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Notes from an addict

Ezra Zygmuntowicz - ezmobius

Today is the day we say farewell to Ezra Zygmuntowicz.

Your drive to take 3D printing to the next level inspired me, along with our many discussions outside of 3D printing.

I am proudly one of the few owners of an Aluminatus, one of Ezra's 3D printers.

In the wash-up around trinity labs, there are many that have stories of disappointment

I am sad that we will not see a trinity water-cooled glass hot end with 4 filament and inductive heating. that would have rocked!

More than this, I am sad that I will never again get to talk with you.

I believe you are truly one of the great innovators in 3d printing and #reprap history.

You will be sorely missed.

There is a memorial fund at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ezra-zygmuntowicz-memorial-fund-for-his-son-ryland

Prusa Mendel Build

It all started with a little bag of parts I found out about reprap in August 2012, within a month I had a range of parts coming to me to commence my first prusa mendel build.

I found a Fabster3D Ramps LCD and PCB heater on ebay, ordered that and within a few days that was at my door! I also received a set of opto endstops with that first shipment.

I bought an ABS prusa mendel kit from dcolj, the parts were good quality, came with LM8UU's and also arrived quickly.

a set of smooth rods, and a bunch of stainless M8 rods and nuts and bolts, and a hobbed bolt later and I had the start of my build.

i paid too much for my steppers, but also got a T2.5 belt and pulley set, and an acrylic Y bed.

I eventually managed to get something resembling a print, [1]

The prints just kept getting better! before too long i had a puddle of goo that looked a little bit like a fan holder [2]

What followed was a whole range of steep learning curves, adding a cooling fan to make the plastic stay where it was put. reasonable prints

And then came repraproduction...

The proud parent

Prusa i3 Build

i3 Build Photos I have just achieved my first prints from my Prusa i3 single plate build, and decided to use the following configuration:

GT2 belts and pulleys,

MGS nema17 extruder

0.9 degree steppers on X and Y axis

M10 stainless threaded rods for Y carriage assembly.

Ramps 1.4 with 4988 gadgets3D pololus

PCB mk2 heat bed

I also ended up with a wiring kit from reprapdiscount, and a fan extender (highly recommended)

reasonable prints

Aluminatus Build

Aluminatus Build Pics

Flickr photo sets

my Flickr Photo Sets

Stuff for sale

My Prusa Mendel is presently for sale, gumtree ad I am presently putting together a few i3 build kits, which will be everything needed to build except the electronics/belts/steppers/ supplied from fabster3d, and using Josef Prusa's own product.

JBFromOZ's recommended i3 Build

I have tried a few different options do get a decent print. the Prusa Mendel was a good start point, but had some limitations, build area being the biggest single issue.

Extruder options

Gregs Wades (Geared 39:14 3mm, 1.75mm) Nema 17

My Mendel came with a Greg's Wades extruder, [3] which had some challenges, getting a working hot end (my first was an eclipse hot end, all but defunct now) and hobbed bolt combination, and battling the gear wear meant that just when i finally got something printing, it would be time to replace parts, so maintenance felt like a constant effort. ===JGR Direct Drive Nema 17 (1.75mm only) I used this in conjunction with the CHESS and JGR hot ends.

Micro Extruder

Hp's 50:1 geared stepper - some design work, [4] not tested

Phidgets planetary extruder


Hot Ends


Don't mess around, go with a J-Head, [6] get something that prints. Play around after with different options if you want, but J-head is solid, dependable and suited to both ABS and PLA. (3mm 0.5, 0.4 nozzles.


One word. don't. Hard work, I eventually got some kind of hang of it, but am happier that it has now gone to the charity bin. [7] (3mm 0.5 0.35 interchangeable nozzles)


The Beta Prusa Nozzle is good for ABS, but had issues with PLA.[8] I have just received a couple of second batch heads from Josef, these will hopefully result in a solution for PLA. [9] (3mm only, tho perhaps 1.75mm with a liner 0.6, 0.4mm nozzles)

JGR All metal

My first all metal hot end, the 1.75mm 0.5 JGR was hampered by the chinese 1.75mm filament i had received from Fabster for some trials. [10] I did not have a 1.75mm nozzle so picked up the JGR and a CHESS to try out printing at 1.75. I eventually broke my original JGR attempting to re-assemble after cleaning,[11] one of the issues early on was the internal bore roughness and jamming/stripping drive on the JGR direct drive extruder. I have received some later options, [12] but suffered from leakage when attempting to commission the next one. [13] I am presently awaiting a revised thermal barrier, 3mm with a sleeve, which is expected to improve the issues of heat soak and rough interior bore. ===Metal Magma (J-Magma) 3mm 0.5mm prints ABS well, but the issues with PLA are documented elsewhere, Ezra had most recently determined what may be a fix for these issues, but await his return to implement. ===Chess=== 0.4mm 1.75mm Ceramic hot end. This is the nozzle I ended up using to print my i3 parts.

