Assembling The Vision 3D Printer (Steps 14-18)

Step 14 (Z axis motor couplers):

Update: This step is easier done just after Step 4

parts needed:

  • 2 short tubing
  • 8 zip ties

Turn the printer onto it’s back so that you can access the two Z stepper motors. Cut a zip tie so that it is 14 mm long from the tab.


Stick the short zip tie in one end of the tubing and slide it onto the stepper motor shaft. NOTE: you want the zip tie to line up with the flat part of the shaft.


Take 3 zip ties and and wrap them around the tubing on the shaft and tighten them down super tight.

TIP: You can use slightly larger pliers to both pull on the zip tie end while pushing the tab down. Grab the end very close to the tab, and then rotate the pliers over the end of the tab until the end of the zip tie breaks off.


Repeat this step for the other Z stepper motor.

Step 15 (Mounting the X-platform):

parts needed:

  • X platform (steps 12-13)
  • 2 threaded rods (230mm)
  • 2 springs
  • 4 brass nuts
  • piece of cardboard or packaging
  • 2 zip ties

Put the cardboard/packaging material on the heated bed to protect it, and then slide the X-platform through the side of the printer and rest it on the protective material.


Update: This is recommend from the Reprap Prusa Build Manual

Take the 4 brass nuts and wrap them 1.5 times in electrical tape.


Then cut the them apart from each other:


Slide one nut into the bottom of the X-motor assembly. Drop the spring into the top, and then press a nut on top of it. It should take a little pressure to hold the nut down.


Now thread the rod through the the top nut. When you thread the rod through, you need to keep the top nut flush with the top of the assembly so that the spring is under a little bit of tension, Once you pass the bottom nut, it will hold itself in place. Keep threading the rod until it sticks out a couple of inches past the bottom.


Now attach the threaded rod to the tubing on the motor shafts. I found it easiest to forcefully push the rod into the coupler to get it started. Then take two extra brass nuts and lock them on the bottom of the shaft as a gripping point. With those in place, hold the tubing with pliers (gipping around the motor shaft), and then use the wrench to turn the double nuts. This threads the shaft farther into the coupler. You want to keep turning until there is only a small (4mm?) gap between the the motor shaft and the threaded rod.


Step 16 (Z axis bearings and support):

parts needed:

  • printer assembly
  • 2 smooth rods (315mm)
  • 2 bar clamps (printed)
  • 4 large flat washers
  • 4 large nuts
  • 4 linear bearings
  • 2 bar caps (printed)
  • 4 small flat washers
  • 8 black bolts (25mm)
  • 8 black nuts

Insert two black bolts with small washers into each bar cap and set aside.

Attach the bar clamps with washer and nuts leaving them loose (See step 1 where we did this before). Slide two linear bearings onto a smooth rod and then slide the rod into the bottom bar clamp, and rest it against the top bar gap.


Attach the top bar cap and tighten it down. NOTE: be careful to get the nuts into the traps on the z-motor mounts. Then get the digital calipers and measure the distance from the top of the smooth rod to the side of the printer. Tighten the bottom bar clamp so that the bar is perfectly parallel to the printer wall. Use the digital calipers to make sure the top and bottom are even.


Slide the linear bearings into the X-assembly and tighten them down with 2 bolts and 2 nuts. Again, make sure the nuts slide into the traps on the bearing mounts. See step 7 where we have done this before.


Repeat this step for the other side.

Step 17 (Z axis support pt2):

Update: Matt says this step is no longer needed and can lead to z-wobble. I have not noticed any problems however.

parts needed:

  • 2 bearing blocks (printed)
  • 2 bearings
  • 4 brass nuts
  • 2 black bolts (25mm)
  • 4 small flat washers
  • 4 black nuts


Insert a bearing into a bearing block (as shown above), and clip the block onto the lower end of the smooth rod. Attach two brass nuts onto the threaded rod, with the lower nut 7mm above the end of the rod. Counter tighten the two nuts, and slide the bearing mount up until it is supporting the nuts/threaded rod. Tighten the bearing block to the smooth shaft using  a 25mm bolt with washers, and a double nut at the end.


Repeat this step for the other side.

