Proton - Open Source 3D Printer

by layerone, published

Proton - Open Source 3D Printer by layerone Mar 7, 2017
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Proton is one of two open source 3D printers designed by Layer One, the creator of Atom 3D Printers (Link to Neutron: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2149660)

While the RepRap project produced some functional printers, it was clear that nobody had intended to produce something for the desktop of the discerning designer. That’s where Layer One’s Proton and Neutron come in. If you're an open-source advocate, a tinkerer, and a designer with an eye for aesthetics, you’ll want one of these on your desk.

All the printed parts of the printer is right here. Proton was built in OnShape. Log in to remix your own version of Proton, it's free as long as you share what you have made. Visit our website for the BOM, CAD files, assembly guide and everything else.

Proton website: http://www.atom3dp.com/mini
BOM: http://www.atom3dp.com/mini/#proton

Atom Website : https://www.atom3dp.com
Fanpage : https://www.facebook.com/atom3D
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/atom3dp
Group : https://www.facebook.com/groups/atom3dp
Video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEyhrgiaoCs

Print Settings


Atom 2.5 EX






0.2mm Layer Height


3 Loops, 15% Infill Minimum

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Couldn`t find the needed rods, even on Aliexpress no sign of the rods with the "special" ends. Could you be so kind to tell me the name of the vendor ?

Hi , The Z-axis can be twisted by my hand a little bit. Is this normal? Do I need to add another rod to make it more rigid?

Hello, i have all the parts printed and the firmware uploaded to the ramps 1.4/mega 2560 board. How can i check to see if anything works before assembly. I go to the display and try to move the axis and nothing happens. Do the endstops need to be plugged in and i need to hit home first? What are the jumper settings (i used all 3 since it should be 1/16th step)? Once i get ut up and running i will definately post my results/pictures.

@Layerone: can you please post videos of working prints for your Neutron and Proton model?

Which one of them is faster, i want to make one, but i cannot decide for which i should go?

send me start gcode because my printer don't print (20 mm above the bed)

Ok 2 questions. First, how do you fabricate the rods if you sont have a lathe or CNC machine? I went and purchased all these parts only to realize you have to tap 3mm threads internally in this. The flats and cuts can be done with a dremel but i dont know how to tackle drilling a hole in the center with hardend steel and also one rod has a reduced diameter on one end. If i took the rods to have them done, it would cost more than all the parts combined.

The other question is what are the alternatives for the bushings/sleeves? The only sleeves that i see are 8mm id x10mm od. And 12mmid x14mmod. They call for 8x12 and 12x16 which doesnt exist. I guess i could reprint the holder with 10 and 14mm holes.

Hi Tom_H

I have the exact same problem - so I have just downloaded the STEPS and will edit it in Fusion 360 for the changes needed, in order to use the bushings/sleeves available on aliexpress.

Did you come right with yours?


Hi, is it possible to easily increase the height of the printer ? Will it bend if to high ?

But you have to do some change in firmware:)

Hello, how did you tap the hardened rods?

You can found it on aliexpress~

Could this be adapted to fit a 200200200 build volume? I was thinking extending the z and x axis you be easy its more the y axis which might be an issue.

You can do anything you want!
If you want to extending the Z!
You have to do some change in firmware:)

Hi, looks really neat.
your links to the copper sleeves do not work, are there any other specific source for those?

Here are the ones I found on Aliexpress.



Note that the lengths are different than the rec'd ones, but I couldn't find any that matched exactly. I couldn't find a bushing with 16mm OD on taobao :(

Edit: I found the 8mm bushing that exactly matches the one on the BOM on taobao. https://world.tmall.com/item/36013745335.htm?skuId=64016002959 Still no sight of a 12mm ID/16mm OD bushing on taobao

i dont find that bearing anywhere 12x16x20 copper sleeve

You can found it on aliexpress~

Can I change step motor?

It's reprap project!
We also open source the cad files:)
Your can do anything on this design!

