Linear Bearing X Axis Carriage for ToM

by MakeALot, published

Linear Bearing X Axis Carriage for ToM by MakeALot Jun 17, 2011

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Linear Bearing Carriage X Axis LMB6UU NOT LM8UU as I originally put here
I found some LMB6UU (SW06UU in US) linear bearings for £4.50 each, so tried them as a direct replacement for the bushes on the Y Axis based on thing http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:9114 by splod, they worked so well that I created an X Axis carriage for them and here it is if anyone would like to try it.

People in the UK can get them from http://www.worldofcnc.com/products.asp?recnumber=167 or get them from eBay ALOT cheaper

I printed the ABP version and found a miscalculation in the end bolt holes; these are corrected in the _FIXED versions of the STL and SCAD files


Print carriage, press 7 @ M3 nuts into the captive holes, insert an 8mm M3 bolt into the belt grip and loosely tighten.

Insert 6 @ 12mm M3 bolts into the supplied HBP part and affix base.

Press 3 linear bearings into the carriage, you may put zip ties round each if you prefer, mine is running happily without.

Insert X Axis belt into slot and slide it down until it is just touching the bolt, gently tighten the bolt so that the belt is just held, but not pinched.

On the Y Axis, I removed the right hand rod and the bushes, inserted the bearings up to the grove and replaced the rod, I let them bed in for a couple of prints before I added the spot of glue to fix them more permanently.

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Can you you also put up solidworks format? I got LM8UU an 8mm rods, this would be perfect to replace those darn busshings.

the file is like you said for LM6UU. can you provide stl for the LM8UU ?

another question.... would this be possible to print on a ToM because of the size? it is actually th
e same size as the printbed right...?


I'm having a hard time finding these bearings on ebay or grainger. Are these the right parts: http://goo.gl/CfZfUhttp://goo.gl/CfZfU I can't find any sw06uu, only sw6uu.

Yes, they're the ones, internal 3/8th inch :)

Thanks for making this great mod. I am curious, what infill and shell settings are you using?

Thanks. It's a long time since I printed it, but I expect it was 25% fill and 2 extra shells.

It's amazing how much quieter my bot is with this. They take almost all of the strain off of the stepper. I am running some 6mm aluminum plates for the HBP and the top x-axis plate and they are pivotal in that setup. It's much more mass to be throwing around, and the added drag from the bushings (others' might not, but mine definitely did have some resistance) would surely have caused problems. This mod is great. Bearings from Marchant on ebay were perfect, however a bit pricier than the LM6UU ones I ordered on accident first (without that B it makes quite a difference) ;)

Yes, unfortunatly the imperial (inches) bearings are far more expensive than the metric (mm) ones. But we have 3/8" bearings, so we have no choice.

I suppose we could insert a 3/8" to 6mm or 8mm spacer at the ends of the rods and change the rods as well as the bearings.

Thanks for the comment, I'm glad it helps. :)

How is this working so far? I'm getting ready to order linear bearings to do this and the y axis. Love it! Just wanted to check as I don't want to tear down if you don't suggest. I stupidly threadlocked my x and y stage so it's not coming apart gracefully. :)

No problems at all so far, If you're printing the Y-axis in http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:11601http://www.thingiverse.com/thi..., you should print that X carriage, not this one as I moved the pulley to the centre and reduced the distance between the X and Y. The left hand end of the Y-axis could do with some strengthening ( bolt holes above and below) , but I've been using it for 3 months and had no problems. I printed these using it http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:12120http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

Linear Bearing Y Axis Carriage for ToM
basic receptacles

Just ordered 3x LM6UU bearings for my ToM as radial bearing idler seems to have introduced quite a bit of Z-play in the platform and the axis is noisier than ever. I am hoping this will sort out the problems so I can get back to some nice printing.

Make sure they're LMB6UU for 3/8" rod. The noise is often related to the stepper driver current, may be worth checking it's correct. Hope it all works out!

I've been doing some work on the Y-Axis, trying to get a very light X
amp;Y platform, currently working, nice and quiet, but needs more rigidity at the moment.

