This is another one of my hairbrained printer upgrade schemes, but since the last couple seem to have worked pretty well, lets give this a go!
Objective: replace the existing round linear slide on a Lulzbot AO-10x series printer with a two carriage THK 14.5" long Linear slide, which will in theory allow for a much more rigid Z axis motion and constrain the motion to the rails themselves, and to do this for as little money possible with as little modification to the machine as possible.
To that end, I have aquired a pair of THK Linear Slides 369 mm long with four 25 x 30mm carriages, and two 380mm long sections of frame rail to back them. I also have on order 8 45 degree frame pieces and 8 45 degree frame joining plates (could be printed, but I want rigidity)
The basic design I am going for is a triangular structure built around the lower motor mount from the existing long lower frame rails to the new bearing frame post, 4 45 degree frame sections per side, 2 per rail level. I’ll also be modifying the Z axis motor mounts to accomodate and lock the bearing frame post in place.
On the upper side of the machine is where things get a bit murkey in my mind. I have two options: 1. leave the A frame as is, and build a new upper crosspiece that has provisions for attaching the top of the bearing frame post, or 2. convert the entire A-frame structure to a box shape (similar to the TAZ) and use a short piece of 20x20mm frame tubing as the upper bridge in place of the existing plastic piece. I haven’t worked out which will be easier and stronger to implement as of yet, though I am leaning towards the box design. Any thoughts on that though would be welcome.
The other piece of engineering that needs to happen is the motor mount X end clamps. I’ll need to put the motor either 30mm further out than it is, or flip it around. The idler side should be usable as is with minimal modifications to the AO-TAZ design. The question I keep running into on that design though, is if I am going to tinker with the X ends at all, why not convert them to a linear rail at the same time? Or at least a vertical carriage like the TAZ uses? And I think eventually I will do exactly that, but for now in the interests of simplicity I’m thinking it will be best to just leave that aspect alone.
Still in the initial phases, still waiting on initial parts before I see how everything fits together and determine what I actually have to make, but if this works we’ll have a Linear rail system as a bolt on option for the older style printers, and be one step closer to making the most accurate desktop printer that we can make, which is neat!
this will be a fairly long duration project given the hollidays and demands on my printer for printing things, but i’ll keep you all posted