 12 x M3 nylon washers
  • 4 x M4 x 8mm button head socket cap machine screws
  • 4 x M4 T nuts
  • 4 x #6 x 3/8" sheet metal screwss
  • 740mm of 16AWG stranded power cable with black insulation
  • 740mm of 16AWG stranded power cable with red insulation
  • 1 x XT60 male connector
  • 50mm of heat shrink tubing for single 16AWG wire
  • 50mm of heat shrink tubing for a pair of 16AWG wires
  • 1 x MKS BASE corner bracket (3D printed part #1)
  • 1 x MKS BASE corner post (3D printed part #2)
  • 2 x MKS BASE power bracket (3D printed part #3)

Insert the four M3 machine screws from the underside of the acrylic sheet making sure that the sheet is oriented as in the image of the components. Place the acrylic sheet with the inserted screws onto a flat work surface and add two nylon washers to each screw. Lower the controller board onto the four screws. Add one more nylon washer and one steel flat washer to each screw then tighten the locknuts onto each screw.

Attach the four printed mounting components to the acrylic sheet using the sheet metal screws. Attach the M4 button screws and T nuts loosely to the brackets.

Strip 6mm of insulation from one end of each of the 16AWG stranded power cable then, with the red cable on top, thread the cables through the holes in the power bracket next to the ten pin connectors, the corner bracket and the second power bracket. Securely lock the cables into the correct screw terminals on the controller board. Adjust the cables so that there is enough but not too much slack near the screw terminals. Once all the wires are attached to the screw terminals they will be able to be secured to the acrylic sheet using cable ties through the holes on the edge of the sheet but that should not be done at this stage.

Place a 25mm length of the larger diameter heat shrink tubing over the long ends of the cables and, with the cables stretched equally from the assembly, position the tubing about half way along the cables and apply heat to shrink it using a heat gun with a small diameter nozzle (preferred approach), hair dryer or soldering iron. Cut the two cables to the same length and strip 4mm of insulation from them both. Place 25mm of the larger diameter heat shrink tubing over the cables then a pair of 12mm lengths of the smaller diameter tubing over each cable separately.

The XT60 male connector is marked +/- which should correspond to the red/black cables. Using a suitably rated soldering iron (must be capable of handling the size of the connector pins and the gauge of wire) tin the ends of the cables then tin the inside of the connector pins. Solder the wires to the correct pins allowing the connector to cool after the first joint before soldering the second. Note that it is relatively easy to over-heat the connector causing it to deform and become unusable so minimize the time that the iron is touching the pins while ensuring a good soldered joint. It might help to gently grip the connector in a bench vise while soldering. Use one of each of the small diameter heat shrink tubes to cover the soldered joint and the second one to cover the whole of the connector pin.The larger diameter heat shrink tube can then be used to securely lock the two cables together at the connector.

Step 10: Mounting the Controller Board Assembly on the Frame

Required components:

  • 1 x MKS BASE assembly

Using the four M4 button screws and T nuts attach the controller assembly to the inside of the base frame.

Step 11: Spool Holder

Required components:

  • 2 x M3 x 16mm button head socket cap machine screws
  • 2 x M3 flat washers
  • 2 x M3 locknuts
  • 1 x M4 x 8mm button head socket cap machine screw
  • 1 x M4 T nut
  • 1 x spool holder (3D printed part #7)
  • 1 x spool holder bracket (3D printed part #8)
  • 1 x spool holder pawl (3D printed part #9)
  • 1 x small elastic band such as a dental band

Assemble the parts with the washers under the locknuts ensuring the the locknuts are tightened just enough to eliminate any play but not enough to introduce noticeable friction. The T nut should be loosely attached.

Step 12: Z Motor Assemblies

Required components:

  • 2 x NEMA17 Stepper Motors 36oz-in with pre-wired plugs
  • 2 x 5mm flexible shaft couplers with set screws
  • 1 x Endstop assembly with pre-wired plug
  • 3 x 1/2" flat washers
  • 5 x M3 flat washers
  • 8 x M3 x 12mm button head socket cap machine screws
  • 2 x M3 x 8mm button head socket cap machine screws
  • 2 x M3 locknuts
  • 4 x M4 x 8mm button head socket cap machine screws
  • 4 x M4 T nuts
  • 1 x Z motor mount left (3D printed part #36)
  • 1 x Z motor mount right (3D printed part #37)
  • 1 x Z endstop mount (3D printed part #46)

Remove the pre-wired plug from the endstop and set aside for use in a later step. Coil up the wires associated with the motors and secure with tape. The motor plugs need to be attached to the motors when the Z motor assemblies are attached to the frame as they can't be inserted later.

Assemble the parts noting that the left and right motor assemblies are basically mirror images of each other with the left assembly also including the endstop mount and assembly. Set the endstop plug and wire aside until needed later in the assembly. Ensure that the motors are correctly oriented with the power connectors located as shown in the picture. Note that the plugs and wire should be connected to the motors and taped to the bracket in such a way that it can be removed later in the assembly process. The motor shafts should be inserted 10mm into the flexible couplings before the corresponding set screws are tightened. The T nuts should be loosely attached.

Step 13: Rear Latch Assemblies

Required components:

  • 2 x M5 x 30mm threaded rods
  • 2 x M5 T nuts
  • 2 x rear latch springs
  • 2 x M5 hex nuts
  • 2 x M4 x 8mm button head socket cap machine screws
  • 2 x M4 T nuts
  • Locktite Threadlocker Red 271 or equivalent
  • 2 x Beam clamp bases (3D printed part #4)
  • 2 x Base clamp bars (3D printed part #5)
  • 2 x Wingnuts (3D printed part #6)

Screw the M5 T nuts to one end of both threaded rods then secure them with one drop of Locktite Threadlocker Red 271 or equivalent. Allow to fully set.

Assemble the parts for the two assemblies with the wingnuts and T nuts loosely attached.

Step 14: Y Fixed Cable Chain Mount Assembly

Required components:

  • 1 x M3 x 8mm button head socket cap machine screw
  • 1 x M3 locknut
  • 1 x M4 x 8mm button head socket cap machine screw
  • 1 x M4 T nut
  • 1 x Ya fixed cable chain mount (3D printed part #33)
  • 1 x Yb fixed cable chain mount (3D printed part #34)

Assembly the parts with the locknut tightened so as to allow frictionless movement with no play. The T nut should be loosely attached.

Step 15: Miscellaneous Assemblies

Required components:

  • 1 x Spool holder assembly
  • 1 x Y fixed cable chain mount assembly
  • 2 x Rear latch assemblies
  • 2 x Front latches (3D printed part #43)
  • 1 x Filament guide (3D printed part #39)
  • 1 x PTFE tubing
  • 1 x Cable mount (3D printed part #40)
  • 1 x Ribbon cable clip (3D printed part #41)
  • 1 x Nozzle wrench holder (3D printed part #42)
  • 5 x M4 x 8mm button head socket cap machine screws
  • 5 x M4 T nuts
  • 1 x Nozzle wrench

Attach the spool holder assembly to the rear face of the right vertical extrusion with its top face 235mm above the bottom end of the extrusion.

Attach the Y fixed cable chain mount assembly at the end of the short length of extrusion that's attached to the rear extrusion.

Attach the pair of rear latch assemblies to the side extrusions so that the clamp bar fully engages with the beam endcap.

Attach the pair of front latches to the upper face of the front extrusion so that they can securely hold the vertical frame in the folded position.

The PTFE tubing should be inserted into the filament guide and trimmed flush with the ends of its curved hole using a sharp utility or Exacto knife. The guide should then be attached to the very top of the front face of the right vertical.

Attach the cable mount with its mounting screw at the top to the rear face of the left vertical extrusion with its top face 220mm above the bottom end of the extrusion.

The ribbon cable clip should be attached above the cable mount with a 5mm gap between it and the mount.

The nozzle wrench holder, which should be printed using flexible TPU, should be attached to the inside face of the right base extrusion about 50mm from the inside face of the front extrusion. Insert the nozzle wrench into the holder.

