Mendel vitamin-less Y-carriage

by Wired1, published

Mendel vitamin-less Y-carriage by Wired1 Oct 15, 2012


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In the spririt of the original Darwin this is a Y-carriage that uses virtually no vitamins other than two threaded rods and some machine screws.

The rods are just off-cuts from the lengths you use to build your printer so they won't even cost you anything.

Designed to take a standard Prusa-200x200 pcb-type hot bed which mount at 210mm centres (these heaters are cool at the corners so will be fine with a PLA printed carriage).

Utilises four of my unbreakable LM8UU bearing holders.

For 5mm threaded rods use the version "YCMax3_5mm".


Print out two ends YCMax3.STL plus four bearing holders LM8UUB.STL
2 perimeters, 2 base layers, 25% fill.
This has been designed to the maximum printable size and just fits on a 200x200 printer bed. Use a skirt 2mm away and it will fit with 45 degrees rotation.

2 x 150mm long 8mm rods (or 6" of equivalent imperial rod)
4 x M8 nuts
4 x 8mm washers
12 x M3x20 machine screws
4 x M3x25 machine screws (for bearing holders)
16 x M3 nuts
4 x LM8UU bearings

Mount the four bearing holders, two per carriage half, with 2 x M3x20 machine screws and nuts. The M3 screws can be used either way around but I went for the nuts on top to save having to trim the screws to fit.

Mount the belt clamps with 2 x M3x20 machins screws and nuts each.

Fit one LM8UU bearing per bearing holder and secure in position with an M3x25 machine screw and M3 nut.

Bolt the two halves together and space them to give an overall measurement of 210mm between pcb heater mounting holes (it is easier to set this up finger-tight then mount it on the y-rails before final tightening).

Install the carriage on the Y-axis rails and then systematically tighten the M8 nuts checking for easy movement as you go.

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Would you mind to publish a 5mm rod version? I am having a hard time trying to find in heekscad where to change the cylinder to 5mm. I can select each M8 cylinder but it doesn't show the diameter in properties dialog so I would modify it because I have two 16cm pieces laying around that I would like to use. Thanks for sharing the design anyway.

Yes just uploaded a 5mm rod version, you will want to run a 5mm drill through the holes after printing.

Thank you thank you thank you :-)

It seems that the belt clamps are off center, so your belt won't be 100% straight? Won't it be better to print the one as a mirrored version?

It looks that way, never noticed it before. The one in the photo is still working perfectly despite being off-centre.

Quick question for anybody that's made this: any idea what it weighs fully assembled? I'm looking for lower weight options for my y-axis, and this looks to be one of the better options for replacing the MDF lower bed I'm currently using, as compared to the other printable carriages that still require the use of a flat sheet.

I'm confused on how exactly this is "Vitamin-less," it seems to me a good bulk of this carriage requires non-printed hardware.

The goal was to make a carriage that you can mostly print and not need the wooden or aluminium plate to mount the heated bed off. The only thing this uses is threaded rod off-cuts and a few machine screws you would have left over after building a Mendel Prusa, everything else is printable.

I may be a bit piccky but it requires a few more nuts and washers ;)

Can anyone vouch for PLA working long term?   Can't print ABS and need a few of these.  Should I put some insulation underneath the hotbed maybe?

I haven't had any problems with it on any of my printers. I'm planning on using this without any insulation so if it turns into a molten lump I'll post a photo :)

I never actually went ahead in PLA - used ABS and good sofar... How did your PLA experiment end up?

Yes still printing with this 5 months on and no problem. This printer is one of the quietest and smoothest I have built and the carriage is as straight today as it was when I first made it.

Another hotbed arrived today so I mounted it on the carriage with the thumb wheel adjusters and took some photos.

I should probably mention the obvious - that it only just fits on a 200x200 printer bed :) You will need your end stops set right but you should have 5mm clear all the way around.

looks like require my testing

Simon's adjustable Y motor bracket
by Wired1