Last time, I build the left and right assemblies for the X-axis of my printer. I finished the post saying that I’d look at the electronics and software in the next post – however I’m still waiting for some of the parts to arrive, and I wanted to carry on building and documenting it.

I decided to build the X-axis carriage and extruder – there are a lot of parts to print for this. I had some of these parts printed already because I’d created a extruder previously for a presentation at my work – so that’s why a few of these parts are in different colours.

Building the X-axis carriage

There were 5 parts that I needed to print for this (I’ve linked to the STLs for these parts):

single bearing

carriage mount

carriage supportlower carriage support

After printing out the main extruder support, I inserted two M3 knurled insert nuts into the side, which will allow me to attach the fan support later.

extruder carriage nuts

I also used a soldering iron to insert a bunch of M3 knurled insert nuts into the main X-carriage mount – I’ll use these to connect the other four parts to this mount.

carriage support

I inserted linear bearings into the double and single bearing mounts, and attached these to them to side of the piece shown above. I attached the extruder support to the other side. This allowed me to mount the piece onto the printer’s guide rails.

I also cut the guide rails down to size for the X-axis, so they weren’t protruding beyond the ends of the left and right assemblies.

x-carriage with cut down guide rails

Similarly for the Y-axis, I again cut the guide rails to size.

y-carriage with cut down rails

Adding cooling fans

There’s a couple of cooling fans on the X-axis extruder carriage. One of these can be printed from the plans on the Lulzbot site.


I printed this out, and inserted four M3 knurled insert nuts to the the part so I could bolt on a 50mm computer fan.

hot end fan

The photo below shows this attached to the extruder mount using 2 M3 bolts.

extruder carriage with fan

The second fan is slightly more complex. Lulzbot shows a micro blower attached to their extruder assembly, which cools the Hexagon hot-end. However, this isn’t a 3d-printed part, and I’ve really struggled to find a micro blower (plenty of blowers which are 50mm, but none in the 20mm – 25mm range, which is what I need).

So I decided to solve the problem myself, using a regular 25mm computer fan. I used AutoDesk 123D to design a simple mount, which will direct the air flowing from the fan into a more directed stream. I’ve shown a couple of screenshots from Cura below – the one on the right shows the four mounting points where I can bolt the 25mm x 25mm fan.

When I printed this out, it was easy to bolt to the fan and then attach to the extruder carriage.

extruder carriage with carriage

I put this onto the carriage which I’d already installed – you can see how the printer looks right now in the photo below.

featured image