Vibration Damper for Prusa i3 mk2

by hofftari, published

Vibration Damper for Prusa i3 mk2 by hofftari Aug 6, 2016


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This is my take on lazzymonk's vibration dampers, dimensioned to fit under a Prusa i3.

There are two versions. One standard sized, and one "mini" version for those that have a small enclosure or otherwise not enough clearance for the standard sized ones.

When you've decided which version to use, you need two of the STL files for each damper, and then 4x of that setup.
For example, for the standard size you need to print 4x of Half_18.STL and 4x of Half_22.STL.

If the printer shakes, common sense tells you that it's bad. But that only means that the vibrational energy is absorbed by the dampers instead of the printer's frame and its connecting components, which should in theory improve the printer quality.

But if you feel like the shaking is too much, then you can add this line to your slicer's starting script:
"M204 S750"
where 750 is acceleration in mm/s^2. This can be changed to whatever you like. Lower number means a slower acceleration.

Print Settings

Printer Brand:



Prusa i3 Mk2


Make sure youre slicer is set to 0,40mm extrusion width, otherwise you will lose out on a lot of strength and stability.

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Based on an unscientific test with my phone's microphone, I found that PETG dampers are a couple of dB quieter than PLA dampers. The More You Know

Everything about this thing is already so unscientific, so go on ahead!

I have printed both the normal sized and one and the mini version. Both do make the Prusa a lot quieter...BUT!!!!

Only the mini version is stiff enough, not to cause the entire printer to shake violently. The normal sized one should NEVER be used and the entire vibrations are not dissipated but transported to the top of the machine causing everything to shake...NOT recommended.

Hint: Turn on a bit of acceleration in the gcode settings. Even without the dampers, the edgy movements of a gcode without any acceleration isn't good for your printer in the long run.

I finished building my MK2 today and was very sad to hear the noise on the Y axis. I was afraid I did something wrong.
After printing and using these dampers the noise is almost completely gone! The printer is now very quite on my not so stable wooden table!

Thank you!

Reducted noise by at least 80% for me. Simple design, and works perfectly.
Thank you!

These are not "dampers". Damping implies energy dissipation which these have minimal. All you're are doing is shifting the resonant frequency of the assembly by lowering the stiffness of the contact points, which may make some moves better and will just make other moves worse, in this case lower frequency moves since Resonant Frequency = (1/2pi)sqrt(stiffness/mass) . The best coarse of action is to anchor it to a rigid table and lower the acceleration limit.

You know, there is no need to get these if you think you have a better solution.

how are you supposed to put together the mini ones?

Read a bit below in the comments. I think some people have used screwdrivers and the likes to pry them open a bit.

These work beautifully.

Wow, dam near perfect. 100% speed and the loudest thing about by Prusa is now the fan.

These look great! Is there a suggested infill percentage?

Except for some small irrelevant areas you shouldn't get any infill if your extruder settings are correct. The whole "frame" should consist of four perimeter lines.

These are quite a nice engineering design (congrats!), but I've found that four 1/4"-thick pads of Sorbothane do more for reducing vibrations and the coupled noise than these do, though I'm only going by my ears and have no decibel readings to post. I do know that my printer doesn't "rock" on Sorbothane pads like it does (a bit) on the bouncy-feet-type of dampeners.

Probably the best way to eliminate vibration-transferred noise is to put your printer on a surface that does not, itself, vibrate or, at least, does not resonate with, and thus, amplify, the printer's vibrations. Though it's often not in our hands what type of surface is available, the denser and more sturdy it is, the less of a soundboard you'll have.

Sorbothane (often packaged and sold by IsolateIt! on Amazon) is not cheap, but I bought and sectioned a 6x6 inch pad and easily had enough for my 4 printers. If you've never seen it before, its very flexible, but very dense. It naturally grabs a clean, flat surface, but isn't sticky. It won't let your printer walk its way across the desk.

