View Full Version : Build...the most printable 3D printer!

04-12-2015, 06:40 PM

The Long Bed 3d Printer was created to see how much of a 3d printer could be printed. That lead me to design a frame that could be printed on a heated bed, soon discovered I needed a larger build surface. After making a way to accurately control a larger bed, I had the maximum size that the frame pieces could be. By combining different parts I was able to get the main frame down to 9 pieces.

This Printer Can Reproduce Most of the Parts to make itself

Thanks for Checking This Out

Print area is: 200mm x 425mm x 140mm, (x,y,z).
Printed Frame Pieces:

Lower Center Frame
Lower Left Side
Lower Right Side
Lower End Plate with motor mount
Lower End Plate with idler
Upper Motor Mount
Upper Left Side
Upper Right Side
Upper End Plate

(I am waiting on parts for the Heated Beds, will post that information when parts arrive and assembled.)

Double sliding Tables:
The upper table moves faster than the lower table, this keeps support and proper alignment under the print head. Recommend using auto level (auto compensation) with this design.
X Carriage is designed to pass by the vertical part of main frame, giving more x travel.
Extruder (modified wades style) is rotated 90 degrees also increasing X travel.
This version is using 3.0mm filament. (have not tried 1.75).

The STL files are FREE to download. (Step 9)
If you find this instructable worthy of a Donation [Click on This Link to Donate] (http://dmserve.net/Long_Bed/)
all donations will be greatly appreciated
THANK YOU for your support!!_______

Here is a Video of the 2nd. calibration Print.

http://cdn.instructables.com/FF8/GGS6/I8CVXTZ1/FF8GGS6I8CVXTZ1.TINY.jpgVideo 4.wmv (http://www.instructables.com/file/FF8GGS6I8CVXTZ1/)(516x290) 19 KB

Step 1: History


This Long Bed design is installed on an i2 that has 750+ hours of print time,
it has a print area of 200mm x 425mm x 100mm (x,y,z).
The i2 Long Bed can be seen running in Reprap Google Hangouts (https://plus.google.com/hangouts/_/event/c6fq454g46bctlm5cpqu7l7t62g?v=1422991864&clid=D80E7F8E49244623)
some nights and weekends.

The Prototype of this 3d Printed Frame Design has a 200mm. x 200mm.
heated bed, with 100+ hrs. of print time.
I also experimented with a printed Rack and Pinion drive for Y Axis.
There is no signs of stress or fatigue to the printed parts.
One goal was to make a larger print area with out making the frame bigger.
And do this with common parts already being used in most Repraps.
Keep the cost down was also very important.

Is this the best design? no.
There are more expensive ways to do this:
This proves the theory of operation and can be developed further.
I am planning to test and monitor current design and see what
areas have weaknesses and failures, and improve them.
One upgrade could be: 10mm smooth rods or a printed ......

Post any Questions you have and I will try to answer them.

Step 2: Bill of Materials


Show All 9 Items

Bill of Materials:
The first 3 Rods listed here are also listed in the Long Bed Conversion Instructable. You do not need double
these, listed here to make the printer BOM complete.
2 - 460mm x 8mm Smooth Rod (Y Axis upper table)
2 - 240mm x 8mm Threaded Rod (Y Axis belt tensioner mount)
1 - 470mm x 8mm Threaded Rod (Y Axis belt tensioner)

2 - 340mm x 8mm Threaded Rod (Lower Frame Y Axis mount)
2 - 380mm x 8mm Smooth Rod (Y Axis lower table)
2 - 420mm x 8mm Smooth Rod (X Axis)
2 - 390mm x 8mm Smooth Rod (Z Axis)
2 - 340mm x 8mm Threaded Rod (Z Axis)
14 - 8mm Linear Bearings (4 used in Lower Table)
9 - 608 Skate Bearings (4 used in Lower Table)

1 - Control Board (Printrboard, Smoothie, Ramps, etc.)
1 - 12vdc Power Supply (an ATX computer power supply works well)
2 - 12vdc 200mm x 200mm Heated Beds (if 24vdc is used use correct Relays)
2 - 12vdc Relays (Provides power to heated beds)
5 - Micro Switches
5 - Nema 17 Motors (use Good Quality Motors)
2 - Gt2 20 Tooth with 5mm bore
3.5m - Gt2 Belt 6mm wide (Good Quality - a cheap belt WILL cause problems)
2 - Compression Springs (Z elevators)
Extra wire
100 - M3 x 0.50 Nuts
20 - M3 x 0.50mm x 16mm Screws (motors)
40 - M3 x 0.50mm x 20mm Screws
8 - M3 x 0.50mm x 25mm Screws (lower table bearings)
17 - M3 x 0.50mm x 35mm Screws (printed lower table, extruder & Z elevator)