Step 16: X End Idler Assembly

Required components:

  • 1 x M3 x 20mm button head socket cap machine screw
  • 1 x M3 locknut
  • 2 x Flanged bearings
  • 3 x M3 flat washers
  • 1 x M5 hex nut
  • 2 x LMU88 linear bearings
  • 1 x X end idler (3D printed part #16)

Press the LMU88 linear polymer bearings into the ends of the tube with the slot along its length. The M5 hex nut should be glued into the hex hole using a small amount of thick CA glue. Make sure that the nut is fully pressed into the hole. Use a length of M5 threaded rod and a second M5 hex nut to pull the nut into the hole and leave the glue to set. Do not use CA activator spray as it will likely bleach the color out of the printed part.

The flanged bearings can be tricky to assemble onto the screw so it's recommended that a short length of fine thread or cotton be used to align the components. Pass the thread through one of the screw holes in the printed part and take the end that's now inside the large hole and pull it out. Pass that end of the thread through one washer then the first flanged bearing with the flanged side first. Pass the thread through the second washer and the second bearing with the non-flanged side first. Pass the thread through the third washer then back into the large hold in the printed part and back out through the second screw hole. Gently pull the two ends of the thread tight so that the bearings and washers are suspended within the printed part. Insert the screw into the hole next to the tube containing the linear bearings and continue to push it through the washers and flanged bearings while maintaining tension on the thread. Once the screw emerges from the other side the thread can be removed. Add the locknut and tighten till the printed part just starts to deflect. Be careful not to over tighten and crack the plastic.

Step 17: Z Endstop Adjuster Assembly

Required components:

  • 1 x M3 x 12mm button head socket cap machine screw
  • 1 x M3 locknut
  • 1 x M3 flat washer
  • 1 x Z adjuster mount (3D printed part #44)
  • 1 x Z adjuster slider (3D printed part #45)

Attach the slider to the mount using the screw, washer and locknut. Tighten until there is enough friction to prevent the slider from moving accidentally. The slider should be able to be slid along the mount by finger pressure.

Step 18: X Motor End Assembly

Required components:

  • 4 x M3 x 20mm button head socket cap machine screws
  • 2 x M3 x 8mm button head socket cap machine screws
  • 2 x M3 locknuts
  • 1 x M5 hex nut
  • 2 x IGUS LMU88 linear bearings
  • 1 x MT2 20 tooth pulley with set screws
  • 1 x NEMA17 stepper motor 36oz-in
  • 1 x Endstop assembly
  • 1 x Z endstop adjuster assembly
  • 1 x X motor end (3D printed part #17)

Attach the Z endstop adjuster assembly to the X motor end printed part as shown in the picture using a small amount of CA glue making sure to avoid it oozing out or dripping. Set aside for the glue to set. Do not use CA activator spray as it will likely bleach the color out of the printed parts.

The M5 hex nut should be glued into the hex hole using a small amount of thick CA glue. Make sure that the nut is fully pressed into the hole. Use a length of M5 threaded rod and a second M5 hex nut to pull the nut into the hole and leave the glue to set. Do not use CA activator spray as it will likely bleach the color out of the printed part.

Push the linear bearings into the ends of the tube with long slot.

Attach the pulley to the motor shaft by lightly tightening only one of its set screws. If the pulley has the set screws to one side of the toothed pulley then they should be closest to the motor. Position the motor into its mounting position on the X motor end printed part and look to see if the pulley is centered in the large hole through which the toothed belt will wrap around it. If necessary remove the motor and adjust the position of the pulley on the motor shaft until the pulley is centered. Tighten all the set screws on the pulley. Screw the motor to the printed part using the four M3 x 20mm screws while ensuring that the motor connector is correctly oriented.

Attach the endstop assembly to the printed part using two M3 x 8mm screws and two M3 locknuts. Set the pre-wired plug aside until needed later in the assembly.

Set the pre-wired motor plug aside until needed later in the assembly.

Step 19: X Carriage Assembly

Required components:

  • 4 x IGUS LMU88 linear bearings
  • 1 x X carriage (3D printed part #15)
  • 1 x X cable chain mobile clip (3D printed part #14)

Snap the bearings into the X carriage using a bench vice. Don't use a hammer!

Insert the dovetail tenon of the cable chain clip into the mortise of the carriage. If the joint is loose secure it with a small amount of thick CA glue.

Step 20: X Assembly

Required components:

  • 2 x 8mm diameter, 335mm length smooth drill rods
  • 1 x X motor end sub-assembly
  • 1 x X carriage sub-assembly
  • 1 x X idler end sub-assembly

Grind or sand (preferably on a sanding disk) a small (approx 0.5mm) chamfer onto both ends of the two rods.

Press the two rods into the holes in the X motor end. The use of a clamp or other such method of insertion is preferable to a mallet or hammer as it is less likely to break the printed part. Place the X carriage onto the two rods ensuring its correct orientation. Press fit the X end idler onto the two rods ensuring that even pressure is applied to avoid the insertion distance becoming different on the two rods. Continue pressing the rods into the printed parts until the inner face of the X end idler is 269.5mm from the inner face of the X motor end.

WARNING: Do not attach the toothed belt yet.

Step 21: Mounting the X Assembly

Required components:

  • 2 x 8mm diameter, 295mm length smooth drill rods
  • 2 x M5 x 275mm threaded rods
  • 2 x M4 x 8mm button head socket cap machine screws
  • 2 x M4 T nuts
  • 1 x Top Z shaft bracket left (3D printed part #47)
  • 1 x Top Z shaft bracket right (3D printed part #48)

Grind or sand a 0.5mm chamfer onto the ends of the drill rods and the threaded rods.

Insert the drill rods into the linear bearings of the motor end and idler end then insert the lower ends of the rods into the 8mm hole in the top face of the Z motor brackets. Ensure that the X assembly is in the correct orientation. Place the Top Z shaft brackets over the top of the rods and attach to the rear face of the top extrusion using the button screws and T nuts. The brackets should be approximately at the ends of the top extrusion. Slide the X assembly as low as possible and, if it is tight and not sliding freely, adjust the gap between the inner faces of the motor end and idler end. A reversable wookworking clamp can be used to increase and decrease the gap. Once the X assembly is sliding freely at the lower end of the rods loosen the screws holding the top brackets in place. Raise the X assembly up to the top of the rods and tighten up the screws holding the brackets making sure that they are evenly spaced from the ends of the top extrusion. Ensure the X assembly can be smoothly slid up and down the rods and make any necessary adjustments if the motion is still not smooth.

Position the X assembly at the bottom of its travel. Unscrew the right top bracket and screw on of the threaded rods into the M5 nut that is glued into the idler end until it is 10mm inserted into the flexible coupler then tighten the two set screws in the coupler to lock it in place. Replace and reattach the top bracket which will now have both the drill rod and threaded rod inserted into it. Repeat this procedure with the left top bracket.

Turn both flexible couplers to raise the X assembly to about half way up its travel. Be sure to raise the left and right ends of the X assembly as evenly as possible to avoid unnecessary stresses on the mechanism.

Take a length of MT2 toothed belt and attach it to the left teeth on the X carriage as shown in the image. Thread the belt around the pulley on the motor end, through the slot on the carriage and around the bearings on the idler end. tension the belt so that it is neither slack nor so tight that it risks pulling the motor end towards the idler end. Lock the belt into the right teeth on the carriage and trim off the excess with wire cutters or a sharp knife.

Step 22: Print Bed Assembly

Required components:

  • 12 x M3 x 16mm button head socket cap machine screws
  • 8 x M3 locknuts
  • 4 x Bed adjusters
  • 4 x Bed springs
  • 8 x M5 x 10mm cheese head machine screws
  • 8 x M5 T nuts
  • 4 x SK8 brackets with M4 x 14mm cheese head machine screws
  • 2 x 8mm diameter smooth drill rods, 400mm length
  • 1m x 16AWG stranded cable with black insulation
  • 1m x 16AWG stranded cable with red insulation
  • 3 x IGUS LMU88 linear polymer bearings
  • 1 x Pre-drilled 220mm x 220mm x 2.5mm aluminum plate
  • 1 x MK2B 12/24V heat bed
  • 1 x Thermistor with pre-soldered wires
  • 1 x Grommit (3D printed part #23)
  • 3 x Y bearing mounts (3D printed part #24)
  • 1 x Y belt mount (3D printed part #25)
  • 1 x Y mobile cable chain mount (3D printed part #26)
  • 1 x XY cable chain (3D printed part #51)

The cables and thermistor will be attached the underside of the heated bed. The upper side of the heated bed has the copper heating tracks so the soldering will be on the side without the heating tracks. There's a picture showing how the cables and thermistor are soldered and taped to the heated bed. Strip 10mm of insulation from the red cable and solder it to the "+" or "1" pad on the heated bed with the cable pointing out towards that side of the heater. If using a 12/24V MK2B heated bed strip 25mm of insulation from the black cable and solder it across terminals 2 and 3 with the cable pointing out towards that side of the heater. If using a 12V heater strip 10mm of the black insulation before soldering to the "-" pad. This means the two cables are now at 180' to each other. Bend the cables in gentle curves so they will be able to go through the 10mm hole in the aluminum plate and attach them to the heater using Kapton tape.