They are LMB6UU, they arrived this morning. What does the 6mm refer to that I've seen in these comments, is it a dimension on the bearing?

I originally used the wrong part number for a metric bearing the part you mentioned LM6UU is for a 6mm shaft LM
6UU is for a 3/8" shaft!

Just realised I'm printing the ABP version over 2 hours into the print, never mind, at least I have the option of going back to the ABP if I want.

The ABP one will work for either, so nothing lost. :)

Seems to be working quite nicely, it was really noisy to begin with but after altering the REF as you suggested on the driver it got a lot quieter. I had to have it much higher before as the default configuration of the X axis with 4 bearings requires a lot of force to move. After the stepped extruder this has to be the best upgrade I've made.

So is "ToM xAxis LM8UU Base FIXED.scad" the correct .scad file to use for the LMB6UU's?

Yes, I used the wrong part number initially and never renamed the files :)

LM6UU bearings are avalible in the US from http://www.vxb.comwww.vxb.com

They list SW6 bearings as 3/8" (or TWU6UU).

Not as cheap as ebay/china, but the product is (in my experience) good and shipping is much faster.

They're the ones! :)

The SW6 I assume?

Based on what I know of the naming conventions, LM6UU should always be 6mm, I've not seen LMB06UU before.

SW or TWU seems the convention for imperial/standard/inch sizes.

I've ordered a few things from VXB and they seem very good (especially price wise). Plus they seem to be doing a great deal on digital calipers right now ($9 with anything else!).

SW06 in US, LMB06 in UK. TWU are self aligning - nice, but expensive I think.

My Cupcake's X and Y axis rods are ~6.36mm (0.25in), so I'm guessing I'll need to cut down some of the 6mm rods I've scavenged from printers to be able to use these bearings. That being a huge effort: just how much will this improve my Cupcake's prints?

The Thing-o-Matic uses
3/8" (9.525mm)
rods not 6mm, so you'd need to change the parameters:
bearingLength=23; and bearingDiameter=16;

To suit 6mm bearings. If you're doing that, it might be worth getting 1/4" bearings instead i.e.
LMB4UU or (I assume SW04UU in U.S.)

As far as improvement, I don't have a cupcake, so I'm afraid I can't tell you, all I can say is that I don't get any slip on the X-Axis even at 150mm/sec with this setup on the ToM. If you are suffering with slip on the X-Axis, first I’d try calibrating your steppers and if still no good, you co
uld always try one of the other bearing follower mods available here on Thingiverse, it might be a simpler mod for you.

Hope that helps?


For some reason the US doesn't use the same names for these bearings. After much hair pulling and research, I've found the US equivalent: SW06UU

Once again the US bastardizes the English language by calling them "side ways" bearings as opposed to "linear motion" I'm so proud.

Here's a link to a shop where they are $6.60 each: I've just ordered some, I hope they work. :)


Hi Bob, I checked the sizes against the ones I have here, they look perfect. Thanks for pointing them out. :-D

On thing http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:9114http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... splod used LMB06UU bearings for Y axis mod as per your questions there. So what is the difference between those and LM8UU used here ? DONT_KNOW

Another X Axis Mod
by splod

Ahh, you're right!, I've put the wrong type number
, it should be LM6UU ! :(
Check it's for 3/8" rod
Sorry to anyone who's gone and ordered any :-E

well, shoot. Meh, the majority of the blame falls on me. Quick, somebody design something that requires 8 LM8UU linear bearings!

I'll update the design when I finish the Y carriage, I'll make sure you can use either LMB6UU or LM8UU, The only problem you'll have is mounting the 8mm rods in your bot.

Sadly the LMB6UU are a lot harder to find and significantly more expensive when you do find them. What is the diameter of the TOM shaft? I am traveling now so cannot measure it on my TOM.

That is a shame, the shaft is 3/8" or 9.525mm

Is there any specific reason for not incorporating the radial bearing follower? Ed achieved no measurable resistance with just bushings and the follower.

