P3Steel Y axis assembly

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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


Bearings/bushings and housings types

Dimensions of LMU Berings

Y-axis uses bearings with 8mm inner diameter.

For version 2.01 bearing clump you'll need bearings of outer diameter between 13.7 and 15mm. And length of 24mm.

For igus bushings, which have the length of 25mm, you'd need to either modify the bed or use a special housing.


We'll do this in four easy steps:

  1. Y idler end assembly.
  2. Y motor end assembly.
  3. Y smooth rods and carriage installation.
  4. Y belt installation.

Each step requires 15-20 minutes, so set aside one evening for the Y axis assembly.

Y idler end assembly

For this step we require these tools (besides the M3 hex key we used to assemble the frame):

M8 hex key and 14mm wrench.

Attach the two idler supports using 2 x M3 12mm hex screws and nyloc nuts, then insert the parts in the order shown:

The P3Steel Y-axis idler assembly.

- M8 30mm hex screw, washer, idler support, washer, 608ZZ bearing, washer, idler support, washer, M8 nyloc nut.

Note that the M8 washers should not be thicker than around 1.2mm each (measure with a caliper if not sure).

Tighten the M8 nyloc nut just enough so there is no play in the assembly, but leaving the 608ZZ bearing free to spin. And that's it!

Y motor end assembly

For this step we require a small metal file besides the M3 hex key:

A small metal file and M3 hex key.

And we also require two small 10mm tall spacers for M3 screws, either printed (i.e. Proteins) or purchased at the nearest electronics shop:

Spacers for M3 screws, 10mm tall, bought at an electronics shop nearby. Shown here with a 20mm hex screw. These spacers have been printed in PLA.

We begin by installing the left Y motor end support, this requires 1 x 12mm M3 bolt and 1 x M3 nyloc nut. Note the orientation of the part.

The left Y motor end support installed.

We can now (try to) install the stepper motor. You'll notice at this point that the M3 nyloc nut interferes with the stepper. That is the single (relatively easy to fix) issue I have found with Irobri's awesome CAD design of the P3Steel frame! Note that this issue is solved in version 2.01 of the frame.

This nut interferes with the stepper.

OK, to fix this we need the small metal file, since we are going to file a small notch in the stepper body (and again: if you have version 2.01 of the frame, this step is not necessary):

The wrong way to do it (by trial and error, where each try means filing away some more of the stepper).

This is definitely NOT the way to do it! I was filing notches one at a time until I could find the right distance from the edge of the stepper: it's 14mm, by the way. File a single notch approximately 1.5mm deep, 14mm from the edge of the stepper. Also before you start filing, wrap the stepper in plastic or paper and seal it with tape, to keep the metal dust away from the stepper innards.

Now we can install our stepper: use 2 x 8mm M3 screws to attach the stepper to the support part. Slide the GT2 pulley onto the stepper shaft oriented as shown but do not screw it yet.

Use 2 x 8mm M3 screws to attach the stepper to the support part.

Adjust the position of the GT2 pulley on the stepper shaft so that the belt channel clears the mount piece by 1 to 2mm and tighten the grub screw on the flat of the stepper shaft.

The Y-axis stepper and GT2 pulley installed. The remaining parts for this step are shown on the right

Finish assembling the remaining parts; the two 20mm screws go all the way through the second stepper mount piece and the 10mm spacers.The Y-axis motor assembly should look like this now:

The Y-axis motor and GT2 pulley installed.

And we are done with this step!

Y smooth rods and carriage installation

We need a small hammer (not kidding!) to gently (again, not kidding!) push the Y-axis smooth rods into their corresponding slots in the steel frame.

A small hammer.

However before we begin hammering away at things we are going to assemble our Y-carriage. Clean, oil and only then carefully work the Y-axis 8mm smooth rods (341mm for version 2.0 of the frame, 350mm for version 2.01) into the linear bearings; if you feel any resistance check the alignment of the bearings:

The Y-carriage with the 8mm smooth rods and the GT2 belt holder installed.

Use a ruler to check that the smooth rods are parallel, and now we can tighten the eight linear bearing holders M3 12mm screws. There is no need to tighten them too much, we don't want to crush the LM8UU bearings! Also install the Y belt holder printed parts. Once done assembling these parts, turn the Y-carriage around and check that everything looks OK:

Y-axis carriage assembled, top view.

Now, while holding the Y-carriage horizontal, manually engage the two smooth rods in the back supports:

The smooth rods are manually engaged - a few millimeters is enough - in the back supports.

Tapping the opposite rod ends gently with the hammer, push the smooth rods through their supports on the P3Steel frame. As soon as they are a few millimeters through, we can slide out the Y-carriage.

Once the smooth rods are through the frame supports by a couple of millimeters, we can slide out the Y-carriage.

Continue tapping the rods with the hammer. Be patient though, we don't want the supports to loosen up. After a couple of minutes tapping carefully, the rods should be in about one third of the way.

Continuing with the tapping, the rods will progressively move into the frame. Patience. And go on tapping...

Once the rods are sufficiently far in, we can slide our Y-carriage in place:

Once the smooth rods are far enough in through the frame supports, we can slide the Y-carriage back in place.

As we tap them in for the last few millimeters, we are going to manually guide the smooth rods into their corresponding slots in the front of the frame.

As we continue tapping, the smooth rods reach the front of the frame. For the last few millimeters, we are going to manually guide the smooth rods into their corresponding slots.

Only 3mm to go for this rod!

Only 3mm left for this rod. M-u-s-t--t-a-p--m-o-r-e...

And we are done here (front left). Notice we went perhaps 0.2mm further than the frame?

Done here!

Let's check the back:

Back seems OK!

Let's check the other smooth rod (front right):

Front right seems OK too.

Seems OK too. Hurray, we are done tapping! And we are actually done with this step!

Y belt installation

Y-axis assembly minus the GT2 belt.

Once the GT2 belt and holder have been properly installed under the heatbed and Y-carriage, this is what things should look like:

The GT2 belt and holder properly installed under the heatbed and Y-carriage.