3D Printers Designed By 3D Distributed
3D Printers Designed By 3D Distributed- SolidCore CoreXY_WorkHorse Large Format 3D Printer

DIY 3D Printer Build Plans

SolidCore CoreXY 3D Printer

SolidCore CoreXY 3D Printer

Modular
Scalable
Linear Rails
Balanced Carriage Pull
Enclosure
BOM utilizes most available parts
All Metal Parts or 3D Printed
Z-Axis: Independent Driven or Shared Belt Routing

DIY 3D Printer Kits

WorkHorse – Large Scale 3D Printers

Workhorse 3D Printer
Workhorse 3D Printer

Workhorse and Workhorse XL 3D Printer

  • OPEN SOURCE
  • LARGE BUILD VOLUME
  • XYZ-axis Lead Screw Motion System
  • Fixed Bed Moving Gantry

WorkHorse 3D Printer

The Workhorse Printer is a open-source designed by 3D Distributed. In this mechanical arrangement lead screw driven motion is used on the X,Y, and Z axis . 

Lead Screw Driven Motion

Most 3d printers use belt driven motion in the x and y axis to increase print speed but a belt driven motion system may lose quality when more weight is applied to the gantry or carriage. The Workhorse utilizes Igus lead screw on the X and Y-Axis. The high helix pitch includes a twelve start thread to allow increased print speeds while maintaining the quality of a ball printer. The robust and rigid motion system is particularly useful in applications that add more weight to the gantry or carriage. Materials such as clay, chocolate, plastic pellet extrusion or other foods can increase weight that is moved around which results decreased quality or print speeds. We originally designed the fdm 3d printers to be driven by ball screws but quickly switched to multi-start lead screw to increase travel speed. If your looking for a belt driven configuration check out our new corexy kit.

WorkHorse Printer
WorkHorse Printer
WorkHorse Printer

WorkHorse Build Volume

  • Build Volume – 650 x 350 x 350 mm

WorkHorse XL Build Volume

  • Build Volume – 650 x 650 x 650 mm

Fixed Bed

While most large format printers use a moving bed that moves along the Z-Axis, the Workhorse’s fixed bed and moving gantry design is more ideal for the large scale 3d printing process.

Configurable / Customizable

The Workhorse 3d printer is available with custom mods and upgrades. We’ve several custom designed machines for many of our customers. If there is a specific size or requirement you just give us a shout.  Additive manufacturing has many applications and we designed this modular platform to be adaptable and scalable for your industrial printing needs.

Workhorse Large Format 3D Printer
Workhorse Large Format 3D Printer
WorkHorse 3D Printer

WorkHorse 3D Printer

Electronics

Workhorse Printer Electronics Control Board
Workhorse Printer Electronics Control Board

We recommend the Duet 3 by Duet3D.

See RepRap Firmware

Documentation

Google Drive Folder

See WorkHorse Documentation

See WorkHorse BOM

SolidCore CoreXY

SolidCore CoreXY 3D Printer
SolidCore CoreXY 3D Printer

See SolidCore CoreXY

See All Metal Part Store

see SolidCore BOM

SolidCore CoreXY 3D Printer
SolidCore CoreXY 3D Printer
SolidCore CoreXY 3D Printer Kit
SolidCore CoreXY 3D Printer Kit

Design Constraints In Large Scale 3D Printers

Larger Printers can be much more challenging to get the same performance as smaller printers due to rigidity, deflection and smoothness of gantry or bed motion. This relates to the typical speeds and forces applied to mechanical components while in motion. The idea is to reinforce areas that experience more force or deflection without increasing gantry weight or over designing in a way that may introduce mechanical binds or resonance.

Lead Screw & Ball Screw vs Belt Driven

There are many decisions to make when building a large format 3d printer. The wrong mechanical arrangement can compromise speed and quality. Lead screw is known for backlash but backlash can be eliminated using anti backlash nuts. Lead screw pitch is another critical decision to make. Most lead screws don’t have the lead to compete with speed but the precision can be well suited. Once dialed in, the repeatability is useful for long prints.

