Compact Geared Extruder

by mattroberts, published

Compact Geared Extruder by mattroberts Mar 31, 2011
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I've designed, built and tested a (relatively) compact geared extruder.

The gearing is 9:31, which doesn't sound much - but the drive is an M4 bolt, so the gearing is much more than you need.


I used an M4x40 cap screw (left over from the mendel build) for the drive, making use of a locknut within the drive gear. You could easily turn the gear around, and use an M4 hex bolt instead. The drive is transferred to the nut / bolt head using three M3 set screws - so there should be no problems with torque transfer.

For the hobbing I used an M7x1.0 tap on the shank of the M4 cap screw... but I'm sure other choices of tap would work.

The second photo shows the important bits of the drive bolt. Basically, the order is (from left to right): nyloc, gear, nut, nut, washer, bearing, washer, hobbed gap, washer, bearing, washer, bolt head.

Don't think everything in that photo is correct: I had the M3 screws mounting the base the wrong way round, you need to put the two right hand M4 bolts for the idle block in before you attach the motor and the mounting screws to the carriage should be M4x16. But the drive is correct.

As I'm using a stainless steel heat barrier, I used base.stl as a template for drilling holes in a sheet of aluminium, to act as a heat sink. Depending on your hot end design, you probably want to tweak the base anyway.

The assembled extruder is contained in the openscad file - so you can look at how things fit easily.

Finally, the openscad file can be used to generate a low warp version of the bearing mount (tested), or one using MR84 bearings (untested).

The licence doesn't apply to parametric_involute_gear_v5.0.scad - that file is GPL ( http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3575 )

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This is fantastic !

Been looking for a smaller , faster to print alternative to Wade's extruder for a while now, and it looks like this might just be it !

A few questions though :

  • does'nt the big gears mounting system make those specific teeth too fragile ?

  • given the much smaller diameter of the drive, does that not create problems ?

Great work once again :)

I've used mine (made from ABS) for about 30 hours. So far there are no signs of wear on any of the teeth.

If you look closely at the first picture you can see the effects of a calibration issue - the face of the gear just rubs against the carriage mounting bolt and therefore has been worn away. (The design, if built correctly, allows the gear to just miss that screw)

Thanks a lot Matt ! I will most likely modify the design to be used with a bowden cable so i wont have the same potential mounting problem, but i will give it a go and will drop you a line if i get it to work.