P3steel - toolson edition

by toolson Oct 10, 2015
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and excellent machine design and extremely rigid structure.
built one but with the addition of MKS Gen V1.4 Board
so far an wonderful experience as a novice
slicers are very tricky and difficult and still learning
so far my built is on the table with open wiring, still looking for some build pictures with cable/wiring management as i am very poor at this.
anyway really appreciate your time and effort

Can I have the CAD files for editing? I wanted to change some parts on thus guy, which is unfortunately not possible with the STL files...

The MK1 is drawn in SketchUp. There is no usefull export possibilty.
Blame google. You are on your own.

Well I finally finished this printer. I upgraded from a self sourced prusa i3 which ran for nearly 2 years.
The toolson edition is a solid printer. Very steely compared to a threaded rod prusa i3.
Comparing the noise level of both printers using cheap A4899 or whatsoever drivers I must say that the p3steel edition seems to be a bit louder then my old prusa i3. I guess part of this is because of the bowden extruder's retraction settings. Before I used a direct drive extruder.

Comparing the print quality I cannot see a difference. Be it my old prusa i3 being correctly setup up and tuned or the newly installed bowden I would also say at the current state of my setup the print quality degraded a tad. But then again, my prusa i3 was tuned over the years. I thought that the reduced weight from the bowden extruder and seemingly more rigid construction of the p3steel over the prusa i3 (self-sourced clone; original E3D v6) would boost the part quality but I might say that print quality largly depends on your tuning.
Once again I was taught that you should never change a running system, albeit pushing more fine tuning and money into new drivers will obviously increase overall performance.
Nevertheless, the toolson edition seems to be the way to go when building a p3steel.

Hi Lars,

great project, really nice!
What power cob led are you using here?
I have a 10W around but I think it would get a bit too warm.

thanks in advance

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Congratulations, very good work.
Do you have .step files of your design? In which Software you do the designs?
I would be glad to use your parts for my project, but I would change some things in my parts.
Best regards from austria

Can you tell me where i can get information about the aluminum plate and the silicon heater ?

Great design.
Do I have to print this with PLA or ABS?
What is the best to us?

PLA, ABS, PETG, ASA, .... it doesn't matter.

Use a Material with low warp.

I have printed and started using the parts.
But I have problems keeping the cooling fins semi cold.
They become too hot to touch.
I am using the original 30mm fan that came with the e3d.
Is my fan defective or not good enough?
Or is it normal to become so hot?
Love the compact design of this thing!

Hi Toolson, I'm mid printing all the bits to upgrade my P3 to your designs. (will attach and credit the prints later) Noticed in your complete zip file you don't include your Z axis anti wobble coupling. I presume the coupling you have here on Thingiverse work with your X axis print?

Thanks again for the precision designs!

The zip includes the AWC's.

Ah, my mistake!

Excellent Build. I'm want to move from my Grabber i3 Acrylic to a Steel Model. Do you mind share what kind of steel have you used? Also, using the 4.0 frame, will it be compatible with the MK42 Bed upgrade from the Original Prusa Research? Thanks in advance

Normal 3mm steel like S235.

The version 4.0 is an independent development and is not compatible with V2.x frames.
I think is not ideal to go for such big build plate. The result will be very heavy.

So what would the difference be between being laser cut and plasma cut? I have access to a plasma table for cost of material. Will it be "close enough"? thanks

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I love what you have done with the P3Steel!

Can you provide the cad files for the x-axis ends? I am using lead screws and would like to modify your design to accept them.

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Nice edition! Do you plan on going for trapezoial rods? I would really much like to see this :)

From where can i download the firmware?

Have a look at my blog.

Otherwise you can use the Marlin Kimbra or Repetier online configurator to build your own firmware.

Hi Lars, printing is going well so far in flaming red PETG :), using the infill rates you recommended.

A question, I had ordered some Misumi linear bearings for the Z axis but they have not arrived in 6 weeks and the seller is not responsive. I have a set of Igus RJ4JP 01-08 bushings that I'm not using (using sintered bronze bearings for X and Y instead, per your design) - can I use those for the Z axis or do you recommend against that? I'm using CF53 H6 tolerance hardened rods for the build. Thanks!

The cheap 2$ LM8UU are good enough for the job.

You can use the RJ4JP but don't expect something special.

Thanks. I have the Igus bushings on hand and would need to buy the LM8UU so might as well use the Igus then.

Hi Lars, I'm printing the parts for the mk2. Is there a point in going beyond 25% infill for any or all parts when printing in PETG? Which part(s) would benefit from higher infill rates? Thanks!

Groove mount clamp should be near solid, go for 80%.

You can print the X-ends and the rework adapter with more infill (40%).