Consult the image showing the components to identify the top of the aluminum plate. Insert the grommit from the top into the 10mm hole. Insert the linear polymer bearings into the bearing mounts. Attach the three bearing mounts and the belt mount to the underside of the aluminum plate using the M3 screws and locknuts as shown in the image. However, at this stage don't fully tighten the screws holding the bearing mounts. Note that the pre-drilled plate from Folger has an extra set of holes in the center that should be ignored. Insert one of the drill rods through the pair of bearings. Now tighten the screws holding those two bearing mounts. Without removing the first drill rod, insert the second drill rod into the other bearing and align the rods to be parallel using a ruler to check the distance between the ends of the two rods. Now tighten the screws holding the last bearing mount. Remove the rods from the bearings.

Consult the close-up image showing the Y belt mount with the cable chain and mobile mount attached. Check the ends of the XY cable chain (which should have been printed using flexible TPU) and cut out the support material if that hasn't already been removed. Push one end of the cable chain onto the mobile mount making sure that it is correctly oriented as in the picture. Now attach the mobile mount to the Y belt mount using a small quantity of thick CA glue and set aside for the glue to set up. You'll probably need to tape the mounts together while the glue sets.

With the glue fully set, pass the cables from the heated bed through the top of the grommit and then through the length of the cable chain. If you have difficulty feeding the cables through the cable chain use another piece of wire to pull them though. Attach the heated bed to the aluminum plate using the screws, springs and bed adjusters. Tighten the bed adjusters till the gap between the corners of the heated bed and the plate is 5mm.

Pass the rods through the linear bearings and attach the SK8 brackets to the ends and tighten the M4 screw in each bracket until there is enough friction to hold the bracket in place. Don't fully tighten the screws at this stage. Attach the M5 screws and T nuts to the brackets loosely.

Step 23: Y Motor Assembly

Required components:

  • 4 x M3 x 8mm button head socket cap machine screws
  • 4 x M3 flat washers
  • 2 x M4 x 8mm button head socket cap machine screws
  • 2 x M4 T nuts
  • 1 x 20 tooth MT2 pulley with set screws
  • 1 x NEMA17 stepper motor 58 oz-in with plug and wire
  • 1 x Y motor mount

Attach the pulley to the motor shaft with the gap between the pulley and motor body being 2.5mm. If the pulley has its set screws to the side of the toothed section the pulley should be oriented with the set screws away from the motor body. Tighten all the set screws.

Attach the motor to the printed bracket using M3 screws and washers. Ensure that the motor connector is correctly oriented as in the picture. Attach the M4 screws and T nuts loosely. The plug and wire should be attached to the motor and the wire should be coiled up and taped to the mount in such a way that it can be untaped at a later stage in the assembly.

Step 24: Y Idler Assembly

Required components:

  • 1 x M3 x 25mm button head socket cap machine screw
  • 1 x M3 locknut
  • 4 x M3 flat washers
  • 2 x Flanged bearings
  • 1 x Straight bearing
  • 2 x M4 x 8mm button head socket cap machine screws
  • 2 x M4 T nuts
  • 1 x Y idler bracket left (3D printed part #28)
  • 1 x Y idler bracket right (3D printed part #29)

Insert the M3 screw with washer into the outside hole of the left bracket. Add a washer, a flanged bearing with the flanged side first, a straight bearing, another flanged bearing with the non-flanged side first and a washer. Insert the screw into the inside hold on the right bracket and secure using a washer and locknut which should be tightened. Attach the M4 screws and T nuts loosely.

Step 25: Y Endstop Assembly

Required components:

  • 1 x M3 x 20mm button head socket cap machine screw
  • 2 x M3 x 8mm button head socket cap machine screws
  • 3 x M3 locknuts
  • 1 x Endstop assembly
  • 1 x Y endstop mount (3D printed part #27)

Assemble the parts with the locknut loosely attached to the 20mm screw. Set the endstop plug and wire aside until needed later in the assembly.

Step 26: Mounting the Print Bed Assembly

With the cable chain bent into a curve, place the print bed assembly onto the base frame. Note that the grommit is towards the rear of the aluminum plate. Attach the SK8 brackets on the ends of the left rod to the top of the base frame extrusion with the left face of the brackets 70mm from the left face of the left base extrusion. Tighten the M5 screws on the SK8 brackets for the left rod fully.

loosely attach the SK8 brackets for the right rod then measure the distance between the front brackets and the rear brackets. These distances should be identical as the rods must be absolutely parallel. Adjust the position of the bracket to achieve perfect parallelism then fully tighten the M5 screws. With both rods located the same distance into the front and rear brackets, fully tighten the M4 screws that secure the rods

Thread the cables through the pivoted cable chain mount that's attached the the base frame. Push the free end of the cable chain into the hinged part of the mount.

Attach the Y motor assembly to the rear base extrusion with the mounting face of the motor 165mm from the left face of the left base extrusion.

Attach the Y idler assembly to the front base extrusion with the left face of the left bracket 145mm from the left face of the left base extrusion. This will place it right next to one of the power brackets supporting the controller board.

Remove the long M3 screw from the Y endstop assembly and snap it over the right Y drill rod at the rear of the frame. Push the assembly along the rod until the back is flush with the back of the SK8 bracket. Insert the M3 screw and locknut and tighten till the assembly is firmly locked to the rod but avoid tightening to the point of breaking the printed part.

Take a length of MT2 toothed belt and attach it to the rear teeth on the Y belt mount below the print bed as shown in the picture. Thread the belt around the pulley on the motor end, through the slot on the belt mount and around the bearings on the idler end. Tension the belt so that it is neither slack nor to tight. Lock the belt into the front teeth on the belt mount and trim off the excess with wire cutters or a sharp knife.

Step 27: Blower Assembly

Required components:

  • 1 x M4 x 14mm button head socket cap machine screw
  • 1 x M4 locknut
  • 1 x #6 x 3/4 pan head sheet metal screw
  • 1 x Intralayer fan bracket (3D printed part #18)
  • 1 x 12V centrifugal blower

Loosely attach the M4 screw and locknut. Join the blower to the bracket using the sheet metal screw.

Step 28: Printhead Assembly

Required components:

  • 1 x E3D Titan extruder
  • 1 x E3D V6 all metal hotend, 1.75mm, direct drive, with 12V fan
  • 1 x NEMA17 stepper motor 36 oz-in
  • 1 x Extruder spacer (3D printed part #53)

Assemble the extruder and hotend according to the manufacturer's instructions. the Extruder spacer should be located between the motor and extruder and attached using the screws supplied as part of the extruder kit. Ensure that the motor connector is correctly oriented.

Step 29: Mounting the Printhead and Blower

Required components:

  • 1 x Printhead assembly
  • 1 x Blower assembly
  • 2 x M3 x 38mm cheese head machine screws

Protect the surface of the bed heater with a piece of corrugated cardboard which should be taped in place.

Attach the printhead to the X carriage using two M3 x 38mm screws. Attach the blower assembly to the X carriage using the M4 screw and locknut.

Step 30: Touch Panel Assembly

Required components:

  • 4 x M3 x 25mm button head socket cap machine screws
  • 4 x M3 flat washers
  • 4 x M3 locknuts
  • 1 x MKS TFT32 touch panel
  • 1 x Front acrylic sheet mount for TFT32 touch panel (laser cut)
  • 1 x Rear acrylic sheet mount for TFT32 touch panel (laser cut)
  • 1 x Display panel bezel spacer (3D printed part #22)
  • 2 x Display hinges female (3D printed part #19)
  • 1 x Display panel spacers (3D printed part #21)

Using side cutters, trim any excess length from the pins on the back of the speaker and button cell. Place the display panel bezel spacer over the display on the TFT32 board making sure that the partial holes in one side correspond to the soldered joints on the back of the speaker and button cell. Place the front acrylic sheet mount over the display and insert the four screws from the front.Turn the assembly over while ensuring the screws don't fall out and place on a flat surface. Place the two female hinges over the screws on the long side adjacent to the SD card slot. Ensure their correct orientation according to the picture. Place the cylindrical spacer over the screw next to the speaker. Place the spacer with the flat side next to the USB socket with the circular end uppermost. The flat should face the socket. Place the rear acrylic sheet over the screws so that the 8 pin plug on the board lines up with the rectangular hole and the two large circular holes line up with the speaker and reset button. Place the flat washers onto the screws and secure using the locknuts.

