Wanhao Duplicator i3 Y-Axis extension

by retrofluffyboy Apr 16, 2016
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Files wont print support, your website doesn't download

can you update the parts list links?

most of them are dead links

I have had all the parts to do this project forever. I've held off for the simple reason I have no idea how to make the new belt and ensure it has the proper tension. I really wish one of the people doing this mod would video it as a step by step guide for later users assuming we are newbs. I've tried to find folks more experienced with 3d printers in town that could assist with the mod but so far have been unsuccessful.

I've read from your directions, that the cylindrical rods used in this project are 500mm long or .5 meters. That being said, would you recommend 1 meter long timing belt for this project? or a 2 meters?

Will the increased voltage affect my Mosfet in any negative way? I've already done the Mosfet Upgrade and im afraid of it frying.

Also if you want a really nice cable snake and mount for the build plate heater cable look up my Z-axix mod, it just tidies the whole thing up and prevents the cable getting caught on things

The reason for the increase in voltage is to allow the bed to heat up quicker and maintain higher temperatures. The control board inside the printer has its own regulated power supply, so it won't actually mind if you increase the voltage of your main power supply.
The mosfet upgrade is a great mod, and totally essential in my opinion, for memory those mosfet upgrades are rated up to 24 volts, so you'll be safe :-)
I've been running my printer constantly at the higher voltage without any adverse effects, often doing 3 days straight of printing, so you'll be totally fine.

I seee. Another Question. Is it better to buy an Aluminum heatbed? or a regular PCB heatbed?

I'd go the aluminium simply because you can put buildtak straight onto it, and it probably won't distort as much as a PCB one. You can always put glass over it too if you choose to go down that path.

Has anyone tried this on the Wanhau i3 plus?

I came here to ask this as well. I have a Monoprice Select Plus that I would love to make this upgrade on.

Actually, this will NOT work on the select plus, or any similar model with a box-style base. This modification only works on the model that has an open frame base. The select plus does not have the ability to easily move the y-axis motor and belt spinner out. Additionally, this model has a slot in top of the “box” that will stop the bed from moving forward and backward the additional distance. How do I know? I bought all of the parts and only now see this. If anyone is looking for a single source for all of the parts, let me know. All parts, never used.

as long as the rails along the bottom of the printer are the same with the same screw hole spacing it should work. Even if the spacing are a little off you could probably do a very quick remix to get it all lined up.

Don't forget to look at my Z axis mod for a very nice cable snake and mount for the build plate :-)

Would these bearing blocks work to prevent the need to drill holes? https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1375534

Also I purchased the heated bed with the wiring, thermister and resister needed included because I'd like to keep the old bed and carriage plate to potentially build a 2nd printer or keep as a backup. Are there any "gotcha's" I need to be aware of since I won't be using the wanhao thermister etc? The exact item I purchased is this one: http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Bigeer-2015-MK2A-300-200-3-0mm-RepRap-RAMPS-1-4-PCB-Aluminum-Heatbed-LED-Resistor/32639815253.html

Wanhao i3 offset Y axis Bearing Block

They probably would, but I found it much quicker to just drill new holes through the carriage and use my existing bearing blocks, but as long as the holes line up it should work :-)

Would it be possible to get the source files for the Front extensions? I am having trouble repairing the STLs with the usual methods.

Sure thing, PM me and I'll email the cad files :-)

Do you have any pictures of something you've printed utilizing all of that extra space?

If you look at the pictures of the clock I designed you can see me printing the back chassis of the clock in one long piece.
Since the Z-axis extension I've also been printing a few very tall lamp shades.

Damn dude that's awesome. Nice work! - on the extension and the clock

Big thanks for posting this mod!

I am beginning to modify my maker select 2.1 with z braces already installed. When I try to load the front extension file all I appear to see is the support and not the extension body. is there a problem with the .stl? or is maybe my cura acting up? Even when viewing in a free stl online program I can't seem to see the front extension body.

That's very strange, I wonder if the thingiverse file has become corrupted, if you like you can find the STL at my blog torbenross.com
It should be from a different source, so hopefully it works, if not I'll re-save it and upload it for you.

