FoldaRap1 Build Manual

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Actual Version

The build manual for the most recent version of the FoldaRap is here

Tools required

  • 1,5 mm hexagonal wrench (for the pulleys grub screw)
  • 2 mm hexagonal wrench (for M3 counterksunk bolts and pneumatic fittings "MA-12-03-M5")
  • 2,5 mm hexagonal wrench (for normal M3 cap-head bolts and the rounded M4 bolts used for the frame)
  • little flat screwdriver (1,5mm) (for the board's screw terminals)
  • Philips (PH2) or flat screwdriver (3mm) (for the psu's screw terminals)

You may need also :

  • a 5,5mm flat spanner or a small pliers (for m3 nuts)
  • something to cut wires, and strip them (knife, automatic striper, etc.)
  • a lighter for the heat-shrink sleeves
  • soldering iron (to eventually solder the endstops)
  • small files (round, flat) to eventually ream the printed parts
  • a glue gun (gluing the endstop on the printed part is easier/quicker than using bolts)
  • a multimeter (to set the drivers current)



Foldarap hardware-kit.jpg

5  20x20mm beam 6mm slot 200mm - Motedis or see Aluminium profile
6  20x20mm beam 6mm slot 300mm
50 M4 T-nut for 6mm slot - Motedis


50 m4x8 round head bolt - Fix'n Vis Round Head Bolt
2  m3x4 / Hotend-heatsink(2) Fix'n Vis Bolts
15 m3x8 bolt / Z-motors (4), Y-motor (3), X-end-idler (2), psu (2), male plug (2), board-mount (2)
2  m3x10 bolt / hotend (2)
6  m3x12 bolt / X-idler (1), extruder (3), Y-belt-clamp (2)
4  m3x16 bolt / X-motor (3), extruder-fan (1)
7  m3x20 bolt / X-carriage (3), hinges (2), Y-idler (1), extruder (1)
3  m3x30 countersunk bolt / bed (3)
2  m3x35 / extruder (2)
19 m3 nut / hinges (2), X-carriage (3), X-idler (2), extruder-fan (1), bed (3), Y-belt-clamp (2), extruder (2), plug (2), psu (2) - Fix'n Vis Nuts
3  m3 nylock nut / bed leveling (3) nylock nut
5  m5 nut / extruder pneumatic fitting (1), Z-rod (4) (for the Z nylon nuts can be slightly better)
11 m3 washer / X-motor (3), X-idler (2), extruder (2), Y-idler (2), Y-belt-clamp (2) - Fix'n Vis washer
2  230mm threaded rod m5 - Fix'n Vis


2  extruder spring - RS751483 or see Springs
3  bed spring - RS 751455 or RS 751607
1m spiral wrapping band for tidying the wires - RS227874
7  faston ferule - Radiospare to crimp the cable for the plug and the switch


2  polymer coupling - See this thread (ebay / emakershop)
6  linear bearing, LM6UU or if you can Igus RJMP-01-06 - See Bearing
4  300mm smooth rod 6mm - (can be salvaged from usual scanners and printers) or see Smooth rod
4  603zz bearings / X-idler (1), Y-idler (2), extruder-idler (1)  - See Bearing
1  600mm T2.5 belt 5-6mm wide - RepRapWorld or see Belts_and_Pulleys
1  700mm T2.5 belt 5-6mm wide
2  T2.5 pulleys - Paoparts or see Belts_and_Pulleys
1  PTFE Tubing for bowden extruder (2mm inner diam. and 3mm outer), 300mm long - See Bowden
2  Pneumatic fittings for 3mm tubing, with M5 thread - See Bowden or emakershop / I'm using the MA12-03-M5 but others can work
1  direct drive gear - Maritime-models (see Drive-gear)
1  bed plate 4mm thick
1  roll of kapton - See Kapton Tape#Vendors
20-30 zip-ties