Hello, where is the Ramps Board installed?

Hello, or do you find the ATOM 2.5 MK3 with 0.4mm Nozzle (for 2.5)? I can search on ebay or google I find nothing: /

Check here
(We also provide E3D version model)

I like this design and am thinking about building one, but I am having trouble finding the Steel Print Bed (250 x 190mm) can I use a glass print bed. And I am wondering if I can use a heated bed with it and where I might find that.

Maybe you can go to our group
People in the group are really kind :)

I'm wondering the same things, I can't find a 250mm by 190mm steel plate anywhere, let alone a heated bed.

Material doesn't matter. You can go aluminum if you want.

Here's some really rigid Aluminum plates. http://www.onlinemetals.com/merchant.cfm?pid=7808&step=4&showunits=inches&id=309&top_cat=60 MIC6 is overkill for this printer, so feel free to go with 6061 and a thinner plate if you're worried about the weight.

The bed is attached to the rods with plastic. Not a good idea to use a heated bed here.

This looks wonderful! Can't wait to make one myself.

Are you planning on incorporating the LCD into the design?
Also, where does the power supply sit?


Sorry for late reply!
Just check here

Electron - Command Module for Proton & Neutron

Anyone want to modify the cold end to run a E3d style hotend or similar? Thinking a Deltaprintr hotend would work great.

yes! E3D compatible mount is in there, just download the whole pack :)

I printed it out but there has a large gap inside the mount. The filament is very hard to pass through.

Interesting design. I was wondering, the Screw Shaft ϕ8, lead of the twist 12 is a correct description? I didn't find this type of lead screw. Also, the BOM didn't helped very much, apparently the provided links don't work for me (if you could update-it I would much appreciate it).

12 is a bit hard to find, but it does provide a faster movement. I guess you can substitute with other pitch and modify the firmware accordingly :-)

would you be able to give me a hint where I could find the 12 version?:) I did try for several days and then I gave up. Thank you!

On specsheets that attribute is listed as "lead." e.g. a leadscrew with 4mm lead moves 4mm with one rotation and a leadscrew with 12mm lead moves 12mm with one rotation.

Here is one that I found on AliExpress.

I would recommend using an anti-backlash nut here because the X axis is not preloaded like the Z-axis. (Backlash/hysteresis = "jiggle")
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/T8-eliminate-clearance-nut-anti-backlash-nut-trapezoidal-screw-nut-pictch-2mm-lead-8mm-1pcs/32732745669.html Don't forget to choose lead 12

Really creative extruder drive mechanism. I'm interested, have you noticed any benefits of this versus a bowden or carriage mounted driect drive? Thanks for sharing.

Other than it being really cool to look at? Can't think of any performance increase compared to a direct drive, but it sure was a fun experiment.

What's is the approximate cost for making the entire printer without a heated bed

We managed to source parts from China and it comes just below $200

Why did you run the extruder through a rotating linear shaft? That unbalances the weight on the gantry, adds inertia to the extruder, doesn't save any moving mass or flex wiring, and decreases the stiffness of the mechanism.

Because it's fun! If we're aiming for efficiency and accuracy we would build something that's entirely made of metal and super ridged.... Wait a minute....

Congrats on your work on this one ! Have you an idea of the plastic needed for both your printer ?

The extruder pieces would need to be abs, if your not planning on having a heated bed you could use PLA for the rest of the parts with a minimum of 30% infill i would say.

what could possibly happen if I print the extruder PLA, in fact im printing it rightnow

It will soften and warp over time from the heat from the hotend, especially if you don't have a part cooling fan on all the time

It will soften and warp over time from the heat from the hotend, especially if you don't have a part cooling fan on all the time

Your answer made me realize i was not very clear in my question... I was more asking for the total quantity (weight) of plastic needed...

Lol, okay, it uses 673.43grams of filament for the proton, if printed at a 0.2mm layer height with 30% infill for all the stl's

Was printrbot your inspiration?

Sure, with bit of lead screw fun!