I actually had the same issue with Cura. My fix was loading the file into NetFabb and then exporting the .stl, and then the "new" file was fine in Cura. If you don't have NetFabb, this same process might work for you in Tinkercard or some other editor.

Yea I ended up loading the file in Slic3r and then saved it again as an .stl. After that I could open in Cura no problem. Was weird it wouldnt open right off the bat though.

I'm doing the mod now, I'm at the trimpot part and I accidentally/somehow knocked off the the part that you are supposed to turn. I can't figure a way to put it back on. Any suggestions as to a new one or anything else I could do? Thank you!

Damn, that's an annoying thing to have happen, the trimpot should have the value or code written on the plastic part, so it would be pretty straight forward to get a replacement, you can take the bottom plate off the power supply to access the copper tracks, so it wouldn't be a big job at all to solder a new one on. But of you are lucky you might still be able to turn whats left inside? We just want to take it as far clockwise as possible to about 14 volts, so if you can somehow get it there you don't really need to ever change it again. let me know how you go with it

Hello again. I got a new trimpot in, and the bed is warming up like supposed to (80 degrees C), but my Y motor doesn't want to work now. Does this have anything to do with the mod? I tried a new motor and no luck.

Was the motor working before you increased the voltage? It could be that when you were changing the EEPROM settings in repetier that one of the values for the Y stepper were wrong. If you haven't run the board with the stepper motor unplugged everything should still be fine electronically. Let me know when the failure happened and I'll try to work out what went wrong.

It definitely was working prior to mod. So this is what happened:

-Followed your tutorial until the trimpot broke on me.
-I tried running the printer with the broken trimpot. It boot up and firmware was running, but heatbed wasn't (didn't try anything else).
-Installed new trimpot. Turned it on, and heatbed works fine.
-Try the Y Pos Fast function, and I hear that motor starting sound (like a clunking noise) coming from the motor, but nothing else after it.
-Turn it off, hook up an extra Nema 17 stepper motor and try the same thing to the same effect (swap connection back to original motor).
-I install Repetier, connect it to the printer, do the EEPROM thing, and then try to manually control the motor from Repetier, and I get the same thing.


Have you managed to get it running again, I'm very curious as to what went wrong, hopefully it was just something minor.

Alright, so, I finally managed to get it working! For the most part... The printer thinks the Y-axis is flipped. I hit "Home Y" and it starts sending the bed towards the way opposite of the end stop switch.

No, not yet. I decided to upgrade the power supply and then eventually the board. I got the power supply in and plan on hooking it up this weekend. Thanks for checking in, though.

That's very strange, have you tried it again when set back to to the standard 12 volts? I'm hoping that the stepper driver chip on the board isn't damaged. I can't see how increasing the voltage on that side of things could damage the driver anyway seeing as it runs through its own regulated supply anyway, I'd measure the voltage and turn the pot back to 12v just to see if it's an idiosyncratic thing that happens at a certain range. I'm assuming that all the other steppers are working fine.

Thanks, I think I found the peg from the cap that goes into the trimpot middle, so I think turning "what's left" is out of the question. I think I'm going to be better off getting and installing a replacement for now.

The links aren't working for me, do you think these will work as well?



And any alternate sites for linear shifts and belt? Thank you so much!

Those should do the job nicely, the build plate is 12 volts and has the mounting holes in the right place. I'm actually going to transition to a glass build plate myself, so the need for an aluminium build plate becomes irrelevant. The carriage should be fine too seeing as you're going to be drilling your own bearing block mounting holes. I've only ever used aliexpress for bearings, rods and feed screws, unfortunately we don't have Amazon in Australia yet. I'd love to see how your mod turns out, are you going to make it taller too? Ever since I modded my Z axis I've been making ambitiously tall things

Can you point to a parts list for the glass build plate? What's the cost difference between it and the aluminum one? The "kit" is still sitting around $70 and just trying to figure out the best way to get the most bang for my buck.

Oh man, didn't know you guys don't have Amazon in your country! Really sorry to hear that!

