The MK3 is a really easy platform to upgrade – but does it need a 200€ HIWIN linear rail kit? Watch the video to see the process and results!
In the end, there was little difference between the prints on the unmodified MK3 and the one with the linear rail upgrade. While the upgrade parts are certainly of good quality, the changed belt tension seems to have made a greater impact than the rails on the Y-axis.
Linear Rail Kit from Watterott
Get the stock Prusa MK3
Happy planter models by Flowalistik on
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Once my Y-Axis Upgrade (https://www.prusaprinters.org/prints/5620-prusa-mk3-mk3s-y-axis-linear-rail-guide-upgrade) works great for me, I decided to have a stiffer and more robust X-Axis Carriage on my Original Prusa MK3 too.
So i've designed my own X-Axis Upgrade. You can follow me, or my MK3S with my Axis Mods on Twitch.
PLEASE READ THE UPDATE HISTROY BELOW
My Design works with Standard Firmware Calibration method. Easley mount the R4 Extruder to the new X-Axis base, no changes to the Extruder parts needed. There are three Back plates, one for the MK3/S, MK3S with MMU2s and another for Bondtech Extruders (added 10.04.2020).
I used the Prusa R4 Parts as Template but redesigned it from the scratch. The Design let you choose between two Versions:
- You can use only a 350mm MGN12 Rail with a 45mm Block without a LM8UU.
- Or you can additionaly reuse one of your existing Rod with linear bearing to make it more robust.
My first Test are only with a 350mm MGN12 Rail and no Linear bearing on the existing Rod. The original Rod give more stability to the X-Axis and helps to align the Parts.
There’s is no need to cut the Rail, 350mm is a common size. It not as easy to shorten the Profiles because of their material hardness ;-)
The Guide Blocks are available in two sizes. It's important to use the longer 45mm Block.
After the assembly it is necessary to run at least the Z-Calibration.
Until now my prints with the new X-Axis went without any Problem. Just use enough grease to avoid friction. Movement are very silent now.
What You need:
X-Axis Extruder base:
4x M3x12 Countersunk
3x M3 Square Nut
3x M3 Nut
1x MGN12 Linear Sliding Guide Block (mostly in a Set with the Rail)
1x LM8UU (optional, you can use the one of the old Bearings)
1x MGN12H Linear Rail Guides 350mm
10x M3 Nut
1x M3 Lock Nut
3x M3 Square Nut
2x M3 Washer
1x GT2 Pulley 20 (optional, you could use the old Part, but not recommended)
4x LM8UU (existing Parts)
1x M3x35 (MK3S+ Style Tensioner)
The Rail and Rail block are available in different quality’s, just google for MGN12. My Parts are from a Chinese Shop and for around 15€ per Kit - it's a good Quality.
No further Problem, many prints are made with these Setup :)
Works for me so far !
If the Printvolume is maxed out (over 210mm), the x-back-R4CZ1.stl Part hits the original MMU2 Holder if there ! The modified part x-back-R4CZ2.stl will fix this issue (only fitted in CAD)
Added a Version of the X-Carriage to mount the Bondtech Extruder. New Files are: x-back-Bondtech-R4CZ2B.stl and x-front-Bondtech-R4CZ1B.stl + cad pictures. Hint: Unknown whether the LM8UU Bearing fits to this Version - untested !
[email protected] Maker_Deezay for Testing !
Added a X-Motor-End with a "MK3S+ style belt tensioner".
i don't like it much, but some people ask for an alternative tensioner. Not tested until now, my mk3s+ has not arrived yet ;-)
Added a version with more space for the belts in the X-Carriage front part.
NEW Parts: x-front-r4cz2 / x-front-mmu2s-r4cz2
Added NEW PARTS for HiWin Rails:
Added NEW PARTS with some improvements to the carriage
x-back-R6CZ3.stl (easier cable management)
I've reprinted my Extruder parts with Prusament PC Carbon Fiber black - it turns out extremely nice ! Just see the new pictures (last five).
I've printed the Parts with Prusament PETG Orange (nice Colour) and PETG Jet Black.
No Supports needed at all. Some Holes has a layer in there to avoid support. Just push the Allen Key through the Holes to free them up.
My parts now printed in Prusament PC Carbon Fiber black - best choice !
Misumi - Prusa MK3/S MK2/S Upgrade Kit Smooth Rods + Linear Bearing PSFJ8 / LMU8
High quality upgrade kit from Misumi, for all Prusa MK3 / S and MK2 / S.
This is the ideal replacement for the original rods. The lower tolerance of these rods results in a better print quality and a quiter running of your printer.
Due to the hard chromed surface (58HRC), this rods are much more resistant to wear than the original ones.
These bearings not only make the printer quieter but also increase the surface quality of the prints.
This set consists of the following parts:
2x PSFJ8 Smooth Rod 320mm (Z-Axis)
2x PSFJ8 Smooth Rod 330mm (Y-Axis)
2x PSFJ8 Smooth Rod 370mm (X-Axis)
10x LMU8 Linear Bearings
Technical specifications (Smooth Rods):
Diameter Tolerance: g6 (-0,005 /-0,014mm)
Material: [Iron] EN 1.3505 Equiv.