20 - M4 x 0.70 Nuts
18 - M4 x 0.70mm x 30mm Screws
2 - M4 x 0.70mm x 50mm Screws
2 - M4 x 0.70 x 70mm Screws
50 - M8 x 0.70 Nuts
60 - M8 Flat Washers
4 - M8 x 1.25mm x 50mm Hex Cap Screws (Lower Table)
1 - M8 x 1.25mm x 60mm Hex Cap Screw (idler bolt or use threaded Rod)
Printed Parts
It takes about 2 - 2.5 rolls of 3mm. filament to print the frame.
Qty. to Print - File Name

1 - Lower Center Frame
1 - Lower Left Side
1 - Lower Right Side
1 - Lower End Plate with motor mount
1 - Lower End Plate with idler
1 - Upper Motor Mount
1 - Upper Left Side
1 - Upper Right Side
1 - Upper End Plate

The following will use about 1 - 1.5 roll(s) of 3mm. filament.

3 - Smooth Rod Clamp
1 - Smooth Rod Clamp with Micro Switch Mount
3 - End Stops
1 - 3072 Printed Pulley (for Gt2 belt)
1 - Lower Table
2 - Lower Table Bearing Holder
2 - Lower Table Bearing Holder (mirror)
4 - Tall Smooth Rod Clamp
4 - Z Axis Rod Clamps (Z Axis)
2 - Elevator
2 - Motor / Idler Mount
2 - Couplers (2 pcs per Coupler, front/back)


1 - X Carriage with dual 40mm fan mounts
1 - Extruder Body
1 - Idler Block
1 - Small Gear (9 tooth)
1 - Large Gear (47 tooth)
1 - Belt Tensioner Main Base
1 - Belt Tensioner Main Base Clamp
1 - Belt Tensioner Adjustable Base
1 - Belt Tensioner Adjustable Clamp

Step 3: Printing The Main Frame

If you do not have a printer large enough to print this,
I am working on another instructable for the large bed modification for i2's,
that can be modified to fit other printers.
(Link to Instructable (coming soon))

Start by printing one of each of the following:
Prints vary from 3 to 10 hours, depending on the part, infill and print speed. No additional support was used for these parts. Some parts have support built in to the STL file, This support will need to be removed from the printed parts. All parts were printed with a wide Brim.
I have experimented with different infill amounts. Listed are the infill % that I have experimented with. Recommend printing the parts with motor mounts at a higher percentage. Experiment and see what works best with your printer, The higher the infill the more filament you will use and increased print time.
This project was printed in PLA, other material would work too.

Lower Center Bar - - - - - - 20% to 25%
Lower Left Side - - - - - - 20% to 25%
Lower Right Side - - - - - 20% to 25%
Lower End Plate with motor mount - - 20% to 30%
Lower End Plate Idler - - 20% - 25%
Upper Center Bar - - - - - 20% to 30%
Upper Left Side - - - - - - -20% to 25% (has support to remove)
Upper Right Side - - - - - -20% to 25% (has support to remove)
Upper End Plate - - - - - - 15% to 20%

I use a 5mm brim to help keep large parts in place during printing.
Recommend thick bottom layer, walls and top layer. 1mm+
Some parts are hollow and get strength from the walls.
This printer preforms best when operating on a flat, solid surface.

Step 4: Assemble the Main Frame

Clean all the parts.
Remove Brim, Support material and clear the holes for bolts.
Test fit all parts before bolting together.
There are recesses and notches where the parts fit together, these may need filing for a proper fit.
These should be a snug fit, adding sturdiness to the frame.
Install bolts and nuts as you assemble, leave loose until all frame parts assembled.
Start with the (1) Lower Cross bar, attach (2) Lower Left Side and (3) Lower Right Side.
Lower Cross bar is a mirror image either way is correct.
Add the (4) Lower End Plate with Motor Mount to the short side of the (2)&(3) Side Plates
Add the (5) Lower End Plate with Idler to the tall side of (2)&(3) Side Plates.
If you plan to zip tie or keep the wiring on the outside of frame skip routing wires through frame.
Route your motor wires through the frame:
Remove the plugs from the nema 17 motors and route wires though the hole on top of (6) Upper Motor Mount.and use the wire path to go across to the side of (6) Upper Motor Mount your control board will be located.
Secure motors with 1 bolt, rubber band, tape etc. Motor will need to be movable, to install a bolt later.
Route some scrap wires through (8)&(9) Upper Sides, These will be used to fish (pull) end stop, auto level, and
motor wires through the frame leave 200mm extra wire at each end. (I put extra wires in in case of a failure.)
Install (8)&(9) Upper Sides to the (2)&(3) Lower Sides. Guide the scrap wires into the hole in the Lower Sides,
This is a tight fit and the wiring hole may need enlarging. You will need to gently force the mounting tabs of (8)&(9) past (2)&(3) To get the parts assembled.
Add the (9) Upper End Plate to the frame assembly. (This also has a wire path if you want to use it).
Add the (6) Upper Motor Mount to the frame assembly.
Move the motor to install the bolt behind the motor.
Add a 4mm x 70mm bolt to join the (6) Upper Motor Mount to the (7&8) Upper Sides.
(or use a piece of threaded rod).
Finish routing all the wires through the frame. (remove any extra scrap wire(s) you may have added)
Check for square as you tighten all the bolts in the frame.

