Z braces for Wanhao Duplicator i3, Cocoon Create, Maker Select, and Malyan M150 i3 3D printers.

by AzzA, published

Z braces for Wanhao Duplicator i3, Cocoon Create, Maker Select, and Malyan M150 i3 3D printers. by AzzA Jul 12, 2015
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This kit will add rigidity to your printer, giving you better prints more often.

Does it work and is it worth doing?
Just see maker zsonybrasco's before & after shots:

Here is a good, and short, article on 3D printer rigidity:

To compliment this mod, have a look at my Z Extensions:
(For an additional 37mm of Z clearance)

This design was powered by beer... just like lots of hobbies... so if you like this design and you'd like to buy me one... or two...
A huge THANKS and CHEERS to those who've already shouted.

This design uses two 8mm or 5/16" threaded rods. The rods lock at the bottom and have adjustment at the top. These rods brace the Z axis towers, to the front of the Y axis, keeping them vertical and square to the build plate.

There are also two braces for the Y-axis, front and rear. These enable the Y belt to be tensioned correctly by stopping the Y motor torque from pulling the frame ends together.

No need to drill any new holes in the printer, but you do need to replace some short 3mm screws for longer ones (10mm). The short screws are reused for the Y braces.

See "Instructions" below for further detail.

Our friends over at "3D Printer Wiki" have also put together a build guide for this mod:
If you get a redirect: try going to http://3dprinterwiki.info/ and clicking through to the required page... and do check out all the other great tips they have for the i3.


Let us know what you think.

Any feedback is welcome, within reason ;-)

EDIT: the instructions got mashed in a recent website change, sorry for this, I'm working at getting things ordered for the new format. It might take some time though. Please take the time to investigate the new layout and check the images (there's 81 of them!). Cruise the comments section for anything still lost to you... as a last resort, feel free to ask. Thank goodness the the Internet Archive.org is all I can say!

Print Settings

Printer Brand:



Wanhao Duplicator i3 V2






0.2mm or 0.15mm (much slower)


50% (hexagonal, if able, better but slower)


1mm to 1.2mm walls or 3 shells.

All files have been inspected in Simplify3D. All files should now be manifold and compliant to your slicer. Tested in Cura & S3D.

PLA or ABS, or your choice of plastic.
They're rock solid in PLA!
Sufficiently over-engineered, shall we say.
I do not recommend ABS (not for any hobby grade 3D printer) but it will work if it doesn't warp too much.

PLA gives a very strong print and works best on the Di3.
Avoid transparent/glassy colours; they tend to be brittle.
Solid coloured PLA filaments usually make better mechanical/structural parts.

No supports required.

No rafts required.


Parts required to buy:
2 x 400-410mm lengths of 8mm or 5/16" threaded rod,
4 x 8mm or 5/16" nuts,
2 x 8mm or 5/16" Nylocs (lock nuts or locked nuts, or glue may be used)
20 x M3 x 10mm (or longer **** if you cannot find 10mm)
4x Rubber feet (whatever you've got that fit, self adhesive or glue-on)
1x 4.8mm wide cable tie or zip-tie (or similar size)
1x M5 x 20mm machine head screw (only if your front Y belt idler has a domed head)
If you wish to make the Y belt idler even more rigid, use a M5 x 30mm and an extra Nyloc nut and a washer or two. (See pictures and search comments for "M5" for more detail.)

**** If you use M3 bolts longer than 10mm, check your clearances; some machines might have issues on the top mounts when the X beam goes near to full height. Be warned!

Obvious for some but there can be a few hurdles.

Your printer may be bent or off-square and you do not realise it.

Before putting any strain on the rods, release the tension on the four screws that secure the Z-towers to the Y-axis. Failure to do this may result in distortion of your printer!

If there is not enough range of movement, to make the Z-Y axis square, remove each of the rear Z-tower to Y-axis screws. (One screw per tower is enough with this mod.)

Before fitting:
Raise the nozzle about 25mm or 1" off the print bed; to avoid the nozzle bottoming out. (Some people have reported this occurring due the Z tower pivoting when being squared.) You may need to adjust/move your Z limit switch to compensate in more extreme cases.

If you are having trouble inserting the rod:
Move the printer so that the front feet are over the edge of your table/bench. That way the rod can be dropped lower than the level of the table, and easily lifted up through the hole in the top bracket.
If you find your rod does not align to both holes, in the foot to the top bracket, your printer is bent! (Mine was too, "hello sailor", welcome to the club.)

If your printer is bent:
There are two large hex-headed machine screws holding each Z-tower in place. Release the tension on both screws until you have enough movement in the Z-axis to insert the rods. If there is not enough movement with both loose screws, then you need to remove one screw from each tower (I removed the rear most screw, but it doesn't matter which just do the same on both towers). YOUR Z TOWER CAN NOW FALL OVER... DO NOT DROP IT!

The front Y brace uses a 4.8mm wide cable tie to tension the belt idler bolt. (You may recycle the 3mm by 5mm screws, left over from the Z brace mod, as these will fit the front & rear Y braces).
(The latest printers from the factory have domed nuts on the front Y idler, so there's nowhere for the zip-tie to grip. You can either replace the screw with a M5 x 20, of just not use a zip-tie. The brace should hold on OK without the zip-tie if you re-use the short M3 screws.)

With the printer now supported at all four corners there is none of the rocking that most early owners were reporting.

There is no need for more than 4 feet; the printer will be very stable and easier to level with only four. If you feel the need for more feet, please feel free to morph into a centipede or just visit the Remix section of this page.

Gluing rubber pads under the feet assists greatly in isolating noise from the printer being amplified by your desktop/table. Self adhesive rubber feet are available at hardware stores and supermarkets. These will make your printer much quieter!

Further reading, should you wish...

Use brims if you're printing the "BottomxxxxxForOneNut.stl" parts; as the small "nut plug" does not have a lot of surface area on the print bed. (5 brims worked OK for me.)

Bases/feet print as they would stand/mount when finished, and might require a little support but only touching the build plate... they probably don't really need that.

Back legs print flat, no support needed.

Choose "balls" or "balls mk2", your choice, smooth or grippy.
Just print the balls as they appear in the preview, with support disabled, and near enough to full infill.

The round plug, in the middle of the ball, is for support and it will pull out cleanly with needle nose pliers; so you do not need to enable support in your slicer for the balls.


Printed parts:

all versions-
2x Balls.stl or 2x ballsMk2.stl (your choice)
There's two choices of front feet:
( 1.)
-if using two nuts on each front foot (this requires two more 8mm or 5/16" nuts)
(also found on "Plate2.stl")
1x Balls.stl or 1x ballsMk2.stl (your choice)
( 2.)

for one Nyloc nut and a glued plug on each foot-
(also found on "Plate1.stl")
There's two choices of back feet:
( 1.) (also found on "Platex.stl" files)
BackFootxxxx.2.2.stl very sturdy and have big bases for bugger rubber pads, and
Foot_Rear_xxxxx.stl which are quicker to print but don't have much bottom are to stick rubber pads onto.

There are two files for the Back Y Braces:
"Back_Y_Brace.4.stl" is for most people and "Back_Y_Brace.5.stl" is for people contemplating the use of a cable chain on the Y-axis (it has the fairly obvious extra bit/horn with all the holes). Cable chain should be 7mm x 7mm ID, which is the same generic chain used elsewhere on the Di3. You can buy it on eBay etc. (Like the Front Y-axis brace, this new brace also uses the short M3 screws left over from the other parts.)

I've printed the one for the chain, which is directly based on the other, and it works well.
Far more rigidity on the back frame plate now; I have a resilient motor mount fitted and it flexes before anything else does. Without bracing there was flexing at the point where the cables go through the back frame.

All the above choices work equally well, it's a matter of aesthetics and personal choice.

How I Designed This


My first Di3 was one of the first batch shipped and it suffered a mild flogging as a result of the first generation of packaging not being of the best design. I now also have a V2.1 at home and another V2.1 at work, they all have this mod done (amongst other mods).

Try as I might, I was not able to adjust the Z axis to be square; there simply was not enough adjustment available from the OEM fasteners . An otherwise great printer was less than perfect. Design time...

The design files may be edited with the free 3D design software from RS, DesignSpark Mechanical. You can get it from Radio Spares website "rs-components dot com", just look for the "DesignSpark" link on your local distributors front page. http://www.rs-online.com/designspark/electronics/eng/page/mechanical

Recommended printed parts list:

You may assemble this mod using any combination of the parts, as you see fit, this is the version used on my 3 Di3's and is what's shown in the pictures above.

1x ‘TopRight.stl’
1x ‘TopLeft.stl’
2x Balls.stl
2x ballsMk2.stl
1x BottomRightForOneNut.stl
1x BottomLeftForOneNut.stl
1x BackFootRight.2.2.stl
1x BackFootLeft.2.2.stl
1x Back_Y_Brace.5.stl
1x Front_Y_Brace.3.stl
(You may use other variations, this is just my recommendation.)
Got a Malyan M150 i3 3D printer? Use these http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1509637
Got a WanHao Di3 Plus? Use these http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1653631

Spare NutPlug files have been uploaded, just in case someone needs them; being small parts these can sometimes come loose from the printbed. If yours print OK, then ignore these files.

Nuts: how many and what for?

M8 or 5/16" nuts...

As few as 6 nuts, or as many as 8, depending on which front foot design you choose.

 The recommended version uses 2 Nylocs and 4 normal nuts.
 The variant uses 2 Nylocs and 4 normal nuts.

Ideally at least 1 nut on each rod should be a Nyloc.
I suggest one Nyloc nut inside each front foot.

If you don't have at least one Nyloc, then Loctite or glue the bottom most nut into the front foot; because you need something to stop the threaded rod from turning, or ever vibrating loose.

Don't use Nyloc nuts in the nut balls.
Unless you have very clean, high quality, threaded rods: I suggest using 4 normal nuts on the top brackets. It will be much easier to adjust when squaring the printer. The friction of plastic-on-plastic will hold the nuts & balls in place nice an securely... and we all like our nuts & balls held just thus.

Squaring your printer:

Note: it is recommended to do this before fitting the rubber feet under the printer.

To get a good square print you must make the frame square.
Placing the printer on the flat surface and squaring the tower (Z axis) to the surface is a good start and better than OEM.

Get yourself a large engineers/carpenters square.
Any tools store or hardware store should have them or you can steal your fathers (he wont miss it immediately).

Place the printer on a smooth flat surface (Mums dining table is usually the best; she had dad pay a fortune for it.)

Ensure the bottom of the rods are fixed tightly into the front feet, ideally using Nyloc nuts. If you've made the variant option now is the time to tighten the nut ball on the bottom feet.

Adjust the nut balls on the top brackets to square the printer to the tabletop/bench-top.
It might be difficult to find a straight edge on the printer Z-tower to use your square against; I used the front edge closest to the outermost corner, or bend. (If you're using mums furniture, be careful not to scratch it unless you have younger/weaker siblings.)

Once everything is square, tighten the balls. Then recheck for square. Rinse and repeat.
Repeat until satisfied. Your printer should now be able to travel back to its normal place of rest without coming out of square. (Scatter some of your smaller siblings toys to cover any "tracks" you might have left.)

Now home the axis and level the print-bed.
Print something with long square edges in the Y and Z planes, and check the finished print against your square (your new one or dads old one, if he hasn't missed it yet).

For the OCD:
To get the best, absolute, square print you must square the actual axis to each other.

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A tip if you're installing the Z Brace mod: The Thingiverse page says to use 10mm long screws while http://3dprinterwiki.info/wiki/wanhao-duplicator-i3 says 20mm. Stick with 10mm. Last night I heard a terrible sound as I was going to bed. It turns out that the 16mm screws I used stuck out so much that the X axis was hitting them and the Z screws were turning and skipping. Fortunately it happened before I fell asleep and I was able to stop it without any serious damage.

AzzA - in reply to A_Str8

Good call... I'll put a note in the page, to check clearances no matter which length is used...with changes in production there will be those that hit and those that miss.

Metric supplies in the US are an issue in some regions, this brought about the use of 20mm screws, I believe.

Mr. AzzA: I like this design for my Malyan M150. However, I was under the impression that I had to print all the files, which I have done... except Plate 1. When I saw how many parts were included in plate 2... I thought twice about plate 1. Each of these are 17 hour prints for me. Did I miss something in my reading? Do these plate files really need to be printed? Is this for something extra beyond simple Z brace support? Please help me out. Thanks

G'day RadarLarry,

don't sweat it... as long as you've got two front feet, two back feet, and one each of the top mounts you're good to go.

Thingiverse informed me that there's been over 27 and a half thousand downloads from this page! (27,500+) That was before the holidays. With all that traffic, and making, there's bound to be a few mistakes. So don't feel alone, not for a moment. ;-)

The instruction did get mangled recently, sadly, so you might need to reload the page and read again. I'm still repairing the page. There's also a KISS version here: http://3dprinterwiki.info/wiki/wanhao-duplicator-i3/duplicator-i3-basic-mods/z-brace/

Every part is interchangeable; you only need a single right, or a single left, part for each fitted location/corner. Think of it as a Mechano/Leggo set of parts. If you made all the parts, without the "plates", you'd have almost enough parts for two printers.

I suggest looking through the 80-odd photos (on this page) to work out where you're at. Some people have commented that the scroll-bar for the photos is a bit hidden on their browser. If you hit the "X" looking thing, top right, they should zoom to full view; they are cropped otherwise. Photos speak better than I can write. :-)

Just don't mix up the top mounts; they have a subtle offset through the hole, which is hard to see at first or second glance.

I look forward to seeing your make posted here on Thingiverse. (Just click on "I made one".)


Thank you so much for your response. Looks like I have everything I need then. Thank you for your time and effort making this very useful design!

Larry B.

Cheers mate,

I hope you get lots of use from it too. Making something nice for someone in your life.


I'm 2 weeks into having my first 3D printer and am learning a lot, and have a lot to learn! Like many have said, i'm sure this is one of the most important modifications to the iiiP printer, the first simple one i did was adding the "caps" to the bottom side of the bed springs.

I'm printing the parts for the "plate2" kit, 2 parts at a time so that I can check bed level in between and also because i'm not 100% comfortable leaving this thing home alone running just yet..

