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Release status: working

an integrated x-carriage/direct-drive-extruder, and a whole vertical x-axis mod for the Mendel
CAD Models
External Link


  • a very compact (74mm wide x 42mm deep x 83mm tall) and accessible extruder, made of only 2 pieces.
  • with LM8UU, zip-tie locked, and which bearing holders tend less to snap, thanks to the printing orientation
  • active cooling with a little fan (or two), mounted on only one point : just rotate if you need to access behind
  • integrated (but optional) Double pulley driven x-axis (inspired from the Madkit's double resolution mod), that don't bend the belt backward
  • the whole x-axis may be assembled without removing any Z-rods (except to put linear-bearings or nuts on it)
  • the x-carriage can move over a distance of 250mm (230mm with the belt loops)

Resulting print volume : 220 x 187 x 94mm

Weakness of the actual version

  • By off-centering the hotend, the y-travel is a little reduced (-18mm).
  • The top board (on which the electronic is) need to be mounted on the back, or the fan in front of the x-carriage will touch at maybe Z-60.
  • Finally I wouldn't recommend the double pulley system, it's a trade-off between precision/speed, and we don't need that much precision, while the motor's speed will reach it's limit at 150mm/s travel (with a Gen6, at 40-step-per-mm base and 80 with the double pulley)

Sells/Prusa Mendel

If you upgrade from a classic Sells Mendel, you already have a long belt and most if any of the vitamins required.

Item (and approximate weight/time Vitamins Item (and approximate weight/time Vitamins
VertX x-carriage.jpg
4 M3x8 (motor)
(1 M3x10 for the optoflag)
1 M4x20 (fan)
2 M4x55 (+ 2springs)
2 624bearing (and 2 M4x16-20 + 2-4 M4 mudgard washer)
VertX x-end-motor.jpg
2 M8 nuts and 2 LM8UU
4 M3x10 (motor)
2-4 M3x15 (clamping the smooth rods)
1 624bearing + 1 M4x30 + 2 M4 mudgard washer
1 M3x8 (opto-endstop)
VertX x-carriage-idler.jpg
1 624bearing + 1 M4x20 (to hold the bearing in the idler)
1 M4x40 (axis)
VertX x-end-idler.jpg
2 M8 nuts and 2 LM8UU
2-4 M3x15 (clamping the smooth rods)
2 624bearing + 2 M4x30 + 2 M4 mudgard washer
1 M3x8 (opto-flag)
VertX z-rod stabilizer2.jpg
or thing:9864
2 608 bearing + 2 M4x20 printed opto-flags
(seems to work when printed in black)
M3 nuts
Total : ~100gr. and ~4h Add some zip-tie and as many washers/nuts as needed

Don't forget to change your firmware :

  1. calibration for the direct drive (e.g: 325.57 -> 77)
  2. invert the extruder direction (e.g: in Marlin #define invert e-dir false -> true)
  3. and double the X-Step_mm (e.g: 40 -> 80)

How to assemble it ?

At the end you will be able to get rid off a number of parts...
...and upgrade to a simpler bot with some interesting features



Same as precedent but simpler (without motor/endstop, but with an additional bearing)


picture of a nice exploded view ala Ikea

The extruder can load 1.75 or 3mm filament, in case of snaping/removing the filament, the idler will bump on the body of the extruder without damaging the brass insert.



Note : the "double resolution mod" is optional, you can also use a shorter belt with the same parts just by removing a bearing on the x-ends and hooking the belt loops at the x-carriage instead of the x-ends.


VertX 0.8.1


(I'm not using any more the double pulley trick)

Vertx x-carriage easy-upgrade.JPGVertX-081.jpg

  • x-end-idler v11
    • enlarged clamp to prevent breaking

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I wanted to design a vertical carriage with linear bearings, but mixed with the ideas behind the V9 (direct drive, no damn PTFE, no mouting block) to make it even simpler. And thus came this "carriage-struder".

Orca (70mm between x-rods)

There is better on thingiverse now :)

Orca manu x-carriage.jpg