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1405 Simple X Expanded (Single/Double Precision)

by iamjonlawrence, published

1405 Simple X Expanded (Single/Double Precision) by iamjonlawrence Jul 3, 2014
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An upgrade for the X axis of the 1405 model Printrbot Simple Makers edition.

  • Expand the bearings to increase rigidity.
  • Move the drive motor to the center to increase stability.
  • Required minimum print area for motor mount: 80mmx147mm.
  • Multiple BedEnd files have been uploaded for various bed screw widths. Minimum BedEnd required print area will depend on BedEnd used.
  • Increase idler bearings to 608 size. Better match for belt width and more common world wide.
  • Build in (2) switch mounting locations for fans and power.
  • Built in LED receptacles to illuminate the power and fan symbols.
  • Can be configured as either single or double precision. For single precision, remove bearing on BedEnd and install tension block. Double precision configuration is shown.
  • Printrboard cannot be mounted under machine (where the X motor is now). Mounting the Printrboard in a well ventilated area will help protect the stepper drivers from overheating.

If you want to print the entire base I have a printable version posted:

Important to note: If you are using printed plastic as structural machine parts it is important to keep them cool. I have included mounting locations for fans at the heat sources (Motors, Extruder, etc.). Care must be taken to avoid over heating.
I have included a printable bed mount post if you wish to use springs. This item has a captive nut. If you are going to mount directly using heated bed mounting holes, the heat will transfer thru the screw and soften the mounting bracket. In this case I recommend clamping a 3/8" wood dowel in the BedEnd and using a wood screw to mount your heat bed to the dowel. The wood will act as a thermal insulator. In addition, some sort of insulator must be placed between the heated bed and the plastic BedEnd part. In the graphic I show a sheet of cork under the entire surface, but it is only required between the heater and the plastic. Covering the rest of the area helps to improve the efficiency of the heater.
I have printed a couple iterations of this design and everything seems to come out as expected. I am designing my upgrades to the 1405 as I go, and have not yet completed the 1405 build. Concequently I have not yet run this specific design, but there isn't too much new here so I don't expect any issues. If you find something wrong or that needs improvement, please let me know.
As always, feedback and suggestions are not only welcome but encouraged.
The evolution of this design was inspired by discussion about expanding the bearing spacing for the 2014 Simple models. Thank you goes out to those who supported the effort with their ideas, time, effort, and R&D. I simply combined those ideas into a 3d model. Please review the conversation:


Suggested mounting order on the Main Motor Plate:

  • LED's (if desired) They should push into the hole, than a M3 screw will hold them in place by the edge.
  • Motor
  • Idler bearings
  • Switches
    X axis end stop cable should be routed to the center, down the slot provided over the drive pulley, and back thru the slot in the diagonal brace. A tie wrap location has been provided just above the slot over the drive pulley. This should keep them clear of the drive belt and out of the way.

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Hi! All the bed ends are 65mm on the Z axes when you print them, except the 85x197 that is 75mm! Why? Jon! Would you be kind to upload a 65mm tall 85x197 bed end? Because if I print the 75mm tall end, I would need longer smooth rods. I don't really see the reason why the 85x197 ends are different than the others. Can someone help me?

This seems like a really big ask but is there any way you could make a left and right bed end that are 85x104mm? The original metal plate that the Printrbot comes with would fit that perfectly. I printing a new bot for my brother and that is all the size he needs. Thanks.

Any news on the x104 bed ends?

I've printed the whole frame and the bed ends to make a total print area of 457x457. I haven't actually got the entire thing built yet but so far I'm having issues with the bed ends where you put the 3/8" spacers. With a 3/8 dowel in the whole it expands just enough to cause it to crack.. Anyone else having this issue or any recommendations? I'm using PLA at 200c

Comments deleted.

I just finished put this upgrade on. But I'm having trouble getting the printr to act properly. I changed the BP dimensions in cura and the gcode, but it still only lets me go to 100mm I think. I also can't figure out how to re-home the printr, and when I sent it to the current home is went way to far and was making noise. Can anyone help?

You may have the motors backwards. I had that problem on a different mod and I had to flip the connector on the printrboard. Also make sure your end stops are in the right place and can be triggered properly. As for the 100mm you have to change the M211 settings (stock M211 X100 Y100 Z100) so if you have a larger build plate you have to measure and change the M211 to reflect that. Also change bed size in Cura to the same settings. Hope this helps.

