Mantis Electron 0.9

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Mantis Electron

Release status: experimental

Mantis Electron 0.9.png
Simple to build precision printer for additive and subtractive manufacturing.
GPL v2
CAD Models
No Git repo, yet. Please email [email protected] for a STEP file.
External Link

The Mantis Electron is a precision RepRap printer. It's based on David Carr's ingenious Mantis 9.1 with gentle modifications towards even more stiffness, less play and a bit more build volume, while keeping it's simplicity.


  • Build Volume 180 x 130 x 90 mm.
  • Maximum feedrates (expected): 1'500 mm/min (25 mm/s) on all three axes.
  • Resolution: 0.00094 mm (0.94 μm) at 1/16 microstepping.
  • Possible toolheads: filament extruders, milling spindles, EDM/ECM/ECDM heads.

Not an intentional design goal, but a welcome side effect is, the Mantis Electron is very affordable and easy to assemble.

How to get it

TBD (there will be shops and a shopping list for general hardware stores)


This is a random TSOP-28 footprint milled with a 0.2 mm, 15° V-Bit, demonstrating Mantis Electron's high resolution.

Parts Lists

Commodities like wood screws or washers aren't included, yet.

Overall Parts List

Name Count Raw Material / Vendors Remarks
Front Plate 1 Plywood 12 mm
Side Plate With Motor 1 Plywood 12 mm
Side Plate Without Motor 1 Plywood 12 mm
Back Plate 1 Plywood 12 mm
Z Bottom Plate 1 Plywood 12 mm
Z Top Plate 1 Plywood 12 mm
Carriage X 1 Plywood 12 mm
Foot 4 Plywood 12 mm
Build Platform 1
Rod X 2 Steel Cf53 Ø 10h6 mm x 300 mm
Rod Y 2 Steel Cf53 Ø 10h6 mm x 285 mm
Rod Z 2 Steel Cf53 Ø 10h6 mm x 200 mm
Hohlkehlleiste 12
LM10UU 12
NEMA 17 Stepper Motor 2
NEMA 14 Stepper Motor 1
Motor Shaft Adapter 3
Motor Shaft Coupler 3
Spindle Rod X 1
Spindle Rod Y 1
Spindle Rod Z 1
Movenut Block 6
Igus SHT 1210 TRM10x3 6
Proxxon Micromot 50 1


For making the Mantis Electron actually move, you need a powered brain, of course. Any of the many RepRap electronics should do, like Generation 7 Electronics, RAMPS, Sanguinololu, etc.


TBD: spindles, mill bits, extruders, ...

Assembly Instructions

So far this is a picture-free list of the steps to build the Mantis Electrons' frame.

Preparing the box plates

Start with 4 pieces of laywood:

  • 2x 240 mm x 300 mm (both side plates)
  • 1x 240 mm x 276 mm (back plate)
  • 1x 276 mm x 50 mm (front plate).

You'll be able to cut the other parts from the remainings of the side plates.

Draw the centers of the drills onto one of the side plates, including the ones for the stepper motors. Also draw the line for what to remove from the rectangle piece to get the L-shaped piece.

Put the side plates on top of each other as exactly as possible. Clamp them together thightly.

Drill the Ø 10 mm holes for the slider bars through both plates. Match-drilling them is important to make sure both bars are exactly parallel after assembly of the frame. To get a hole as close as possible to 10.0 mm and guarantee a snug fit of the bars, I had pretty good success with drilling 3 mm first (for positional accuracy), then 9.5 mm, then the final 10 mm. All drills are of the type usually used for metal; drills for wood likely simplify this process.

Side plates only: also drill the holes at the corners, but only with the 2.5 mm drill for now.

Repeat the last 4 paragraphs for front- & backplate.

After parting the plates from each other, bring in the holes for the stepper motors to complete the through hole drills. In case you have no Ø 22 mm drill or circle saw, drilling something smaller and dremeling it up works as well.

Last not least for drilling, sink most of the holes with a 90° sinker. The holes at the corners sufficiently to make room for the screw heads, the holes for the bars only a little bit for deburring and a bit space for glue.

Cut the side plates to their L-shape. I guess it's the best idea to saw them one by one, then clamp them together again before giving them a common finish. Except for prettyness, this shape doesn't have to be exact.

After this section, you should have four drilled plates and some excess wood for later.

Putting the box tegether

Before building the box, hold the parts together and look wether all the holes look reasonably.

Put 2 linear bearings onto each of the four rail bars of the X- and Y-axis. All four bars have the same length and the same diameter.

Remove excessive grease or oil from the bars' ends. In case you want to glue them into their position later, this is the right time to degrease the ends completely. In case you don't want to glue them in, a very small amount of oil (wipe with a cloth where you've put a drop of oil into) will prevent rust on the ends.

Now start building the box by sticking two of the bars into their holes in the front- and backplate.

Next step is to mount one of the side plates:

  • Put the plate into place as exactly as possible.
  • With a hand-drill, drill through the already existing hole in the side plate further into the front/backplate. As deep as the screws going into there are long.
  • Remove the side plate and bore the 2.5 mm holes in the side plate up to 4 mm ones.
  • Put the plate back into place and drive the screws in. You should have a perfect fit.

Before putting the second side plate into place, don't forget to also stick the X rails in, of course.

After this section, you should have a box with open top and open bottom. The rails for the X- ans Y-axis should be already in place. Squaring this box to make the X- and Y-rails exactly orthogonal to each other is done later.

to be continued


Assembly in Pictures

Click on the pictures to view them larger.

So far a loose collection ...

Eeeek! Do you see how the spindle isn't even close to parallel to the smooth rods? Obviously, you want to avoid that.
Here the spindle reasonably aligned to the smooth rods.
This is a closeup of the last picture. If it looks the same close to the motor and at the end of the spindle, the spindle is alinged fine.
Moveblock of the X axis. You can conveniently reach it through the handle hole in the back.
This is how Mantis Electron looks after having X and Z axis finished.
Quite impressive for a first test run!




Customisations & Others