Simple Belt Tensioner for Printrbot Jr -- GT2 belts

by selmo, published

Simple Belt Tensioner for Printrbot Jr -- GT2 belts by selmo Apr 11, 2013
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This is a simple belt tensioner made by 3d0g.

I've made the following changes:

Reworked slot and teeth to fit GT2 2mm pitch belt.
Added a third screw to clamp tighter around on belt.
Thickened sides a bit around nut.
Rounded the edges to the slot to make it easier to insert belt

When tightening, I found it kept wanting to pivot and not pull away from the printer body. I addressed that by adding nuts to the end of the screws for a more stable "foot" and pulling the loose cable end up and over, fastening it to the printer with a cable tie.

This pivoting inspired me to design this: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:82388

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I believe I used 4-40 screws and nuts on mine -- tolerance on captured nuts is always a little tricky and different for each machine and slicer setting.

I printed some and tried using m3 hex nuts but they don't seem to fit well. Can you specify what screw nut size would work?

I usually print at 0.2mm layer height with a 0.35mm nozzle. More important for the belt teeth is extrusion width, which defines how detailed objects can be in the XY plane. I don't know if Slic3r allows you to modify the extrusion width (I use KISSlicer).

Also make sure your printer is calibrated for accurate scale, including plastic shrinkage as it cools.

The slot is meant to be a tight fit, so it does take some tugging and wiggling to squeeze it into the slot.

If you still can't get it to work, try printing it a little bit oversized so the belt fits loosely, and let the third screw tighten the sides around the belt.

I have problems getting the teeth to print/slice nicely so the GT2 belt will actually fit. I tried both with 0.4mm layer height, and 0.2mm layer height, using Repetier + Slic3r.
What layer height, and other settings do you use?

Nice improvements!