RUG/Pennsylvania/State College/Printers/PSU Unit Rainbow

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PSU unit Rainbow.png
Color: Rainbow
Extruder: .5mm (TBD since the "new" hot end had filament stuck inside)
Temperature: 203C
Design: Open Hybrid Mendel
Electronics: RAMPS
Firmware: Marlin
Operation Status: Thumb uo.png


This is the page for the State College Rep Rap User Group's (SCRUG) Rainbow 3D printer. The printer was developed, assembled, and is currently operated by students in Penn State's Engineering Design 497J course and members of the 3D printing club. Our goal is to continuously tweak the printer until it is ready for distribution and sale to other departments in the University and local schools and businesses.

Post-Final Build Update The rainbow printer has experience some wear and tear since it's completion. It's currently not operational, but is on it's way to printing again very soon. After a year from the start of its construction, a few of the parts needed to be replaced along with all of the electronics. A few of the wires were missing, the bed was warped and needed replaced, the RAMPS and Arduino were replaced, the Y and X axis needed new belts and new motors. This has been my project for the Fall 2013 semester and in the final week of class it has yet to be complete. After struggling though many of these problems, The rainbow printer is very close to being completely rebuilt. In the printer's current state, it requires a few modifications to its electronics and calibration for when it begins printing again.


Date Modification / Problem
12/06/2013 Extruder tip not working. Axis need to be homed.
09/04/2013 Changed Z-Axis / Motor Axis holders

Fall 2012 Build Members [Greg Mann] [Alex Blenheim ] [Mallory Guarino] [Dan Guy] [Alex Kasinec]

Fall2013 Build Members Josh Beacham

Spring 2014 Build Members [Vincent Iachini] [Kevin Moyer]

This printer is part of the [PSU] reprap group

Build Progress

This section includes the progress the build team has made on the rainbow printer on a weekly basis. We hope that this timeline will help other teams with building their printers.

Spring 2014 Update

Things that have been done:

1. Wired/made hot end

2. Assembled the entire extruder assembly

3. Rewire several motors

4. Reflash the Arduino Board

Things that need to be done:

1: Figure out why it will not connect to the computer

2. Possibly reflash the Arduino

3. Organize wires

4. Test and Tune

Final Update


Things that still need to be done:

1. Finish assembling the extruder

2. Solder the thermocouple junction onto the electronics board

3. Connect all wires to the electronics board

4. Organize the wires so they will not be in the way while printing

5. Test. This printer has not been connected to a computer yet

Week 15

The wires are all crimped and ready to be connected to the RAMPS board. We also hace all of the end switches mounted on the printer as well as their connections made. The extruder has gears and hot tip with the thermocouple installed as well. The electronics have been programmed with the firmware and we are making final adjustments to the machine to put it into final working order. Of course more tweaking is necessary to determine the step size and speed that the motors drive the different axes with the printer interface program. These adjustments are made in the firmware and once all the parameters are in place, the printer will be ready to go.

Week 14

The electronics have been mounted and the motor wires attached to the board. The extruder base has been assembled and placed on its track. We also installed the pulley system for the print bed.

Week 13


We have mounted the print bed and have almost all the parts for the extruder printed out. We have also attached the piece to mount the electronics to.

Week 12

We have almost finished assembling the x-axis carriage and we are waiting on a few parts to finish. We have mounted the z-motors and are ready to mount the x-motor and y-motor as soon as we get the parts needed. After the carriage is finished we hope to print out more parts for the bed of the printer as well as mounting the x-axis carriage.

Week 10

Photo (2).jpg

Week 8

All of the X axis parts are printed and waiting to be assembled. Our next task is to install the smooth rods associated with the X axis. Also, get the printer ready to be mounted with electronics and motors.

Week 7

Update.JPG BraidedWires.JPG

We have named our printer and built this page on the wiki. We have assembled the frame and we have various parts for the x-axis printed. We also have our motors (the top two are mounted) and have braided all the wires on them. If you don't know how to do a 4-strand braid click here

Printer Components

Below is a list of all parts that will need to printed for this specific printer, this table can also be found on the [OHM] page. Also included in this table is an inventory column to help the group keep track of what needs to be printed.

Frame and Z Axis Parts

In addition to these printed parts you will also need an assortment of threaded rods and smooth rods. More information on how to build the OHM can be found at this [Link]!

Quantity File-Name Comments Diagram Part Progress
6 Camiel_frame_vertex_6off Alternative part by Camiel Camiel frame vertex 7off.JPG Printing Complete
2 z-prusa-motor-mount_2off Pm-z-motor.jpg Printing Complete
2 z-bar-top-clamp_2off Z-bar-top-clamp 2off.JPG Printing Complete
4 prusa_bar-clamp_2off Pm-bar-clamp.jpg Printing Complete
8 y-bar-clamp_8off Y-bar-clamp 4off.JPG Printing Complete
1 y-idler-bracket_1off Y-idler-bracket 1off.JPG Printing Complete
1 y-motor-bracket_1off_mod3-15 Modified by PSU Reprap Collective Y-motor-bracket 1off mod3-15.JPG Printing Complete

Y Carriage Parts

In addition to these printed parts you will need a print bed. They can be thin aluminum or in our case a strong clear plastic that gives the printer a sharp look.

