Construction Of A DIY 3D Printer Part 8 – X-Axis Carriage

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Build cost for this section

  • $24.00 – 2 – 8mm X 600mm Steel Rod
  • $6.00 – 4 – Machifit SK8 Linear Rail Shaft Support
  • $0.00 – 1 – Aluminum Carriage Raw Material
  • $10.00 – 3 – 8mm Block Slide Aluminum Linear Bearing Block Linear Motion Bearing
  • $3.00 – 1 – Stepper Motor Bracket
  • $10.00 – 1 – Stepper Motor
  • $3.00 – 1 – Belt and Idler Pulley
  • $6.00 – 2 – Machifit SK16 Linear Rail Shaft Support (Extruder supports)
  • $5.00 – Bolts with nuts and washers
  • Shipping?
  • $54.00 – X-AXIS and CARRIAGE SUB-TOTAL 
  • $58.00 – Z-AXIS and GANTRY SUB-TOTAL
  • $53.18 – BUILD BED SUB-TOTAL
  • $42.81 – Y-AXIS SUB-TOTAL
  • $50.00 – FRAME SUB-TOTAL
  • $331.59 TOTAL SO FAR

Well back to the drawing board. I keep changing my mind on the extruder mount. I was on Thingiverse and found a beautiful solution but the only problem is I don’t have a 3d printer yet.

Thing number 2244016

Anet A8 – e3d v6 XtraSolid Support with 60mm fan v1.0
by ciccio92, published Apr 12, 2017

Thingiverse 3d extruder mountIt is a single head with one fan to do both jobs of cooling the extruder and the part. And in the spirit of “printers printing printers / RepRap,” this is what I want.

OK, first thing research, I opened the parts in Cura, this lets me see build times and PLA volume usage. It is a very doable project, there are six parts made in three builds, the mount, the fan duct and then the clamps. All total it will take about 20 hours to print and use about 250 grams of plastic. Most websites selling printing service now has ways to give you auto quotes as soon as you upload a good stl file. The one I like supports the community in your local area called

You can pick your builder in the search and it will have their about page. That will give you their response time, response rate, the model of the printer being used, photos and customer reviews. The cool news is that in a 20-mile radius from me there are more than five printers on this site!

The fan duct piece priced in at just over $12 and could be shipped in less than a week. This pricing is very good compared to just four years ago, I friend ordered a 3d printed car part, it was just an inch long and was over $8 to make. The total for all I need to be printed still is going to be over $55 with shipping.

Something strange just happened.

I double click on my Cura file and windows just opened a 3D viewer but not Cura. Click here to order or print the part. OK let us see where it is going to take us, hum?

Then opened in the browser and auto uploaded the file for pricing. ADD TO CART $16.68 for the main brace for the extruder. Not too bad, I did not know it would do this for a 3mf file format.

If the printer was connected would it let me connect? Hey, this is a big deal, a 3d printer driver on your computer, now that feels like the future.

It was called 3D Builder app by Microsoft and was already installed on my Windows 10 Home edition.

I think I need to order the metal parts of the extruder first and make the clamp to test fit before I order the whole thing.

Option 2

Mount the extruder and make the parts myself. It is the chicken and the egg, which come first? The mount or the printer. I think I need help on this.

Good news from my friends at Zyltech, I do not have to order from China to get the 8mm rods that need to be 550mm long on the x-axis. Just need to wait for finances to open up.

To be continued…

UPDATE 5-8-2017

Hand built 3d printer carriageThe extruder that I picked out is a V6 J-Head Bowden. I just did a Google image search to help me be inspired and I found a shot of a flat plate with linear bearings and a shaft block holding a V6, easy! So it is an all metal mount that I have the rough materials for and in about 3 hours of cutting and reaming holes I have a carriage. The four holes you see on the center line will be for two support blocks for the future dual head.

The bearings are ready for the 8mm X-Axis shaft which I do not have yet. There are two slots at the top which connect the belt from the stepper motor.

I will not be using bed leveling because of the info I learned from a 3d printing pod-cast. The two guys talking on their show, “3D Printing Today” have many years in the field with the technology and they said the probe just gets in the way. There are about two to three casts a month and the content is awesome.

I just need a fan to cool the part and I will be making my own mount for it after I am up and running with my printer.

Designing this is a hands-on experience and I love the creative and transforming challenges it gives me.


Previous <- Z-Axis                   NEXT -> Extruder



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