Step 31: Mounting the Touch Panel

Requires components:

  • 2 x M4 x 8mm button head socket cap machine screws
  • 2 x M4 T nuts
  • 2 x M3 x 20mm button head socket cap machine screws
  • 2 x M3 flat washers
  • 2 x M3 locknuts
  • 2 x Bed springs
  • 1 x Touch panel assembly
  • 2 x Display hinges male (3D printed part #20)

Attach a display hinge male to the back of the top extrusion using a M4 x 8mm screw and T nut. The left face of the hinge should be 110mm from the left face of the left vertical extrusion. Attach the other display hinge male to the back of the top extrusion using a M4 x 8mm screw and T nut. The left face of the second hinge should be 102mm to the right of the left face of the first hinge.

Insert the M3 screws into the flat faces of the male hinges. Place a spring on both screws. Locate the touch panel at the same angle shown in the pictures. With the springs compressed place a flat washer and locknut on one of the screws and tighten till the end of the screw is flush with the end of the locknut. Attach the remaining washer and locknut in a similar manner to the other screw. Carefully fold the panel down to the stowed position. If the motion is too stiff slightly loosen the locknuts equally.

Step 32: Hand Grip Assemblies

Required components:

  • 1 x M5 x 87mm threaded rod
  • 2 x M5 x 74mm threaded rods
  • 3 x M5 locknuts
  • 3 x M5 T nuts
  • 3 x M5 flat washers
  • 1 x M4 x 8mm button head socket cap machine screw
  • 1 x M4 T nut
  • 1 x Hand grip side (3D printed part #54)
  • 2 x Hand grips top (3D printed part #55)

Screw the M5 T nuts to one end of the three threaded rods then secure them with one drop of Locktite Threadlocker Red 271 or equivalent. Allow to fully set.

Assemble the parts for the two assemblies with the T nuts loosely attached.

Step 33: Mounting the Hand Grips

Required components:

  • 2 x Top hand grip assemblies
  • 1 x Side hand grip assembly

Attach the top hand grips to the rear face of the top extrusion with the ends of the handles flush with the ends of the extrusion. Attach the side hand grip touching the the beam endcap.

Step 34: Installing the Glass and Tape Print Surface

Required components:

  • 1 x 213mm x 200mm x 3mm borosilicate glass plate
  • 4 x Small binder clips
  • 2" wide 3M blue painter's tape (don't substitute)

Stick three bands of painter's tape to the glass sheet with the adjoining edges in a tight butt joint. Trim the tape at the edges of the glass using a flat file. Attach the glass sheet to the bed heater using the binder clips.

Step 35: Power Supply Wiring

Required components:

  • 1 x 16AWG x 100mm stranded cable with red insulation
  • 1 x 16AWG x 100mm stranded cable with black insulation
  • 1 x 18AWG x 100mm stranded cable with green insulation (green/yellow striped in Europe)
  • 1 x 18AWG x 100mm stranded cable with black insulation (brown in Europe)
  • 1 x 18AWG x 100mm stranded cable with white insulation (blue in Europe)
  • 1 x 18AWG x 50mm stranded cable with black insulation (brown in Europe)
  • 1 x 18AWG x 50mm stranded cable with white insulation (blue in Europe)
  • 3 x 22-16 AWG spade terminals #8
  • 5 x 22-16 AWG female disconnectors 3/16"
  • 1 x XT60 female connector

Strip 6mm of insulation from both ends of the thinner pieces of cable. Crimp the spade terminals and female disconnectors to the thinner cables as shown in the images.

Strip 6mm of insulation from one end of both of the thicker pieces of cable. Strip 4mm from the other end. Using a suitably rated soldering iron, pre-tin the 4mm stripped end of each of the thicker cables and the back of the connector pins. Be careful to apply no more heat than is necessary to the connector pins and allow the first pin to cool before heating the second. The plastic housing of the connector can melt if heated for too long. Solder the red and black thicker cables to the XT60 female connector observing the correct polarity as marked on the connector housing. Leave the other ends of the thick cables unterminated at this point.

Step 36: Switched Socket Assembly

Required components:

  • 1 x 18 AWG green 100mm cable assembly (green/yellow striped in Europe)
  • 1 x 18 AWG black 100mm cable assembly (brown in Europe)
  • 1 x 18 AWG white 100mm cable assembly (blue in Europe)
  • 1 x 18 AWG black 50mm cable assembly (brown in Europe)
  • 1 x 18 AWG white 50mm cable assembly (blue in Europe)
  • 1 x Switched male inlet socket module

Ensure the correct fuse is installed in the switched socket module ... 10A for 110V, 6A for 240V.

Attach the female disconnectors to the switched socket module as shown in the image.

Step 37: Power Supply Cover Assembly

Required components:

  • 1 x Switched socket assembly
  • 1 x 12V DC socket assembly
  • 2 x 22-16 AWG spade terminals #8
  • 1 x PSU cover (3D printed part #57)

Ensure the DC connector can be inserted into its mounting hole in the cover and trim the hole if necessary. Place a small amount of thick CA glue on the inside walls of the mounting hole (not on the connector) and thread the connector into place. Do not use CA activator spray as it will likely bleach the color out of the cover. Set aside for the glue to harden.

Crimp the spade terminals onto the black and red DC cables.

Insert the pre-wired switched socket assembly into its hole in the cover.

Step 38: Power Supply Assemby

Required components:

  • 1 x 12V DC 30A 360W regulated switching power supply
  • 1 x Power supply cover assembly
  • 4 x Self adhesive rubber feet
  • 2 x 20mm or 25mm wide self adhesive Velcro loop (fuzzy) strips 110mm in length

Remove and retain the two screws on the sides of the power supply near the terminal strip end. Screw the five spade terminals on to the terminal strip exactly as shown in the picture.

Spread the aluminum side wall of the power supply apart just enough to slot the cover in place. Replace the two screws that had previously been removed.

Attach the self adhesive rubber feet 95mm apart in the corners at the fan end. Attach the other feet so that they are 220mm apart. Should the feet ever fall off they should be reattached using thick CA glue.

If the printer is to be stowed in the carrying case the Velcro strips should be attached to the top of the power supply as shown in the picture. A cutout should be made in one of the strips to clear the fan.

DON'T FORGET TO SET THE CORRECT INPUT VOLTAGE USING THE SWITCH ON THE SIDE OF THE POWER SUPPLY.

Step 39: Routing the Y Motor and Y Endstop Wiring

Required components:

  • 2020 insert
  • 1 x Pre-wired plug for an endstop
  • 1 x Pre-wired plug for a stepper motor

Attach the pre-wired plug to the Y endstop. Push the wires into the front face channel in the rear extrusion below the endstop and feed it towards the motor mount. Lock the wires into the channel below the endstop using 60mm of 2020 insert. Untape the Y motor wires and press them into the front face channel in the rear extrusion to the left of the Y motor mount. Pass the Y endstop wires over the Y motor mount on the rear extrusion and press them into the rear extrustion channel along with the Y motor wires. Lock the wires into the rear extrusion channel using 40mm of 2020 insert. Remove the Y fixed cable chain mount from its extrusion then press the 7 wires into the right face channel of that same extrusion. Lock the wires in place with 173mm of 2020 insert. Replace the Y fixed cable chain mount back where it had been removed from. Wrap the remaining wire into a coil and secure with tape.

Step 40: Routing the Z Motor Wiring

Required components:

  • 2020 insert

Uncoil the right Z motor wires and remove the filament guide from the top of the right vertical extrusion. Feed the four motor wires into the hole near the top of the left face of the right vertical extrusion. The wires should be pulled out of the front hole. Using a piece of thin stiff solid core wire as a threading tool, pull the wires through towards the back and up to the top face of the top extrusion (consult the photos). Secure the wires into the right vertical extrusion with a 320mm length of 2020 insert the top of which should be flush with the top of the extrusion. Replace the filament guide.