Step 5: X & Z Axis Assembly


Print and Clean all of the X & Z Axis Related Parts
X Axis:
Assemble the Extruder
Install Linear Bearings for X Axis Carriage
Add 40mm Fan(s) to Carriage (if wanted)
Add the Belt Tensioner Base (install a nuts in the nut traps)
Attach Extruder and Hot End to Carriage (Motor is Aligned with Widest Part of X Carriage
Z Axis:

Loosely Assemble the Motor Coupler.
Install Linear Bearings to the Elevator and Motor/Idler Mounts.
Wire and install the Micro Switch in the Z Elevator.
Assemble the Z Elevator, Nut, and Spring on the Threaded Rod.
Put 2 - 8mm Nuts below the Z Elevator appx. 40mm from end of Threaded Rod,
Slide a Skate Bearing on the Threaded Rod.
Repeat for the Other Side.

Take one of the Z Axis Assembles :
Add the X Carriage Motor/Idler Mount above the Z Elevator.
Lower the Z Assembly in the Bearing Holder in the Lower Center Frame.
Do you have tubing on your motor? (if not add a short piece of tubing to motor shaft)
Note: (motor is 5mm the threaded rod is 8mm)
Add the Motor Coupler to the top of the Threaded Rod and Slide Coupler on to Motor.
Install Screws for Motor (leave loose for now)
Seat Skate Bearing into Bearing Holder
Screw the Double nuts Closer to Bottom to Support the Threaded Rod.
Attach the Smooth Rod to the Frame with Z Axis Rod Clamps
All of Z Axis Assemble Should have all the Nuts and Bolts installed But loose.
Repeat for other Side
With both Sides Assembled:
Assemble The X Axis:
Partially Slide the Smooth Rod Trough the X Carriage Motor/Idler Mounts.
The smooth rod hole in the Idler Side of the Motor/Idler Mount is larger than,
the smooth rod hole Motor Mount side.
This is to stop the Smooth Rod from passing through.

Put 8mm collars on the Smooth Rod used on the GT2 belt side of the Motor/Idler Mount.

Slide the Smooth Rod through the Motor / Idler Mount, (idler side),
add one of the 8mm collars,
then put the Extruder/Carriage Assembly on Smooth Rod, (check for correct alignment)
(The motor, belt tensioner of the Carriage Assy. and Belt Idler all on same side)
add the other 8mm collar,
and Continue Pushing the Smooth Rod Until it hits the Stop in the Printed Motor/ Idler Mount.

Slide the other Smooth Rod Through the Motor/Idler Mount,
then though the X Carriage,
and Through the Other Motor/ Idler Mount.

Move the X Axis Assemble up and down a few times to align the bearings in the Linear Bearings.
It should move freely, (if not moving freely check to see if Linear Bearing Clamp
is to Tight).
Position the Collars Next to the Motor/Idler Mounts, and Tighten set screw.
Tighten the Screws in the Motor/ Idler Mount.

Move the X Carriage Left and Right a few times to align the Linear Bearings
Install X axis Motor with Pulley set screw loose and Tighten the screws for Motor.
Install The Idler Bearing Assembly and Tighten.

Route the GT2 Belt Around the Motor Pulley and Idler Bearing,
Fasten the one end of the Belt to the Belt Tensioner Base (nuts should already be in the nut trap)
Fasten the Belt to the Belt Tensioner Adjuster.
Attach the Belt Tensioner Adjuster to the Belt Tensioner Base,
and Tighten Screw to Tension the Belt.
Route the X Carriage Related Wiring to Control Board.

There is a non working motor added to the Idler side of the X Axis (Motor/Idler).
This helps balance the weight of X Axis making the Autolevel measurements accurate.
Any weight equal to the X Axis working motor would work.

Step 6: Y Axis Assembly (upper and lower tables)


Show All 9 Items

Start with the End Plate with Motor Mount.

