Printer Shock Absorbers

by Simonwlchan, published

Printer Shock Absorbers by Simonwlchan Jul 8, 2015
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These are spring-based shock absorbers for any 3D printer, to dampen the torque generated by the motors. This reduces vibrations and overall noise.

The base clips will work with any printer, just print your printer's feet with screw holes to fit the base cap. Included here are STLs for the Printrbot Simple Metal 1403 feet.

The caps come with short pegs to hold the extruder springs, and have free play to avoid stress damage.

This design allows 360 degree movement and I no longer feel or hear the vibrations I used to get on the table. I've kept the old foam mat until I have time to get some nice fitting rubber feet.

Video: https://youtu.be/00r4VHkO-wI

Inspired by the structural engineers who design earthquake-proof buildings.

16 M3*8mm screws
20 extruder springs (bought cheap on Aliexpress)

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Where specifically did you find the springs? What are the dimensions? Did they come from a specific printer?

The springs are standard extruded springs. Check them out on AliExpress.com. I bought them cheap though quality is reliable. Not one spring has been damaged so far.

Hey, thanks for this. I'm in the process of making these. How do you fasten the springs to the plates? The prototype I've printed works, but the springs obviously don't stick so whenever I have to move the machine the feet fall off and the springs fall all over the place. Hope it makes sense.

The springs are free-seating on the pins. I didn't glue them or design a clip for the springs, to avoid breaking the pins, as I expected a fair bit of lateral movement (which you may have also observed). I have the same problem of the parts coming apart when I move the printer (to dust under or retrieve a runaway screw/ tool), so I slide the printer instead. To lift the printer, do it in reverse of mounting, one corner at a time. If you must, you can apply a little glue on each end of the springs, to hold it onto the plates. However, that also means you may not be able to replace any broken spring (although I've not had one break on me yet).

I printed these and made tops to fit a flash forge creator pro, but I had a major fail when I tried to use them. The pieces broke! I used PLA, maybe I should have used ABS. I thought my infill was good enough, but maybe not. It could have also been the way I placed them under my printer. That was difficult to do, and they twisted a bit while I would lift to put another corner on.
I'll try again, with ABS, 100% fill, and to be more careful next time. Is there anything else I should do to have better success with this?
I'll share my files once I get it working properly.
see my photos in the made section.

I agree with boshuda, your print looks squishy and may be due to printing at too high a temperature. Try and get a clean output as that produces the best strength. My set printed in PLA is still working today with no problem even with "violent" prints at high speeds or the couple of times I leaned on, and shifted my printer trying to reach the back. If possible, get help lifting your printer while you attach the feet. Putting all the weight onto one foot/ corner at an angle can damage a lot of things, especially as the Printrbot 1403 is 5kg heavy, while the Flashforge Creator Pro is 21kg?

There's a temperature calibration print on here http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:35088. It might be a simple matter of printing at an optimal temperature.

Print Temperature Calibration Piece

I noticed that the feet have a sharp angle for the printer to sit in, My Flashforge has curved corners for the feet.
How easy would it be for me to alter these files to accommodate a Flashforge machine.

Had to share the original story from 3Dprint.com on Twitter too, it's a great idea as soon as I saw it it was a need, not a want.

Yes these feet are for the Printrbot Simple Metal. You will need to take the feet designed for your printer and add a base plate (to through holes if the feet are really wide) with holes that match the "BASE CAP" file. If you send me the files for your printer feet (STL or Sketchup) I might be able to mod them for you over the next few days. Thanks for sharing :)

Curious on how your prints are after installing these absorbers?

I was thinking some machines actually need a stable area with minimal movement in order to create a perfect print. Having too much stiffness or too much movement seems like it would cause axises behave differently then they should.


I'd turned down my motor current to reduce heat and noise but noticed that the top layers on large prints would slip. With these absorbers the same prints turn out fine running at the same motor specs. So now i have a much quieter printer with lowered motor noise, no audible or tactile vibrations and no problem with print quality.