Printrbot Simple, 300mm Y Axis-No Sag!

by iamjonlawrence, published

Printrbot Simple, 300mm Y Axis-No Sag! by iamjonlawrence Feb 9, 2014


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Upgrade your Y axis to 300 mm (12") or more or less, GT2 belt drive, and eliminate Y-Sag in one mod...

  • I upgraded to 300 mm capacity here only because I had a piece of 8 mm rod 915 mm (36") long and didn't want to waste it. Not to mention "just because I can." I am currently only using 150 mm to reach the edge of my 6" heat bed, but have run it all the way out and it is extremely stable over the entire distance. Rod & belt lengths can be adjusted to whatever you dare. Only requirement is that the lower rod is 50 mm (2") longer than the top.
  • Increased linear bearing centers from the stock 24 mm to 64 mm. What this means is 3x the overhang possible, effectively eliminating Y-sag common to the Simple. I was surprised at how solid the Y axis is now.
  • Designed to hold stock wooden direct drive extruder. Not tested with aluminum DDE.


  • 95 mm x 95 mm print area
  • The ability to print FLAT without edges lifting
  • Well calibrated printer
  • GT2 20 tooth belt pulley. 18 tooth will not clear bearing
  • Z axis Hex nut to measure 1/2" across flats
  • Y/X axis at 90 degrees.

2014-02-19, REV.B: Added ZScrewMount for printers purchased after 10/23/2013 where they changed the Z screw assembly. Also changed Z Endstop Extension to a better design.

2014-03-17, REV.C: Modified Z nut mounting to accomodate ACME nut. Uploaded new version of ExtendYPlate.stl as ExtendYPlateRevC.stl.

2014-03-23: Uploaded front plate for 2014 Simple fan and aluminum extruder. "ExtendYFront2014AlExtruder.stl"

2014-03-24: Uploaded front plate for 2014 Simple, Fan, Aluminum extruder, and Cable management. "ExtendYFront2014AlExtruderCable.STL"

2014-03-25: Updated "ExtendYFront2014ExtruderCable.stl" to "ExtendYFront2014ExtruderCableRevA.stl" which includes mounting for a bolt on fan duct extension. Also uploaded "ExtendYFanDuct.stl" as the extension piece for the fan duct.

2014-04-02: Uploaded a version of the front end for the 2013 Simple that includes a side mounted fan like the 2014. "ExtendYFront2013Fan.slt" Use with "ExtendYFanDuct.stl"

2014-04-07: Uploaded a version of the rear end that allows the use of identical length rods. With this rear end the rod lengths need to be at least 175mm longer than your desired stroke.

2014-04-14: Uploaded an updated version of the end stop flag RevA. This will allow you to insert the belt thru the flag and remove some of the belt vibration.

2014-04-17: Uploaded an updated version of the front end for the aluminum extruder that includes some extra supports. "ExtendYFront2014AlExtruderRevA.stl"

2014-05-11: Uploaded a version of the rear end that uses a clamp to secure the rods, and allows the upper rod to pass thru, so equal length rods can be used. "ExtendYRearClamp.stl"

This design was inspired by kingfuroy's Modified Simple http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:238932

Feedback is strongly encouraged.


  • Drill out the 8mm rod holes to clean up. Do not drill thru. I actually used a 5/16" bit (didn't have an 8mm) and just wiggled it a bit to oversize the hole to 8mm-ish. The rods press in nice and tight.
  • Reuse Z stop screw & mounting blocks.


  • Install extruder end of GT2 belt before mounting extruder. It is really difficult to reach afterwords.
  • To locate the drive pulley, slide the pulley on the shaft but do not tighten the set screws (grub screws). Thread the belt and just hold tension by hand. Slide the axis by hand and the pulley will spin on the shaft and locate itself. Tighten the screws to lock it in.
  • To get belt length correct, thread belt thru machine and thru rear tension block. Mark where the belt exits the rear tension block and cut belt 10-20mm past that point to give enough length to fold over. Slip belt off 608 bearing. This will give you enough length to fold on your mark and insert belt back in tension block.
  • Don't go crazy tightening the bearing block screws. Just snug them up. The part geometry will hold the bearings with very little screw force.
  • Use "M208 Y300" or "M211 Y300" to increase preset limits. If neither of these work you may need to flash your firmware with the "Marlin Unified V2" firmware then use "M211 Y300". Follow the guide published by Printrbot at: http://help.printrbot.com/Guide/How+to+Reflash+Firmware/78

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How can I know wich one to use; ExtendYPlate.stl or ExtendYPlateRevC.stl? I have acme rod with the white plastic nut.
Great design!!

Hello my trusty friends of printers,

First of all, great design, it looks awesome on my wooden 2014 maker's kit.
Instead of screws I used cable clamps to allow the rods to align themselves over time and tightened them slightly from time to time.

I still have a problem and a question and I'm hoping some of you might have already dealt with it:

My GT2 belt slips off the bearing when the Y-axis is moving larger distances (>10cm) towards the main body of the printer.

I redesigned BearingPost.stl to be slightly bigger than the bearing itself to prevent the belt from slipping off.
Since this post is stationary, the belt is now grinding on the post.
Is it possible that the bearing tilts in the direction of the Y-stepper motor over time?
Has anyone encountered similar problems?

And finally my question: Did you expand your X-Axis as well (preferably a heat bed) and if so with which parts (link)?

Thanks for your time

Has anybody thought about or made a mount for the Diamond Hotend?

So I know i'm a little late to the party, but would this work with the 1401 or what mods would be needed to make it work?

Been using that and the X axis mod for many months and it's great.

Thinking about getting the Printrbot gear head extruder and wonder how I could fit it in... Any ideas ?

I just finished assembling this upgrade - thanks!!!


1) Extruder cooling fan mount - a number of us with the aluminum extruder have overheating issues and need a small fan blowing on the extruder / stepper. Would be nice if that was included in the cable management mount somehow. (CatTrackMount.stl)

2) CatTrackMount.stl - hmmm, looking at your picture, there is a nice cable track running back to the main board. What did you use for that?

