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Prusa i3 Rod-Mounted X Tensioner

by thinkyhead, published

Prusa i3 Rod-Mounted X Tensioner by thinkyhead Apr 13, 2013
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[2014-11-20] Try Prusa i3 Add-On X Tensioner instead!

This is a simple adjustable belt tensioner that mounts on the top rod on the right end of the X gantry.

See it in action...


For an adjustable tensioner you need to add a 624 bearing, a 4mm screw, and a 3mm screw to this part. It's designed for mounting on the top rod on the right end of the X gantry. Of course your x axis needs to be set up so the bottom span of the belt attaches to the x carriage. This tensioner will probably work fine inverted on the bottom rod too.

The parametric SCAD file also allows you to print a non-adjustable part at your adjusted tension. A sample non-adjustable one is included in this Thing. You can also adjust other parameters, such as wall thickness, bearing screw size, etc.

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Really interesting. Not to say...smart!

Thanks! I liked this approach better than sticking a spring-tensioner on the belt or printing a whole new X-idler part. Of course now I'm using http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:554719 on my i3, but these little things are great for any printer where belts come close to the rods.

Prusa i3 Add-On X Tensioner

Very nice simple design! I've been using this for awhile now and it's been reliable. Also, I didn't have a 624 bearing when I originally made this, so I designed a 3d printable replacement.

Nice! That's a new idea. Should work ok as long as it's nice and round. I've switched to using my "add-on x-tensioner" on my i3 but I'd still use this design on any machine that didn't have an easy way to add a tensioner to the end.

Yeah I've ended up not buying any real bearings because the plastic ones I made have been surprisingly reliable. Didnt even use any lubrication or anything. I may switch to the design you mentioned simply for the sake of change and keeping things fresh, but thus far I've really had no need to.

I'm in the same boat with my printed bushings. They work so well I don't think I'll ever need to go back to LM8UU bearings or Igus bushings. That's 10 more parts (on an i3) that can be printed instead of sourced!

When I slice this there is a gap where the screw hole is. Any tips?

What slicers have you tried? It seems fine for me using Slic3r