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4. Z-axis assembly

4. Z-axis assembly
Relevant for:
Last updated 3 years ago
4. Z-axis assembly
 Difficulty
Moderate
 Steps
26
 Available languages
CSDEESFRITJAPL

Step 2 Z-axis: assembling motor holders

Z-axis: assembling motor holders
Z-axis: assembling motor holders
Z-axis: assembling motor holders
Z-axis: assembling motor holders
WARNING: Printed parts aren't the same! There is a left and right oriented piece. See the pictures. Also note the correct orientation of the frame, the "PRUSA" logo must be facing towards you.
For the following step, please prepare:
Z-axis-bottom-left (1x)
Z-axis-bottom-right (1x)
M3x10 screw (6x)
Place the printed parts next to the frame. See the picture for CORRECT ORIENTATION (the small circular openings must be facing out).
Tighten each printed part with M3x10 screws. Don't use excessive strength during tightening! In case of increased resistance, try to place the screws from the other side to "clean up" the hole. Then return to the front side.
The design of the Z-axis printed parts version B7 is slightly different from the pictures. The screw heads should be aligned with the surface of the part.

Step 3 Placing the Z-screw covers

Placing the Z-screw covers
Placing the Z-screw covers
Placing the Z-screw covers
Placing the Z-screw covers
For the following step, please prepare:
Z-axis motor (2x)
Note each Z-axis motor has different cable length. The shorter one must be on the left side, longer on the right side.
Z-screw-cover (2x)
Remove the trapezoidal nuts from the motors. DON'T THROW them away, you will need them!
Screw the Z-screw covers onto both leadscrews.
Covers should be screwed fully to the motor, but not too tight! The motor must be able to spin freely!

Step 4 Z-axis: assembling the motors

Z-axis: assembling the motors
Z-axis: assembling the motors
Z-axis: assembling the motors
Z-axis: assembling the motors
For the following step, please prepare:
Z motor left (labeled Z axis left, shorter cable)
Z motor right (labeled Z axis right, longer cable)
M3x10 screw (8x)
See the second picture. The motor with the shorter cable (red arrow) is on the left, the motor with the longer cable (orange arrow) is on the right!
Motor cables must be oriented towards the frame, there is a small cutout in the frame on the lower edge for each cable.
Secure each motor with four M3x10 screws. Tighten evenly and carefully as you might break the printed parts.

Step 5 X-axis: trapezoidal nuts (part 1)

X-axis: trapezoidal nuts (part 1)
X-axis: trapezoidal nuts (part 1)
X-axis: trapezoidal nuts (part 1)
X-axis: trapezoidal nuts (part 1)
For the following step, please prepare:
Trapezoidal nut (2x)
M3x10 screw (4x) or M3x18 screw (4x)
Starting X-end version B6 you need longer screws M3x18. In the first batches (February 2018) the screws are in a separate bag.
M3n nut (4x)
Turn the X-axis upside down and insert nuts into traps on both X-ends.
In case you can't press the nuts in, don't use excessive force. First, check that there isn't any obstacle in the nut trap.
Note: Design of your X-end printed parts might slightly differ, but the assembly process is the same.

Step 6 X-axis: trapezoidal nuts (part 2)

X-axis: trapezoidal nuts (part 2)
X-axis: trapezoidal nuts (part 2)
X-axis: trapezoidal nuts (part 2)
Carefully rotate the X-axis onto its backside.
Insert the trapezoidal nuts to each X-end.
Note the correct orientation of the trapezoidal motor nuts!
Tighten the nuts with M3x10 screws or with M3x18 screws. Longer screws are needed in case of X-end version B6 and newer.
You can use any of all four holes on the trapezoidal nuts.
Note: Design of your X-end printed parts might slightly differ, but the assembly process is the same.

Step 7 Assembling the X-axis and smooth rods

Assembling the X-axis and smooth rods
Assembling the X-axis and smooth rods
Assembling the X-axis and smooth rods
Assembling the X-axis and smooth rods
Aside from the X-axis, please prepare for the following step:
Smooth rod 320 mm (2x)
Carefully slide the X-axis on the trapezoidal lead screws. By rotating both screws simultaneously let the X-axis slide until both trapezoidal lead screws are visible.
Make sure the top smooth rod of the X-axis and the lower edge of the frame are parallel.
NOW, PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL! Gently insert the remaining smooth rods through the bearings on the X-axis all the way down into printed parts, do not apply too much force and do not tilt the rod!
In case you manage to push out balls from the bearings, please count them. One or two balls are ok, if there are more of them, please consider ordering new bearings.
Note: Design of your X-end printed parts might slightly differ, but the assembly process is the same.