Thanks for the reply, though!

I don't think I'm going to make it taller perse. I'm going to mod the top bracket so its safe to go up to 200mm, but I think I'll be fine with 300x200x200 (which puts it on par with my Ultimaker 2+ Extended, mostly). I've seen your Z-axis mods and will definitely keep them in mind if I ever feel that I need to increase the height, too!

Do you recommend upgrading the stepper to account for extra weight?

Oh, not at all, the stock stepper motor is all you'll ever need, there really isn't all that much extra weight in it :-)

Hi, I love the LCD housing, do you have the source files for that one?


Ah, you must have seen my heated enclosure temperature controller? I didn't think I had included it in any photos of that one. I'll post a tutorial in a few days now that I know it might be of use to you :-)

What's the full max/min points of the print bed? (i.e. with the bed all the way at Y-min and at Y-max, what is the difference?) Wondering if there is anyway to use the popular Ikea Lack table enclosure with this mod.

Unfortunately the absolute minimum you could get away with is 600mm, but i'd probably give it about 650mm just to be safe and stop things jamming if they come lose from the print bed :-)

When you used the old y carriage as a template dis you use existing holes to bolt it to the new carriage? Looking for a good way to get the holes exact. I tried laying them out myself but they seem a little out of alignment, and I'm getting some y axis chatter. Also anyone think it would be a good idea to add a fourth bearing block? Thanks

I put the old carriage on top of the new one and used the old holes to pilot the new holes, It doesn't matter if you make the new holes a little bit bigger than the originals (I'd go up by one drill size) as it will give you more adjustment.
The trick to getting it to run smoothly without chatter is to fit the carriage but leave the bolts for the bearing blocks half a turn loose. Only tighten the bearing block screws once the machine is back together as the bearing rods will align the bearing blocks on the carriage perfectly when in position. I'd advise against a 4th bearing as it might increase the chances of jamming, 3 bearings seems to be the most reliable setup.
I'd love to see how your's turned out :-)

That is what I was thinking, I did something similar... Placed the old carriage on the new plate, marked where the holes where with a sharpie, used a large square to make sure they where at least close to square with the sides of the carriage, drilled holes at 4.5mm. After initial install I saw where you recommended 5mm, so I went back and enlarged the holes a little. I then attached the new rods to the printer with bearing blocks installed, placed the carriage on them and loosely screwed it to the blocks and moved the whole assembly back and forth to check that it was aligned correctly, the carriage moves freely, and smoothly from what I can tell. I tightened the screws and checked before installing belt and everything was ok, of course I had more resistance, but it felt "normal" I guess. The printer seems to be better than it was there still appears to be a little bit of chatter, it is very noticeable if I use Astroprint to move the carriage 100mm at a time back and forth (I can hear it making a bit of a ruckus, maybe the ball bearings are binding on the rods with such a large movement, I don't know). There is a lot less visible vibration (though there is a very small amount, I am not sure is this normal?) when the printer is moving in the Y axis, it was shaking like crazy before. I did a print with straight sides last night and it looks a lot better than it did after my initial setup, but the noise is kind of worrying. I am going to try another print later and depending on how that goes I will take it apart again and check everything is aligned correctly. I will keep it with three bearings then, and I'll post some pics in the made section as well.

Hey, very nice mod! I'm planning on using it along with another mod (it's the taz lulzbot frame rebuild for the Wanhao) so in that case could I substitute the back part (the back part without the limit switch hole) for the front part with the brace support thingy?

You certainly could, I made sure that the front and back were the same length for that very reason. Just mirror the clean rear brace to make a set for the front

Hi, can you change The EEPROM in simplify3d?

I've never used simplify3D, but if it allows EEPROM editing it should work. I found that repetier worked perfectly for me, I couldn't imagine a program that makes EEPROM editing more simple than repetier.

thank you! Am still browsing the alie site but would love to know what I'm getting into as tons of different options.

I've just updated the links and descriptions, so it should all work now :-)

The links don't seem to work, is it possible to update them?

I'll relink them tomorrow, I might add screenshots too :-)