Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!


by Apsu Nov 19, 2016
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That is absolutely incredible, I may build one soon. Do you think it would work with 8mm rods and lm8UUs instead of linear guides? How does the firmware work? Is it available to download anywhere?

You'd be hard-pressed to achieve good results with rods and LM8s due to the amount of play vs the linear guide skate. The skates have nearly imperceptible play in response to tilting forces, so I wouldn't consider them optional in this design. As for firmware, this particular Tripteron configuration is 100% Cartesian and linear. There's no special firmware or math required. If you decide to use a lead-screw for the Z axis you'll have to account for that in your firmware configuration but a custom firmware isn't required by any means.

Ok I think im ready. over the months ive accumulated a lot of extra extrusions and 8mm rod, ive got some math to do but i think ill end up with probably ~200-250mm rods instead of 305mm, im assuming the length of the arm's rods are proportional? So with 250mm for the frame, i'd need 143.44mm for the arms. This wouldnt be my main working printer so im totally okay with the reduced volume (my first printer had a 80x80x80mm volume.. shudder). Im going to be redesigning a fair bit to get dual 8mm rods instead of the rails, since I have them on hand.

I love how this looks, its like a piece of art on it's own. Watching it move is so great to watch! I just wanted to confirm the length of the arms is proportional before i began cutting up the extrusion I have.

Ok so i just measured it out, I cant quite get 8 12in pieces from my stock but I can get 8 10in pieces. (254mm). So am I correct in assuming the 4 175mm pieces will become 4 145.73mm (5.73in) pieces, the 2 150mm pieces will become 2 124.91mm (4.91in) pieces? Will having the arm lengths say 6in and 5in really effect anything? Maybe give it more reach than it needs? Also, i noticed in the video you were using a rectangular build plate, was that just what you had on hand or does it actually hav e a rectangular build volume?

Also, i cant quite tell where the different lengths of extrusions are used. Would it be possible for you to make a labelled version of the thumbnail image? Just like some letters indicating same lengths would be greatly appreciated!

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Interesting implementation of a Canadian industrial design.

One note.

Your BOM lists eight of the 8020 2020 profile at 305 mm length, but I believe that the correct number would be nine. Four pieces for the bottom rectangle, three uprights, and two for the top bracing.

Looks Sturdy to me :D Amazing design

How far along is this? Is it able to produce prints ? Om seriously thinking about building one.. :)

Great Work btw!!

What is the print bed size?

This is a design that can be scaled to various sizes.

Hi, sorry if this is obvious but how do would the belts attach? I can see where the spacers are but in the actual pictures it looks like there's another part there.

do you think you can make a model version that uses V wheels that slide on the 2020 extrusions instead of having to use carriages for a linear guide.. it would help bring the cost down dramatically

If you look at the BoM in the description, you'll see that the total cost for all 3 linear rails -- carriages included -- was just under $90 USD. If you consider the cost of wheels, bearings, hardware, bracket and so forth for V-slot, it's not much cheaper if any. Furthermore, roller systems that aren't made of metal (if you were suggesting printing it) are not nearly as rigid as linear rail systems, and rigidity in this system is critical at that point.

I agree, but I'm looking to do a much much larger build of this concept and with 2020 beans at 2400mm length the linear rails become very expensive and hard to find.

That's an enormous size, 2020 isn't going to be big enough, and I have no idea what materials you'll need to use for the arm assembly but you're not going to get away with using printed joint brackets with arm links that long. Probably going to have to be all metal everywhere.

What do you think if I use polycarbonate for the printed parts.. I have like 2kg of it laying around looking for a worth project

Well, ultimately, short of doing a bunch of simulation, the only way you'll know for sure is to build it. That's still a Huge scale you're talking about, and I'm concerned about the aluminum being too small, let alone printed parts. If you haven't built a machine that large before, you might want to try tackling a more traditional design first and see what you can learn about material choices before you try something experimental like this design.

Looks like a Cartesian printer had sex with a Wally printer and this is their love child.

Sounds about right

How does it do with rapid infill on top layers? And how fast are you getting it to print reliably? I'm very interested in building this or your Delteron and curious about how it handles fairly rapid printing as opposed to the somewhat slow print of the cube in your video.

