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Lars' Ultralight Ultimaker XY Blocks
Custom XY block design with a focus on simplicity, ease of printer alignment, and printability.3D printer parts and enhancements
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*** New version published ***
After switching to a GT2 belt configuration, and needing a solid belt clamping mechanism without the complications of integrated tensioning, I decided to design my own XY blocks.
The factory bronze bushings are very prone to clamping deformation and bind, so I wanted something with separate bushing and belt clamping. I designed these around some replacement bushings I got from Robotdigg that have a 12mm OD instead of the stock 11mm. If there is some interest, I can kick out an 11mm version as well.
I made allowances to insert M3 nuts into the blocks for all connections, so no plastic threads are relied on. The one exception being that I left holes in the block back face to thread in an M3 bolt in various positions to trip the limit switches. This means all 4 blocks are identical prints, and you decided which need a bolt, where, for limit switch triggering.
One of the biggest benefits of this design is the ability to square the print head by loosening a single bolt on each block to release the belt. This means no more fumbling with pulley set screws! The other benefit of this is that once the belt is released, there is almost no drag compared to loosening pulleys where you are still moving belts and spinning pulleys on the 8mm shafts. This gives you a MUCH more clear picture of how freely your print head moves. I actually discovered that my printed print head was holding the 6mm shafts slightly out of square, so forcing them square to the 8mm shafts actually induced bind! You can simply loosen the belt clamps on two opposing XY blocks, move the print head back and forth by hand and reclamp.
I have now added models for a few custom machine configurations. If you have a stock Ultimaker, you need:
(4) XY Block - 11mm bushing / 6mm rod
(4) Shaft Clamp 6mm
(4) Belt clamp (or the "tight" varient for more clamping power)
Otherwise, you probably know the size of your perimeter bushings and rods and can pick the appropriate files.
Materials and methods
-(8) M3x14mm [for 6mm clamp]
-(4) M3x10mm [for belt clamp]
-(4) M3x20mm [for bushing clamp]
-(4) M3x12mm [for limit switch tripping]
-(16) M3 Nuts
Issues are used to track todos, bugs or requests. To get started, you could create an issue.
Good morning! I am still testing, but so far, so good.
I was able to modify one block in Fusion, filled in the limit switch holes for stiffness, then thinned the back for clearance. This meant that the retained nut and part of the machine screw head that clamp the bushing sat proud of the surface, so once I had enough clamping pressure on the busing, I ran the back of the block along a fine metal file until everything was flush again.
I haven't tested this yet with the bed all the way down, I think the Z screw will come in a bit and I will probably know for sure then.
I would upload this mod, but a) I don't know how and b) I'm not yet confident that my solution works full travel.
I will look at your modified version as it may be better than my work around. Thanks for continuing to support this!
How did it go John?
I finally got my new design uploaded:
Thanks for your response! I'll file down the one I have and see how much material I need to remove, will see if I can post a comparison here.
The fastest fix would probably be to just file or dremel the interfering material away.
I actually have a new design for these, with a separate rear block, for even lighter weight and no clearance issues. I'm not sure when I'll post them though.
Just installing these on a UMO without the heated bed. Having the same interference issues on rear x axis, the block hits the lead screw and vertical rods. About 0.3mm from what I can see.
- Printed on:
- Ultimaker Original+
Nice work catohagen!
How did the sizes work out when sintered?
- Printed on:
- ultimaker original
- Wanted them strong so I printed them in Colorfabb XT but didnt get a clean surface finish, so I ended up ordering them from Shapeways :) Sintered in nylon so they are rigid and strong and all dimentions are perfect. Upgraded belts to GT2 from Robotdigg.
@Jeffrey Burdick: Check if your pulleys are not too close or too far from the back panel.
I just printed these and installed them on my UMO+ and found that the X axis block closes to the Z axis rods actually interferes slightly. It's not by much, but it will noticeably stick when moving past them.
I'm guessing since no one else has experienced this that I'm alone in this problem. Odd.
- Printed on:
- Ultimaker - Ultimaker Original
- Nice one
- Awesome job Lars!
Okay guys, I went ahead and posted the requested configurations. There are now 6mm and 8mm rod clamps, and 4 configurations of XY block for all combinations of 11mm/12mm bushing OD, and 6mm/8mm rods. Enjoy!
Love these:-) I'll print them this week for an Extended Ultimaker. There is already a request for 8mm crossrods. Are you planning to do so? Would the original files be obtainable? You'll get them back when changed. Otherwise I'll have to redraw your design:-)
I was thinking about making a different clamp for MXL belts, but just had a thought that if you scaled them a couple percent in Z alone, that would probably do the trick.
Are you running the original MXL belts? I designed these for the GT2 belts I am running (I would highly recommend them, great value upgrade) and they are possibly thicker.
I had initially designed the GT2 belt profile into the clamp for super strong lockup. But you lose the very fine adjustability that the flat clamp gives.
I like them very much. I will print new ones now the printer prints much better.
I noticed the belts didn't clamp well, so I put a peace of rubberband between. Works great.
- Printed on:
- Ultimaker Original+
Which size bushing 11mm or 12mm?
is it possbile for you to make it for cross rods with 8mm instead of 6 ? :)