1405 300mm No Sag, Printrbot Simple

by iamjonlawrence Jun 23, 2014
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What rod length would you recommend to achieve the same printable area as the stock Simple Maker 1405 wooden Printrbot?

You should be able to reuse your current rods

Do I need to buy any extra parts to make it?

Do I need to buy any extra parts to make it?

belts, rods, bolts and screws (optional but entire reason for doing it: larger printbed)
maybe another fan and some ball bearings...

I will be totally honest and say that I am overwhelmed by the amount of parts. I have an e3d v6 hotend, and I am not sure what the advantage is between single or double precision. Also, where did you source the vitamins for this project as I dont know where to buy these parts. Thanks and I am currently working on printing the x mod too, so I will upload pics if it works!

Awesome concept! My only wonder, is there an idler design that can be used to mount the extruder at a 90 deg. angle? I've built a similar printer (Simple Tower XL) that uses an MK8 extruder. Could an MK8 style extruder be mounted?

LOVE this! :)
Question: what would be the best way to mod the Y Z plate to accommodate a 5/8 Acme nut for the lead screw?

This is a wonderful design. Put this together last week and I've been getting wonderful prints out of it.

Thanks for all your hard work Jon!

Is there any chance we could get a blower fan mount for this design?

It seems like they work better for reducing warping and getting better overhangs.

I'm still playing with the design, but I think it should be working if you want to check it out. It's just an adapter to convert a blower to a 40mm fan mount.


Blower Fan to 40MM Fan Mount Adapter

I've been thinking about trying to get a blower fan on there, too. I may try to hack something together tomorrow. If I do, it definitely won't be as nice as Jon's stuff, but I'll put it up here.

How should I attach the linear bearings? There aren't enough holes to cable tie them on?

If anyone else runs into this question, I solved it by using one long skinny cable tie (or two joined together) and lacing them through each hole and around each bearing. It's like taking a single piece of string and going through each hole a single time, but covering all the bearings. You have to twist the cable ties a bit, but it holds the bearings pretty well.

Yeah I would Love to design a part that would bolt on and hold them a bit more securely than cable ties. It worked but It was a head scratcher for sure on how to make it look nice (only wasted about 12 zipties) ;)

For anyone needing help printing ExtendYPlate1405 using Cura, go to:

Open expert settings...
Line count = 0

well.. that didn't work... is there any other way to do it?

Print out the one i uploaded. I chopped off a couple of millimeters from the sides so cura could print it

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Once I get this installed I'm going to need to use a wider build plate. Can you recommend what x axis support to use for my 1405 to utilize the longer y axis? currently I'm using this:


1405 Simple X Ends

I'm probably being stupid, but for the life of me I can't figure out how the fan shroud mounts on. Any tips?

I got this figured out. For anyone else who runs into issues you can find an example here:


1405 300mm No Sag, Printrbot Simple
by munzli

Btw, Jon, what software do you use to design your "Things"? That's the next area of interest in which I'd like to get involved. Kudos, boss!

Thnx so much, Jon, for this 1405 version! I've been struggling with the original version and now I discover this! Awesome!!!

Where would you reccomend buying the 8mm rods?

I bought mine from Printrbot's website. I don't know what the average market value is, but I paid about $8 apiece for them:


Can anyone confirm this works for upgrading the latest Printrbot Simple 1405 Makers Edition?

Confirmed. I'm running the double precision mod. Printed in PLA. I've probably run about 30 hours on the machine since the upgrade, and I'm starting to get a bit of sag on the front of the bed, but I can't confirm if it's because it was printed in PLA or if the zip ties just came a bit loose on the y/z plate. Planning on troubleshooting the issue later this evening, I will post an update

Great to know, yes I went ahead and upgraded it too. i did have some issues in the front of the bed even when I issued the 211 command with new bed size, the bed sensor would not work in the front of the bed. it would up until a certain point. I check for wire stretch or anything and all looks good. I found out the 12 X 8 aluminum I bought wasn't quite flat, so I got another one step thicker and 12 X 7. Have yet to install. Let me know about your sag... I have a small amount on my stock bed now.

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I've been using this for awhile along with http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:442636 and http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:383713, they all took a little tweaking but have been working great (and out of PLA no less!). I really wanted to try a dual extruder setup and since this one (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:457528) looked awesome but a lot of effort I remixed the part '1405AlExtruderFront-Short-2014-06-24.STL' into this: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:696955 . It's basically the same part but I cloned and mirrored the extruder area and stuck it on the front of the existing extruder. I'm not a CAD expert but it should work to hold a second extruder. I haven't tested it yet but I thought I'd mention it since I'm sure iamjonlawrence could shame me with his CAD skills and pop out a much better one than I knocked together.

