SolidCore CoreXY 3D Printer- Open Source All Metal Platform.
SolidCore CoreXY 3D Printer

While the SolidCore printer design is still a work in progress, the corexy build is slowly materializing. For now, we decided to go with a simple corexy design but have future plans for a toolchanger and a heated chamber. The design goal is to build a reliable high speed 3d printer with high quality aluminum parts for 3d printing high temperature materials such as PEEK.

Designed and Developed by 3D Distributed:

  • Shane Hooper
  • Øyvind Sætre Amundsen
SolidCore- CoreXY Mechanism
SolidCore- CoreXY Mechanism
  • Modular / Scalable
  • All Metal or 3d printed
  • Linear Rails
  • Balanced Carriage Pull
  • Enclosed or Enclosure Option
  • Triple Z-Axis: Independent Driven or Shared Belt Routing
  • Kinematic Coupled Bed
  • Simple but Compact Design

SolidCore Related Content

SolidCore DIY 3D Printer

SolidCore CoreXY BOM

SolidCore Documentation

SolidCore CoreXY Frame

SolidCore Thingiverse 3D Printer Build Plans

SolidCore Kinematic Bed Mounting System Setup

3D Distributed Documentation

SolidCore 3D Printer Kits & Parts

Modular Platform

SolidCore CoreXY Mechanism
SolidCore CoreXY Mechanism

Belt Path And Tensioning 

If you want accurate motion, you need a CoreXY 3d printer design with straight and parallel belt paths. Belt tensioning can change when the belt  length changes as the gantry moves. Otherwise racking or belt tensioning issues may occur. Belt segment that changes length must be parallel to the axis as it moves to avoid racking or other undesired motion that can occur. Belt thickness must be taken into account when laying out your pulleys. The belt sections between motor mounts and idler mounts need to be parallel with the axis as the gantry travels across.

SolidCore CoreXY Carriage
SolidCore Carriage

Bowden vs Direct Drive

A Bowden setup will let you have higher acceleration but a direct drive extruder will give you higher feedrate. The difference in acceleration is in print time and can make a noticeable difference. 

  • Direct drive gives you more control over the extruders and better print for flexible materials .
  • Bowden gives you a lightweight carriage design and is better for higher acceleration.

The moving mass from a direct drive extruder from the size or weight at higher print speeds. Reverberations  that happen with fast accelerations and jerk rates. A heavier carriage also increases these artifacts. missing steps, that happen with fast accelerations and jerk rates and increases these artifacts.

3D Distributed Documentation

CoreXY Motor Mounts
SolidCore CoreXY 3D Primter
SolidCore CoreXY Mechanical Arrangement

Our long term goal is to is to build a modular platform, not just a printer. Think of it as an ecosystem of parts that can be arranged in different configurations and adapted for unique applications.

  • Mods
  • Upgrades
  • Customized Parts

Build Volume – Scalability

SolidCore CoreXY Carriage Belt Path
SolidCore Carriage Belt Path

The SolidCore CoreXY design has the motor and idler parts assemble to the inside corners of the frame. This mechanical arrangement is better for adding an enclosure and scaling up the 3d printer size to a larger build area. Minimizing design constraints of overall 3d printer length and width makes the machine completely scalable and customizable.

Eventually we would like to have a spreadsheet or configuration tool that will allow you to input the current frame or linear rails that someone already owns and output length and rail options. Or if you’re aiming for a specific build area, you can input the data and it will output the frame and rail length options.

CoreXY Belt Path -Crossing Belts
CoreXY Belt Path – Crossing Belts

All Metal Parts

All Metal CoreXY Parts Kit
All Metal Parts Kit

The SolidCore aluminum parts makes the printer into a highspeed workhorse for repeated use. All-metal-parts and components will give us the durability and repeatablility needed. But we want people to have the option to use 3d printed parts so they can upgrade later on. Solid all metal parts are durable and less likely to deflect at high printing speeds. The aluminum components are also less likely to breakdown over time when introduced to the forces and heat from repeated use.