Hey! Maybe a combination (these feet sitting on sorbothane pads) would totally eliminate vibration transfer! Still would have the rocking, though it may be worth it for some.


Printed them and I can't believe how quiet the printer now is. Amazing. The printer wobbles heavily on quick movement but my print was OK. I think if additional "stand offs" would be added to the bottom of the metal frame, the wobbles would disappear.

They're a great noise reducer but for my personal taste the printer moves way too much with these.

I think the best thing to do is to move the spool off the top of the frame and use one of the separate spool-roller type things to have it sit behind the printer. I was planning to do that even before using these vibration dampers. With all the weight off the top of the printer it wobbles much less.

In any case, I have done some test prints of the same object with and without dampers and could not see a difference in quality even with the wobbling.

I saw a review where a guy said that those dampers make the printer wobble like hell. Does this destroy prints?

I used a piece of EVA foam under the printer with the legs and it keeps it dead locked from moving.

it wobbles when the printer does rapid small movements, for example during the infill in a small area. But I have yet to see the dampers affecting my printer quality even after almost half a year using them.

These things are amazing. The noise from the mechanism has almost completely been eliminated and the loudest thing now is the part cooling fan.

I have tried alternate feet including rubber and thicker felt and they just reduced the noise slightly. I also tried sitting the printer on a MDF board that was itself sitting on foam pads. That was effective at eliminating lower-frequency thumping noises from being coupled into the counter it was sitting on, but made bearing and stepper noise worse by acting as a sounding board.

These dampers are hugely effective for all the sources of noise. I am now happy that my neighbors can't even hear it, let alone be bothered by it.

How do these preform compared to rubber stoppers?

I myself haven't tried any other solution like rubber feet, but other people who have printed these said pretty much that they've thrown the rubber feet out of the window.

I linked to this thing on the Prusa forums, and another user did a test which shows a significant drop in sound levels compared to some feet printed in flexible filament: http://shop.prusa3d.com/forum/improvements-f14/re-post-shameless-plug-vibration-dampers--t2525.html

I printed the "mini" version of this. They are VERY difficult to assamble together due to their small size...

After printing I first thought it was impossible, this is how I was able to put them together:
Push the round end in from the side, then push the pliers from prusa along side as a wedge it to open it up some more (handles of the pliers on the desk) .
With some force it went in.

You were warned. I myself haven't been able to assemble them, but some people have managed somehow.

I had to use a screwdriver do bend the two parts from each other, to slide them together. It worked, but left some nasty marks in the parts..

What sorcery is this!?!? this seriously should be the first thing anyone prints. the noise went from loud to "is that thing on?"

Comments deleted.
Dec 17, 2016 - Modified Dec 17, 2016

Printed half in PLA and half in PETG; very silent indeed.

The normal sized front 18mm parts collide with the edge of the lcd supports. This creates an annoying buzzing previously absent. Didn't anyone notice that before?

Also, i wonder if the entire printer wobbling and bouncing against what's below is better or worse than the frame wobbling against the Y.

I suggest to use tick sorbothane pads.

Dec 18, 2016 - Modified Dec 18, 2016
hofftari - in reply to patrizio

Have you downloaded the updated STL files from about a week ago? I have remade them so it won't hit the LCD supports.

And I assume it's better that the entire printer is wobbling, because that means the energy is absorbed by these dampers rather than the frame absorbing it through the Y-mounting points

the files are dated 6/12/2016; check http://www.thingiverse.com/make:278248

Vibration Damper for Prusa i3 mk2

I guess it wasn't enough. I don't have this issue, nor do I think it should affect the sound dampening by it colliding with the LCD support, but I made the "loops" a tiny bit smaller now, which should leave a small space between the LCD mount and the damper.

Printed them in PET, works like a charm! Even better than the thick foam I had it resting on until now. Thank you!

Amazing, Thank You.

Amazing, Thank You.

