A Scrappy Belt Printer

In need of hardware to test belt printing code, I hacked this together over the last 72 hours from mostly spare parts and some quickly mocked up printed parts. Works better than expected. The belt is an unknown plastic I purchased for laser cutting held together with kapton tape over a 300x300 heated bed. The rollers and gearing for it are 3d printed. The rest is direct drive via lead screws. It also has a geared direct extruder with e3d v6 hot end.


Love it. Great proof of concept.

I’m in the process of upgrading it. Will post more details and a CAD model within the week.

Wow… very good!
My motto: Hack first, refine second!

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How is this going?

I am curious about the belt moving action. I am also surprised you didn’t use a belt driven X axis.

Looks very interesting. I am curious how you would rate the “fiddlyness” of it compared to a more conventional printer. I am tempted to try to turn an older prusa i3 style printer into a belt printer as an experiment. I would be using a 200mm bed, hoping to get about 200x200++x150mm out of it. I think would be fun, even if I just used for a while and passed it to a friend or something. I probably have all the parts already.

I upgraded it to CoreXY. The only problem I’m having is getting sufficient belt tension with the plastic belt. So I’m redesigning the roller / tension system. Any ideas for other belts / belt materials I can try out?

mostly solved adhesion by scuffing the surface with sand paper

That looks pretty nice. I wonder how long before the chinese sites fill up choices of belts. I saw a tiny belt printer on make today that used the belt from a belt sander (it looked inside out). I imagine something like fiber reinforced gt2 belt would be great. But I have no good ideas. I’ll let you know if I think of something.

I’ve also seen someone add a “skirt” just ahead of the part for extra adhesion.

Kiri already supports an “anchor” (a leading skirt) as well as side “brims” that can better hold a part to the belt. There are lifting forces in some circumstances. Combatting that will take another parameter or two to slow Y+ movements when the layer doesn’t touch the bed which creates a lever-arm.