I just got my printrbot a week ago and i had the overheating problem.

I took a processor heat sink off of an old computer and thermal pasted it to the top of the stepper motor, no fan at all.
it still runs sorta hot but not hot enough to affect the filament like before.

tried to attach a picture but i cant.

I started with small heat sinks. I have also trimmed the pot on the board to run the stepper at a cooler temp. These have helped, however, I have gotten the odd jam when running for 2+ hours so I added / kept the fan as a fool proof safety. This was the mount I made for the stock Y axis / aluminum extruder - http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:274200

Printrbot Simple Aluminum Extruder 40mm Fan mount 2013/2014
by metaled

I am all wrapped up in other projects at the moment, so a new design isn't in the cards for the time being.

The cat track is http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:237133

Printrbot Simple V2, Cable Management

not sure if this is the right place to ask, but i'm in a bit of a pinch.

I need someone to print the Y plate ,and possibly some other parts of this mod. No one else around my area has a 3D printer.

i've printed this mod a while back, but i never noticed that the part was warped. The y-axis slopes down at an angle, causing my prints to sway towards the front of the printer, therefore nothing comes out square.

contact me if you can help please.

I had the same issue, one thing you can do is reinstall the original Y mount and tighten the zip ties as much as possible. Then reprint.

Can this be posted to Shapeways? One of my steppers died half way though printing the Y plate and I want to do this upgrade while have the printer broken down to replace the stepper.

You can upload the .stl files yourself for your own use, not for sale to others please.
I have uploaded a slightly modified version (removed the 45 degree print overhand requirements) and tacked on $2 for my trouble. Shapeways robots still complain it has "thin walls" but I am unable to see the specific problem area from behind the corporate firewall. I see no reason it will not print correctly, and will look at it if I find some time at home.

Here is the link: http://shpws.me/vUoD

Awesome thanks a bunch!

Can I just print the Y plate and keep everything else the same on my simple, or is this an all-or-nothing mod?

The increase in the bearing spacing requires the longer rods. Otherwise you would only have about 20mm stroke on you Y with the stock wood setup. The belt ends land in different locations as well, so it is an all or nothing mod.

can this be done on the simple metal version?

The metal simple has different diameter rods, so this will not work on that machine.

Can you use the stock rods for this just for the y axis fix, or do you have to cut new, longer rods?

Longer rods are required for the Y axis.
The Z rods are ok and do not need to be changed.

Is there any way you could make this so it would work with the new Printrbot Simple 1405? They seemed to have changed alot about the bot. They moved the Y end stop, changed the distance between the Z axis rods, new gt2 belt system, extruder layout etc... I really was hoping to use this mod as I get some significant Y axis sag with me current setup.

Were you able to find a version for 1405?

Hey Jon, that's a bad link in your (admittedly quite old) reply, above, even if I remove the partially duplicated URL. " http://www.printrbottalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=113&t=7647" says this is not a valid thread or some such similar.

Has there been any progress on a version for the 1405? The Z azis rods are indeed spaced differently than in your design. Thnx much, amigo, I appreciate your effort and your great product!

I have this installed and have a larger bed, any way to make the bed more stable, currently my bed is 11 inches in X direction and 9 inches in Y direction. But I have noticed that the bed starts to droop down because its overhanging off of the edge of the printer. Any idea how I can eliminate this? (the bed is wood)

After I print this, do you have an upgrade for the x axis to accommodate the larger build plate (and maybe increase the x size) on the new simple makers (with GT2) belts already? Thanks!

I definitly want to do this, but could you please send a link to where one can buy the pulley and a matching belt?
I live in Denmark where we dont have many shops where you can get these sort of things, so something online is needed..
The mod looks real great, and i am looking forward to doing it..
GOD I LOVE MY Printrbot :D

The pulley and belt are very common in the RepRap community. Printrbot is also using these on the new versions of their Simple. Printrbot offers a kit: http://printrbot.com/shop/gt2-kit/http://printrbot.com/shop/gt2-...
Ebay has lots of suppliers as well. Search "GT2 20T pulley belt 5mm bore" or something similar. The motors used on Printrbot have a 5mm shaft so you need a pulley with a 5mm center hole, and 20 teeth.

I think I'm going to remend modifying the front mount again. The rods sit too far back on one end of the front piece allowing the weight of everything but the fan to pull down (including any additionally mounted fan or probe). I decided to used 400mm rods. I'm trying to get 300mm usable print area. So the end effect is that as the y axis goes out all the way, the weight of everything in front of the rods (mostly the motor) twists the entire end enough to make printing that far out unusable. If the rods could be moved more toward the middle of the front mount, the twisting would not occur. It would mean giving up some mm in the X axis to gain the full 300 on Y, but in my case that's not an issue since I also have 300mm usable on X. Help!

Well I managed to correct for the twist by adding a ballast bar. I used one of my extra shorter 8mm rods and suspended it at 90 degrees to the other two bars mounting it on the front piece with most of the bar acting as a counter weight. Of course that's not enough weight, so I took a small death star I had previously printed and drilled 3 holes in it, Two to let the 8mm bar through and one in the top to let me fill the hollow moon with rice. This was just enough weight to counterweight the twist... I now appear to have 300x300x165 printing... Hopefully this will hold.

With the new upgrade kit everyone is getting, I'm hoping we will only need to tweak and reprint the x/y plate and everything else will be reusable. Fingers crossed...waiting on my kit to arrive.

I've been using your design with ABS at 0.1mm layer height and experienced impressive results! I'm going to try the new Simple Makers upgrade and thinking of how I could incorporate the Z probe. I might play around with CAD and see if I can come up with something. Any suggestions?

There has been some discussion here: http://www.printrbottalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=6306&hilit=probe&start=100#p45435http://www.printrbottalk.com/f... It is a long thread and tends to meander but there are several postings of files. I just ordered the upgrade kit, and have heard preliminary reports that the Z rod spacing is different. If the Z rods are different this current version will not fit.
I will post what I find once my kit arrives.