1405 Simple Printed Frame
1405 Simple X Expanded (Single/Double Precision)
Printrbot Simple Dual Extruder
Dual Extruder for 1405 300mm No Sag, Printrbot Simple
by Ransak
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By the way, is it possible to upgrade the Z axis of the Printrbot simple? I'm thinking of going BIG on x and y, and realized I'd probably like to upgrade Z as well haha

just looked at a few pictures...do you just need a longer rod for Z upgrade? Also what heated build plate would you reccommend? I'm thinking of going around 300-400x300-400mm x and y, so would need to add more than one of slap one in the middle.

You rock! I wasn't sure about buying a printrbot simple...I liked the price but it seemed limited, but now I can upgrade the heck out of it!

What are the 2 holes at the front just under the extruder for?

For either an extruder or hot end fan if you so desire. Just options because I like options.

Do you think you could post some instruction on the belt path (specifically for the double precision) and fastening to the tension block? I'm sort of getting the latter issue I'm having worked out by just wrapping a zip tie around one end of the belt after its fed through the block, but I feel like there's a more elegant and more effective solution that I'm missing. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Been using this for about a month now and still have some sag, just a bit better than the original design.

Im thinking about any other mods to help with the slight sagging, any ideas?

is it unusual to have to drill out/widen the inner diameter of the linear rod holes on the front and back? I printed 3 perimeters at 25% infill in pla and I can't seem to get the rods in at all. applying force shaves off some of the inner most perimeter. Will drilling them out have any effects on keeping the y axis straight?

Love your designs. Only issue I'm having with this one is that even the short AlExtruderFront version puts my E3D v6 out of reach of my print bed. I'm using a non-Printrbot stiff Z-axis coupler, which I believe is taller than what Printrbot offers now, so my Y-axis motor runs into the coupler before my E3D hits the print bed.

I'm not opposed to ordering the rigid Z coupler from Printrbot (http://printrbot.com/shop/rigid-z-coupler/) if it fixes this issue. Can anyone confirm whether or not there is room for the rigid coupler from Printrbot with this design? That would need to be my stopgap measure until I can reprint Jon's printable frame (the edges curled on me too much last time, so the part was a no go).

Unfortunately this was designed before the E3D v6 was around, so it fits the v5. Not sure if the coupler will fix the problem, but I would suggest going low tech and back to the rubber hose and zip tie for a trial. It really isn't a bad setup if you bottom out the Z thread on the motor shaft.

You could always raise your bed by adding shims or spacers with longer screws, or stack some cardboard under whatever you are using for your print surface. You will loose some Z height, but it will make up the distance to the hot end.

Another option is to buy a v5 heat sink which is longer than the v6. I believe the heatbreak is the same thread for both versions and this will give you the extra length needed.

Maybe somebody else can confirm if the coupling will get you where you want to go. Good luck.

Is this a good idea for stock belts/rods? Is so, what do I need/not need to print?

No, when trying to use the front and end piece with the stock belt and rods, there is little to no room for the rods to slide back and forth. On the stock 1405, the rods are short but the wooden piece allows the rod to slide with the wooden pieces being an extension to the rod in a way. This modified version will not clear the Y plate. Hope this helps.

So the Short version of the front end will allow an E3D V6 to mount without the Z axis bottoming out? Or will I still need to get a spacer. I am on the fence on getting the V6, or waiting on the new metal Ubis to come back into stock.

I am getting sagging on the carriage that has the motor. It is causing the auto bed leveling to be a bit off, and my first layers are messed up. Have you encountered this issue? Here are some pictures: drive.google.com/folderview?id=0Byu4961_yqM9NER4RjVKRHk5QjA&usp=sharing.

from your pictures it look like you need to square up your front and back y ends as they are not straight. this will cause a lot of printing issues. Once those are lined up you should be good

The front Y end will not line up. What could be the cause?

Did you loosen the screws and rotate it to straighten it then tighten the screws back?

I completely loosened the screws, held the ends as close to aligned as I could, and tightened them to no avail. I have just started taking it apart. I need to print some pieces for my other printer and then I'll come back to this mod. Thanks

Here is the current alignment: https://docs.google.com/folderview?id=0Byu4961_yqM9TmlGWEJKcTdmNmM&usp=docslist_api. It won't get better than that. I am thinking the bearings could be an issue. Any ideas?

I just installed the single precision. I'm getting skewing along the Y axis. Any ideas?