Ball screw or lead screw may not always be the right choice because of wobble and resonance. Large 3d printers that use belts require frequent maintenance as the belts need tightening or tensioning to prevent missed steps. Lead screws for the X and Y axis can be precise and reliable if properly implemented. 

High Quality Lead Screw vs Cheap Lead Screw

Quality lead screws and ball screws cost much more but cheap lead screws can have tolerance issues. Longer ball screws may wobble at a distance and need support and rigidity. Although backlash is mostly a problem in XY-axis movements while the z-axis is the preloaded weight of the bed and gravity.

Lead Screw & Ball Screw Print Speed

A large stepper motor such as a Nema 23 must be used for the X and Y axis depending on the lead screw length. Issues with speed, resonance, artifacts can be a challenge in any 3d printer build but can be reduced by travel speed and acceleration but is compromised with slower travel speed the longer it takes to print an object.

Lead Screw Pitch And Required Torque

Lead screws are similar to a gear, when the pitch changes the lead and torque required to drive the system changes as well. Most 3D printers use 1/16 or 1/32 microstepping but the resolution of 3d printed plastic can only be so precise. Larger stepper motors have more inductance and need more voltage to reach the same RPM. Increasing the step rate for the reduced travel rate of the drive, a higher voltage stepper driver and supply may be needed to reach ideal motor performance. 

Building A Large 3D Printer

Workhorse Extruder Carriage
Workhorse Extruder Carriage

The best thing to do is keep the mindset that the printer you’re designing is going to be built to print “X.” Do you want a printer that prints long but short parts or do you want a printer that prints tall parts. You can increase all three directions but that’s where things get more challenging for repeatability and acquiring the needed speeds and quality. It’s totally possible and the many problems that may be introduced can be designed around.

3D Printer Carriage Assembly
3D Printer Carriage Assembly

Frame

Regarding the 3d printer frame rigidity, I would just suggest larger width extrusions depending on the length and adding gussets where needed. The only reason I go in such detail is because I get a lot of requests from people wanting me to design a printer with a “1000mm x 1000mm x 1000mm build area. The trick is to avoid the sacrifice of performance, speed and repeatability which becomes more and more challenging. The last thing you want is a really big 3d printer that’s really slow or has repeatability problems. You may or may not have the necessary design solution to avoid this scenario. From my experience the challenge is balancing rigidity, repeatability and reliability without exponentially increasing the price. Whether you’re aiming for a moving bed or moving gantry you need to add rigidity without over constraining the motion. You’ll experience this in z-axis repeatability between prints and bed leveling. For example, you probe your bed  with an auto level routine followed by a mesh leveling routine. Everything is perfect depending on the flatness of your bed compared to rigidity of the overall system. Then the bed probe routine is followed by a G28 homing of the z-axis. An over constrained bed or gantry may experience some repeatability issues after traveling home and returning to the print surface which will result in a bad first layer. But let’s assume everything is good. So proceed to print your object. After the object is finished the next step is to remove the object.

3D Printing Large Objects

3D Printing Large Objects
Workhorse-printing

3d printing larger objects is going to be more difficult to remove and the process of removal will result in forces applied to the bed or gantry which will cause the bed or gantry to experience some sort of misalignment. So the following print will experience some sort of bed leveling issue resulting in a bad first layer. But your first layer is the most critical and will affect the rest of the print such as warping from bed adhesion or the object becoming loose from the bed. The longer the print takes the more critical layer adhesion becomes. But you can minimize this chain reaction by re-probing the bed before each print. But this takes a long time due to the increased number of points the probe maps out. You could reduce the number of points but a larger print bed will include more dips and peaks from stresses or bows. So you have to maximize the number of points used in probing so that the machine can compensate for each to get that first layer. Another issue to prepare for is the environment’s effect from the introduced heat of the printed object relative to the dimensional stability of the mechanical components and bed. 

Workhorse Printer Parts

SolidCore Parts