Thread the wires through to the left vertical extrusion taking the reverse path through the holes on that side of the printer. Secure the wires into the top extrusion slot with a 332mm length of the 2020 insert.

Remove the Z stationary cable chain mount from the left vertical extrusion and push the wires into the right face slot in the left vertical extrusion. The two Z motors need to be wired in parallel to the same connector on the controller board. As it is impractical to make the joint between the motors in the connector it will be made within the slot in the left vertical extrusion. Uncoil the left Z motor wires and take the red wire and route it up the slot in the right face of the left vertical extrusion. Cut the red wire from the right Z motor 125mm above the bottom of the extrusion. Cut the red wire from the left Z motor so that the two red wires overlap by 15mm. Strip 5mm of insulation from the ends of the two red motor wires and the longest remaining piece of red wire. Thread a 25mm length of a suitable diameter heat shrink tubing onto the red wire from the right Z motor and insert the unterminated red wire into the same tubing so that the striped ends emerge from the same end of the tubing. Twist the three stripped wire ends together and make a soldered joint. Bend the soldered wire upwards and slide the tubing over the joint and shrink it using heat from the soldering iron or a small nozzle heat gun. Repeat this procedure for the grey, yellow and green motor wires at 100mm, 75mm and 50mm above the bottom of the extrusion. Cover the slot containing the joints using a 320mm length of 2020 insert with the unterminated wires exiting from the bottom of the slot and the top of the insert flush with the top of the extrusion.

Replace the Z stationary cable chain mount.

Step 41: Routing the Wiring for the Printhead

Required components:

  • 1 x Pre-wired plug for a stepper motor
  • 1 x XY cable chain (3D printed part #51)

Attach the pre-wired plug to the extruder motor. Insert a cable tie, with the rachet side of the strap facing down, into one of the holes below the rectangular opening of the X cable chain mobile clip on the back of the X carriage. Using the cable tie secure the wires from the motor, thermistor and heater using the cable tie with the wires entering from the right and exiting from the left. The wires should be tight enough to avoid dangling below the nozzle but not so tight that the hotend can't be removed from the extruder as that will need to be done occasionally to clear blockages. Thread all the wires including those from the blower through the left side of the rectangular opening in the cable chain clip so that they exit from the right. All the wires will need to be extended so that there is 1300mm of wire between the clip and the end of the wires. Cut off and discard any connectors that are on the ends of the wires. To add extensions the insulation should be stripped by 5mm on the both wires, the ends twisted together then soldered. A 12mm length of a suitable diameter piece of heat shrink tubing should then threaded down the wire and used to cover the joint. The tubing should be heated with a fine nozzle heat gun or soldering iron to shrink it into place. The heater wires should be extended using 20 AWG blue insulated stranded wire. The thermistor should be extended using 26 AWG white insulated stranded wire. The blower should be extended using 26 AWG red and black insulated wires as it is polarity sensitive. The stepper motor wires should be extended using 26 AWG wires with red, grey, yellow and green insulated stranded wire. Trim all the wires so that they extend from the cable chain clip by 1300mm. There will be two red wires in the bundle and they need to be differentiated as they serve different purposes. Find the red wire that's attached to the blower and mark the end of it with a black permanent marker (e.g. a Sharpie). Using masking tape, bind the wires together at their ends.

Take the XY cable chain and, if it hasn't already been done, remove the support material inside both rectangular ends using a sharp pointed knife such as an Exacto knife. The cable chain, which should have been printed using TPU which is a very strong yet flexible material, has a thin membrain joining each segment on the flat side. About 3mm below that membrain are membrains that will act as the hinges between the segments. Using the sharp knife you will need to cut the top membrain between each link without damaging the hinge membrain. If any of the hinges are damaged the cable chain must be replaced! Thread the bundle of wires into one end of the cable chain and push it through to the other end. If you are unable to do this you'll need to thread a thin wire through the cable chain, tie it to the end of the bundle and pull the bundle through. With all the wires fully pulled through the cable chain secure the end through which they entered to the cable chain clip. Note that the cable chain should be oriented so that it can fold upwards but not downwards. Thread the end of the wiring bundle into the right end of the rectangular tube on the top of the X motor end and push them through till they exit by the X motor. Again, if necessary use a single wire to pull the bundle through. Gently pull the end of the bundle till all the slack is eliminated and attach the end of the cable chain to the end of the rectangular tube. If necessary, gently pull on any individual wire that is slack within the bundle to even out the tension.

Step 42: Routing the Wiring for the X Motor, Endstop and Printhead

Required components:

  • 1 x Pre-wired plug for an endstop
  • 1 x Pre-wired plug for a stepper motor
  • 1 x Z cable chain (3D printed part #52)
  • 3 x cable ties

Attach the pre-wired plugs to the X motor and X endstop. Cut off and discard any connectors on the loose ends of the wires. Insert two cable ties into the left two holes on the top of the X motor end with the ratchet side of the strap uppermost.place all the new wires and all the wires from the printhead on top of the X motor end and secure them using the two cable ties. Tape the ends of the wires from the X motor and endstop into a bundle.

Thread the two wiring bundles down through the rectangular opening of the cable chain clip that is part of the X motor end and pull all the wires through till there is no slack.

Prepare the Z cable chain in the same way as described for the cable chain in the previous step. Thread both bundles through the Z cable chain and secure the end of the cable chain to the clip. The Z cable chain should be oriented to be able to bend forward but not backwards. Thread the two wiring bundles through the bottom of the Z stationary cable chain mount that's attached to the left vertical extrusion. The wires should exit through the top of the cable chain mount and, when fully pulled through, the cable chain should be attached to the mount.

Step 43: Routing the Wiring for the Touch Panel

Required components:

  • 800mm x 8 core ribbon cable with 20 conductors per inch
  • 2 x 8 pin insulation displacement ribbon cable connectors
  • 10 x Cable ties
  • 1 x Pre-wired connector for an Endstop
  • 1 x Nameplate (3D printed part #56)

Attach one of the connectors to the end of the ribbon cable as shown in the image making sure that the conductor marked for pin 1 actually connects to pin 1 on the connector (usually marked with a "V" or some other indication). Also make sure that the cable exits the connector from the correct direction taking into account the strain relief clip on the connector which reverses the direction of the cable. Plug the connector into the back of the touch panel.

Leaving a small amount of slack in the cable make a 90' crease in the cable underneath the top extrusion so that the cable will exit from the left side of the printer. Push the cable into the slot in the extrusion all the way to the lefthand end. Snap the nameplate into position equally spaced between the L brackets on the front of the top extrusion. There is a cable cover extending from the bottom of the nameplate that should cover and lock the cable in place.

Secure the ribbon cable into the ribbon cable clip on the back of the left vertical extrusion. Using a cable tie through the holes in the Z stationary cable chain mount secure the bundle of wires and the ribbon cable with the ribbon cable on top. In a similar manner, secure all the cables to the cable mount which is located just above the Z motor mount.

Attach the pre-wired plug to the Z endstop and route the wires into the main wiring bundle and secure using a cable tie.

Route the wiring bundle to the right then bend it downward so that the bend is approximately 55mm from the left face of the left vertical extrusion. Use as many cable ties to secure the bundle as necessary. The wiring will terminate on the controller board and will need to fold appropriately when the printer is folded flat. Bear this in mind when routing, securing the bundle with ties and terminating with connectors.

Step 44: Terminating the Wiring at the Controller

Required components:

  • 4 x 4 pin JST connector shells
  • 3 x 3 pin JST connector shells
  • 2 x 2 pin JST connector shells
  • 29 x JST crimp pins
  • 1 x 8 pin insulation displacement connector

This video is an excellent tutorial on how to attach wires to JST crimp connectors. All the wires from the stepper motors, endstops and thermistors will need to be terminated using JST crimp connectors that plug into the controller. Refer to the image of the controller board to locate which connector is used for which purpose. The colors shown for the 3 and 4 pin connector pins correspond to the colors of the wires.

The motors are terminated with 4 pin JST connectors. The endstops are terminated with 3 pin JST connectors. The thermistors are terminated with 2 pin connectors (polarity doesn't matter). The hotend fan is wired directly to the 12V power input (polarity matters). The heated bed and nozzle heater are wired to their corresponding screw terminals (polarity doesn't matter). The intralayer fan is wired to the appropriate screw terminals (polarity matters). Leave a little bit of slack in each of these cables in case your first attempt at crimping fails and you need to recrimp.