Smooth Rod Clamp
Smooth Rod Clamp with Micro Switch Mount

on Threaded Rod as shows in picture.
End Plate with Idler Mount.

3072 Printed Dual GT2 Pulley
Smooth Rod Clamps

on Threaded Rod as shows in picture.

Install: Linear Bearings in the Lower Table Bearing Holders. (leave screw loose for now)
Attach: Lower Table Bearing Holders to the Printed Lower Table (or your own table design)
Add the Skate Bearings with a washer on each side of bearing.
Slide the 380mm Smooth Rods Through the Linear Bearings (closest to the printed table).

Slide the 460mm Smooth Rod Through the Upper Bearings (Next to the Skate Bearing)
Put a Tall Smooth Rod Clamp on the end of each 460mm Smooth Rod.
Add a Smooth Rod Clamp with nuts and washer to each of the 240mm Threaded Rods.
Slide a 240mm Threaded Rod Assembly through the Tall Smooth Rod Clamps on each end.
Add the belt tensioners, nuts, & washer to the 470mm Threaded Rod.
Put the Tensioner assembly through the Smooth Rod Clamps on the upper bed.
Position the Tensioner Assembly near the center, (leave nuts loose for now).

The Long Bed travel assembly should be complete. (But the bolts are loose)
Put the Long Bed Travel Assembly in to the Main Frame End Plate's Smooth Rod Clamps one at a time.
Do One end and repeat for the other end.
Measure and adjust as necessary to get the Long Bed Assembly Centered in the Main Frame.
Tighten the nuts on the Main Frame End Plate's Threaded Rods evenly.
Slide the Table Assembly back and forth as you tighten the nuts.

With the Lower Smooth Rods Tight and Table Assembly Centered.
Tighten the Lower Linear Bearings Clamp (check free movement of Table Assembly.
Tighten the Upper Liner Bearing Clamps (checking for free movement of the Entire Table Assembly.
Slide the Table Assembly Back and Forth to align the linear bearings.
You should have Full movement of the Long Bed at this time.
Install a belt for the Lower Table.

Going around the 3072 printed pulley (small side) around the Skate Bearing.
Make a loop in the end of belt and zip tie the loops.
Bring both belt ends to the slot in the printed table.
Fasten to a long Bolt in the slot of the lower table. (zip tie work well here too)

Install a belt for the Upper Table
Step a:
Start at the Nema 17 Motor (motor screws should be tighten and motor pulley Loose).
Go from the Upper side motor pulley to the far end of the Upper Table Assembly Belt Tensioner above the
3072 Printed Bearing.
Go through the hole in the Belt Tensioner for the belt and zip tie the loose end of belt back to the main part of belt.

Step b:
Take the other end of belt at the Nema 17 Motor
Start at the Nema 17 Motor pulley, Bottom side
Go under the Lower Center Frame to the 3072 Printed pulley (large side).
From the pulley (top side) back to the Upper Table Assembly Belt Tensioner above the motor.
Go through the hole for in the Belt Tensioner for the belt and zip tie the loose end of belt back to the main part of belt.
Move the skate bearings and 3072 Printed Pulley in to operating position.
Align the Motor Pulley for proper alignment and tighten set screw.
Tighten all bolts evenly on the Long Bed Assembly.
Use the Belt Tensioners to adjust the Upper Table belt.
See Picture for Belt path Detail.
With the M8 threaded rod and nuts, you can easily damage the Printer.
Install a print surface of your choose to the Tall Smooth Rod Clamps.
It may be necessary to shim or file the Tall Smooth Rod Clamps attached to:
(Printing Plate) or (heated bed Mounting Plate) which ever you use.
The Skate bearings need to be in contact with your plate.
This maintains the proper distance between Hot End and Printing Surface.
Review all connections and tighten as necessary.
Heated Bed Information will be posted after parts arrive and assembled.
The Printer should be ready to continue wiring, testing, and Printing : )

Step 7: Heated Bed Information


Show All 9 Items

This Step will be updated when parts arrive and are assembled.

Step 8: Optional Builds


If you do not want or need a Long Bed:
A print bed heated or non heated bed could be used.
Use the Smooth Rod Clamp to hold the Y Axis Rods.
And attach a Bearing Holder to the Table.
Slide Table Assembly on to the Smooth Rods and attach the GT2 Belt.
Do Not want to use Auto Level:
Use the spring method to level the bed.
And the Back up Z end stop for homing the Z Axis.

Step 9: Download Files

The STL Files will be posted here for download
Not here yet (coming soon)

Enjoy :)

Look forward to seeing some success builds of this project.

I work a full time job and will be uploading files during the weekends.