MakerFarm i3v Z-Axis Upgrade

by Akya2120 Sep 14, 2016
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I'm in the process of installing this on my I3V Makerfarm printer. With the right bracket, I think that I should use hex head allen screws (not the flat ones) to bolt the screws on the left (holding the tensioner). For the tensioner bolt, I think I can reverse it on the carriage so that it mounts through the rear and rests in the hole in the front. Is that the way you planned it?

do you happen to have the cad file for the makerfarm i3v printer ?

I really wanted this to work! It's my 3rd attempt at a lead screw upgrade that I don't have to heavily modify. Trying to install on my 10" i3v, I've found that the 12mm M5 screws are bottoming out at the back of the v-slot, not allowing a flush connection for the guide brackets to fit against the v-slot rails (see photo). There just isn't enough depth to the back of the guide brackets. I tried installing with a washer to buy myself some room, but then that gets in the way of the lead screw feeding through.

I think the simple fix will be to find some shorter M5 screws, but I thought I'd note my findings here.

I also found that the "outdent" on the back of the left guide bracket had to be sanded down a little so it wouldn't (possibly) rub on the belts. Quick fix.

amazing solution thats what i was thing about..
can u like the this complete x carriage

I considered using ball screws for the x and y axis, the trouble here is that most ball screws are not nearly aggressive enough to get the displacement per rotation that these printers need. This means the stepper motor will be running much faster, and they will have less torque. There are high speed ball screws with much more aggressive thread pitches, but they tend to be very cost prohibitive. So for now belts and pulleys are still the way to go for the x and y axis.

I just installed this on my 8'' i3v and did my first test print, it's awesome! The print quality is like night and day. Using 8mm lead screws is probably the best upgrade for this printer. It's way smoother and quieter, and those threaded rods were just way too prone to getting bent and having backlash in the nuts.
Assembly took a little time with a drill and Dremel to get the holes and tabs sized correctly. I'm hesitant to blame your models though because my printer had some gnarly z-wobble that could have caused things to be so far out of tolerance. But now everything is nice and snug!
I also had to shorten my #10 hardware because it was bottoming out in the aluminum extrusions.

Thank you so much for sharing this!!

are there any changes to the arduino firmware calibration or is the lift/rev the same as the original rod?

You can find the answer to your question I see the "required hardware" header in the description. The lead screws I bought needed 400 steps/mm with 1/16 microstepping on 200 step/rev motors. I have since switched to DRV8825s and am using 1/32 microstepping which means my firmware is set to 800 steps/mm for the z-axis. Hope this helps! If you buy different hardware I can probably still help you figure it out, but the lead screws I bought are still working great.

For me the motors are too close to the frame by a mm or two.

I realize this is a bit late, but if you can tell me how much you would like to move the motors out I can adjust the model if I can find it.

This works pretty well. Have you by chance worked up a z-axis protector that accommodates the offset for the lead screw? Something similar to this? http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:410126 or do you simply have it open at the top?

Makerfarm Prusa I3v ZAxis Protectors

Open on the top in current form. Originally I had planned to make a top and bottom retainer. But, class started and I have no time to work on designs. I designed the mounts, and bottom plate to have approximately equal offset. Although I suppose a parametric version where you could adjust the offsets would be handy, as I doubt they are exact across printers.

Amazing, exactly what im looking for for my i3v 8"
Did you end up testing the right side?

Yes, it is currently installed and it worked, but I ended up taking my whole x-gantry off and tightening all the hardware... It was loose, now I'm having other problems. But I did get the new right side bracket to line up and work. It was a lot more fiddling around on install than cutting down the old idler, but I was concerned about the cut down idler breaking.

Also, the idler in the picture was not cut down, the bolt just didn't line up with the hole on the other side.