jlguil's case-rap, portable 3d printer

by jlguil, published

jlguil's case-rap, portable 3d printer by jlguil Feb 16, 2015
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jlguil's case-rap, portable 3d printer by jlguil is licensed under the GNU - GPL license.

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look at case-rap 4.0


I can't understand howcome there is still people liking this printer... Because it is blue? The picture quality is better? I can tell you case-rap 4.0 is lightyear better than this one...

Smaller, lighter, easier to build, faster to swap from a position to the other.

Original case-rap:

I wanted a portable/foldable 8x8x8 reprap.

The main idea is that I didn't want it to fit in a suitecase, I wanted it to BE a suitecase!

I also needed it to be simple to build and not too expensive. It took me 12 h building and cost 350 CAD$

If you allready know about wood work, you'll find it easy to build!

This reprap is inspired from mendel 90 (because I was already working with this model) and from foldarap. I could have started from prusa i3. It would have been even smaller as the x rods are one over the other.

I will may be work on a case-rap "2.0" in the future that will be smaller and lighter.

(You're still reading this? look at: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:824763)

Hope you like it and if you build one, I Want pictures and comments please!

I recently designed hinges for the case-rap here is the link






jahck82 had improved the dxf file for the wood parts here is the link! Thanks!



Here is the list of material I used to build my case-raps. I live in Canada, so I tried to use stuff from here, I mean imperial screws, rods, wood, etc. But if you live in europe for exemple, you can use metric stuff and build the same printer! In this case, I suggest to print all my .stl parts, but mendel 90's, x motor bracket, x idler, and extruder.

printed parts,
5/8 mdf board or plywood. (here it is sold as 4x8 foot, way too much)
(It might be 1/2 in but you'll have to adjust the dimensions of you cuts.)
piano hinges, or anything you have.
5 metal latches
wood glue, hot glue gun
1 in 18 ga nail and gun, or anything else: wood screws, finish nails, etc)
5 stepper motors
electronic: I used ramps 1.4 with arduino and lcd+sd
electrical cables, To make it more "clean", I used 10 wires electrical cable
5/16 rods (buy 3 of 36 inches) but better if you can get real 8mm
10 lm8uuaj linear bearings that you can adjust to fit 5/16 rods.
or lm8uu if you have 8mm rods.
1/4-20 threaded rod (buy 1 of 36 inches, it's enough)
4 1/4-20 nuts
a set of belts and pulleys
1/2 or 5/8 wood screws
6-32 bolts nuts, and washers from 1 in to 3 inches
5 roller blades bearing (8mm in the center)
Hot end,
Heated bed
7 springs (for leveling, extruder, and z axis stabilisation)
3 micro switchs
12v 140W power supply (you'll need a less than 2 inches thick: a small one) a psu doesn't fit.

I did not prepare a detailled build instructions, but I droped on thingiverse my 3 .skp files. (It is for sketchup, if you don't have it, download "sketchup make", it is free.) There is the detailled mdf cut plan, and an other file where everything is "assembled", even printed parts. The orginal plan is for 5/8 mdf (16mm) and the new one is for 1/2 plywood (12mm)

First assemble all the wood piece with glue and nails. Make sure upper and lower parts fits together.

Then put them in working position and follow the mendel 90 build manual.

For printed parts, they are almost the same as mendel 90, but with several changes.
(1.They are designed to be able to adjust lm8uuAJ to fit 5/16 rods. 2. There is a left-right swap, because of ramps 1.4 sd card is on the left. 3. Some parts have been lightly modified to make it fit in the box. 4.General simplification: I removed all what was not essential)

I decided to class stl files into categories so you don't get lost trying to know where it is supposed to fit.

Here is the link for building instruction of original mendel 90:


For the wiring, I suggest the use of a multi-strand wire. It has to be flexible, and long enough to allow you going from transport to operation position.

before folding the printer, put the z axis to 165mm, and put the y carriage to the rear of the printer. Like this, the x carriage fits right between y rods.

Also, I recommend not to paint it because the paint sticks. Or put some oil where 2 parts are in contact.

And For the front panel, I recommend to put the hinges on the bottom side. So you don't have to hold it while position changes.

some people asked me for autocad files, I was able to generate a dxf file but I can't try it as I don't have autocad... But I uploaded it. Tell me how it works.

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For those waiting for case-rap 2.0, I've done my first print with my very first prototype yesterday...

I still have to do some redesign job to do: I installed inductive z probing, but the bracket holding the sensor is not solid enough, anyway I want it to be included in the X carriage/extruder main body, to reduce the number of printed parts to assemble; I also want the x carriage wire to pass an other place because it is undermines the proper way of folding the case; I want to set a way to tight x belt more easily; I have to design a printed hinge for the back panel; I also want to set a way to install a turbine for coolling the extrusion.

here is a video of it printing.