Surface Treatment: Hard Chrome Plating
Heat Treatment; Induction Hardened
Technical specifications (Linear Bearings):
Inner Diameter: 8mm
Outer diameter: 15mm
Outer cylinder material: [Steel] EN 1.3505 equiv.
Ball return: 1-fold
Dynamic load rating: 265N
Static load rating: 380N
If you are not sure which parts to print, which assembly to follow or what BOM applies to your upgrade, you are at the right page. This guide explains what applies to which version of your printer/upgrade.
We invite you to consult our FAQ or the official Prusa knowledge base for more information.
The Bear Frame Upgrade improves stiffness and reliability of the original Prusa i3 MK2(S), MK2.5(S) and MK3(S). It allows faster prints, increases precision, makes maintenance easier and opens the door to more customization. Plus it looks unique with our colored frames!
- Bear Frame 2.1 Upgrade
This is a better extruder and X axis for Prusa i3 printer MK2.5S and MK3S. It is a following of the Bear Upgrade project and is still compatible with original Prusa's 3D printers.
The main goal of this extruder is to improve print quality, reliability and make maintenance easier.
⚠️ The Bear X axis is NOT compatible with stock Prusa extruder!
- Bear extruder page
This page contains all the files and information to use the Bear X axis with the original E3D Hemera.
The Hemera needs a dedicated mount to be used with the Bear X axis. All hardware and printed parts needed are available in the Bill of Materials section below.
- BearMera page
This section contains all the files and information to use the Bear X axis with the original Bondtech Prusa Upgrade Extruder MK2(S), MK2.5(S), MK3(S), Mosquito MK2.5(S), Mosquito MK3(S).
The original Bondtech Prusa Upgrade Extruder needs a dedicated Bear X carriage to be used with the Bear X axis. You can find this special Bear X carriage and all hardware/printed parts needed in the Bill of Materials section below.
- Bondtech page
Status: development in progress. It is too early to share files and BOM as of today.
We are working on a linear rail Y axis for the Bear Upgrade frame. It will be a single centered rail to make assembly easy and to avoid problems due to the tight tolerances of linear rails. It will be compatible with the Bear Upgrade 2.1 frame, no extrusion will need to be modified.
Linear rail prusa
I want to have a stiffer and more robust Y-Axis Carriage on my Original Prusa MK3.
The Commercial Upgrade i've found had a few disadvantages for me and it's not very cheap.
So i've designed my own Version without the disadvantages, make it more robust and cheaper (only a quarte of price if china Rails are used)
You can follow me, or my MK3S with my Axis Mods on Twitch.
My Design works with Standard Firmware Calibration methode. You do not lose 3mm of Height (3mm higher like the commercial Version will cause that the firmware calibration process runs into an error).
I used the Extrusion to mount the Rails rather than the original mounting holes. That's much more robust in my opinion.
In my case the used Guides and the used Guide Blocks are less noisy than the original Linear rail parts.
The Mainproblem are the Guideprofiles. Mostly you get only a length of 350mm but you need 330mm long Guidesprofiles. It not as easy to shorten the Profiles because of there material hardness. I've worn two saw blades to get it short ;-).
The Guides Blocks are available in two sizes (see Pictures) it's important to place the Guideblocks in right direction to avoid Calibration Errors. If only the longer Blocks available, i think it's possible to rotate the shorter left rear Block and use a longer Block there. But you need the Y-Stepper mount with Endstop (newer Version).
You can use 3 shorter Blocks, but then you could get a calibration error (fixable with a small part of Wood, a Screwdriver or any other 3-5mm wide thing).
After the assemly it it necessary to run the Calibration Wizard.
Until now my prints with the new Y-Axis went without any Problem. Just use enought grease to avoid friction.
What You need:
2x MGN12H Linear Rail Guides 330mm (in most cases 350mm, you will cut it down to 330mm)
3x MGN12 Linear Sliding Guide Block (2x long 1x short).
4x T-Nut 8mm M3
Some M3 Screws (10x 10mm, 2x 14mm)
2x M3 Lock Nut's
The Rail and Rail Blocks available different qualitys, just google for MGN12. My Parts are from a Chinese Shop and for arround 40€ it's a very good Quality.
No further Problem, many prints are made with these Setup :)
Works for me so far, some Ideas still todo (some kind of leveling, ...)
I recommend to use this mod/plugin too: https://plugins.octoprint.org/plugins/PrusaLevelingGuide/
added additional Front an Rear strut if needed. My Setup works better without additional struts.
Update 28.02.2020 THX to H20Slicer (untested on my Setup)
added Parts to avoid calibration error if only long blocks are used. The short ends of the long blocks must facing outward !
Left Front (long blocks calibration).stl
Left Rear (long blocks calibration).stl
I've printed the Parts with Prusament PETG Orange (nice Color).
See Picture for necessary Supports
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