I've scanned this comment forum looking for information regarding infill % / Fill Density and haven't found much info from the posters. So I just wanted to add my data to share with others. I'm printing with Hatchbox White ABS, 0.2mm line height, 50mm/s.

I used 45% infill for: BallsMk2, BackfootLeft2.2 and Right, as well TopLeft and Right_Fixed. Honestly, these seem pretty damn solid and from my perspective it looks like it was nearly filling the spaces 100%, though I know it actually isn't. I know that 20% leaves quite a bit of space and might not make a strong enough part to be used as a support piece.

I'm now printing the "BottomLeft & Right ForOneNut" at 35 % Fill Density ( Infill ) i'm about 50% through the print and have a lot of faith that it should be strong enough for the job. Has anyone else had success printing with a lower fill density?


The page got scrambled some time ago, it's slowly getting back to scratch.

50% infill is recommended.

Infill on small parts get s very subjective; the slicer will often do as it will.
For larger parts infill and skins/walls become a balancing act of "time to print" and "plastic used".
For parts like these, I use 3 walls and 50% hexagonal infill and I print as fast as the machine can reliably.

If sparse infill is an option I will use that: so my config will be 0.15mm layer height, 3 walls, and 50% hex' infill every 2 layers. 90-100mm/s print speed with outside skin at 30-50%. It gives hard (literally) and fast results that look great. (This is not on stock machines.)

For trinkets etc I drop the infill back to 15% or more/less depending on the size of the print and roofs etc.

The part and the purpose always dictate the settings, as does the machine and the material. (PLA vs ABS vs PET vs metal filled plastics) You'll end up with a set of "got to" presets after a while.

PLA is recommended. But there is so much difference between propriety formulas I'm unable to comment on that brand.
Whatever you print with should be hard and rigid, but not brittle, and retain good to excellent dimensional fidelity.
ABS is usually prone to shrinkage and can be somewhat too flexible for mechanical parts... but your result may differ with different formulas.


Comments deleted.
Jan 4, 2017 - Modified Jan 4, 2017


Is plate 1 and plate 2 in the file still up to date and do you need both ribbed and smooth balls like the description says?
1x ‘TopRight.stl’
1x ‘TopLeft.stl’
2x Balls.stl
2x ballsMk2.stl
1x BottomRightForOneNut.stl
1x BottomLeftForOneNut.stl
1x BackFootRight.2.2.stl
1x BackFootLeft.2.2.stl
1x Back_Y_Brace.5.stl
1x Front_Y_Brace.3.stl

Edit, NVM I missed the part where you need 4 balls I thought it was 2 ribbed or smooth,... :shame:

Jan 5, 2017 - Modified Jan 5, 2017
AzzA - in reply to Dutchy_79

Use plate 1 or 2, choose you own balls... all the same or mix them up... 4 balls for plate 1, and 6 balls for plate 2.

Then print the Y braces, one front and one rear (of your choice).

I'll spend some time updating instructions soon; everything got mashed when the site migrated :(

I have no luck printing the long front and back braces. The edges come loose during printing.

Any suggestions for printing them in pla

Temps 200/60 all other parts stick nicely using 15 brim

Jan 7, 2017 - Modified Jan 7, 2017
AzzA - in reply to Dutchy_79

Drop the brim; they've got undercut edges to asisit removal.

Print first layer hotter, say 220-230C, print it slower say 30-50% without any cooling fan (don't start that until layer 5 or so)

Make sure bed is level!

Make sure nozzle is not too high (this is where an adjustable Z axis switch comes in very handy)

Make sure the bed is clean! If it's black, then just use water to clean it... maybe preheat for 15 mins or so.

Last resort (for black beds):
Maybe use some glue stick, a little goes a long way on the black beds... clean with water... spread evenly with a wet cloth. Let dry or preheat for 10-15 mins at 50-60C


Edit: I'm assuming PLA.

I started printing Plate 1 last night and after 2hrs everything looked fine so went to bed, This morning one big pile off plastic and nothing useful,... :(

So now print all parts one at a time

BTW in this thread the Back_Y_Brace.5.stl is missing or is that optional?

Don't ya hate that!

Seen it too many times myself. Causes can vary, usually extruder though.

Have even miscalculated just how much filament is need and how much is left... the roll was fixed to the control box and that turned over, and inched its way towards the extruder until the sticky-tape holding the filament to the spool, stripped away and was drawn into the extruder. Didn't that gum up the works!

Back_Y_Brace.5.stl is optional... one day it might have another mod to fit a cable chain to the print bed... one day...


Azza, is this the version for cable chain? http://www.thingiverse.com/download:1519942

And i finally figured out why those Y braces came loose from the bed, My right Y rod is bend while cleaning the bed or shipping. Just ordered 2x1 meter new rods and some LM8LUU to upgrade the stability off the Y axis.

Yep, that's it; it's got the "horn" to mount the chain on... although there's nothing else yet made to receive the other end of the chain. One day maybe...

That's a bummer about the rod. It must take force some bending it; I've had a few jobs that resulted in much sweating and swearing getting the print off the bed, and I've not bent one yet. (That's why I now design with "adhering" & "releasing" the job in mind.) I'm surprised the bearing still runs along it.

Good luck with the repairs,

I made abs slush and tried to scrape it off, the right side only has 1 bearing on a 380mm rod so not much force needed to bend it a mmi think.

I just found this http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1840472 and thinking about merging with rear Y brace no 4 in tinkercad.

Or can you merge them in a fancier way?

Also something I missed in the description, why do I need to push the m3 screws in the front and rear brace?

Duplicator i3 Y-Axis Cable Chain BASE (x brace friendly)
Jan 9, 2017 - Modified Jan 9, 2017
AzzA - in reply to Dutchy_79

Ahhh... that would be for this then: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1459160 I didn't know of it until now.

Without the original CAD files you might be able to do something with Meshmixer from http://www.meshmixer.com/
It's great for editing STL files. The interface is a little quirky but it does a great job once you get it sussed.

The old M3 screws are reused to clamp the printed parts onto the metal, in case they didn't obtain the tolerance fit that they should. A tolerance fit was my target. There are so many unknown variables when widely distributing a design like this. The sheet metal thickness could also vary.

OR... you could use the supplied files, from me, and use DesignSpark Mechanical (which is free also) as it will convert the STL file to solid object for editing.

EDIT #2:
Sorry... I lied... I haven't uploaded the design files for the Y-braces... you might have to wait around for 8-9 hours, until I'm home. or use Meshmixer...

Duplicator i3 Y-Axis Cable Chain

Uhh, yeah wrong link but that is what I meant.

I'll give meshmixer a try, and now I understand the screws. Tomorrow I will finish the 2 top parts and work on the back brace v6 (or v5.1)

see my "edit" above...

Np it's 01:30 here and working till 6am then sleep so your probably home before I'm awake.

Lol, I need another spool to complete this,

IL wait with the back brace till there's a cable chain version.


G'day Dutchy,

sorry for the delays; they weren't where they was... but they're found now... all the more reason to make them public.

I've uploaded the rest of the design files. Use the free CAD program from RS to edit them: it's called DesignSpark Mechanical.

DesingSpark can import an stl file into a design file and then convert it into a solid, this enables you to incorporate it into the design... which is pretty much exactly what you're wanting to do.


4 days ago - Modified 4 days ago
Dutchy_79 - in reply to AzzA

Anyone able to make the look nicer plz?

If not I will just print like i merged them. Still can't work with DesignSpark.


Hi AzzA,

I can't work with DesignSpark, i'm a noob and in my head I know what I want but I just can't figure out how the program works.

So I went to Tinkercad and placed the Cable Chain base plate in the right position, Tho now it doesn't look as cool as you made all the other parts, Maybe someone else can finish what I started.

Idea is to merge Back brace 4 and the base plate from this design into one smooth looking part.
Back Y brace 4 rsdoc file http://www.thingiverse.com/download:3177788
Back Y brace 4 stl file http://www.thingiverse.com/download:1519943
Base plate for cable chain http://www.thingiverse.com/download:2262647
Cable chain files http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1459160

Measurements on my Gembird i3 V2 rebranded Wanhao Duplicator i3 v2.1
From the left side off the brace to center on the left holes 103mm
From the top to center bottom holes off the brace 5mm
Total height 59mm

Duplicator i3 Y-Axis Cable Chain

NP AzzA, I'lll have a look today.

Comments deleted.
Jan 3, 2017 - Modified Jan 3, 2017

I got a very, very slight warp on my y brace. I'm printing the next/previous stuff just fine, wanted to see if anyone thinks if it'll be ok with this slight bend:


Not a huge deal to reprint, but kind of a bummer I suppose. It barely fits on my plate it seems! If I do reprint, any ideas on how to make it stick just that much better? I have a glass bed with a PEI sheet on it printing PLA at 215/70.

AzzA - in reply to Wuzseen

it might be fine; it's only slightly lifted and the bend is not in a plane that matters too much.

Make sure your bed is clean, using water. Make sure it's dry: preheat it if need be. Try printing the first layer a bit hotter, say 225-230C. If none of that works, try some glue stick (any brand is ok, provided it's water based.... which all I've encountered thus far are).

Of course, the most important thing is that your bed is perfectly level... and that's hard to do while the printer is floppy, thus doing the Z brace mod... in any case, align the part along the X axis of the printer; this is where the least deviation will occur on a floppy Di3. (That is, the part should lie length way between the towers under the X axis.)

On printers with moving beds, you should always align the part for the least amount of bed movement; to avoid the inherent weakness of the printer. Being momentum and alignment/leveling errors.



Wuzseen - in reply to AzzA

Thanks for the response--I couldn't find the right screws at Home Depot (though now I realize I just read the instructions wrong >.<) so I spent part of the evening and just reprinted it. Had one corner I needed to tighten and another to loosen just a bit and the print came out perfect.

AzzA - in reply to Wuzseen

The only risk using longer screws is on the top mounts; too long and they might foul the X beam ends as the go to the top of their travel.

How long is too long? I can't say for sure.

In some cases you can use 10mm long screws and they'll be just long enough, but it can be awkward getting them to thread in to begin with.

Wuzseen - in reply to AzzA

Found 10mm at a different hardware store and got everything installed great, printing something now to test it out!

Just wanted to toss in my thanks for what seems to be the #1 go to mod for this printer. I'm in the process of printing the parts and buying the assorted pieces now.

My .02: It would be a huge help to modify the description to explain what the different variations are. I'm printing Plate2, BackBrace4, and 6 Balls mostly off of a random comment... I have no idea if its actually the right way to go. With a ~20 hour print ahead of me, I really wish I had more confidence in the route forward.

-Plate1 is for: ABC
-Plate2 is for: XYZ
-If you do Plate2, you must do additional steps 123.
-BackBrace [is | is not] optional

Etc etc.

Regardless, really cool stuff and looking forward to the upcoming mod.

I just went and had a look at the instructions... they're gone... not there... kaput!

Must have been zapped when ThingumyVerse updated the site/layout.


I'll see if anything is left on the Wayback Machine...

Jan 1, 2017 - Modified Jan 1, 2017
Glenn37216 - in reply to TheBored

Definately , make sure you print the right amount of balls according to what plate your printing. One takes 4 the other takes 6. I made the mistake by not paying close attention to the bottom parts of the z brace and had to print extra balls with a half built zbrace mod. Another great upgrade if you haven't done it already is the spring cups and adjusting wheels w/m3 nuts. The better cups are the taller ones ...Keeps your bed solid ! -Ive done over 40 prints without leveling once...

I have v2.1 with the included metal wheels. Still worth it to use m3 nuts? Feels like a pretty lateral move. Regardless I might hold off anyway until I do the Y carriage mod.

Jan 2, 2017 - Modified Jan 2, 2017
Glenn37216 - in reply to TheBored

I also have the Maker Select 2.1 with the metal wheels.


The thumbwheels mod is really the first mod you should do to the printer . Its simple but works wonders in keeping your bed level. The metal wheels will vibrate lose on long prints. If yours hasnt started to do this yet... just give it time. There is nothing to hold those wheels on tightly but just tension from the bed. Adding oversized cups to your springs helps in keeping them from from "twisting" as your moving your wheels. Without a doubt , this mod for me has been more useful and better for my prints than any mod I have done so far. -Including the Zbrace mod. No need to worry about bed leveling or adding a aluminum Y carriage plate for stiffness.

Just wanted to let you know your links don't work for some reason.. Gives me a 404 error saying the information wasn't found on the server.

I suspect Glenn has copied the link from the address bar.. he should ask Google Photos to share the pic's and then copy the link generated. HTH

Comments deleted.

Side question actually, any suggestions for a good before/after print for comparisons? Obviously Benchy will be one of them, but wondering if there are any others that might be worth it.

For comparison, I just reprinted something I printed before the mod. The differences I noticed was less rippling around holes & edges. Less patruding lines around edges. Less to trim with the exacto knife.

Looking for the metal parts in the USA?
Then please have a look at metapod's make; he's got some good local advice there.



Z braces for Wanhao Duplicator i3, Cocoon Create, Maker Select, and Malyan M150 i3 3D printers.
by metapod

I'm being dense, I guess, but I'm just about done putting everything on and suddenly very confused about how the assembly works at the bottom of the brace, left and right? I have printed the one nut versions. In which direction does the printed nut face - slanted side up or down? And is there a hardware nut in there at all?

I think I've got it managed. Having a heck of a time with lock nuts on top, though - can turn them, using regular nuts for now.

Dec 30, 2016 - Modified Dec 30, 2016
AzzA - in reply to Yardboy

Regular nuts are fin on the tops, even the bottoms... as long as you use a bit of glue to lock the bottom one.

The printed plug, for the bottom, goes in with the angle/point inwards... so the bottom fits parallel to the base... jam it hard against the metal nut.

If you use a Nyloc in the bottoms, they should be nylon ring pointing downwards... the rod then screws in from the top.

