Shapeoko Idler

by thatch, published

Shapeoko Idler by thatch Jan 15, 2013

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An idler pulley that goes on ball bearings, roughly compatible with the ones that come with Shapeoko.


I wanted to go with a dual-drive on the Y axis, but that required sourcing a second set of idlers (and inventables is out of stock). Luckily, the part isn't that tough to model from scratch. Sized for 16mm OD bearings (size 625) on a 5mm shaft.

You need:
2x 625ZZ bearings
1x M5 bolt (length depending on application)
1x shim washer


  1. Print, making sure the thin portion gets 2 shells
  2. Build your bearing-washer-bearing sandwich
  3. Insert sandwich into idler part. It should be snug, but not enough to require a hammer.

If you have to deform the print to insert the bearing, increase clearance parameter and try again. I've tried with -ZZ and -RS bearings, and both of them need a little bit of loading before they turn instead of the bearing turning on the bolt. If your bolts are undersized, a layer of masking tape may help.

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BSD License
Shapeoko Idler by thatch is licensed under the BSD License license.

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Just made a pair of these and will upload a photo if I can. These are the best pulleys on thingiverse. I have a 16mm reamer that I was able to use to clear out the pulley after I printed it without enough clearance. The outside diameter of the narrow section of my printed pulley is 16.8mm. Great! I wanted something as thin as possible and it doesn't get much better than this. Now my belts are as parallel as possible/