And if you want to take a closer look, my working files are still here:


I'm working on the case-rap 2.0...

And, my work is still not ready to be officially published, but it is good enough to give a good overview.

Here is my work in progress files...

You may want to look at the assembling instructions, and stl files.


Here is a video of the unfinished prototype.

I have still not received my electronics... But the rest is almost finished.

I have to rework the y idler and bar clamps and the back paner hinge.

here is how it looks like


For under 300 US dollars that's amazing! How did you manage to build it so cheap?

Apr 13, 2015 - Modified Apr 13, 2015
jlguil - in reply to Nightmare1944

First: No kit at all. All parts from different sellers



2nd: Use 5/16 local hardware rods for smooth rods. It makes 7,96mm, regular lm8uu are a little loose, so use lm8uuaj. They are "adjustable" you have to screw the nut and bolt "just enough"
8mm rods kits are over than 70$, local hardware rods are 6$

And finally the main body is made of plywood or mdf, With one 45$ board, you can make 4 printers

here is my approximative price chart ($ cad)
45$ : ramps 1.4
70$: stepper motors
20$: lm8uuaj
5$ : roller blades bearing
35$: hot end j head mk4
11$: heated bed 8"
0,50$ theristor for hb
5$ springs extruder, heated bed, and z axis
3$ micro switch
20$ power supply 2in or less
50$ local hard ware: plywood, rods, bolts nuts, screws, tie-raps,washers, glass, wiring,

total 264 cad $

I may forget some litle stuff, but it doesn't exeed 300$ cad

I've currently got a Da Vinci 1.0 modded w/ repiteer and I've been looking for something portable, I travel a bit. I might strip it down and use your plans or get some cheap parts. Thanks for the details! I'll post some pictures if I get it done!

If this is not an emergency, I suggest you to wait, because I'm working on 2nd version of case-rap that will be smaller, lighter and easyer to build.

And by the wa I'm making a detailled building instructions.

But the actual case-rap is a good plan if you can't wait!

Whats your time estimate for the second version? Also your idea is pretty amazing, and if I could be of any assistance just contact me. I don't mind testing, or helping design the printable parts. I might not know much but I am willing to learn!

Actually, stl files and hole printer desing is ready...

But it had not been tested.

The building manual is started, but not finished. (less than the half: it takes very long time to do!)

I use google drive on my personnal computer and when I work on it, my files automatically upload to the cloud, and I shared it. here is the link:


you'll see the stl files
assembling instructions (unfinished)
and some .skp files that you can open with sketchup (if you don't have it, you can download and use sketchup make witch is free)

Right now, one of my actual case-raps is printing its son, case-rap 2.0!!!
Today I went to the hardware to buy the plywood, I may start building the case tomorrow.

But I bought some stuff from china and it takes a very long time before I get it.

I also started a group on thingiverse, but it looks like the 7 people that went on it did not actively participate.


whats the diffrence between the elsel_1 and 2?

I grouped all parts into categories. X, Y, Z, Extruder and everything else.

But there was no room enough to put all what was left in one package. So else 1 and else 2.


but they look the same. its just a handle for the case and some wierd plate.

in else_2 there is the handle and a protection cover for ramps 1.4 (that is optionnal) If you don't want it, dowload the handle separatly from this thing:


where do i find a x carriage that i can use with my e3d v6 hotend?

Actually any mendel 90 x carriage would fit. So you can choose any of those from thingiverse.

But if you prefer to use my design wich allow you to fix the hot end directly on the x carriage, I've modified it specially for you.

I used e3dv6 specs found on internet and lightly changed the design.

It had never been tried so tell me if it works if you try it.


can i just use the standard mendel 90 modified wade's extruder?

Yes, probably... You'll just have to check out if the back panel closes well.

I've started a group about the case-rap 2.0

If you want to see pre-released files, comment, or suggest any idea, this will be the place for it.


How much does it weigh?

Mar 29, 2015 - Modified Mar 29, 2015
jlguil - in reply to 3dNoScope

The blue one was made of mdf and was kind of heavy I can't tell you because I sold it!

I've made the brown ones, that are made of 1/2 in 12mm plywood and they are less heavy with there weigh of 26lbs, 12kg.

But the next generation will be lighter for sure

the goal is 8kg's or less. cause of the hand luggage weight limit on planes.

Mar 30, 2015 - Modified Mar 30, 2015
3dNoScope - in reply to 3dNoScope

could i use thinner plywood perhaps or dibond?