I suggest looking at the photos; they usually say it better than I can. ;-)

Locknuts will work fine on the tops for some people but not others. Because of; the metal parts being of different tolerances; some will be tighter than others; some threads will be cleaner than others; and some people are just more adept at brute force than others. ;-)

One of the suppliers of the threaded rod, I've used, cuts the thread and then zinc treats (galvanises) them; this makes Nyloc nuts grip very tightly, too tightly for use on the top mounts of this mod. In this case I've used normal nuts and the plastic balls are tightened, quite firmly, by hand. 3D printed plastic on 3D printed plastic provides enough friction that the nuts have not moved after hundreds of hours of printing and quite a bit of travelling (the printer being moved around, for cleaning and demo days etc.).

Yardboy - in reply to AzzA

Thank you for the replies, all very helpful. I'm such a doofus - "what pictures is he talking about?" - I had completely missed ALL the pictures posted besides the first row, the navigation icons were very faint and I didn't realize there was a scroller.

Thanks again!

I'm going to start printing this evening. Which filament do you recommend PLA or ABS?

AzzA - in reply to dto26

PLA is best IMHO; it's harder which makes for stiffer parts.

Some formulations of ABS can get close, but ABS is not the best material to print on these open printers... you can, but... you'll get better results more consistently with PLA.

anyone has seen this made for the new i3Plus anywhere?

there is only one bigger screw in the front where the normal i3 had 3 so i guess these braces will not be as snug in place even when redesigning them for the new screw layout.

just doing my first prints so no idea if this is even an issue anymore but since the mounting of the Z and Y axis brige seems to be the same i guess there is not a big difference compared to the normal i3.

Dec 30, 2016 - Modified Dec 30, 2016
AzzA - in reply to Pixel

check out the "Remixes" tab, on the right under the photos; someone has done a mod of my mod for the Di3Plus. It looks good too. Follow the directions on the mod page for the Di3Plus.

Z Brace for Wanhao Duplicator i3 PLUS
and a remix of the remix, or another mod of the mod of the mod...
Z Brace for Wanhao Duplicator i3 PLUS (feet only)

z Brace for Wanhao Duplicator i3 PLUS
z Brace for Wanhao Duplicator i3 PLUS (feet only)
by abrandl
Pixel - in reply to AzzA

thank you, seems like i overlooked these before.

AzzA - in reply to Pixel

NP... easy to do; the images get cropped which makes them hard to recognise... the text in the titles often get cropped too, even harder.


Bottom of my front y-brace came out curved at the bottom. Is that normal? http://imgur.com/a/ZpZWR

From the pictures I've seen it looks like it should be flat, but I'm new at this 3D printing stuff.

see my post directly below. it should not be curved, should be flat. i had same issue, it was an adhesion issue, which created rocking, which caused it to be curved. i also found a couple of my attempts warped, turning the temps up helped with that.

Ah-ha! Thanks MartyrX. Me thinks you're right. Our issues sound almost identical. My tape did come unstuck as well. I just assumed both sides should be curved, but I guess I'm still learning how these gizmos lay down their layers. I have a glass bed on the way so I'm betting once I get that installed and turn up the temps a bit, that my issues will be resolved. Cheers.

Comments deleted.

Where did you guys go to get the required purchase materials? specifically the cut-to-order threaded rods? just returned from a disappointing trip to Lowe's, where I found they will not cut the rods to size and had little to none of the screws/nuts needed. So, a little online research reveals that i will have to do a combination of amazon ordering and home depot store pickup to get the parts. I can't find any 16" rods anywhere, so no matter where i get it from it will need to be cut and i don't have the tools at home, any advice where you got yours cut?

All parts printed but the Y-braces, having trouble with adhesion. new user, Mono MS with factory bed and pad, PLA, factory temps 200/60, have re-leveled a couple diff times since having issues and added blue tape, helped a bit, but about 35% through one of the braces, the tape itself came unstuck and muffed it all up. my printer has no issues with adhesion for smaller objects, and other wise has been cranking out good quality prints (for not having any mods on it yet), however its been the larger, longer models that have problems sticking for the duration of the print. any thoughts?

Buy yourself a $5 hacksaw; it will do this job and pay for itself tenfold by the time you're dirt napping.

Don't print in rooms that are too cold, guessing it's getting cool over there nowadays. You could also try printing the first layer, or two, a tad hotter... anywhere up to 230C... it helps get good adhesion. Make sure your bed is clean, free of any oil from skin etc. Try using a little glue stick, any brand seems fine but, that purple stuff gets crowed about. The new bed surfaces, the black stuff, is the ducks guts; I love it and have fitted it to all our printers.

Once you get the kit fitted, you wont have to level very often at all... rarely in fact... and your prints will go smoother and adhere like never before. Again and again and again....

Printed 2 flawless Y braces. got rid of the blue tape, re leveled, raised extruder temp to 210 and bed temp to 65 for duration of print, and used the purple glue stick. no adhesion problems, no warping.

thanks again for the advice.

Great advice on the hacksaw, picked one up today. you are way more qualified to be a Home Depot pro than they are, when asked if there was any other cheap method they could think of, nothing but blank stares.

I will def try to play with the temps, even though the room temp reads the same, some ambient chilliness is abound. will also try the glue stick trick.

is there any german description? It seems i do not understand this well. I installed the mod, but now my printer is not working anymore.

AzzA - in reply to were_A

Nein, Entschuldigung...

There should not be much that can go wrong doing this mod.
Check that you have not unplugged or bumped one of the limit switches.

If homing the printer causes the printer to grunt, then the switch is not being hit. In this case the switch will need to be moved (or the metal lever bent).

Sorry, without more information I cannot offer more help.

IS there a German FaceBook group for the WanHao?


were_A - in reply to AzzA

Now, i think there is a lot, that can go wrong.
The bed moves at home position, but it moves not foreward. It stucks the first 1-2 centimeter, then it moves.
I have tried to set the rods with the dipstick, but this does not work if the rods are bent. Except to try again and again and hope for luck, nothing comes to mind. It will probably not help to remove the Z-brace again, but probably nothing will work too. I know what screws I need to turn, but I have no idea in which direction.
Unfortunately i am not a mechanic.
I dont know a german group.

AzzA - in reply to were_A

Try this...

Loosen each end of each Y rod. Slide bed one way, all the way, then tighten screws on that end. Move need to other end, then tighten that end.

Good luck

were_A - in reply to AzzA

I did that, it does not work. :(

AzzA - in reply to were_A

Try asking at the user group on facebook or here, http://www.thingiverse.com/groups/i3
You might just find a native speaker, or at least someone with the basics. :-)

In this great kit of parts I cannot see any feet for the side (tower), just front and rear.

Is this because none are needed or do I need to go to Specsavers?

Thank you.


IMHO no other feet are required; four feet are more stable.

If you really feel the need for six then see the remixes, some have been posted there.


Blimey that was quick!

If you say that they are not required thats good enough for me.

Thank you.


You got me sitting down...fed... And mostly knackered for the day. :-)

How is the chain suppose to work if the wires are coming out the middle of the bed and the chain connection is all the way to the right side. Do you have any pictures of this completed? Thanks

Dec 3, 2016 - Modified Dec 3, 2016
AzzA - in reply to Sorrentino

It hasn't been done yet... I've been waiting for one of the three printers I'm running to break the OEM cabling, but it hasn't happened yet, even after about 12kms of filament... the wiring would come out through the base plate of the bed, and the cable chain would mount to a 90 degree bracket/mount afixed under the plate.

It would be tidier than the OEM setup; and there would be no chance of it snagging on the corner of the upper frame... but if you cure that one real issue, the OEM cabling seems to be durable enough... for now, though, it's just a plan to deal with an anticipated failure, it just hasn't happened.

Has yours failed?

Can the supporting rods be substituted with a wooden dowel?

Now there's some lateral thinking... Yes, if you can figure a way to secure the dowel to allow for tweaking whilst squaring off the printer. If you could hold it all together with something else while you glue it, perhaps. You might even find some nuts that will self-thread on the dowel sufficiently until glued.

Ghetto it! ;-)

Are the screw holes on the y brace meant to line up with anything on the frame? Printing last piece now and i just realised my frame doesn't have screws in those places. Or do they just press against the metal? (recently purchased wanhao i3)

AzzA - in reply to jez81

No holes. Yes, they just help to clamp the brave in place... Possibly not needed in some cases, when the fit is so tight anyway, but they are there for added support. Just reuse the short screws you took out of the frame putting the feet on etc.

Why is the back brace not printed on plate 1 nor plate 2, is it not needed

It evolved later. You can take your pick of which rear brace to use, but I recommend Back_Y_Brace.4.stl for now.

The rear is really quite weak because of the cutout for the cable pass-through. The brace makes it much more rigid and this really comes into its own when you start printing at faster rates.

I can't get the nut plugs to fit in the base of the front feet all the way they protrude from the base about a 1/4 inch. What am I doing wrong? Although its not really clear where the nylock nuts go and where the regular nuts go. I have the regular nuts in the knobs and the nylock in the front feet.

Are there any instructions about where the hardware goes exactly?

Ignore this I figured it out. Had them in backwards. Doh.

Glad you worked it out (while I've been absent). BTW You're not the first to ask, so don't feel too silly. :-)

Comments deleted.

Will this work with the Monoprice MakerSelect ? I read on forums that they are the same printers with just the MP sticker ?

At face value:
It's the same manufacturer, just a re-badge.
Go for it; the difference is night & day, you'll enjoy 3D printing much more without all the adjusting and readjusting.

There's at least one copycat out there, that's not quite the same, but the Monoprice isn't that one.
If anyone has a printer that's almost but not quite, this one, then check out the "Remixes" tab under the pictures; there's a few more options out there.

FYI, As of 10/26/16, BottomRightForOneNut_fixed.stl & BottomLeftForOneNut_fixed.stl are the same file. I had to edit Plate1.stl to get the proper opposing sides.

Negative. The files are different; they're mirrored across the Y axis.

After more than three and a half thousand downloads, on each of those files, your browser or the server must have goofed-off and saved the same file twice. It had to happen one day.

You can also "mirror" an STL using most slicer programs.

Glad you managed to sort it out at your end.

Comments deleted.

Would there be any way to make this mod adjustable to 24 inch 5/8 threaded rods?


You install the free CAD package, DesignSpark, from the RS website.
Download the "*.RSDOC" files from this site, and modify them to your hearts desire, saving your files as STL's.
Be sure to share your results by publishing them here on Thingiverse.


Unfortunately I am using a Mac os, DesignSpark is for windows os only. Any other programs you would suggest using?

A big thanks to everyone that's bought me a beer.


Where do the "Foot_Rear_Fixed" parts go? Do they serve the same purpose as "BackFootLeft.2.2.stl"? Thanks!!

The "Foot_Rear..." files were early versions. They are interchangeable. The later "BackFoot..." files have more area under the foot, which makes it easier to stick a rubber button/foot/bumper on.


I made your z brace just need to ask do you spirit level the x axes bars as you adjust the supports or do you spirit level the frame or gantry i would assume that what it is called, i see my hotend has a slight offset on my bed and cannot get it to level right since the upgrade

You will need a good square. All tool suppliers and hardware stores should have them.

There is a video by JetGuy on YouTube showing how to set the beam square. Once the X and Y axis are square with each other, you can then get the bed level.

Google around and you should find heaps of videos and tutorials. The process is much the same for any "Prusa i3" style of printer.

Hey. Very nice upgrade. I am going to print them all as soon as I get a reply. Can I print everything at once? Will it all fit? maker select v2 being used.

I actually just saw plate 1 and 2. Which one do I have to print to get the best parts for it? I want to use the balls and print all at once.

G'day Brian,

Try plate2, six balls, and back-Y-brace4.

You can print all at once if you're confident your machine and environment are constant enough... got enough filament, got stable electricity supply, got a good clean extruder? etc? etc?

Any combination of parts will give the same end result. A more solid and thus more precise printer.

Once you've got it made and fitted, it's up to you to set-up and tune the printer to make it more accurate.

When your printer is both precise and accurate you can then print things that match their CAD origins. i.e. printed items come out as intended, first time, every time.

Thanks for the reply. So plate too has the better back legs? Backfoot left 2.2?

Oct 15, 2016 - Modified Oct 15, 2016
AzzA - in reply to Brianp82

sorry Brian, I'm on a really slow and old mobile device at the moment and cannot confirm the content of each file. If you load each into your slicer you'll be able to compare the files to this web page. You can even make your own plates, to match your prefered combination. This project included lots of choice so that people could mix and match. Sometimes choice can be overwelming but never hesitate to get amongst it all and experiment. :-)

Ok no problem I think I got it all situated. One thing I cant find. What is the difference between the two different rear Y-braces?

The one with the extra bit is for a future expansion, that hasn't happened yet. The idea is to fit a cable chain to the heat bed. Since I've not had to repair either of my three Di3's yet, there's been no drive for the mod.

Thanks. Hey I just noticed that your parts list says M3x20mm (20 of them) but the link you supplied to the build instructions says M3x10mm (20 of them). Which is the right size? I actually went to my hardware store and the only length they had 20 of was M3x16mm so hope that works and isnt too long

I think I wrote "20 x M3 x 10mm (or longer if you cannot find 10mm)" so your 16mm screws will be fine. Heaps of room behind everything but the top mounts, and even then it's enough.

I noticed the back Y braces have 4 holes for bolts. My back Y-brace(factory) does not have any holes for bolts......

No, there are no holes in the metal. There never was. You simply use the old, short, screws to clamp the both Y braces to the metal work. Don't over-tighten them; they only need to stop it falling off. I've done three printers and had no issue. The Y braces usually go on so tight that they won't ever fall off, and the screws are just for reassurance. :)

Hi Azza
Ok i have seen your list on recommended prints, been said the back Y Brace 3/4/5 not sure why the differences and is it a must for those braces? and does all the Y braces work on the Wi3v1 or do you need to choose for the Di3 and Mi3 and i see you have bottom right/Left Balls and the one nut, can i use the balls on my Printer? it looks neater.. and i would assume i will need to print extra ballsMk2 and Balls? or can i just print the MK2s? in your photos i dont see the normal Ball joints.. just your MK2!

I am new to this and will most likely print all parts by mistake.. and sit HOURS!!! and wait it through.. your list you gave is that all i need for my Wi3v1?
Sorry man i really sound stupid and might feel paranoid for not wanting to make mistakes.. just want to make sure i print only what is needed.. to get the Mod installed and functional.

