While the SolidCore design is still a work in progress it’s slowly but surely materializing. For now we decided to go with a simple but funtional design but still have many plans that will later be adapted for additional tools and configurations. We recently moved the z-axis motors to the bottom of the printer and are setup to either use three independent driven z-axis motors or a single driven motor with the belt path connecting to three z-axis lead screws.
- Modular / Scalable
- All Metal or 3d printed
- Linear Rails
- Balanced Carriage Pull
- Triple Z-Axis: Independent Driven or Shared Belt Routing
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.
- Customized Parts
With the motor and idler mounts placed on the inside corners of the frame gives us clearance to easily mount an enclosure. This configuration also eleminates any design constraints of overall length and width which maker the machine completely modular and scalable. 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.
All Metal Parts
The SolidCore is designed to be 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. Buy All Metal Parts
- High Speed
Carriage / Gantry
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. Thats 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. 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.
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.
Triple Z-Axis: Independent Driven or Shared 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.
- Independent Driven Z-Axis Motors
- Single Z-Axis Motor (Bottom)
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.
DIY CoreXY Kit
Crossed Belts vs Offset Steppers
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
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:
What You Need to Know Before Buying a 3D Printer
Every user is different and has different needs. There isn’t one printer for everybody. You have to consider:
Experience: What is your experince with 3d printers or mechanical components and electroncs that may require technical maintance or steep learning curves.
Application: What kind of parts are you going to print? What size? What materials? How many?
Expectations: What kind of quality or user experience do you expect? What kind of maintance can apply?
Budget: How much can you spend or how much are you willing to spend? You get what you pay for but you may not need much.