Core XY Mechanism Idler Mount
XY Mechanism Idler Mount
Core XY Mechanism Idler Mount
XY Mechanism Idler Mount
 SolidCore XY Mechanism With Nema 17
SolidCore XY Mechanism With Nema 17

Belt Tensioning

Belt tensioning is done with the XY motor mounts. The XY mounts have slots to allow the belt tension to be applied by pulling the motors back.

SolidCore XY Mechanism
SolidCore XY Mechanism

Buy All Metal Parts

  • High Speed
  • Durable
  • Repeatable
SolidCore CoreXY 3D Printer
SolidCore CoreXY 3D Printer

Carriage / Gantry

SolidCore CoreXY 3D Printer Carriage
SolidCore CoreXY 3D Printer Carriage

Carriage Design

The carriage and gantry are designed to be light weight and strong. We currently use c-shaped aluminum stock because it reduces machining time. The reduced machining time and minimized waste helps but it’s a compromise. That’s going to change soon. We’ll probably make some changes such as reorienting the the y-axis linear rail into a vertical position similar to the RailCore but the current horizontal version will be easier to adapt an E3D Toolchanger.


SolidCore CoreXY Metal X-Carriage Parts
Metal X-Carriage Parts

The top plates or motor/belt mounting plates that mount the idler pulleys have recently changed as well. The motor/belt mounting plates shown position the z-axis motors on top vs the bottom of the machine. When I first designed the plates I thought it would look cool with the motors on top but after I machined everything I realized that moving the bed up and down could cause deflection in the main plates.

X-Carriage Parts List

SolidCore CoreXY X-Carriage Parts List Diagram
SolidCore CoreXY X-Carriage Parts List Diagram

See X-Carriage Parts List-Assembly Guide PDF

X-Carriage Parts List – BOM Guide

2 x Carriages

2 x MGN12H Rail Clamps

2 x GT2 Toothed Idlers

2 x GT2 Smooth Idlers

4 x M5 x 35mm Long Button Head Cap Screw

8 x M3 x 6mm Long Button Head Cap Screw

12 x M5 Steel Washers 1mm Thick

8 x M5 Nylon Washers

2 x GT2 Idlers

4 x 10.5mm Pulley Spacers

Aluminum X-Carriage Design Options

X-Carriage Design: Weight Reduction

SolidCore X-Carriage and Gantry Assembly Install / Alignment

Motor Idler Plates

The left motor plates are going to be re-machined to give room for a tool changer setup.

The overall footprint of the machine relative to print volume is somewhat excessive. In order to have a solid enclosure design I had to move the motors inside the frame boundary. This sacrificed the overall printer size to print volume ratio.

We’re aiming to balance the pull to the center of carriage instead above it or below. It seems to be more rigid and minimize deflection. The belts are somewhat within the same plane of the three linear rails to avoid rocking cantilever loads that other designs may have with the belts up high or down low.

The original prototype was about 350mm x 350mm x 350mm print area but we now have a 200mm x 300mm and 400mm x 400mm build volume.

This design was inspired by the RailCore, HEVO, D-Bot, Mike Fisher’s QuadRod and Maarten van Lier’s corexy build.

SolidCore CoreXY Documentation

3D Distributed Documentation

CoreXY 3D Printer Build

Extruder Carriage

E3D Hotend Mount For CoreXY Carriage
E3D Hotend Mount
CoreXY Carriage Diagram Explained
CoreXY Carriage Diagram Explained

Download Carriage

Y-Carriage – Extruder Carriage Design

SolidCore Y-Carriage Part List Diagram
SolidCore Y-Carriage Part List Diagram

Aluminum Y-Carriage Design
Aluminum Y-Carriage Design
Metal Y-Axis Assembly Hotend Mount
Metal Y-Axis Assembly Hotend Mount
SolidCore CoreXY Aluminum Extruder Carriage Design
Aluminum Extruder Carriage Design

Top Plates

All Metal CoreXY Parts Kit
All Metal CoreXY Parts Kit

Download Motor Mount Plate

Triple Z-Axis: Independent Driven or Shared Belt Routing

Z-Axis Single Stepper Motor Belt Path
Z-Axis Single Stepper Motor Belt Routing

With the build plate removed the single z-axis stepper motor with shared belt routing is shown.