Not particularly, I found it easier to just push three of these into place. I think you would have just as much luck with any bearings, but these are the only ones I have. They
’re neat and just push fit. Feel free to modify this design to include the other bearings on the follower. I'd love to see it. :)

BTW, I produced a 20mm test cube at a flowrate of 150mm/s I even produced a 60x60 cylindrical cup at 150mm/s, unfortunately, this one failed on the Y Axis, I have no
t managed to get any slip on the X Axis since I installed this mod (I have calibrated my steppers) I haven’t tried any faster than 150mm/s I thought the machine would shake itself to pieces.

I think that the problem now is the weight of the Y carriage, this either needs to be lighter or we will
need to introduce acceleration/deceleration at the ends of the Y movements.

I don’t pretend to be an expert, I’m just trying out a few things, hope this goes some way to answering your question?

Just can't get tired of good designs and beautiful prints. I sure like these machines.

I keep coming back to this page. The more I look, the more I like. I just need to give up on the RTV and start printing again! :-D

It's the same for me, but the radioactive green color certainly helps to grab one's attention! :)

It was either that or the radioactive red, they go well together... ;)

I don't know what the quality is like but if you are willing to wait for shipping from China you can get these bearings for less than $2 each on ebay:


If the above link is out of date by the time you read this then just search for LM8UU on Ebay.

i got ones from ebay,
£2.45 for 2, and i made an offer of £1.99 for 2, bought 8 in the end!

Great! :)

The 8mm (LM8UU) bearings arrived today very well packaged. That makes 7 days from order to delivery to the US from China. I will order some 400 x 8 mm hardened shafts from McMaster (part number 6112K45) and experiment a bit. Let's see if the ones that are being shipped from the UK ( 3/8" or LMB6UU) will get here sooner.

Good luck with that, I'm playing with a Y-Axis, it's in OpenSCAD as well, I'll post it when I know it works and I'll make sure there's a parameter for 8mm or 3/8" bearings...

Received the 3/8" bearings from England yesterday - a lot slower than from China as it took nearly a month to get here (NY-USA) - but also well packed.

Yes, transatlantic shipping is a real pain. I sometimes wait that long for the parts I order from Makerbot, especially annoying when you know they ship the items on the day of your order... :(

I've done a fair amount of work on the Y-Axis, nearly complete when my MK6 resistors burnt out, now I need to complete my upgrade to MK6+, just haven’t had enough time.
Sneak peek:

Any news on the improved Y-stage? I have modified the X stage (thanks for the scad file) to use with my removable HBP and ABP setups and it works beautifully. Hopefully it will be a lot quieter than the wooden one.

Ah, I've been busy on other stuff (work mainly), but I have a small window next week where I might be able to get back to it, All I need to do is get the belt adjuster completed and add some mounts for the end stop. Hopefully! I'm glad you got it working, I note a few other people are now printing it, (they must have finally got their bearings delivered from China), so I expect there'll be some more feedback.

I am looking forward to the day I can replace my Y-stage using the linear bearings! :-D

Looks beautiful. It is rigid enough to hold a full X stage, ABP and thing? How are you holding the X rods in place?

Still experimental at this point, I only have enough parts to print, dismantle, measure, re-assemble, print some more, repeat

I’m trying to use as light a structure as possible, but as it can be taken apart without any screws, I anticipate printing more/less substantial parts until I get the lightest structure that can perform the task. I was impressed with being able to print at 150mm/sec on the X-Axis and I’d
like to be able to go faster on the Y (I can reliably print at 50mm/sec at the moment). I guess that without acceleration it will be a balance between speed and strength, but I guess there will be a limit around the 70mm/sec mark because of the weight of the X Rods/Motor/platform/etc.

The X rods a
re held in place between the two end blocks using the tension on the X timing belt and bolts through the one on the motor end. The tensioner has a coupling to the main bed which helps this. I want to use the two X rods as the main support for the X Axis, with the bed mainly providing the coupling
to the Y Axis and resistance to any twisting.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so as soon as I’ve got my hot end back up and running, I need to complete the belt tensioner and settle my ideas for the travel limit switch. I will have to move the belt coupler on the X Axis as I have the
X stepper in the centre of the bed and it is also lower to give me a few more mm on the Z Axis.