Almost done installing this. Could you explain how the double precision gives the printer higher speed capabilities? I've been receiving conflicting info on the forum about it making it slower and stuff. Thanks!

Almost done installing this. Could you explain how the double precision gives the printer higher speed capabilities? I've been receiving conflicting info on the forum about it making it slower and stuff. Thanks!

I got my linear rods from VXB. Good quality, good price, not too many options on length.


actually, my two biggest questions right now are: what you'd reccomend for a 200mmx200mm HBP setup, and how to connect multiple fans to the 1405. should I just power them with 12V from the power supply, and throw in a switch or plug? Do I want program control on the print or hotend fan?

thanks. any idea what size I'd need for 200^3 build volume?

Comments deleted.

Firstly I want to say that I'm amazed with your desings.
I am using the 1405 to print jewelry to then cast to gold, so presicion matters a lot, I'm getting quite good results but I want better ones and my question was if this would help me. If it would which end should I use with the regular Al bed?
Thanks a lot and sorry for the bad english since I am from Uruguay (Latin America).

First, thank you for all of your amazing designs. You're definitely keeping me busy these days.

 I'm building a custom bot using your designs and decided to go with the 208mm bed ends to support a 9x9" heated bed. One problem I'm running into is that the ends are bowing quite a bit, causing the bed to tilt to the front. I do have the auto-level probe working, so it's not the end of the world, but it would be nice to have it be a bit more level. It seems that most of the bow is caused by the tensioner on the front rod. If I loosen that up, the end straightens out, but remains too loose to hold the rod in place.

I wonder if the tensioner on the front rod was flipped upside down, if it would have the opposite effect, pushing up on the front of the bed. This might be better overall, as it could help offset the additional weight on the front.

I printed them in ABS with 25% infill and 2 perimeter layers. I think I'm going to try and print a set with a higher density and more perimeters. I may try and flip that tensioner on the stl file too to see if that helps ( though importing and modifying stls isn't too fun ). Any chance you'd be willing to whip up a beefier version of the 208 ends? Maybe with a length-wise ridge support like on the ends?

Here is a small album of my current printer and the problem I'm describing ( last two pictures ): http://imgur.com/a/Akzg0


Pictures do say 1000 words...

I could add something up top, but would need to be sure to have enough clearance for the glass plate clips, and any conflict with the print head when extended to Min / Max X travel.

Could the clips be moved to the front, allowing room for a support ridge from approximately the belt termination point to front end?

I took a hack last night at beefing them up myself ( importing into sketchup and making changes by hand ). They're not anything to look at, but I'm thinking it should make a difference. Have a look at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:520696

With this design, I should be able to still use the plate clips on the sides. I could do plate clips on the front and back, except I have to remove the clip levers on the ones in the back otherwise they run into the vertical rod on the Z axis.

Beefier 208mm bed ends for 1405 Simple X Expanded (Single/Double Precision)
by jhoff

I'm guessing we just use the standard bearing posts from your other designs?

Gonna tackle this and hopefully get my MK2 heatbed mounted on it. Though I accidently bought 10 607 bearings instead of 608, so I'll have to modify your bearing posts. Luckily they are still 7mm wide and 200mm OD, just the ID is a mm smaller.

Alright, I've read through the forum threads surrounding the development of this project (excellent work by the way!) and all of the comments below, but I have to admit to being slightly confused still. If you would allow me to pick you brain for a moment, I've got a couple of questions.

1) Would you consider an 8x8 build plate too large? I've noticed that some of the comments talk about going larger, but I want it to be stable. I have a friend with a Flash Forge creator with a 9x6x6 build area, so I think I should be able to print the parts required for that size of build plate.
If you wouldn't consider it stable, then I can go with a 6x6, but I just want to maximize my build area heehee. For what it's worth, I'm looking getting this for the plate: http://printrbot.com/shop/printrbot-plus-cast-aluminum-build-platform/ I realize that there are cheaper options out there (such as glass) but I would really like to keep my auto-leveling probe if possible.

2) Is the pulley for the belts the same as what comes stock with the Printrbot? I believe it is, just wanted to double-check.

I think that about does it for now... I imagine once I finish this and move on to the no-sag Y axis extensions, I'll have a couple more questions. Until then, I look forward to hearing back from you.


