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Belt Drive Wade's Extruder

by iquizzle, published

Belt Drive Wade's Extruder by iquizzle Jul 1, 2013
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Why? Cuz it's retro! Hipsters like Bre will show up at your door just to tell you how cool your extruder is.

Actually, belt drive has several advantages over printed gearing.

  • gears don't wear out
  • backlash-free
  • smoother operation
  • easier to tightly clamp gt2 pulleys onto the motor shaft
  • less friction

This mod changes the motor mount to accommodate belt tensioning and includes a motor-side bearing brace. Mounted on UConduit (shown). I'll be making one for my MendelMax and posting pictures soon.


Required parts:

  • GT2 pulley - 5mm bore (17T standard, 36T bowden)
  • GT2 pulley - 8mm bore (65T standard, 60T bowden)
  • GT2 belt (88T standard, 94T bowden)*
  • 608 bearings (I used 3x total, including the one for the wade's idler to properly space the hobbing, this could be different for you depending on where the hob is on your bolt)
  • M4x50 screws for clamping the M4 wade's idler
  • standard wade's hardware
  • 4mm x 1/8 NPT push-to-connect (bowden only)

I have only tested the bowden configuration so far (on my UConduit h-bot http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:102972), so this is a "work in progress" for another week or so. I will be testing the non-bowden configuration soon... although I don't anticipate any problems.

I sourced belts and pulleys from http://store.terawattindustries.com/77-00str00der-belt-driven-extruder.html#/00str00der_assembly_options-belt_and_gears_only/00str00der_parts_options-no_nema17_motor

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I'm having trouble finding the recommended pulleys for a bowden setup. Is it a bad idea to use 65T/17T on a bowden?

You could run that gear ratio on a bowden setup. I use a 1.67 gear ratio and 8x microstepping so that I can maximize retract speed. A hobbed bolt has a smaller diameter (~7mm) than direct drive systems. This means that every revolution of the bolt will drive less filament than a direct drive system (which have ~10mm hob diameter). Now if you gear this extruder down and use bowden, you'll have higher torque, but you'll also have to spin your extruder motor much faster. You might be able to compensate by lowering your microstepping to achieve a low number of steps per mm.

One place I know you can get the pulleys those pulleys is here: http://www.sdp-si.com/http://www.sdp-si.com/
If you click on the 'buy online' link, then the metric tab and then pulleys, you can find the ones that I used.
Part numbers:
60T, 8mm bore = A 6Z51M060DF0608
36T, 5mm bore = A 6Z51M036DF0605
94T 6mm belt = A 6R51M094060

Double check those to make sure they're right, but that should do it.

Thanks for the link. I've ordered the parts and will start printing the other parts tomorrow. I'm currently using 1/16 microstepping on all my motors after this upgrade to 60T/36T should I drop the extruders to 8x? or lower?

I use a rather large retraction speed and a high jerk and accel setting. I reduced my extruder to 8x microstepping so that I wouldn't hit the step frequency limit on my arduino. If you get blobbing, it's important to increase your retraction. You want a high jerk and acceleration, so that you very quickly establish a vacuum to prevent melted plastic from dripping out the nozzle.