Step 9 Placing the Z-axis-top parts (part 2)

Placing the Z-axis-top parts (part 2)
Placing the Z-axis-top parts (part 2)
Placing the Z-axis-top parts (part 2)
Placing the Z-axis-top parts (part 2)
Place the Z-axis-top-left part on the rods and align it with the frame.
Ensure the holes in the printed part are fully aligned with the holes on the frame.
Use two M3x10 screws to tighten the Z-axis-top-left part.
Don't use excessive strength during tightening. In case of increased resistance, try to place the screws from the other side to "clean up" the hole. Then return to the front side.
Repeat this step on the other side of the frame with Z-axis-top-right printed part.
Note: Design of your X-end printed parts might slightly differ, but the assembly process is the same.

Step 10 Different X-carriage design

Different X-carriage design
Different X-carriage design
Starting mid of February 2018, the MK3 kit is shipped with improved X-carriage.
Compare yours against the picture and choose from following:
The old design is on the left side of the photo. Please proceed to Step 19
The new design is on the right side of the photo. Please proceed to Step 11

Step 12 Assembling the X-axis belt (part 2, new design)

Assembling the X-axis belt (part 2, new design)
Assembling the X-axis belt (part 2, new design)
Assembling the X-axis belt (part 2, new design)
Assembling the X-axis belt (part 2, new design)
Guide the X-axis belt through the X-end-idler, around the 623h bearing with the housing and back.
Continue with the belt through the X-carriage. Note there are slots below the belt, those will be used for cables.
Guide the X-axis belt through the X-end-motor, around the GT2-16 pulley and back.

Step 13 Assembling the X-axis belt (part 3, new design)

Assembling the X-axis belt (part 3, new design)
Assembling the X-axis belt (part 3, new design)
Assembling the X-axis belt (part 3, new design)
Before you continue to guide the belt through the X-axis, please release two M3 screws on the X-end.
Rotate the X-axis motor as indicated towards the frame.
Insert the flat part of the X-GT2 belt into the X-carriage as in the second picture.
Use a screwdriver or the smallest Allen key to push the belt in.
There will be belt overhang on this side, DON'T TRIM IT yet.

Step 14 Tensioning the X-axis belt (part 1, new design)

Tensioning the X-axis belt (part 1, new design)
Tensioning the X-axis belt (part 1, new design)
Tensioning the X-axis belt (part 1, new design)
Using right hand rotate the motor to its original position and hold it (tension is applied to the belt).
Using two fingers on your left hand push the belt together. Very small force should be needed for bending the belt, BUT the belt shouldn't be bent by its own weight before being pressed with your fingers, it must be straight.
If you are struggling to rotate the motor back into position, the belt tension is too high.
Depending on the belt being under or overstretched, adjust the amount of the belt in the X-carriage.
When done, rotate the motor to its original position and tighten the M3 screws again.

Step 15 Aligning the X-axis belt (new design)

Aligning the X-axis belt (new design)
Aligning the X-axis belt (new design)
Both top and bottom part of the belt should be parallel (above each other).
To adjust the belt position, release the screws on the pulley and move it slightly until you reach the best position.
Tighten both screws on the pulley.

Step 16 Testing the X-axis belt (new design)

Testing the X-axis belt (new design)
Testing the X-axis belt (new design)
Use the technique described below to test if the belt is properly stretched.
Use pliers to hold the X-axis motor shaft.
Move the X-carriage towards the X-axis motor. Don't use excessive force.
If the belt is stretched properly, you should feel a resistance and the X-carriage won't move at all. If the belt is too loose, it will deform (create a "wave") and jump over the teeth on the pulley.
Belt too loose? Return to step 13 and repeat all steps until now. You have to rotate the motor and retighten the belt in the X-carriage. Shortening the belt length by moving one or two teeth outside X-carriage should be enough.

Step 17 Trimming the X-axis belt (new design)

Trimming the X-axis belt (new design)
Trimming the X-axis belt (new design)
Trimming the X-axis belt (new design)
Trimming the X-axis belt (new design)
For the following step we recommend getting a white marker, but you can also trim the belt without it.
Measure the part, which must be trimmed and gently take the end of the belt away, from the X-carriage, but make sure at least 3-4 teeth are still in the X-carriage, as you don't want to lose the tension. If possible make a mark, where to cut the belt.
Ensure again your mark is in the correct position and the belt is still stretched.
Using pliers cut the belt and push it inside X-carriage. Use screwdriver or Allen key, if needed.