I would assume you are missing steps.
First, check to make sure the bearings are aligned by disconnecting the belt and sliding the Y axis back and forth by hand. It should move very freely. If there is a lot of resistance, correct your bearing alignment and make sure everything moves freely.
If everything moves without resistance, and you are still skewing, you may need to increase the current to the Y motor, or slow down your acceleration.
I would recommend a cooling fan on the motor to make sure it does not overheat and warp the plastic it is bolted to.

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I don't suppose anyone has a link or anything to find the parts you can't print? like the rods and belts ext. thx

Also, I know that everyone's setup is different, but what layer resolution is acceptable to get good part performance (0.2mm)?

I'm using a stock 1405 4x4x4 with PLA and I'm just trying to get the best results possible within my limitations.


Yes, everybody is different, so the short answer is whatever works best for you.

Good layer adhesion is more important than layer height.

I would stick to the rule of thumb that the layer height should be 60%-75% of nozzle diameter. If you have a 0.4mm nozzle then I would suggest 0.25-0.30mm layer height, minimum of 3 perimeters, and octagonal infill maybe 25% and you should be good.

So I am new to my 1405 Simple, and would like a larger print area and improved accuracy.

My first question is if I can reliably print these parts in PLA or should I do an XL and heated bed upgrade first so I can print in ABS?

Thanks in advance.

If you keep the motor heat under control, PLA is just fine. I have all my parts printed in PLA.
I am a big proponent of active cooling all motors, and am using an E3D hot end with a fan as well, so everything stays cools and runs great.

Hi, just for you to know, your Y-Plate doesn't work with PB Simple 2013. There's a 5mm difference between the Z-bars. So i took the liberty to make the plate based on your design if you don't mind : http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:546680. Thanks a lot for your work. Thanks to your design i have a PBS with 30(x) x 18(y) x 20(z) cm that works like a charm...

Y Plate for Printrbot Simple Maker Edition

You are correct this is for the 1405 version. The 2013 version is: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:242185

Printrbot Simple, 300mm Y Axis-No Sag!

I built the double pression and now i cannot get it to print right..is there something i have to change to get it to print right.simple answer please as i am very old and it takes me a while to obsorb info

If your prints are exactly 1/2 the size they should be (in the Y direction) then you will need to double the value for "steps per mm" for your machine.

It's worth noting for anyone that is using this mod with the auto-bed leveling, that software can't compensate for a twisted axis. You'll want to take the time to ensure that your ends are tight, square and as true as possible. If they are skewed, then the extruder end will rotate slightly along the Y axis during Y travel. This causes the hotend tip and the bed sensor to be a different Z heights at the front and back of the bed. The symptom that this causes is after a successful bed leveling, the hotend will dive into the bed at one end and be too high at the other. I spent a few days chasing down what I thought was a software bug with the auto bed leveling code, when it was as simple as straightening my axis.

In the dual setup I am having some issues with the Y axis belt and vibration when printing fast. the belt gets caught on the pulley as it vibrates and the grooves in the belt catch on each other and then pull the Y axis out whack. I tried a smaller 625 bearing and that cause some other issues. In the single configuration I pulled up on the belt after the pulley and it kept the vibrating belt away from the pulley. I can play with the tension of the belt but It goes from way more vibration on the belt to causing the motor to cease from too much tension.

Any ideas?

Well.. I am printing the new frontend that supports the E3D Hot End.... V6 is on order will post picks when I get it all together... Wondering if the fan that comes with the E3D is 30mm or if I need to order one?

Could somebody post photos showing how you terminate the belt in the single precision configuration? I can think of ways of doing it, sure, but none of them seem elegant. How are you supposed to use the TensionBlackYGT2 and GT2BeltWedge parts?

Wondering if anyone else is running a fan behind the extruder? I was.. but I will be removing it.. as it seems to be messing with the temp of the xtruder. I think the thermistor is perhaps giving false readings.. I am getting much better prints now after removing it.. I just need to make sure I keep the plastic around the extruder cool another way. ???

Easy fix... Any chance JON, you could make a fan mount that would face the aluminum extruder driver that mounts on the front of the carrier? Just something like the mounts that are already there... just facing up at the motor. That is the main part that gets hot.. and the aluminum already acts like a heat sync ??? Again.. just needs to be set out a bit and aimed up right square with front of the motor....

Remind me in a few months. Unfortunately, printer design has been "re-prioritized" and will not get back up the list until after the new year.

any chance you would consider a redesign of the way the belt is terminated? I am losing about 2 inches of build platform when I install it this way.. Maybe shorten the belt guide so it terminates closer to the motor not extending out past the Y plate?

What's the print envelope with this configuration?