The ribbon cable for the touch panel will need to have an 8 pin insulation displacement connector attached. Remember that the cable will exit the fully assembled connector in the opposite direction compared to when the cable is first attached as the use of its strain relief clip reverses the exit direction of the cable. Make sure that pin 1 of the connector corresponds to conductor 1 of the cable. This is extremely important!

Step 45: Covering the Controller

Required components:

  • 1 x Upper controller acrylic sheet
  • 4 x #6 x 3/8" pan head sheet metal screws

Attach the upper controller acrylic sheet using the sheet metal screws.

Step 46: Spool and Cradle

Required components:

  • 1 x M5 x 70mm threaded rod
  • 1 x M5 hex nut
  • 2 x Spool halves (3D printed part #63)
  • 1 x Spool cradle (3D printed part #62)
  • 1 x Spool lock (3D printed part #64)

Place a small amount of thick CA glue on the walls of the hexagonal hole in base of the spool cradle and insert the M5 hex nut and set aside for the glue to dry.

Screw the threaded rod as far as it will go into the spool lock.

Snap the two halves of the filament spool together.

Step 47: Mounting the Cradles Into the Carrying Case

Required components:

  • 1 x Power supply cradle (3D printed part #59)
  • 1 x Spool adapter cradle (3D printed part #61)
  • 1 x Spool cradle (3D printed part #62)
  • 1 x Power cord cradle (3D printed part #58)
  • 2 x 20mm wide one wrap Velcro, 450mm in length
  • 1 x 20mm wide one wrap Velcro, 160mm in length
  • 1 x Hofbauer Megabag 3000 instrument case

Apply painter's tape (masking tape) to the area in the deep base of the case where the power cord cradle will be attached. Following the the picture, position the cradle 10mm from the edge of the case and trace around it onto the painter's tape using a pencil. Remove the cradle and, using a sharp knife, carefully cut the tape around the pencil line without cutting the plastic of the case. Remove the tape where the cradle will be mounted.

The case is made from polypropylene and most ordinary adhesives including CA glue will not adequately bond to it. Polypropylene is referred to as having a low surface density with makes it difficult for adhesives to bond to. There are specialist adhesives capable of bonding to such surfaces and one such product is Locktite Plastics Bonding System which is sold in hardware stores and online and comprises a primer and an adhesive. Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. Apply the primer to the masked area where the cradle will be mounted. Remove the painter's tape before continuing. Then apply the primer and adhesive to the cradle according to the instructions. Press the cradle into position ensuring its correct orientation. Use more painter's tape to secure the cradle in place. Leave for the adhesive to set up.

Use a similar procedure to bond the other components to the inside of the lid of the case as shown in the picture.

Thread the 160mm length of Velcro through the center slots of the power cord cradle with the hook side uppermost and the loop (fuzzy) side facing downwards.

Thread the 450mm lengths of Velcro through the center slots of the power supply cradle with the hook side uppermost and the loop (fuzzy) side facing downwards.

Step 48: Stowing Accessories in the Case

The power cord should be folded up and attached to the cradle in the bottom of the case using the Velcro strap. The folded printer chassis can then be lowered into the case using the side handle and the top right handle. The power supply should be attached to its cradle in the lid of the case using the Velcro straps. The spool adapter should be snapped onto its cradle with the square lug aligned with the corresponding feature of the adapter. Finally the filament spool can be attached to its cradle by screwing in the spool lock. The case can then be closed and locked.

You may wish to acquire a small bag or pencil case to hold miscellaneous tools such as a pair of wire cutters, paper towels to wipe the nozzle, Allen wrenches to dismantle the extruder and an 8" length of bicycle brake bowden cable inner steel core which, when unwound, makes an excellent tool for cleaning out the nozzle when fed in from the bottom end while hot. This bag can be tucked under the folded touch panel.

Step 49: Configuring and Installing Marlin Firmware on the Controller

The firmware used on the MKS BASE controller is Marlin. This is an Open Source project and MKS make a suitable version available from their Github page https://github.com/makerbase-mks/Marlin . New versions are posted on this page periodically and the package described here will be the one called "firmware ( marlin&TFT ) .zip" which contains the 1.1.6 version of Marlin firmware and the firmware for the TFT32 touch panel. Select this option and click the Download button. The following instructions assume that a PC running Windows 10 is being used to process the packages but equivalent operations are available on a Mac.

Create an empty directory to store the firmware. Unzip the ZIP archive then unzip the Marlin package within it.

Download and install the Arduino IDE from https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software . Launch the IDE and use File > Open to select the Configuration.h file from the Marlin package directory. Now verify that the package can be compiled by clicking the Verify button which is the circular check/tick button in the top left of the window. After a few minutes of processing a message indicating a successful compilation should appear at the bottom of the screen.

Select the tab containing the file Configuration.h and check each of the following definitions and update any that are different:

  • #define TEMP_SENSOR_BED 1
  • #define DEFAULT_Kp 20.64
  • #define DEFAULT_Ki 1.58
  • #define DEFAULT_Kd 67.31
  • #define X_MIN_ENDSTOP_INVERTING true
  • #define Y_MIN_ENDSTOP_INVERTING true
  • #define Z_MIN_ENDSTOP_INVERTING true
  • #define INVERT_X_DIR true
  • #define INVERT_Y_DIR false
  • #define INVERT_Z_DIR true
  • #define INVERT_E0_DIR true
  • #define X_BED_SIZE 200
  • #define Y_BED_SIZE 200
  • #define Z_MAX_POS 185
  • #define DEFAULT_AXIS_STEPS_PER_UNIT {80,80,4000,400}
  • #define DEFAULT_MAX_FEEDRATE {500, 500, 3, 25}

Note that there will likely be definitions for DEFAULT_Kp, DEFAULT_Ki and DEFAULT_Kd listed for Ultimaker which should be commented out (insert "//" at the start of the line) before the settings for the Transportable printer are inserted.

Select the Configuration_adv.h tab and check that the line containing "#define Z_DUAL_STEPPER_DRIVERS" is commented out by preceding it with a "//". This will likely be the case but it's best to be sure. Also check and update the numbers in the following line:

#define HOMING_BUMP_DIVISOR {2, 2, 2} // Re-Bump Speed Divisor (Divides the Homing Feedrate)

Now verify the changes by clicking the Verify button again. If there are any failures check that the edits have been made correctly.

Without applying power to the printer, use a suitable USB cable to plug the PC into the MKS BASE controller. A short USB cable is usually supplied with the controller board but a longer cable may be more convenient. Note that under ordinary running conditions the USB cable won't be needed ... it's only used for initial configuration and update purposes. Select the Tools menu of the Arduino IDE and check that the Board and Processor are displayed as shown in one of the pictures. The Port should show the USB port being used to connect to the controller. Now click the Upload button which has a right arrow in it. The compilation of the Arduino Sketch should happen again followed by the upload which should cause a blue LED on the controller to flash for about a minute. Once this has completed the controller has had the firmware loaded into its Flash memory and is ready to be tested.

Step 50: Testing the Controller and Wiring

Download and install the Printrun package from Pronterface at http://kliment.kapsi.fi/printrun/ . This provides a convenient way to send individual commands to the printer via the USB cable for test purposes.

Before starting the tests, manually move the print bed and printhead to the center of their travel. The printhead should be several inches above the print bed at this point. Using a ruler, measure the distance between the print surface and the underside of the lower drill rod supporting the X carriage. Measure on the left of the print surface and on the right. The two distances should be identical. If necessary, manually turn one of the flexible couplers on the Z motors till the X carriage is absolutely horizontal.

With the USB cable connecting the PC to the controller and the 12V supply to the printer still switched off, click the Connect button and confirm that a connection is established to the printer. If this is successful, several lines of text will appear in the right text pane. This shows the results of sending a sequence of commands to the controller. The controller power is being supplied by the PC via the USB cable.

In the bottom right of the window enter "M119" and click the Send button. This will display the state of the three endstop switches and they should all be open. One by one, press and hold each of the X, Y and Z endstop switches and click Send again after each switch is pressed to reread the endstop status. Each test should show the corresponding switch as being TRIGGERED.

Plug in the 12V DC power supply to the printer and switch on. Move the printhead up by 1mm by clicking the circular button with the "1" inside that is just below the "10" on the Z motion section of the screen. Make sure that both Z motors move in unison and the printhead rises by 1mm. You can press the button several times to confirm.

