Friday, August 7, 2015

Thingiverse Reviews: #547338 Prusa i3 Z-Axis Support Brackets

This week's installment of Thingiverse Reviews is focused on Tech2C's Prusa i3 Z-Axis Support Brackets, which are also Prusa i3 Rework compatible.

This design, like Tech2C's other designs, is very well thought out and is useful as well. The assembly attempts to combat vibration of the printer's aluminum frame during a print. This is, unsurprisingly, a common problem among the Prusa i3 family of printers, which have only two small attachments between the base and the frame.

I was having problems with print vibration due to the printer frame not being tight, and this design solved the issue completely.

Tech2C's design extends the top rear horizontal base member outwards, and attaches it to the upper rear of the frame. It's a smart move to attach it this way, because the entire design stays away from other Prusa i3/Rework modifications, and the design is unobtrusive, while still being effective.

The upper part of the support brackets uses the same screw holes that are used for the front Z-axis smooth rod holder. This was a smart move, because it means that you don't have to drill new holes for this part. It also doesn't impact the performance of other printer functions.

One problem with this design is that it is a bit labor-intensive. You have to cut three pieces of threaded rod, print out four support pieces, and grab over 30 pieces of hardware to get it set up.

 Not only that, but replacing the rear base member means that you have to insert a piece of threaded rod all over again, screwing it through each hole and each nut all over again.

If you are on the fence about this modification, here's a quick tip. Tech2C's design uses 10 mm threaded rod, which tends to be expensive and hard to find in the US. However, 3/8 inch rod (converts to 9.525 mm) can easily be substituted where needed- and I ended up using two lengths of 3/8 rod for this design.

This design is a great fix to a common Prusa i3 or Prusa i3 Rework problem- the frame vibrating during prints. Although it takes a bit of work to get it installed, the wait is worth it, because it helps to cease vibration completely.

Stay tuned for a build guide for this design next week!