Aside from inherent funtionality and aesthetics of your 3d printer build, a good reason DIYer’s decide to take on a new build can be attributed to the machines after-market parts. Many makers want upgradability and the means to customize 3d printers to fit our needs and preferences. The beauty of the Railcore printer is that you can not only configure your build to suite 3d printing requirements.
The RailCore Printer is an easily hackable and customizable corexy design that successfully impliments 3 point bed leveling. Designed to use X, Y and Z-axis linear rails, the RailCore also is available with machined aluminum parts. The Duet bed leveling with automatic bed tramming makes a perfect first layer.
We first discovered RailCore Labs and the open-source corexy design at MRRF 2019. The Railcore 3d printer was designed by designed by Tony Akens and J. Steve White when discussing an idea of a core xy printer with linear rails on the x,y and z-axis on Reprap IRC.
The Railcore is a 3d printer designed with 15mm extrusions for the printer frame to bring down the cost. 15mm Extrusions use m3 hardware which is much cheaper when compared to m4 or m5 hardware. Although 15mm extrusions and m3 hardware may be less rigid the printer gains it’s rigidity from the reinforcement of the side panels. Many more design decisions were made to make the printer build as space efficient as possible while maximizing build volume. The printer build gains it’s rigidity
RailCore II 300ZL
The original Railcore printer is no longer available due to the updated 300 ZL and ZLT version. But here’s the details:
- Linear Rails XYZ Axis
- 300mm x 300mm x 330mm Build Area
- ZLT is 300m x 300mm x 600mm Build Area
- Auto Leveling
- Hotend: E3D V6 or Mosquito
- 0.9 Degree Steppers
- Hardware: 3D Printed Parts or Machined Aluminum Upgrades
One of the nice things about the Railcore is the ecosystem up aluminum upgrade parts. 713Maker manufactures a variety of CNC machined aluminum parts such as motor and idler mounts. Mathew from 713 Maker also manufactures aluminum heat bed plates and a halo. Hopefully soon we’ll see some carbon fiber upgrades available. Mandala Rose Works offers a kinematic mount kit. The upgrade kit gives you the option to mount the z-yoke and bed to a kinematically coupled system. This setup is based on the Kelvin style kinematics and is better suited to handle the thermal expansion of your bed as it heats up.
If you follow E3D you’re most likely aware of the tool changing platform. Printers shipped out by Project R3D use the DuetX5 expansion board instead of the DuetX2 board. Joseph Podgorski stated that the expansion board will give RC users the hardware needed to implement the tool changing concept once developed. Project R3D has been one of the main RailCore manufactures but Printed Solid has recently became reseller recommended on the Project R3D website.
Tony Akens explained in a fb post that the railcore wasn’t designed for a toolchanger. RailCore Labs plan to retro-fit the E3D Tool Plates but it’s not built for tolchanging. Tony goes on to suggest that one would have to modify the printer and change how the RailCore works. He explains that bolting on components is easy by design but may complicate the RailCore bed leveling. He suggests that the Jubilee is somewhere in between the RailCore and the E3D ASMBL but has future plans to work with Joshua Vasquez the creator of the Jubilee.
As of now the RC is only available with a 15mm extrusion frame kit. But the printer is designed to be modular and scalable . One of the limitations to increasing the size of the printer is frame rigidity. I predict that we’ll soon see a 20mm x 20mm version of this printer.
There may not be a 20mm x 20mm frame extrusion available but Anthony Wheeler from Sign Monkey built a custom large RailCore build with a 30mm x 30mm extrusion and Nema 23’s stepper motors.
Here’s the z-axis setup for Anthony’s large scale RailCore Build. Those custom Nema 23 motor mount brackets are the best I’ve seen so far.
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