Anything else is fine with 25%

Great. Thanks for the quick reply (and again for sharing your designs in the first place)!

hello im having problems with the Y axis endstop mount, its perfectly printed and installed just like in the picture, but when the heated bed goes to 0 position the extruder its beyond the left front corner, its like the mount is too backwards and when it hits the lmu88 the nozzle its outside the print area.. how can i solve this ? i want to use this thing or some other that uses the same holes like this. those adjustable endstop are for problem, i want something that stays in the same place, hits the endstop in the same place everytime and use those some holes.. can u please help me?

sory for my inglish


You have to work with offsets. Simply adjust it in your firmware.

I´m sorry, can u explain me a litlle bit more?
if i understand correctly u are saying that i have to adjust the firmware setting so when it hits the endstop automatically ruturn those 2/3 centimeters to the desire position?.
But does this changes something in the software? im using simplify3d, doesn´t overrun those firmware settings?

Adjust the offset in you firmware.

When homing and after hiting the endstop the printbed will return to that 2/3 cm (or any other value adjusted) far position.

For the printer is the Y0 point now that position.

This is why it will not effect your slicer.

You can adjust the offest for the X too.

This is how it should be done, nothing else.

thanks it was very helpful

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Ok great! Thanks for the reply. So should I just put PEI on top of it so I can use autoleveling?

@Bmeehan19, I would love to see your autolevel setup, post pictures / things when you're done.

I have some hurdles to clear here first but I will definitely share once completed.

Toolson, In the US a build plate of 1/4" (or 6mm) is easier to come by. It is Tooling grade and cast. Would that be to heavy at 1.7lbs for decent printing speeds? I have 59ncm (83.6 oz) stepper motor driving it.

Thank you for your help! I have all your protien parts printed and the p3steel v2.5 frame on order from orballo ready for install. I will post up pics once its complete.

@Bmeehan19 , where did you get your rods here in the US? Smooth and threaded?

I ordered mine with my kit from Orballo. But I found a place in Middeltown CT (I happen to be in CT) that has the hardened smooth rods. Im going tonuse the threaded from orballo. I would assume McMaster Carr would have the threaded rods.

@bmeehan19 that's awesome, I am I'm NJ. Are you printing the proteins your self or sourcing them out?

My brother-inlaw is a tech ed teacher and has two 3D printers. I bought the filament and loaded the files I wanted on a card and they magically showed up at my house a week later!!

I need some brother in law magic.... can I pay him for a second set? I will send over more filament and everything.

Sorry but he doesnt want to use the schools property to make money. I understand too. I know Toolsons sells all his parts and its like $100 or so bucks.

Yeah I was half joking to be honest. I didn't know toolson sells a protein pack. I will have to look into it.

6mm is very heavy. Go for something thinner. Start with a MK3 Heatbed.

Hey Toolson. Is there a way to attach a Wades to your e3d extruder mount? It appears on the bottom of the wades there is a recess for the e3d but with your x mount the top of the e3d is flush. Plus there are no mounting holes. Is this something that could be done?

It ispossible to attach a wade. Mounting holes are rework size/pattern.
I have seen some on youtube.

But why do want to use this too big and heavy construction?
There is no need to use it.
Go for something light to avoid bending of the x-axis,...
If you want to have a direct drive you may have a look at the e3d titan.

Thanks. It hard to decide as I want to use the V3 fan shroud and it seems difficult to have that and a direct drive feed. Doesnt look like the totan can accomodate that either. Not sure what to do

Sorry for so many questions. I bought the two radial blowers 3510 @ 5v 7500 rpm 29dba 1.24 cfm. Do you run them full or half etc? Not sure how much air is needed, and with that how much noise is generated.

Thanks again! That V3 fan shroud is absolutely a "thing" of beauty!!

.. it depends on the object to print and the filament. ABS = 0%, PETG = 25%, PLA 75-100% for example.

Make sure that your run the blowers with a step down converter (12V to 5V) otherwise you kill the blowers.

With the converter; will the fans still be controllable like the 12v fans in terms of speed adjustment through the slicer?
Or will it be only on/off?

Its still controlable.

You said at least 25% infill. Is there an optimum infill you like to use for stability and strength?

Can someone recommend printer settings for printing all the proteins? Obviously ABS, but what speed, layer thickness (micron), etc? My friend is going to help me print all the 'things' on his prusa clone, I am not sure what settings we should use.

@toolson, one more question...

Being this is my first 3d printer and I am a total noob... I don't know what things/proteins I need to print more than one of. My buddy isn't ready to print ABS right now and I am thinking of outsourcing the prints.

about 0,2 mm layers (depends on your nozzle) 3 perimeters and at least 25% infill.

Perfect, thanks @toolson again!


@dsko, I have been shopping around for a while and I even emailed Toolson directly... Orballo is the way to go I think. They really should start printing toolson proteins and sell them with their kits.

Thank you for your reply. In the mean time I've found a local company that does laser cutting and a second one for powder coating. I'll ask them for price estimates next week. If they are much more expensive I'll go with Orballo.

No, they don't. It's NC licensed.

oh yeah, totally forgot about licenses!

