Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!

Mini printable lathe V2 + Chuck - OpenSCAD version.

by Daid, published

Mini printable lathe V2 + Chuck - OpenSCAD version. by Daid Oct 13, 2011


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I've converted the printable Lathe from Sublime into OpenSCAD files. There are some differences, but the parts should be compatible (Except for the gears, those use a different teeth style)

The size of the guide-rods/axles and screw holes are adjustable in Util.scad
Also some of the main dimensions can be adjusted in the Util.scad

Note that these parts are interexchangeable with the ones from Sublime, unless you change the parameters. If you build this machine from scratch you might want to use thicker guides and a larger guide distance, so the carriage has more stability.

"X_carriage" is flat on top, so you can print it flat on that side, fixes the overhang.
There might be some printing problems with overhang in the bearing_block.

Possible upgrades:
Add step motor mounts so you can make a CNC Lathe.
There is very little clearing between the X carriage and the Z front. Any flex or inaccuracies might cause problems.


Convert SCAD to STL.
Print everything once, except for:
Upright, which you'll need 3 times.
Bevel_gear, you'll need twice.
Hand_crank, you'll also need twice.
You'll need to print 4 mirrored parts, next to the normal ones: "Z_carriage_left", "Gear_lever", "Cam_lever_part_A" and "Cam_lever_part_B"

For the chuck, print 4x the planet gear. And 4 jaws.

Add 12x 608 bearings.
Add 8M rods for the axles.
Add 6M rods for the guides.
Drill holes larger where I made mistakes ;)
Add a bunch of nuts.

TODO: Add part list for the chuck.

Add a tool holder (see: www.thingiverse.com/thing:9242 for options)

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Can anyone explain the point of the planetary gears behind the chuck? I built the chuck just to see how it works but I don't understand why these gears are back there..

Are they not to close the jaws evenly?

Do you have a picture of the finished project?

I never finished it. When I started this project I was new to printing. And after printing a few parts I found out that the software for printing was not where I needed it to be. So I spawned the Cura project.

Nice! Wonder how much would the non printed parts for one run, and what you could get away with lathing with it, I don't have machine shop access any more, but usually just need to lathe rather small parts :)

Actually, I never got around to print all parts of this thing. When I made this my printer was pretty new to me and I had trouble getting the parts to come out right. Now I know I can print this fine, but I also gained access to 2 real lathes.

So how is the progress? :)

The bearings fit! I was waiting to print a few parts before I got that measurement correctly. I should have the X carriage done soon. I didn't print any of the gears yet.

I'm still missing the bolts for the chuck, so I cannot assemble it yet. (The person who was going to order the parts forgot it, and only did so this weekend)

I've started to print it (finally) I'm still waiting for a few parts to end up in the mail.

I've changed the guides to 12mm copper tubing, which is common used for gas lines and so easy to get and not that expensive. There also is little flex in them compared to M6 treaded rods.
12mm is the max you can get away with in the current design. Else the walls will get too thin.

I'm going to m
odify the X carriage a bit more so it contains screw holes to attach the tool holder.

How goes the printing?

Printing parts of the chuck right now. I had to modify the carriage parts a bit more for my 12mm rods (needs to be a lot wider), and getting those hole dimensions just right took a few tests. I also had to put printing on hold for a while because my cat kept climbing into my printer during prints. (solved now with a few cat shields around my printer)

I forgot to order bearings, so I'm doing that right now. I also need to look for a drive motor...

Daid - in reply to Daid

For anyone attempting to print this chuck version, watch out, the piston might be to large in the current version. My first print didn't fit inside the base. I've made it a bit smaller and now it fits.

Just so you know there was an issue with the four jaw chuck. It turns out I had put up some of the parts mirrored. Depending on when you got the files the Face is mirrored and maybe even the piston. I only fixed them today so you may want to make sure the curved slots are facing the right direction or it will be really hard to tighten.

Now I'm not sure if I modeled those parts right, but I already printed them (still waiting for my long enough bolts to arrive).

The angled slots should be angled in the different rotation if you compare them from the face and piston right?

Yes but the jaws should tighten when you turn the face clockwise and the body counter clockwise. My three jaw chuck was always correct. It was the four jaw one I had never printed and you used that was backwards.

Check the comments http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:9232http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... and try and match the files that are there now.


Now with chuck, and most of the issues Sublime mentioned fixed. There are also a bunch of parameters in Util.scad that you can tweak to your linking.

I know it's a work in progress but it would still be nice to have the stl's. I myself can't open a scad files.

A few notes:

The gear look great and I will definitely be using yours when it comes time to replace mine.