5 nema14 stepper motors - [2]
3 miniature microswitch endstop 20mm - [3]
1 standard male plug IEC C13 C14 - RS 5392045
1 standard female cable - EU/C13 - UK RS6266739 / US RS7316163
1 big blue switch - RS 5287858
1 RepRappro Hotend - emaker
1 40x40mm heatsink - RS 6744769 to make a more compact hotend
1-2 small fan (40 x 40 x 10 mm), for the hotend (can be bought with one) and the extruder motor - RepRapWorld or see Fan
1 100k thermistors - Mouser
0.6 m of 18AWG wire (200mm red, 200m black, 150mm green) for the switch/plug/psu - Read also WiresAndConnectors
10 m of 26AWG (3.6m red, 3.2m green, 2.0m blue) for the sensors and fans
1 Minitronic board [4]
1 USB cable A to B [5]
1 12V power supply : 5A or 10A or [6] (for heated bed)


1 Melzi board [7], [8]
1 usb to mini-usb cable - [9]
1 12V power supply : 5A or 10A or [10] (for heated bed)


1 Azteeg_X1 board - [11] + 4 drivers
1 usb to mini-usb cable - [12]
1 12V power supply : 10A


1 Rumba + 6 stepper drivers
1 usb to mini-usb cable - [13]
1 12V power supply : 20A (RS 7066316 100*150*35mm)

Laser cut parts

Foldarap 1.1 lasercut-parts.jpg Foldarap lasercut-parts.jpg

See the github repo and eMakerShop, you can have them from Ponoko too

1 electronic under-plate 3-4mm thick
1 bed-plate 4-6mm thick (acrylic or aluminium)
1 Y-carriage
1 plate 160x20mm, 2-4mm thick (+2 T-nut and M4x8) - optional but make a nice reference to the wiki :)

These parts can also be made by hand with simple tools.

FoldaRap bed-plate 1.1.jpg

Printed parts (total : 21)

See also the github repo

foot front left
foot front right
foot rear left
foot rear right
hinge-inner left
hinge-inner right
hinge-outer left
hinge-outer right
z-motor-bracket left
z-motor-bracket right
z-top left
z-top right
y-belt clamp
board mount (x2)



For the aluminium heated bed add :

1 aluminium bed plate (4mm thick)
1 100k thermistors - Mouser
60cm of 26 AWG wire (blue)
2 ferule 0,5mm²
1 peltier element 12708 (40x40mm is enough) - ebay

General tips

  • Read the whole manual once or twice before starting, to get an overview of the build
    • Basically we have a main frame and several sub-assemblies, some can be done in parallel : gather your friends and establish a record for minimum building time ! (Actual best record : 4 hours)
  • Work on a cutting mat if you have one, it will protect your table plus they often show a millimetre grid that will be useful to check the bolts length (with some experience you will recognize them just by looking or holding one).
  • Place you mouse over a picture in a list if you wonder what part it is
  • In case of doubt, don't hesitate to have a look at the 3d model in Sketchup (before/during the build), even if about a next version of the machine it will show you the folded/unfolded state of the machine and you can play around with it :)
Ok let's start
It should take approximately 12 hours to put everything together.
From step 1 to 4 : 2-4 hours

Here is a timelapse overview from Gert G. : google drive link

Know the parts

Firstly, have a look at all the part and learn what everything is.

How to insert a T-nut

T-nut insertion.jpg Tightening torque : 2.5 Nm (+/- 5%)


Base Frame

Rear Base

Foldarap foot-rear-left.jpg x1 Foldarap foot-rear-right.jpg x1 20x20 200mm.jpg x2 M4x8 round-head.jpg x4 m4x8 T-nut.jpg x4 t-nut


Front Base

Foldarap foot-front-left.jpg x1 Foldarap foot-front-right.jpg x1 20x20 200mm.jpg x2 M4x8 round-head.jpg x4 m4x8 T-nut.jpg x4 t-nut


Base Frame

Foldarap frame rear assembled.jpg x1 Foldarap frame front assembled.jpg x1 Foldarap hinge-inner-left.jpg x1 Foldarap hinge-inner-right.jpg x1

20x20 300mm.jpg x4 M4x8 round-head.jpg x10 m4x8 T-nut.jpg x10 t-nut


FoldaRap y-idler 603zz.jpg M3x20.jpg x1 m3x20 623zz.jpg x2 (603zz) M3 washer.jpg x2 m3 washer M4x8 round-head.jpg x2 m4x8 T-nut.jpg x2 t-nut



Foldarap y-motor.jpg x1 y-motor.stl C14 CEI male-plug.jpg x1 plug M3 nut.jpg x2 m3 nut M3x8.jpg x2 m3x8


