Bowden MK3 R3 X-carriage for the Anycubic I3 Mega

by Audisis Sep 10, 2018
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Would this help reduce stringing?

It did for me

Great, one more thing though, would this fit the Anycubic Mega S version?

Yes, they are essentially the same machine.

I really like that one! It is looking great.
Can you give me a .stl of the thing you used to connect the fan in the front?

Link's in the description. I recommend you read it, there's a lot of useful information.

A good idea...
Thanks :)

any updates on the bmg direct drive? I really like this carriage and I bought a bondtech wanting to use this https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3680044

but it uses a 30mm fan and isn't good as yours IMO.

Anycubic i3 Mega Direct Drive - Bondtech BMG
by MT2

I've got a "working" prototype but honestly, when using Trianglelab BMG and Trianglelab V6 which are of the better quality clones and I found that they don't fit well together.
I had to remove the pneumatic coupling that holds the bowden tube which resulted in a load of issues (filament getting in between the bowden tube and the heatsink inner wall, ruining the bowden tube. Like 5 times in a week).
I can't fix that because it's not a fault in my design, rather the BMG is at fault. If used with a direct drive heatsink and not the 2in1 direct/bowden one, I believe it would be better.
I also don't know for sure if using genuine E3D V6 and Bondtech BMG would be better (since I don't have them) but I strongly believe that to be the case.

If you want to try it out with your hardware feel free to contact me through email, DMs or on Facebook, if you can find me.

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I’d love the files to test them! But you’re supposed to take the fitting out! Pull the black thing out. It’ll be lose but you’ll need to keep exactly 5mm poking out of the heatisnk and insert it by tilting it and then snapping it in. The pressure will keep the bowden in!

If you have a screw in fitting type clone then simply unscrew it and that’s it

I had about 2mm poking out, so that might be the problem. I don't really want to disassemble it yet again, I'm quite tired of it and I want to print stuff so I reverted back to this bowden setup.
But you can try it out. Just be aware that there is noticeably more ringing with the direct drive.
Send me an email, if you are still interested and we will talk over there.

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this might sound weird but I really love your design and apperciate it after trying to design my own direct drive carriage :D the cooling part is specially very well done. but one question, what is the little square hole around the heatsink? what's it's purpse. it has collected some dust which is intresting to me since it means a lot of air has to flow from it.

If you mean the rectangular hole where the 5015 fan would sit if it wasn't tilted, then that's to pull more air towards the heatsink of the V6, it's aerodynamics make it that way (similarly to how "bladeless" fans work).

That's what Prusa i3 Mk3's now come with, I made this carriage just after their revision 3 came out and that's where this carriage got most of it's nifty features, I'm not that good at designing myself but I can "mash a few things together and make them work" so that's what I did.

very cool design! But there is one question. Could you just say the full height of your e3d v6? I want to be sure that my heater will do.

Thank you for the great design, Audisis!

I've printed and installed everything but the nozzle stops too far away from the bed because of the z-endstops. How can I adjust these? As far as I can see they are currently screwed to the frame with two screws each...

You need to adjust the vertical screws on either Z gantry so that it homes as it should

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Ah, didn't know that before. Thank you!

Could you post the Probe offsets maybe, so i can compile my own version?

define Z_PROBE_OFFSET_FROM_EXTRUDER 1 // Just to be safe, you will need to calibrate it manually later

Works great. Thank you for this!

Comments deleted.

Unfortunately it is not as easy as changing the offsets, I've tried setting up BLTouch on my own but failed so I used a firmware wit BLTouch already configured and changed the offsets to fit my carriage.
If you just need to flip the motor direction then that's as easy as setting invert_x_dir (and other axis) to true (or false if it's set to true already, I don't remember that)

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I wish this had a direct drive version! I'm thinking of modifying the .step files to make a direct drive version with e3d titan but it's a little scary for me. I doubt i'd succeed!