I have the new simple makers kit, the space in between the 2 smooth rods is 63mm. Is that the same as the old model? So, if the rod spacing is the same, do I just need to print this + the auto level probe mount posted on that thread? If not, are there any other measurements I can take? I am really exited to make this (My first mod on my first printer!) Note: I don't have calipers, I just have a ruler, sorry!

Thanks Jon, the printrbottalk discussion thread is great. I just got my kit today, I see a few changes with Y end stop locations so far nothing big, but I didn't look at Z rod spacing. I'll let you know on the forum if there are any fit issues if others don't chime in before.

So I have the 2014 model that I got in January. I have an extended X axis, and stock extruder. What exactly do I need to print/ buy to get this mod on my simple?
Thanks, Love the design

Check out the PDF for all the parts and hardware.
You can use a couple different front ends:
ExtendYFront2014AlExtruder.STL - Mount your extruder right on the end.
ExtendYFront2014AlExtruderRevA.STL - Same as above with some added support underneath.
ExtendYFront2013Fan.STL - Re-use your wood extruder mounting plate.
On the rear I would recommend:
ExtendYRearClamp.STL - Allows both rods to be the same length and clamps them more securely.

I have direct drive aluminum extruder wich front end should I use? my printrbot is 20113 model. thanks steve

Use the one labeled ExtendYFront2014AlExtruderRevA. Test fit everything you can before tearing the printer completely down, just to make sure you don't have any issues before you are unable to re-print.

Very much new to the 3D world. My classroom was gifted a Printrbot Simple a couple weeks ago. I have been working on the Y sag for a week or so. I've started to install the Y/Z bearing plate and I notice that the Z nut doesn't fit. Suggestions? I have a 2014 with aluminum extruder and bed.

Do you have the white delrin nut, and did you print ExtendYPlateRevC? Unless Printrbot changed their hardware, which they do often, the white nut should fit in the RevC part from the top down.

Shoots, I printed the ExtendYPlate. That explains it. I'm planning on using 500 mm rods. What do I need to do so my machine will allow me to use the larger print space?

so... After some serious use I am starting to notice some twist in the front piece.. I am worried about the longevity of the top mount on the extruder mount.. any chance you can beef that up? I think the rod clamp addition on the rear is the right way to go somehow?

is it possible to design this whit dual precision for GT2 that makes this upgrade even better than it is

Double Precision Y GT2, Printrbot Simple

Patients please. All good things will come in time ( and not even that much time)...

If the support bars at the back of the 'ExtendYPlate' for the Acme nut were below the stepper motor, and ensuring it did not hit the coupler on the Z-motor, then would that give extra Z height? If we put taller rods in as well.

You are correct. There are a couple challenges.
1) If you nut on the Y/Z plate is too close to the bottom, the alignment with the Z motor gets extremely critical. With the added distance of it being on the top portion of the Y/Z plate this give some forgiveness to the assembly.
2) It is really busy down there, and the nut would fall right about the same height as the motor.
Mush simpler to get a longer threaded rod.

You're right, I have a threaded rod ready to go, "if", I need the extra height. It was looking ahead to that operation, that made me consider alternatives. I've seen extension couplers, to fit top of threaded rod. But there is very little space between the rod and my Y-motor.

Ok. I'm scratching my head on this one. I've printed my parts (I've got the 2014 Simple wood with aluminum extruder and bed) and have started to assemble them, but for the life of me I can't figure out how to secure the extruder end of the GT2 belt. I see where the belt is supposed to slip into the fan hood, but not how to secure it. I see a zoom on the schematic for the other end, but not for the extruder end. Equally troubling is that you even have a tip about installing that end of the belt. Am I missing something obvious?

The GT2 belt should fold over around a small piece of filament (or whatever you like), interlace it's own teeth, pass back thru the hole, and wedge into the hole inside the fan cavity. The same way it will in the belt tension block if you don't use a wedge: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:275874http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

GT2 Belt Wedge

Is there a parts list? Should I print one of everything? I see there are revisions, is there a way to track what revisions have been made?
Overall, the parts look good. Im printing mine on a makerbot 2x at techshop.

Nevermind, I just saw the one image is a parts list and assembly drawing. Bravo!

Ok, I have been running this for while now... and it is running great.. One request.. I just purchased the auto leveling sensor... Can't wait to get that.. I hate dialing in the bed every time. I was thinking the easy way to add it is to perhaps attach it to the cable mount or the fan shroud.. Just trying to recommend a quick bolt on idea as apposed to re-printing the whole head. What say you?

Holy crap, this is great. I am hitting my local techshop and monopolizing the makerbot for a few hours....

So, I built this and it has dramatically improved my prints. I've gone from reliably printing at 30mm/s to 60mm/s after installing this mod. Not to mention the extra build area.
However, it is SUPER LOUD. Like, WAY louder than my Simple was before the mod. Has anyone been able to mitigate this issue?

These printers definitely have a natural resonance where the frequency of the motors matches the frame and they amplify each other. This has nothing to do with the belt drive. For me it is around 60mm/s where the motors are the loudest.
Try lowering your acceleration & jerk settings and increasing your speed to around 80mm/s. They should quiet down around that speed. You can also play with the Speed Multiply "Feedrate" in Repetier during a print to find where it runs the quietest.

Resonance seemed to be it. I got rubber cupboard liner under it and that dampened the noise substantially.
Also, at 80mm/s (my max reliable speed so far) the printer was walking around quite a bit. The cupboard liner fixed that as well!

When you do your z axis upgrade will you be changing your z screw from a 1/4" to and m6 with a 1mm pitch. It is supposed to allow for more predictable microstepping or something like that.

