Another request for pre-build advice!

Hi all! I am very excited about getting started with this project… I already have several of the more expensive components laying around so I am extra excited about the prospect of doing this with minimal out of pocket. I do have a 24v PSU (which I will look into trouble shooting) otherwise it seems like my other parts are compatible.

I would really appreciate any advice/insight into the process and how you may have done things differently/more efficiently if you had to start again… I’ve been cruising around the forum and there is a lot of great advice so more than anything I am hoping someone will be willing to start a friendly dialogue with me about our shared interest in this project :slight_smile:


Here’s the order I did it in…

  1. buy my pipes
  2. print my parts
  3. while parts were printing, bought/ordered hardware
  4. ordered electronics/steppers
  5. built machine

Unless you have the proper equipment get the conduit cut for you, I can’t cut straight for toffee

If I had it all to over again I wouldn’t have dropped the xy assembly on the concrete floor and cracked 16 hours worth of prints. This is my biggest regret…

I did rebuild my machine when I decided to upsize it. The second time around I cut a spacer out of 1x lumber to quickly get all the leg heights exactly the same. And I realized I could clamp the conduit to my fireball square to quickly get everything squared up without much fiddling… I realize no one has this tool but it’s something I highly recommend having in the workshop.

Thank you! This is something I haven’t considered much until now (I’ve been all slap happy about ordering parts). Any advice about what kind of service/company would cut metal conduit for me? Maybe call and electrician? I’ve got a miter saw at home but I dont think that would be an appropriate option…

If you are NOT using stainless steel, then you can just get one of these:

It didn’t take long at all for me to cut the normal conduit. I did get a pipe reamer to clean up the cuts, but you could do the same with a metal file.

It might work on stainless too, but not sure how long it would take. I hear that stuff is hard to cut.

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You could also use a step drill bit which are also handy to have around the shop.

Measure twice cut once,


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The way I went about it (order) was:

  1. Bought the conduit I needed
  2. Printed all parts
  3. Ordered the kit from Ryan
  4. Bought a Pipe cutter (cheap and easy way to get clean straight cuts) and reamer from the local hardware store
  5. Cut some pipe to the WRONG length for my build
  6. Used the cut calculator to figure out exact measurements needed
  7. Bought more pipe to rectify the mistake in #5
  8. Put it all together over the course of a weekend

If I could do it again, I’d have used the cut calculator in the beginning. Other things to note:

  1. Once you build it, make sure the leadscrew stops At the bottom of your tool mount and z axis. If it is too long, trim it to fit. I ruined a couple cuts because the leadscrew was too long, and ended up impacting my work surface, causing it to skip.
  2. Plan where you want everything to go BEFORE you start building. It sucks to have to take things back apart because you wires are in the wrong spot, or there is not enough room for the steppers to get past obstructions.
  3. Measure, and remeasure to make sure the thing is SQUARE before you bother hooking up any electronics, because the wires and such can get in your way if you have to re-square everything.

Other things of note:

  1. Start out with slow, shallow passes, and work up your confidence before making deeper passes (remember, deeper depth of cut is better than higher speed passes)
  2. Get it dirty and have a lot of fun!


  1. The screen is a godsend, and makes it a lot easier to do things.
  2. A lot relay is amazing to have, and keeps you from having to watch it like a hawk at the end of a cut, as setting one up will allow you to turn the spindle on/off in the software, so you don’t risk the z-axis falling after a cut, and the spindle carving a hole through your completed piece.
  3. A dust boot makes it a little less interesting to watch while its cutting, but MUCH cleaner in your shop


Awesome advice! Did you go with aluminum or steel conduit? I’m curious if that pipe cutter will handle steel…

That pipe cutter works like butter with standard EMT conduit.

A hack saw is a very versatile tool to have, and it makes quick work of emt. SS too, but it will tske longer. None of the ends need to be perfectly square.

I have one like this, and I’ve used it enough to go through several blades. Definitely worth the investment, especially if you are a homeowner:

Just an FYI standard EMT conduit is galvonized mild steel. Other than that you might use stainless steel which is harder than mild steel. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone using aluminum.

An angle grinder with a thin cutting disk will cut the conduit in a few seconds. The ends aren’t used for anything so it doesn’t matter if they’re not perfectly straight.

If you’re bothered, wrap a piece of paper around the pipe so it lines up with itself, and it’ll give you a nice straight line. Run a marker pen along the edge of the paper, cut slightly long and file (or grind) down to the mark.

You could make all the cuts with a hack saw easily enough too. It would be a good job to do while waiting for plastic parts to print.

Someone mentioned that aluminum was too soft and the bearings would wear dents in it.

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You could use aluminum with rubber wheel bearings but you’d be on your own for designing the spacing.

I’d advise against that. It won’t end well.

Go to the hardware store and identify the conduit you think you will get. Go back home, print the corresponding Burly foot part for that pipe size. Go back and check the fit and then buy your pipe. Then make sure you print the rest of the parts from the correctly sized set rather than from another set that you had downloaded. Ask me how I know.

Getting a board from Ryan is great. It gives a known quantity that can assist trouble shooting, if there is any. I had no problems with my board.


Thanks for all of the great advice so far everyone! It has been super helpful in my planning and visualizing how the project will go…

Can anyone comment on using material other than PLA for the parts? I use a Prusa MK3s and I sort of just assumed that PETG would be standard for any project like this but it sounds like most use PLA…

Furthermore, Ive got some extra fancy Atomic Carbon Fiber infused PETG that Ive been saving for a good mechanical job- if I were only to use it for a few parts that are especially subject to larger forces could anyone suggest which parts those would be?

I bought a conduit tube cutter. Made it really easy to get straight cuts without worrying that cutting with a power tool late at night might bug my wife, but putting a grinding wheel on a miter saw will cut the pipes like buttah. Something like this