Repeat the same test with the X and Y motors using their controls on the screen. The printhead should move to the right and the printbed should move towards the front of the printer.

Don't proceed if any of the above tests failed. The reason for the failure, which is probably a broken or miswired connection, must be remedied before proceeding.

Manually, adjust the Z endstop adjuster by pushing the sliding wedge that's attached to the underside of the X motor end as far as it will go to the left.

Click the X home button and confirm that the X carriage moves to the left end of the carriage and stops without any odd buzzing sounds from the motor. Perform a similar test using the Y home button which should cause the printbed to move to the back of the printer. Now click the Z home button which should cause the X assembly to be smoothly lowered maintaining its horizontal orientation. If the X carriage does not lower evenly on the left and right side switch off the power to the printer immediately. Failure to do this could break the X assembly. Resolve the problem before continuing.

In the section of the window labelled Heat, enter 210 if it is not already set to that value. This represents 210'C which will be the temperature that the nozzle will be heated to. At the bottom left of the window the number after T: is the current temperature of the nozzle which should be the room temperature in degrees centigrade. It'll probably be around 13'C. If it doesn't show a legitimate reading check and correct the wiring to the nozzle thermistor. Assuming the ambient temperature is reading correctly, click the Set button to the right of the 210'C temperature setting. You'll probably hear the fan on the power supply turn on as the nozzle heater is draining enough current for that to happen. The nozzle should start heating up and the chart to the right of the button will show the nozzle temperature rising. When up to temperature the nozzle temperature should stabilize at very close to 210'C as shown on the bottom line of text. It should take about 2 minutes to heat up. Note that 210'C is hot enough to burn flesh so avoid contact with the hotend when the nozzle is hot. Also note that the chart should show the temperature gently settling on 210'C without overshooting. This is controlled by the Kp, Ki and Kd (PID) settings that you entered when configuring the firmware. These settings were for the E3D printhead recommended in the parts list. If you chose a different printhead you'll benefit from recalibrating the PID settings by following instructions found at: http://reprap.org/wiki/PID_Tuning . Turn the nozzle heater off by clicking the Off button to the left of the 210'C setting.

Now test the bed heater. If the bed temperature shown to the right the B: doesn't reflect the ambient temperature check the bed thermistor wiring. Enter 60'C for the target bed heat and click the corresponding Set button. Once again, the fan on the power supply will switch on and the bed should gradually heat up. This time it will take about 5 minutes for the bed to reach the target temperature. If this is successful, switch off the bed heater by clicking the corresponding Off button.

Step 51: Configuring the Touch Panel

Required components:

  • SD card

Download the latest version of the firmware for the TFT32 touch panel from https://github.com/makerbase-mks/MKS-TFT/tree/master/MKS-TFT2.8-3.2/Firmware . The version used with the prototype Transportable printer was TFT28 32_V3.0.1_English.zip . Unzip the package to a suitable directory and use the Windows Explorer to locate the style that you want to use. The style used with the prototype printer was "blue style/Classic". Insert an SD card that is enabled for writing into the PC or, if there is no available slot, use an SD card adapter. Copy the mkstft28.bin file and mks_pic directory onto an SD card. Copy the mks_config.txt file that's attached to this step onto the SD card. Copy the other two ".bin" files that are attached to this step into the mks_pic directory on the SD card. Eject the SD card from the PC and insert it into the SD card slot on the right hand side of the touch panel. Note that the label on the SD card will be facing the back of the display.

Switch on the power to the printer. The display will go though an update sequence and load all the button images one by one. At the end the display will go black for a few seconds then display the startup logo screen followed by the main menu. Subsequent power cycling of the printer will bring up the startup logo screen without the update sequence being executed. At a later date, the files for updating the firmware can be removed from the SD card as they are no longer needed.

One extra button has been added to the standard TFT32 configuration which is the Pack up button which is accessed via the More menu. When pressed, the Pack up button will cause the printer to home all three axes then raise the printhead to the position that allows the frame to be folded up without the printhead colliding with any other parts of the mechanism. It is essential that this procedure be followed before the printer is folded up for transport or stowage.

To load the filament, press the Load button which is shown on the Settings > Filament menu. This will pre-heat the nozzle before prompting to wind in the filament. A small amount of filament will be extruded during this operation and it is important that the nozzle not be in contact with the print surface as that will cause the extrusion to be blocked.

There's also an Unload button on the Settings > Filament menu. This will also pre-heat the nozzle before ejecting the filament.

WARNING: The nozzle heater is left on at 200'C after both the Load and Unload operations. If you want it turned off either use the Preheat button on the main menu followed by the Close button or simply switch of the power to the printer.

Step 52: Leveling the Print Bed and Adjusting the Z Endstop

Start with the gap between the bed heater and the aluminum plate being 5mm on all four corners. Use the bed adjusters to change these gaps if necessary. Check that the gap between the left side of the print surface and the underside of the bottom drill rod supporting the X carriage is the same as on the right of the print surface. Measuring calipers are a good tool for this. Rotate the right Z motor flexible coupling until the gap is equalized

When the Z motor is homed using the Z button on the Home menu it should just touch the print surface. This is controlled by the position of the Z endstop adjuster located underneath the X motor end. This is a sliding wedge that operates the Z endstop switch. Pushing the adjuster to the left leaves the printhead higher after homing the Z axis. Pushing the adjuster to the right lowers the print head after homing. Adjust the Z endstop adjuster until homing the Z axis results in the nozzle just touching the print surface. If there is insufficient adjustment range you can make a small bend in the metal arm of the Z endstop switch using long nose pliers.

Move the printhead to Point1 from the Leveling menu. Using a piece of paper as a feeler gauge, slide it under the nozzle. the paper should have the slightest friction when pulled out from the gap. Adjust the front left bed adjuster till this is so. Move the printhead to Point1 from the Leveling menu. Repeat the paper test and adjust the right front bed adjuster till you feel a slight bit of friction. Alternate between Point2 and Point1 checking that the paper friction is equal on both.

Select Point3 then Point4 and repeat the paper test. Adjust the rear bed adjusters till the paper friction is the same as with the first two points. Now retest all four points again and make any necessary adjustements to equalize the paper friction.

Step 53: Tuning the Stepper Motor Driver Current Settings

The controller board has 5 small potetiometers that allow the current supplied to each stepper motor to be adjusted. The circuit board is marked with X, Y Z, E0 and E1. The E1 driver isn't used in this application so you only need to adjust 4 settings. Note that the current for the motors is increased as the potentiometers are turned counterclockwise (anitclockwise) which might seem counter-intuitive. The goal is to have an adequate current setting for each motor without the motor becoming too warm. When correctly adjusted, the motors should, after several minutes of operation, be no more than slightly warm to the touch ... certainly not hot!

Assuming all the motors including the extruder seem to be moving correctly under the control of the touch panel, move the X carriage left and right in increments of 10mm using the Move menu controls. Use a ceramic screwdriver to turn the X driver potentiometer clockwise till the X carriage stops moving properly then back it off counter clockwise till the motion works again. If you don't have a ceramic screwdriver you'll need to switch off the power to the printer when making any adjustments to the potentiometers which is a nuisance. Move the X carriage to the right of its travel then select the X control from the Home menu to home it to the left side. If it doesn't move smoothly increase the current slightly by turning the setting a little more counterclockwise. Repeat this procedure for the Y motor and the Z motors.

Before trying to adjust the extruder motor current setting you must have the print head at printing temperature (210'C) and have loaded some filament. The Z (height) setting should also be 20mm. Perform a similar procedure as before for the E0 current setting. The Extrusion menu provides a convenient way to request the extruder to operate.

WARNING: If the printhead is not up to printing temperature the extruder motor will be blocked from turning regardless of whether there is filament loaded or not.

REMEMBER: Turning the potentiometers counterclockwise increases the motor drive current.

Step 54: Installing and Configuring Cura

The Cura package from Ultimaker is a free slicer. As with all slicer packages it read in a file describing the 3D geometry of an object and outputs a file that the 3D printer can use to print it. The input file is usually in STL format and the output is in GCODE format.

