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Release status: working

A t-slot 3d printer by tjb1
CAD Models
External Link

E1x is a printer designed by tjb1.


The files for the printed parts can be found here[1]. The Greg-Wade's extruder at [2] or [3] should fit the X-carriage.


Please make sure that this table is up to date with the google docs BOM found here[4] before you purchase/cut your materials!

Note: VXB and McMaster smooth rod will need to be cut to length, Misumi links are for cut materials.

Quantity Size Description Part Number Misumi McMaster VXB Fastenal
4 3mm x 10mm x 4mm Flanged Bearing F623 or F623ZZ [5]
2 1m GT2 2mm Belt F623 or F623ZZ [6]
6 30mm x 30mm x 20mm Corner Bracket HBLFSN5 [7]
2 370mm x 8mm X Axis Smooth Rod [8] [9] [10]
2 350mm x 8mm Y Axis Smooth Rod [11] [12] [13]
2 320mm x 8mm Z Axis Smooth Rod [14] [15] [16]
2 20mm x 20mm x 368mm 2020 Extrusion (Z) [17]
2 20mm x 20mm x 330mm 2020 Extrusion (Y) [18]
3 20mm x 20mm x 330mm 2020 Extrusion (X) [19]
2 M5 x .8 - 305mm Threaded Rod [20] [21]
2 M3x20 Socket Cap Screw
12 M3x6 Socket Cap Screw
8 M3x12 Socket Cap Screw
3 M3x16 Socket Cap Screw
3 M2.5x10 Socket Cap Screw
53 M5 TSlot Nuts [22]
53 M5x10 Screws for Tslot nuts
1 M5x10 Fulcrum Screw for X Idler Tensioner
1 M4 Nut M4 Nut
3 M5 Nut M5 Nuts
1 M4x30 X Idler Tensioner Screw
1 M5x50 Screw for Y Tensioner
3 SPDT Micro Switches Small switches similar to [23]
4 Nema 17 Stepper Motors
5 Nema 17 Extruder Stepper Motor
2 20T GT2 Pulley

Note: If subsituting different-length rods (such as if converting an i3), make sure to apply the difference between the desired smooth rod length and the BOM to the extrusions.



1) Make sure you have everything in the BOM. You should have 2 Z extrusions, 2 Y and 3 X. In the BOM, the X and Y are the same length, the Z extrusions are longer.

It is convenient to tap both ends of both Y extrusions and drill holes in 2 of the X extrusions. A 5mm-0.80 tap will just work in the center hole of the extrusion. allowing for a M5-0.8 bolt to thread in. This greatly improves the rigidity of the X axis and helps the bed stay square. Y-Axis:

Needed components:

  1. Take the 2 Y extrusions, and slot 2 nuts into one side and 3 nuts into the opposite side. Do this for both and put them down.
  2. Take the 2 X extrusions, and slot 5 nuts into the same side of the extrusion. One one of them, slot an extra nut into the same side (this will by the Y motor mount). Loosely install a corner bracket on both ends of each extrusion.
  3. Slot 2 nuts into one of the adjacent faces (this side will be on the bottom). Slot an additional nut into the extrusion for the Y motor mount.
  4. If there is anything else you are planning to install (such as a power supply mount or electronics) on the Y extrusions, install nuts for it now.
  5. Join the X and Y extrusions with the corner brackets. The Y extrusions should have 2 nuts facing "inward" and 3 nuts facing "outward". The end of the Y extrusions should be flush against the surface of the X extrusions.
  6. Assemble the Y carriage. For a normal Prusa i3 carriage, this involves installing all 3 linear bearings to the plate and the belt gripper.
  7. Slide one Y smooth rod mount onto each Y smooth rod (normally the 350mm long rods).
  8. Place the carriage onto the Y smooth rods.
  9. Place the other two smooth rod mounts onto the Y smooth rods.
  10. Center the bed and use the previously-placed t-slot nuts to fasten the bed to the X extrusions.
  11. Flip the entire piece upside down.
  12. With a M3x20 screw, install the 623 bearings into the Y idler. If using FL623 bearings, the rim should be on the outside part (so that there is a place for the belt to sit).
  13. Use 2 M3x12 screws to fasten the endstop switch to the Y motor block. It may be necessary to drill out the holes in the switch and the Y motor block; do so carefully with a 7/64 SAE or 3mm metric drill bit. If you use a 3mm metric drill bit, use 2 M3 nuts to secure the Y endstop.
  14. With 4 M3x6 screws, install the Y motor to the Y motor block. The motor should be orientated such that the motor is flush against the "bottom" of the part.
  15. Loosely install the GT2 pulley on the Y motor shaft, grub-screws towards the motor.
  16. Install the Y motor block and Y idler loosely, then line them up with the gripper and tighten into place. The extension on the gripper should contact the endstop switch.
  17. Install the GT2 belt in half of the gripper, then thread it through the idler, around the motor pulley, and back to the gripper.
  18. Make sure the motor pulley is at the correct height, and then secure it with the grubscrews.
  19. Make sure that everything is lined up correctly, both sides of the belt when taught should be parallel. You may need to remove the 623 bearings to move the Y idler.
  20. Holding the Y carriage, pull the belt taught and insert it into the provided space in the half of the gripper. Any excess can be fed through the slot in the gripper and trimmed.
  21. If you are installing anything else into the bottom parts of the X axis extrusions, slot the nuts for them now.
  22. Slot 2 nuts into the bottom of each of the X axis extrusions.
  23. Install the printer supports. You can either add the feet or adhesive-backed rubber feet to these.
  24. Flip the printer back around onto its feet.