G'day Nathan,

check out the instructions on the great 3D printer wiki page:

Print out their list, in 2D, and check each part off as you print it.
Follow their well written instructions and enjoy.

I also strongly suggest printing Back_Y_Brace.4.stl and fitting that.


Thanks will do that

Link in the description for "Our friends over at "3D Printer Wiki" have also put together a build guide for this mod:"
is buggy. It redirect plenty of times and then shows some Ad ware installation instruction.

AzzA - in reply to soswow

Thanks for the heads-up.
I tried it on 3 browsers and only Firefox got redirected, and only the once.
Hopefully they'll get it sorted soon.

Try going to the root page and clicking down to the page:

Hi guys I think I've found a bug - the NutPlugLeft.stl and NutPlugRight.stl files are they other way round! So left = right, right = left.

Do you have an updated version for the I3 Plus?

I don't; don't have one of the printers yet.

But, if you look in the derivatives, someone else had been kind enough to model a version for the i3 Plus.

I will check them out. Thanks!

Thanks for this, it's a really neat solution. The only issue I had was with the Y braces which did not fit on the V2.1. They fit on at the front but it doesn't line up with any screw holes and the cable tie slot is too far left when you swap the domed head for a cap head. The Y motor seems to be slightly further left on the 2.1 since the motor doesn't line up well with the slot

I'm aware of the issue with the front idler bolt, but this is fixable or can be ignored. The front part itself, however, does still greatly improve the rigidity of the frame for the V2.1

The rear Y brace also does fit the V2.1

None of the screw holes on the Y braces have ever aligned with any holes, on any models; they're for clamping only and can be ignored/left-out if your fit is tight enough anyway.

The latest photos, added in the past few days, show a V2.1 fitted with the original design Y braces. (Black feet and tops with grey/silver Y braces.)

It is possible to replace the idler bolt with a longer item, as previously discussed. (And... If you can find a toothed idler, all the better.)

It is also possible to shift the Y idler mount and Y motor mounts slightly, left/right/up/down; the bolt holes are generously sized. Just loosen the screws a little and shift the parts the required direction. The belt can then be realigned on the bottom of the print bed; it's just wrapped around a couple of screws. If necessary, you can also move the drive/toothed pulley on the motor shaft if need be.

It all depends on how keen you are to get everything setup "just right". Close enough will work fine but you can get it marginally/much better. :)


Does this fit the di3 V2.1 ?


Please see the last pictures uploaded; they're of a WanHao Di3 V2.1... and it works a treat! :)

Aug 28, 2016 - Modified Aug 28, 2016

A necessary mod for the Monoprice Maker Select, this with removing the top feed spool holder and prints have no noticeable artifacts, ringing or wobble. Pair this with some other mods and re-tension the X and Y belts, also remove spring tensioners and my printer is doing amazing work.

Comments deleted.

Which mods did you end up using? new MS owner, have seen several of the recommended mods/upgrades lists, almost done printing my zbrace. just curious which specific mods helped the most.

Diii3 cooler and a good blower fan.
Full metal Micro Swiss hot end and coated nozzle.
Hand match the bearings for perfect fit.
Swap the idlers for toothed bearing idlers.
Blueprint the whole printer to get everything square and running just right.
Don't screw with that which you do not know though; else it might not work as good or at all.

Check out the wiki, it's linked multiple times in the comments here; it's a great source of all things to do with these printers.


I have 3 of these printers and they're outperforming $3-5k machines! Seriously.

why need the part FootRear?

AzzA - in reply to mp3lll

it's optional... most people use BackFootXXXX.stl because it has more under area for rubber foot.

mp3lll - in reply to AzzA

Thansk! what about i put the Front / Back _Y_Brace but now the part BackFootLeft is on the air.
that need to be like this? also the the front..


Aug 29, 2016 - Modified Aug 29, 2016
AzzA - in reply to mp3lll

You need to press very hard to fit the Y braces, sometimes.

See the pictures with 2 small grey cubes under the parts; they help to press the Y braces higher than the feet.

Hope this helps. :)


4th last picture...
I am using the scraper to push the metal part into the plastic part.
Must push down harder than soft hands can do. ;-)

mp3lll - in reply to AzzA

i did it hard with all my The body, i will re try! Big Thanks for try to help me :)

Aug 23, 2016 - Modified Aug 23, 2016

I Got these all printed out and installed them, but much to my dismay after I square the printer to its platform (50mm thick MDF) when I tried to level my print bed (boro glass, 3mm) I got a VERY UNEVEN front vs back to the point that if my back is level the nozzle contacts the front with the thumbscrews fully tightened (I have a v2.1) I moved the Z endstop up a hole and then it is to far away. I can not seem to level the bed with these installed, so I removd them. I also tried squaring the build plate to the upper Z gantry with no luck there, then fully removed one of the main mounting bolts and still no dice. Any one else run into this issue and hav a solution? Thank you

Sorry if this has been covered already I looked and did not see aynthing.

Now with more pictures than Hustler!

Hope they're of use. ;-)

Aug 24, 2016 - Modified Aug 24, 2016
nexgen91 - in reply to AzzA

Got anything that can help the leveling issue that I am having?? :-( Thanks for the additional pics, was a confusing install. How are ya'll attaching the rear Y brace to the frame? I don't have any holes in metal frame that line up with the ones in the printed piece.

Aug 24, 2016 - Modified Aug 24, 2016
AzzA - in reply to nexgen91

The front and rear Y braces simply press into place, and there's several screw holes that may be used to help clamp it in place... Just for reassurance.

To level the bed, first square the frame... Easiest way is to the table... Then square the bed to the X axis rails, first top and then bottom, and then check again.

Level the X beam by measuring\setting equal height at left and right, while the motors are off, any two things of equal height are good guides... Two pill jars or matching 3" bolts, anything really. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1374915

The bed levelling can be tricky, but not too hard. Just need to keep repeating the process.
Move X beam up high, and level bed to it. Then move beam low and adjust for error. Then up and down a few times to be sure. Pay particular attention to any shift in the Y direction as the beam moves up\down; you will not get any shift if the bed and X beam are true.

One of those combination squares helps. (The yellow triangle thing)

You might need to use lots of adjustment to begin with.

I also highly recommend one of the Z axis homing switch mounting modifications, found here on Thingiverse. The ones that allow simple adjustments with a single 3mm screw are best; once you get it all square, you'll only ever need to tweak it up or down a tiny amount every once in a while. This kind of thing http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1281256

Dual Z-axis alignment bars
wanhao i3 adjustable z stop REMIX

Ok cool thanks, I'll try squaring with x up/down didn't think of that, should I use the control box to move the axis in direction required or hand turn? I have the x axis leveling tools printed and have used those to level the x axis. Ill also mod the z endstop, because its a pain to adjust as is. Thanks again and for the awsome work.

Always use the control box to raise and lower the X beam, once it's leveled, otherwise one side won't match the other. It's the only way to move left and right sides equally.


I'm going to try and upload a heap of picture, showing how to square off the Di3, but I'm not likely going to get a chance to describe the process in detail.

Have a look here http://3dprinterwiki.info/ I think they might have covered it... let's hope so :)

Ok thank you again, and thank you for sharing this with everyone

Do you know if these would work with maker select v2

According to images at https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=13860 this mod "should" fit.

There is every indication this is a printer made by WanHao and re-badged for the local market.


Just wanted to say "Thank you", for the effort, I just finished assembling it, and it really makes a lot of difference to the stability of the printer.

AzzA - in reply to mavu

Last weekend I moved three modified printers and each of them did not need leveling after being lifted, trolleyed, driven in a car, in the trolley again, and lifted once more onto a table. They all ran a test level gcode file perfectly. After that demo day, they got the return trip and each was still good to use, without further leveling.

Can't get much more rigid than that,I guess. :)

Any video tutorials on how to install this?

Someone has posted a video on YouTube, search for Z braces.

Oops. I printed these for my P802m Prusa i3 and only noticed afterward I don't have the same hole configuration. I'm hoping to not drill into the acrylic frame. I looked at the parts I didn't print and don't see a match. Do you know of an alternate set of parts for the P802 Prusa I3?

Sorry mate, I'm not familiar with anything other than the WanHao style of i3.

these brace parts would not fit the angle needed for my i3, so I designed a true spherical rod end system... for machines where your brace rods are at a different angle (nearly any angle) ... try these self assembled brace rod end clamps...

PRUSA i3 Plate Adjust & Support Brace - Self Aligning

I am in the midst of printing my braces.

I am a little unclear what the front and back y-braces do? Can they be omitted? I understand that the front Y-brace has the slot for the zip tie that supports the idler, but mine doesn't have a socket cap screw on the idler - it has a button head (so no place for the zip tie unless I replace that screw).


G'day spiff72,

as the Y motor changes direction it pulls the two ends together, there is visible flex around the front idler but the rear frame is especially weak where the cables go through the frame.

If you can swap the idler bolt for a cap head it will all the better for it, but just having the two Y braces in place will make a significant difference; there is a lot of energy in the Y axis and it needs to be tamed. :-)


Thanks for the reply. I have installed the corner braces and the threaded rods now, and the front and back y braces are next on my list. I tried printing both at once, and one end lifted off the build plate (I am still struggling to get it perfectly level). I have a glass build plate on order - I noticed that the buildtak has a bubble under it on one side so that may be part of the issue i am having.

as soon as I got my glass build plate all of the warping stopped for me! Good luck!

Yes, I've gotta admit that glass is the only flat surface you can get for not a lot of $$$.

I'm using 4mm thick glass on my two Di3's at home and it's working a treat. Cost about $4 each cut to size. I just have to grind off the corners to get a nice, snug fit around the heads of the screws. Glue stick on the glass and every thing sticks just like it should. :)

The Di3 at work is using the OEM black plate, but I've always been printing with rafts thus far... it will get glass sooner or later...

i think that list of what we have to print could be updated? I find it a bit confusing.
For such a great mod it sure looks like could be a bit more room for explanation what fits where

AzzA - in reply to capze

Try the instructions here:
They're written in the other English. ;-)

Nearly done installing the braces, but I've run into a little trouble: the front feet don't let the rod move freely through it (using bottomleft/right for one nut), so the only way to move it through them is to rotate it like a screw. Is this intentional? If so, how do I get the nyloc into the base-there's no room for me to screw it in (will I need to use a dremel/drill to widen the hole)?

G'day Gootarts,

All parts are designed to be snug fits on a properly calibrated printer. It's likely your printer is also a tad wonky, being it's not yet braced. The remedy should be to thread a turn or more of the rod into the part and then pull/break it free. Rinse and repeat, several times, until the rod moves snugly through the part. Depending on your butchness, you might need a glove our rag to hold the threaded rod with; it's rough stuff. A round file might also be handy, but the rod should do the trick without any more cost. Just don't screw it into the part too much each time; you don't want to break the part.

If you've got a drill bit of the right size it will probably go through by hand, without power, just to ream out the hole slightly.

Hope this helps,

Got that down, one final question. You mention removing the screws from the y axis to z towers-those are the screws set in a square pattern near the bottom of the z towers, correct? Just want to make sure before putting tension on the rods. Thanks-you've been a great help.

Sorry for the slow reply; this one slipped between the cracks in my email account...

The screws I recommend loosening, or even removing one each of, are the bigger (M5) screws near the Z motors. There are two screws on each tower/side, four in total; one faces inwards and one faces outwards on each side. These screws hold the towers onto the rest of the frame. Loosening them allows the top of the frame to freely move backwards and forwards; the towers will pivot at the base where the M5 screws are (if that makes sense). Loosening them means you wont be loading up the frame and, potentially, warping anything. Tighten them again once everything is square.

Hope that all makes more sense. :)

Comments deleted.
Jul 5, 2016 - Modified Jul 5, 2016

Thank you AzzA for a great design,i,ve made one but had a couple of issues,one was the front feet being so tight i realize why you made them like this,inserting the 8mm rod i had to turn making a thread into the plastic,i will replace the thread because i damaged the top thread then made it difficult to screw the top thread and nut,what i should have done was use the cut off 8mm thread piece as a thread maker
anyway,a thought, internal 8mm thread on the front feet and insided the nuts would also help, it has improved and given my 3d printer great rigidity, my Cocoon create printer,and will shout you some beer when i have more coin,thanks again,3ddeano

AzzA - in reply to 3ddeano

G'day 3ddeano,

it's possible your first print was a bit wonky, from not being square; that would cause what you've described. I had to print one side, fit it, and then print the other for the prototypes... it worked and everything got remarkably better as it grew into the full mod. There were a few iterations before the final design. I've now fitted that to 3 printers.

When cutting the rod, buy a couple of extra nuts and thread them onto the rod before making the cut; when you roll them over the cut area they clean the thread as they come off. Then finish the clean-up with a file or a Dremel type grinding tool.


3ddeano - in reply to AzzA

G,day Azza,thanks for letting me know all this,as yes before i added the Z braces my machine was wonky and not square,just finished a print this morning and was watching before i hit the sack,perfect,stable,i am a very happy printer thanks to you.
I will again send you some refreshments later when i have coin.thanks again


First time printing anything (aside from the samples on the included SD card. Trying to adjust the settings in Cura and don't know what to do for print speed or travel speed. Any suggestions? Oh and also, flow%?

AzzA - in reply to kivalo

G'day kivalo,

this is your one stop spot with, almost, everything you'll need to know:


In the instructions, you mention a glued plug along with a nyloc nut for each front foot. What did you mean by that?

AzzA - in reply to dmezh

G'day dmezh,

sorry for the slow reply; life is big.

The glued plug is the smallest part of the set; the hexagonal thing with the diagonal cut. It fits into the bottom of the front foot variant that does not use the ball, as per "plate1.stl". (There are two choices of front foot, as there are two choices of rear foot).

The idea is to lock a nut about 8mm from the end of the rod and then glue the assembly together, so that the rod is fixed into the front foot. The photo with the green background hopefully explains it better than I might explain it. (Especially if our first languages are not the same.)

If you find the plate1 option confusing, perhaps plate2 might be more intuitive. (Each "plate" file is the basis of the two recommended choices.) Plate2 seems to be quite popular; it is a little less fiddly to assemble, but does have two extra nuts and balls.


Does anyone know if this works with the duplicator i3 v2.1 version?


