Prusa Z Rod Constraint

by ScribbleJ, published

Prusa Z Rod Constraint by ScribbleJ Jul 5, 2011
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BSD License
Prusa Z Rod Constraint by ScribbleJ is licensed under the BSD License license.

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Inspired by the Z rod constraints on the Makergear Prusa.

You can print 2 or 4 of these and use them to eliminate all Z wobble on your Prusa.

I've included some before-and-after photos from cubes but the REAL visual proof will be when I reprint the OH shot glass.

BEFORE! http://www.thingiverse.com/image:63205
AFTER! http://www.thingiverse.com/image:63204


Print, stuff with one 608 bearing each. Works OK for 5/16ths too. A C-clamp may help you fit the bearings.

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I printed two, put in the 608s and installed them on the machine.

No print difference and there is a distinctive z wobble.

What did I do wrong?

You probably have other issues going on. Over time the frames will fatigue and wobble. You can brace the frame too. Make sure it's on a solid surface that doesn't allow the machine to wobble. Don't use shock absorbers, that makes it worse.

If you are using CURA, that's your first problem because it's accelleration is terrible, it has bad whiplash. I get almost double the speed with Slic3r's stock settings and better prints. CURA can't even bridge well. Its a beginner's program so if you're still using it, it's time to step out of your box.

Also, if you have a makerbot style Z axis, the problem isn't by the rods, it's on the front of the platform. You will get forward wobble up there. You can try printing ridged brackets that sandwich the plate in the front but make sure it can move freely up and down.

Another trick is to make it a bowden setup. This makes the carriage lighter and makes for less wobble because there's less kenettic energy. That's one of the best mods you can do, is weight shaving. It allows higher speeds and better prints. You don't have to use a bowden, I have a duel nozzle hybrid. Direct drive and bowden, I wanted both and by taking one motor off the carriage it made a big improvement.

Wow, a BIG improvement. I can't help but think the fact that these help is a sign that the z-bearings aren't doing their job, I would have previously thought it'd be better to constrain the threaded rod as little as possible so the wobbles aren't transmitted to the X-axis, but apparently not.

I'm using Nophead's z-couplers with some really soft tubing and i'm getting no wobble at all. No constrains needed.

top and bottom for me btw. Also I've found it better to put some heatshrink over the threaded rod, and really force the bearings onto that for the best reduction in wobble. I also fitted the couplings afterwards, which seemed to align them better.

brilliant! going to print myself 2 of these now :)

are these more effective near the top (near the motors) or the bottom?

my motors are bolted down, I was finding the motor lifts a bit and wobbles.

I use them at the top and the bottom, just to be sure.

moving them to top was a huge improvement for me. the before/after objects for tall objects are dramatic. thanks.

One of my very first upgrades, thanks ! :)

You've bolted down the Z motors, havent you? thats why you need this :-)

when you have wobble plus motors arent bolted down you can get variable layer height, because the motor goes up instead of the x axis. I think this is an excellent idea, better than having the bottom of the bars floating.

That's a good point, AnthongRedbeard. Hadn't considered that... I think I will bolt down my motors now.

No - the motors aren't bolted down. We're just not all printer-building-experts, I guess. :)

simple concept, great execution, thanks for sharing.