Trinity Metal Magma

I have a couple of Metal Magmas on order from trinitylabs, but these are presently pending.-

The J-Head,

Single Plate Style

Parts to be Purchased


There are a number of variants of i3 single plate. I have documented here my preferred option, using M10 Y carriage, 608 bearing idlers, and Metal Gear System Extruder (3mm).



to build an Einstein variant (M10 for both Y axis, 608 idler bearings) you will need the following hardware:

  • 34 x M10 washers (y frame)
  • 34 x M10 nuts (y frame)
  • 4 x M10 x 210mm threaded rod (y frame short)
  • 2 x M10 x 380mm threaded rod (y frame long)
  • 2 x M8 x 30mm bolts ( X and Y idlers, X idler may need head ground off, a screw cap hex bolt will fit without modification)
  • 2 x M8 washers (X and Y idlers)
  • 2 x M8 nylocs (X and Y idlers)
  • 8 x M3 x 8mm socket cap bolts (6 for Z motor mounts, 2 for Y motor mounts)
  • 16 x M3 washers (6 for Z motor mounts 2 for Y belt mount, 8 for bed mount to PCB)
  • 4 x M3 nyloc nuts (bed mount to PCB)
  • 4 x M3 x 20mm (bed mount to PCB)
  • 12 x M3 x 10mm socket cap bolts ( 2 for Y belt mount, 10 for Z rod holder to i3 frame )
  • 2 x 8mm x 320 smooth rods (Z smooth rods)
  • 2 x 8mm x 350 smooth rods (Y smooth rods)
  • 2 x 8mm x 370 smooth rods (X smooth rods)
  • 2 x M5 x 300 threaded rod (Z axis)
  • 2 x M5 nuts (Z axis drive nuts)
  • 4 x M3 8mm standoffs (bed spacer above Y carriage to bed)
  • 10 x LM8UU bearings (or equivalent) (3 for Y carriage, 3 for X carriage, 4 for X ends)
  • 2 x M5 internal clear tube couplers for Z axis ( i used beer line)

this does not cover:

  • cable ties - 2.5mm wide ones to fit through all the fixings
  • RP parts - see images and links to sources below
  • aluminium single plate frame with Y carriage - reprapsource.com
  • hardware for extruder, eg. the Metal Gear System Metal_Gear_System_Extruder kit from reprapsource includes all extruder hardware and mounting hardware)
  • (Note that MGS files in Sound's i3-underwelt branch is stl's with T2.5 belts assumed)
  • steppers - depending on whether the extruder uses a nema 17, 4 or 5 nema17 steppers.
  • electronics, psu, pcb heat, belts, pulleys, the fabster3d ultra/ultimate kits are a good all in one source for ramps, PCB heater, LCD, GT2 belts and pulleys, thermistors, endstops, wiring (approx $200 inc shipping on ebay) an option now available includes steppers and a Buda style hot end, I have not used the hot end so do not know what this is like.
  • hotend (J-head is a good start www.hotends.com)
  • PSU (either a modded ATX or dedicated 33A switchmode supply (approx $40 inc shipping on ebay)

Rapid Prototype Parts

I have added some revisions to thingiverse:

  • z axis spool mounting replaces z-axis top and z-axis bottom in RP parts list below
  • x ends, 608 bearings I have moved the idler hole up slightly so that the bottom of the bearing lines up with the x carriage, narrowed the gap so that no shims are needed for a 7mm wide bearing hub, and removed the "windows" as I had strength issues when i first printed the einstein ends.
  • my cable chain mountings which hide lots of wiring and make me happy

I do not use endstops on my i3, but for those that want them, these look good, and zero vitamin count is nice.