The 8 may be a bit too long for the Y axis, but that would depend on what speed and acceleration you are trying to achieve. Worst case, build it to 8 to give yourself options, but keep higher speed prints closer to home.

The timing belt pulley should be the same as the stock, assuming your stock bot came with a timing belt pulley instead of the vinyl tube.

Awesome, thanks for the help! I've got everything lined up now, but I do have one last question. Where do you suggest getting the 8mm shafts and the 3/8 ACME rod from? I'm thinking about McMaster-Carr, but if you've got a place in particular that you've had good luck with, I'd love to know.

EDIT: I've actually tracked down a build plate that has some listed dimensions: http://www.ebay.com/itm/321336349749 . The holes are 209mm center-to-center. Would it be too much trouble for you to upload a set of ends with 209mm hole spacing?

Thanks again!

Shafts I have been getting from VXB lately:

Acme rod, I don't have a good source for though.

No time for design work at the moment. Maybe in a few months after all the holidays.

I believe somewhere I read that 25% infill should be sufficient for usable printed parts. Is this correct? Would you suggest that I print these out with a higher infill percentage?

The infill percent required is dependent on how well the infill is printed. A Hexagonal infill pattern re-traces the majority of the path on every layer and therefore is able to provide some support to the part. If you use a linear infill the infill only overlaps every other layer and therefore is not able to provide good support to the part.

Personally, I only use the hexagonal infill and even increase the infill extrusion width by 150% to ensure good bonding and a strong internal structure. With this 25% infill and 3 external loops has proved to be a good combination.

If you are going to be using a heated bed and printing with a high bed temp, a larger infill may be advisable. After all these are plastic parts on a machine that is designed to melt plastic...

Hey John,

Please excuse me in advance if this is a stupid question. Is it normal that I had to increase my steps per mm from 80 to 160 when I changed from single to double precision? I just don't see anything about that so curious if I may have done something wrong.

You did everything right. Changing your calibration from 80 steps per mm to 160 steps per mm is, by definition, double precision. Now the motors have to turn twice as far to go the same distance.

are there /will there be any step by step instructions to install this upgrade?

Sadly documentation and instructions are my kryptonite. Maybe somebody out there will be kind enough to take the time to put pen to paper for a step by step walk thru.

Anyway you could whip up a set that fit the oem xl bed? My hopes are that they would give almost full use of the xl bed so that I can then print the 208mm ones I need lol. If so that would be simply amazing. Badass work on these mods also. I'm waiting on rods to convert to your y axis, but the pieces printed out awesome.

are the 208mm ends you're looking to use designed for the 8"x8" build plate on the printrbot store, by any chance?

No, I got a bed from eBay. I ended up just kinda rigging up my lx bed long enough to get the 208mm ones printed. They work perfectly.

I don't happen to have an XL bed. What is the distance between the mounting holes on the XL bed (measured in the Y direction).

The xl bed has the same y as the smaller bed. It's just wider. 105mm center hole I measures

Hi. I'm looking for the instructions to upgrade the 2013 Simple using the current 75$ Simple Maker’s Upgrade Kit.
The instructions / guide from Printrbot for installing that onto the 2013 are what i'm looking for.
Or does one not exist?

Yeah, I think your right. After reading a lot I figured there is no upgrade instructions from 2013 because it is a complete tear-down and rebuild. Thanks. I will be installing these parts on this page and the 1405 y axis no sag as i install the upgrade kit.

So..., Am I the only one that did not upgrade to the 1405 while my bot was broken???

I purchased the kit, but it is still in the box. Still running 2013 model myself. So little time.

Wow... and you did all this...>??? any chance it fits with the 2013/2014... I was thinking about printing it and modifying the wood or something to make it work... since you are moving the motor... as we discussed way earlier (i'm sure you remember, nice execution by the way... much better than mounting the motor vertical.. ) tried it? thought about it? .... Thanks.. I wish I could just but the base and the upgraded Z axis rods short of buying the whole kit.. since I have printed everything else..