A direct drive carriage is in the works, but for a BMG extruder (which is better than a titan in my opinion, I'm using it right now as a bowden system) and that will need a redesign of the whole carriage, so it will take time which I don't have much of right now. I hope I'll be able to make it during summer.

Are you designing this for the normal or the mirrored version of the BMG extruder? I just bought a normal one so hopefully it will fit :)

Great, looking forward to it!

a lil criticizing. I think a lot of stuff could be thinner and have more space. the heatblock has so little space and the cable needs to be long in comparison and bends a lot and a lot of them have super hard cables that don't bend. even then the plastic shround on top of the heatblock is too close to it. and a lot of places need unenecessarily big screw holes. wish some screw holes had more space for a screwdriver. like the holes on top were bigger but the actual screw threads were the same size.

also some places don't use nuts (the hotend cooling fan) which are often unscrewed (to take the hotend out in case of a jam) and plastic threads are SUPER fragile (maybe unscrewing them 4-5 times ruins them) so I wish you put a place for a nut on atleast two of them!

otherwise I love it. can't wait to install it ;3 but routing the cables is so hard I still haven't figured out how. I need to also solder exensions to the hotend and thermostat cable.

also the part cooling fan needs to be like 1mm lower! or maybe even less.

Sure, I'll take the criticism. I must say this was my first big project that got designed mostly during about 3 days and then I took about a month of tweaking but I didn't do any major rework (And it took about 30 iterations, 20-ish of which got printed out and tested).

The entire thing was also made for myself and how I wanted it to be, so I didn't really look at efficiency and space saving that much.
I don't think that plastic threads are that big of a deal, the parts that have them are mostly taken from the original Prusa carriage, which I tried to modify as little as I could. They can last a long time if you're careful not to overtighten and strip them. I personally didn't need to touch the carriage since I made the cable chain for it and even before that I didn't have any jams so I can't say they get unscrewed often.

The plastic that's close to the heat block is fine. I printed it in ABS and it doesn't look deformed after months of using it at various temperatures.

In retrospect I can see it's not ideal and I didn't account for the length of the original cables since I did all my cabling around the finished design and then cut the wires to the right length and crimped them myself.

Also, on one hand I must say that yes, there's room for improvement and that's why there are all the STEP files available for anyone to easily modify. On the other hand I've now been helping to build another printer and I must say, that the stuff we went through to get the parts successfully printed and then realizing they were so terribly designed I had to redesign them from the STL's which was a pain in the butt in Fusion 360 which is my preferred program for 3D design and the only one I can comfortably use.
I'm not trying to throw excuses, I stand behind this design because I worked hard on it, I know it works very well because I've been happily using it since August last year and I can rest assured that if there's anyone with the time and talent to make it better, they've got everything they need to do so. Since you took the time to analyze it, perhaps you can make it better, it's no that hard to do once you have an image in mind.

If I ever find the time I might try to come up with a new and better design, I don't see that in the near future though.

Good luck with putting it together, I hope you'll like using it and if not, feel free to redesign it and shoot me an email or post another comment if you have any other questions.

I really like this design because I like the prusa look. The only thing I was missing was a holder for a 12mm sensor.
So I've made a remix of the "extruder holder" now with a holder for a 12mm sensor.

If anyone wants to use this carriage with a 18mm probe here is an adaptor I made: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3586200

BL touch to 18mm probe adaptor
by Qeek

uhmm I printed stuff with no supports but my nut holes the back of the bearing holder and the little dent on the side have issues and didn't print correctly. is this normal?

That's not normal, mine printed perfectly

hello the firmware that BlTouch_fast.hex has published is for the 2208 drivers with inverted or not inverted cables

Both firmware versions have the direction set the same as the stock one, if you use TMC drivers, then you need to reverse the connectors or modify the uncompiled firmware.

I am using Marlin with the TMC2208 with connectors in original orientation. I have not flipped anything. Is the Firmware with just the tmc2208, not the bearings, set up with everything in this orientation so I can just drop it onto the machine?

