I started out my printing adventure with an AO-100. Basically a lulzbot edition narrower mendelmax 1.0 with motors on the bottom instead of the top. At the time it was pretty much the best thing out there, even used as mine was, aside from the slightly newer AO-101. Compared to the prints I can put out today, what it produced in the stock configuration wasn’t exactly ideal, but even before i started doing my usual slightly over the top modification efforts to it, one of the things I always really liked about it was the super solid a-frame construction. I can’t emphasize enough how sturdy that frame is. You can literally stand on it and use it as a stool if you want.
The Taz is arguably a better printer in almost every respect, except probably the stiffness of the frame. Most people would make the argument that as the bed is moving back and forth in the Y axis, you don’t reeeeely need reinforcement in the Y axis for the upper gantry. And if you aren’t printing at super high speeds they would most likely be correct. But the fact of the matter is, I can use my little pinky finger, push on the upper top corner of the gantry and have it flex ever so slightly (under 1mm) without too much effort, even with the custom solid billet aluminum bed to frame mounts I have. So, I want to eliminate that. And conveniently, I happen to have 3 spare Taz 500mm Aluminum extrusions with which I plan to do exactly that.
So, the theory here is that a mount attaches to the upper corners, a 500mm stick with printed endcaps bolts onto that mount on either side, and then bolts onto the third stick, which eventually gets bolted up just outside the back of the Y motor plate. I might cut up two shorter sticks or something to complete the triangle later, but thats the general layout.
That gives me two things. additional stiffness from those elements alone, but also a place to mount my soon to exist clear acrylic windows (the ones that go with the soon to exist top plate with a slot in it) and extend my Z openbuilds mid span braces. That will in turn give me the start of a box. I plan on mounting a solid-ish removable rear enclosure box that will open up and fold away against these back braces when not in use, and eventually someday a front enclosure of some sort, possibly a more fancy variant of my taped on turkey bags, rigged like a tent with spars and reinforcements and whatnot. I don’t really need one for my printing, but it would be nice to have the option for really delicate prints like giant Eiffel towers or the like. It also ties the bed to frame in one more location. I’m toying with the idea of also attaching a partial bottom plate to close the plenum.
This will also give me additional mounting points when operation “securely bolt your taz to a very solid heavy machine base to run it really fast without it shaking to pieces” gets underway at some point. At this point i’m not intending to fit front braces since they would be in the way of part removal more than rear ones will be. I rarely try and remove a part from the back.
Thats the theory anyways. Any ideas or thoughts are appreciated!
I’ll release the parts once i’m sure they are solid enough. the spar mount looks like I may want to bump it out a mm or two.