That would be entirely dependable on what length rods you use

Which is why I specified "with this configuration". Is there any reduction (or increase) in the Z travel?

Hey Jon!

Are there files that can be used so you can have the screw on brackets for the bearings, instead of Zip Ties? I've found on my 1405 that over time the zip ties wear down. in the first no sag upgrade there Brackets instead of zip ties.


I gave up on the clamp blocks because I always wanted to over tighten the screws. Since the printed plastic parts were not perfect, this pulled the bearings out of alignment and caused them to bind.

You could print the caps, insert a bearing, then simply drill the holes thru the base.

Would I be able to use this if I have the 2014 model, not the 1405? I ask this because I am getting an auto leveler soon

No. The vertical rods (Z axis) are spaced different. You should use the original Y axis version:

Printrbot Simple, 300mm Y Axis-No Sag!
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What is the difference between single and double precision? I see these on a lot of your mods and was curious.

The double precision doubles the number of steps required to move a certain distance. For example, instead of taking 80 steps/mm the double precision would take 160 steps/mm. This increases the ability of your motor to move in very small increments. Makes circles and diagonal lines very smooth. If all your parts are square, you most likely will not see any difference.

Why does it double like that? I decided to reprint my Y axis and did double precision, not thinking that my steps would have to be doubled. I have been trying to think of a reason why it would be double but can't!

So can I print at a higher resolution or will my prints just be overall better?

So I am wondering about the short front end, that one can use a e3d V6. For some reason I cannot get my e3d v6 to be flush with the motor mount where the filament comes out of the extruder. Anyone else have this issue?


Can this mod be used just to eliminate the sagging, but not extend the Y axis?
If so, do I need any other hardware that didn't come with the Printrbot?


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Ok, going over the bill of materials for single precision, it requires: 1 GT2-20 pulley (isn't this the one that is on the stock y-axis?) and 1 608 bearing (aren't the 624 bearings that come with the 2014 1405 the same size, or at least usable?) I have 406mm rods/new belts ready to go in and hardware, I don't think I need anything else?

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You can confirm the number of teeth on the pulley by counting them. I know too simple an answer...
608 bearings measure 8mm ID, 22mm OD, and 7mm wide.
624 bearings measure 4mm ID, 13mm OD, and 5mm wide.
608 bearings are extremely cheap (~$1/ea) and available everywhere in the world. The 624's may work on the YZ plate, but to use the double precision portion you need the 22mm OD. Now you could print up a sleeve to put over the 624 bearings to increase their OD if you were so inclined.

I have the 300mm No sag y extension on my 2014 printer, can I use the front end from this mod on the old mod? In particular I have the inductive probe, but Nowhere to mount it.

Correct, the front end rear ends are compatible.

I believe you can, the bar spacing is the same for the Y rods

Does this mod require any extra hardware than that that comes with the Printrbot?

Yes, look at the PDF file. It requires 608 bearings, new rods, a new GT2 belt, and some other things.

Can I use stock parts?

With this mod, can I increase my Y build volume?

Yes. Only limit is the length of rods, and how daring you are feeling.
Anything over about 8 inches you will start to see a lot of unstable behavior unless you keep your speeds very slow.

Ok. Do these parts require zip ties?

Yes to hold the bearings in place.


I just want to thank you for taking the time to produce these incredibly well designed upgrades. I just finished with the X and Y duel precision upgrades on my 1405 and I'm very impressed with your design and the results.

Thanks again,
Corey Warren

been out of the game in a while... just got my new printrboard replacent installed... any chance the end mount spacings fit the 300mm no sag conversion for the 2014? I am not super familiar with the differences yet..

The Y ends are the same. Only difference is the Z rod spacing, and additional end switch mounting location.

ok... so I am just trying to get my guy back up and running... I think I am just going to print the front motor/extruder mount?? that should fit the older style.. I wanted to rotate the motor... and or removed it in order to replace it with a bowden style... I think that would increase the accuracy immensely... since that heavy motor tends to bounce around on the end of that long run... ? what do you think? The way I want to work it is so that the end only holds the extruder... auto level.. and entruder fan..

I briefly tried a bowden setup, but was unsuccessful most likely because the geared motor I was using had way too much backlash. Since then I have reverted back to the direct drive. Still haven't put together my 1405 parts due to competing priorities.

I love the idea of moving less weight, it can only help the quality and speed. Unfortunately, I cannot offer too much assistance with the bowden setup.

I briefly tried a bowden setup, but was unsuccessful most likely because the geared motor I was using had way too much backlash. Since then I have reverted back to the direct drive. Still haven't put together my 1405 parts due to competing priorities.

