Part 7 of our 3D Printer build

In this part of our printer assembly, we:

  • cut and installed the filament feed tubes
  • mounted the Z stage
  • Time for this step: 2 hours
  • Total build time: 15 hours 50 minutes

This is the seventh stage of our 3D printer kit build. For the background to the project and details of the kit we are using, take a look at the introductory page here, or click here to see all our posts about this project.

The first task for this part of the build was to cut two 70cm lengths of PTFE tubing to feed filament to the print heads. The tube should be cut as square as possible as uneven ends could lead to filament blockages.

2015-08-05 19.51.14

We then mounted one end of each tube into the filament feeder on each side of the printer. It needs to be pushed into the tube fitting as far as it will go.

2015-08-05 19.53.44

On the right hand side of the printer the extruder cable harness needs to be wrapped up with the filament tube using the provided spiral wrap.

2015-08-05 20.00.31

A cable clip on each side of the printer helps to keep the tubes and cables secure.

2015-08-05 20.10.30

At the print head, the filament tube and the extruder cable harness separate again – the filament tubes push into the tube fittings on each side of the print head, and the extruder cable connects to the 10 pin connector at the rear of the print head.


Now we moved on to assembling the Z stage which will move the build platform up and down. The first step is to install two circlips onto each one of 4 linear bearings using circlip pliers.

2015-08-05 20.16.16-2

The bearings each with their circlips installed.

2015-08-05 20.19.13

We then slid two bearings over each of the Z rods and mounted the Z rods onto the back of the printer, where they are held in place by mounting pieces which need to be screwed into the top and bottom.

2015-08-05 20.27.37

Bearings in place on one of the Z rods.

2015-08-05 20.27.41

We then installed these bearing clamp pieces over each one of the bearings, fitting them neatly between the circlips, and installed a screw on the back side of the printer to hold them in place. The screw should only be done up loosely at this stage.

2015-08-05 20.51.50

We now moved on to assembling the build platform support arms. We attached a rear support to each arm, then the front support which holds the two arms together.

2015-08-05 20.34.10

We then bolted the two arms to the other side of the bearing clamps on the inside of the printer.

2015-08-05 21.25.28

The platform support arms in place.


Keep an eye on the 3D Printing section for all the posts about our build, post questions in the comments or tweet us at @dannynic or @sarah_nic.