If you have TMC2208s then you either need to rotate the connectors or invert the direction in the firmware. The axis directions are set up the same way as in the original firmware

Forgive me but I am confused. If the axis directions are the same as in the original and I did not rotate the connections either physically or in the firmware when I installed the tmc2208 why do I need to make the changes now? I probably don't fully grasp why they needed to be changed in the first place. I assumed I would only need to flip the connections if the axis ran backward to what it was supposed to do. Since mine did not I never changed the directions.

Maybe I should just install the firmware and see what happens. If they run backwards I suppose I can flip the directions later. Maybe.

If you changed the firmware when you installed the TMC drivers for them to go the right way, then you need to do what I told you to. If you have newer model tmc2208s that don't require the connectors to be reversed or inverted in the firmware then you're good to go. I don't know what model are the TMC drivers you have, so I assumed it's the one that needs to be reversed, since there's still a lot of them selling.

If you don't know which one you have or what the heck I'm talking about, just try to flash it and try homing but be ready to kill the power if it goes the wrong way.

will this fit the e3dv6 lite not sure if there the same height

I just went through the documentation and it seems like it should fit as the v6 and lite6 are pretty much the same dimensionally. But it's not something I've tested, so if you try it, please let me know and I'll update the description.

Nice design! I have a question about the carriage: what is the distance between the metal rods? I have an anet a8 that I would like to upgrade with your designs.

I've just measured 58mm with the rods included, so that's 50 mm rod spacing (the centers of the rods are 50 mm apart). I'm not sure what the anet a8 has.

On the anet, it is 54mm instead of 58mm. Would it be a huge inconvenience for you to make it a little shorter? If you made the part in Fusion I can also do it myself. Hope to hear from you :)

Yeah, I feel kind of dumb for asking because I overlooked the step file. But, the first version is printing at this moment. Hope it works in one try. Stay tuned

You have the step files available, so feel free to adjust them yourself. Just upload them to Fusion 360 and do what you need to do. I'm looking forward to a remix for the A8

The remix was successful and the file is now available to download. Thanks for the original design

quick question: How big is the heatsink fan? 4010?

should the X carriage be printed standing? When I open the file with S3D, it's lying on the clamps.

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Wow... That was really fast.
I'll post a Make when it's finished.

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Comments deleted.

any reason for not making it compatible with a standard 4 hole x carriage? I'd love to print this but my smooth rod spacing is 26 mm

As much as I'd like to, the ratchet belt tensioner simply can't fit if there are 4 holes. So I made the decision to make it use just 3 holes.
I could make other parts use 4 holes for the original carriage but that would create too much confusion, so I'm sticking with just the 3 hole version.
If anyone wants to make a remix with 4 holes, that's fine but I won't be posting it here.

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Can I use this for chiron?

Can I use this for chiron?

Can I use this for chiron?

For everyone else, we've started working on adapting it for chiron, but I think it won't be easy since I don't have a chiron myself. It will certainly take some time

If you need a beta-tester, let me know... ;-)

Yeaaah, about that... Stuff got in the way and I don't think I'll have the time. But the step files are all here and everyone is welcome to try. It's not that difficult, you just need to have the printer near so you can measure everything and then try a few prototypes. It's quite easy once you learn Fusion 360 a bit and it's a free software.

Maybe I will buy today titan extruder and E3D V6 Direct for this mod. looks nice. Any modifications to do in the firmware? I mean you wrote modification of the offsets. is it because itÄs other possition for the nozzle? Maybe there are pother parameters specific for the values of xy, y and z without changing the offset. And what#s the sense of BL touch? normally you have to calibrate the heatplate to have the same height on every corner...

Why did you write 4x LM8UU bearings? It would also work to use the Original Bearings so I need only 2x.

