Jeffeb3 MP3DP Build

The boards are 1/4" mdf (it might have been labelled “hard board”). The printed parts are PETG. The pictures don’t do this design justice. They fit together great, and despite being very simple, they are artistic in the design.

(((That’s not me in the picture, that’s my son. He likes to move the bed around.)))

I have most of the parts, although I realized this morning when I unwrapped my steel rods that I didn’t buy the leadscrew, so I’m stealing it from my wanhao duplicator i3. I already ordered more from the vicious1 store. I don’t even see the lone nuts in the store now, which will help others from making that same mistake.

I wanted to paint or at least seal the MDF, but I’m too excited to get it moving. The sheet of MDF was so cheap I think I’ll get this one working, and then cut a complete other set and paint those. I have some other ideas about that too, I’d like to make it a bit stiffer, and the base has trouble staying square, although it’s not fair to judge when it’s only half assembled. My goal is to get the motors moving today.

Thanks! Sorry about the confusion on the rods/nuts. I think I actually remember your order. I didn’t email because I figured you were using leadscrews from a different printer and just replacing the work out nuts.

It can be a bit lacking in stiffness, be careful with belt tension, start really loose. The biggest issue I have is with the smallest pieces that mount the y axis. If yours is too wobbly try cutting an extra set of them and using longer screws just mount them on the outside of the corner pieces. That will stiffen thing up considerably.

I learned so much with this design over the last few months. I have started on a new one (using almost all the same parts plus a few small ones). I hope to correct some of my obvious mistakes.

Brown and white look pretty nice together. I think I need to make one like it.

No problem, it was definitely my mistake. I bought my parts in the 1 week or so that your parts list links weren’t working, so I made a translation error.

I don’t really like the mdf color, I was thinking I’d go either gray, or white. The white feels sort of storm troopery, which is a good and bad thing :slight_smile: .

Yeah, the two smallest cut parts (Y_Frame.DXF, I think) were warped on the bed, so I think that could cause problems. I tried using contact adhesive to “clamp” that piece down during the cut, and that worked great, but I ended up with a bunch of gunk on those pieces, so I was considering recutting those anyway. I might even make them out of 1/2" ply, or double up, as you said.

I was thinking of putting the power supply and ramps board in a box underneath the printer, and if I do that, I’ll cut some notches into the top of the box to register the 4 corners of the printer (and the two side pieces) so it will stay perfectly square. The parts I’ve cut on the MPCNC are stupid square, so that should fix it.

The other thing is that it rocks slightly front to back, but I bet I can fix that by just loosening and tightening the screws on the sides. The front hangs about 1mm high or so when I tip it back. It’s rocking on the middle printed part.

I know you’ll make a new printer as soon as I get mine finished, and get super busy. Same thing happened with the 525 parts :slight_smile:

Here is my X-Axis done. I think this picture from the back really shows how everything goes together, so feel free to spot which part I did wrong :). I actually had this on the printer, just to get the belt about right, it’s not to tension yet. Then I took it off to give you all this picture.

When I was installing the Z Axis motors, I realized that the screws that hold the “L” pieces to the Z motor brackets need to have the nut and extra screw inside, so I flipped them. This is them flipped:

And this is with the motor installed (on the other side):

This is basically where it is now, except for straightening the bed platform:

The bed wasn’t square to the y axis, so it was moving a little strangely, which I don’t think would actually matter, unless to got very close to the edge. I think I’ve convinced myself that… But I took the bed off, and checked to make sure it was cut square, and it was:


But these little mounts weren’t on the same way, it’s possible the different zip tie direction caused them to shift, or it’s possible I just wasn’t careful when I installed them the first time:

Not square

So I took them back off, I made some marks with my square, and a pencil on one edge of where they should be mounted, and I put then on the rod, added some glue, lined them up with the pencil marks and the square (sorry, I couldn’t get a pic, my hands were full). I ended up with the blocks sort of stuck in place, and aligned so that the rod would be perfectly* sqaure to the leading edge of the platform. Then I could zip tie them down, carefully making sure not to break the glue.

After that, I put the square under the machine’s base, to make it square, and I checked that the leading edge was parallel with the front of the printer:

So that’s where I am for the moment. I’m waiting for the glue to dry, and I am finding the electronics I need to start moving belts around. I still have to install the Y axis belt, solder up the power supply (I am planning on using an old CPU power supply), endstops and then I have to figure out how this extruder mounting works. So pretty close.