Jun 7, 2016 - Modified Jun 7, 2016
AzzA - in reply to maxb

Yes, sure does; I've fitted one in the last couple of weeks.

Must say, there's been some nice improvements made on them too. But you've still got to make sure everything is secure and square. The X axis rods were loose on mine, replaced the grub screws with M3 x 6mm and all is rock solid again (screws were left over from the Z braces mod).

I printed the back ybrace5 so I can put a chain on. However when I go to install it on the printer the part coming up for the chain is on the inside of the printer. Wouldn't it make more sense that this be on the outside or am I missing something? Do you have any pictures of it installed?

AzzA - in reply to shaiss

It's for a future upgrade. Chain to the print bed, to tidy up the wobbly cable run that can snag on the frame. Sorry for any confusion. It will likely happen in the next few, cold, months.

shaiss - in reply to AzzA

Ok now that makes sense. Although I could see how one on the outside would be useful too going to the z tower

AzzA - in reply to shaiss

Depending on which model you have, the chain to the X crossbeam should go to the outermost screw on the Z axis motor. This is somewhat an afterthought and could be neater.

The problem with going to the rear foot are, to anchor the chain, would be cable length; it would likely limit attainable height.

Great thoughts, keep thinking them!


I don't really consider myself a handyman of any sort, and from the way the parts were listed, I thought that the M8 and 5/16th were interchangeable so I got M8 nuts (store had no 5/16th nylock) and 5/16th threaded rod (same store had no metric threaded rod). I now have an M8 nut stuck on the end of the rod and can't get it off. FYI, I've remixed your design so the braces run towards the back, freeing up access via the front. The whole thing's been on hold for about 6months now, and I've run out of filament, but I guess I'll post it when it's all completed.

I'd like to see your remixed design as well. My printer already sits in a spot that's tough to access, and the rods in front would make it that much tougher to get parts off the bed.

I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade but, short of having no access to the direct front of the printer I fail to comprehend how access to the bed could be impeded. I've done print jobs that cover about 75% of the bed and run to full height, and I'm yet to have had an access issue. Even if your front was blocked and you only had side access, it would be easier to run the bed to the zero Y position to remove prints than redesign this wheel. :-)

You guys aren't installing these things on space stations or submarines are you?

G'day KritKat,

you're in NASA's league now; they've got issues with imperial and metric systems too. ;-)
(Just Google the lost Mars mission.)

You could post what you've got, so far, as a "work in progress"... that way you might find a collaborator, or two, with falament.


I finally printed the Y Brace components (cross the front and back the big long skinny parts)

they don't seem to actually do anything. They just slip on. There is no means to actually secure them to anything except the band slot for a zip tie on the one. There are screw holes on the inside side of them but no screw receptacles on the machine??) monoprice maker select i3v2)

am I supposed to drill my own holes for these? alas they don't extend to the other side of the part so even if I drilled holes there is no meat for them to stick into ??

AzzA - in reply to Nerys

If everything has printed to scale, you should be able to re-use the short M3 screws to clamp the parts to the end plates. No need to drill any holes.

If you can fit the front cable tie, that's a plus. But you will get benefit without it.

Un-braced the ends pull together as the motor accelerates or change direction. This produces shift in the layers.

The front and rear braces allow you to tighten the Y belt. A tighter belt means more repeatability. i.e. the next layer goes right on top of the last (not somewhere near it).

Fully braced the Di3 can print at 100mm/s if you have everything else working well enough... specifically the extruder; otherwise it's a big weak point.

Print well, print fast, print lots, and enjoy it. ☺

Nerys - in reply to AzzA

Not the 4 corners that the threaded rod artaches too. The wide narrow bits on the front and back that go between the 4 corners. They have holes in half but no holes in the metal.

AzzA - in reply to Nerys


Re-use the short screws. Thread them into the half with the hole, and tighten them so they push against the metal plate. Don't over tighten them, otherwise the thread will rip in the plastic. Think of how a G-clamp works.

The front and rear metal pieces have poor resistance to the lower belt, and that pulls them together.

Print something fast and watch how the rear plate bends near the motor. It's got a very weak point near the cable hole. The front isn't much better.

May 25, 2016 - Modified May 25, 2016
Nerys - in reply to AzzA

Gotcha. One thing. With the new bearings new y carriage and this brace kit. I flipped the printer over last night and almost dropped it when it tried to slip off the table as i put thise bits on.

DID NOT habe to relevel the bed. Amazing :-)

AzzA - in reply to Nerys

Yes. Comes in very handy for maintenance and cleaning; just pick the printer up by the top beam and move it around.

If you do the Z limit switch mod, that has a screw on the moving part, then the most you usually need to do is adjust the single screw; without touching the corner wheels/screws. Leveling becomes a rarely done thing, more something to be tweaked occasionally than done as a process regularly.


Does it matter that the center section of the gantry is levitating? Without the brace it normally sits on the table. I have seen other z brace setups with feet for the center. Just checking before I bolt this thing on!

May 23, 2016 - Modified May 23, 2016
AzzA - in reply to STEye

I've just made my third make of this mod so, from an experienced position, I say "no". It doesn't matter that the printer is sitting on four points/corners.

The first of the Di3 machines all stood this way. Actually, some of them teetered on the middle.

It's my experience that four points of contact is easier to balance than six, or more, should your bench top surface be warped.

But. .. horses for courses... others have other thoughts. ☺

STEye - in reply to AzzA

AzzA thanks again for making this design! I initially printed out the lower feet for the one nut setup however I am having issues with the bottom plug going into the hex hole. Even with drilling the hole bigger and carving away on the inside I can't seem to get the plug to slide all the way in. Are you supposed to glue it in? Wouldn't the two nut setup be potentially stronger?

AzzA - in reply to STEye

If need be, you could use your slicer to rescale the plug to achieve the best fit.

In this case your printing settings are not perfectly set yet. I had little issues with putting the plug inside (that sounded dirty as f**** but oh well). Maybe reduce flow ratio by a few percent.

I tried both the version with two and one nut and I have to say I clearly prefer the two nut design. You can fixate the rod VERY firmly in the lower section of the bracing, compared to the one nut design. I would say, go for it (the two nut design I mean).

I've just done my third make and all with the one bottom nut design; the two nut version is simpler to construct but the one nut is cleaner, aesthetically at least. Done right, both are solid.

If your printer is dialled in correctly, the plug should be a snug fit. With an ISO M8 Nyloc nut inserted, the plug should be about 1-2mm below the surface when fully pushed in. I do glue them, with super-glue.

The Nyloc should be about 8mm up on the rod.

When making the one nut design, place the Nyloc/locknut at the bottom.

I'm trying to post some more photos.


Hey AzzA, check it out: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1572655
:) Hope you like it. Works like a charm, give it a try and let me know what you think.

Wanhao Duplicator i3 (Plus) dampeners for AzzA's Z braces

I've only just, literally minutes ago, stuck four rubber feet on the latest mod'ed Di3 and now I've got another choice!

We cannot have too much choice.

Make 'em folks!

hoping for a little help. I bought the ultimate 3d z brace hardware kit (little expensive I might add. ouch) if I had realized fully how simple it was I would have just gone to home depot but that's ok. it was not horrible.

anyway. I also finally printed out all the bits (flexion is amazing btw!!) and well. they don't fit.

the "ball ends" are not remotely able to slide over the threaded rods. the nuts do NOT fit into the hex holes (the holes are way too big the nuts would just spin inside them even if I removed that center bit.

did I print the wrong kit? wrong parts? suggestions?

I just confirmed the center post is just support it breaks right away leaving what I expected. alas again the nut is not a proper fit. way way too lose the nut can "spin" in the socket


same with the hex socket in the bottom support bracket. the nut just spins inside so you can't tighten anything.

what am I doing wrong?

Just wanted to leave this here for anyone in the future:


1/4th inch ball nut for Wanhao i3 Z Brace

I've noticed the same. The balls mk2 print with a 4mm hole so I'm not sure how this is meant to fit over an 8mm rod?

The 4mm hole center cylinder is built in support. It snaps right out. Rods fit fine. My problem is the hex holes are too large. The nuts spin inside the holes. I think i can fix it but would prefer to know why in case i messed something up.

AzzA - in reply to Nerys

Sorry to hear you've had such drama Nerys.

I think the kit they're selling is for the other bracing mod. I'm not associated with the vendor.

Please give them some feedback and suggest they link to the mod they're selling parts for.

I used ISO standard nuts and thread measures. So the nut should fit a 13mm or 1/2" spanner or socket.


I also just got my kit and have the same issue. Maybe Ult3D changed their kits?

I just got the kit myself and ran into the same issue, I contacted them and apparently they have their own zbrace STLs that work with their kit. Kind of disappointing that they didn't specify this in the ad, as everyone just assumes it's for this mod since it's the original.

Right I just got an email about it with a dropbox link to their own brace STLs. I just ended up using the kit they gave me and printed adapters for the nuts to fit in this original mod

Yep I'll either do that or just source some correctly sized nuts. Did everything else fit fine at least? I'll probably be installing it this weekend so I'm hoping for no more surprises haha

May 26, 2016 - Modified May 26, 2016
melchiorvester - in reply to 7786

Yes everything fitted fine with these adapters, http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1574622
They are press fit and they work fine. The bottom two nylon lock nuts I just used at the bottom and wrenched them on the rod and did a squeeze fit with the next nut to the bottom so it has a tight fit to the brace itself

5/16 to 1/4 adapter for Z Brace Kit
by Nerys

I'm glad that folk are sorting out the issue but it is disappointing that it has occurred at all.

Big cheers to Nerys!
For helping/making himself and others out of this dilemma.

Comments deleted.

what is the difference between plate 1 and plate 2 ? Also if I print the plate then all I need is 4 of those balls ?

The 2 plates show the optional combinations of parts.

Plate one needs 4 balls, whilst plate 2 needs 6 balls.

Only use the the plate files as a reference, unless you're confident your printer can complete a very long print without faulting. Many people have printed the plates, some have been successful whilst some have failed part way through.

If you a newbie to printing, I suggest printing each part separately (from the recommended list).
If you're a 3D printing ace, go for it and do the whole plate at once.

Recommended printed parts list:
1x ‘TopRight.stl’
1x ‘TopLeft.stl’
2x Balls.stl
2x ballsMk2.stl
1x BottomRightForOneNut.stl
1x BottomLeftForOneNut.stl
1x BackFootRight.2.2.stl
1x BackFootLeft.2.2.stl
1x Back_Y_Brace.5.stl
1x Front_Y_Brace.3.stl
4x grippy balls.

Don't mix up the top parts; they look so similar but aren't.

Take your time, have fun, and you'll end up with a great printer.


nCubed - in reply to AzzA

Wouldn't it be easy to have the base layer print 'R' or 'L' on the back so you wouldn't forget which is which?
I totally switched the two and don't know which is which now.

AzzA - in reply to nCubed

Retrospectively, yes. But then I only planned on making one set and everyone else is just getting the bonus of my toils.

That and my usual CAD package of choice doesn't have a nice font feature, which kinda sucks, but then it's free too. :)

I tried to put this together today. I had a few issues. The first was that I couldnt get the nuts (regular or nyloc) to get over the end of the rod. It didnt matter if I tried the factory cut end, or the end I cut, it just wouldnt go over. That was a major issue and stopping point. have 5/16 threaded rod and 5/16 nuts.

the second issue was the small pieces for the foot didnt fit in properly. I finally got them in, but they arent perfect.

Not sure if the nyloc nuts for the feet go into the bottom of the foot then the rod goes in or something else - that's my last issue./question

anyway - i have the corners on top and all 4 bottom - now i just need to get the rod right


It sounds like you'll need to file, or grind, the ends of the threads to enable them to mate; it's a very common issue when cutting threads. The factory cuts tend to get bashed in transit, so same issue. If you cannot work out out yourself, ask a local handy person or workshop if they can help out... most people probably won't even charge for such a job.

The small parts in the feet are to hold the nuts in place; they're a tight fit for that reason, so glue is almost an option (it's even handy to lubricate the part going in).

Cheers and thanks for the quick reply. I tried to use my dremmel on the ends last night, but no luck. I'll bring them to the local hardware place!

I had to buy 8mm nuts for them to fit over my 5/16in rod.

Great mod, I'll have to add these to mine!

(I've got an Aldi "cocoon create" which is an identical rebadged version of this.)

You might like the Z Extensions then too. ;-)

Z Extensions for Wanhao Duplicator i3, Cocoon Create, and Maker Select
by AzzA

Does the y-brace really help? Is it worth my time to print and buy hardware for? Thanks

In my opinion, yes, and you only need to re-use some of the screws left over from the Z-Mod and one cable-tie (zip-tie) in most cases.

Awesome, I'll print it once my z-braces are done and I have some extra time! Thanks for the awesome models!

I had great success with this mod for my Monoprice Maker Select 3D, then I printed another set for the Malyan M150 I purchased for school. Sacre Bleu! The screw pattern appears different on the front - there are four in an inverted "L" around the perimeter. Has anybody else gotten started with an M150? Just appeared on Hobby King last month and is an exact copy... except for this.

Updating and pointing to your part now.

Well done!


I have just finished printing and attached the Z braces to my Malyan M150. Parts needed can be found here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1509637.

Z braces replacement parts for the Malyan M150 i3

Awesome! I will print them today. How do you like the M150?

I'm sure it's a good printer. I've not had much time printing with it and I am waiting for some glass sheets before I really put it to the test. I'm cheating a bit by printing these upgrade parts with my Fabrikator Mini (also from HobbyKing) - small build area but a superb little machine for the price.

Looking at the photos on the Web; looks like the X axis bearing holders are plastic clip type, maybe even using bushes. So perhaps other things too.

If you're able to make some good measurement and sketch them out, i could produce a variant for the M150. (Metric please)

What does the M150 refer to? Is it the Z height in mm?

Comments deleted.

I'm a little confused about the holes in the front Y brace and rear Y brace. You mention "recycling" screws in these holes, but there is nothing to screw into on the frame. Are these just for "storing" the unused screws?

G'day xiaosen,

re-use some of the shorter screws. They only screw into the plastic part and, by doing so, clamp against the metal part.

