Herringbone Geared Extruder

by rhys-jones, published

Herringbone Geared Extruder by rhys-jones Dec 11, 2010
12 Share
Download All Files

Thing Apps Enabled

Order This Printed View All Apps



Herringbone Geared Extruder by rhys-jones is licensed under the GNU - LGPL license.

Liked By

View All

Give a Shout Out

If you print this Thing and display it in public proudly give attribution by printing and displaying this tag.

Print Thing Tag

Thing Statistics

67488Views 19072Downloads


This is an attempt to combine various aspects of Adrian's and Wade's extruder drivers. Specifically, It keeps Adrian's extruder clamping system, uses a prime number of teeth for good wear characteristics but uses Wade's hobbed bolt to do the driving.

As the name suggests, the design uses Herringbone gears. This ensures that backlash is substantially reduced, which should result in the extruder requiring slightly less reverse, but more importantly run quieter. The design of the drive gear is somewhat experimental. As with other gears, this uses a grub screw to secure the gear to the motor shaft. However, on this design the hole goes through the root of one of the teeth. This takes up less space, and also lets you adjust the position of the gear without taking the motor off. However, it is quite intricate. Many people have managed it, but your printer needs to be running well to do it.


Manufacture of the bolt is the same as Wades, but you'll need an M8x70 instead. I find it best to assemble the whole extruder, before marking where the hobbing needs to go on the bolt. A stack up of tolerances during build and assembly will probably mean that if we measure it off the CAD model it'll be wrong, or atleast not optimal..

Also, on my pictures the layout is not optimal. Ideally I think it should be Gear, 3X Washers, Spacer, 2X Washer, Bearing, Gap, Bearing, Washer, 2X m8 Nuts. It might be an idea to increase the size of the spacer, and do away with some washers, but I personally like that it allows some adjustment in either direction.

The final two nuts do not need to be done up tightly, doing so would mean the bearings become a little rough. The herringbone gears should keep everything aligned by themselves and the bolt takes all the torque, so the nuts only need to be lightly tightened.

When assembling this extruder, it is somewhat critical the gears are perfectly aligned. Herringbone gears try to self-center, if the alignment is incorrect they'll probably get damaged. I find the best way is to assemble everything, not tightening the grub screw on the drive gear, give the whole thing a couple of turns during which the gears should align, and then tighten the grub.

On my photos you'll notice I've used m4 nuts to tighten the idler. Ideally, you should use wing nuts instead as these allow you to adjust it by hand.

13/12/10 - Updated Idler to beef up the filament guide

18/12/10 - No design changes, but the STLs have been simplified to ease slicing.

06/01/11 - Updated drive gear holder to reduce the holes for the bearings to give better constraint. You may now need to press fit them in, or give them so encouragement with a hammer. Fortunately the bearing supports are open and therefore can flex a little to hold the bearings tightly. Also I've uploaded a new idler bracket without the filament guide, I don't think its actually needed with a hobbed bolt. It seems to be printing as well without it anyway.

02/02/11 Updated the driven gear so that the herringbone gears now contact in the recommended "stable" manner. If you already have this extruder and want this, you only need to print the driven gear, and then just flip the drive gear. Also the idler bracket has been updated for better placement of the holes. I've uploaded updated IGS & STEP files for those who use them.

15/02/11 I've pulled some of araspitfires updates into the main release as they are much better:D. Also thanks to bobbens, all the STLs should now be orientated correctly for skeinforge users.

All Apps

Auto-magically prepare your 3D models for 3D printing. A cloud based 3D models Preparing and Healing solution for 3D Printing, MakePrintable provides features for model repairing, wall thickness...

App Info Launch App

Kiri:Moto is an integrated cloud-based slicer and tool-path generator for 3D Printing, CAM / CNC and Laser cutting. *** 3D printing mode provides model slicing and GCode output using built-in...

App Info Launch App
KiriMoto Thing App

With 3D Slash, you can edit 3d models like a stonecutter. A unique interface: as fun as a building game! The perfect tool for non-designers and children to create in 3D.

App Info Launch App

Print through a distributed network of 3D printing enthusiasts from across the US, at a fraction of the cost of the competitors. We want to change the world for the better through technology, an...

App Info Launch App

Quickly Scale, Mirror or Cut your 3D Models

App Info Launch App

Treatstock is an online platform that offers decentralized manufacturing services such as 3D printing and CNC machining for business-to-business and business-to-consumer sales all over the world. W...

App Info Launch App

3D print your favourite design with NinjaPrototype, a professional 3D manufacture with consistent quality and speed.

App Info Launch App

What extruder is this designed for? Will it work for E3D?

I try to find a hobbed bolt M8 70mm long, but it is difficult.
Most of the time, this is 55mm one. I found up to 65mm. But not 70mm.
Do you have a buying place for me?

In the STL it isn't the herringbone gear, Would you add the right file please?