These images seem to be getting a little messed up, but here is the shared album:

I used the smaller zip ties for the bed bearings at first. The bearings didn’t align very well, and they seemed to not securely hold the part. I cut them off and used the next sized larger, I think they were the ones that came with my MPCNC (not sure) and these seem to hold better and the alignment was better.


Huh, that’s a thought. I had to use two for each loop, so 4 for each bearing. One couldn’t write make the distance. So maybe I’m just using the wrong size. Although, I’m using the same size for the end stops. I would be surprised if you could use any larger size for that.

I have the drivers adjusted to 0.5V, so that should be 1.0A limit. That seems like more than I need, but not dangerous at all.

I’m moving the x and y, but I have to finish the wire harness for the z.

If you’re going to solder on the limit switches, do it before you get much farther. I ended up pulling them back off, soldering the connections and then reinstalling. Much nicer than melting the plastic around them. :slight_smile:

@Bill, good point. I did that next. I took the X axis off, but I otherwise left the endstops in place. Those zip ties are tricky to get threaded, so I’m glad I didn’t have to take them back off. I have a fine soldering iron, so I didn’t risk the plastic, but there’s no way I can get heat shrink shrunk, so I left it off.

Cruising along. I don’t have a functional 3D printer, since I took the leadscrews from my other one, so I made a screw extension for the z axis end stop out of a dowel, which I drilled a 1/8" hole into, and I threaded the longest #6-32 screw I had from the bottom, and installed the dowel from the top.

I’m not familiar with this extruder, maybe someone can help me figure out if this is right. The “throat” looks a lot longer than the one in the vicious shop, and I can’t see any PTFE tubing from the top. Is this right? It’s screwed almost to the bearing, which is what the instructions said to do.

I’m hoping for some confirmation that it’s OK before I fire it up, but I bought it from vicious1, so I’m trusting Ryan’s elves.

I definitely need some wire management.

With the bed, glass plate, and some gino pads cut into 2" squares and installed:

This is the MK3 bed, and it has 4 screw holes. I only have three springs, but I ordered a 4th with me leadscrews, but this naked one shows what I did. I used M3 socker cap screws, because they fit, and I put a washer above and below the aluminum, and I installed an M3 nut under that washer to keep the screw tight with the bed. Then I put the spring on there, and went through the MDF Y plate, and installed another M3 nut underneath that. I plan on printing some M3 hand nut thingies as soon as this gets spun up.

Looking like a real 3D printer:

I wish there was a hole here to zip tie these wires down, like there is for the extruder:

I am using an ATX power supply from an old computer. I’m not sure it’s as good as a new one, or one of the ones commonly used for 3D printing. The specs on the side specify a max amperage for each 12V rail, so I had to be careful to match the 11A side of the ramps board with the higher spec’ed rail. I also tied the green PS_ON signal to the ramps board, and the purple, 5V stand by to the VCC on the ramps board. The result is that the switch by the power cord turns on the ramps board/arduino, and then an M80 or some similar command will turn on the 12V supply, and the PSU fan, etc. I can add the M81 to the end of my gcode, just to make sure the heated bed and extruder turn off.

I had to change two lines in the marlin Configuration.h:

#define POWER_SUPPLY 1 // Used to be 0
  // Enable this option to leave the PSU off at startup.
  // Power to steppers and heaters will need to be turned on with M80.
  #define PS_DEFAULT_OFF // Used to be commented out

I have the temp sensors connected. I have to connect the bed heater and extruder heater, which should take like 5 more minutes. I connect the fan on the funnel to one of the D9-11 pins, but is there a good place to connect the extruder fan? I could just wire it into the 12V in, but I think it makes the 12V connection a little weaker the more wires I put in there. Thoughts? And thoughts on the extruder throat?

You bought the extruder from me it was preset to work already, shouldn’t have taken it apart.

Nothing goes on top of an aluminum bed, except maybe tape or ptfe, no glass.

Turn your bed 90 degrees, the third screw is between the wires.

You should not have a nut on the bottom of the bed it should be a spring.

Not all computer power supplies work with 3d printers. If you have random issues its the power supply.

HAve a closer look at the build pics it might help with some of this stuff.

Thanks for the quick reply.

You bought the extruder from me it was preset to work already, shouldn’t have taken it apart.

I was careful with it. I read through this and it looked like was already done. I was careful with the wires, and I zip tied them up (it looks like the zip tie broke in shipping or something). I’m guessing it doesn’t match the picture because it’s a different manufacturer? I only took that one part off, because I wanted to see the PTFE tubing in the right place, but I didn’t see it in there. I’m sure I put it back the way it was, so I guess it’s ok.