The Y-braces are a snug fit, so snug they will hold themselves to the frame without any help... 99% of the time... to help them hold on, in case your print was not as exact as mine, there are a few screw holes to use.

Dont screw them too tight! Just tight enough to hold the part in place.


Hey, I just want the braces and the feet for my wanhao, which files should I use? (there are so many that I don't know which one's to use)

Recommended printed parts list:
1x ‘TopRight.stl’
1x ‘TopLeft.stl’
2x Balls.stl
2x ballsMk2.stl
1x BottomRightForOneNut.stl
1x BottomLeftForOneNut.stl
1x BackFootRight.2.2.stl
1x BackFootLeft.2.2.stl
1x Back_Y_Brace.5.stl
1x Front_Y_Brace.3.stl

I seen a make on here with someone who has feet for the tower part under the X steppers, this design does not include them does anyone know the link??

AzzA - in reply to Clwebb

PerN84 has posted some neat feet for the towers in the "remixes". They're made to go with this mod.

IMHO they're not required, but they won't hurt if your bench top is nice and flat; it's easier to level an object with four feet than six. Each to their own. :-)

Nov 27, 2016 - Modified Nov 27, 2016
Ramzi313 - in reply to AzzA

HI thank you for the Braces!

Just got done printing them, and I was thinking about the Z towers. You mention that feet are not required under the Z towers, so I'm assuming it's okay if the towers are hovering over my table. (Sorry, I Just noticed you have responded to similar questions)

But I'm wondering if the weight of the Z towers might cause the base or upper Gantry to bow over time. I'm perfectly fine not doing the feet. I'm just wondering if you have noticed any deflection without any feet under the Towers (over this entire time).

Thank you!


I'm running three of these machines and all of them have four points of contact with the bench they're on. They're all squared off and everything is done up tight enough. Nothing bounces.

I think: if it were limp enough to bounce, it would be limp enough to warp over a centre foot; so you would have to square off each tower with each Y rod. In use, I just do not see this on these machines.

But, if it helps you sleep at night... ;-)


Nov 27, 2016 - Modified Nov 27, 2016
AzzA - in reply to AzzA

If the OEM mechanisms were of much higher tolerance than they are, then you might want to further brace each tower. But they've got far too much slop in them to see any significant Z wobble as they are.

Have a beer and print something fun; don't stress over it too much. :-)

Just fitted the Z brace mod and can hardly believe the improvement!
This is most definitely a must have mod.
Going to print the Y braces now.
Fantastic work, thanks

AzzA - in reply to iw1904

Glad ya like it.

The front Y brace made such a difference I had to make a rear one too; with the extra rigidity at the front, the back frame was visibly flexing near the cable hole!

With everything rigid, it's possible to get the belts nice and tight. Once that's acheived you can set to tuning the printer for smooth fast running.


iw1904 - in reply to AzzA

Just fitted the front and rear Y braces, everything is now very stiff.
Can't fit a cable tie to the the idler, will have to get a longer bolt and nut.

AzzA - in reply to iw1904

G'day Ian, could you please post a make with some pictures; we'll see if we can sort this out. Have they fitted a domed bolt, or changed the idler fitting, or some other reason???

iw1904 - in reply to AzzA

They have used a button head bolt, so there is nothing to get a hold of.
Probably the easiest solution would be to replace it with a cap screw.
It looks about M5?

Apr 13, 2016 - Modified Apr 13, 2016
AzzA - in reply to iw1904

Just measured one... it's M5 x 20mm minimum...

If you want to go the extra inch/mm...

If you use a longer bolt, say M5 x 30mm-ish, you can use an extra Nyloc nut behind the welded nut.
From the head of the bolt, this configuration is: thrust-washer, bearing idler, thrust-washer, Nyloc (1), welded nut/insert, Nyloc (2).

Nyloc (1) is to set and maintain the spacing for the idler bearing. Never over-tighten this one!

Nyloc (2) is to firmly lock the M5 bolt into the bracket by loading Nyloc (2) against the back of the welded nut.

With the Y-brace cable-tie, the longer M5 bolt, and the extra locknut, you can make the assembly more rigid... possibly more than it need be.

If you want to go the extra inch/mm, that is...

There's pictures of both this setup and the older OEM setup, in my pictures above.

iw1904 - in reply to AzzA

Hi AzzA,
Thanks for that.
Your solution would certainly work but I think your Y braces have stiffened the frame so much that the tie wrap is probably overkill.
But I am an electronics engineer not a mechanical one, so I could be wrong.
On a another subject, I am going to do the glass bed upgrade and see from a previous post that you recommend glue rather than hairspray. I was wondering what glue stick you recommend, locally Woolies and Coles stock UHU and Bostick blue.

AzzA - in reply to iw1904

I use the Bostick, just because it's available, and it works a treat. It cleans of with water, so no nasty chemicals or smells. Refreshing the print surface is literally a wipe with a wet cloth.

I tried hair spray and PVA and both worked but had hassles.

iw1904 - in reply to AzzA

Thanks Azza, Bostick it is

AzzA - in reply to iw1904

Wipe it wet and then heat the bed to about 50Ç for the print. Allow to cool and most items will simply fall off.

Hi AzzA,
Have uploaded two pictures IDLER 1 and IDLER 2

Greetings from Pakenham,
I have just finished printing the left "one nut" foot and was wondering if it was really necessary to glue the plug in as it appears to be a really good tight fit straight off the bed.

PS Great work. thank you

AzzA - in reply to iw1904

It's a tolerance fit, so nice and tight, but I would suggest there's merit in using glue; to be sure to be sure.

With the part not fitted. Put the nut in the hole and pull/push it into place with the rod, with about 3-4 turns of thread in the nut. Remove the rod. Insert the plug, with the thin coat of Super Glue (Cyanoacrylate), and push the plug hard onto the nut. Use another nut or the blunt end of a tool, or any handy object to do the pushing. With an 8mm nut, the plug should sit 1-2mm below flush.

A bit of glue on the outside of the nut wouldn't hurt either.

Cheers :)

iw1904 - in reply to AzzA

OK, thanks for that.
I've printed all the parts and have picked up some 8mm rod from Masters, so I will give it a go tonight,

This was the first print I did which consisted of more complex shapes, and they sliced and printed beautifully. They make a huge difference to the stability of the printer. Thank you!

Your'e welcome and I'm glad you like it. It does make a good printer so much better. :)


I shot you a message here about these.


Thanks Azza. I've nearly finished printing all of it and acquired all of the other hardware materials today. Very fine design work you have done.

G'day rockfog32,

Thanks for taking the time to say thanks; it goes a long way. :-)


I've been trying to print the front brace and have had issues with it lifting on one of the corners. It prints out fine at first but will eventually lift. The surface is clean and I have leveled my print bed. Any suggestions?

STEye - in reply to STEye

Found my solution. Elmer's purple glue stick. Works PERFECTLY!

AzzA - in reply to STEye

Sorry for the slow response but we were at the Melbourne Comedy Festival :)

Glue stick would have been my suggestion. Elmers if you're in the US of A, or Bostik in AU/NZ, and probably any similar product anywhere else... and it need not be purple. :)

Is this still necessary for the V2 of the duplicator?

The frame on the V2 is not stable at all. I think that it is a "must have" update. That and a decent layer fan are #1 in my book.

As coxwal says: it makes a better printer.

I've done it to both mine, the very first and the later models, and they're both better for it.

Necessary is such a strong word... ;)

I think it will make a V2 printer better. I think it made more of a difference on the V1 printers. But I would absolutely still do it.

I installed this, and it is great, but now my right Z axis stepper is skipping, it makes a lot of noise and skips half the time, I have tried loosening the Z braces so it should be back to the way it was, anyone have any ideas?


It sounds like you've got an alignment issue. If the above procedure doesn't work, it should highlight what is the issue. E.g. a failed bearing or bent rod. Watch the video, follow the guidance, and see if you can remedy the issue.

Let us know how it goes.

thanks for the link, that did the trick, it is working now!

Thanks for getting back. I looked for a more complete procedure but couldn't find one. It's somewhat brief but jetguy manages to get the message across well enough... like he always does. ☺

Almost done printing all of this, and it looks good so far! Just something small, you (probably unintentionally) typed "base" twice in the details. The sentence "The original base base design..."

All my base belong you!

How's that for a busted meme? !

Mar 20, 2016 - Modified Mar 20, 2016

Thinking about designing some slide on beads for the threaded rods, to dress them up.

I could start by making some that say "AzzA" on the 2 sides of the cylinders, along with a few others that say "Wanhao", "Duplicator I3", Duplicator I3 V2", "Maker Select", "Maker Select V2", "Monoprice", "Cacoon", "Create", "Cacoon Create", "Bowyer", "JetGuy", "Armstrong", "Hustvedt" etc..

Say slide on about 6 of them per threaded rod. I'd make the overall length of the sum of say 6 of them, just fit to cover as much rod as possible.

I dunno, what ya think?

I know how to make hollow cylinders in blender, I'd just have to figure out how to apply recessed texts to the sides running sideways along the cylinder from top to bottom, on both sides.

Slide-on or clip-on vanity bits, i like how you're thinking.

The motorcyclist in me is screaming "farlkes!"

What would be the easiest way to put recessed text along a cylinder's wall? Do you use blender or sketchup?

I use CAD tools, like SolidWorks and "DesignSpark Mechanical"... the latter sucks at text, but is free, the former is expensive but can build starships with working warp-drives!

Sorry, I'm at a loss for the artfully creative tools. Maybe Z-brush or MeshMixer, but don't quote me. :)

Can anyone share links to the parts that you have bought for this mod?

Helpful for the rest of us to order as well. :)

Mar 20, 2016 - Modified Mar 20, 2016
JenniferG - in reply to albertkoey

100 pcs M3 10mm black hex screws:

The 5/16" thread rod, was one 3 foot piece for $2.50 from Home Depot. Also got 4 x 5/16" galvanized nylon stop nuts and 4 of the regular (8 nuts total) for under $2.00 at Ace Hardware.

That's all there is to get if I recall correctly.

Mar 19, 2016 - Modified Mar 19, 2016

The factory had the feet screws on really tight. Had to crack them open with the max torque end of the allen/hex wrench.

When I install the feet and start torquing down, they seem to start to sink into the plastic. Just wondering how tight these should be. Seems like not much force causes them to sink more.. But I've only gone down about 1/2"mm before I stopped.. Maybe if I keep tightening there will be some decent torque?

(Printed at 50% infil, .8mm shell .2 layer height)

Mar 20, 2016 - Modified Mar 22, 2016
AzzA - in reply to JenniferG

As a rule of thumb, only use two fingers on the small end of the Allen key for printed plastic parts.

Some PLA formulations are brittle and not well suited to mechanical parts. If the filament can be bent without snapping it is more suitable. If it snaps then not so much.

Installing this now. I printed the one nut front feet with the plug that you glue in.

I have a couple questions. So I just drop in a nylon stop nut with no glue then apply glue to all the sides of the plug and press in right?

So which type of glue should I use? I have both super glue and e6000. I also have hot glue.

I used superglue but anything that sticks to your plastic should be fine. Hot glue might block the thread though.

Mar 19, 2016 - Modified Mar 19, 2016

Got everything printed by the Y braces. How do these help and how much do they help?

Going to buy the threaded rod tomorrow and all the hardware needed for this Z mod.

Love the printed parts -- nice stuff!

Y Braces help eliminate ringing more than anything... it stops the frame pulling inward and bouncing outwards on Y axis moves.

Mar 19, 2016 - Modified Mar 19, 2016
JenniferG - in reply to AzzA

Well sounds well worth it! I'll be printing them :) I should print the one with the tie wrap? I don't have long bolt head on the Y idler, so I'd have to change that bolt for something to tie wrap to.

I wiggle that Y idler and it doesn't move at all -- so I wonder if I even need the zip tie mod. I have the brand new Monoprice Maker Select V2 (Full on V2 with sloped control panel -- says "Monoprice Maker Select V2" on the label on the control box.

For the back one, which do you recommend I print?

The later idler bracket is solid but the whole front plate is the wobbly bit; under fast belt movement it will flex. The back plate is even worse.

It's your choice about the cable tie, I've used it on both older and newer models. The bolt itself can wiggle on the new idler. A longer bolt with more nuts can also help things. I also replaced the idler with full bearing units, on Y and X.

Okay so I'll print the front and back plate supports as well. I got the Z brace mod together and my printer is rock solid. Details in my make. Thank you so much! I love it!

Mar 17, 2016 - Modified Mar 19, 2016

Are the feet adjustable?

EDiT: Nevermind, I see they aren't but I should be able to level the unit perfectly with variable height feet. I'll just use layers of glued index card until the right height then cap with a thin rubber layer on the bottom.

Mar 17, 2016 - Modified Mar 19, 2016

What size (diameter) rubber feet should I buy for this?

EDIT: Nevermind, got the feet almost printed out now. I can measure now.

Mine are about 1/4" diameter and squishy silicone type rubber, they really cushion the vibration, and I got them at the supermarket.

Wow only 1/4"? I was going to go for 3/4" square. Are the smaller one's better?

Bigger and squishier the better.

We got limited choice out here in the sticks. ;-)

squishy huh... I am thinking of layers of thin rubbery craft foam glued together with spray adhesive.

I just threw two layers of this rubbery craft foam under the printer (while it was printing in fact -- ty z brace mod).. and well it cut down on the vibration a lot! Let me know if you think I should do more layers or if it will hold up.. certainly is squishy!

If this will work well I'll just glue 2 or more layers together with 3M adhesive spray and apply to the pritner with the same spray.

Let me know what you think.


There is always layers of old bicycle inner tube, cut nice and big to your liking. Each layer glued together with some 3M (or other brand) adhesive spray. Then final coat of adhesive spray on the bottom of that to apply to the base.

All of the above would probably work, and not cost a penny more than the glue... upcycle away!

I used some 1/4" diameter squishy silicone rubber, furniture bumpers, from the supermarket, because I had half a packet of them left over from hanging tribal masks from Papua New Guinea.