Yea... I am getting this printed now.. this I think is a great way to go. I am just confused about how you are mounting the new X ends to the build platform... do you have a good explanation for how you are using the wood dowels?

my printer doesnt seem to print more then the stock 100mm x axis or y i have them both upgraded with your designs and it still prints perfect im lost ive changed the x and y from 100 to 200 in the software but it stops at 100 every time

Did you change the M211 setting as well?

i just noticed that it doesnt save that in the bored i shut the printer down and now started it back up and it thinks its 100mm again is there a way to save it

Did you use the M500 command to save it to the EEPROM after you entered the M211 value?

yup just and it seems to work thanks

Yeah i just did that like an hour ago and now its smooth thanks so much

Do you print your upgrades in PLA or ABS and is there a reason you would use one or the other. Because i was thinking about printing in ABS to increase the heat tolerances but is there a reason i shouldn't

I print everything in PLA. I also now have a fan for every motor (except Z) and for the hot end, so everything stays cool.
Last week I had my first failure of a printed motor plate. It was my original GT2, X motor plate. Manually overrode the speed to 200% for a slow print, changed to a long fast one and forgot to change back. Next thing I know my X belt jumped the bearings and the bearings were way out of alignment.
Melted posts due to no cooling inside the X motor compartment and asking for way too much speed. Keep your plastic cool!

Printing very large parts in ABS is a challenge, I would suggest you need a large heatbed, that has even temp distribution, printing in a draught free space, and possible with an enclosed volume that can be filled with heated air. ABS has a 4-6% shrinkage factor as it cools, which while that can be compensated for in the parts design, as your part cools as you print more and more layers, the temperature of the bottom layers is significantly different than the top layers, when that happens on a material that has a high shrinkage it will curl and warp. The bigger the part the bigger the effect. You have to keep the whole part as near as possible at the same temperature during the whole print. By contrast PLA has a 0.5-2% shrinkage factor, depending on temps and is strong and rigid enough to resist the pressure difference between cooler and hotter layers hence warp and curl is very much less pronounced.

It's recommend to print in ABS for the parts that will come in contact with heat. There's no downside for printing in ABS unless you can't get warp free parts.

PLA is fine if you can isolate the hot parts, the two main sources of heat will be a Heatbed if fitted and the Motors, in particular the screws that hold the motors in.

The heatbed problem can be mitigated by putting a cork wall tile under the bed below the heatbed and mounting the bed through that, it should insulate the plastic parts sufficiently from both radiated and conducted heat for it to stay rigid. For the motors you can either cut cork gaskets yourself from the cork tile, or buy them online. That will stop the motor from softening the mount point, its also advisable to use fiber or nylon washers on the mounting screws, to stop them softening the mount holes by conducting heat through from the motor.

are you still using a piece of glass with your heated bed and did you have to trim the corners to fit around the screws.

I am currently still printing on the wood bed from my original Simple. The heat bed and glass are just clamped on with binder clamps, so the glass currently covers the screw mounting holes on the heat bed. Once I get this put together, I will probably take a piece of glass to the belt sander and chamfer the corners to clear the screws.

Awesome! Any Chance of a 300mm bed end? Thanks

I threw them up there. May be pushing the limits, but that is what we like to do isn't it....
Let me know how it works out.

Thanks! Can't Wait to get it installed

Which of the bed ends will fit the stock bed that comes with the 1405?

Comments deleted.

This particular mod is designed to increase the build volume so a larger plate will be needed. If you want to use the existing plate I would suggest "1405 Simple X Ends" http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:376515http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

1405 Simple X Ends

Is there anywhere I can find a list of recommended build plates to use with these ends? It seems like something that probably varies a lot from manufacturer to manufacturer, and I don't have the tools to drill my own holes into aluminum, unfortunately.

I don't have access to that kind of information. The sizes up here are from requests. Check out this: http://www.printrbottalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=6860&start=100#p50600http://www.printrbottalk.com/f... for a short list. If you have a plate and can give me the dimensions, I can spit out some ends to fit.

I do, I vont von. The distance between mounting holes are 209mm and 309mm. Please!!!
Edit it s the 209mm that I would like the bed end sized for if you get an the opportunity to do so, if not its ok.

BTW your designs are awesome, can't wait to see whats next.

Thanks man. I don't have a plate yet, so this is exactly what I was looking for. I'd rather find something compatible with one of your existing designs rather than force you to draw up a one-off build plate useful to only me.

Don't sweat it. The parts are totally parametric, so it is only a matter if changing a couple values.

