Z Axis Bearing Support

by epideath, published

Z Axis Bearing Support by epideath May 26, 2011
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Z Axis Bearing Support by epideath is licensed under the Public Domain license.

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This may be a derivative of Jetguys http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:6184, not sure, but it was definitely inspired by it.
I don't really like bushings so I will slowly be moving to bearings where ever I can. I liked Jetguys idea and it makes good mechanical sense. But one I didn't really want to modify my ToM permanently with the tubes and I would have to pull it apart more to do that. Two I wanted to get bearings on the Z axis. My first thought was to use a linear bearing and it still may go that way. But this seems to be working from my preliminary tests. I haven't done any hi speed tests or anything of the sort. Just a basic cube.
This may be a WIP not sure :) we'll have to see how this one works out and see if there are any improvements. If any one else builds this I would really like to know your results. This was designed for the HBP it won't fit with the ABP.


Print one then mirror on X axis and print another. Attach 2 3x8x3 mm bearings to the two mount points on the bottom of each support. Remove a Z axis rod from the top, remove the lower bushing. Remove the 3 screws holding the bottom plate and using longer bolts, I used 20mm cause I had them laying around. Attach the bracket to the bottom plate. The corner bolt is a bit tricky to install but it goes easy enough. Make sure you use a ball hex wrench though. Replace Z rod and repeat on opposite side. Recalibrate your Z height, as it may have changed the angle of the Z table. Oh I forgot I made the mounting holes a bit small because right now my printer has a problem with printing the holes. So you will have to drill the 3 out. The holes where the bearings mount are intended to be tight so you can thread a bolt into them securely, don't drill those out.

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I will probably be making some of these. Do they still work properly after 5 months of use?

Well I can say that they are still working fine. But keep in mind i'm not printing on them all day either, or even every day. But i don't see any failures or cracks. I haven't had to change my z home setting so I will assume that there is no fatigue either.

Are the 3x8x3 mm bearings from the Makerbot store?

I actually had purchased some from VXB http://www.vxb.com/http://www.vxb.com/ but some have gotten them from Ebay. I'm not sure if Makerbot sells them or not, but they are not a standard part on the ToM.

This made the Z-Axis travel VERY smooth. The ABP not fitting is a small issue. I am thinking of attaching a small stop block to the back of the X Stage that will cause it to stop short of the Y Axis endstop. Not sure if this is a good idea or not -- sacrificing about 22mm of Y axis travel for the ABP builds. I guess I need to know how big the bucket of octopi is before I make my decision. Worst comes to worst, I can always take the supports off.

My only suggestion is the the arches in the corners need to be about 5mm higher to get the bolt in easily.


I will make the modifications for the arch, yeah it was a pretty tight fit. Also because i don't have the ABP I really didn't think about the size. I can make some modifications to the support sizes if you think it is possible, with out weakening it too much.

Great Idea and I like the fact it's printable. The only downside it this will interfere with anyone using the ABP as it sticks out behind the build platform (the long acrylic sides and back roller). I think the tube mod takes less forward area in front of the rods (I was able to dremel the acrylic and still use the ABP without crashing into the tubes-but just barely). It does work just fine though with the HBP only as you have shown. Again, this isn't a flaw of your design, it a problem with space in the bot in the first place.

Nice job!!!!

Yeah I should have mentioned that I will edit the text above. I don't use the ABP and didn't even think about how it would fit with that. Thanks for the input.

Still very cool!

Very awesome something I will look into doing!