M3x8.jpg x2 m3x8 Nema14.jpg x1 nema 14 stepper motor Pulley-T2.5 paopart.jpg x1 pulley

Plug-Switch Wiring

6,35mm-faston-ferule.jpg x7 ferules 6432-heatshrink-sleeve.jpg heat-shrink sleeve Big-blue-power-switch RS-5287858.jpg x1 switch M4x8 round-head.jpg x3 m4x8 T-nut.jpg x3 t-nut

A part of the wiring depend of the combination of electronic board and power supply, for other version : FoldaRap_power-supplies


Z-Left / Z-Right

Foldarap hinge-outer-left.jpg x1 Foldarap z-motor-bracket-left.jpg x1 Foldarap hinge-outer-right.jpg x1 Foldarap z-motor-bracket-right.jpg x1

20x20 300mm.jpg x2 M4x8 round-head.jpg x4 T-nut.jpg x4


Hinge principle :

Foldarap hinge-assembly-detail.jpg Foldarap hinge-folding-mecanism.gif

M3x20.jpg x2 M3 nut.jpg x2


Nema14.jpg x2 M3x8.jpg x4

  • +vinyl coupling x2


Micro-switch with-lever.jpg x1 (with 25cm blue wires for z-endstop, fix with an m3x8 or simply use a glue gun)


Power Supply

Different kind of power supply have been used in FoldaRap builds, if you don't recognize yours look at this page : FoldaRap power-supplies

Anyway, the principle is always 1) bolt the power supply on the plate, 2) then the plate on the base of the frame

120W ledproject power supply.jpg x1 power supply M3x8.jpg x2 m3x8 M3 nut.jpg x2 m3 nut

Foldarap underplate.jpg x1 lasercut underplate M4x8 round-head.jpg x6 m4x8 T-nut.jpg x6 t-nut

Z-axis 2

M4x8 round-head.jpg x6 T-nut.jpg x6

  • Now you can push the hinge against the plate and lock the two Z at right angle with the frame



The holes for mounting the motor are wide in order to be able to use them for adding tension on the X belt. Thus mount the motor as close as possible to the extrusion side in order to be able to push the motor the other way arround at the tensionning step.

motor pushed on the right = un-tensioned
motor pushed on the left = add tension to the X-belt

Foldarap X-end motor.jpg x1 M3x16.jpg x3 M3 washer.jpg x3 Nema14.jpg x1 (50cm wires) Pulley-T2.5 paopart.jpg x1

Micro-switch with-lever.jpg x1 (with 50cm red 26AWG wires for x-endstop, fix with an m3x8 or glue gun)


Foldarap X-end idler.jpg x1 M3x8.jpg x2 m3x8 M3 nut.jpg x2

M3x12.jpg x1 m3x12 M3 washer.jpg x2 623zz.jpg x1

After wiring, put the two x-ends in place (impregnate the printed parts with oil for better sliding) and add the smooth-rod without forgetting the three linear bearings.



Fan 40mm.jpg x1 M3x16.jpg x1 m3x16 M3 nut.jpg x1


For previous version using a geared PG35L see FoldaRap_PG35L

Foldarap extruder-idler nema14.jpg M5 nut.jpg x1 Pneumatic-fitting MA1203M5.jpg x1

M3x20.jpg x1 623zz.jpg x1 M3 washer.jpg x2

Nema14.jpg x1 Nema14 (50cm) M3x12.jpg x3 Maritime-models drive-gear.jpg x1 (just one)

M3x35.jpg x2 Foldarap extruder-spring RS751483.jpg x2 M3 nut.jpg x2


Foldarap z-top-left.jpg x1 Foldarap z-top-right.jpg x1 20x20 200mm.jpg x1 Reprap-org plate 160mm.jpg x1

M4x8 round-head.jpg x8 T-nut.jpg x8



Foldarap X-carriage.jpg x1 Smooth-rod-300mm.jpg x2 LM6UU.jpg x3 (LM6UU or igus RJMP-01-06) T2.5belt.jpg x1 (700mm, longest of the two belts) Zipties.jpg x7



  • Now you can add some tension to the x-belt



M5 nut.jpg x4 230-235mm threaded-rod.jpg x2


Great ! You are almost done !