Thanks, very useful! The fans are now louder than the moving parts of the printer! Do you have anything for the fans as well ;)

Jan 10, 2017 - Modified Jan 10, 2017
nicw - in reply to cottonsmiles

I installed that fan + adapter, and the first layer gives a ~3-5dB decrease, but only on the first layer. After that, the blower kicks in and you're back to original levels. The feet reduce sound across ALL movements.

Order I would go in for largest noticeable decrease*
1) These feet (~4-7db depending on table)
2) Replace y-axis bearings with either IGUS bearings or PLA bushings, and replace zipties with straps (~1-3dB)
Bushings: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1977173
Straps: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1819779
3) Replace Hotend fan with Noctua fan + adapter (~5-6db)
(as linked above) https://www.myminifactory.com/object/25828

On large movements, my printer went from ~74dB (large movements) to around 66db. On smaller movements, it hovers around 60 - 64dB. To illustrate, below is a video where I go from printing large y-axis movements at 200% speed (120mm/s), down to 100% speed. A shift of ~69 dB down to ~64dB, and sometimes below 60dB (below meter levels).

Video showing sound levels after PLA bushings and fan are installed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azn0XURY2D4
Video showing difference with fan only: https://youtu.be/9b_rDjLPOCA

XYZ Calibration now runs at 63dB, down from 68dB. Now, my largest noise is from the x-axis ziptie bearing setup. If I pinch the two rods together (lightly), the whining noise goes away.

  • I measured these with a sound meter approximately 1 foot away, your results may vary
Stringed bushing (LM8UU replacement)
Prusa i3 MK2 Y Chassis Bearing Straps

Heh, I wish. Those fans suddenly became so loud after I made these dampers. It's like they almost did so out of spite.

Comments deleted.

Hello, I have printed and installed these silencer and they are perfect. Thanks, but I wonder about the metal frame... It stays on the air and only thing that holds the frame is the bolts on the Y axis. Printer is shaking while printing and in time the bolts might be loose and the calibration might fail?

What do you think? Shall we design a suspension below the frame?

Theoretically, since it's now the dampers that absorb the vibrational energy, less energy will be absorbed by the bolts, which will cause less risk of them coming loose.

And while I have no knowledge to back up these advice, I wouldn't worry much about the frame getting twisted, as long as you have made sure that all nuts are fastened properly.

nuts are fastened properly but while the x axis zigzag in a thin wall, I am pretty sure that nuts will become loose in time. All the heavy stuff is fastened on that frame. I am going to make a support for the frame as an addition to your design. If anyone worries like me, they can print and use.

I recommend adding some standard acceleration G-code to the starting script in your slicer setup (I use "M204 S750"). That prevents the printer from shaking so hard during infill on thin walls. It will make your prints take a bit longer time though, but for the longevity of the printer I would recommend this. Not sure why this isn't setup as default in the slicer setups that mr. Prusa has published.

But go for it, I would love to see how your support design turns out!

hey great idea! thanks for the tip. I will share immediately when its done.

Hello Why is it 4 different stl files? What should i take for best result?

Nov 27, 2016 - Modified Nov 27, 2016
hofftari - in reply to Razzo

It's two versions. One standard size and one a bit smaller, per request. You need two of the STL files for a set. Check out the thing details for more info.

Came here to say along withe everyone else, these things are awesome. I had a theory that my printer kept getting louder because the felt pads were compressing, but couldn't find anything to remedy it. Now I don't have to worry about my neighbor banging on the walls when I leave it running overnight! These little guys are an absolute must.

I've had these in place for two weeks now. They fit well, and really, REALLY, reduce the noise from bearings, and whatever else causes my MK2 to 'moan' on long, fast Y-carriage moves. Well done!

Damn it, I can't hear my printer anymore :D Huge difference, huge (Seen to much of Trump on the TV the last months ;) ) Thank you for the job done!

Nov 14, 2016 - Modified Nov 14, 2016

This really rocks my socks!

I sometimes spin around in terror thinking my printer stopped working because I can't hear it squeeling and squeezing when I wear my headpones.

