Smartrap Building (a modern fairy tale)


So I got myself a 3D printer, from, and to be frank I had some troubles with it, mostly due to a faulty RAMPS, but all in all, the quality of the prints I have with it is excellent.

This building manual is for the servo-motor edition of the reprap, a new version without a servo just got out and you’ll understand why.

First step Prepare the tools and materials you’ll need:

– a medium screwdriver (flat one)

– 2 Allen keys (or equivalent): 2.5mm and 3mm

– pliers

– cutter

– silicon or Teflon based oil

-some kind of smoothing tools (sandpaper or hand file, small and round ones)

– a lighter.

Take a look at the bill of materials here to see what I’m talking about right below.

Once you have the tools needed, prepare the materials:

You’ll have 3 set of 2 smooth rods of different dimensions, using the hand file, make sure their ends are perfectly smooth. Also try to put the rods across the holes of the X-axis plate. they have to go through but just barely. If they don’t go through at all, use the file, wisely, on the edges of the holes of the plastic part.

The other main preparation part is to be sure the M5 bolt go smoothly along the length of the threaded rod. Test it repeatedly.

Second Step: All your base belong to us:

BOM: bottom_center, bottom_y_ramps, bottom_z_extruder, 3 M4x60, 2 M3x20, 3 step motors with the highest cable length (do not use the one with the male pins here).

Bottom Y (ramps): Insert 2 M4x60 like thisbottom Y ramps

Then add the bottom center and screw the M4 inside it (directly into the plastic part), do not tighten it yet:

bottm Y and bottom center add the Y motor and tighten (do not force) the screws:

Y motor placementadd the bottom Z part with the remaining M4, do not tighten:

Z bottomAdd the Z and extruder motors, the cables must be on the center, the z motor goes on top, you’ll end with something like this:motor plate completeYou can also mount the RAMPS on this base with the 2 M3x20 screws, like this:IMG_1158IMG_1159

Third step: Extruder:

BOM: plate base, extruder bearing holder, bowden guide, 1 M3x10, 1 M3x16, 2 M3x25, M3 washers, bearing, drive gear and it’s screw.

First, place the bearing in it’s place, you’ll have to use a little force, Luke, but do not damage the bearing:Y plate & bearingthen put this plate on the motors, it must fit very tightly. be sure there is no space between the plate and the motors:plate on motorsInsert a M3x16 with the bowden guide like this:bowden guideadd a M3x10 in the second hole to hold the Z-motor:Z-motor fixingand use 2 M3x25 (25 might be a bit long, 20 should do the trick) and 2 washers to maintain the extruder bearing holder :extruder bearing holderthen add a M3x16 to reinforce the bearing axis:extruder bearing holder 2add the drive gear to the extruder motor:IMG_1172and use some filament to be sure the crease of the drive gear are at the right height. also you muste be able to push the filament with some force between the drive and the bearing, but if you feel that too much force is needed, unscrew the M3 with the washer a little and test again: drive gearFourth Step: The Y axis of evil:

BOM: plate_y, 2 lm8_holder_y,  4 lm8uu,  4  M3x16, 2 big smooth rods, 2 small smooth rods, end-Y-front and end-y back, fishing line holder x2, 2 M4x30 (or 25), 2 M4 bolts, small fishing line.

Place 2 LM8UU on the base plate:LM8UU base platethen use the Y-plate, place a LM8UU on it and put a LM8 Y holder (arrow toward the shaft of the y motor) and use one of the M3 screw to hold the LM8UU in place:LM8UU Y holderplace this on the Y motor and tighten it a little:plate Y placementplace the rest of the LM8UU and add the second Y holder (arrow away for the shaft of the motor), screw it in place but do not tighten:LM8UU Y placement finishedUse 2 small smooth rods to see if they move smoothly inside the LM8UU and tighten the screws. the more you tighten, the less the rods will move smoothly, you’ll have to find an equilibrium:IMG_1180remove the small smooth rods form their LM8UU and insert them in the end-Y-front piece (this one have a little bump that hit the Y endstop):end Y frontPut the rods back in the LM8UU and insert the end Y back.

