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RepRap "Wilson" (Prusa I3 variant)

Posted by dro 
RepRap "Wilson" (Prusa I3 variant)
March 14, 2014 02:26PM
Hello everyone,

So I have been doing a lot of research on RepRaps/RepStraps through the forums and I am trying to determine what would be a good printer to start with. Looks like there has been a lot of changes and progress since last time I checked the RepRap project back in 2012. Back then I was bitten by the Arduino bug instead and dove into the rabbit hole head first and spend a lot of my free time hacking/making/playing (or like my wife calls it "wasting money!") with them instead of the 3d printers . Now most of my arduino projects are evolving to the point of having a 3D printer might be nice addition (instead of relying on hammond/otterbox enclosures, ponoko sourced parts and lots of duck tape winking smiley).

Based on my research/needs and expectation I have narrowed down my selection to the following printers:

- Prusa I3 (Rework/Einstein or Makerfarm I3 or 3d Printer Czar I3)
- Prusa wilson (I3 variant) [reprap.org]

I would like to keep the cost below $700, I don't mind if it's a kit or if I have to source the parts myself. I see a lot of newbies like me go with the Makerfarm i3 or 3dPrinter Czar i3 kits as they seem to be fairly decent for the price. I am not too thrilled about the laser cut frames (mdf and acrilyc) as I would like a printer that I can source parts fairly easy and not have to rely on ponoko, pololu or tricklaser.com if I have to make more printers. I can deal with it if I have to but it wouldn't be my first choice. Due to this reason, I also don't like the single plate aluminum. The box style made with sheets of wood is really not something I want either.

During my research I stumbled on the Wilson TS/RS and caught my eye. I like the fact that uses 2020 Extruded Aluminum (easily obtained through misumi or 8020.net), 3d printed parts based on the I3, cost would be similar to the ones above (if not less) and it appears to be more rigid.

I am reaching out to the community to see what you guys think about the design, do you see any issues with rigidity and has anybody built one yet. Looks like this would be a mix between the mandelmax 2.0 and Prusa I3. Would you add a back brace similar to the mendelmax 2.0?

Your thoughts/feedback are really appreciated.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/14/2014 02:27PM by dro.
Re: RepRap "Wilson" (Prusa I3 variant)
March 14, 2014 04:14PM
I'm putting together an openbeam printer at the moment and designing it as I go.
I'm putting it together with flexibility of design as a major consideration so that I can change things later as needed.
Have you looked at [cubehero.com] ?
It looks stabler to me than the Wilson and additonal stabilization would be easy to add.
Re: RepRap "Wilson" (Prusa I3 variant)
March 14, 2014 05:13PM
I would go with extruded aluminum no matter what you choose. If you decided soon, you can probably still catch the Misumi First150 promotion and get all your extrusion, and maybe some other parts, for free.


Re: RepRap "Wilson" (Prusa I3 variant)
March 16, 2014 06:18PM

Your design looks pretty sturdy. Are the printed parts (x idler,carriage,etc) specifically design for your printer or are they the same as the prusa I3? The motor mount already seems different. I like the use of aluminum extrusions but not sure I like openbeam, they don't seem to "offer cut-to length" options. I might stick with misumi for now.


Thanks for the tip! I still got until the 31st! Looks like this printer might be cheaper than I thought. Have you or anybody used misumis smooth rods? I am looking at the 304 Stainless Steel rods (pssfg8).

Let me know your thoughts

Re: RepRap "Wilson" (Prusa I3 variant)
March 16, 2014 06:47PM
Dro - that isn't my design. Mine is still in progress and I got some ideas from that.
I have just used standard size openbeam, rods etc. and arranged mountings so that any excess length isn't a problem.
I'm not using anything from the prusa but designing and printing all the parts as I go. It will be another month or 2 at least before mine is finished.
It uses 15mm openbeam and 12mm rods with initially a build size of 300 x 200 but easy to increase.
Re: RepRap "Wilson" (Prusa I3 variant)
April 05, 2014 03:38AM
I've used Misumi's PSFJ8 hard chrome plated rods, and they are very good. Much better than drill rod would be. I don't think there is much point to stainless, especially since the chromed ones have a harder surface finish, and they are almost half the price. As far as I know, the chromed rods will not rust on the surface, but may rust on the ends since they were machined. I have many hundreds of hours on my printer and these rods barely show a scratch, and those that I can see, I can't feel.

Mike Anton
Re: RepRap "Wilson" (Prusa I3 variant)
April 29, 2014 12:48AM
HI Dro

Im actually building a Wilson TS now. Its my first build too so I can't offer much in the way of advise as yet, but will be happy to compare notes etc.

Re: RepRap "Wilson" (Prusa I3 variant)
May 06, 2014 11:44PM

I built a Wilson TS using the Misumi $150 deal. Here is my build on [www.thingiverse.com]
If you use cap head screws you will need 1 Phillips head for the X idler. The cap head hit the Z M5 threaded rod. Also make sure you get full thread M3 25mm for the extruder hinge. Other than that the the build went smooth and it is printing great.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/06/2014 11:45PM by aBrainDump.
Re: RepRap "Wilson" (Prusa I3 variant) | Choosing M5 threaded rod
May 12, 2014 12:12PM
Hey guys. I'm about to build a Wilson TS as well. Just sourcing my last components. What I'm not sure about is what M5 threaded rod to choose from. I will be ordering from Misumi. Here are the options to choose from

Class 2 or Class 3?
Coarse or Fine ( thread pitch?)
1045 Carbon Steel ( black anodized or nickel plating?) or 314 Stainless Steel
Left hand threaded or right hand threaded?

I'm really new to 3D printing and I really don't know what to go for...


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/12/2014 12:12PM by TheHackerArtist.

