Assembling The Vision 3D Printer (Steps 7-11)

Step 7 (heated build platform pt1):

parts needed:

  • 5 black bolts (25mm)
  • 7 black bolts (16mm)
  • 12 black nuts
  • 8 small flat washers
  • 4 printed bearing mounts (see photo)
  • 4 linear bearings
  • plywood panel

IMG_0039

Take the 4 linear bearings and slide them into the printed bearing mounts. Then take the 25mm bolts and push them through the top hole of the mount. Make sure to slide the bolt in the right side. One side is round, and the other is hex for the nut to slide into (nut trap). After the bolt is in, attach a nut to the bolt, line it up with the nut trap, and use the pliers to pop it into place. Repeat this for all 4 bearing mounts.

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The bearing mounts attach to the wood platform with 7 small bolts (16mm), and  a single 25mm bolt. Look at the parts photo above and the panel photo below to see which one is the longer bolt. The hole is marked in each photo. Insert all the bolts with washers into the holes first:

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Then flip the plywood panel over, and install the 4 bearing mounts with the nuts. Orient the mounts so that the nuts face the outer edge of the platform.

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Step 8 (heated build platform pt2):

parts needed:

  • 4 bolts (25mm)
  • 4 small flat washers
  • 8 nuts
  • 2 printed belt clamps (see photo)
  • 1 really long belt
  • plywood platform

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Using a razor blade, cut the belt in half between two teeth:

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Then just like the previous step, slide the 4 (25mm) bolts with washers into the inner most holes on the platform. Flip the board over and attach the two belt clamps. NOTE: Make sure the smooth side of the clamp is upward. The rough side should grip the belts teeth. Slide one end of the belt under the back clamp (one closest to all the remaining holes). Leave a few teeth sticking out on one end and the rest of the belt should be centered sticking out the back side. See the photo for clarity.

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With the belt in place, lock down two nuts on each bolt, making sure the clamp is very tight. For the front clamp, attach the nuts, but don’t tighten it yet. You will need a gap so that you can attach the other end of the belt in a later step.

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Step 9 (heated build platform pt3):

parts needed:

  • assembled plywood platform
  • 12 small zip ties
  • 28 small flat washers
  • 4 bolts (25mm)
  • 4 nuts
  • 1 cardboard square (25mm)
  • PCB heat bed (with thermistor installed)

IMG_0047

Loop two zip ties through the holes between the cable and the bearing mounts. Take a 3rd zip tie, and push it through the inner hole next to the back zip ties. Bend a kink in it so that it doesn’t fall out later. See photo for exact placement of the 3 zip ties:

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If you need to install your thermistor, do so now following Matt’s video.

Now flip the PCB heat bed face down (lines facing the ground), and install the 4 bolts from the back. Then stack 6 washers on each bolt. NOTE: washers have two side, rounded, and the other flat. Stack all the washers so that the flat side is up. Repeat this for all 4 bolts, and then place the cardboard on the PCB heat bed:

IMG_0049IMG_0050

Now place the plywood platform on top of the 4 bolts. It should be oriented so that the PCB wires and zip ties are on the same side together. Push the 4 bolts through the corresponding holes in the platform and then add a washer and nut to each and tighten. NOTE: If the bolts don’t easily slide through, turn them by hand from the bottom to get them started, then flip the assembly over and screw them all the way down.

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Finally, put the wires through the zip ties so that they act as a strain relief. See the photo below for how they should go. With those in place, use the remaining zip ties to bundle the cables together so they act as a single 3 wire cable. Again, see the photos for details.

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Step 10 (mounting the X platform):

parts needed:

  • heated build platform
  • frame assembly
  • 2 smooth rods (400mm)
  • 2 zip ties

This step is all about alignment. Slide the 2 rods into the linear bearings on the heated build platform. They should slide easily back and forth. If they don’t, then you need to adjust the 4 bearing mounts until they do. Once everything is smooth there, tighten down the 4 bolts holding in the linear bearings.

Center the platform on the two rods, and slide the rods into the back side bar clamps on the frame. Make sure they are sticking out a bit, then slide the rods into the front clamps. At this point the rods should be flush with both the back and front clamps. Nothing should be tightened.

Hand tighten the bar clamps so that they will stay in place, and move the platform to the back side of the printer frame. Use the digital calipers to make sure the two rods are centered. NOTE: This needs to be exact!

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Now loosen and re-tighten the bar clamps. Tighten the bar clamps slowly by alternating 1/8 turn on each nut. This will keep the clamps from moving the bar too far in either direction. The platform cannot bind when it gets to the end of the track. If it does, you need to restart the processes. Once everything is tight and the platform travels freely, measure again to make sure you are still centered.

Now repeat this process for the other side. NOTE: It might be helpful to lock the calipers in place so that you can move it between the 4 points making sure that everything is aligned.

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Turn the printer upside down, and slide the platform all the way to the back. Attach the 3 wire cable from step 9 to the center rod and the back bottom rod (see the photo below). You don’t want much slack with the platform all the way back since this is the most cable it will need. Also, I roughly lined up the cable with the smooth bar above so that it stays out of the belt’s way:

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Step 11 (motoring the X platform):

parts needed:

  • 3 bolts (10mm)
  • 1 pinion gear
  • 1 stepper motor
  • printer assembly

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Attach the stepper motor with the 3 bolts. Orient the motor so that the wires are on the top front face. Then attach the pinion gear to the stepper motor.

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Now loop the belt around the motor and front bearing, then slide it through the belt camp and pull it tight. Push the belt clamp down and lightly tighten the nuts. At this point the platform shouldn’t take much force to move, but also not slip. Its a careful balance between the two. Once you think you have it right, tighten the nuts on the belt clamp, and then cut the belt leaving a little extra in case you have to adjust the tension later.

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4 thoughts on “Assembling The Vision 3D Printer (Steps 7-11)

  1. Ryan, nice! This is going to be really helpful when I get my printer.

    Any chance you can estimate your time to complete each step or set of steps? I’d love to know what kind of time I need to set aside for assembly.

    Thanks!

    • Hi George, it’s hard to say how long it should take. It’s pretty slow for me since I’m figuring most of it out without instructions. I think Matt said it should take 5 hours with instructions. My guess so far is more like 7 for assembly plus extra for debugging your first several prints.

  2. Great job Ryan, really clean pictures and logical instruction. I’m going to format the instruction manual for printing and PDF issuance, interested in contributing your content to the package?

  3. Great Work Ryan. I would like to add that I would oil the ball bearings in the bearing before installating the rods. The bearing wiper doesn’t allow much oil to get to the balls after installation.

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