Wade's Geared Nema 17 Extruder

by Wade, published

Wade's Geared Nema 17 Extruder by Wade Feb 10, 2010

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A printed spur gear driven extruder for Mendel or Darwin.


Construction and testing details on the RepRap wiki here:

This is a new extruder design based on Adrian\'s geared nema 14 extruder, with some ideas from Nophead\'s extruders. During testing it produced over 16 kg of pulling force on the filament. Hot end development is still ongoing, but it should plug and play with any existing 16 mm thermal breaks.

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Wade's Geared Nema 17 Extruder by Wade is licensed under the GNU - GPL license.

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Which hobbed bolt does this use?

Besides these parts printed, what else do i need inorder to have a working extruder?

You should probably look at the greg's v2. (late I know)...

Aug 5, 2014 - Modified Aug 5, 2014

What bearing size do i need?
And does thin work with flex filament?
And is This for 3mm filament?


is the filament hole for 3mm or 1.75?

I really would like to do it.But I don`t know the length.May I ask how long is the hobbed bolt,plz?

Printed at FABLAB Manchester UK
gt; http://www.fablabmanchester.org/http://www.fablabmanchester.or...

Dimension 1200 Print options for Wades extruder body
gt; using http://www.dimensionprinting.com/3d-printers/3d-printing-1200es.aspxhttp://www.dimensionprinting.c...

Print Options
Low density 30.45^3 cm
High density 39.00^3 cm
Solid 44.37^3 cm

Support material Options
Basic 11.37^3 cm
Sparse 11.66^3 cm
Smart 10.23^3 cm

I Opted for the lowest density with sparse support material as you pay £0.33 per cubic cm for both materials plus VAT so the
extruder body and Clamp was £18.05 inc VAT

Wade - in reply to Guest

Looks great! Not cheap, but it is pretty. I'll have to look up the material costs on the reprap; I think it's on the order of a dollar or two.

I'm building my first 3d printer and bought nema14's by mistake. Will this accept nema14's or do I need to modify it?


Wade - in reply to mark

Nema 14's won't fit this design, and they probably won't have nearly enough torque even if they did fit - the steppers I use have 5 kg*cm of torque, although they are probably overkill.

larsie - in reply to Wade

Is there a Nema 14 geared design for an extruder? It's a lot lighter, right? Would be a good option if possible. Would using 1.75 filament work better? I'm using your design with a 17 Nema, and it works really great. Thanks for such a good part.

It looks like the main block is pushing the limits of a makerbot build platform.

I'd LOVE to have this extruder, both because that it's a stepper extruder and can pull filament that strongly, but I either need to break the main block into two or find a RepRap operator near me.

Spin it 45 deg around the Z axis, it'll print on a makerbot. Someone already uploaded a version like that to Thingiverse.

I created a OpenSCAD version of the gears (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4305)http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... it is a derivative of a script by GregFrost and Thingiverse doesn't let you make something a derivative of more than one thing... so this will have to do as indication of my derivative. :)

Wade's Extruder Gears using Parametric Involute Bevel and Spur Gears

Does anyone know what the printed volume of all 4 parts ends up being? I have access to a dimension elite at school and have to pay by the cubic inch. Meanwhile my plastruder mk4 spews more plastic out the side than the tip...

From the skeinforge output of my last build:

M8 Extruder Block 3 - 30.4 cc

M8 Extruder Idler Block 2 - 3.7 cc

39 tooth gear - 10.1 cc

11 tooth gear - 1.3 cc

Those are calculated extruded volumes with my particular skeinforge settings, but I build them fairly dense. Solid densities will be at least twice as much or so, but you should be able to figure that out from the STL's.

Has anyone had any issues using the MakerBot Nema 17's?

Can the second question - found the build article - sorry

2 questions:

Why resort to a machined bolt with much reduced surface area contacting the ABS (or alt material) as opposed to a larger dia design, ie. MK5 drive gear?

If the bolt is used as described, what is the source - readily available?