I do not subscribe to that theory. The resolution of the Z axis is crazy accurate.
For example:

  • 1/4-16 ACME thread has 2015.75 micro-steps/mm. If we assume a crazy big error of +/- 16 microsteps (one whole step) this translates to a vertical distance of 0.008mm. I don't know about you, but I cannot see 0.008mm difference from one layer to another.
  • M6x1 thread has 3200 micro-steps/mm. If you assume the same crazy big error, you are looking at 0.005mm difference from one layer to another.
    In reality the error is more like +/- 2 microsteps (1/4-16: +/- 0.001mm) or (M6x1: +/- 0.0006mm)

Is that what the z steps are supposed to be jon or do you still do the calibration and algebra

Not sure I am clear on your question, but the Z movement is well defined by the thread of the Z screw. No print then measure calibration should be done here, just enter the correct value for your setup.

So i should just type in 2015.75 for my z steps

If you have a 1/4-16 ACME thread or a 3/8-16 UNC threaded rod, then yes.

Your not alone. i have read a couple of forums where people say more or less exactly what you are saying however the long term general consensus seems to be that the m6x1 rods are the way to go.
I won't have a for sure opinion on the matter until i try it for my self. All i know is .005 is more acurate than .008 and alot easier to count by LOL.

Some good reading from a very knowledgeable source on the topic here if you are interested:

thanks mate. i will definitely check it out. always interested in improving myself. on a related subject. is your z axis mod gonna be as crazy awesome as your x and y axis mods or are your just gonna keep it simple and extend the poles and acme rod and leave it at that. also can we expect it soon are is it still in planning. Thank again mate, love your work.

Now I don't recall saying anything about a Z upgrade, however I do have several things in the works so stay tuned...

oh...LOL you know how it is read a thousand articles your bound to mix up one or two details. it may have been someone else that said the were going to do a z axis upgrade. But if you did do a z axis upgrade i know it would be the best one available just like all your other upgrades. Are you planning on doing anything with the new auto leveling probe.

There is some discussion and models here:
It seems to be a wandering conversation, so a little reading may be required...

If you have not seen this one http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:278089http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... it does add between 40-50MM of Z axes. works great for me, no backlash and still in the exact configuration as the 2014 simple i got. cheers

Printrbot Simple 2014 Z-Ext

I had bending too because of the heat of the extruder. so i made this to fix the problem : http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:303614http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

Fan extension for "Printrbot Simple, 300mm Y Axis-No Sag!"

Your bending is coming from the aluminum. the heat is traveling up because of the aluminum thats why i made my extruder out of plastic and have had no warping or bending and i have no fan on the out side of the extruder only the one for cooling the part.

Wouldn't the heat being transferred to the aluminum extruder blocks be transferred instead to the PLA extruder. and if it had enough heat to warp the deck pieces after loosing some of it heat during the transfer process through the aluminum blocks wouldn't it have enough heat to damage the PLA extruder? LOL Does that make any sense.

My front piece that was fully printed in one piece has shown some signs of warping. Just to let you all know, the aluminum extruder will work just fine with the ExtendedYFront2013Fan piece, along with your old wood extruder plate.

Yep, saw that. I don't have more fans that aren't noisy though. The wooden extruder plate works well.

I was looking at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:252541http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... and then to one of his later works http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:253971/#commentshttp://www.thingiverse.com/thi... and someone reported that the hotend causes the mounting plate to sag over time. I wonder if that will be an issue with your 2014 rendition of the design. i guess only time will tell.

Printrbot Mount Plate for Aluminum Extruder
by jhoff
Printrbot Simple 2014 Bowden Extruder Conversion
by jhoff

The extruder motor CAN run extremely hot. Cooling is going to be your friend to keep the heat under control. After all these are just plastic pieces holding a part that is designed to melt plastic...
I just uploaded a version that includes some extra supports under the 2014 aluminum extruder front end version.

This shows exactly what i was talking about with the extruder causing sag. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:303614http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

Fan extension for "Printrbot Simple, 300mm Y Axis-No Sag!"

Shaddii, i've tried several Y extensions, and Jon's work was by far the most reliable. When your start to mod your printer you can't expect everything to go always smoothly ;). I made the http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:303614http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... to fix my problem and help others with the same issue. I printed everything in PLA, this may not have been the best choice to resist heat. ABS or http://colorfabb.com/colorfabb-xt/xthttp://colorfabb.com/colorfabb... may have been a better choice. Anyway my fix works perfectly fine with Jon's excellent work.

Fan extension for "Printrbot Simple, 300mm Y Axis-No Sag!"

Oh believe me there is no need to sell me on jons excellent work. his designs are like nothing else out there. You can easily tell he puts allot of thought and energy into his projects. I was just trying to bring up the problem and find solutions to it before i began this mod. and it worked. several people including yourself have posted ideas to fix the problem. :D

You're right we can't thank him enough for his great work !

My extruder motor actually runs quite cool even after 4 hours prints i can touch it with my bare hand and it is barely warm. My only explanation for this is that i have managed to adjust my pots on my board just right so that is gets enough juice to extrude and no more. But from what i was reading it seams that the hot end it self was the culprit causing the sagging not the motor.

its not from the hot end itself its from all the weight on that end when you extend y past center of gravity. you only have .250 wood holding this machine together and cheap bushing that have to much play.

We were not talking about the sag created by that. We are talking about sag created by the hotend heating us this 3d printed part. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:252541http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... The hotend seems to heat up the 3d printed mounting plate and cause it to sag. Thanks for your input anyway though.

Printrbot Mount Plate for Aluminum Extruder
by jhoff

Ok i think i told someone before how to prevent that. may sound crazy but print it in clear dark colors retain heat longer and rap one layer of fiberglass tape around the head that goes inside of the part. Same type used on thermocouples. the heat will not go up in the part. then put a heat gun on the part it should not go past 100f. mine stays pretty close to that and have no sage even ran it with a dial indicator to see if there was any sag in the head. and also check your infill so that it is solid and not honeycomb. Hope this helps

Is there room for the tape. The hole on the part is pretty tight.

yea just rap it tight one layer and use something to pry it open without breaking it slide it in at the measurements i gave and you should be good to go.
its tight but it will go depending on your print if its too tight just use dremel and hit it once or twice.

