Printrbot Direct-Drive Aluminum Extruder - 3D printed

by gkrangan, published

Printrbot Direct-Drive Aluminum Extruder - 3D printed by gkrangan Mar 25, 2014
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This is a 3D printed version of the Printrbot Direct-Drive Aluminum Extruder.

The design files are posted by the PrintrBot team here:


I had to import the "Alu Expolded.dae" from the above link into Google Sketchup, and save the individual parts as .stl files. I also used netfabb to rotate the top arm, so its easily printable on my Simple.

Last weekend I assembled the 2014 version of the Printrbot Simple with the ALU extruder and was impressed with the results. These parts were printed using the same printer.

I also own a factory assembled 2013 version of the PB Simple, with the Wooden Extruder. I have had some issues with it off and on, over the past few months. The Wooden Extruder has too many parts. This one has been designed well and I'm pretty happy with it.

I plan to replace the Wooden Extruder on my 2013 Simple with these 3D printed parts of the ALU Extruder and see how well it performs.

The STL files extracted from the original design are attached.

The other parts used:
1.5" 6-32 screw
6-32 hex nut
16mm M5 screw
625 bearing
3/4" spring


The Exploded diagram to aid with assembly, posted by PrintrBot can be found here:


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Do I need to print this will supports or can we get away with it?

No supports are required.

Not even for that great-big overhang?

he gkrangan

are you having any problems whit the small nema 13?

Could someone please tell me if the diameter of the hole where the hot end meets is 15mm or 16mm? I printed out one and the hole is 15mm and it doesn't fit the metal J-head that I have (which is 16mm in diameter). Thanks

16mm, but VERY exact. I have had to use the horizontal geometry adjustment in simplify3d to compensate for overprinting.

I believe the current version of cura beta also has a geometry adjstment setting.

I've added thumb and finger extensions to this design and posted it as http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:615984 .

Printrbot Extruder Remix

I tried to print this and it came out okay, but a little undersized.
I am thinking that it would be better to have a flat bottom and get rid of the radius on the sides. There is no need for it and it just makes it more difficult to print.
I tried to open the files in sketchup to edit them, but it is terrible CAD software that very unintuitive.

EDIT: I figured out how to open it in solidworks to edit. I have posted it in case anyone wants it.


I am currently trying to make a 3d printer. I wanted to know how i could attach the base of this extruder mechanism to the plate below it. In the aluminium printrbot mehanism the base has holes with internal threads. A 3d printed version wouldnt have internal threads. How do you go about attaching the screws to the base ??



I would love to see a version modified for better printing of Ninjaflex. Maybe I'll tackle that once I get a chance.

Printrbot Flexible Filament Direct Drive Extruder

Does the Ubis fit? When Brook first posted these files on http://Printrbot.comPrintrbot.com, I converted and printed them, but the inner diameter of the hole for the Ubis was waaaaaaaay too small. Has anyone else experienced that problem?

Same issue here, its all a bit small, but I was able to make it fit. Will fix that issue once up and printing again.

Where did you get spring

Ah!, good question. Initially had problems finding a suitable one. I first used a spring from a ball-point pen, but it was quite flimsy. I then found a bag (100count) of assorted springs at Microcenter for about 5bucks. I just used one that was a good fit.

After i managed to install this on my Plus i have no longer had problems with clogging, thank you so much for uploading this :D

is their anyway you could convert it to a dxl file for autocad

I'd love to be able to remix this to use the old style hobbled bolt. Any chance we can get the SKP file? When I import them into Sketchup they're scaled down and I'm not sure what the real dimensions should be. Thanks for posting this!

I use this on mine and never had any problems. After i calibrated its been running great. My longest print in hours was 5. but i run this close to 12 hours a day. No heat issues even running ABS. I have this printrbot modded and firware tweaked thats its damn near runs perfect.

please share your settings

The pin is not manifold when I open it to slice in Repetier Host. Fixed it using netfabb. Thought you might want to know since it seems no one else had this problem.

A couple of things your print looks really nice and clean, what speed do you print at? And what's your layer height? Also are there worries about heat? My extruder gets pretty hot

Here are the details that you've requested:

3D Printer: PrintrBot Simple 2014 with ALU Extruder 1.75mm PLA
Temp: 200 deg C
Layer Height: 0.3mm
Perimeters - 30mm/s
Infill - 60mm/s
Support material: 60mm/s
These were mostly the default Repetier settings, as far as I can remember.

I haven't put it into my printer yet, as I'm still trying to find a good fan mount, or design one myself. The one that I need to install into is my older 2013 Printrbot Simple. It has the fan mounted on the front. So, when I move to this (after removing tnhe wodden extruder), I need to find a way to mount the fan.

I've dailed down the pot of my extruder stepper, so it hasn't gotten hot even after an hour or two of continuous printing.But, until I try the printed version or someone else does, I really cannot say how well it will do/hold-up with the heat.

My experience says, you should try some big prints to check that you have enough power to the extruder. large sweeps let the head move much faster and my extruder couldn't keep up even though I never saw it on small prints. However your perimeter was a good deal slower than what mine conked out at, likely 50-60mm/s and infill is slower because of max acceleration and the pattern.

I too have been wanting to bring these into the printable realm however, I am not able to open the SketchUp files. Thank you for outputting and posting the the STL's. Any chance SketchUp is able (and you are willing) to output these as a neutral 3d model like IGS or STEP? I would like to bring them into SolidWorks, but SolidWorks does not play well with STL.

Sorry you were having trouble with the Sketchup files. Are you having issues opening these specific files, or with Sketchup in general? Can you please eloborate? All I did was to import the "Alu Expolded.dae" (Collada format) downloaded from the link provided by PrintrBot (see description). I then selected the 3 main parts individually and exported them as STL. The one other thing I had to do was to use netfabb to rotate the parts, in the best possible orientation, so they print with the least amount of overhang. I'm not familiar with the IGS or STEP format. All I have used so far is Google Sketchup, and from what I checked, it does not allow me export these files into those formats that you've requested.

No worries, I can work with importing the STL files. Thank you for checking.

I did the same thing and had good results - however printing the part that hangs directly above the hotend was crazy without a support.

I have a Printrbot Plus V2/2.2 hybrid and I've been waiting for someone to transfer these over. I will be giving these a shot to use two of them for my Printrbot dual extruder. Great work and thanks!!