Step 18 Fine tuning the x-axis belt (new design)

Fine tuning the x-axis belt (new design)
Fine tuning the x-axis belt (new design)
Fine tuning the x-axis belt (new design)
Fine tuning the x-axis belt (new design)
In this step, we will finish tensioning the belt. Please read the instructions first, your belt might have proper tension already.
First, slightly release all the screws holding the motor, otherwise, the upper "tensioner" won't work (the motor must be able to move).
ATTENTION !!! BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL WHILE TIGHTENING, YOU CAN CRACK THE PART IF YOU OVERTIGHT THE SCREW.
Using Allen key start tightening the M3x18 screw inside the X-end-motor, but after each turn or two check the tension in the belt.
In Step 14, you were asked to have the belt a bit less stretched, however, for the optimal performance, the belt must be a bit harder to press with your fingers. Move the X-carriage all the way to the X-end-idler and try the belt tension in the middle of the X-axis.
When you achieve optimal tension, please tighten the screws again.
In case you experience X-axis failure during calibration or skipped layers in the X direction, you can adjust this screw accordingly. Tightening the screw stretches the belt. Releasing the screw has opposite effect. Each time don't forget to release the screws on the motor first.
Ready? Please jump to step Step 25

Step 19 Assembling the X-axis belt (part 1, old design)

Assembling the X-axis belt (part 1, old design)
Assembling the X-axis belt (part 1, old design)
Assembling the X-axis belt (part 1, old design)
Assembling the X-axis belt (part 1, old design)
DON'T TRIM THE BELT unless you are asked in the instructions!!!
Insert the flat part of the X-GT2 belt (850 mm) into the X-carriage as in the picture.
Press the belt all the way in, use a screwdriver or an Allen key.
It's very IMPORTANT that the short end of the belt isn't sticking out of the X-carriage.

Step 20 Assembling the X-axis belt (part 2, old design)

Assembling the X-axis belt (part 2, old design)
Assembling the X-axis belt (part 2, old design)
Assembling the X-axis belt (part 2, old design)
Assembling the X-axis belt (part 2, old design)
Guide the X-axis belt through the X-end-idler, around the 623h bearing with the housing and back.
Continue with the belt through the X-carriage. Note there are slots below the belt, those will be used for cables.
Guide the X-axis belt through the X-end-motor, around the GT2-16 pulley and back.

Step 21 Assembling the X-axis belt (part 3, old design)

Assembling the X-axis belt (part 3, old design)
Assembling the X-axis belt (part 3, old design)
Assembling the X-axis belt (part 3, old design)
Assembling the X-axis belt (part 3, old design)
Before you continue to guide the belt through the X-axis, please release two M3 screws on the X-end.
Rotate the X-axis motor down.
Insert the flat part of the X-GT2 belt into the X-carriage as in the second picture.
Press the belt all the way in, use a screwdriver or an Allen key.
There can be a slight belt overhang on this side, no need to trim it.

Step 22 Tensioning the X-axis belt (old design)

Tensioning the X-axis belt (old design)
Tensioning the X-axis belt (old design)
Tensioning the X-axis belt (old design)
Using right hand rotate the motor to its original position and hold it.
Using a finger on your left hand push the belt down. Some force should be needed for bending the belt, BUT don't try to overstretch the belt as you might damage the printer.
If you are struggling to rotate the motor back into position the belt tension is too high.
Depending on the belt being under or overstretched, adjust the amount of the belt in the X-carriage.
When done, rotate the motor to its original position and tighten the M3 screws again.

Step 23 Aligning the X-axis belt (old design)

Aligning the X-axis belt (old design)
Aligning the X-axis belt (old design)
Aligning the X-axis belt (old design)
Both top and bottom part of the belt should be parallel (above each other).
To adjust the belt position, release the screws on the pulley and move it slightly until you reach the best position.
In case you can't make the belt parallel, check if the belt is properly inserted in the X-carriage.
Tighten both screws on the pulley.

Step 24 Testing the X-axis belt (old design)

Testing the X-axis belt (old design)
Testing the X-axis belt (old design)
Use the technique described below to test if the belt is properly stretched.
Use pliers to hold the X-axis motor shaft.
Move the X-carriage towards the X-axis motor. Don't use excessive force.
If the belt is stretched properly, you should feel a resistance and the X-carriage won't move at all. If the belt is too loose, it will deform (create a "wave") and jump over the teeth on the pulley.
Belt too loose? Return to step 12 and repeat all steps until now. You have to rotate the motor and retighten the belt in the X-carriage. Shortening the belt length by moving one or two teeth outside X-carriage should be enough.

Step 25 Z-axis is finished!

Z-axis is finished!
Z-axis is finished!
Z-axis is done! Time for another gummy bear. You still have some right? :)
Check the final look, compare it to the picture.
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