I was wondering. How do you keep the edges of parts from lifting before you got the heated bed? or did you always have the heated bed? When ever i print my edges lift. sometime a little sometime alot. i have been looking for the solution but have not found it yet.

use Elmer glue stick. or you could use hair dryer to heat up the wood bed with the Elmer glue then when the print starts hold the dryer over the print until the first layer is complete push down on the corners of your print then after that should be good to go until you get a heat bed. worked for me. just was a pain to do this every print. But never had any warping.

I don't have a wood bed. I have the metal bed. And i had never thought about Elmer's glue but i do use a hair dryer on occasion. However i have to hold the hair dryer there until i get about 20 layer into the print. If i take it off before that i get curling. After i have about 20 layers the bottom seams to be built enough to prevent any major curling. Even with the hair dryer i still get a little bit of curling like 1mm but that's a whole lot less than what i get without it. I have ordered the 6x6 heated bed and a atx psu. i was hoping to wait a little longer before going heated bed but in order to take my prints to the next level it was necessary to go there now. Of course i need to figur out a good way to attach it to my bed. JonLawerence is using the stock bed and that 6x6 heater looks like it fits quite nicly on it. I have the extended bed so my setup will be a little trickery. I suppose i could go back to the stock bed but that just seems like such a waste...hmm thinks to consider.

Sorry the other thing i forgot to tell ya was to make sure you have the fan running on 100% after the first layer. If the part is not cooled it will warp. And if your print speed is to high that will also cause warping. If that does not work i could send you my settings and you can go from their just make sure to backup yours.

Are you using slic3r. If you are i would love to see your settings :D. I am running almost default setting of what the getting started guide recommended.

I put my settings on here someone deleted them? I will send again in 2 parts.

generated by Slic3r 1.0.0RC2 on Tue Apr 15 23:01:01 2014

avoid_crossing_perimeters =
bed_size = 127,215
bed_temperature = 48
bottom_solid_layers = 3
bridge_acceleration = 0
bridge_fan_speed = 100
bridge_flow_ratio = .75
bridge_speed = 50
brim_width = 0
complete_objects = 1
cooling = 1
default_acceleration = 0
disable_fan_first_layers = 1
duplicate = 1
duplicate_distance = 6
duplicate_grid = 1,1
end_gcode =

external_perimeter_speed = 60%
external_perimeters_first = 1
extra_perimeters = 1
extruder_clearance_height = 10
extruder_clearance_radius = 10
extruder_offset = 0x0
extrusion_axis = E
extrusion_multiplier = 1
extrusion_width = .42
fan_always_on = 0
fan_below_layer_time = 32
filament_diameter = 1.75
fill_angle = 45
fill_density = 0.3
fill_pattern = honeycomb
first_layer_acceleration = 0
first_layer_bed_temperature = 48
first_layer_extrusion_width = .42
first_layer_height = .35
first_layer_speed = 70%
first_layer_temperature = 195
g0 = 0
gap_fill_speed = 10
gcode_arcs = 0
gcode_comments = 0
gcode_flavor = reprap
infill_acceleration = 0
infill_every_layers = 1
infill_extruder = 1
infill_extrusion_width = .42
infill_first =
infill_only_where_needed = 0
infill_speed = 80
layer_gcode =
layer_height = 0.3
max_fan_speed = 100
min_fan_speed = 35
min_print_speed = 15
min_skirt_length = 0
notes = Theses settings are perfect.
nozzle_diameter = 0.4
only_retract_when_crossing_perimeters = 1
ooze_prevention = 0
output_filename_format = [input_filename_base].gcode
overhangs = 1
perimeter_acceleration = 0
perimeter_extruder = 1
perimeter_extrusion_width = .42

You could also try a piece of acrylic sheet on top of your build platform. Ive been printing for a couple months and my edges hardly ever lift. The PLA and acrylic really like to stick together when heated up. I just keep cleaning the surface with alcohol and sand the surface to keep things clean. Trust me, its way better than having to put on glue or hair spray every time. I've only gone through 2 plates in the last few months.

I always had warping before the heated bed. Could never get it flat. Now with the heated bed, everything is flat as glass! Highly recommend one.

Do you think you could put instructions up on thingiverse for how you setup your heated bed. Printrbot seems to no longer sell there power upgrade kit so i can't buy one of those y cables that they used. Or did you buy that kit while they were still selling it? Thanks mate

No mystery here.

  • I took the little 4 prong square connector off a salvaged ATX supply and plugged it in to the Printrboard.
  • Purchased a 6x6 bed from Printrbot which came with the plug attached and plugged it in.
  • Had to source my own thermister, added some wire, and a plug. Printrbot is now selling them with plugs attached.
  • Cut a piece of cardboard the same size of the heater.
  • Added a small groove in the cardboard where I laid the thermister. Held in place with a little tape.
  • Got some window glass from the local hardware store cut to size of heat bed
  • Stacked them up: Stock wood bed / cardboard / heat bed / glass.
  • Held together with binder clips.
    Works like a champ. Make sure you secure the wires so when your bed moves it does not pull on the solder joints.

Help JON there are to many parts to pick from...... witch ones do I need with my 2014 simple? i think i can figure some of them out. but with all the optional parts and different version i just want to make sure i dont miss what i need before i start taking my printer apart. Not sure if under "instructions" you should include a check list of "required" parts to print and then and options list. Thanks as always for the great design and the great support you always give

... .Just as I finish printing you put out a revised part...!! Thanks for all the work! I was wondering what the general consensus was about the bearing blocks? it looks like some are using them others are screwing them in others are using zip ties to keep them it and some are skipping the blocks and just using zipties... what seems to work best. I want to make sure I have everything I need printed before I take this thing apart!

I would recommend skipping the bearing caps/screws and just use zip ties.
If the base were a machined part where we can hold tight tolerances the bearing caps would be the best option. Reality here is this is a printed part, and most likely has some warping so the bearings need a little wiggle room to keep from binding. This is where the zip ties shine.

I was just wondering if the Y plate can be used alone to replace the stock y plate... is it possible to use a a drop in part. I wanted to use it before I get my RODS in?

