OpenX Carriage

by Buback, published

OpenX Carriage by Buback Feb 10, 2011


This is a minimal Mendel X carriage with a large central opening. It is meant to be a drop in replacement for the standard Sells Mendel carriage. With a bit of work I'm sure it could work just fine on a Prusa Mendel.

Importantly, this design uses bearings, so you either need to salvage them from your current carriage or have 9 extras on hand.

This design has a number of key advantages: it is quick to print and assemble; it is light; ; it has a huge central opening to accommodate many hot end designs plus insulation and/or fan; No captive nuts; Easy access to extruder mounting points; it can 'clip' on and off of the x axis rails and belt.

Edit: I should mention that there are only the two compatible mounting holes, and that they are perpendicular to the regular x carriage. This is so you can mount a wades extruder sideways. There are other holes, as you can see in the renders, but they aren't in the same place as the regular carriage (at least i didn't design it to be, maybe i got lucky)

OpenSCAD versions:
thingiverse.com/thing:7772 - Carriage body
thingiverse.com/thing:17971 - Arm

Also check out the the Y carriage redesign: thingiverse.com/thing:6641

Recent Comments

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I found that the belt slips because there's too much play where the belt teeth meets the carriage clamp. I secured it with tie wrap (see my photo). I think it would hold better if the tip where it meets the belt is wider and it matches the gap between the belt teeth. Other than that, it works really well.

I thought this was a big problem until I used some washers to standoff the extruder from the OpenX. Might work for you.

The problem is that the Herringbone's gear dips slightly below its base and thus contacts the carriage, it's a bit of a flaw in that extruder's design now that I think about it. I've already designed a mounting plate as you suggest and I'll put it up here once I've printed it out and tested it, in the mean time a bit of 6mm MDF should do the job fine.

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OpenX Carriage by Buback is licensed under the GNU - LGPL license.

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Go here for instructions: reprap.org/wiki/OpenX

There are also some part variations on the bottom of the wiki page that some of you might be interested in.


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Noobman on Jul 18, 2011 said:

Very nice one. Just would love to see a better way to clamp the belt to it - like in the classical carriage.

brnrd on Sep 28, 2011 said:

I found that the belt slips because there's too much play where the belt teeth meets the carriage clamp. I secured it with tie wrap (see my photo). I think it would hold better if the tip where it meets the belt is wider and it matches the gap between the belt teeth. Other than that, it works really well.

Buback on Jul 18, 2011 said:

While i do like the fact that the original clamp held the belt to the carriage securely, it was hard to get the tension right. I also couldn't figure out a good way to print the clamp on the parts as i have them set up. All the hardware adds a not-insignificant amount of weight as well.

I took apart a lot of 2d printers, scavenging stepper motors, and noticed that most of the carriages in commercial printers use a similar "comb" style attachment, so i adapted that idea to this carriage.

I've found much easier to use. the carriage can be removed without affecting the belt tensio
n, and the zip ties (cable ties) allow you to fine tune the tension easily. When properly tensioned, the carriage is attached securely enough that i have never had slipping issues while printing. At the same time, if the carriage crashes, maybe from a misaligned opto flag or opto failure, the belt
can slip, preventing damage.
I haven't gotten any feedback about slipping, so i'm assuming it's working well for others.

There also is a version for the prusa that uses the clamp.


Myndale on Jul 18, 2011 said:

Fantastic design, clipped on my rails first go rock-solid and with no further adjustments needed. My only wish is that it supported the Herringbone extruder. I see that toomanyplugs has recreated this thing in OpenSCAD so I'm going to have a go at modifying it myself.

Buback on Jul 18, 2011 said:

hmm I see that the herringbone extruder is already set up to be parallel with the x axis when using the standard carriage. So it seems like it will work (as long as the mounting holes are in the same place) , but not ideally.

zapro on Jul 13, 2011 said:

I made one, and it works beautifully, had to adjust it a bit here and there, and now it sits rock solid on my rails. This is for my first RepRap build. I saw another member having built that carriage at the Hackerspace i'm at (Labitat.dk)

Buback, do you have any dimensional drawings for that mounting plate you have between the Wade's Extruder and your Carriage ? I can't seem to find any drawings of where i should put the holes or shape it - i am planning on CNC milling it out of a piece of MDF or Plexiglass.

Buback on Jul 13, 2011 said:


I don't have dimensions but can get them, roughly, after work. It was mainly made with just ten minutes of work with a marker, a drill and table saw. I traced the bottom of the extruder (a wades in this case) onto a piece of paper, then taped the paper to the mdf. it was a bit more complex than th
at, since i had to measure for the hot end support holes, but i was basically winging it.

I would improve it some if i made it today. I'll upload a new thing just for the mounting plate.

Buback on Apr 13, 2011 said:

toomanyplugs made an openSCAD version of the carriage. it's not parametric, but it's a great start.

it's thing # 7772

Anonymous on Feb 17, 2011 said:

Hey Buback, this is a great design. I am printing it now and it looks really good. One thing though. The bracket piece is a little higher than the arm and main piece on the all in one file. It needs to be lowered or something. Other wise, great work! I will take pics when I am done.

Buback on Feb 17, 2011 said:

Good catch! Thanks.

I uploaded updated all-in-one files just now, so that the bottoms of all the pieces are on the same plane.

I didn't post any video of how to clip the carriage on, so if it gives you any trouble i'll upload something to the wiki.