Absolutely thrilled with my BOT but always open to improvements! Particularly interested in ABS feed reliability.

Wade - in reply to vnulk

I couldn't get the MK5 drive gear easily in Canada, plus the smaller diameter (6.3 mm in my case) increases the filament drive force and resolution. And, with PLA at least, I get more than enough grip on the filament. 16 kg of pull works out to about 3600 PSI - that's at lot of pressure; I think the hot end will fail before you get that high.

These have turned out to be fairly reliable - neither of my two extruders have failed yet, and I hear Nophead had printed something like 18 + Mendels with his before it gave out. He did have a special hot end though, that put extra load on the mounting tabs, which eventually failed.

Things I'd l
ike to improve would include an easier mounting system (bolt under the stepper is hard to turn), and maybe a higher gear ratio like Adrian's version. Turning it sideways should allow a bigger gear and more Z travel.

YES, Yes and Yes!

An easier mounting system would definitely be super enhancement!

Couldn't you just have two larger holes where the bolt heads could fit through then it would simply be a matter of loosen bolts, slide and then lift off!

vnulk - in reply to Wade

Thanks for the reply. I upgraded to the MK5 and now find that I can lay down a 3 x 3 raft and get about 30 secs into a build and the extrusion stops - tearing down the extruder tonight to examine for blockage. Thanks again. I like your design but perhaps would consider reconfiguring the motor mount to hide one bolt behind the gear enough to access bolt head thru a hole in the gear. If I can get printing again, I would look forward to a build of your design - good job!

A single sheet with this extruder and nopheads modification to be printed in one go.

wade NEMA17 -sheet

Hello :-) -- I started printing but I have 2 requests/ideas:

1st - design in a way that PTFE barrel can be fixed using screws and not glued, just like this: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1935http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

2nd - design the gear 11t17p to use a M3 screw and nut, just like this: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2079http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

Mendel Extruder w/Compression & No Epoxy
by vik
Mendel Pulleys
by nophead

Request #1 is already there - use two m3 bolts through the 3 mm holes in the PTFE mount to pin the PTFE, like this:

2 would be nice; feel free to add it. ;) I think Nophead has something similar in the works. Melting the gears on works great for me.

Ok, thanks! :-)

Kysan Stepper Model# 2BYGH4803

The holes and captive nuts in extruder block seem to be M4, but the holes in the idler block M3?

I just re-measured the STL file with Meshlab, and the idler block holes come out at 4 mm diameter for me. The old Darwin I use to make these has slowish Gcode processing, and always makes the holes a bit undersized, so I habitually drill them out before use anyway, but slightly larger holes wouldn't hurt.

Thanks Wade!

This extruder rocks!

Awesome. I was thinking about the same setup. You saved me a ton of work!


Ok, the M8_extruder_Block part is wrong. There supposed to be a hole where the big gear (with the M8 bolt) should go through.
See this picture:

For now, the hole which are nearer to the gear is a blind-hole.

Wade: why are you not creating this design in openscad?;-)
Maybe others could help to you.

I dont see also, what should I put between the two part (extruder block and extruder idler block).

Some kind of bolt and a bearing?
Could somebody enlighten me?

Wade - in reply to laszlo

Laszlo, the blind hole is intentional, you just drill it out before assembly. I added in a 1 mm membrane across that hole to allow Skeinforge's bridging code to take care of the overhanging shoulder on the lower bearing mount. Without it, the overhang will sag when printed on a Reprap, but with it, the overhang prints fine.

The idler block gets another skate bearing mounted on a piece of M8 rod. I should add that to the wiki, but you can see it in the photo if you look closely.

Also, OpenScad is great, but I'm not a programmer - I come from an engineering background. Cad tools like Alibre are much faster and easie
r to work with for me, as I spent too many years learning that approach to design. And there's a free version available as well. If you want, I can output a step or iges file that may import better into different packages.

realy glad you posted this here too. i did finaly find it on the reprap site but it took me a bit.
Been needing this for my bowden extruder expiriments. i realy hope that it has what i need to get that off the ground :)