I also thought I’d look at your quick connecter to see if there isn’t anything I could use to simplify the build platform attachment.

I've got 8 for USD 19.99 from eBay yesterday at


I will post when I receive and try them (they were one of the recommended ones from eBay and shipping to the US is included).

Very nice! Did you get any Z height improvement?

I am working on a fast switching carriage to flip between the ABP ( have not given up on it yet) and the HBP ( using 4 plastic clips that "hugs" the carriage in the 4 corners ) and this looks really better as a starting point ( ABS beats wood over time). Some super magnets and matching pins would
allow the easy switching.

That all sounds very interesting! having just done up all those nuts, I was considering the same. After fittin it, Z position changed from 105.5 to 119.7, but I think that is the same as a standard HBP over ABP.

I modelled it on the base of the HBP, so not much surprise that it turns out the same height. I expect that I could get another 7-8mm before running into the end stop and if I really tried, maybe 12-15mm. So a possible 130mm, it seems a lot of effort for 10mm extra height.

This is my first bash
and it only took a few hours, so I'm sure I'll be playing some more (makes a change from pencil holders :) )

I look forward to seeing your efforts...

As you saw the Quick Flip ABP/HBP ( http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:9966http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... ) thing works well but right now it still needs the wood cutouts to really set the precise location for the build platform (so the X and Y positions are always the same).

The clips could do that too by slotting the front plates so all 3 dimensions would be fixed (right now they only hold the z aspect). I will modified it so it can be used with your X stage. I will try it with the X- stage I have already printed to see how it would work.

Quick Flip - fast swicth between HBP and ABP

Did not have much luck putting in the last LMM6UU in place. The sides just snapped out. I will try printing it again after scaling up just a tiny bit.

Could you please check what are the dimensions in your printed piece? The base for mine measured 67.7mm by 97.5mm .

67.9mm by 97.7mm, I can't believe that matters, what are the external dimensions of the bearings, mine are 22.2mm by 15.9mm diameter. =-O

Bearings are 22.0 and 15.9 so basically the same. I may have printed the non-fixed version. I will try again.

The FIXED version only moves the holes; it doesn't change the bearing diameter.

if you can use OpenSCAD, load the fixed version, make sure that

Press F6 and then export the STL and try that instead.

There is something weird at the beginning of SCAD file:

buildForABP=true; // change this to true for Automatic Build Platform


It seems that some text got garbled in the Length line.

This is shorthand logic:

if (buildForABP) {


} else {



Did you try building it, there should be no problem with this line. :)

Ohh! I just went brute force and made it platformLenght=97.9; and changed bearingDiameter to 16.2 and it worked nicely as you can see above.

My layer height is 0.35 at the moment.

The part looks really solid and the bearings sit firmly in now. No need to cable ties. I tried it with the future longer Z-rod (raising the TOM roof by 50 mm) and they slide smoothly. :)

Sounds good. I don't use the bolt in the belt coupling, this way, I can remove it at will.

Like the Orange BTW, nearly as eye catching as the green...

If this doesn't work, you can always use cable ties (zip), that's what the hole in the middle of each bearing mount is for, not as attractive though and requires cutting for removal. I pop mine off the bearings when I want to change something and then push it back on without removing the bearings from the rods, I've done this 10 or so times already and I have not seen this problem.

Maybe it's the layer to layer bonding, I'm using a layer height of 0.34mm.

One other thing, your end bolt holes look a long way up, did you print the "FIXED" version? DONT_KNOW

I'm curious if there would be some way to integrate platform leveling into this design...

I printed it, removed all levelling elements and then printed a spacer to go between this and the wooden plate. Because the wooden plate has not been levelled, the printed space is uneven in exactly the same way. if you keep it in the correct orientation and place the spacer between the platform and the wood, you get a perfectly level platform (give or take a bow in the top plate)

To print the spacer, I started the print again and stopped it when I thought it was thick enough.
you could also slice the top off in OpenSCAD by intersecting the platform with a cube say 4mm high. and then printing the result.