In theory yes, the rod spacing is the same. You will loose a lot of stroke if you don't extend the rods.

I am having an issue slicing the Rev C Y plate. on a few layers it is randomly filling the bearing recess with a single thin layer. Has anyone else experienced this? I guess I could cut them out.. but it is kind of a pain...

Yes, Slic3r has an issue. I used Kisslicer.

it's a slic3r problem I had to use cura to slice it

I don't have any experience with other slicer programs... is anyone willing to upload the Gcode with it centered for the Printrbot Simple.... that would assure that all the parameters are correct.. I have tried to print this part 3 different times with varied results..

nevermind- I could not get cura to slice the part but then realized that
I had to exaggerate the depth of my bed so the software would know I
had room to print it.

I have a 2014 Simple with the aluminum extruder. I've previously
printed a base to replace the piece of wood the extruder and stepper sit on. I incorporated
a fan mount in order to keep the stepper and the filament cool where it enters
the nozzle. I had some problems early on with the filament getting soft and
twisting around the drive gear. After running for an hour the base got hot and
began to sag. The thickness of the PLA was about 6mm. I'm not sure if ABS would
perform any better. I've gone back to the wood base and now use this: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:274200http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...
for the fan mount. It presses onto the wood base. I plan to print the
ExtendYFront in order to keep the wood base. If you could incorporate a similar
fan mount that screws onto the ExtendYFront that would be great.

I am waiting on my heated bed to arrive so I can print the
ExtendYPlate. My first print was not flat, even though I use painters tape,
spray adhesive, and I heat the aluminum bed with a heat gun it still warps
about half way through the print. Are you running the heated bed from the
printrboard or using a relay? I have worried about burning up the transistor on
the board. I am adding an ATX PSU for the increased power required for the
heated bed.

Printrbot Simple Aluminum Extruder 40mm Fan mount 2013/2014
by metaled

The link for your fan mount was cut, what is the thing number?
I never had great luck keeping any print over 20mm wide flat without a heated bed. I am currently using the 6x6 bed from Printrbot, ATX supply, and hooked directly to the printrboard. My temp is usually set around 50c and no problems to report. Nice flat prints every time.

Here is the thing #: 274200. There's not much to it. I think it would be great if it could be incorporated into the ExtendYFront some how. Thanks for all the work you've done on this upgrade. It is very well thought out and the detailed diagrams add a lot of clarity to the install.

I Use this but for the front end i use the new extruder mount that was made for the Alummunim extruder only insted my extruder its all plastic the the j- head is set so not to transfer heat up to the plastic extruder. A lot of the sag in the {Y} comes from the way the rods in the {Z} are mounted in the wood.And the more you extend the {Y} the more the Sage will be because the {Z} rods need to be spread apart to compensate for the extended {Y} and that will mean changing the {Z} base. The printrbot Simple is a great design for starters but as you upgrade you will run into problems with designs you need to change. But when useing the {Y} carrage do not over Tighten where the bearings go because its not a 100% fit and 1 degree can cause a bunce of problems. After hours of fine tunning and changing my print bed to 1 inch plywood counter bored for the screws and mounted solid with no adjustmen only in the {Z} direction. Have 2 heat beds tied in series run to the print-board running on a 300w ATX power supply. I can hold tolerance 10mm cube at { Z:10 Y:10.5 X:10.5} . To keep my prints starting nice i keep the heat bed set at 48c for PLA and use Elmer's Glue sticks. I only need to apply the glue to the table once every 5 prints. working on getting speed in printing while keeping the tolerance in check.

Has anyone had any issues with warping with the extruder mount? I'm only able to print in PLA and i'm worried that the hotend or the extruder motor itself will heat up the PLA just enough to disfigure it.

If you want to stick with 100mm Y, is this still a upgrade with the stock 8mm rods? Does it steal any travel for extra stability or is the improvement solely in the stiffness of the bearing positions?

I am using my stock 8mm Z rods and get 100mm Z motion. The bearings come right to the top of the rod. I print with a layer of cardboard, heated bed, and glass on top of my print bed.
This mainly deals with the bearing stiffness leading to Y sag and an inconsistent Z height over the entire Y axis motion range as you increase the Y travel distance.

I've got the stock simple printing with great accuracy but very, very slowly. Perimeters 10mm/s infill 20mm/s I am in the process of modding my printer with your designs and the parts fit great! Does this upgrade allow you to print any faster while maintaining high quality? iamjonlawrence, what speeds do you print at for good quality with your mods?

The addition of the timing belts (any timing belts) will definitely allow you to increase your speed, acceleration, and reliability.

This mod will increase the rigidity of your Y axis. If you extend too far you will notice some wobble out of the Z rods. Because the rods are not supported at the top they can twist, and you will see this the further you extend your Y axis, and the taller you print. If you keep the same print volume, you should be able to increase your speed without any loss of quality.

Speaking of speed, I am not the best source for that subject. Due to my available time windows I can only visit my machine every 8 hours or so. Because of this, I have no reason to push the speed envelope and print everything at 15mm/s for the increased quality.

Do you think you could upload your slic3r settings for 15mm/s. they would be quite helpful.

I use Kisslicer for all my slicing needs, so unfortunately I do not have any Slic3r settings available to share.

oh well thanks anyway mate.

Speaking of the Z rod twisting... I purchased the XL upgrade which came with a tower that holds a spool and the upper rods... it also puts a foot at the back that adds a bit more width to the base. I would suggest looking into the upgrade. It is meant to increase the build height and width. With those Z rods extended they had to be held at the top and are with this upgrade quite well. I don't know what your plans are but I would like to see someone replace and lengthen the base. At this rate we will be almost re-printing the entire design... but I think that is what printrbot kind of intended. Thanks again for all your hard work I would love to learn how to design parts as well. So far I only have a few things made with sketchup ... what do you use?

The XL upgrade is great as it holds the top of the rods. Very much needed the taller you want to print. I am still printing at 100mm height, but will increase that at some point.

I design using SolidWorks.

