WorkHorse 3D Printer - Large Format DIY 3D Printer With All Lead Screw - Fixed Bed - Moving Gantry

WorkHorse 3D Printer - Large Format DIY 3D Printer With All Lead Screw - Fixed Bed - Moving Gantry

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Description
    DIY Large Scale 3D Printer With All Lead Screws

    The Workhorse Printer is a large format 3d printer some friends and I have been working on for the past three years. The large 3d printer is a modular machine platform that uses lead screw driven motion with a fixed bed / moving gantry.

    • Fixed Bed / Moving Gantry
    • X and Y-Axis Lead Screw
Lead Screw vs Belt Driven Motion

While most 3d printers use belt driven motion in the x and y axis to increase print speed but loses quality when more weight is applied to the gantry or carriage. The lead screw used on the Workhorse has a high helix pitch with multiple threads to allow increased print speeds while maintaining the quality provided from lead screw and ball screw motion. We designed the machine for applications that require more weight to the gantry or carriage such as materials such as clay, chocolate, plastic pellet extrusion. The increased weight is moved around which without decreased quality or reduced print speeds for a heavy pellet extruder. While there are many large 3d printers and many open source or DIY 3d printer kits, the Workhorse printer's design goal is to use a all lead screw or all ball screw drive system rather than the typical belt system found on other large 3d printer designs such as the re3D Gigabot or Modix 3D Printer or BigRep. Most of the lead screw of ball screw 3d printers are industrial printers such as the Titan Robotics Atlas 3d printer which is a commercial 3d printer with a high price tag.


Large Build Area
  • Print size millimeters (xyz): 650 x 350 x 350 mm
  • Print size inches (xyz): 25.6 x 13.7 x 13.7 inches
Fixed Bed

While most large format printers use a moving bed that moves along the Z-Axis, the Workhorse’s fixed bed and moving gantry design is more ideal for the large scale 3d printing process. The moving gantry is the best large 3d printer configuration setup to keep the fixed bed leveled when removing large 3d printed parts.

Nema 23 Stepper Motors

In order to drive the lead screw we had to use Nema 23's instead of the typical Nema 17 stepper motors found on most 3d printers and machine custom motor mounts.


Electronics

We've experimented with all of the best 3d printer electronics that are open source systems and the Duet3D controller is better at keeping the dual x lead screws and the dual z motors in sync. The Duet Wifi works well but I'll have to recommend the Duet 3 6HC Mainboard. The Duet 3 controller uses high amperage stepper motor drivers that allow the Workhorse Printer to 3d print at high speeds which would normally cause the stepper motors to skip steps.

RepRap Firmware

We used RepRap firmware level the gantry to the bed using Dual Z Stepper motors or multiple independent Z-axis motors and auto bed levelling.

Each Z motor must be driven from a separate stepper motor output on multiple drivers with each motor having its own endstop switchfor the Z axis.

1st. Auto level

2nd. Mesh Bed Leveling



Frame

The frame is made out of 2020 aluminum extrusions but the new Workhorse Pinter design uses a 3030 frame size. We use Misumi profile but most 20mm x 20mm extrusion will work.:

Frame Dimensions

20mm x 20mm HFS5 Aluminum Extrusions (Misumi Band)

  • 4pcs 930mm Long
  • 6pcs 510mm Long
  • 10pcs 570mm Long
  • 3pcs 808mm Long
Build Plate

A thick cast aluminum tooling plate for bed with an adhesive silicone heat pad that goes up to 110-120 degree c without issues and can continuously operate at temperatures of 150-200 degree c. The adhesive heating pad on the bottom of the bed plate with a layer of insulation will be sufficient. Keenovo has a good reputation for the best of the heated print bed makers and carries a variety of pads. They also do custom heat pads sizes if needed.


Enclosure

The Workhorse enclosure is made from custom cut sheets of polycarbonate that is held in position aluminum trim.This design and BOM is a good solution for a large 3d printer enclosure.



Comments

I love this design, i have a question though, have you had any issue's with binding on the Z-Axis rails when there are temperature shifts?
What if you enclose this whole printer and increase enclosure to 80deg, with the ally profiles expanding, do you think this will create issues? Have you had any issues with this design?

27 days ago
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Shane Hooper
Conroe, TX, United States of America
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