Good job!

Nov 3, 2016 - Modified Nov 3, 2016

I am simply amazed! I dont even hear my printer anymore. Just the breeze of the fans. Its just incredible! I will make some pics later and add it to the "made" section :)
So glad I found that! Its some awesome piece of work you did there!

For those who have been using these for a few months - are they beginning to sag, or do they hold their shape? What material did you use? I printed a set of the Prusa anti-vibration feet that attach to the threaded rods, and within six weeks those have sagged to the point that equal weight is on the original feet and the anti-vibration feet. I think I will print a set of these to see how they compare. I will probably print them in the high performance MakerGeeks Raptor PLA.

I've had mine on ever since I uploaded this design and they're all fine without any sagging!

Whats the recommended print resolution for these. Both the regular size and the minis?

0,2mm works fine, but I don't see any issues with any other resolution.


This may be a silly question - but should the Z Axis frame be supported when using these ? Having spent a LONG time getting it perpendicular id hate it to drop out of the Y frame

Oct 7, 2016 - Modified Oct 7, 2016
hofftari - in reply to GaspodeX

Haha, you too? I've been in contact with their chat support over the issue of getting the Z frame peripendicular when I upgraded my printer to the MK2. Took me forever to get it perfect (or as close as perfect as possible).

But no worries, as long as the nuts for the frame are tightened, there is no real issue. Also, the whole Z frame is already "floating" as it is.Or at least it should be if you've followed the manual.

Has anyone found that the vertical lip is obstructed by the nuts to either side of the leg? I found that I had to relieve about 1.5mm in the center around the nuts before it would seat properly.

I've designed this for using it with the felt stickers that was included in the Prusa i3 kit. It's not a great deal of work for me to make a version suited for direct contact with the feet though.

I made the mini version in ABS. No problems here. Work absolutely perfectly. Good on the designer.

Made with PLA. Was a little tricky to get the mini's together, but I was able to. Thanks!

Comments deleted.

Great idea, will try them out! What version ? 22 or 18 ? Difference ?

Aug 29, 2016 - Modified Aug 29, 2016
hofftari - in reply to Crunch3D

They're each a halve of one complete damper for one leg. 22 and 18 only refers to the dimensions of the printer legs in millimeters.

Hi Hofftari,

So it is the height i pressume ?
I have a pretty tight enclosure. Would it be possible to make them not to big in z direction ? I would like to have 1cm ones or do they not work then anymore ? But even if 1cm is too low every bit helps :-)

I did a quick change and uploaded a "mini" version of the damper for you which only adds 10,4 mm., but I'm not sure if the two halves can be joined because of the small size. Let me know if it works

i assembled the mini version by slightly squeezing the outer one with a vise, introducing the inner one on a side and then twisting to position. That worked for me.
Thanks so much for the design!
I am also trying one with the inner part printed in PLA and the outer one with TPU, i'll upload a picture soon

Does it makes a change on muting effect? I mean does mini version is louder?

Thank you a lot! I have also glue around so i should get it to stick :-) i will report back!

No problem man!

It's not about them sticking together (no glue needed!), but it might be hard to tread the one halve through the other. since they're so small.

No, 18 and 22 mm refer to the width and depth of the printer legs. It was just a reference to myself when I created the parts.
But the height is 18,4mm. I could try to make it a bit lower, but you risk losing out on damping performance.

So do i need both versions (18 and 22) i thought the plastic feet are the same size in all 4 feet ?

Aug 29, 2016 - Modified Aug 29, 2016
hofftari - in reply to Crunch3D

You need to print a total of four of the 18, and four of the 22 to get a complete set. You take one of the 18 and combine it with a 22. Do this four times and you'll have four dampers, one for each corner.

Check the original design of which I made this remix from. He has a couple of more pictures showing how you assemble it.

Which type of filament should I use to make these? PLA? Nylon?

I used PLA, and it's strong enough for it to hold. But go with Nylon if you want more strength.