The only need to change the firmware is if you want to use the BLTouch, otherwise feel free to use the stock one or any other. My changes to the firmware that Robert Phan made were only the offsets and feedrates. The offsets are different, because the x,y position of the probe in relation to the nozzle is different from the mount that he uses. I don't know what changes were made by him.
The BLTouch is just for ease of use, you don't need to manually calibrate the bed, the nozzle will always travel parallel to the bed, even when it's not levelled perfectly.

I wrote 4x LM8UU because people like to change to higher quality ones and that's the format most widely available. Of course you need just two LM8UUL bearings.

This looks great to me. Do you have a any idea what size m3/m4 are needed?

I don't remember and I'm not near my printer to disassemble and check. I'll update that when I can

Do you recall the length of the screws to connect the 2 sections around the hotend? I have M3x20 but the seem too short.

I think the longest screw was 30 mm.

Can I mount it on normal x carriage from Bowden X-Carriage Mount for E3D V6 ?

Your design got much better fan duct - the other one mostly blows on the nozzle, not the print. Also it got issues with sinking fan duct, even if it's made from ABS.

The x carriage from Bowden X-Carriage Mount for E3D V6 has four mounting holes, this one has only 3. Also mine has the X direction done correctly, so there's no need to flip the wires or change the firmware (Ofc you need to change it to use a BLTouch). Also, mine has a cable management groove but other than that they are the same thing.


Wanted to ask if you still have the screw for the belt tensioner? I do not find these in the files,
I mean this tension screw for the gear to the belt tension :) thank you

many Greetings

I think you were meaning this... https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2452689/files

WanHao Duplicator I3 Ratcheting Belt Tensioner modified knob
by ojmalik

Do you mean the screw that fixes the gear in place? That's bought, not printed.

Hi Yes,

Okay no Problem Thank you :)

Hey, is it possible to print this with PLA? I dont have much ABS laying around, it would be enough for the fan duct. I would have to print the rest with PLA.

You can always try. I know others that used PLA and it worked out for them, but what I'm concerned about is its temperature resistance. Since the parts are close to the nozzle and bed, they could warp during printing of higher temperature materials such as ABS.
I even had a PETG fan duct warping with the bed at 100°C, It didn't happen instantly or ended up catastrophically and it took a few days of continuous printing but it was noticeable.

I don't want people to use the wrong material and then complain that it didn't work out for them, that's the reason I recommend printing in PETG/ABS.
If you will be printing mostly in PLA you probably won't have any problems, but I'll leave that for you to decide.

Cheers and have fun!

Ahoj :)

I printed your awesome design, assembled everything, bit I'm having a small issue with BLtouch. I flashed your firmware and adjusted the Z stop screws to make them higher (so now when I G28 home my printer, the tip of the nozzle is slightly below my bed). If I run G29, the probe takes measurements but then whatever I do, I'm usable to set the right Z Offset and store it. Should I adjust the Z stop screws to have the nozzle above the bed when running G28? What are your commands to home the printer, do the bed leveling, set z offset and store the values?

I'd recommend https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_1Kg45APko you just need to change a few commands:

  1. G28 - Home all
  2. G1 Z10 F360
  3. G1 X110 Y110 F5000 - Move the nozzle to the center of the bed
  4. M851 Z0 - Reset Z-Offset
  5. M500 - Store setting to eeprom
  6. M501 - Set active parameters
  7. M503 - Display Active Parameters
  8. G30 - Probe the bed at the current XY position.
  9. G1 F60 Z0 - Move nozzle to true 0 offset
  10. M211 S0 - Switch off soft endstops
  11. Move nozzle towards bed slowly until the paper can barely move
  12. Take note of the Z on the printer display in Setup>Status (take that number and add the measurment of the calibration sheet or device used)
  13. M851 Z X.XX (X.XX being your z offset achieved) I believe my offset is about -1.8 mm
  14. M211 S1 - Enable Soft Endstops
  15. M500 - Save settings to Eeprom
  16. M501 - Set Active Parameters
  17. M503 - display current settings

Hi, first of all thanks for your design, really nice!
Do you have any X chain installed on your printer? Or do you know any compatible carrige base?
Thanks a lot

I don't have any cable chain on there because I have yet to find the time to do that but I'm planning on making one.
I know that there are some designs that should be compatible but I don't have any links.

