Extra long Y-axis on your 3D printer

by peddiparth, published

Extra long Y-axis on your 3D printer by peddiparth Dec 22, 2012


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Y-axis of the Prusa i2 (or any other compatible version) is normally limited to the dimensions of the printer. I built my Prusa i2 with an over-mount Y-axis smooth rods allowing the print bed to roll over and above the frame. This requires 1 extra long Y-axis smooth rod to mount the end-stop. Bend the long smooth rod or cut it as required.


For an extra long Y axis (~330mm on my Prusa i2)

  1. Over mount the Y-axis smooth rods.
  2. Decrease the distance between the belt mount points on the Y-axis. They should be closer to each other on the Y-axis to allow additional traversal length above the over-hang.
  3. Decrease the distance between the linear bearings for the added traversal length. Bringing the linear bearings too close to each other may increase vibration on your print bed requiring other forms of bed-stabilization. Just find the optimal distance that is appropriate for your printer.
  4. Use one extra long Y axis smooth rod to mount the end-stop as shown in pic. Trim it to size and cap it, or just bend it as needed. Ensure that bending the smooth rod only happens at 1 location, else the bed traversal will be compromised.
  5. Enjoy longer (y-axis) than earlier prints on your 3D printer.

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I have an i2 and I was thinking you don't need to use an additional smooth rod.
Where any Y Endstop is mounted determines the length of sweep of the printhead, how far the Z carriage rises or how far forwards the heated bed can travel or the heated bed, so why not mount it at the very front edge of the existent smooth rod because any difference between those positions is doubled in terms of Y Direction sweep, ie. if I get a larger print bed and shift the End Stop all the way forwards which is about 7-10cm forwards of where it is right now, the switch will still be struck by the incoming bed bearing but it will now travel 100mm either side of centre PLUS a further 2x (70-100mm) ie. simply by shifting that Y Endstop. Heating issues aside for now, you don't necessarily need to fit a new smooth rod. All good, if you don't want to spend more money and it really is that simple because how far away from you the heated bed travels is determined in your software setup, you're only redefining physically where Axis Homing 0,0 is.

All I did was to decrease the distance between the linear bearings so that the bed moves outside the frame so that the hot end has a larger y-axis sweep. If you can manage the end stop trigger with some attachment under the carriage, you can avoid the rod protrusion outside the frame.