Considering smartrapcore alu as my first corexy - opinions?
December 31, 2015 12:53PM
I have an i3 and a Kossel Mini so the next logical step is a corexy. What are opinions of the smartfriendz kit? What are the sensible upgrades/fixes that most people do since it makes sense to just build it the best way at the outset?

Does the cantilevered z carriage design flex? Would using acme leadscrews/ballscrews with one where the current belt sits and the other at the front of the bed give better z positioning or is the belt driven cantilevered design adequate?

Thanks in advance for your advice.

Additionally is there a variant with the motors external to the frame to allow for better use as an enclosed build area?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/31/2015 12:55PM by DjDemonD.
Re: Considering smartrapcore alu as my first corexy - opinions?
January 01, 2016 01:49AM
This post may help
Re: Considering smartrapcore alu as my first corexy - opinions?
January 01, 2016 02:37AM
Thanks, I did already read that thread it helpful but it doesn't really answer my questions. I was hoping to get some advice from someone who has a smartrapcore alu printer and understands this machine very well l.
Re: Considering smartrapcore alu as my first corexy - opinions?
January 03, 2016 11:06AM
Re: Considering smartrapcore alu as my first corexy - opinions?
January 04, 2016 08:14AM
Check this out []
Re: Considering smartrapcore alu as my first corexy - opinions?
January 19, 2016 11:24AM
I've been looking at the Smartrapcore ALU recently albit as my second printer(I have a custom built P3Steel running Duet electronics, IR sensor, and PanelDue as my "parent" machine).

While the ALU isn't my first machine I thought I would weigh in on several considerations I have been thinking about based on my first 3d printer build experience.

+'s for the ALU kit:
- Frame; Nice basic aluminum extrusion frame that can be readily expanded/enlarged and allows new parts to be easily designed and mounted.

- CoreXY; faster printing and cleaner design than the standard i3's IMO

- Assembly; You get everything in one box AND Smartfriendz has done a great job of pre-assembling things so setup should be relatively straight forward.

- Reputable company; From everything I've read SmartFriendz seems to be very reputable and while nothing much has been published about the quality of their kits(weigh in?) from my estimation and their hours of videos I suspect they are pretty solid performers out of the box.

- Fun to improve upon; There are plenty of things to upgrade/print/improve. For me this is the fun of the 3d printing hobby. Most of us start with some sort of kit and grow from there. Just see the list below or start researching other CoreXY machines and you'll see what I mean. This is often the fun part.

Reasons to think it over:
- Order Time; How backordered is Smartfriendz right now(1/19/16)? Will this kit really ship in 10 days? As great as online 3d printing stores are backorders can be painful(especially when you're machine is out of commission).

- Hotend; Smartfriendz has not documented what hotend they are using in this kit. Real j-head? j-head clone? I have not been able to find anyone describing their experience with the stock hotend in these kits and based on my experience this will be your first potential headache. I would not buy anything without a plan to have a real j-head, e3d, hexagon or similarly reviewed hotend in place. You are asking for immediate frustration otherwise.

- Bowden extruder; go research this. Personally, I am looking to try and compare this approach. I want more design flexibility on the x-carriage and more speed. However, much has been written about the potential tweaking, configuration, and troubleshooting this extruder approach presents... Nothing wrong with it but be prepared to tinker here.

- Z-Axis; You will likely want to re-build the z-axis using a leadscrew and/or multiple motors to increase stability(subsequently print quality) or enlarge the print area.

- Plastic Pulleys; Lots of plastic pulleys in use, while not a problem starting out you might want to upgrade these to "real" wheels to quiet things up and eliminate a potential failure point.

- RAMPs 1.4 electronics; I started with these on my first printer but soon got frustrated troubleshooting power issues with the extruder steps and heatbed switching. It is a completely viable solution -that will likely work well for you starting out BUT using RAAD or the Duet are going to be a much happier experience long-term. The Duet's capability to do excellent z-probe setup and auto-bed adjustment alone will save you countless hours of "learning".

- There are some really well-documented ALU coreXY builds appeaaring in the reprap corexy forums. Check out the following 2 links:,551126,page=1

Yes, you would need to source all of the parts yourself and this sucks if you don't have a "parent printer" on-hand but these designs are easily attainable with the v-slot aluminum framing.

Ultimately it becomes a choice of buy and upgrade VS research, read, plan, and build something awesome. I took the first approach with my P3Steel and having learned a few things I think the latter approach is the right one for me this time around.

Best Wishes!

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