P3Steel Connecting X axis and Z axis

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Introduction | Bill of materials | Proteins | Vitamins | Painting the steel frame parts | Main steel frame assembly | Y-axis assembly | X-axis assembly | Connecting X-axis and Z-axis | Motor assembly | X and Y-axis motions | Heated bed assembly | Extruder assembly | Electronics and wiring | Extras

The mounting procedure described here is very similar (in fact exactly the same) as the Prusa i3.


Connecting the x and z axis components is rather straight forward but can be difficult depending on which parts you are using for your x-carriage ends. The following instructions apply directly to recommended motor end 3 and recommended idler end 3 found [here] but will apply to many others.

1) First you will need to take your x carriage smooth rods and install your lm8uu bearings (or igus bushings or similar) and ensure they slide properly (it is easier to do this before installing the ends than afterwards). You will need to lubricate the bearings in order for them to perform properly, Triflow lubricant works wonderfully, as does lithium grease. Once you are satisfied with the smoothness of the bearings, install the x carriage assembly you will be using (it is not recommended to install the full extruder assembly with the x carriage base, as this will make installing the ends more awkward).

2) The two ends being used have friction fits for both rods and holes to slide small zip ties through to ensure the rods will not pop out (it appears that, when printing these, you typically have one side that is quite snug and one side that is rather loose on each end, thus making the zip ties necessary to prevent any disastrous damage to your printer later on). DO NOT attempt to pop the smooth rods in, you are likely to damage your part and possibly injure yourself in the process. Take each rod and start sliding it into the groove it belongs in (the motor end goes on the left, so the top rod should slide into the side with the holder for the m5 nut that will move the assembly up and down the threaded rod). There is a decent chance you will not be able to slide the rod all the way in, the best (and safest) way to get it to slide the rest of the way is to use a dead-blow hammer or rubber mallet and lightly hit the rod to slide it into place. Once it is snug and all the way in, install the necessary zip tie(s) to hold the rod in place.

3) Now that you have the basic assembly done, you'll need to install the motor, belt, and pully into their respective positions (the idler end provided has an m3 hole for the pully mount, this is strange since the idler used for this belt is a 608zz bearing, which fits over an m8 bolt. You can either drill out the hole to hold an m8 bolt, or your can print (or fashion) a spacer/fitting to go over the m3 bolt.) First install the motor to the motor end of the assembly, reference the files if you are unsure which one it is, but it should be easy to tell because it has an arm for mounting the motor. You will need 1 m3x12mm bolt and 2 m3x20mm bolts. Once installed, install the GT2 belt gear if it is not already installed on the motor. Feed your belt around the gear and through the space in the middle of the motor end mount. Your x-carriage should have a space to mount the end of the belt, mount it and ensure it is very snug, then pull the belt around the pully on the other end. Mount the other end of the belt onto you x-carriage and ensure that it is very snug.

4) Your x-axis is fully assembled, the z-axis is quite a bit simpler. First install 4 lm8uu bearings (or similar) into the motor end and idler ends of the x-carriage where they will slide onto the z-axis rods. You may need to use a dead-blow or rubber mallet again to get the bearings to slide into their spots, be careful not to break your mounts, or you will have to redo the entire x-carriage.

5) Perform the same method of ensuring smoothness of the bearings on the rods as you did with the x-carriage.

6) Line the x-axis up on the z-axis rods so that it is level between both rods.

7) Carefully install the z-axis rods into the friction fittings on the P3Steel's frame. It may be easier to do this bottom first then top, but it is really a matter of preference.

8) Install the m5 bolts onto the m5 threaded rods.

9) Install the m5 threaded rods onto the z-axis stepper motors.

10) Carefully thread the bolts into their positions on the x-carriage end mounts so that the x-carriage is level.

That's it, you're done. Give it a test run to ensure everything is level and seated in place correctly.