Re: RepRap "Wilson" (Prusa I3 variant) | Choosing M5 threaded rod
May 12, 2014 04:32PM
Are you sure that what you linked to is what you require? These are studs, so they are not expected to be very long. Are you looking for threaded rods for the Z axis?

The standard pitch for M5 screws is 0.8mm (coarse), which is likely what the plans call for, though fine pitch would work just as well (but it would be a bit slower when moving in Z). You should be able to get these from a hardware store, if you can find one that sells metric. You could also use lead screws, but these are quite expensive, and require special nuts, but they are far superior to standard threaded rod. This may however require some parts to be changed to accommodate the nuts.

I bought a lot of my fasteners from Nutty, as they are fairly inexpensive, and they have the threaded rod in M5.

Mike Anton
Re: RepRap "Wilson" (Prusa I3 variant)
November 06, 2014 02:49PM
I'm starting to build a Wilson after getting my repstrap to work. I've now got almost all of the plastic parts printed for it in PLA, and I've ordered a kit of hardware (Tslots, rods and metric hw) from MJRice who designed the Wilson. Marty has an ebay store and he's willing to customize his kits to your needs. I got my motors surplus and am now sourcing the electronics via ebay. Hope to make this a project for the winter break, should have all the stuff ordered from China by then.
Anonymous User
Re: RepRap "Wilson" (Prusa I3 variant)
February 11, 2015 06:00PM
I know this is an old thread, but I just wanted to throw my 2 cents in with the RepRap Wilson TS, since I just completed building mine (with the help of my wife)... =) Overall, the build is quite simple and with the help of Marty's step by step build videos on youtube (THANKS VERY MUCH MARTY!!!), the entire build process was even simpler... =) I added a few upgrades on mine, such as attaching a "Budaschnozzle / Buda-style" V2.0 hotend as opposed to the J-Head, and also used the Nylon self lubricating and self aligning pillow blocks bearings for the Y axis, since the regular LM8UUs I received had some defective ones and I didn't want to wait for another batch to come in. My wife and I decided to sell it on eBay (it's up for auction now) as we are going to build another one, with a different color and add a little more upgrades to our next build. Pics can be seen in our eBay auction page here: Wilson TS
Re: RepRap "Wilson" (Prusa I3 variant)
March 01, 2015 11:20AM
I'm starting to build a Wilson after getting my repstrap to work. I've now got almost all of the plastic parts printed for it in PLA, and I've ordered a kit of hardware (Tslots, rods and metric hw) from MJRice who designed the Wilson. Marty has an ebay store and he's willing to customize his kits to your needs. I got my motors surplus and am now sourcing the electronics via ebay. Hope to make this a project for the winter break, should have all the stuff ordered from China by then.

Have you started your build, how is it going?
Can a second extruder be added to the Wilson TS?

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/01/2015 03:37PM by Michaelj.
Re: RepRap "Wilson" (Prusa I3 variant)
March 01, 2015 01:18PM
Michaelj, check out some of the completed builds in thingverse...


Two new ones posted this week.

Re: RepRap "Wilson" (Prusa I3 variant)
March 01, 2015 03:42PM
Bassnfool TY, I've been looking at picks of builds all over. It's starting to grow on me.
I like the idea that it is so much more customizable as far as the frame is concerned.
I would actully like to build a 305mm x 305mm x 305mm printer. I figure once I get my
First printer up and running I'll build the bigger one.
Re: RepRap "Wilson" (Prusa I3 variant)
March 05, 2015 03:49PM
Well, I'm building my wilson ts. I purchased a complete kit from mjrice, the designer of the wilson ts. I bought it on Feb 28 for $480 + $21 for shipping. It shipped the next day. It arrived at my house on Wednesday, March 4th. Can't complain about that!

The kit was well packaged. Well documented. It had everything it was supposed to have and nothing was damaged. The plastic parts are better than I expected based on pictures from other kits. I hope i can get prints this good!

I have completed all but the electronics and dailing in. The build videos were so complete i only used the included written build instructions one time so far.

At this point couldn't be more happy with my experience!

More to come. :-)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/05/2015 05:18PM by bassnfool.
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Re: RepRap "Wilson" (Prusa I3 variant)
March 06, 2015 10:45AM
Got the electronics installed and tested! One broken endstop :-( the lever arm fulcrum ( small bump ) appeared to have sheared off. I am asking the kit producer for a replacement.

On a more positive note... all the axis move and move in the correct direction. The LCD controller works fine. The extruder turns and hot end heats. The heat bead works and the thermister seems to work.

Other than the endstop, i'm ready to start tuning :-)

No prints yet...

Great Kit!


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/06/2015 10:46AM by bassnfool.
Re: RepRap "Wilson" (Prusa I3 variant)
June 30, 2015 01:46PM
It's been about 6 months now since I've built my
Wilson. You can see photos of it on Thingiverse that I posted on the entry for the Wilson. I've had a few problems with under extrusion (clogged nozzle and weak motor), skipping on X and Y axis (low current adjustments), and some software config issues. I cannot find anything wrong with the mechanical design of the printer itself however. Marty had been making upgrades and he needs to correct some of the videos. For example, if you install the X axis tension mod you MUST install the Y assembly as far left as possible, do NOT center it between the uprights or you won't have enough travel to the right to use the full width of the bed. He's also added a new Y tension adjustment, this will require printing a new Y idler end (or drilling out the access hole to allow it to be used). I had a failure of the X axis idler puller, the plastic part that encloses the actually pulley fell apart. The part that uses two identical parts is thicker than the two part one where one piece fits inside the other. Don't use the latter kind, it is too weak.
Re: RepRap "Wilson" (Prusa I3 variant)
November 06, 2015 06:10PM
Has anyone scaled this up for a larger build?
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