OK, thanks for your reply. I´ll try to find any compatible cable chain mount.
I´ll post it here when I find it.

No need to look for anything now.
It only took 1 day to make, test, tweak and finish, so here's my own: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3207171

Bowden MK3 R3 Cable Chain for the Anycubic I3 Mega
by Audisis

I found this model but I´m looking for an horizontal cable chain with no results, so I created myself yesterday and i´m testing it today:
If it´s useful for anyone enjoy it

Chain X axis
by Dracool

Really nice design. Iv'e heard that two igus bearings create much friction. would it be possible to use it with only one in each slot?

I use all 4 and I noticed increase in drag, but the stepper seems to handle it just fine. And since the carriage was made to hold 4 and has protrusions to hold them in place, I don't think 2 would work well.

There might be increased ringing or ghosting or perhaps it will work just fine.

But you won't know for sure until you give it a try.

Hi, first, thanks for your design. :) I'm just printing it with PETG and I noticed something.

The two shells for the hot end are different, the ring where the hot end is clamped.
With the Extruder_body_BLTouch the strut is thinner than with the Extruder_cover.
The E3D Hotend would then only sit on one half of the shell. I have attached two photos.

Is that intentional or an error? Unfortunately I don't have the Hotend here yet and can't test it.

The M3 nuts went in with me however so far problem-free. :)

Greetings from Germany

That was originally in the Prusa Mk3 files and I left it as is. It seems like it helps with the separation when you disassemble it.
The wider strut holds the hotend perfectly, while the thinner one just pops out when you loosen the screws.

So I'd say it's for easier maintenance.

Cheers from the Czech Republic

Hoping for a Titan Aero version :)

Sorry, I probably won't be doing a Titan Aero version, I made this because I like the look of Prusa I3 Mk3.

I can recommend one though. After having used 2 of Pablo's designs, I'd say his modular X carriage will work great. I don't have personal experience with the Titan Aero version but both the V5 and the V6 versions were great.


Anycubic i3 mega modular X carrige base
Anycubic i3 mega TITAN AERO

I ran into an issue on your design. First of all, great work! Everything looks and fits perfectly apart from one thing. I printed everything and put it together and everything works great. But i can't get the Screws and Nuts in properly. I thought i underextruded the parts a little bit, so i did a new calibration, but everything was fine. I measured a bit in your STL files and I had this problem you can see in the picture. A M3 Nut has a wrench width of 5.5mm, but I measure in the STL and also on my print about 5.3mm so I am not able to get any nut in it. Did anyone else had this problem or did you maybe change the measurements a bit accordingly to your prints? Maybe you can have a look in your original CAD files and look up these measurements. Meanwhile I will try to work these parts a bit out by hand, to have a look how it will run.
I would appreciate some help, and keep up the great work!
Greetings from Germany

Comments deleted.

Thank you for the extensive comment! I did get this type of response from others but weirdly enough, neither I nor my beta testers have found any issues with it. We did need to use a bit of persuasion to get the nuts in place but it's not like it was impossible. And the other thing is: I didn't change the holes one bit! I use the same size as the original Prusa files and the x carriage files were made in similar fashion. After a few comments like this I came to a conclusion that Prusa actually might use smaller holes on purpose. The thing is that once you get the nuts in position, they just won't move around and rattle themselves loose.

I understand some people may have problems with that super tight fit so if anyone wants to modify the STEP files, relax the tolerances a bit and generate new STL's, I will absolutely add them here with proper attribution. The thing is that I won't find the time to do it myself now that University started. And I wasted enough plastic on this project already during the 20-something iterations I went through.

I really appretiate you doing your own research and taking your time to put that in your comment.