Download the appropriate version of Cura from https://ultimaker.com/en/products/ultimaker-cura-software and install on your PC or Mac. Start Cura running then select Preferences > Configure Cura . Select Printers then Add . Choose the Other category or printer and select Prusa i3 . Enter "Transportable" as the printer name and press Add Printer . Select the Printer tab and replace all the lines of instructions in the Start Gcode text field with:

G21 ;metric values<br>G90 ;absolute positioning
M82 ;set extruder to absolute mode
M107 ;start with the fan off
G28 X0 Y0 ;move X/Y to min endstops
G28 Z0 ;move Z to min endstops
G1 Z5.0 F9000 ;move the printhead up 5mm
G92 E0 ;zero the extruded length
G1 F9000<br>

Change the Z(Height) to 175mm

Select the Extruder 1 tab

Set the Nozzle diameter according to the nozzle fitted (probably 0.4mm)

Set Compatible material diameter to 1.75mm

Click Close . Click the Activate option then click Close . Finally click Close to finish adding the new printer.

Step 55: Printing a Test Object

In this step you'll set up a typical printing profile in Cura then use it to prepare a downloaded design file for printing.

Start up Cura and confirm that the printer type is "Transportable" as defined in a previous step. In the Profile menu select Draft Quality then update the profile settings as shown in the first three screenshots.

Download the STL file of a gecko that's attached to this step (obtained from https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1363148/#files) .

Click the Open File button in the top left of the screen and load the STL file for the gecko. You can move your viewing position around the object using right click and drag. To move the object and printbed use shift right click and drag. Zooming in and out is achieved using the mouse scroll wheel.

This file has the gecko oriented on its side so it will need to be rotated to sit flat on the print bed. Click on the gecko image on the screen to select it and click the Rotate button to display the three colored control rings around the object. Click and drag the red ring till the rotation angle shows 90' then let go. The gecko will fall to the print bed.

The throat of the gecko has a 45' overhang which is moderately challenging for a 3D printer to produce. The best print quality can be achieved with good intralayer cooling which is why this printer has an intralayer cooling fan. As the fan is located behind the printhead it would be wise to rotate the gecko to face backwards which will allow the throat section to be optimally cooled during the printing.

Note that the printing origin (coordinates 0,0,0) corresponding to the front left corner of the printbed is indicated by the red, green and blue lines. This is worth remembering when you start rotating around the object.

Take an SD card that is enabled for writing (the slider on the side is pushed towards the connector) and insert it into the SD slot on the PC or SD card adapter. After a few seconds the Save button on the bottom right of the screen will change to read Save to Removable Drive. Click the button and the file will be written to the SD card. The estimated print time will also be displayed.

Eject the SD card and plug it into the right side of the touch panel on the printer. Switch the printer on. If the filament has not already been loaded, place a spool on the spool holder (having previously folded out the spool holder) with the filament coming off vertically upwards from front of the spool. If the spool has a large central hole you should snap the spool adapter onto the spool holder before placing the spool on it. Feed the filament through the filament guide on the top of the right vertical extrusion and into the short length of PTFE tubing on the top of the extruder. If the end of the filament is not a clean cut snip it off using a pair of wire cutters. Press the extruder lever and grip the filament between the pinch roller and the grooved wheel. Select Filament > Load on the touch panel and confirm that the nozzle is to be heated. When hot, you'll be prompted to allow the filament to be wound into the nozzle. Clean off the excess extruded material with a paper towel without burning yourself on the nozzle. Select the Printing menu and select the Gecko file. Confirm the selection and the print should begin.

If the print becomes shifted either left or right at one or more layers you'll probably need to increase the X motor current slightly by turning the X potentiometer on the controller counterclockwise. Likewise, if the print become shifted either forwards or backwards the Y potentiometer will need adjusting.

When the print is finished you can release it from the print bed using a tool such as a 1/2" wood chisel (preferably with a dull cutting edge). Be careful to avoid damage to the painter's tape on the bed if possible. If the tape becomes damaged simply replace it.

The first layer of a print is the foundation for all subsequent layers and should be as clean and accurately printed as possible. The filament should have the profile of a slightly squashed circle. Think of it as resembling linguini rather than spaghetti! If necessary, you can adjust the Z endstop adjuster by moving it left or right in small increments. This will influence the gap between the nozzle and the print surface for the first layer.

If you have problems with the filament not adequately sticking to the painter's tape yet the first layer height is correctly adjusted you might like to rub a very small amount of denatured alcohol onto the tape using a paper towel. A disposable medical alcohol swab also works. However, you must be very sparing in the application of the alcohol as too much will make the filament stick too well and you'll end up ripping the tape off the bed when you remove the printed object.

Step 56: Winding Filament Onto the Spool (optional)

Required components (not included in the Bill of Materials):

  • 1 x M5 threaded rod, 130mm in length
  • 1 x M5 locknut
  • 2 x 3/4" OD, 3/16" ID, flat washers
  • 1 x M5 hex nut
  • 1 x Wingnut (3D printed part #6)
  • 2 x Spool winders (3D printed part, STL attached to this step)

Most commercial filament spools will be the wrong size to fit into the cradle on the inside of the carrying case lid. For this reason an STL file for a suitable sized spool is provided. The best way to wind a quantity of filament onto this spool would be to made an adapter to hold it onto a power drill. The commercial spool would be placed on the spool holder on the printer and the custom spool would be locked onto the spool winder assembly described in this step and mounted in the chuck of a power drill. I'd recommend that the pair of spool winder conical bungs be printed in TPU. While winding the spool you may benefit from lightly pinching/gripping the filament using a paper towel to control its tension.

WARNING: Always lock the loose end of filament into the retaining holes on the spool when not in use. If the loose end is allowed to become tangled the filament may cause a printing jam several hours into a print which is frustrating to say the least!

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    71 Discussions

    Some measures in STL parts are not matching to 2020 aluminium profile measures, is there something what I do not understand. like this groove opening in profile is 5,26mm and in STL parts what must get in to that groove are 6mm or bigger. can you explain this differnce?

    4 more answers

    So, with your comment it is not practical to use your STL parts to produce 3D-prints with Stratasys Fortus MC400 large machine, otherwise I have almost 70 parts to sanded to fitting...!!!

    The width of the part of the base clips that protrude through the 2020 slot is defined as 6.00mm within the Fusion 360 source. There is an intentional gap between the diagonal and lower faces that live within the extrusion. In practice, these components will likely need the diagonal faces likely sanded to allow the clips to slide within the extrusion.

    Here you have one example 2020 aluminium profile with "base_clip_fixed.stl" part and measures (added pictures). Same issue is with "foot.stl" part as well. 2020 Aluminium profile 3D is downloaded from 20/80 inc pages and those .stl parts are from 3D printed parts v1.0.zip package.

    prof_and_baseclipfixed_01.jpgprof_and_baseclipfixed_02.jpg

    Please identify the part with that dimension and I’ll take a look

    wow! nice work. May be I´ll try

    Wow! What a thorough Instructable! How long did it take you to make?

    1 reply

    The basic design took about 6 months. There was then about 9 months of refinement. The Instructable including the rendered illustrations took about 5 months to complete.

    If you’re intending powering a heated bed they usually take more than 10A

    The total component cost, in the USA, was between $600 - $700 not including the printed and laser cut parts

    0
    None
    Xurel

    4 months ago

    Wow, Transprintable3D (transportable x print = You can use this copy right ) ;)
    I probably never
    build such a thing, but I really appreciate your work here and nice
    detailed manual you've made.
    Do you have animation of asambling and
    packing into suitcase, that will be awesome as well

    1 reply

    There’s a second video now showing how it folds up into the case

    Very impressive! Love the portability aspect. Been waiting for a 3D printer that has reliable hi-res output in hard materials and doesn't take up a lot of space. I've been looking for a nut-driver set like the one you displayed in Step 1. Can you tell me where you got it? Also, I've been using for years an old Monokote heat gun for shrinking heat-shrink tubing. Model airplaners know what these are - they're available at any hobby store or online for around $20. Hotter than a hair blower but not nearly as hot as as a desoldering station so it is much safer to use on electronic wiring. Forget using soldering irons or butane lighters on heat-shrink tubing. They're much too dangerous and sloppy in my opinion.

    1 reply

    The driver shown in the photo isn’t a nut driver but a screwdriver with hex bits for tightening Allen headed bolts. Unfortunately, it diesn’t have any brand identification and I can’t remember where I bought it.

    There is currently no kit available. I’ll update this post if things change in that area.

    The power supply must have specific dimensions? If so, what would those dimensions be?