MendelMax Vertical X Axis Ends & Carriage

by josefcub Jan 27, 2017
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Hello, as the current owner of the black and purple Mendelmax I am happy to have found these stl's (I purchased the frame on ebay) I am restoring this printer to working order and have wanted to reprint some of the parts due to discoloration (from time?) let me know if you have any tips for me.

Also, feel free to ask me any other questions, if you need help or advice.

It really is a small world!

Some of my best PLA prints came off of that printer, and I'm glad it's found a good home in the end. The "natural" ABS I used on there picks up dirt, dust, grease, and other things like smoke notoriously well, and that's likely the source of the discoloration. If the purple's discolored, it's likely the older (lighter) stuff, which was hard to scrub clean when I first got it, and wouldn't surprise me if it needed cleaning again. I still use and recommend natural ABS though, as it tends toward a consistent and strong print that doesn't tend to shatter. Do not use PLA anywhere that heat is involved, like the X carriage or anything holding the bed itself.

Check your smooth and threaded/acme rods for being perfectly straight (a flat table and a flashlight can help you do this). I first got that printer over USPS (who is notoriously rough on shipped printers), and -all- the rods were bent to some degree with half the plastic broken or maimed. This seems to be common and unavoidable, based on my experience with other used/broken machines I've acquired. Last I had it, the rods were Misumi, and pretty inexpensive but good quality, all things considered.

I do have one request: when you're done rebuilding the purple and black, would you mind posting a Make or send me an imgur link? I really dig that it's getting a new life and I'd love to see it up and running again. Compared to my travails with the blue-and-silver one I currently have, that one was a really good machine.

Of course I'll be happy to post pics when I have finished it, it is getting a new ramps 1.4 build with a new heated bed as well as a (clone) titan extruder and a (clone) e3d v6 as when I got it it was basically just frame and a few motors (although the led's you had put at the top are still there). It's main purpose is to teach my GF how to build a 3d printer as I have 5 of my own :) (i go a little overboard) 1 question I do have is about the endstops, I located the Y and the X endstops but I am unsure of where the z would go I don't see a mount for it anywhere and am curious on the best placement/mount to use (also this is my first experience with a Mendel)

No worries! It's a bit hard to see on my pictures above, but I used two parts. The first part is here:


as Z_End_Stop.scad. This is the bracket to hold the Z axis adjustment screw on the far-right of your X axis rods, as an SCAD file. The other half is here:


as z_end_stop.stl. I adopted the endstop switch mount from that design, since it bolts right into two of the holes for the Z axis motor on the right side.

This setup provides an improvement over the original, which basically was just an X/Y end stop holder on the smooth Z rod.

You can see how it, and the object below, are mounted on imgur, as 7DQGLV8.jpg or as the first picture on the first Thing linked above (they were the same between my 8mm and 10mm MendelMaxes)

I also like to go overboard on 3d printers. I have five operational currently, myself :)

2nd EDIT: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1766037 has the X axis component as well, but only for horizontal carriages. It has a great picture of how it works though.

MendelMax Vertical X Axis Ends & Carriage - 10mm Z
XYZ End Stops for Mendelmax 1.5+
MendelMax 1.5 Modified Z End Stop Screw Mount

This looks awesome.

What can you mount on the X-carriage? I have an E3D v6 and a Greg-Wade extruder that was stock with a MendelMax 1.5. Just trying to figure out how I'd mount mine with your carriage. (I'm using https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:722011 currently.)

Also, presumably the vertical design fixes the MendelMax issue of tightening the X-axis belt causing the Z-axis to flex?

E3D v6 for MendelMax


I used exactly the same adapter when I had a regular horizontal carriage and a Greg's Wade extruder.

I designed this mostly with an E3D Titan + V6 in mind. The bolt holes line up perfectly with one of those black metal NEMA17 brackets you can find on eBay or Banggood (some "Mk8" extruder kits there come with them). The Titan bolts right up without issues, and the height is just right so that I get a good amount of Z in my build volume.

Unfortunately, for a Greg's, an adapter would need to be engineered to fit it.

Regarding Z axis flex caused by the X axis belt, I haven't encountered that with either of my two MendelMaxes (8mm and 10mm Z rods). Over-tightening the belt is as bad as under-tightening it. I get very good belt tension with this design, and I've never seen symptoms of deflection of my Z rods (binding, sticking, high-pitched squealing, Z banding, etc).