Put one fishing line holder in place on one side of the Y axis and hold it in place with a M4 and a bolt:fishline holder in placeinsert the other M4 on the other side of the axis:fish line holder 2then hook one side of the fishing line on the holder and make loops around the shaft of the motor (the line must pass away from the ramps on the first loop):fish line loopsmake around 8 turns and hook the other end to the remaining fishing line holder (easier to do it this way):fish line holder 3then plug the holder on the screw and add a M4 bolt, with one hand maintain the bolt and the holder in place, and with you other hand, use a screwdriver to tighten the holder:fish line holder 4Small tip: if your fishing line is too long to tense it up properly or too short to make another turn around the shaft, you can make some knots near the hook to reduce it’s length. Here’s how it should look once finished, make some movements with the Y axis and tighten the line once more (one other small tip: orient the receiving fishing line holder sideways to help prevent the line to slip off the motor shaft)

Y axis finishedFifth step: the X axis:

BOM: plate_x, support_lm8_X, 8 LM8UU,  X motor, 2 M3x10, 4 M3x16, 3 M3 bolts, end X back, end X huxley (or jhead), long fishing line, 2 fishing line holder, 2 M4x30 and 2 M4 bolts.

First use the X motor as a base and put the plate x plastic part on top of it and tighten them together with 2 M3x10 as seen here:X-axis Motor mountingthen place 4 LM8UU in their placeholder:x-axis LM8UU mountingadd the LM8UU x holder:X-axis closeupand hold it in place with a M3x16 and a M3 bolt (a shorter screw can do the trick too):X-axis motor closeupUse the medium smooth rods to see if they glide smoothly inside the bearings and tighten the screw accordingly :X-axis view 2Remove the smooth rods, and add the LM8UU for the Z axis, you’ll need 4 of them. Place them in the holder so half is inside the holder and half of the bearing is outside:X-axis viewnext, use 2 M3x16 and 2 M3 bolts to tighten the LM8UU in place, but be careful to orient them like in the picture below to not block the hothead when you home X:Z-axis LM8UUPut the piece on the Z axis smooth rods and see if it glide nicely, if not, then unscrew the M3x16 a little until it does:Z axis positionNext, put the smooth rods of the x axis (medium ones) into the end x back plastic part:end X backput the smooth rods back in their bearings and put the end X huxley (or jhead) in place:end X huxleyHook one side of the fishing line  like this:fishing line Xand make approximatively 8 turn around the motor shaft, and do the same thing as for the Y fishing line to end like this (remember to make some sliding movement once you have attached the holder to the x end back and to tighten it again with the screw):X fishing line holderSixth Step: the Z axis:

BOM: Z_coupler, 4  M3x10, 4 M3 bolts,  M5 brass bolt, threaded M5 rod.

Once again, make sure the threaded rod and the M5 brass bolt are moving smoothly on each other and clear the rod from any particle of metal that could have stuck on it when you inserted the bolt.

Prepare the z coupler: insert the M3 bolts in their place (use the lighter to slightly heat the bolts if they don’t slide in their place):z coupler

On the threaded rod slide the brass bolt at around 1/4 of the length of the rod and insert it on the holder of the X plate, like this:X  bolt holderyou’ll be able to put the rod on the shaft of the Z motor, it’s easier this way to attach the Z coupler on them both at the same time, and tighten them, do not use excessive force:IMG_1218IMG_1222Seventh Step: the hotend:

BOM: (here it’s for the huxley, a very nicely made hotend): all of the hotend parts, 2 springs, bowden PTFE tube, tongue.