You may try, but you won't be able to glue, nail and screw. You'll have to add brackets everywhere... And it also gets more fragile.

But If you think you can create your own version of case-rap go for it!!! I'd be honored to be copied. This is how open hardware works... There is an other thingiverse member that wanted to reduce the thickness of the pannel to 6mm, It is Matt:


And as you know, I'm working on case-rap 2.0... I think I'm going to share my unfihished work so that people interested in the project like you and matt. can let me know what they think about it? I should put my files on a cloud file like google drive and you'd be able to see how is my work going in real time... And maybe build the first ever case-rap 2.0, as I still didn't receive my stuff from ebay!

This morning I have to work on an other project, but I'll work on case-rap 2.0 this after noon. I'll keep you informed of advancements.

I'll try it. but i can't print assembled stl files - too big for my printer - cause my actual Printer's size is 150x150,
Will you kindly post each separated one ?
Thanks in advance....

Mar 29, 2015 - Modified Mar 29, 2015
jlguil - in reply to howol


i did some research. it appears most of the reprap community are more fond of the mendel 90 compared to both the prusa i2 and 3. so im going to build the original one. can i use these printed parts on a metric system based machine? and ill get printing :)

Yes, you can use my original case-rap .stl files for metric use. Exept for the extruder, wich you can find one easily on thingiverse.

I suggest not to use the original mendel 90 stl files to make a case-rap because of some "space" issues. For example, I stretched the z motor bracket and z bar clamps so that you can close the box with the back panel. With the original design, the x carriage and extruder would be it the pannel's transport position's place.

But actually I'm not sure if I understand your questions ok, but yes, I agree with what you read about the quality of the original mendel 90, it is better than both prusa i2 or i3. It is more solid, easier to build and needs less using readjustements. As I've tried both i2, i3 and mendel 90, my favorite is the mendel 90.

did you mean you were designing a new caserap based on the prusa i2 or did you mean that you would design it from scratch.

I'm designing it from nothing.

The design will be my own creation.

I call it "i2" for "iteration 2".

Is it confusing? Maybe I should name it case-rap 2.0?

i have started printing the parts. :)

that sounds simpler :)

Mar 23, 2015 - Modified Mar 23, 2015

when do you think the case-rap i2 will be finished? i want to build one. However i do use the metric system and wonder if i could just print mendel 90 parts and fit it inside a case.

And for the use of metric stuff, I suggest using my printed parts, regular lm8uu and regular 8mm rods will fits without a problem. Exept the extruder wich you can use the one of your choice from thingiverse.

It is because the original mendel 90 "could" be fitting, but I've done several changes to make sure everything fits inside the box so you'll have to check everything before assembling. Using my stl, the job is already done.

And for the case-rap i2, I've designed my own printed parts. The assembly will be much more simple and every thing have been tought to reduce the weight and size of the printer.

Actually, the design is almost done, I've printed the half of the printed parts and they look fine. I can send you .stl if you want. But it has never been tested yet. I'm also waiting for some stuff from ebay and I'll test it. probably in the next moth depending on the time I can found to work on it.

But right now I'm not home I can send you stuff tomorrow.

I just want to warn every body that liked my new 3d printer called "case-rap" that I'm now working on the case-rap "i2".

As I said earlier, for the original case-rap I just installed mendel 90 lightly modified printed parts inside a box.

But for case-rap i2, I'm redesigning everything to optimize the smallness, portability and weight.

This will be around 2 inches smaller for the thickness and 3 inches smaller for the wide side.

And I'm also working for it to be easier to build, and you'll need less plastic for printed parts.

Hope you'll like as well.

And did anybody build an original case-rap somewhere? Put some pictures please!

Nice, now it´s possible to put it away when I don´t need it. I going to build one. But my are going to be litle diffrent.

I hope you will.

I want to see photos! and don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions!

Good idea!
Maybe I also make this!
Thanks for sharing.............

N.B. Si votre langue maternelle est le fran

I wish you will!! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask! Don't forget to take pictures of your finished printer!

I had a comment on my face book that says, (free translation) "It's cool, but you must do something with that f###ing pannel you have to hold" I must admit it is true. I'll have to fix that! Let's think about it.

Mar 5, 2015 - Modified Mar 18, 2015
jlguil - in reply to jlguil

It is ok, I just swaped the panel to the bottom side and it is way easyer. Look at the 2nd video

would you be kind to export SKP wood parts to DXF?
Thank you, Great work!!!

Comments deleted.

Your files are ready, how do i send them to you? what is your e-mail adress?