I'm new but I'm actually surprised that anyone upgrades the y distance, without the tower, or some way of fixing the z-axis rods. Resonance and deflection are decreased by huge amount with the tower. Also you get 165mm on the z.

For small increases in width and if you keep the speed down, you can get away with it. This thing helps, but does not address the rod twisting issue. XL upgrade is a good choice. I am working on a printed version because I tend to go with the "Why buy it, when you can build it." mentality.

I completely agree... BUT; I am selfishly hoping you buy the upgrade so that you will build some upgrades from that baseline.. For instance a cable guide mount that will fit the upgrade. Another way to attack your Z-axis twist would also be taking a look at redesigning the base. I HATE the way the rods go into the plywood, mine was impossible to assemble without splitting the plywood a bit. I cant help but wonder if that is affecting my precision some. I would like to see something that contacts the Rods in a more supportive and mechanical way.

If Printrbot offered just the XL wood tower, I would jump on it. They offer a tower for the stock Simple for $35, which I may consider but it would limit my Z to just over 90mm due to my stackup of heat bed / glass / etc. on my print surface.
They offer the XL upgrade kit, but I do not need the aluminum bed, rods, spool, etc. only the few wood tower parts. At $129 that is outside my comfort zone for what I would actually use.
I have been looking for the dxf file of the tower parts so I can make my own, but I'm having no luck there. There is one on here that somebody reverse engineered, but I am only interested in the official version to ensure compatibility.

Ya.... its the RODS and ACME rod that get you up higher... I can do about 165mm with the 99$ upgrade with larger X axis RODS.. that was a good deal then but now I am looking at buying RODS for This Y upgrade and longer still for the X Axis. I am having trouble finding the ROD specs for this upgrade, are the lost in the comments or is there a more detailed HOW TO some where?

Here is another option (from further down the comments):

by VXB
Linear Motion 8 mm Shaft, 406 mm Length, Chrome Plated, Case Hardened, Metric

What you are looking for (best case) are hardened precision ground 8mm linear rods. You can try http://www.mcmaster.com/http://www.mcmaster.com/ part number 6112K46 for a reasonably priced version. These are the ones I used for my X upgrade.

I have also used 5/16 drill rod which is much easier to find, but there are a couple drawbacks:

  • They are not hardened so with use the bearings will eventually dig into the rod making small grooves.
  • The tolerance on the diameter is fairly large. This means that depending on the luck of the draw your rods will be tight and not move freely in the bearings, or sloppy and loose. Both conditions may be acceptable depending on your personal preference.

What can I do to make this work on the 2014 model?

from what i can tell the only difference between these models and the 2014 is youll need a to mod a place for the fan i have the 2014 and monday i will be printing these models for mine

I have uploaded a new front end for the fan mount and aluminum extruder. I have printed this one and it prints fine, but I do not have the aluminum extruder and no way to test it myself. Please let me know if any adjustments are needed.

I just uploaded a version that incorporates mounts to extend the fan duct, and a fan duct extension if you want to adjust the air flow closer to the hot end. If it needs adjustment, please let me know as I had to estimate on the hot end height for the aluminum extruder.

I love what you did for the 2014 model.

I'm waiting on my rods but the aluminium extruder mounts to the new front end fine. Is there a way to attach the cable management thing to this version?

Uploaded yet another version that includes a mount for the cable management. ExtendYFront2014AlExtruderCable.STL

How does the cable management attach to this piece? I assume the screw holes are the key, but I'm not sure what part to attach to them. Thank you! :)

Item 7 (CatTrackMount.stl) on this thing will bolt on to the side of the ExtendYFront2014AlExtruderCalbe.stl and will replace item 3 (YMount.stl) of the cable management thing: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:237133http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

Printrbot Simple V2, Cable Management

What is the community doing to increase the size of the build platform depth?

Think of your printer as a stock car. Then you get it home and its not that fast so you begin to do upgrades and after a while you end up with a fast muscle car. Printers are the same way. Its what you put into it that you get in return.

Yea... I think most of my REAL prints have been for my printr its self.. wish my truck could make its own upgrades... maybe some day? Anyways I think I have about 35% of my original printer left.. fun stuff...

Do people have problem with shrinkage i think i will have to reprint at 104% because every hole was too small everything is a slitly off. So ill give it a shot a let see.

If you have problems with the part pulling up at the corners while printing, than I would say you have shrinkage issues. Otherwise it sounds like your calibration is off a little. The outside of the part should measure 94.00 mm x 93.50 mm at the widest part, and 54.43 mm tall.

looks like I just ordered the GT 2 upgrade with a 16 tooth pulley, did I completely ordered the wrong thing do you know if this will work ...if a 16 tooth pulling will not work, will I still be able to use the same track worth the track specific to the pullies? do I need to order a completely new kit or just a new pulley? perhaps I can modify the distance to the bering?...

Short answer, try it and see... I believe the teeth of the belt will hit each other as they pass over the bearing causing some vibration and wear. You are only talking about 1mm difference in the radius, so it may work.
The bearing cannot be lowered any or the belt will pinch between the bearing caps and the pulley.

Getting ready to apply this mod.... what are you guys doing for the base
plate?? I see the Y arm upgrade... but the base, how do you make it
deeper? Also.. I have the Aluminum extruder head .. will it fit this front plate?

No it doesn't fit. Everything else should work. I am currently trying to redesign the front plate for myself. If i get it done before he make his update i will post it.

SO, any information about the base being enlarged?

I simply clamped a piece of glass to the existing plate to give me a 6" depth for the time being. Just let the extra hang off the front edge.

I ordered a 214x214 hot bed that I will try to fit they way you did... I just hope it will not sag.. then I will cut my rods to give me 210mm of Y movement. How does it seem to be operating around 200?

I am only at 150 for now, so can't speak with any authority.

I am planning on building this for my simple. however i have a 2014 with aluminum extruder. I think this design will still work except that the 2014 model has a side mounted fan. With the tower upgrade i cannot put the fan on the other side which leaves only the front. I don't really want to mount the fan to the front but as of right now i do not see another way...Any Ideas?

