AO-10x top deck cover plates and Y rail Bellows

One of the only downsides to running the Y rail modification on an AO-10x is that if you ever have a flat piece of something detatch and fall on that rail, it can apperently manage to wedge itself between the rail mount screw heads and the rail carriage itself. Needless to say this is a BAD THING to have happen to your printer at full speed. So, in order to prevent that I plan on fitting my machine with a way cover. As I don’t think they make one for this particular rail type, I’ll be making my own out of a sheet of mylar CAD plotter paper.

At the same time, I also think that a way cover floating in space looks silly, so I went ahead and cut and folded some top plates out of thin plate aluminum. As I have a modified and widened machine, I’m not going to list the dimensions unless anyone particularily wants them since your machine will most likely be narrower, but they were easy enough to make out of two sheets of 24 x 6 aluminum sourced from Home Depot for $9.00 ea, and bent with a piece of junk $20 harbor freight metel brake. I’ll have another $5, maybe $6 in mounting hardware by the time I am done.

The way covers themselves will be free, but they will take about 3 hours each to fold. Once I get closer to the folding part I’ll post progress and method pictures of that as well.

Using the bellows program here:
which i have used before for some of my CNC ways, I generated an AO-101 - mendelmax-ish Y rail cover file. We can’t upload PDF’s here so I uploaded it as a txt file. you will need to rename it. Print two of those on a sheet of mylar, then follow the instructions at the above website to make your own. You can paint them black with plastic spraypaint when you are finished for additional decoration

Here are the cover plates. They will also get a series of holes around the mounting edges at some point. I will have to take off the heated bed mount plate to get them to fit. I’ll also need to relocate my Y rail endstop, which I plan to do anyways to later make room for moving the Y motor inside the frame. Eventually the power supply, control box and a few other accessory switches will go under those plates as well (gantry and nozzle lighting, case fan, etc)

I still need to find a foot mounting bracket that I like in that scale for mounting feet. all the ones I normally use are too big.

Front and side plates will also eventually occur. those are mainly waiting on my Z rail project to finish itself so I can cut them accordingly.
Mendelmax y rail cover renametopdf .txt (2.82 KB)

Here’s that same PDF as a contiguous image suitable for printing directly onto mylar. Just printed both of mine off this same image, will fold them at some point in here.

First one folded. It turns out I forgot that the corners would be taller than the overall bellows, so it’s actually slightly too big to fit. I’ll measure out a smaller one and try again, but you get the general idea. The bellows will be sitting on the top deck plates when it is done, with an endplate at either end, one attached to the Y carriage via velcro, and one attached to the frame on a plate, also via velcro for removability.

Also, someone remind me to clean the debris out from under my printer.

That’s clever!

The plastic debris under the printer is sign that the printer’s been used. It’s nice to see :slight_smile:


I’m finishing up the last of the required christmas prints right now. Once that is done and the new T-slot inserts arrive, I’ll bolt the top plates down. the initial plan is to also cut a control panel hole for lights and fan switches at the same time and mount that to the top plate.

The new bellows is going to have to wait until after vacation when i can plot the new smaller one on Mylar since my printer here isn’t big enough heh.

Finally got the printer far enough apart to install the deckplates, only to discover that I don’t have the right length M5 bolts. Oh well, I can get those locally at least.

Also mounted the new LCD bracket, which can be found at if anyone needs it.

Front and rear plates are next. Front will have the relocated power switch and the lighting controls in it, Rear will be a coverplate.

Screws are in and set. Front plate is being fabricated, along with the rear one out in my garage, but I didn’t get it all the way done. SIde plates will probably wait for a while until I decide exactly how elaborate I want to get with those. Also swapped out the power switch for a light up one. Still need to run the other leg over to it, but it works for now and more importantly doesn’t require me to drill an oval shaped hole. Once the front rear and top are all on, I’ll be installing noise mat inside the box, along with an additional top spar where the RAMPS 1.4 box will relocate next. After that will be Fun With Power Supplies. A HP Dl380 Gen 4 server power supply might end up being the new power source once I get a bit further done with everything else

THe bellows has been a bit more difficult to mount than anticipated. It’s really too stiff for what I need it to do, which means I either make it longer by adding a second section on each side, or make a new one out of something less stiff. That bit is definitely still a work in progress.

Front plate is on now, along with relocated power and light switch. Still need to run another leg over to the new power switch so it lights up, but it works as is for it’s current purpose.

Once I get all the plates done I plan on taking them back off and polishing them, etc.

Backplate is next, then the bellows mount. That rectangular cutout in the front plate is where the bellows mount will go.

I don’t want to make a development thread just for a carriage, so I’ll put this in here. New X carriage is done. I was going to try for more of a 3 point carriage like Bam made, but I just couldn’t make it fit will with the big hole that is in the middle for the quickfit module. Part is here:

I like the built in belt tension device. Very clean design. I wanted to do something similar with 3 point one carriage.

What size heat set nuts did you use?

What program did you design the file in?

Another nice Piercet design… so many projects so little time.

The heat set nuts are the M3 Short heat set nuts, mainly because I have 8 trillion of them. The file itself was made in Autodesk inventor. If you want to use it as a base, let me know and I can export the file to whatever program format you want assuming it isn’t scad heh.

I wanted to end up with a 3 point carriage, but I couldn’t make it fit with the big honking hole in the middle for the quick fit. The first 3 point I tried was tending to torque down on the unsupported side because i couldn’t get the bearing support towards the middle enough. I think the fix for that would be using a different style bearing for the front bearing, probably a LM8UU style.

Once I get the ballscrew project finished, the next big project will be creating a linear rail style supported X axis system, and this carriage will be adapted for use at that point as a three point since I’ll have more room to play with the dimensions at that point.

Glad you like it!