RP Partslocated in Prusa/single_plate folder
y-corners.scad (M10 x 1 M8 x 2 holes)
magnetic-holder.scad (used for hall effect sensors / endstops)
EiNSTeiN branchmaster branch of i3 single-frame parts by EiNSTeiN: master at https://github.com/EiNSTeiN-/Prusa3/
platter.scad (EiNSTeiN variant) single plate for i3. Shown here to give a semi complete indication of what is in a set of parts. note this is not what I have printed due to a few minor alterations and different extruder option.1
MGS ExtruderMGS parts at https://github.com/alexrj/Prusa3/tree/i3-unterwelt (as pictured)
Single-Frame i3Aluminium 6mm plate 370mm x 370mm

The Prusa3 repository (below) includes frame for the aluminum "single_plate" variant. "single_plate": http://www.flickr.com/photos/sbgraber/sets/72157632513929965/with/8378333341/

The Prusa3ALU-*.dxf and Prusa3WOOD-*.dxf feature y-carriages that use zipties to fasten three LM8UUs to the underside. Prusa3_SC10UU-*.dxf has mount holes for SC10UU linear bearing blocks. Use whichever carriage fits your need.

I have modified the X Ends to strengthen them slightly as I had issues with EiNSTeiNS being harder to print easily, and resulted in an issue tensioning up the X idler/belt http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:122570

I have also made a set of cable chain parts to suit my printer as built, http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:57533, which uses the cable chain here as a start point http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:10946

File Sources

https://github.com/josefprusa/Prusa3 - Josef Prusa - main development repository
https://github.com/alexrj/Prusa3/tree/i3-unterwelt - Sound MINI repository, MGS extruder repository (files for parts shown above)
https://github.com/EiNSTeiN-/Prusa3/ - EiNSTeiN - 608 bearings, compact dual extruder repository, note that Y ends for M10 not M8 rods
https://github.com/Joaz/machine_parts/tree/master/mgs_prusa - Joaz - MGS extruder repository (parts not shown above)

Other Build Documentation

Instructions on the github say to RP each part in the single-plate folder. I believe this instruction applies to the box frame version only, some items need more than 1 copy.

Extruder Discussion

I have used an MGS extruder with a Nema17 stepper, designs from Sound are shown from his i3-unterwelt branch

Build photos from EiNSTieN's build record, including some additional reference to his edits for 608 bearings, GT2 belts, dual extruders etc.

Build Instructions (With Pictures!)

build Y assembly using 4 x corners (RP), 1 x Y motor mount (RP), 1 x Y Idler mount (RP), 4 x M8 prusa and sound's repo (M10 einsteins repo) threaded rod short 2 x M8 sound's repo (M10Prusa and Einstein repos) threaded rod long, 2 x M3 x 8mm cap head bolts, (10mm perhaps with M3 washers) 34 x M8 nuts (see notes later), 34 x M8 washers (see notes later), 1 x stepper. Note that there are the following variants. Prusa's master branch has M10 2 x 380mm (12 nuts and washers) and M8 4 x 205mm (22 nuts and 22 washers) (210mm for nyloc) Sound's repo uses all M8. Einsteins Repo uses all M10. be aware which corners, idler and motor you print, as these are all affected!!!
Clean and de-burr aluminium 6mm plates., tap holes as required
Cable tie LM8UU's to Y carriage, and attach 1 x Y belt connection (RP), 2 x M3 x 10mm cap head bolts, 2 x M3 washers, 3 x LM8UU bearings 3 x cable ties, 1 x aluminium Y carriage.
Another way of fixing bearings to the y-axis carriage (this way there is no risk of the ends crashing the vertical plate).
Attach Z mounts to Aluminium plate. 2 x upper Z mount (RP), 2 x lower Z mount (RP) 10 x M3 x 10mm (mounts to ali plate)
Attach Z steppers and smooth rods. , 6 x M3 x 8mm Z motor to mounts (with 6 x M3 washers). Install LM8UUs into the X Carriage (not onto rods as pictured)
build X carriage and attach to ali plate
attach Y assembly to ali plate
attach and tension Y belt.
Attach and tension X belt.
Attach Heated Bed.
build extruder assembly (dual extruder based on EiNSTeiN's branch as per above in these pictures)
Attach Ramps (standoffs etc as shown)
Complete all wiring!
I3-build-ramps mounted.jpg
Attach Extruder
Dual Printers!
Dual Extrusion!

Further specific details refer to Prusa i3 Build Manual wiring diagrams and other construction references on this wiki.