I have been thinking about incorporating a fan mount for the 2014's, but simply haven't had the time. I will get to it, life has just become busy lately.

I am having an issue with the z stop... I cannot figure out how to attach the existing holder for the end stop screw. any help would be appreciated.

If you have a Pre-Jan. 15, 2014 Simple, then you can use your existing holder and screws. It should mount exactly the same.

If you have a Post-Jan. 15, 2014 Simple, then I have uploaded a ZScrewMount.STL that will need to be mounted with some M3 screws and will hold the Z adjustment screw.

If this is not clear, maybe post some pictures to the discussion at: http://www.printrbottalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=6306http://www.printrbottalk.com/f... so I can see what you are working with. They have changed the design multiple times and I have a difficult time keeping up with all the versions out there.

Would you be willing to share your sldprt files? I'd like to make a couple of mods to a couple parts before printing them to accommodate some other plans I have. So far I have 9 of the bearing blocks printed(in case one doesn't fit or breaks), and am printing the rear extend Y plate now.

Thanks for this awesome design, I've been lurking on the forum where you've been posting updates for this and it's going to be a major part of upgrading my Simple in the hopes of hitting 12" minimum in each axis. I have 80/20 extrusion ordered, GT2 pulleys and belts, stepper with a 350mm M8-8 acme built in, anti-backlash nut for the new Z-drive, over 3m of 8mm precision ground rod, and a couple of metalworking machines in the garage (including a cnc mill) to help me get it all put together. This is going to be one heck of a fun project, and once I make or buy a 0.2mm nozzle and build a heated bed there's nothing it won't be able to handle. In a few months my kid is going to have the coolest toys on the block! :D

Sounds like an ambitious undertaking. I have a couple X axis upgrades in the works that may help with your upcoming upgrade. The first of which will be published later this week.

On this mod, I would actually recommend skipping the bearing blocks and using tie-wraps instead. I couldn't help myself over tightening the bolts and causing the bearings to bind. The design holds the bearings in alignment with sufficient support, so the blocks are not necessary. I ended up with the bearing blocks on the bottom two bearings, then tie wraps on the top two. Seems to work very well.

I am happy to share the STL files posted under the "Creative Commons Attribution - Share Alike" which you can import into SolidWorks as a solid then run FeatureWorks to recognize the features. This should get your what you need.

Good luck, and please keep us posted on your progress.

Thanks for the heads up on the bearing blocks. As for the X axis, I plan to make some aluminum mounts for the bearings and mount them to the 80/20 track and space the extrusions along two outer rails and lock them down with the bed, rails, and bearings already mounted to the track, this should help eliminate binding as everything will be locked down already aligned. Still undecided what to use for the bed frame, but it will probably be some aluminum end caps for the 8mm rails and an aluminum plate that I will freeze with dry ice to stabilize and then machine it flat with a few holes so that can be held down with screws to the end caps and shimmed to level. With the improved rigidity I'm expecting less variation, and less adjusting the bed level. the Z axis rods will get their own end caps that will mount to the 80/20 track at the top and bottom so they can be locked down after I square them to the world(printer base). Simply shimming the mounts for the Z rods will allow squaring the Y axis to the X axis.

After clearing a nozzle jam, I'm back at the ExtendYRear.stl print. It's looking good so far at about 30% in. The last (ruined) one measured 83.02mm accross its length, so it appears my printer is dialed in pretty good!

Great mod Jon! I have 2 questions, how do lock the belt on the extruder end and I can't figure out how to install the Z end stop screw?

The belt locks the same on both ends. The only difference is there is no tension block on the front, it locks into a "V" slot in the extruder mount. Fold end of belt around a piece of 6mm long filament, interlock the belt teeth, and feed thru the slot until the end loop wedges in the "V".

The Z end stop switch is in the base, not part of this thing. I assume you mean the Z end stop screw. This mounts using the same 3 wood pieces, the screws will thread directly into the plastic.

The Y end stop switch mounts using the original screws, they will thread into the plastic. I admit, it is a difficult location to get the screws started. A long hex wrench with a ball end makes it easier. You may need to clean up the holes a little if you have some over-extrusion making them too small for the screws to start.

Thanks for the quick reply. I will check my Z end stop assembly when I get home. it looks like that mine is a bit different than yours. I have the V2 after 10/23/13.

I uploaded a quick and dirty ZScrweMount that should fit. You will need a couple M3x12 screws.

What is a good web site that I could find new smooth rods for fairly a inexpensive price?

Try McMaster-Carr (http://www.mcmaster.comwww.mcmaster.com) 6112K15 or 6112K136. Hardened & precision ground, but not chromed or polished. Keep them oiled so they don't rust.

What size of rods will i need for extending y axis travel to 160mm ?

For 160mm travel:
Lower rod = 160+175 = 335mm
Upper rod = 160+ 125 = 285mm

Can this also be used on the stock rods coming with the Simple V2 2014 and the Aluminium Extruder? I am currently installing your GT2 Y Mod, but if I can improve on the Y Sag with this as well then that would be great!

The rods inserted into the end mounts stabilize the structure. The lower rod on this needs to be 175mm longer than your desired print volume. Upper rod needs to be 125mm longer than your desired print volume. That means for a 100mm print volume you would need 275mm & 225mm rods.The stock rods are 160mm. Unfortunately, the stock rods are just not long enough.

Side note: I kept the spacing between the rods is identical to the stock machine. Not that it helps here.

Dang, I'm afraid I'll have to pass on this one then. Would have been great to have this working for a stock setup. Thanks for the response.

You can always use 5/16" rod from your local hardware store. The 5/16" rod is 0.0025" smaller than 8mm, and I can guarantee you that any printed plastic part 95mm x 95mm will vary much more than that. If you get one that is not plated and straight (roll it on the table to make sure it doesn't wobble), use some fine grit sandpaper or scotch brite pad to clean it up and you should be good to go. If you are only looking for 100mm travel, the loads on the bearings are very low with this configuration, so a polished, hardened, chrome plated linear shaft is not required.