The SolidCore has two different z-axis designs to move the print bed. The SolidCore picture shown on this page has the z-axis motors at the top of frame.

Both z axis designs use 3-point bed leveling. The image below is of the prototype build which uses 12mm ball screw. The new design (yet to be shown) uses lead screw.

Z-Axis Single Stepper Motor Belt Path
Z-Axis Single Stepper Motor Belt Path
SolidCore CoreXY Z-axis Design Diagram Explained
Z-axis Design Diagram Explained
SolidCore CoreXY Z-Axis Bed Mounting Bracket
Z-Axis Bed Mounting Bracket

Three Point Kinematic Bed Mount

SolidCore Z-axis Brackets
SolidCore CoreXY Z-Axis Bracket

Although the implementation of the kinematic bed coupling is till in progress, we are designing a mechanism that works for us. Three point bed leveling uses three independently driven lead screws to automatically level the bed and compensate for a bent bed plate or dips .The three z-axis lead screws are used as the three points that make up a triangle and define a plane. 3 points define a plain.

The advantage of a kinematic bed mount is that the defined plane of the bed can raise or lower without binding or twisting, keeping the bed flat.  3-points define a plane, therefore you will need to take into account the synchronization of the lead screws that raise and lower each point of the plane.

SolidCore CoreXY Z-Axis Bed Mount Brackets
SolidCore CoreXY Z-Axis Bed Mount Brackets
Kinematic Coupling Bed Mounts
Kinematic Coupling Bed Mounts
Kinematic Coupling Bed Mounts
Kinematic Coupling Bed Mounts

Build Plate

We’re using a mic6 tool plate for the bed. Cast Aluminum tool plate is a good solution because it has good thermal conductivity and heats up evenly without warp or twist. The bed needs to be flat and remain level. In three point bed leveling, the three z-axis lead screws are used as the three points that make up a triangle and define a plane.

Since 3 points define a plain 3 screws, evenly placed in a triangle will raise and lower that plain without imparting any twisting forces so the bed will stay flat. A mechanical bind can cause the bed to tilt over time. The advantage of a kinematic bed is that the aluminum plate can expand without causing anything to bend or flex. 

Download 3D Model


CoreXY Kit

SolidCore CoreXY 3D Printer Kit
SolidCore CoreXY Printer DIY Parts Kit

Buy Basic Parts Kit Now

SolidCore Side Panels Part List Diagram
SolidCore CoreXY Side Panels
SolidCore Side Panels
SolidCore Side Panels

Belt Layout  

The corexy motion system uses crossed belts instead of offsetting the stepper motors giving the belt path a clean run. Simpily offsetting the motors may give a much better alignment path.

The belts don’t have to cross if the pulleys are at different z-levels, I always thought that was bv the difference between the hbot corexy was the corexy belts crossed at the m segment. But the difference between hbot and corexy is that hbot has a single belt on a single plane, corexy can have either 2 “non-intersecting planes” or a single plane + idlers on different levels to keep the belts from touching.

Hypercube for example doesn’t have that “x” because the belts are on different planes. The Railcore has the crossing belts but the belts are on different planes.

Motors at differing planes = straight belt paths
Motors at same plane = Crossing belts

Mechanical Arrangement

CoreXY Diagram
CoreXY Diagram


Steal our files! We encourage designers and builders of any diy 3d printer project to use our designs. You can download the open source STEP and STL files at:

SolidCore On Instagram

New Motor Mount Design

CoreXY Motor Mounts
SolidCore CoreXY Motor Mounts

Download 3D Models


Download 3D Models


SolidCore Platform

Read More:

Buy SolidCore DIY 3D Printer Kits & Parts

Also See