The nut location in the X-carriage does not have a taper for printing vertically. So it has a nasty overhang.

You removed the taper from the feet on the Z-carriage ends. This was there to m
ake the surface area that touched the table smaller to reduce friction.

The hex hole in the Z-carriage front you changed to a round hole looks to small to have a nut on the rod in that location.

You changed the flat top holes for the 608 bearings in the Bearing block to round. This will make it mu
ch harder to print.

The cone shape in the bottom of the center gear looks a little shallow.

You removed the taper on the top of the bearing holder of the Z-carriage front. This was REALLY important, without it the X-carriage will hit the bearing holder.

The holes in the Bearing block do not look
big enough to have a nut spinning in them.

For the SCAD files: http://www.openscad.org/http://www.openscad.org/ runs on Linux/MacOS and Windows. For Ubuntu it's even in the repositories.

Just open a file, press F6, and then from the menu select "export STL". (if you get a warning about OpenGL2, ignore it, it only effects the F5 render)

The gears are from the MCAD gears library, which makes these wonderful gears easy to make 8-) the Bevel_gear is also made with the same library.

I noticed the nasty overhang in the X-carriage, but I'm thinking about rotating it 90 deg so it sits on the top, removing the angled part from the top.
Solves all the overhang problems and makes it easy to print. (Also, my printer will print this overhang with just a few flaws, I printed a much worse overhang/bridge combination yesterday)
Right now I made the model for the "optimal" machine, because not everyone needs the overhang tweaks. I'll add
the overhang fixes at a later point, so you can enable/disable them.

The feet should still be tapered? Maybe a bit less then normal. In any case, if you make the carriage guides 10mm instead of 6mm you could just remove the feet I think.

For the Z-carriage front, do you think we could just cut off
the top of the bearing holder? Will it still be strong enough? That would make this part, and the X-carriage simpler in design.

And indeed, the holes next to the bearing are not large enough, I noticed that myself. Also, the holes in the carriage don't account for the tubing around the guides, so
these are to small.

The openSCAD from the repo's does not work AT ALL. The one I compiled my self 6months ago does work, but its sooooo slow and I really hate having to collect files from all over the web just to export an stl. If all the info is not in one file I don't want it. I also really like having a tactical feeling interface (I
’m an artist not a programmer) and having to go through a text document every time I want to make a change does not work for me. I would rather be able to click five items, press "G" to grab them, then "X" "Y" or "Z" for the direction then a number and it moves all of them at once. It feels like y
ou are actually working with a real object.

On to the model.

It had the taper to allow it to go under your work piece. And the tool was supposed to sit on the upper part. But the tool holder actually takes up the entire surface so the taper has no real benefit.

You can remove the V
from the bottom and have the nut fit in a slot. You could then have the threaded rod go through a hole instead of the V. I had the V because the original design had a quick release leaver in the Z carriage to release the nut from the lead screw and when it was in the up position it hit the bottom of
the X-carriage. Now that the lever is gone in favour of the fixed nut in the Z-carriage I see no reason to have the V.

The feet were an add-on to stabilize it and with the larger rod they would not be as needed, but more stability is always good.

The front is really stiff on my machi
ne and could most likely handle a little being removed from the top. But I would probably fill in the bottom a little more if doing so.

The holes for the bushings are not really needed if printed in PLA, but they are a must if printed in ABS. I have only ever printed in PLA, but recently I had the
chance to compare parts printed in PLA and ABS. To my surprise I found the ABS really soft compared to my PLA (makerbot ABS, Natureworks 4043D PLA) I now wonder if the entire machine will need some stiffening to work in ABS

I'm still working on this. Progress isn't as fast as I've hoped, but I'm getting there. I fixed most of the issues you mentioned (except for the clearing between the X carriage and the Z carriage front, which might or might not fit depending on the quality of your prints)

I've started to add settings all over the place, working towards making the main dimensions of the machine adjustable (carriage size, Z length, height) but I need to do some math to recalculate the gears then.

I've also added the Bevel gears to the assembly and now I'm not sure if they will fit O
:-) because I changed the design of those quite a bit (used the MCAD library)

It would be neat to have a world map with the approximate locations of where every part and ancestor etc came from for things like this

I havent seen it done before but I'm sure this could be done with version control (svn, git etc). OpenScad files are essentially code afterall.

I have been following this project with rapt attention!

Now, if only thingiverse had some way to notify me when you post updates!

Now that it is written in OpenScad, would be nice to have the thing on github. That would allow update notifications and tracking.

Good work. I'm sure it will start to evolve a lot faster now.