X Axis

  1. Take the two Z extrusions and one of the X extrusions. Slide 2 tslot nuts into the "bottom" of the tslot and 2 more into the left and right sides.
    • Add two more to the left/right sides if you are planning to add a spool holder.
  2. Slot the X extrusion into the open end of both Z top parts and secure with the left/right nuts.
  3. Install 2 tslot nuts into the "front" and "back" of the Z extrusions, and one tslot into the "inner" facing sides.
  4. Slot the Z extrusions into the Z tops such that the holes line up with the tslot nuts.
  5. Insert the Z smooth rods into the Z uppers, secure it with screws.
  6. Install the corner brackets.
  1. Slide the pulley onto the X motor with the teeth towards the motor, and tighten it with two grub screws.
  2. Bolt the motor to the motor end with 3 screws.
  3. Slide 2 LM8UU bearings into the spot for them on the X motor end.
  4. Insert a M5 nut into the spot for it on the X motor end, should be a tight fit (or upside down). Melt it in if the fit it too tight (press the nut into the plastic with a hot implement such as a soldering iron).
  5. Install the M4x10 hex screw into bottom of the X motor end.
  6. Screw the endstop into place with 2x M2.5 screws. This can be done later.
  7. Slide the X smooth rods into the two holes.
  8. Slide 2 LM8UU bearings onto the upper rod and 1 onto the lower rod. The upper rod is the one with the two small holes (for endstop placement) in the motor end.
  9. If using the tensioner for X:
    1. Install the bearings into the tensioner arm and secure with a M3x20 screw.
    2. On the other end, install an M4 nut and slide the M4x30 screw in the other end.
    3. Snip the two plastic arms columns on the idler end and install the tensioner arm. The finished product should look like http://i.imgur.com/ecHtXkT.jpg
    4. Secure the tensioner arm in the X idler end with an M5 screw.
  10. If not using the tensioner for X
    1. Install the 623 bearings into the X idler.
  11. Install the linear bearings in the space provided.
  12. Insert a M5 nut into the spot for it on the X idler end, should be a tight fit (or upside down). Melt it in if the fit it too tight (press the nut into the plastic with a hot implement such as a soldering iron).
  13. Slide the X idler end onto the other side of the X smooth rods.
  14. Slide the entire X rod assembly onto the Z rods.
  15. Slot 2 more T slot nuts on the "Front" and "back" of each Z extrusion.
  16. Slide the Z uprights onto the Z extrusions and fasten with screws. The motor mounts should be on the same side as the X smooth rods.
  17. Secure the X carriage onto the open LM8UUs on the X rods with zip ties. Add a short M3 screw to the X carriage (as an endstop bumper).
  18. Slide this entire XZ assembly and fasten to the XY frame. Bias it towards the motor end.

This is a work in progress, containing some of my notes for assembly.

If you don't have T-slot nuts, SAE 6-32 nuts will fit into the 2020 extrusion and work with http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:75942, scaled around 107% in the X dimension. I found that 3/8" round screws with a single #6 washer are just long enough for most of the installations. If using flat screws, you need 1/2" instead and a washer.

The long 2020 extrusions are for the Z axis.

If you are using nuts that need to be slotted in, plan ahead for how many nuts you need in each section.

If you forgot to install the 623 bearings into the X idler, you can use an 8mm hex key as a shim to aid in getting them in.


Picture of E1x.
Another build of E1x.


sE1x - "Super E1x"