Marshmallows might work, for a while at least, but they might attract mice and other snackers. Gummy Bears are probably too hard, as are jelly-beans and wine-gums... and they'd all attract the aforementioned snackers... but it could be worth a try, if for no reason other than for sh!ts and giggles. :)

Mar 22, 2016 - Modified Mar 22, 2016
JenniferG - in reply to AzzA

The rubbery craft foam is great. I can literally feel all the damping when it prints.. like when I my hands on feet.

If it's the closed-cell type of foam it's probably fine but if it's open-cell, it might go flat over time... only time might tell.

AzzA - in reply to AzzA

anything like yoga mat foam, it's probably fine...

Where did you get the calibration dials for the corners of the bed? I would love to print them. Thanks!

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:874155 There are a few choices. I made a copy of these ones that print really nice and make a massive difference getting the build plate level

Thumbwheel M3 with scale 0.01 mm with grip (Nut on bottom)

Thanks, I appreciate the help!

Mar 16, 2016 - Modified Mar 16, 2016

I am so confused. i don't know what to print / buy. So many options and I can't follow the description.

I just got a brand new Monoprice Maker Select and it's wobbly.. I can see it shaking when the print head moves back and forth due to resonance or whatever.

Could someone be so kind to tell me which to print? I don't understand what the balls are for btw either. Maybe I should spend more time analyzing this but I've been up all night tweaking this new printer and I can't think straight lol.


Mar 17, 2016 - Modified Mar 17, 2016
Gadget_oz - in reply to JenniferG

I think the best option uses the Nylon Lock nut, the balls hold the nuts and thats were the adjustment and tightening comes from. This is the List to make one set. The set with the wider feet for sticking a rubber pad underneath to help vibration, you need :
6 of BallsMk2.stl
1 of BottomRightForBalls_fixed.stl
1 of BottomLeftForBalls_fixed.stl
1 of TopLeft_fixed.stl
1 of TopRight_fixed.stl

That will get you enough to brace it, then you can add the 2 rear feet, or do them as well
1 of BackFootLeft.2.2.stl
1 of BackFootRight.2.2.stl

Mar 17, 2016 - Modified Mar 17, 2016
JenniferG - in reply to Gadget_oz

Thanks Gadget! :)

Hey does this mod solve the problem with the "feet" of the tower assembly? Right now the tower assembly sits too low and causes rocking. i.e. right now I have like 6 feet in competition with each other.

That's bizarre. It will put feet on the front 2 corners and the back 2 corners. I put self adhesive rubber pads under the feet as recommended by Azza, and its made it a lot quieter. As someone else mentioned make sure you loosen the frame before getting it square once you put the braces on. I also think someone else designed and printed some feet for the tower, but if yours is that far off level id skip it, I havent got any under mine and its holding fine.

I copied this from the Details that Azza wrote, and then cleaned it up a bit.

You will need to print these pieces no matter what:
6x Balls.stl
6x ballsMk2.stl (your it's just a style choice, doesn't affect how it works)

There's two choices of front feet:
( 1.) This version uses two nuts, one on both sides of the foot to hold the rod in place.

( 2.) This uses a single Nyloc nut glued into each foot-

There's two choices of back feet:
( 1.) BackFootxxxx.2.2.stl is very sturdy and has a large area for big rubber foot to be stuck on.
(2.) Foot_Rear_xxxxx.stl which are smaller and quicker to print but don't have much bottom area to stick rubber pads onto.

Plate1 and Plate2 are just STL files with a bunch of the parts already grouped together for quicker printing.

There are also files for a front and back Y brace. While not specifically related to tightening up the Z-axis these are stiffeners that are definitely helpful and recommended mods to do. There are two different options for the rear, one has extra mounting holes for a change to how the beat heater cables are run. But it's not finished yet.

This is more helpful than the description.

Thanks for the help! Appreciate it!

I found this trick to grip threaded rod helped me to prepare my nyloc and ball nuts for assembly:

What's the difference between topright_fixed and topleft_fixed? They look exactly the same as far as I can tell.

They are different. It is subtle, but is required because the rods are not square to the frame. Try not to mix them up when printing them.

Mar 14, 2016 - Modified Mar 14, 2016
Snickety - in reply to LunaLens

I'm just about to assemble my set now and I was going to ask the same question. There does appear to be a slight angular difference if you look at the underside of both of them side by side.

edit: when in position on the printer, if you look down from above you can see a slight slope toward the plate from the top to the bottom.

I've modified two printers now. .. and even i nearly mixed them up. I suggest laying the parts out with labels as you print them.

I looked at a lot of the braces on offer and decided on a set of these, they are great and fit perfectly. They have made the printer rock solid now, the only thing I did different was cover the threaded rod in heat shrink,Thank you AzzA!

You're welcome.

Heat shrink makes it look very neat.

One of our makers used solid rod and just tapped the ends for the nuts, also very neat.

I need a 3D printer. Monoprice sells the Wanhao Duplicator I3 V1 (as Maker Select) for $349. Should I buy it? It seems like it might be a dream printer with all the tweaks and mods that can be done. I like that it is OpenSource RepRap clone. I should be able to make this printer last forever since it isn't proprietary right? I mean I can buy every single replacement part off ebay for good prices?

I've had one since June last year. It's been great. I'm just going to print this now, in preparation for making an MPCNC. :)

Interesting, I just bought this printer and am going to print the same mods, so I can then print MPCNC parts as well :)

Where can I get the hardware like the threaded rods? (Canadian here)

Fastenal or Brafasco may be able to help you. I have both locally, and I was at least able to get some M3 nuts on a prior visit. They should have the appropriate hardware (though the Imperial hardware is probably easier to get for threaded rod/nuts)

Note that at least Brafasco has a minimum order of $10. I wouldn't be surprised if Fastenal has the same.

Any comprehensive hardware store should stock threaded rod. Any bolts and fasteners store will. Ask at the counter.

As they say; let your fingers do the walking. Try calling around your local suppliers listed in the yellow pages (or Google).

Thank you for this design!

You're welcome. I'm amazed at the popularity. ☺

These are great! I made a couple of supports for the towers as a complement.

Could you share those?


Would be nice if you specified exactly how many and what length of m3 screws are needed in your description.

doesnt really matter I used quite long ones and they are not in the way of anything ;-)

Comments deleted.

Excellent work.

Added mine a few days ago, was very simple to install, and OMG the printer is stable now :)

Really looking forward to do a new 3d Benchy to see the difference ;)

Humble thanks TheDiver,

If you're up for a few other mods, bearings and dampened and such, you will have a printer that will out preform one costing six, or more, times what you paid for the Di3. These other mods don't cost much either.

Check out the Google group, Facebook, and YouTube. .. lots to be learned and gained.


Hi AzzA :)

Might you have some links to the specific mod's you are mentioning?

Im specially interested in noise lowering mods (my wife hates the noise it makes).

The facebook group for the i3 im already a member of. Do you have links to the Google group and usefull youtubers?

Thanks a lot for your help.

My Monoprice clone, was loud as well, I had it on a 3/4 piece of plywood desk I built, the whole thing acted as an amplifier. I had some extra work-space mats kicking around, slapped it underneath and it is near silent now. This is what I used, but I'm sure any similar mat will work the same. http://www.harborfreight.com/4-piece-anti-fatigue-foam-mat-set-94635.html

No links sorry, but. ..

Get yourself some squishy silicon rubber furniture mounts. Hardware stores and super markets stock them. These will isolate the printer from the bench top, it will otherwise act like a speaker diaphragm.

If you move the 2 Z motor dampeners to the X and Y motors, you will kill heaps of noise. (The later printers shipped with motor isolators on the Z motors to help align the screws.) You're better off using the mounts to kill noise on X and Y. To resolve any shaft to screw alignment issues on Z, use 5-8mm spiral cut type shaft adapters.

Also... buy yourself a set of about 10 of the line 8mm linear bearings, you only need 5 but 10 enables you to find 5 of the best fitting/smoothest.

Mostly. .. just make sure that every thing is aligned as best you can. Essentially, you need to blueprint the printer to smooth everything out.

The silicon rubber feet will work the most, usually, and the other bits just help that bit more and make it run smoother. ☺

Thanks again.

I'm really happy with the help :) (and so will my wife be, hehe)

Regarding the bearings, i have 8 of these: Igus DryLin® R - RJ4JP 01-08 just need to get them installed :)

I'm printing off all these supports for my new monoprice 3d select printer. having a good time. I'm on my 10th print and getting ready to mount the hardware but waiting on my longer m3 screws to come in. I have noticed something that is not mentioned. right now my printer is stock and the front feet touch my desk. the z towers base touches my desk and the back feet touch the desk. it seems when I mount the front large feet and the back large feet the entire printer will sit about 3mm higher with no rubber under the feet and possible 4mm or higher in the front and rear with the rubber pads attached. there is a lot of bracing across the front and rear but what about the ztowers no longer touching at the bottoms? shouldn't they have a 3mm base as well? or is the support rods in the front sufficient for the ztower to be "free hanging" in the middle? maybe that's the whole point of this is to pick it up and the brace holds it up but it seems like having 6 contact points on your desk would be much better than 4. but then again what do I know? haha

The first series of Di3's would teeter/seesaw on the benchtop, hence people made feet for them.

The later series of Di3 added the cross-member between the base of the towers, and a subtle change to geometry, which cured the teetering (for the most part).

The Z Braces mod will fit to both new and old series, so no drama there.

Once this mod is done, the printer will be supported at each of the four corners. Which is the best way to cope with slightly uneven surfaces, like wooden table tops, for such a machine.

There is more than enough rigidity in the Di3's frame, along the Y axis, to ensure the Y axis stays flat and preserves it's relationship to the other 2 axes. There are the side rails, made from pressed steel, and the hardened rods for the bearings. The frame forms a box with internal offset members, so it's got memebers in compression and tension at the same time. This part of the Di3 is more than strong enough for the task.

Once the Y braces are added, front and rear, the wholes horizontal chassis becomes very rigid. Tie this horizontal chassis to the vertical axis, with a diagonal, and the whole frame becomes a cell (with members in compression and tension all working together).

Suffice to say... four points of contact to the desk is more than enough, while six could be too many (causing teeter). :)

What's going on with Back_Y_Brace.5? Looks like you added a bunch of mounting holes for some cool future thing? Is it worth my time and filament? Or should I just print the more standard looking Back_Y_Brace.4?

AzzA - in reply to coxwal

The plan is to place a cable chain under the print-bed, for the heater and thermistor cables.

This will probably happen once winter descends on Oz.

Very grateful for this brace design. Thank you. Combine this with a 50mm blower fan and JetGuy's mods (3dprinterbrain.com) and I reckon you're in $800 printer territory.

I have a couple comments that may help others with getting these parts done right on a stock i3 the first time:

  • slow down the first layer printing speed a LOT. The upper left/right brackets came out looking like crap for me because the bolt holes didn't adhere to the bed properly with default Cura settings. Slowing down print speed to 10-15mm/s helped so much! Lowering "jerk" and acceleration speeds by 20% or so in Repetier firmware settings may help too
  • I did not print the rear Y brace because it interferes with routing the wire loom under the bed, but its probably better to route the wires another way so that you can stiffen the rear too
  • the front Y-brace printed a little short for me - there is about a 2mm gap between the corner piece and the brace such that the Y chassis is still able to flex. I will print a shim to wedge in there to firm it up and if I remember, I'll post a design file on thingiverse. I also have a bed adhesion issue where long parts like this tend to curl up with or without a brim so I'll need to resolve that. I use a glass bed with 1:2 elmers glue:water solution btw.
  • In the USA the 5/16-18 3-foot threaded rods are $4.99 at Ace hardware. A set of 8 nuts (4 nyloc, 4 regular) was about $1.20. A set of 12 adhesive vinyl/rubber pads was about $3. I think the M3 bolts were about $0.16 reach. So under $15 out the door for all needed hardware.

Thanks DockGuy,

some very good tips on how to get the most out of a wobbly printer. Once folks have done this mod' they should be able to speed up the first layer and overall print speeds (but leave the jerk and accell values at the reduced levels).

There should be less than 1mm at each end of the horizontal braces, I suspect your issue here is caused by shrinkage from the loss of bed adhesion.

With your ahesion problems: the Elmers/PVA glue is OK, and I have gotten some good results from it, but it can be a bit hit and miss swinging between too much adhesion and not enough. Try using a glue stick. There is a purple glue stick that everyone in the US raves about but it's not available here in Oz so I've used a couple of generic brands; they all sem to be much the same, a water based paste.

To apply the glue stick, just smere it evenly across the whole surface of the glass. When using the glue stick on glass it's not necessary to apply fresh glue each print but you should refresh the surface with water. Keep a small lint-free rag handy and use it to smooth-out and refresh the surface before every print. Dip the rag in water and wipe the suface evenly until you feel the glue going viscous/slippery, you should get the same feedback/resistance on the rag for the whole surface of the glass. If there's any debris left on the glass, from the last print job, it can be picked off once the glue is wet or by using a dry scraper blade (I find that wet is less mess).

I do this "refresh" just after I have started a print from SD card; I heat the bed to 50 degrees C, so there is plenty of time to give a quick wipe and the surface is perfect for first layer ahesion by the time the bed has hit 50C and the hot-end has heated. This method seems to give the best amount of tackyness (if that's a word). I left a printer unused for 2 months and it printed fine using this method to refresh the bed surface. You only need to re-apply more glue occassionaly. Alloing the bed to cool to room temp' will usually release all but the biggest prints, without need of tools or a trip to the freezer, most things will fall off or only require a gentle to firm tap.


Just have to ask before i loose more hair on this.

I started to print parts from Plate2.

Do i need both kind of Balls or BallsMk2 for that one?
In the Balls and BallsMk2 its some plastic in the way for putting in the nut there. Or is it meant for the rod to fit into the small hole or to trill the hole bigger?

Some people find balding scalps quite the turn on, keep it up and you might just get lucky. ;-)

Either ball will work fine; one has clean lines and prints easy, the other has finger grips and is a bit more challenging to print.

The only difference between plates is: plate #1 needs 4 balls, whilst plate #2 requires 6 balls.

The balls will print properly without support because the design/stl already has support built in... just break the little round piece out, from the middle, using pliers or a hex-key/screwdriver... no drilling required, and your rod should then push through snuggly.