I love the idea of moving less weight, it can only help the quality and speed. Unfortunately, I cannot offer too much assistance with the bowden setup.

I have used a bowden extruder with printrbot's aluminum direct drive for awhile now and has been working great with the E3D v5. No issues with torque so far.

how do you finish the belt ends in the double version? it looks like you have them going though the same tension block, but I don't see a wider hole for both belts to go though.

Bellus put together a good description and picture: http://www.thingiverse.com/make:82070http://www.thingiverse.com/mak...
They both thread thru the piece that mounts over the motor, join and interlace inside that piece, then thread into the tension block.

Double Precision Y GT2, Printrbot Simple
by Bellus

Jon, any chance of a fan duct for the Ubis in the near future? I tried designing one but couldn't get it perfect enough.

Not sure what you are looking for? Are you looking for the part cooling fan, or the hot end fan?

The part cooling fan. On the old 300mm Y axis mod you had the two part fan shroud build into it, but there wasn't one on this one. I am having trouble cooling the parts without the air being directed more accurately

Uploaded a fan and mount 2014-07-10 versions. See if they work. Things get tight in there, so let me know if it actually fits with all the wiring etc.

It fits fine, although I'm using the new Ubis, I know that the older fatter Ubis almost didn't fit in the front piece as it is because of the E3D cooling shroud.
Like I said, it does work with the skinny Ubis. Thanks JL

Now I know it's called no sag but does it even sag a little? For me if I home it then extend the Y axis it will scratch the build plate when it reaches the end. Any idea on why or how to fix this?

In the real world, nothing is perfect. The Z rods flex, linear bearings have some clearance, and y rods flex, so the further you go up and out the more these factors come into play. There is also the possibility the Z axis is not perfectly square to the X rods, or the YZ plate is printed out of square. The simple is a good little machine, but there are limits...

Oh I see, well thanks for the feedback. I'll try to get it the best I can but either way it's a good first printer.

Does anyone have the firmware for the simple 1405. For some reason after this mod it now homes to the front.

Flip the Y motor wire

How do you get your prints to stick to your printbed so well?? I've been having serious trouble with my Simple's prints peeling up off the print bed.

I use blue painters tape. You want the type that has almost a waxy look to it. I also don't cool until the 5th layer and add a 5mm brimm if I do get curling. My nozzle is basically touching the tap as it drags across it, so I get high pressure on the first layer. I don't do anything more than 100% extrusion. I usually have to pry my prints off now. Jon's heated bed sounds better, but I'm not going to do that mod until later.

This is a challenge. Personally I never managed to do it without a heated bed. Many others have been successful and I believe the trick is to extrude at the lowest possible temp, and good bed prep.
If you haven't already, check out http://www.printrbottalk.com/http://www.printrbottalk.com/ where there is a very active community and tons of help.
I print on glass with Suave extreme hold hair spray (and heated bed). Ever since the addition of the heated bed my parts are flat every time, no more struggling, and when it cools a small tap and they pop right off.

The ExtendYPlate gives me an error saying its to big to print. Does it have to be oriented a certain way?

Nevermind I got it. For anyone else who had the same problem. Turn off skirt and brim. Completely forgot about that.

Jon, how difficult would it be for you to updater the ExtruderFront for an 18mm Probe?

You know what would be cool. A dual extruder mount front end. OH yet that would be awesome!

Except that it would weight exactly 2.54 lb.... ;)

Yeh but your design is so strong i bet it could hold it :D

Oh i just noticed you have a fan for cooling the hot end. i wonder if this will prevent the part from warping. Will you be designing a fan shroud for the part cooling fan?

Maybe at some point. Other things in the works at the moment.

Thanks Jon! ... I had a feeling you would see the benefit in rotating that extruder motor... I jacked my printrboard and am waiting for a replacement... then I will print this. One more thought I am thinking of going to a bowden conversion. To remove all that weight from the end.. Not to mention that It might be possible to add more that one hot end if the motor can be placed elsewhere. Does any one on here have any experience with the bowden conversion? if so ... how has it worked out?

If it safe to assume that you will eventually be revising the wire track to work with this new design?

How much "Dead Space" is there on the rods?

For the single precision setup, you will need at least 165mm longer than your print area.
For the Double Precision, I would use a minimum of 200mm longer than your print area. The belt tension device sitting in the middle makes it rather bulky so some extra room here is helpful.

Wow... 8" of extra space.

have you tested the auto leveling probes ability with your heat bed setup?

Not yet. I still have some testing to do on a couple designs before I tear it down and remake it to the 1405 version with probe.