In some versions of Solid Edge files?
compatible with SW ST7

The BOM http://reprap.org/wiki/Herringbone_Extruder_Driver lists an 8mm x 30 mm rod (probably for the idler wheel axis).

The place for it in the idler part measures only 20 mm, though. Or am I disoriented about the correct location?

The 30mm bolts that I purchased according to the listing at least don't match anywhere.


One day and the purchase of 8 x 20 rods later: They are still too long. The seat for the little rod is actually exactly 21mm long. The rods (DIN 7, ISO 2338) have round caps that can be up to 1.5mm high.
Next trip to the supplier: get 8 x 18mm rods. Oh well...


Second edit:
An 8 x 18 piece of rod is the perfect match. They are available for small change. In German, they are called "Zylinderstift", in English probably 'cylinder pin'
/Second edit

so i guess the steps per mm are about 780?

How do I attach a hotend to it ? I need to know how because if I can't, I won't print it at all.

Hi! Sorry my bad english!
How to adapt LM8UU x carriage? Any project?

Come on!
The large driven gear part without holes is upside down!
How can one do a circle inside a hole 5mm in the air???
The non-holed part if printed upside-down and with 0.3 infill is half the print time btw...

So flip it yourself dude...

Do the mounting holes and the location of the filament hole still fit the Thing-O-Matic or are the versions >july 2011 Reprap specific?

I made one, but with the springs I have (from a INTEL Cpu cooler) it's impossible to load material into the thing - it's just too tight between the bearing and the bolt. So I loosen the screws to get the filament in to the pinch, and then have to re-tighten the 4 spring screws to make it hold firmly....

That is quite beautiful.

I finished building my copy of this thing last night, for the record I printed the gears in PLA on a Mendel with 100% infill and the small gear printed fine. The main problem I had was with the driven gear, if it's even slightly warped due to printing without a heat-bed or printing with less than 100% infill then there's a chance that the bolt won't sit perfectly straight. If that happens then the gear wobbles slightly as it rotates...not a big deal with standard gears but a big problem with herringbone ones thanks to their self-centering nature.

I also had a problem mounting this on Buback's OpenX carriage (thing #6278). The driven gear dips slightly below the base of the main block which limits the number of alternate carriages it can be mounted on.

Overall though this is a great extruder, a bit more finicky to put together than the ot
hers I've built but a very sturdy design and the best one I've made so far.

What's the gear ratio here?

Definitely the coolest thing we've printed so far here at PSU :D Check it out: http://reprap.org/wiki/Etherdais_Unit_Onehttp://reprap.org/wiki/Etherda...

Yay! I can't wait to finally solve the bloody repsnapper issue I'm having to be able to print the last part and finally mount the sucker :).

Did you say it caused your machine to lock up during the print? I've found this with the latest version of the FiveD firmware. I've rolled back to an older release, and it seems to have fixed the issue....

I'm using the free rhino 5 beta and it seems to be lacking STEP support although rhino 4 can do STEP, maybe I'm being stupid somewhere. Would you mind uploading in IGES? I've had luck with that in the past, it would be nice if there were a universally good format

Done. Sorry I was a little slow:D

I haven't been near my PC for a few days. I'll be back with it tomorrow. I'll upload IGES asap

I was wondering if your Herringbone design may start off a leadscrew or direct drive approach. A horizontal fitting drivetray may evolve and replace the belt on X altogether. Nice work by the way, I like very much the drawing you made.

Awesome! Is it actually working as well as the original Bowden/Wade versions?

It seems to be. I've only ever used Adrian's but I'm getting equally good results. Araspitfire claims he is getting equal results to his Wade's. I think the bearings could do with being a little better constrained though. Araspitfire did a fix which helps that I uploaded (thing 5134), but when I get a sec I'll do some thing more elegant.

I made one of the driven gear just for fun. I love the design.

Could someone make an Imperial version of this? :'( USA is so backwards when it comes to measuremenrs

Agreed! I'm trying to use metric in my designs because our measurement system makes absolutely no sense. How are we still basing our measurements off of the length of some dude's foot? Ridiculous!

It isn
´t a Herringbone, its a Tank ;)

What did you model this in? Do you have solidworks files for these design?

If you do want the solid edge files and get impatient, they are on RepRap's svn


        I have looked on http://Reprap.orgReprap.org but was unable to find your files. If you upload a zip file of all of the Solidedge files I will convert them to Solidworks files.

Done, feel free to post them up as a derivative. Or If you email them to me I'll post them up here

rhys, what version of solid edge was made in ?

interesting question... :)

I modelled it in Solid Edge. I can upload the files if you wish, but I have included a STP which you should be able to open and edit in any CAD package.

what's the advantage of having gears to look like that? The v shape.

I was sleeping, I only posted it 8 hours ago:D

As Sublime says, the self center and the gears are always in contact. This removes backlash and makes them quieter.

The teeth always have even contact (removes backlash) and they self center.

i guess he's too busy to answer his own questions.