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Prusa i3 Wade Adapter

by thinkyhead, published

Prusa i3 Wade Adapter by thinkyhead Mar 7, 2013
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This set of parts combines with three M3 screws and 2 M4 x 60mm (minimum length 50mm) pan-head screws to provide a mount for a Wade adapter and hot-end. In this adaptation the hot-end is held in place by a front insert piece that presses against the hot-end.

This set now includes 3 different options for hot-end mounting. The "groove_mount" option is the standard straight groove, which defaults to 3mm long and 1.45mm deep. The "noscrew_mount" option provides a screwless groove-style mount for a hot-end with a V-shaped groove that usually mounts with two screws through the extruder body. The "screw_mount" option just provides a straight hole for hot ends that are secured to the extruder.

This set also includes the original "mini" x-carriage for reference, and a newer design x-carriage modified to have the same mounting as the inverted mini x-carriage. A two-piece hinged arm is also included which you can use to attach a 40mm fan or other accessory to the front of the carriage.

The SCAD files are included so you can modify these parts to fit your own hardware and preferences. See configuration.scad for tunable parameters.


To use these parts you'll first need a "single plate" Prusa i3 with the T-shaped x-carriage (the one from the "mini" parts set with 3xM3 mounting holes).

This set of parts was made specifically for a Franken-Prusa i3 assembled from available components. If you have the "box frame" Prusa i3 with the wide x-carriage then you already have a pretty decent Wade & Groovemount adapter. For the quintessential single plate i3 you may prefer a lighter geared motor direct-drive extruder (PG35L-048 or ) in the long run, or even a Bowden cable if you're so-inclined.

That said, a big Wade works fine on the vertical X-axis with everything tightened down well. Depending on the length of your long M4 screws this rig may have up to 15mm of extra bolt length in front which can make good mounts for a fan, smartphone camera, sidecar extruder, whatever.


  • Take 2 M4 x 50mm or 60mm pan-head screws and pass them through the BACK part so the heads fit into the depressions.

  • Slide the PLATFORM part onto the two M4 screws with the hot-end opening facing front. The narrow part of the hot-end groove should be at the top.

  • Slide your hot-end into the groove so the top sticks up a little bit (noscrew_mount) or a lot (screw_mount / groove_mount).

  • Slide the FRONT part onto the M4 bolts and add the 2 M4 nuts to keep the FRONT part on and hold the hot-end in place. Don't tighten the nuts completely yet.

  • Put the Wade-style extruder on the PLATFORM part, making sure the cold-end fits into the receptacle on the bottom of the extruder base. Tighten the extruder in place on the PLATFORM using the 2 M4 screws (usually M4x30mm socket-heads) and trapped M4 nuts you may already have for this purpose. As you tighten the Wade in place, also tighten the FRONT part to secure the hot-end in place by tightening the 2 M4 nuts.

  • Before you attach the BACK part make sure your T-shaped x-carriage is mounted with the two-bearing end on the bottom. Attach the BACK part to the x-carriage with 3 M3 screws and 3 lock-nuts. The screws should project front-wise otherwise they'll rub against the belt.

Mounting Arm

To use the fan mounting arm parts, first attach the M4-M3 arm to one of the M4 front bolts with an additional M4 nut and washer, then connect the M3-M3 arm to the M4-M3 arm with 1 M3 x 15mm screw, lock-nut, and 3 washers. Make sure the smooth side of the M3-M3 arm is facing up so the fan can move more freely. Mount one corner of a 40mm fan on the end of the arm with 1 M3 x 15mm screw for very nice PLA printing.

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Hello. i've printed it and it's quite nice, except it is imho not stiff enough - it sags a little bit and causes extruder head being not ideally perpendicular to the print surface. not a big problem with layers 0.2 and up, but becomes noticeable when layers are lower .
added shims and it'll stay for quite long anyway :)

In the future I might add some fins to the bottom to give it more flat area against the carriage. Meanwhile, the tighter the better...

Hi Thinky :) the parts printed perfectly, however, the X-carriage that came from the Prusa i3 official Github, has a different spacing for the bolts that connect the extruder to the carriage.

Can it be that you are using a different carriage?

All the extruders I've found till now all have different spacing and I'm going nuts.

Did you use the x-carriage from the "mini" folder? I also installed that upside-down, with two bearings on the bottom rod.

Hi thinky, I've been working on a cooling-fan-shield for your mount!

It is a work in progress, and can be found here:

Just got Rhino working, so this is all I could come up with after a few hours of fiddling with the software :)

J-head cooling shield for 30mm fan

Nice work! I'm using a different extruder at the moment (the one I called "compact extraptor") that uses pretty much all the same concepts as this adapter. But I haven't yet composed any complementary parts to improve cooling efficiency. I've been focusing on hinged fan mounts like the one included with the extraptor, because I like to point the fan downward for PLA and upward for ABS. But I have an idea for a piece, under 2mm thick, that would attach to the fan's two bottom holes and funnel the air into a narrower flow.

Ah yes, I'm also secretly working on a funnel that uses a 40mm fan to blow on the PLA, I have ordered a set of connectors and small switches so I can turn the fan that blows on the PLA on- and off and easily replace everything if needed.

The funnel will get air further away from the hotend so the air it gathers is a bit cooler.

The only way forward is forward, and I suppose at some point this thing will be dual extrusion, but there's a lot that can be done before then. When that time comes there's a fan extender I was looking at that adds two PWM-controllable 12V outputs, which can also be used for lighting. http://www.reprapdiscount.com/electronics/25-reprap-ramps-14-fan-extender.htmlhttp://www.reprapdiscount.com/...

master/single_plate/src/ is what I used..

Did I use the wrong items? I have been using the whole X-system in that branch. I'll check out the Mini files now.

If you're able to make something parametric, or just an additional 'module' for the SCAD file, I'll be happy to add it here for those Prusa i3's with the same x-carriage setup. The only special consideration I've tended to make in my series of extruder bits is that the hot end should be as high up as possible, while remaining stable, so as to have the most vertical space. (And yet not once have I printed anything even close to 200mm tall.)

Thats a good idea :) however, I am not yet able to create my own SCAD's very well. I have managed to edit most of the SCAD files I've come across because the learning by watching method works really well for me.

I'll first try to improve on the cooler file in Rhino for now since that is what I'm learning at the moment. In a later stage I will try openSCAD a bit more and look for some tutorials. I love how I can do non-destructive changes in a design (like move around a pipe without 'really' taking away material from a block).

One way I had thought to make the mount was to use slot holes instead of just round ones, to allow the carriage to move up and down. That would allow for a change to a shorter hot end without needing to print a new mount. The screw-through-the-back design definitely opens up that possibility for this Wade adapter. But I assume your x carriage has two mounting holes vertically aligned in the middle spaced (is it?) 30mm apart… the current standard, and so whatever you make will be useful, even if it's not a SCAD, I hope you will post it, actually as a derivative, to keep the attributions going.

Looking at your photo, did I install my X carriage upside down?

It's really a matter of preference. I installed mine in that manner because I had seen some installed that way and I preferred the single M3 hole to be at the top. This adapter will work either way, but the bump for the x endstop will be on the bottom-right, and the relative height of the nozzle will be slightly different. So for this adapter you'll get best results if the x-carriage is installed with the wide end at the bottom.