Step 18 (X platform belt):

parts needed:

  • 2 black bolts (25mm)
  • 1 black bolt (16mm)
  • 2 small flat washers
  • 3 nuts
  • 4 part clamp set (printed)
  • belt
  • 1 zip tie


The photo above is missing one of the clamp pieces.

Warning: This step is admittedly questionable. I scrapped this together from some photos on thingiverse and reprap forums.

The first clamp to install is the one closest to the motor. Take the zip tie and tighten it about 1 inch from the end of the belt. Then fold the belt in half (teeth together) with the zip tie at the crease. One of the belt clamps is a little too narrow for the belt and at the same time, way too deep. Take the folded belt and wedge it inside the clamp (sorry no photo, but see the final one below for a little help). The zip tie should be right against the belt clamp. Then use the 16mm bolt with a washer and nut to tighten the clamp down. Be careful to get the belt all the way in between the side of the clamp so that it doesn’t interfere with the bolt and clamp.

Wrap the belt around the pinion gear, over the bearings, and bring it back to the other side of the x carriage. Take one of the 25mm bolts, and slide it into the side (nearest the idler) of the belt clamp. Attach a nut and thread it so that it sticks about 4mm out the other end. Then attach the very small domed piece (tensioner) to the end of the bolt. Orient the tensioner so that the curved end is horizontal. See photo:


Now take the belt and loop it across the top of the x carriage, around the tensioner and back along the bottom. Then take the two remaining clamps, and tighten them with the remaining 25mm bolt, washer, and nut. You need to pull the belt so that its tight, but the platform will still travel easily.



For another view see George’s great photo.

Finally, align and tighten the X motor pinion gear:



4 thoughts on “Assembling The Vision 3D Printer (Steps 14-18)

  1. Great work Ryan. I noticed your parts list for step 17 pt 2 was slightly off. You have “2 black nuts (25mm)” when I think you mean “2 black screws (25mm)”. Also “4 nuts” should probably be “4 black nuts”.

    The part about one side of the belt clamp not fitting right, do you think this is something to bring to Matt’s attention? Perhaps he can fix it, send us a new part, or file that we can print ourselves and then replace…

    Also, the x axis motor shafts and tubes/3 zip ties thing, does it feel secure? I really would have thought there was a custom printed coupler or some hardware there. It seems a bit shoemaker and likely to be a point of failure. What are your thoughts?

    Thanks for all of your effort. I really will benefit from having read this, and will definitely use your instructions when I start my build, hopefully this weekend (awaiting tracking number till)

    • Hi George,

      Thanks for catching those problems! And I’m glad these instructions are helpful! I’ve updated the page to fix the errors you pointed out.

      For the motor coupler, I talked with Matt and there are a few options. I used the zip tie method because it was easiest and still felt very secure to me. Time will tell how well it works. Alternatively, here is another method Matt recommends:

      The 2nd way, which I use, requires you to “thread” a 5/16″ – 18 nut onto the tubing BEFORE you put it on the motor shaft. This sort of gives a really small amount of slack on the vinyl so that it is possible to thread it onto the vinyl once the vinyl coupler is on the motor shaft. Thread the nut onto the vinyl tubing, until it is fully on the tubing, then unthread the nut, place the nut on the motor shaft, install the vinyl onto the motor shaft and rethread the nut onto the vinyl tubing. Take note, this is NOT easy, but it grips the vinyl tubing to the shaft like superglue and makes it impossible to remove the tubing from the shaft. It prevents the motor shaft from slipping, even without a set screw.

      For the belt clamps I might wait until Matt has his X-carriage video posted. I found one thread online where someone had a similar issue with this version of the “Greg’s X carriage”, but there was no answer posted. If a better way is posted, I will likely update the instructions again like I did for Steps 1-3.


  2. Pingback: Assembling the Vision 3D Printer (Steps 4-6) | burnsed

  3. I did do the nut method for the “Z” axis motor to 6mm rod attachment. It is snug, but it was a bear to do. I agree that both the spring loaded nuts need to move freely and be snug against the printed part walls. This slop would be similar to back lash on a mill. I have used some .001 shim sheet that I cut small slivers and inserted one by one as many as I could between the nut faces and the part walls. The nut still slides up and down freely and some of the slop has been taken out.

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