Custom Printer Build

Look at Exoslide system may be what you need.

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That is VERY interesting! Definitely something I will consider. I’m gonna have to do a bit more research on their system, but it looks like an excellent compromise between v-slot and linear rails.

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I experimented with the Exoslide a couple of years back, Have it on my 5 Plus and a couple of other random axis scattered through the lab, and Never had a failure on them yet, I wish we could carry them in store but the owner never got back to me on pricing. It’s really too bad, I like the system.


So, since the bed will be 100% stationary, no matter which motion system option I end up going with, how thick of a bed is optimal? I assume thicker is better, at least to a point? Longer warm up time isn’t a significant concern. Speaking of the bed, what’s the best way to mount it? Bolting it down won’t allow for thermal expansion, and could make warping worse. The Rat Rig V-core 3.1 has a mount that allows the bed to expand and contract freely with only one of its three mounts fixed in all 3 axis. What are those mounts actually called, and do they in reality have less warping than a solidly bolted down bed?

I build the Modix printers here in the store pretty regularly. It looks like a solid mounted bed on extrusion but its actually not,

2 of the bolts are tight and the opposite 2 are just “touched” snug and do allow for all the expansion as required.

Hi there,

I know this thread is pretty old but I thought I would throw my input in here anyways.

Have you ever heard of the ender extender kits? These are basically just kits that you can buy to make the build size of the ender 3 a lot bigger. Along with the kits there are also plans so you can do it yourself. In the past I have seen people make 2m long beds :rofl:

Not totally sure about the pricing of this stuff compared to building it yourself, but it might be something you want to look into. I know the facebook page is pretty active and people are usually pretty fast to respond to questions on it. I have included the link to the main website for the ender extender along with the facebook page.


You mean they are still a bed slinger with a 2m long bed?!

Hi there!

Yes it was a bed slinger with a 2 meter long bed!!! Crazy right, and the best part was it actually worked quite well! Granted it had to run very slowly, but hey beggars cant be choosers. I tried looking for the original post I had seen it in yesterday but was unable to find it, I know that it was quite some time ago.

The nice thing about the ender 3 for modifying with something like this would be the price and the open source aspect. Used ender 3’s are extremely cheap and can be found for like $100. And since they are open source printers you can customize basically anything about it. Another great part is that they use pretty standard parts, i.e. aluminum extrusions, nema 17 stepper motors, and belted v-wheel motion systems. These parts are not only relatively cheap, but also readily available!

The one problem that I can see is the bed, I believe for most of the ender extender kits they use mirrors as the bed surface. This might be a good option for you as I’m sure you could find some sort of large mirror at furniture stores that would suffice, I have never tried using mirrors as bed surfaces before. But I imagine they should work fine. I’m also not entirely sure about the bed however, You may be able to use some sheet metal of some sort, but you would have to make sure its flat. I know a lot less about machining than I do about 3D Printing, maybe someone who knows a bit more can chime in and educate me?


Wow! Well, I don’t have room for a 1.4meter bed slinger, so that much is out. I’m thinking 1/4 inch aluminum plate for the bed, as that is readily available locally for about $100. It won’t be quite as flat as a machined aluminum plate would be, I expect, but I should be able to get it close enough for ABL to work fairly well. I might go with a thinner aluminum sheet so I can use the bed mounting bolts to force it into a flat position a little more easily.

My limited experience with glass build surfaces has not been all that great, and I have been very happy with wham bam PC build surfaces, so that is likely the route I will go. I will need multiple pieces to cover the entire bed, but the slight defects on the underside of the print by the joints will be easy enough to trim off.

Likely the hardest part of the printer to source is gonna be the bed heater. Finding one of sufficient size and low enough wattage could be an issue. For motion parts, I am liking the idea of going with exoslides on everything. The price point is quite reasonable. Probably will go with a Creality MK8 style hotend coupled with a Bondtech BMG.

I think if I can find a suitable bed heater setup for a price that isn’t too insane, I will probably build this printer as most of the other details seem to be falling into place. Still open to advice though, especially if you see an idea of mine that would obviously not work like I would want it to.

Thanks for your response,

I can definitely understand the space issues. Every dorm room I tour seems to get smaller and smaller :sob:. Seems like I will have to get rid of some of my precious printers before I go, sigh…

Your plan here seems pretty well laid out, one idea I have for the bed heaters are to just use multiple. I have not tried this before, but theoretically it would be possible. The one thing you would have to check is that you can wire it up properly, and that your socket can handle all the power, we dont want a blown breaker every time the printer turns on.

I had seen a guy on YouTube make a custom 1mx1m corexy printer, if you are interested in watching this I can see if I can find it again, but I recall that for his bed he used 4 500mm heaters. This allowed him to cover the area of the bed, but it also allowed him to control each of them individually. This way if he wanted to print something smaller he could heat up a small portion of the bed instead of the whole thing.

Hopefully you will be able to figure something out, when you get it going I want to see some of the models you print for sure!


just thinking could you use multiple smaller bed heaters to heat the setup this could also allow less power used if you didnt require the whole length of the bed on a print

Great minds think alike :grin:

haha I reponded to him and didnt read your post @Matthew
my father is a mechanic and i live on a farm so if you cant find what you need exactly you look at what else you can use

Yes, the multiple heaters option has occurred to me too. I still will need to find a bed heater of aprox 20cm square that doesn’t draw more than about 30 watts. The last time I looked, I didn’t find much for bed heaters like that.

Hey there!

Yeah this may be rather tricky to find. One other option that occurs to me is something I saw on the positron printers. If I remember right I believe he was using copper tape to heat up the bed. I believe the idea was it was supposed to be similar to a back windshield warmer, depending on the size of the copper tape there would be a certain resistance, if this is placed on the underside of the bed and a voltage is run across it they start to heat up.

On the positron printers they put the tape directly onto the underside of the glass, this is something you may be interested to explore as well. It might save you from having to get a big piece of sheet metal cut. