Y-Axis Idler Support Bracket for Thing-O-Matic

by CampbellsBot Oct 14, 2011
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I just printed this item and excited about installing my first 'mod' onto my TOM. I am brand new to printing on my TOM - 3 days now - so this may be a newbie thing...am I the only person who can not get the raft off of the bottom of my prints? Or, does every else print without rafts? I looked at almost off the "I made one" pics of this item and no one else has raft parts. I can't pull the stuff off. Anyone offer any insight?


Welcome to the 3D printing community! Removing raft can be a time consuming and sometimes even a part-damaging process, that's why a lot of people print without rafts - if the 3D model allows it. Sometimes the raft is necessary to get a good grip and level base on the platform before printing. An X-Acto blade or similar device is typically the tool of choice to remove raft after trying to manually peel as much off as you can. You can also use a sander or a block of wood with sandpaper glued to it.

For a part this small/short, there's little need for the raft. If you have one of the TOM's with the Automated Build Platform, you may need raft for taller prints, as the flex in the plastic belt can cause the part to tip or run into the extruder head. The ABP belt can also resort in uneven prints
due to the belt bend/flex and wrinkles.

If you do have the ABP, I would suggest scrapping it and get the Aluminum build platform and some wide Kapton tape. MUCH more reliable and parts stick to the platform very well.

Good luck!

Excellent upgrade component!

I didn't like the single-ended support of an idler when belt tension is so critical to good performance, especially as we explore higher feed rates.

Was glad to stumble across this (at: http://prometheusfusionperfection.com/2011/11/29/makerbot-thing-o-matic-upgrades)http://prometheusfusionperfect....

I added a post-processing
step, since I've become weary of dropping screws, nuts, and washers and being forced to my knees to retrieve them;

1) After the print was finished and cleaned up a tiny bit (cosmetics only - all dimensions and aperatures were spot-on);

2) Inserted the nuts and secured in place with screws;

3) Ad
ded a #4 washer on each screw over the nut;

4) Dialed the temperature down on my soldering iron and used a length of filament to plastic-weld the washers in place.

Would be a nice addition to the component to add retainer plastic hubs around the nut recesses, pausing the print at the appropriate
place to allow insertion of nuts into their homes.

Currently this would probably require a manual edit to the gcode between the correct layers, and I have no idea if ReplicatorG will allow a restart after a gcode pause.

Would the same layer need a caress with the hot nozzle and no filament feed to
get good adhesion of the next layer after restart?

During initial assembly of my TOM I had added a length of miniature piano hinge between the inside of the back panel and the underside of the electronics pallet - made retrofitting washers on the Idler bolt easy before installing the Idler Support

Thanks, CambellsBot and tomlombardi!

BallardHill you might find rather than a pause or use of the soldering iron to change this step to mixing up some glue (assuming you are using ABS). This technique I have been using the last couple weeks and it works amazingly well: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:14490http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...


ABS Glue

Yes, beauturner, a good option. I intend to try the slurry technique for several purposes once I install some positive ventilation, and possibly a fume extraction hood, in my TOM's new home.

Until then I'm using no solvents and printing only with the door open :-P

There is some slight benefit to loosely-held-captive nuts when trying to thread into them, though - no critical alignment needed.

Always there are tradeoffs!

Printed nicely (MK7 with 0.3 layer and 20mm speed). The nuts fit perfectly, I did however need a little Dremel action to fit the M4 head into the opening.

Perfect addition! I was noticing the belt pulling the M4 inwards causing the idler to slide up too far and this will take care of that!

Printed it tonight. 69mm/sec @ .15mm layer height. Everything was cruising along perfectly (even got a nifty macro video of it up on my vimeo because the speed was so cool to watch), but then it hit the top of the nut opening and had to bridge and just caught a clump. It's still usable though. Definitely not needing to be printed at .15 but it was my test object for this profile.

All in all thanks for the part. This was one of the first mods I was going to make after building my bot. Actual first being heatsinks and a 70mm fan on the side blowing over the extruder board ;)

Thanks again and let me know if you like the video I took: http://vimeo.com/31417618http://vimeo.com/31417618

It should co
nvert within the hour.

Wow thats fast! Are you using 3mm filament?

Wow that's some impressive speed and layer thickness you got going on there. I based my print on standard settings so everyone who printed it should come out with the same result. Nice video! Thanks for the credit too 8-)

V4 was fine! Thanks for this.

Love it!

I'm not changing anything on my setup, but I did note that the nuts did have a bit of room to rotate. I ended up rotating one of them around further than I would have liked. This may have been me over-tightening.

The geometry of the part from the screws, rod, and idler was perfect.

Thanks agai

Thanks! You can see in my picture the bolts did get overtightened as well. I may decrease the size of those by a hair and re-upload.

Well done! It fits perfectly.

Do you think this is necessary?

I printed the original piece but looking the y-axis idler from very near, there is no vibration, I don't think the force over the acrilic is so strong.

It may not be necessary, but another benefit is because I've had to really tighten my Y-axis belt to avoid getting wobbly circles, so there's a lot of stress on that Y Idler. So it gives me a little reassurance that the bolt doesn't get bent or the Y-axis belt loosens. The Y-axis belt even gets tightened a tad more when this item is screwed on the ToM

The piece is not a necessity however, it is a good idea. The idler pulley mounted on the end of a bolt supported only by the acrylic is not good engineering. There is too much flex. This piece supports the idler on both sides, no flex.

The MakerBot has plenty of room for improvement. That is either a good thing or a bad thing depending upon how you look at it.