Single piece Y ends for Prusa i3

by mrice, published

Single piece Y ends for Prusa i3 by mrice Aug 14, 2013
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These are monolithic (single piece) Y ends that I created for prusa i3. I was inspired to try this by the Lulzbot TAZ design, and I think it's pretty neat.

Hey everybody , I've redone both designs now in OpenSCAD to be parametric. Enjoy! The -default STL files were generated for M8 smooth rods and M10 threaded rods. If you want to roll your own, you'll need the small parts (sub assembly STLs) which are included into the single-piece models and are not meant to be printed on their own.

By replacing the four corner pieces plus motor and original idler mounts for the Y axis (6 printed parts) with these single-piece models, it completely eliminates the shorter M8 rods (four of them) and nuts and bolts (22 of each). Besides the elimination of vitamins, this makes the printer easier to put together at the cost of a little more plastic (both parts are approximately 100 cubic centimeters volume). The elevation and spacing of the M10 threaded rods and the M8 smooth rods has been duplicated, and the motor and idler mounts are centered to guide the belt down the middle of the frame, so these should be drop-in compatible with single-sheet frames like sgraber's. All four corners sport contoured tie-wrap guides for holding down smooth rods.

On the Motor end, a third mount was added for the stepper motor, along with a little foot for it to rest on (because stepper motors get tired). There is also a receiver slot for a 40mm fan (10mm thick). I've also added a tool-less endstop holder, which should strike the edge of the table (beneath the heated bed). It was designed to fit a 20mm x 10mm micro end stop (you'll want one that has a long throw lever).

For the idler end, I wanted to keep the tensioner capability in Prusa's design so instead of fixing the idler bearings to the end piece, I created mounts that will accept the present X tensioner (yes, X). The mounts were translated a little farther back (away from the bed) so that the longer tensioner could be used, maintaining the ability to substitute different tensioners for whatever type of idler bearings you want to use. And by reusing the X tensioner, it eliminates a model from the standard build (you just make two identical X tensioners).

If you are using a laser-cut wooden frame, you'll want to attach the motor end to the rear braces of the frame (the 8mm threaded rods were previously used for this). Pick the 277mm or 235mm sized brace depending on the width (inside dimension) of your LC frame supports. The sgraber frame that I have fits the 277mm version. The braces should be put against the inside face of the motor end, between the threaded nut and the end itself. An M3 bolt and nut can be used to secure the other end of the brace to the frame itself.


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Heres what lifespan I got from this part from building it in 2013 I've got till today before it broke due to ware and tear. If that helps anyone thinking about printing it

Hey, how's the accuracy when compared to the threaded rod method? As well as rigidity. My one concern would be the runner rods being slightly unparallel or shifting over time. Apart from that, love the build!

Am I the only one who is having serious layer separation?The walls are like a separate sheet from the center of the print so if u were to twist it a little, you can see the walls move away from the center

Almost as if my lines are not wide enough so they arent overlapping as it lays each outline of each layer

I just made an idler that will fit this. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:696939 enjoy

Adjustable Y idler for 2 624Z bearings.

Where can I find a Y Tensioner wich fits this piece¿?

Where can I find a compiled STL of the x idler you used?

These are great. Is it possible to modify the idle end so it can fit the wider y idlers? The default idler that fits is a bit fragile. Could it be widened to receive an idler such as http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:320268? Cheers

prusa i3 Y idler with belt tightener.
by liusega

Hi I'm trying to print these on my current I3. but having trouble with ends warping. do have any pointers to help stop this from happening.
I have a 0.35 nozzle. I'm laying first layer at 0.25 then rest at 0.2 using ABS with infill of 30%(0.3). Any suggestions would great thanks.

If you can print them in PLA, that would be my first suggestion. If not, then try adding a 5mm brim around the first layer in your slicer, and apply either ABS/acetone slurry to the bed, or purple glue stick, before printing. Do your best to prevent drafts on the print during printing also, by covering the printer with a box or putting it in an enclosure. Good luck!

I use a combination of openscad and sketchup. But thingiverse generates the nice previews from the STL directly, so I get no credit for that :)

Hello what kind of designing software do you use ? how do you get the blue preview parts so smooth and nice ?

Hi, Could you please share your website http://threeterminal.com/?p=27http://threeterminal.com/?p=27 again? It's dead right now.

Great job!!!!!!!! I'm printing "Now"

Awesome thanks just what i needed!

where can i find the y belt tensioner to fit this am i missing something there is one in the photos?
Thanks Choc

You should use the same model as the X tensioner from Prusa's files. Unfortunately in the sample STLs it is bundled with the X-ends, but you can see the part here: https://github.com/josefprusa/Prusa3/blob/master/box_frame/sample_stls/default_box_htd3_lm8uu/x-end.stlhttps://github.com/josefprusa/...

Dead link.

Great idea; I have printed a set for the printer I am currently assembling but I am using the single frame variant that uses 10mm bearings for the y axis, is there any chance of getting a version of this frame with 10mm holes? or if your ready to upload the files I'm happy to do the update myself.


Cool idea. Would reduce some cost on the machine as well as make alignment less of an ordeal. The only down side is that you would need to release different sizes to handle different build sizes but still cool.

Nice design, have you printed and tested these? Pictures would be great!

I just printed one and photos are up. A quick look everything seemed ok on the spacing. I haven't installed them yet.

Any way to get the source or one modified to have 8MM threaded rod holes instead of 10mm?

Yes, I'll upload the source (sketchup, sorry I don't know how to do this much in scad) as soon as I get them cleaned up and to a stopping point. Check out the v9 motor and let me know if you think those tie wrap guides will work.

Crap. I got all excited and realized the back part has no way of mounting it securely to the prusa i3 with the laser cut support legs. I could use a version with the 8mm holes and a 7.5mm hole going in about 1/2 an inch on the back part on the outsides where the top back rod would have been. This way it can be secured somehow (short 8mm threaded rod?) to the support braces. Without them the hole bed part is just secured to the one frame location and can pivot. The way I have mine it is really stable.


Ahh, that does complicate things a little. I can't make the end wide enough without making it unprintable, but what do you think of a brace like the one I just added? You would slip the two rods through it, the bottom one (M10 typically) would have the inner nut against it (no extra nut) and then the LC frame could be bolted to the other side (I'm imagining a 12-16mm M4 bolt and nut).

Is this what you were thinking or am I off-base?


If so the holes don't quite line up and is way too long. I might be able to make it myself so don't stress over it.

That's the idea. I took the dimensions off of a laser cut frame I have from seemecnc; could the braces for our frames be different? It wouldn't be too hard to make the part shorter, and would actually be stronger anyway.

I'm printing the bracket now to see how it fits. Here is a y tensioner I just made to fit your part. I need to tweak it slightly.


I'm trying to envision it. So this piece would fit on the inside of the motor bracket part on the larger (M8 in my case) rod and the M8 smooth rod with a nut pressing the to together. The square end would then go into the groove in the wood and be secured with a M4 bolt? The distance between the insides of the support brackets are 235mm apart and 5.4mm thick. Your part looks like it is about 190~191mm long so we need a part that is about 31~32mm from the center of the holes to the end of the larger square part / beginning of the smaller square (if that makes sense). I haven't looked at the dimensions of the new part. Just as feedback, I kind of liked the extended flat bottom of the motor end on the mount side away from the motor (it has now been removed). I put a sticky back tie-down there to hold the motor and switch wires.

Not yet, but I will update as soon as I have.