Thanks again!
Making slow steady progress. Found some aluminum Nema brackets to reduce weight, the steel ones weigh a ton!
What did you use to fix the belts to the carriage? There are no photos of the back?

Thanks again....will send photos when ready!

This is awesome. The whole world has gone vertical X carriage and I wanted to change my MM1.5 to this. Thanks for the design!
I also use titans on my printers but I am struggling with the attachment on the carriage. It does not match the titan motor brackets I've printed and used on my other printers. I cant see from the photos how you attached your titan to the carraige. Can you provide some insight? What titan/fan mount are you using?

Thanks and great design!

While waiting for my other comment to clear moderation (I included a link to the metal NEMA 17 brackets I use, oops!), I realize that I forgot to comment on the type of fan attachment I used there. That is a really hacky and wonky bracket that I threw together specifically to hold two of those fans and their nozzles, and the IR bed leveling sensor I prefer to use. I'm kind of ashamed of it, so I never published it. I have moved away from that design in current iterations, and instead use this:


I've found that a single blower like this is more than adequate to cool my PLA for overhangs and other tricks. It mounts to the face of the Titan itself, so no weird brackets with Creeper faces on them anymore. You shouldn't have any weird issues or gotchas using this on a MendelMax.

Thanks again for your kind words. :)

E3D Titan Extruder Fan Mount for Prusa i3

Thanks again!
Making slow steady progress. Found some aluminum Nema brackets to reduce weight, the steel ones weigh a ton!
What did you use to fix the belts to the carriage? There are no photos of the back?

Thanks again....will send photos when ready!

Since I no longer have this MendelMax, I can't provide photos of this particular installation anymore. However, on the 10mm version of these carriages, located here:

MendelMax Vertical X Axis Ends & Carriage - 10mm Z

I've added a photo of how the X carriage is supposed to look from the rear, when assembled. Both versions of this mod use the same X carriage, so setup should be identical. Just a note, but looking at the photos closely for this version, it looks like I installed it upside down, in relation to the one pictured in the remix. You may want to do the same if there's a problem with your belts and pulleys lining up correctly. I don't, however, foresee any real issues there.

MendelMax Vertical X Axis Ends & Carriage - 10mm Z

Just to be clear did you put a bolt hole in the belt or just squeeze it tight with a washer?

I put a hole in the belt for the screw.

Got it!!!! Looks like bolts with washers you just tighten up. Pretty simple.
BTW, it turns out that the vertical bar mendelmax upgrade is designed for 10mm rods -- I was gonna ask you for a 10mm version of this but decided against it. Lo and bold you had created a 10mm version of this. Perfect, you read my mind! Ive got some old 10mm rods from a BFB I disassembled! Back to the printer. Will keep you informed. Thanks josef.

Yeah, the steel ones are heavy, but my MendelMax's always print so slowly because of the humongous weight of the Y axis that I used them without any negative effect on my print quality.

If you look at the back of the X carriage itself, the tall tower bit is where the belts affix. What I did was press a couple of M3 nuts into those two rectangular slots, then thread the belt screw (affixed with a washer in a previously drilled hole in the belt) into the round hole, and into the nut. I borrowed that arrangement from my Solidoodles, where both the OEM and the community-designed carriages work similarly. This makes belt tensioning really easy, and alleviates the need to muck with separate tensioners or other devices.

The "nut trap" might be a bit snug; I've always preferred having to file a little over the alternative of having it fall out while I'm trying to attach a belt.

Thanks so much! Found an aluminum bracket. I am also doing the Medelmax vertical bar upgrade ( don't remember thing I'd) that moves the bars straight up for 2 more inches. Will send a photo when finished!

I look forward to seeing it! I've considered doing the same upgrade, but I'm too lazy to buy new Z axis rods. :D

Thank you for your kind words! Once I figured out that tucking the Titan and hot end further inward would give me more Z, the vertical carriages made a lot of sense. As for the bracket I'm using, it's a basic 90 degree metal NEMA 17 mount, like this:


I admit that it's a little heavy compared to the printed brackets, but it's very solid. My Y axis is so heavy to begin with that the added weight doesn't really slow the printer down. I did include the OpenSCAD source code though, if you would like to modify the X carriage to hold the official printed bracket. I admit there isn't a lot of room there for that, but it might be worth a try for you.

The smooth rod is 8mm or 10mm ? My mendelmax has 10mm smooth rod and 8mm threaded rod

Whoops! They're 8mm I'm afraid. I've updated the description to reflect this.

Thanks for replying.