Quantity File-Name Comments Diagram Part Progress
4 bed-spring_4off Bed-spring 4off.JPG Printing Complete
1 OpenY_8mm Belt Harness_1off Open Y by Buback, modified by PSU Reprap Collective 8mm Belt Harness 1off.JPG Printing Complete
2 OpenY_8mm Crossbar Mount_2off Open Y by Buback 8mm Crossbar Mount 2off.JPG Printing Complete
2 OpenY_Arm 90 - 180_2off Open Y by Buback Arm 90 - 180.JPG Printing Complete
1 OpenY_arm45 Open Y by Buback Arm 210.JPG Printing Complete
2 OpenY_Undercarriage_Bracket_1off Open Y by Buback OpenY Undercarriage Bracket.JPG Printing Complete

X Axis Parts

Quantity File-Name Comments Diagram Part Progress
4 pla_coupling_nophead-1piece_4off Alternative part by Nophead Pla coupling nophead.JPG Printing Complete
2 x-180-z-bearing-plate_2off X-180-z-bearing-plate 2off.JPG Printing Complete
2 PSU_x_vert_sideplate_360_end_2off Alternative part to x-ver-drive-side-plate-360-end_2off.stl PSU x vert sideplate 360 end 2off1.JPG Printing Complete
2 x-360-z-bearing-plate_2off X-360-z-bearing-plate 2off.JPG Printing Complete
2 x-360-z-bearing-plate-mirror_2off X-360-z-bearing-plate-mirror 2off.JPG Printing Complete
1 xaxis-motor-bracket_1off Alternative part by Rhys-jones Xaxis-motor-bracket 1off.JPG Printing Complete
4 x-bar-clamp-m3_4off X-bar-clamp-m3 6off.JPG Printing Complete
4 x-bar-clamp-m4_4off X-bar-clamp-m4 4off.JPG Printing Complete
1 x-end-bracket_1off X-end-bracket 1off.JPG Printing Complete
4 x-vert-drive-nut-trap_4off X-vert-drive-nut-trap 4off.JPG Printing Complete
4 x-vert-drive-side-plate-180-end_4off X-vert-drive-side-plate-180-end 2off.JPG Printing Complete
2 x-axis-side-plate-nut-jig_2off X-axis-side-plate-nut-jig 2off.JPG Printing Complete

X Carriage

Two major issues affected the Open-X carriage: carriages occasionally "walk" up off the tracks, and inconsistent spacing of the undercarriage bracket occasionally allowed the extruder to move/twist laterally. Both of these issues were minimized through modifications by user Joe Bartolai. The OpenX Arm was shortened and an offset was added so that the bearing attached to it is centered on the rail. The OpenX undercarriage bracket was also modified by making the angle steeper where the lower bearings contact the rail and by increasing the spacing where the undercarriage bracket attaches to the carriage. Part models will be added soon.

Quantity File-Name Comments Diagram Part Progress
1 OpenX_Carriage_1off Open X by Buback OpenX Carriage 1off.jpg Printing Complete
1 OpenX_Undercarriage_Bracket_1off Open X by Buback OpenX Undercarriage Bracket.JPG Printing Complete
1 OpenX_arm_PSU_1off Modified cut version Media:OpenX_arm45_F_cut.STL OpenX arm PSU 1off.jpg Printing Complete
1 OpenXY_bracket OpenXY bracket.jpg Printing Complete


Currently not included in STL zipfile

Quantity File-Name Comments Diagram Part Progress
1 HerringboneDrivenGear Alternative part by Rhys-jones HerringboneDrivenGear.JPG Printing Complete
1 HerringboneDriveGear Alternative part by Rhys-jones HerringboneDriveGear.JPG Printing Complete
1 Gregs_accessible_wades_v6 Alternative extruder by Greg-Frost Gregs accessible wades v6.JPG Printing Complete
1 Gregs_accessible_wades_idler Gregs accessible wades idler.JPG Printing Complete


We will be installing RAMPS onto this printer...more information to follow, for now check out this link to our class electronics page Electronics and this link for RAMPS link

After the initial construction of rainbow printer, there were some major issues with the electronics that needed to be addressed. The first of these issues arose during Fall 2013. It had a bad diode that was causing the electronics to overheat. After a week or so of waiting for parts, the solution to this problem was to get entirely new electronics. It seemed that the diode had caused the RAMPS to overheat which may have caused the Arduino to malfunction as well. The next issue was with the drivers. The rainbow printer has had many stepper drivers removed for either being too hot, not functioning properly, or being overpowered and breaking. Finding four operational drivers was difficult in the rebuilding of the rainbow printer.

This is a picture of a basic RAMPS electronic board and is representative of the one we are using in this project.

Picture of a RAMPS board

State College RepRap Users Group
S.C.R.U.G. Main · The Make Space · Intercollegiate Future Society · Wiki Help
Herringbone glowing2.jpg