My labor of Love/Hate

  • Started this from scratch 3 months ago and I will not get to put the finishing touches on it for a few days, so I thought I would post a teaser or 3 for now. Hopefully a full rundown of the machine, some video and a nice print to show within a week. The Duet board has been a pleasure to learn and begin to use!

    Much cleanup left here.

    The Back

    The Front

  • Cool! Looking forward to more details and specs:)

    Are you using a 3 or 4 point leveling system? I ask because my custom printer has a similar 2020 (?) bed frame I experimented with a single beam in the center (T shape) to support the front center of the bed and also the way you have it with two beams on each side. (U shape)
    It looked like to me that having a single beam in the center would allow less flex for the bed. (in the roll direction if you will) My thinking was if one side flexed up 1 mm and the other 1mm down it would be a 2mm difference, but with the T shape the flex in theory would only be that 1mm (for a example) but i guess you would have more weight on one beam. Perhaps I'm just overthinking it:)

  • Thank you for the reply! It's 3- point and drilled for 4 if for some reason this does not workout I'll have something else to try. I have no idea how this will play, I just got the bed on this eve. so only time will tell. I did not adhere many 'norms' in this adventure, I just built what was in my head and felt right to me.

    Print bed arms

  • administrators

    Interesting idea using a belt and two Z motors - presumably to keep them in sync even when powered down?

    Have you tried with just using one?

  • Yes on the belt, to avoid sync. issues.

    Hit a snag. Got most everything squared away and had a couple pretty good looking test prints on a 200 x 200 build plate I had clamped to the bed but when I started the first and rather large in area print on the 430 x 330 piece of PEI things started looking wonky right off the bat. Dang it, the aluminum bed has a slight wave on its right side. Not sure what I'm gonna do next but I do have a couple friends in the machine shop field, I may try and get one of them to do some mill work.
    I do want to give credit for the air inlet grill to rue_mohr (, the PanelDue case to agniusm ( and inspiration for the belt tensioners to Motorpixiegimbals (
    More to come if more happens.

  • Moderator

    If you have a Z-probe you could do mesh bed compensation to correct for the bend.

  • As a stop gap for the wave, a short thin strip of kapton tape in the right locations will work as a stable shim. My cast aluminum tool plate bed has a slight cup centered in one axis that starts about a 1/4 the way from the other axis. I believe the shop I ordered the plate from used a shear to cut the plate and deformed it a bit.

    I used the mesh compensation and heat map to understand the bed warp and shimmed as needed.

    My PEI surface is still heated evenly despite the small gap from shimming.

  • Great suggestions! I don't have a Z-probe but there is some kapton tape sitting about.
    The gantry was a tad out of square too so that is all back out. Hopefully with my new laser measuring thing I can pull that all into a tighter tolerance.

  • With most of the hardware kinks worked out, it's time to fine tune the printing. I figuered I'd start out with something kinda fun before doing all the XYZ blocks, Benchys, circles, towers and squares. So in appreciation of a really neat controller board:
    The video is 3X actual speed.

  • administrators

    Looks good!

  • administrators

    @coffee nice 😄

  • Thanks Guys !!!!!

  • Moderator

    @coffee STL? 👍

  • @phaedrux "The Powered by" one? I had actually deleted all the files for the original but per your request I created another. It is not exactly as the first I'm sure, but should be close enough for the eyeball.
    Here is the direct dl link form Dropbox:

    If for some reason the dl or the stl does not work, let me know.


  • Moderator

    @coffee Perfect, thanks!

  • @phaedrux Excellent!

  • Been doing the 'dialing in' thing and decided on the NASA wrench as the first print to test accuracy. It's looking pretty good so far! I'll get better images once completed and maybe y'all can help me with what things look like they could use more adjusting.


  • This was at 30% infill with 2mm solid top and bottom. Looks decent but much room for imporvement. Any advice on getting things better much appreciated!

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  • Moderator

    PLA or ABS? That layer seperation in the 3rd picture is a little concerning. Otherwise looks ok. Kind of hard to make out fine detail in the pictures.

  • It's ABS. I can't seem to get a handle on the nozzle temp and extrusion. On the Creatbot with the same filament I get really smooth layers and shiny surfaces but with the same temps etc on this one, at the same time, it seems to be under and over extruding and under over nozzle temp. I'll figure it out evetually. It on ly took me $300 in better parts and several months to get the Creatbot up to par and it was supposed to be a professional solution right out of the box. I am actually very satisfied that it prints at all and I have found new and total respect for anyone that does a build from scratch or a kit as this, in theory, should be fairly straightforward and fairly easy done, IT IS NOT! ☺

  • Moderator

    The obvious question would be have you done a PID tune of the heaters yet. Do you see any noticeable swings in temps? Even though the temp is set the same the actual temp at the nozzle could vary significantly due to different drafts or positioning of the cooling fans.

    There is very little straight forward about DIY 3D printing. That's what I love about it.

  • I have not done a PID test, tho' now I know that is something else to go on my list of things to do and I did not notice any temp swings. I have, however, found the root of most of the problem: loose as a goose Y belt. Not sure how it loosened up, but the sucker is tighty tight now!

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