Put the 2 springs on the 2 screws and fix them on the small rectangular part:smartrap_assembly_head_1screw the threaded part of the bowden tube between the 2 screws and then screw the small threaded metallic tube on the other side until it’s blocked by the bowden tube (bowden tube not present on the picture below):smartrap_assembly_head_2add the heater block and the holding bolt so that the bolt ends like on the picture (it must be as far as possible from the rectangular part of the picture above and it must look like this:smartrap_assembly_head_4-300x300add the cooling part with the 2 remaining screws:smartrap_assembly_head_5-300x300and you will have this:smartrap_assembly_head_6-300x300you will have to clip it to the x end huxley and tighten the screws a little (the springs must be below the plastic clips):IMG_1236IMG_1237IMG_1238Plug the free side of the bowden tube on the pY plate and hold it in place with the tongue (if not, the extruder will push the bowden tube along with the filament):bowden cable holder 1 Bowden cable holder 2Eighth Step: servobsolete:

BOM: the servo motor and all the parts delivered with it, 1 end stop (male pins), servo_holder plastic part.

Put the servo motor in it’s place:IMG_1224and hold it in place with the 2 small screws (axis of the servo toward the bottom):IMG_1226then mount the endstop on the servo holder:IMG_1228depending on the model of endstop, you might have to cut a little piece of plastic on the opened side of the endstop that could prevent a contact (you’ll understand if you activate the endstop yourself, you’ll see it bump on the plastic part, just cut that tiny bit so the endstop can move all the way).

Take the one arm servo mount and clips it on the servo-holder (you’ll might want to add a small screw to really fix it in place (not delivered with the kit):IMG_1233then assemble it with the servo so that when you turn this piece on the servo, the minimum rotation is orienting the servo holder behind the hotend and the maximum rotation is orienting the servo toward Y:IMG_1261use the last screw to hold them together (in the hole in the middle of the white plastic part):IMG_1262Before doing the electrical work, lets place the support holder with 4 M3x16 screws:Printing support holdersNinth step: IT’S ALIVE! ALIIIIVE (cabling and stuff)

BOM: a brain and a little patience, you also have to be able to distinguish colors. The multicolored cable, the remaining endstops.

First, put the endstops in place, they have to « click ». they are orange, the first you see is the Z endstop, the second below is the Y. The Z endstop have male pins:IMG_1270now put the rainbow cable like this near the hotend:IMG_1235and like this near the X motor while X is at it’s maximum:IMG_1250IMG_1251now, how to cable the hotend, the servo and the endstop (it’s way easier with a needle and a multimeter).

On the picture below, lets arbitrarily decide that the hole on the upper left is number 1 and then count up to 5 on the number 1 row, so you have something like

1 2 3 4 5

6 7 8 9 10IMG_1234The two floating connectors on the right are for the heating cartridge, there is no polarity so connect is however you want.

N°1: not connected.

N°2 and 3: thermistor.

N°4: endstop Z.

N°5: fan –

N°6: yellow of the servo

N°7, 8: servo

N°9: endstop Z.

N°10: fan +

IMG_1246 IMG_1244

Next the X motor and X endstop:IMG_1271 IMG_1272Once again lets say arbitrarily that when you hold the connector holes toward you and the cables goes down that the upper left hole is number 1 and counting from that number 1 to the right on the same row is :
1: green motor
2: red motor
3: endstop.
4 to 7 empty.
second row:
8: black motor
9: blue motor.
10: endstop.
11 to 14: empty.

And now time to cable the RAMPS:

Just follow this (mind the colors):smartrap-ramps-connections-2Troubleshooting: If your axis move the wrong way when you activate them, you have 2 choices: modify the firmware or simply invert their cable on the ramps (green to blue).

the problem with the servo is that sometimes when it’s not setup correctly (even when it is) it crashes on the plate, you can break the servo endstop holder, or even the servo case itself (mine got it’s screw hole torn, but fortunately, the servo itself fit tightly inside it’s hole). so a new version came without a servo.

Put some Teflon or silicon based lubricant on the bearings and on the Z axis bolt to avoid unpleasant sounds

You’ll find help for the software setup here.  Until i have the courage to make another tutorial.


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