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do you have a recommendation on where to buy the frame (with shipping to germany)? As far as I found by myself Orballoprinting looks promising.

Hi Toolson,

Thanks for sharing your work and I like the organized wiring, the solution for PSU and the leds to see the printer in dark are awesome.

But in my humble opinion the power cable conectors and the bearing and nuts in Z-axis threaded rod are not good solutions.

Wiring conectors are dissuade in power connections beacause the contact with power streap are not good enough. It is better tinning wire tip because that will deform to fit perfectly into the strip power. And it is not recommended hold the upper extreme of threaded rod Z axis because can appear Z-Wobble.

My english is very bad, but I hope you can understand me. I repeat myself, but it's in my humble opinion.

Thanks for sharing


I am very interested in this, and using it to mount one of my Toranado extruders. I have already purchased 2X frame kits from Orballo - but I have a question - what are you using for your build plate?

I am trying to print the parts on a P3Steel with an E3DV6 and using PLA.
All the parts have been designed with very exact tolerances. I am having trouble fitting them together.
Is it actually possible to have your printer and slicer that well tuned in so you can print with these tolerances?

I printed so many of the kits, i cannot count anymore.
Calibrate your printer and everything will fit just fine.

Printer and Slicer settings are individiual to each printer and filament (even colour). In other words: hardware dependant.
So you have to solve that problem on your own.

(i can see on your webcam, that you are printing very very slow. Watch out, maybe your printer will fall asleep ;) )

I just checked my .4 nozzle and noticed it wasn't round, but oval!
I suspect this is why parts were not fitting.
Even when everything was tightened and properly set in Cura/Slicer, parts always came out too large, and holes too small.
I only have a .2 as a spare so trying that now.
Very, very slowly indeed at 0.156 layer height:'D
Thanks for the quick reply!


Toolson's prints are bang on, so your printer needs to be up to the job and running perfect. Mine is.... only just!!! :)

I find some locking pliars - https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=adjustable+locking+pliers are a must to help you "persuade" nuts into holes and mechanical part into plastic slots!

Just stumbled on your Octopi web feed and watched a cube be printed, very amusing, but nice smooth camera frame rate!

Haha nice one!
Trying to calibrate the extruder with a new 0.4mm nozzle.

Going to have to try out your pebble charge stand soon!

The design is not mine originally! I just cut off a corner to be able to reach the 'back' button : D

Where do You buy filament and which one did You used for this prints it looks awesome.

It's PETG from 3DPSP

did try out bedlevel probe ?

auto bedleveling is contra productive on prusa i3

Can you explain as to why that is? I was planning on installing an autoleveler.

Z-Axis is very slow on an i3. With ABL you will have an always moving Z-axis. That's shit, slow and not precise. <--thats a fact

I always say:
If you cannot level a bed on an i3, please don't try build a printer....

For all of the parts that use bearings, am I able to use just LM8UUs'? If not, what should I be using for the X axis, Y axis?

You can use LM8UU or compatibles on every axis.

Thank you, and one more thing, I noticed that on your threaded rods you use no metal guides on the either side of the x axis. Are you relying purely on a thread in the pla plastic itself?

don't know what you mean. There is no threaded rod directly in the plastic.

Just some little screws for that additional hotend stuff are direct in the plastic.

I think do you mean the z-axis threaded rods going through the x-axis left and right printed part? The x-axis left and right have a little nut space printed into them where I assume you put an M5 nut into?

Thank you very much for all your designs ! Very inspiring.

Thank you very much for sharing ........could you please tell me where i can get the black rods?

thank you

The black rods are hard anodized aluminium rods from IGUS company. Only usable with plastic glide bearings.

Thank you very much for sharing your design, I really like it. I have printed already most of the bits for my P3Steel. Could I please ask why did you replace the bed bearing holders? I'm wondering if I really need them as I have the metal type that came with the frame.
Thanks again

I don't use the normal LM8UU linear bearings. If you want to use them go with metal ones.

I use IGUS bearings that have a bigger outer-diameter

All parts printed, I have everything but the frame, going to have that cut in the coming weeks - Very excited :)

How long did it take you to print everything???

At a guess 40 hours of printing.... Most large parts are 3-5 hours. Realistically I have 100 hours in it... As I reprinted many parts.

Awesome man

I am wondering does it fit to marco V4

Will make it from plexiglass

That looks superb, I really like how well thought out your cabling is. I'm just about to convert my Prusa i3 to a P3Steel... will probably use some of these parts.

I'm almost sure that I already asked you about the up-to date DXF file for the frame... But I can't find my question... I'm so sorry but Is it possible for you to upload the DXF file here? Thanks in advance! Great work, as usual!

Hi Toolson,

excellent. For Germany: What is the best source to get the steel frame from? (On the p3steel wiki there are a couple of shops selling the whole kit).

Thanks for your help.

6 months ago when i converted my prusa i3 into a p3steel, all the steel frame providers were still Spanish

I don't know a german shop selling the frames actually.