FoldaRap almost-there.jpg

Have a pause, you need to be relaxed for the next step, or you can also just head to the end :)


Pneumatic-fitting MA1203M5.jpg x1 pneumatic-fitting FoldaRap-hotend Heatsink-block.jpg x1 heatsink-block

FoldaRap-hotend nozzle.jpg x1 nozzle

  • cartridge heater
  • don't forget to tighten the hotend while being heated to 200°C (later, once you will have wired everying on the electronic board)

M3x20.jpg x3 M3 nut.jpg x3

  • You may need to add a nut to each bolt if spacing is needed between the heatsink and the linear bearings


Electronic Board

Previous instructions for the AzteegX1 / Melzi

Minitronicsv1.jpg x1 Foldarap board-mount.jpg x1 board-mount M3x8.jpg x2 m3x8 M4x8 round-head.jpg x2 m4x8 T-nut.jpg x2 t-nut


Now lets plug everything to the board !


The Minitronics_10 page is well documented and the wiring should be quite easy with the molex connectors.

  • It seems to use the same voltage reference as for a pololu (so we need to tune them to 0.4V, 0.45V)

Order/lenght :



  • Y-motor
  • Z-motors
  • X-motor
  • Extruder-motor


  • thermistor (blue 70cm)
  • heater (red 70cm)


Foldarap Minitronics fan-psu 1.jpg
  • hotend fan (red/black 60cm) : on the fan connector of the board or directly on the psu
    • (optional) extruder-stepper fan: same
    • (optional) printed-part cooling fan: on the "cooling fan" screw terminal (turned on by sending Mcode "M106 Sxxx" (xxx being between 0 and 255), turned off by "M107" but Slic3r automate this)


Finish by this one, as it is moving, the wires need to be above all the other wires.

  • thermistor (blue 35cm)
  • peltier


  • spiral wrapping band : for the wires that came out of the base (30cm left / 60cm right).




If you have an aluminium heated bed look at this page : FoldaRap_Heated-Bed

Foldarap1.1 bed-plate.jpg x1 M3x30 countersunk-head.jpg x3 M3 nut.jpg x3


Other versions : FoldaRap1.0_y-carriage

Foldarap y-carriage lasercut.jpg x1 LM6UU.jpg x3 Zipties.jpg x4

Foldarap belt-clamp.jpg x1 T2.5belt.jpg x1 (600mm) M3x12.jpg x2 M3 nut.jpgx2 M3 washer.jpg x2

M3 nut nylock.jpgx3 Bed springs RS751455.jpg x3


Smooth-rod-300mm.jpg x2 Micro-switch with-lever.jpg x1 (with 32cm green wires for y-endstop) Zipties.jpg x6

Tape (5-10 min)

Once the Y-axis is fitted it's easier to apply kapton (polyimide) or blue tape (outside masking tape, uv resistant and with acrylic adhesive)


Leveling the bed and zeroing

The Z-zero is made when leveling the bed.

  1. Start by roughly leveling it
  2. then move the nozzle to the lowest point
  3. and adjust the 3 screws to level it regarding that height (by turning them until the homing move stop lowering the bed)
  4. repeat on each corners so the zero is exactly when the nozzle stop touching the bed (true for the four corners+center)

  • I like to start with the X direction at the right bolt, then with the two at the left

<videoflash>35Xv_R8U_hU|320|240</videoflash> Here is a video to show what I mean by "the homing move stop lowering the bed"

<videoflash>rjIMmzltyLQ|320|240</videoflash> "Bad" (the bolts need to be tightened)

  • Once the plan is set from left to right you can check front/end
  • after that it's supposed to be leveled but may need few more tweaking for the right corners

Software side

  • Skeinforge : you will only have to add a little offset (altitude), to have the desired height for the first layer, usually the same as your layer height.
  • Slic3r : leave z-offset at 0, it will add one layer height automatically (you still may have to adjust it slightly to fine tune the Z-zero, depending on where your endstop have been glued).

Another advantage of that : by moving to the center of the bed from the zero height, the nozzle is also wiped by the side of the bed from any purged plastic ;-)

Go go go first print !!!

FoldaRap007 first-print.jpg

This article will probably help you along your first print :)

Also have a look at the User Manual