You said these parts are parametric, so I hate to be "that" guy but I'm going to ask for a size variation. There's a new (I think) aluminum plate on printrbot's site that's a 10x10" bed. I just ordered one and got it in. You can find it here: http://printrbot.com/shop/10x10-aluminum-bed/

The dimensions are a little strange though, as they're all in inches. If you're looking at the picture on their site, the offset from the left edge of the plate to the first screw hole's center is 1.25" and between the two hole centers is 7.75". Any chance you could make bed ends for that size? This is more just morbid curiosity if the simple 1405 will handle that giant plate or not. I'll post back once I get it upgraded if anybody's interested. It should work nicely with your Y-axis No-Sag upgrade as well, assuming the bot doesn't just tip over :)

Edit: I'm not sure if that 1.25" overhang will mess with the current design or not. I would guess it would.

The large overhang makes the bed support stability questionable. I would use with caution, especially with the heaver Al bed.
In either case, I have uploaded an 85x197 (7-3/4") version with the 1.25" clearance.

Printrbot is located in the US, so using inch dimensions on machined parts is a lot easier for US fabricators. The laser cut wood is all done by CNC so inch/mm not an issue the machine just follows the CAD. For the Al plate, there is most likely an operator that needs to read either a digital readout (can be displayed in either in/mm), or use the dials on the machine which would be in inches.

Wow, thanks for the quick response and for the modification! I'll let you know when it works out. I have a feeling that due to the extreme extension of the printing platform that I'll have to figure out some way to mount the back end of the bot onto the work table. And yeah, that makes sense about the odd inch dimensions. The US needs to go metric...

Another request (my second of you, and probably slightly more difficult...):

I printed this for use with the 197mm bed ends, and as you suspected, the larger aluminum bed works...kind of. It droops heavily in the front (by maybe a 5-10mm deflection due to the weight). Is there any chance you could make this a three rod setup with the rods on the outer ends of the arms and one in the middle?? Or would the third rod cause binding during movement? Two rods would be amazing. Somebody else did a modification of your design already, but...your stuff is always really well thought out, so I'm hesitant to try somebody else's work on something that you've already designed and that otherwise works amazingly well...

I'm already on my third set of Bed Ends, so I figured it was finally time to ask. :)

Does this reuse the supplied linear bearing rods, or do i have to make new ones?
Thanks for doing this.

I withdraw my question. I believe new bearing rods are needed.

You are correct. Longer rods will be necessary. Exact length will depend on what size bed you want to install, and is shown in the assembly drawing.

Hi Jon,
Would you be able to upload the assembly drawing as a pdf, like your other designs? Also, thank you for the great designs!

It is up there now, just missed it on the original upload.

Amazing, I don't understand why you don't just go ahead and design your own printer from scratch instead of upgrading the printrbot ones. It's obvious you could release something amazing.

Thanks for the kind words. Honestly I can't think of anything innovative that hasn't already been done. If I were to design my own from scratch I would want to do something that would turn the industry on it's ear. Maybe I will make one that prints upside down and eliminate bridge sagging.

LOL...What about bolting the bot to the ceiling?!
Reinventing isn't always bad as long as you can bring something different. I myself am working on a custom Smartrap. The idea is similar to the Printrbot but I want to make one for myself that already has the customizations I am used to, like your double precision. Slowly but surely I will keep incorporating ideas till I have something I can put to together and replace my current bot with.
Again, your designs are really inspiring to myself and I'm sure many others. Thank you for sharing them with the world.

I obviously haven't been able to print this out yet but looking at i can tell that you have really out done yourself this time. Can't wait to get this together.

Does your heat bed have screw holes. the one i got from printrbot does not have any holes.

Mine does. That is where I took off the dimensions for the model. Guess they changed suppliers somewhere along the way. Not sure what version is the current one supplied if that is the case.
You can always make a bed to fit, or give me your dimensions and I can make arms to fit whatever you have.

So where does the printrboad go right now?

Wherever you like, except under the machine. :) Right now mine is mounted to my 2013 Simple, and will stay there for the near future. Once I get the 1405 complete I will make an enclosure for whatever board will drive it.
A quick search for "Printrboard" on here will turn up plenty of mounting options.

dumb question... is the spacing for the 1405 bearings on the x axis the same as the 2013/2014? or more simply.. will these fit my 2014? or do you have this newer design modeled for the 2014?