Printable snap-fit Mendel Bed LM8UU

by infodude, published

Printable snap-fit Mendel Bed LM8UU by infodude Jan 21, 2013
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Deployed and working happily on my 2nd Mendel :)

An alternative to using a piece of wood for your bed support.

To fit LM8UU and the heated bed PCB that's doing the Mendel rounds.


Print, probably best in ABS.

Using the scad file you can set 'layerHeight' (currently 0.35) and 'thickness'. Setting 'explode' to 0 will show it all together. 'clr' sets the snap-join clearance.

I set the thickness to 5 or 6mm to test the whole idea without using too much plastic, 10mm is going to be more rigid.

Snap together. If it snaps together too easily decrease 'clr' and print again.

Pop in LM8UU bearings, push down firmly to ensure alignment, use ties to secure by ramming them into the slots and they should find their way out the other side.

Use long M3 bolts to attach to the heated bed, preferably with little springs.

The belt mount holes are 18mm apart. The centre three aren't used atm.

Might have to print just a couple of parts at a time, I'll put them up separately later.

I have printed but not yet tested on a printer, it's here in case anyone wants to play.

One pic shows the bearing holder bar printed to 10mm, which is what I'm guessing is about right for 'production'. It seems fairly sturdy anyway.

I'm considering mounting it upside down, under the smooth rods so the heated bed glides fractionally above them - should give a more usable Z range.

  • The bearings go into PLA printed holders more easily than they go into the ABS ones - I didn't expect that.

  • Keeping the rest the same, hub.stl, littleBeltClamp.stl, beltClampInner.stl and beltClampOuter.stl make a fixed and an adjustable belt clamp with tags on the hub to mount them and keep the two belt ends far apart enough to not crowd each other

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The centre-centre separation between the smooth rods is 150mm, as set by 'runnerSep' in the scad file

The latest SCAD file has higher lift for the LM8UU bearing holders to give the 15mm clearance for the bed.
Also has built-in belt holder and tensioner. Sorry for not posting sooner :)

Do you need to insulate the bottom of the heat bed in order to keep the plastic from bending?

Hi, sorry for the delay, other non-3D-printer things happening!
I didn't use anything, but the heat bed isn't directly on the plastic because the 4 bolts that stick up at the corners to support it have springs that keep the board about 6mm off the plastic.
As it turned out, I did later put a foam sheet between the base and the heat bed, but that was purely because I saw it speeded up the bed heating process by reducing heat loss. So the prints started quicker!

Oh yes, high time for my review of this... I've been using it for about 5 months now, so I guess it's OK :)

Added new hub and adjustable belt clamp (based on http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:23882 )

Y-Belt Retainer/tensioner
by jman

Mounted and so far so good, pretty solid tho slight warp on one spoke from printing making one bed-screw higher than the rest. Moves well and seems to hold the bed pretty steady. Next step to hook it up to belt/motor and thrash it back and forth a few hundred times.

Some pics of the fatter 10mm print.

Added some belt grooves to grip the drive belt, might be useful depending on how you clamp, picture shows example. beltPitch in SCAD defaults to 2.5, set to 5.0 if, well, your belt pitch is 5.

Its a good idea but this isn't suitable as a y carriage as is. If you put weight on the end of the arms the carriage will bend and the joint near the center will probably fall appart. You will never be able to keep a bed levelled with this. The plastic alone is not even sufficient, you need to solidify this to make sure it cannot bend. Maybe a T or H profile for the arms would fix it. Also, you need to figure a way to join the arms in in the center a way more... "solid" manner. Beef it up add structure to support the joint so they dont bend. Some screws or glue will probably help.

Thanks for the comments, will bear them in mind. So far printed out in the 10mm height it seems about as solid as the MDF I used for my last one - and I had to use a vice to press it together. I guess I'll know more when I fit it in a day or two. All part of the fun of design iteration, made feasible thanks to 3D printing :)