XY Motion System | Build

A DIY tool changing 3D printer

So its been a while since the XY motion deisgn was finished.. Limited time and money to spend each month.. Second child came to world.. But hey, now it is finally assmebled!

the Frame

The base of the XY Motion system is the frame. I got the extrusions from Dold Mechatronics cut very nicely to the right lengths. I then tapped all the ends of the extrusions:

Tapping the extrusions with M6
Tapped extrusion

After tapping all the extrusion I drilled the holes for the bolt acces and the drive shafts:

Mill used to drill the extrusions
Drilling the extrusions

Then I assembled the frame on a granite slab while doing evrything I could to make everything square and flat:

Assembling the frame

Here the assmebled frame is shown:

Final Frame.


After building the frame I could install all the 4 stationary MR12 size rails.

I first installed the front X-rail (as my master rail). Then the left Y-rail. I used a big carpenter right angle to ensure the squareness. Then I again used the right angle to install the right Y-rail and finally the rear X-rail.

The image show all 4 rails installed and the right angle used to align them.

All 4 stationary MR12 Rails installed.


The gantries are based on a pullwounded carbon fiber tube. The reason to choose the pullwounded tube is that it is optimised for bending while not beeing a absolute pain to work with as pure pulltruded tubes are. In a classic 0-90 degree tube half of your fibers basically do nothing for bending stiffness. The tubes were cut to size with a hightech precission tool called a dremmel. Then I used a mill to layout the holes for the screws used to secure the rail and the gantry itself. I used an awesome cornstyle carbide mill which makes a really clean cut in the CF. It basically turns it into dust, so use appropiate protection!

Drilling holes in CF Tube.

The final results were great! and they are really light! always fun to work with carbon fiber 😀

X-Gantry tube.
Y-Gantry tube.

I first did a test assembly of the gantries with all 3D printed parts. After verifying the design I went ahead and ordered the carbon fiber plates. While disasembling things I remebered why I previously promissed myself to never use alumium bolts.. I mangaed to strip 2 of the M4 bolts securing the rails because I used 222 loctite to install them. So I also ordered some titanium screws to replace all aluminum screws.

Here are som pictures of the final gantries now with more carbon and titanium <3

Final gantry assemblies - Front.
Final gantry assemblies - Front showing floating capability.

And some more details:

Final gantry assemblies - Back.
Belt Tensioners - Fixed End
Belt Tensioners - Floating End
Rear Mounted Rail Screws
Beauty Shot - Fixed End
Beauty Shot - Floating End

These pictures show the final weight of the gantries. The X-Rail weighs 463g and the Y-Rail 432g. This is including the belt tensioners and the two MR12 blocks riding on the stationary rails and all associated hardware. The MR9 blocks holding the printhead are not included as I considder them part of the toolhead as they will both be moving in both X and Y. So far looking good on my mass goal – allbeit the tensioners are only plastic now..

Final gantry weight - X-Gantry
Final gantry weight - Y-Gantry

Pulley Blocks

So far I just printed the parts for the pulley blocks. Generally, I won’t machine anything from alumium before I have a working 3D printer. I just want to make sure all the parts are correct and that the concept works before spending the time, money, and sweat on alumium.

The parts are printed in Prusament PCblend Orange. These parts should be perfectly fine even in a 80C chamber as the material only softens at 100-150C. So it will do for now. I made 4 of these assemblies:

Pulley Block Assemblies

Motor Assemblies

The parts are printed in Prusament PCblend Carbonfiber. These parts should also be able to handle a 80C chamber, but I will replace them with carbon fiber plates later. I again made 4 identical assemblies:

Motor Assemblies

End Stops

I Installed all the 4 optical endstops on their mounting plates. The two plates for the X-Gantry are identical and so are the two for the Y-Gantry. The endstops used are these. I chose them as they have a pretty big gap. This allows me to use a M3 screw as adjuster. They are dirt cheap too. We will see how reliability is.

Endstop Assemblies.

Putting It All together

After preparing all the sub-components I first installed the gantries on the frame:

Gantries installed.

Then I installed the pulley blocks:

Pulley Blocks Installed.

Then the motors, belts and end stops:

Finished XY-Motion system.

Some details:

Belt Tensioners - CloseUp.
End Stop CloseUp.

Wrapping Up

After assembling the XY-Motion system I installed some simple test legs on it, fliped it over to its correct orientation, and clamped it to the test bench. Ready for some testing!

XY Motion system ready for testing.

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A DIY tool changing 3D Printer

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