Easy Install Thing-O-Matic Universal X & Y Axis Belt Tensioner

by Gossamer, published

Easy Install Thing-O-Matic Universal X & Y Axis Belt Tensioner by Gossamer Sep 12, 2011
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This is the final version of my X & Y tensioner. It is now a universal one usable on both Axis. It is slipped over the 4 bolts attaching the motor and utilizes the existing tension slots.

You will need to drill one hole for each tensioner. The Y uses a 20mm 3M Bolt and the X uses a 16mm one. The X can be a tight fit for thickness, so I suggest you try your first one on the X, if it's too thick you can still use it on the Y.

If you are looking for something that is more securely fastened down or you have issues with warping/pulling off the bolts, there are 2 other options that should fit the bill.

The first alternative uses countersunk bolts and was created by Tunell: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:11775/

The second is the derivative of this one by M_G that adds a layer of plastic under bolt: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:14098


Print, Clean, Check Bolt & Nut tolerances.

Y Installation:

Just slip it over the bolts and screw into it.

X Installation:

You'll need to nearly remove the lower bolt from the front rail endcap, I suggest getting it flush with the nut. Slide it in between the front rail and the motor pulley and push it onto the bolts.

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I printed one of these and managed to get a hole sort of in the right spot. I just had an idea in my head that it would be cool to have a drilling guide that you could bolt on to the end cap holes that would show you the right place to drill the hole. Then you could be really sure where the hole is supposed to go instead of going with trial and error like I did.

huh... or design an endcap that doubles first as drill guide, then as a load spreading washer. Then you wouldn't have to uninstall it.

Great upgrade part!

After fitting these I was able to increase my max print speed significantly and get rid of occasional "walking" of the y-axis (when a tooth slips over the gear causing your next layer to be off by on tooth length).

I've got new problems now though. The higher speeds are making it hard to print ra
ftless/mouse-ear-less without the bottom layers lifting/peeling and all the previously stable cracks on my acrylic parts are growing...one part has already since shattered. Hopefully too many others are not encountering these new problems.

This really improved my print quality!

Just added X and Y today. Brilliant fix. Hope it fixes the y skipping I was getting.

Great little design! I was getting tired of re-tensioning my Y every time it got sloppy. Much appreciated. 8-)

i just designed and uploaded one exactly like this!!! Crazy!

This makes it so much easier to set the tension, it seems to hold tension better than just the screws in the wood too. Thanks for putting this up!

The y axis was slipping on my TOM no matter how tight I cranked the bolts. This has totally solved the problem. Genius.

I like your Y tensioner. I'll have to try it out. For now, what I ended up doing was dremelling two very small slots in the back and using a large zip-tie around the motor (under the acrylic sheet). It works well, but is not (easily) adjustable.