Just another M3 Thumbwheel!

by julianh72, published

Just another M3 Thumbwheel! by julianh72 Jan 23, 2012
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So, I wanted to make it easier to level my print bed (Mendel Prusa, mounted on 4 x M3 bolts with springs), and the obvious answer was to install thumbwheels to make it easier to adjust each levelling screw quickly and easily. Sure, I could have just downloaded someone else’s design like this http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:13807 or this http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5246 or this http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:13065 – but where’s the fun in that? Far more satisfying to design and print your own!
So I created a design in Alibre, exported the STL, and printed a set of 4 (in a single nested print). (I have uploaded the Alibre file for anyone who wants to modify the design for other applications; sorry, no OpenSCAD files, but it shouldn’t be too hard to design something similar in OpenSCAD!)


Print a set of 4 (for standard Mendel Prusa print bed); clean up if necessary, press in M3 nut, and install in your levelling screws for easier fine-tuning of the height and level of the print bed.

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These work great on a Prusa i3 DIY kit printer, replacing the wing-nuts that it came with and which were too loose and required adjustment every hundred hours or so of printing as they gradually shake loose.

I may re-print them at some point to scale them thicker, but as is, they're a significant improvement -- Thanks for posting them!

Just made this after being frustrated about bed leveling. I added an extra washer between the bottom plate and the thumbwheel to make it turn a little smoother.


Wow, you need to revisit how you export or save as an STL. This file is OVER 6 MB! OUCH!

I ran your STL through Netfabb and exported as STL Binary. It was down to 1.23MB.

Fair comment! I just uploaded the ASCII STL file as generated by Alibre, and it is a 6 MB file. :-[

Taking your lead, I opened it in EasyFIT and re-saved it; EasyFIT saves as binary STL, and it reduced the file size to 1.2 MB. :)

I will try to remember to convert all STL files to binary before uploading in future.