Cheers from the Czech Repubic

I had the same fit problem with the nuts on my prints, so I heated them up a bit and pressed them in! Worked like a charm and it doesn't look like anything was put out of position either!

I have to agree with ItsBamboocha, it just took me a hour just to fit in 3 nuts :(((
I have enough time to fumble around, so dont worry...
This is only for feedback, maybe our nuts here in Germany are bigger ?

I have not encountered that problem at all. Sure, it was a little tight but definitely not that tight.
Perhaps, if I find some time later, I'll review the tolerances. I'm not sure when that will be, though.

Since the 4x LM8UU bearing holder is included as a step file i could fix it myself, the nuts now fall into place :).
The partfan cooler was also a problem, my Sunon Maglev 5015 wouldn´t fit in at all, i did a quick & dirty remix because i
couln´t find a step file of it but it works alright now...
A really pain in the ass was soldering the steel cables to the jst PH 2.0 plugs... need to find me some kind of criptool for this...

Thank you again for your great work !

Edit: Damm, printed the wrong fan shroud - BL Touch doesn´t fit Grrrr...

From the notification I got during the weekend it looks like you got it to work and quite enjoy it.

Thanks a lot!

Almost, cant get the BL Touch to work.
Fumbeling around for two days now, it wont work at all...

So, what does it do?

Flashed slow.hex
when starting to probing i get an : Error:Probing failed - after the 1st probe point.

Done all this:

  1. Home 3D printer
  2. M851 Z0 - Reset Z0 Offset
  3. M500 - Store setting to eeprom
  4. M501 - Set active parameters
  5. M503 - Display Active Parameters
  6. G28 Z - Home Z Axis
  7. G1 F60 Z0 - Move nozzle to true 0 offset
  8. M211 S0 - Switch off soft endstops
  9. Move nozzle towards bed slowly until the paper can barely move
  10. Take note of the Z on the printer display (take that number and add the measurment of the calibration sheet or device used)
  11. M851 Z X.XX (X.XX being your z offset achieved) -offset is 1.00
  12. M211 S1 - Enable Soft Endstops
  13. M500 - Save settings to Eeprom
  14. M501 - Set Active Parameters
  15. M503 - display current settings

When i do the G1 F60 Z0 the nozzle still always goes to Z0.00, it doesnt take the new offset of Z1.00...

Offset is 1.00? Shouldn't it be -1.00? If you want to get the nozzle lower that is.

I cant get it to work, the z will always hit the endstops and the nozzle hits the bed...
I think i got a wrong FW :((
Bed is up all the way, the nozzle will push the bed down ~ 4mm.

The firmware is tested, it works just fine. Did you try adjusting the Z adjustment screws on the z-carriages?

Yes i did, they are all the way up, the probe doesnt trigger and stop.
It flashes and gives out: an probing error...

Sounds great, Thanks for the Help!
I know what you mean with the tight tolerances, sounds absolutely right. But if you are frightened of loosening, just put a drip of superglue on the nut, and it will stay there forever, but you can still push it out with some force from the other site.
I will try to modify the STEP files a bit to make the nuts fit and send them to you afterwards if you like.
Thanks for the help, and greetings from Germany,

Printed it on PETG with this fanduct https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2808683 and Igus bushings and works like a charm. Much quieter and lighter than the original one. Good work.

Prusa i3 MK3 Alternative part cooling duct
by robrps

Thank you! Glad you like it.

Todo este sistema puedo montarlo con el hotend y ventiladores que vienen de serie mientras me compro uno? gracias bro

You will need to buy a V6 hotend and a 5015 fan. The 40mm fan can be reused, but I recommend getting a better one.

Great work, would you be so kind to post some pictures of your i3 mega ?
Like some closeups of the X-carriage ?

Photos added!

Thanks again for them Pictures as referenz...

Thank you! I'm not at home now, so I'll do some on weekend.

Isn´t your design missing something like this:

Oh yes, I forgot. I think this one should be compatible too

Good, i made this one because i couldn´t find yours....