Nothing goes on top of an aluminum bed, except maybe tape or ptfe, no glass.

I like printing on glass, I had the glass and pads around already and I don’t see the harm. If there’s a danger, I’d like to know what it is. If it’s just a waste, then I oh well. I might want to try auto leveling, in which case, I’ll have to remove the glass, but if I just use blue tape, it’s going to rip that kapton off that’s covering the thermistor (I think that’s what it’s covering).

Turn your bed 90 degrees, the third screw is between the wires.

Aha. OK. I didn’t see that. I messed up the 3rd screw on that MDF part (my downcut drilling issue) so I was happy to use 4 corners.

You should not have a nut on the bottom of the bed it should be a spring.

I have the spring on the other 3. The nut is to keep the screw perpendicular to the bed, and keep it from rubbing on the aluminum. I made this change on my other i3, and I am convinced it made the bed more stable, but I don’t have any test prints or anything to prove it. I’ll go take a picture so you can see what I’m talking about.

Not all computer power supplies work with 3d printers. If you have random issues its the power supply.

I am skeptical of it already, but I’m willing to give it a shot. I’ve read all I can and I think it will work, but there are always gremlins.

HAve a closer look at the build pics it might help with some of this stuff.

The build log here: Here? I have been following that. The issues are half of the fun :-).

This is what the screw/spring stuff looks like:



My other printer:

The pads between the glass will not transmit heat, if they do they will not transmit it evenly the way you have it. Air is the best insulator.

The limit switches look to be wired normally open. I think the firmware needs to be modified if they are wired like this. I’m not sure, so maybe someone else will know.


@vicious1. The pads are thermal pads. The air won’t, I agree with that. Aren’t you the one that’s always arguing for testing before judgement around here?

@Dave, I’ll have to look that up. I thought about it and decided NO was better, but I haven’t ever read anything about it. I also didn’t check the firmware, I’ll do that too.

You will find it in configuration.h starting at line 455:

// Mechanical endstop with COM to ground and NC to Signal uses "false" here (most common setup).
#define X_MIN_ENDSTOP_INVERTING false // set to true to invert the logic of the endstop. 
#define Y_MIN_ENDSTOP_INVERTING false // set to true to invert the logic of the endstop.
#define Z_MIN_ENDSTOP_INVERTING false // set to true to invert the logic of the endstop.
#define X_MAX_ENDSTOP_INVERTING false // set to true to invert the logic of the endstop.
#define Y_MAX_ENDSTOP_INVERTING false // set to true to invert the logic of the endstop.
#define Z_MAX_ENDSTOP_INVERTING false // set to true to invert the logic of the endstop.
#define Z_MIN_PROBE_ENDSTOP_INVERTING false // set to true to invert the logic of the endstop.

It looks like you set these to “true” for Normally Open (NO) limit switches.

Thanks Dave, yeah, I found that just before you posted. I’m not sure which is better (or whether it’s even worth the time thinking about it). If everything works, then there’s no difference, if they fail, then neither case is so traumatic to justify me thinking about it, since it’s a 1/1000 chance anyway. The endstops are working fine now.

I haven’t had much time to mess with this, but I had some problems with the extruder motor. At first, I was trying to just check the direction, cold, and I found out that the Marlin controller has a safety mech. to keep you from doing that. Then, once I had it actually trying to move, it was just moving back and forth, instead of moving just forward. I found one of my crimps caused a cable to cut itself. Once I found that, I was in business!

My lead screws and 4th spring came today. I tried doing the three spring thing, and maybe it’s just me, but I like the 4 springs better. It’s what I’m used to anyway. I installed the new leadscrews and I stole the thumbscrews from my other printer, leveled it out, and ran my first test print:

So I’m ready to start calibrating this guy. Yay.

If anyone is reading this, and thinking, “Man, that guy is either terrible at this, or that printer is really hard”. It’s really not hard, and I’m not terrible at this, I have just been super busy this week, and I’ve had very little time to mess with it. I probably could have gotten this far with just one cup of coffee, or maybe two on a normal day.

Now the real fun begins. I will do some calibrating, and I will be doing some wire management, I want to do it a little differently than the example, so it will take some time. I also want to make it a bit more personal. I like the look of the white plastic with the orange filament. It kind of reminds me of either “Orange Crush” or a creamsicle. Not sure where to go with that, but we’ll see :slight_smile:

I also want to mention that I really like how quiet it is. So much quieter than my wanhao.

Don’t rush fun!! Looks good.

I have been playing with ABS and Semi-Flex. The Semi-Flex is a real challenge.