The cube was printed at 40 mm/s and 200mm/s^2 acceleration, but I demonstrate much higher accel and faster moves in the livestream Q&A video. I didn't finish fully bracing the Z axis and the frame bracing was less than it could have been in general, but it still seemed to be performing fairly well upto about 60mm/s @ 1000mm/s^2 accel, so it could probably be pushed higher with sufficient framing. I'm also making progress on the Delteron that probably would allow the same smaller arm system I'm pursuing there to be used on this (orthogonal) Tripteron.

That said, I believe the Delteron variant is more stable and mechanically sound in general, as the forces are much more evenly distributed with respect to gravity. Also, all of my focus on design and engineering and testing is going into it at present, but I'm still happy to help or answer questions on this one!

Would you mind posting your files for the 3d printed arms you had in your previous version?

Which version? :D

I had like 7 different printed arm variations, lol. All testing a variety of things. If you can point out what you mean on my imgur or youtube or reprap forum thread, I can get the STLs up somewhere

Hey, I might be building something like this for my robotics class. I know you used smoothieware, but would this be able to work with an 8 bit board? Also, would it be feasible to modify the parts and use 1515 extrusions instead of 2020? I'm trying to keep costs down if I can and use stuff I have on hand.

Cool! Sounds like a fun project for a robotics class. This Tripteron is fully orthogonal actuation, and the kinematics are fully Cartesian, meaning it can be used on any firmware on any board with no custom code. The only thing you'll have to do is configure the steps/mm for the motors based on the method you choose to drive the arms (belts, screws, cable, etc), then operate it exactly like a Cartesian printer.

If you mean 15mm x 15mm, you're going to have to scale the size down a little I think, and use M5 hardware instead of M8 (so that means 625 bearings instead of 608s), but it should work fine. Might even work ok if you don't scale it down much. If you mean what's sometimes called "1515" but is actually 1.5" x 1.5", those will be huge for the arm links, and I wouldn't recommend it.

Happy to help with other questions if I can, good luck!

Hey, so I decided to go through with this, but I was wondering what you settled on for belt clamps? I've been trying to design my own, but I'm not very good at it...

Yeah, I meant 15mm x 15mm. Thanks for the help!

What size do you think this design can scale to? Would nema 23s be needed or just high amp 17s? Does it have auto leveling capabilities? If not how does the bed attach to the frame?


It's entirely dependent on the arm assembly engineering choices. Materials, joints, bearings, bolts, etc. This size machine ran on 45Ncm 2A NEMA 17s. The bed/frame attachment I did not finish designing, so that's up to you. Auto-leveling was something I had through an IR sensor board on my hotend fan, but that too is not indicated in the design, nor is a specific hotend :) That's all up to you if you choose to build one.

I am no longer actively developing this specific machine, as I have shifted my focus to one of the other Tripterons. You can see the Thingiverse for it here http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1948394

by Apsu

Have you considered replacing the Hiwin linear rails with v-slot rollers? It would be much cheaper!

Could use something like




Bearing slider for 2020 Aluminium rod
by ustkl
Adjustable 2020 PTFE Slider
by visidor

Actually they're not HiWin brand, they're AnyCubic, and are about 1/4 the cost of HiWin rails. That said, if their datasheet is to be believed, they're still more rigid and precise than V-slot rollers can be, and may even be cheaper than a roller carriage + wheels + bearings + axles, per rail. I paid < $30 with free shipping each, as you can see on the Bill of Materials.

RobotDigg also sells MGN12H rails for cheap, if you're looking for a source besides Amazon, and all the people I've seen use them say they're excellent.

You're absolutely correct that the linear rails will be higher quality, but I can't help but balk at spending $90 on them! I didn't realize that the second one I linked actually has the same screw layout as the mgn12h carriages, so it should be possible just to drop them in to save costs!

Sure, and I totally understand that, but the rest of the part cost is pretty darn low, so I'm not too upset about it. I mean... the biggest question is whether the kind of carriages you're talking about could have the precision and rigidity to avoid causing the arms to deviate. Because you have to remember, they're 300mm+ levers that get pushed sideways, so deviation at the base will cause even worse behavior at the effector.

Hard to say but worth a try!