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Best XYZ Configuration?

Posted by benrubles 
Best XYZ Configuration?
January 14, 2016 10:18AM
Which XYZ configuration is the most accurate / easiest to maintain?
Re: Best XYZ Configuration?
January 14, 2016 03:14PM
Your measure of best is a bit limited. For my money "best" should include:

  • accuracy
  • reliability
  • low cost
  • readily obtainable materials
  • high printing speed
  • large build volume
  • easy to build, calibrate and maintain
  • robust/transportable without loosing calibration
  • compact (relative to print volume)
  • easy to enclose (for a heated chamber for ABS or to exclude dust)
  • capacity to add multiple extruders, either direct drive or bowden
  • capacity to add light weight machining head
  • light weight - if you plan to move it around. Heavier if you want to limit the effects of vibration.
  • ......

You can't maximise all of the above in one machine. Dual direct drive extruders will be heavy and can't be moved fast. A fast delta machine is not particularly compatible with a direct drive extruder so is less suitable for elastomeric (flexible) filaments (and deltas are excessively tall compared to print height).

I haven't built one yet but my favorite mechanism at the moment for my next large capacity XYZ machine is CoreXY. The bed only goes up and down (slowly) and the X-Y mechanism is fast. With XYZ machines like Prusa i3 having the bed moving fast means that the overall machine speed is limited. Also if you do a large print on your moving bed - the moving mass increases and can reach a limit where you skip steps - absolutely the last thing you want to see near the end of a 3 day print! With CoreXY the frame can easily be enclosed and the build volume is large compared to the overall volume. I would bowden feed a diamond hot end if I needed multi-extruder capability. I'd do a quick release hot end so I could replace it with a direct drive single hot end to be able to do flexible filament or a dremel tool to be able to do light machining or PCB drilling.

My Prusa Mendel i2 inspired Repstrap with welded steel frame: [youtu.be]
And my Smartrap derived Briefcase 3D printer: [youtu.be]
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