WorkHorse vs SolidCoreXY
3D Printers Designs
WorkHorse – Large Scale 3D Printers
Introducing the 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 Build Volume
- Build Volume – 650 x 350 x 350 mm
WorkHorse XL Build Volume
- Build Volume – 650 x 650 x 650 mm
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 3D Printer
We recommend the Duet 3 by Duet3D.
See RepRap Firmware
Google Drive Folder
See WorkHorse BOM
See SolidCore CoreXY
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.
Building A Large 3D Printer
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.
Regarding the 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 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
A larger object 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.