Love the design, almost done printing! Have you considered adding an idler assembly to the front panel instead of the zip tie? Here's one design: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:992552. The nice thing is by having a front panel, one wouldn't need to drill the frame like the design above.

Duplicator i3 y-axis idler assembly
by tjlqk3

Glad you like it and can make use of it.

I did consider an updated idler but it's a case of diminising returns for time and effort.

There was a hot rod workshop in Adelaide, South Australia, and hey had a big sign on the wall "Speed costs money, how fast do you want to go?" Another maxim I picked up in the pursuit of speed is "Parts left out don't cost any thing and don't break down". And we all know about K.I.S.S.

An adjustable idler on the Di3 is a bit like a rat with a gold tooth; it looks slick, hip, groovey and cool, and very top-end, but it's still what it is... be it a rodent or a sub $500 3D printer... there's a point were function, for function's sake, is just giving way to bling. ;-)

AzzA - in reply to AzzA

BTW... if I do add something... it will be the rest of the cable chain mounting for the heat-bed cables. The optional back bracket has the rear most mount, I just need to measure up and further test some options for the moving end. I have some 7mm chain already, I just need summer (here and now) to ease-up a bit; 40-odd Celcius does not make for good ideas (other than chilled beer). :-)

Thanks AzzA. Very well made and designed solid braces. My printer is now solid like a brick. Thanks and Happy new Year.

AzzA - in reply to jasdall

Happy NY 2 U 2 :-)

Quick question, where is it that you got your support rods from? I cant find any that are long enough for the entire length of the support.

AzzA - in reply to civ5ftw

Look in your local business/phone directory for "bolts and fasteners"; you should be able to find a suppier that has 1 metre or 3 foot lengths of 8mm or 5/16" endless thread (or threaded rod, depending on local lingo).

Alternately, ask at your local hardware or mechainical/machinery supplies... never know what they have until you ask. ;-)

400mm to 405mm lengths are enough, if you cannot find longer to cut down yourself.

Thanks for the wonderful and thorough design. It is one of the most significant mods for the I3. I marvel in the elegant and practical rugged modular design. Truly awesome! :)

AzzA - in reply to Mal3D

Much thanks. :-)

It was born through necessity in the first instant, but has proven to turn an ok printer into a really good printer... This and a few other mods. ;-)

I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out what to print. So far I've concluded that I need to print the following to mount the z-axis stabilizing rods:

1x TopLeft_fixed
1x TopRight_fixed
1x BottomLeftForBalls_fixed
1x BottomRightForBalls_fixed
6x BallsMk2

When they have been mounted, I can print

1x BackFootLeft.2.2
1x BackFootRight.2.2
1x Back_Y_Brace.4
1x Front_Y_Brace.3

and have a full kit. Is that correct?

Yes, that should give you one combination that produces a full kit.

If anyone is wondering the same, you can use the plated stl files as a guide.


Hi AzzA

Is there any problems with 'just' printing the 2 plated stl files?

I have never had an issue with printing multiple parts at once.

Planning on doing this upgrade in my Christmas holiday :)

Hi AzzA

Is there any problems with 'just' printing the 2 plated stl files?

I have never had an issue with printing multiple parts at once.

Planning on doing this upgrade in my Christmas holiday :)

Nope :)

If your printer is up to the task and you've got enough filament, go for it; there's been a few folk post pictures of just that. :)

Got my M8 rods, but the ball-holes are way to small, how is it supposed to fit a M8 threaded rod?

And then I realized it, theres support.

Yep, just snap the support out with some long-nose pliers or use an Allen/hex key... or your favourite pointy thing.

Hi guys, I'm having a problem and hope someone can help.

I'm a new dup i3 owner and have successfully printed several items including cookie cutters, the whano ok hand and a Christmas ornament -- all in PLA. Successful, one and done!

I was in the process of printing this fantastic mod, but I am having problems:

My first attempt to print the parts in PLA failed -- the parts came out looking good, but much too brittle to use. In PLA, my settings were: 20% infill, 212 extruder, 65 bed temp, fan speed 35-100%, measured filament diameter (was 1.74mm) and keyed it in. I saved the settings so I can provide more if the above is not enough information. I really didn't fiddle much with the standard settings. The parts printed were much too brittle, like potato chips in a way, slight pressure could crack most of the parts (not the balls however)

So this morning I tried to print them in ABS. Failure. Never printed before in ABS,, so used these settings: 50% infill, (second attempt 30%), no fan, Filament 1.75mm, changed the flow to 107% because the first time the lines it printed had a little underfill, Nozzle 245 first layer, 235 subsequent, bed temp 100. On the first attempt mostly the failure was underfill of the part in general, but really the failure most noticed was the front upper attachments had pulled up from the printing surface (curling in the corners). Second attempt (with 107% better flow) filled better, but about 4 layers in (I just printed the upper attachments), the corners turned up and the model broke free from the base.

I use stickall glass sprayed with hairspray.

So the questions: Any ideas for settings in PLA, as this produced the best looking part, just too brittle to use for a mechanical purpose, or "B" ideas on settings for these parts using ABS? I used repitier, but I have purchased simplify 3d

One last point which I'm sure is somewhat relevant; My printer is in my basement, and I live in Michigan, the room is a cool 65 degrees -- but no drafts, just on the cool side. If an enclosure is warranted, I don't have a problem with that, but I'd rather go another route initially and do an enclosure maybe a little farther down the road.

I hope the explanation helps. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated,


This just happened to me. The problem I had was Cura had a larger default filament diameter than I had, and I did't double check all of my settings... That threw off it's calculations about how much material would be getting extruded and resulted in the brittle design. It reminded me of a piece of pumice (albeit printed in PLA).

After correcting the filament diameter, it printed beautifully.

Can you post a picture of the print?

My experience suggests your PLA is not of the best quality; for structural parts the colour should be solid (no sign of it being clear), as this indicates that filler has been used in the formulation. Filler in PLA makes it more plastic, less brittle, and generally it will print consistently for environmental changes. It will generally cost a bit more for quality, but your work will be easier.

I live on the other side of the pond, so I cannot suggest a local supplier for you. I suggest you ask around and be prepared to try a couple of brands, there's a lot of difference out there.

Nov 1, 2015 - Modified Nov 1, 2015

I have everything printed and installed. What's the best method to level the tower part to 90 degrees from the bed? a framing square from the desktop looks way off so I'm leery to try and move it that much.

--sorry just noticed the method on the bottom of the instructions. Will give it another go.

AzzA - in reply to vkoser

I used a large engineers/carpenters square and aligned the bench-top and the outside front edge of the Z towers (the folded edge). This works well. The folded edge can be a bit round so you need to eyeball the front face at a slight angle, or run your finger along the edge and the square (to feel, rather than to see).

Before making any adjustment, loosen the two large screws at the base of the Z towers (under the printer, where the Z axis joins the Y axis rails). Tighten them once squared.

If your frame is really bent, you might need to remove one of the big screws from the bottom of each tower.

Unless you pull you printer apart, or transport it roughly, you should only ever have to do this job once

It's a must have for the DI3. I get better prints because i have this mod.

Me too; much better prints.

If you align your printer and it remains aligned, your printing experience will be much better.

I have aligned (squared and trammed/leveled) two modified Di3's and moved them around on the workbench, for cleaning, and they have both remained aligned. Ready for use when I am ready to use them.

I only level my printers when they need to be, which can be after many prints, or after I've done some hot-end maintainance etc... you have a wobly printer, or a bad limit switch, if you need to level too often.

This is a excellent mod, and every i3 owner should print this!

The parts are amazingly well designed, and easy to install; AzzA, you are a credit to the community, sincerely thank you for all the work you put into this.

AzzA - in reply to peps1

Thank you.

I can assure you the old maxim is still a good one, but we can change it a bit for the future... "measure twice, make once". ;-)

This design worked great for me. Thanks!

Thank you for the thank you :-)

Please post a picture; you get to show off your new better printer! :-)

what length of rods it needs?

Hi Denis,

2 x 400-410mm of 8mm or 5/16" threaded rod.

I've been using 400mm long, and it's been just long enough on the two Di3 printers I have.
It normally sells in 1000mm lengths, so you get enough for two pieces, or one printer.


Aug 23, 2015 - Modified Aug 23, 2015
denis0k - in reply to AzzA

Hi AzzA,
thanks a lot for info, I will split my 1m rod to 2 parts of 400mm each and try to make this upgrade for my Di3 )

i use this kit on my printer and i must say: if you own a wanhao dup i3, use this kit! its a fantastic upgrade! :D
Ty so much for sharing this!

Thanks Sidenius,

I think if anyone wants a stiffer Di3, they will have to build one from scratch. ;-)

Jul 30, 2015 - Modified Jul 30, 2015

So Just to double check, for all ball set up I need:

1x TopRight_fixed

1x TopLeft_fixed

1x BottomRightForBalls_fixed

1x BottomLeftForBalls_fixed

1x BackFootRight.2.2

1x BackFootLeft.2.2

8x BallsMk2.stl

AzzA - in reply to peps1

Only need 6 balls for that combination.

Sorry for the slow response; I have problems with Thingumyverse on mobile devices.

I really like your new Y axis brace. I measured it in netfabb and I am not sure the dimensions jive completely. The groove is 10mm deep but the idler mount bracket only allows for 5 or 6mm of clearance. I think this bar will still work but the groove won't engage completely. What this intentional?


AzzA - in reply to Drazen

Version 2 now uploaded; it should have clearance, if I got it right.

AzzA - in reply to Drazen

I was hoping the brace would sit tight or close against the idler bracket, but I couldn't measure at the time because the printer was running. Intention is the for the slot to be full of metal, all 10mm, to the bottom of the slot. I might get a chance in a few hours to take better measurements and modify the design, otherwise it might be another day or so...

I'll also try to reduce the bulk of the design, by ribbing it, but then again using a good ratio of infill does the same job and looks cleaner. Hole dimensions need to be checked too. Early days yet. Still just thinking out loud.

Thanks for the feedback. :)

Drazen - in reply to AzzA

I printed out and installed your V2 Y axis brace. Just like all of your designs I've tried it printed out easily with no supports needed. PLA @50mm/s 205C 0.2mm layers, 3 shells, 27% fill.

The piece requires some effort to slip onto the frame (this is a good thing!) and the holes/countersinks are perfectly sized. It clears the Y bracket and corner brackets with precision. I can see 2 issues.

The zip tie recess needs to be ~2mm deeper to allow the head of the zip tie to not be the lowest point of the printer.
The Y brace is ~3mm taller than the Z axis corner mounts so it acts as a single middle "foot" instead of the corners. This may not be an issue for people.
As for effectiveness, I have no idea.

Just curious, did you think about putting the braces on the back of the machine so there would be less interference when trying to remove parts from the bed? You would have to have the top connectors on the side and would probably have to extend back a ways so the rod would be clear of the path of the rising X-axis stepper.

Sure did... The stepper was the big hurdle; no easy way around it. Without eating away at desktop space, I decided the front was most efficient and tidy. I was concerned about access to the print bed, but in practice it's not been an issue... and I've been doing some large prints.

I'm presently printing a second set of parts, for another i3 that I've just ordered. Great value!

BottomLeftForBalls.stl is still has flipped surfaces as of 7/20

Files Netfabbed @ https://netfabb.azurewebsites.net/ and re-uploaded:

BTW what slicer is choking on the files?

One of the tops was also flipped surfaces. Slicer is S3D. I just deleted them and mirrored the good parts with S3D like I did on the old parts. Visually when they are imported the part looks like it is inside out and you can see the inside but no exterior walls except maybe the back and bottom.

I'm new to S3D and I've had a pattern of crashes when loading *.cgode files for preview. It was after this I noticed the same inside-out kind of display, but the files would slice fine regardless, so I thought it was a graphics glitch. Cura, on the other hand, doesn't bat an eyelid at all; displays fine and slices just the same.

I've sliced both tops this weekend and both printed fine, both using S3D.

I think the errors are creeping in with the DreamSpark stl output, then being exacerbated by Cura when I used it to flip the stl files on the X-axis. Blowed if I can work out how to flip/mirror a finished model using DreamSpark, it's very capable otherwise. I use SolidWorks at work and DreamSPark at home (because it's free*), moving between the two is the least head XXXX'ing of other free options.

S3D has a good mesh mirror that I use. You could just try loading the original still and do a mesh mirror on X then save as the new part.

Will do... it was a case of too many toys not enough playtime. :-) Went to Cura as the devil I know.

Jul 18, 2015 - Modified Jul 18, 2015

Topleft.stl/BottomLeftforBalls.stl/Foot_Rear_Right.stl appear to be damaged, a lot of the triangles are inverted or..gone?

Apologies, all files have been deleted and re-uploaded. I'll download them now and check them. Please let me know if there's further issue.

What happened to the topleft.stl and topright.stl files?

Sorry about that, they got eaten by the Interspiders in the Interwebs... that and half the files I was trying to post.

Come to Australia. We have kangaroos, koalas, crocadliles, and sharks. We also have some of the slowest Internet on the face of this planet and a government that spends more time trying to kill the sharks, safari hunt the crocadiles, deforest the koalas, and cull the roos than it does trying to provide us with a better communications system infrastructure. Aussie,.. Aussie... Aussie... Duh... Huh... What...

Jul 14, 2015 - Modified Jul 14, 2015

I think you may have uploaded the wrong STL for the "ball" part. The 8mm through hole only goes halfway through the part. The side a nut would be inserted into has a protrusion with a 4mm hole. Please take a look. I'd love to use your design!

AzzA - in reply to Drazen

Good catch... kinda... I forgot I did that.

Just print the balls as they appear in the preview, with support disabled, and near enough to full infill.

The plug in the middle of the ball is for support, it will pull out cleanly with needle nose pliers, so you do not need to enable support in your slicer. I find that most slicers add too much support for the likes of such a small hole, I also made it to print on my DIY MK, and it has some chronic bearing issues ATM, and fine support structures end up messier than they should be.

I'll also upload another version of the ball; it's for the underside of the frame brace; the socket possibly does not have enough clearance for the grips... it might, but my prototype fitment has knobby ball on top with a Nyloc in it, and the smooth ball on the bottom has a plain nut in it. (Balls, nuts, and bottoms; this project has it all!) :-)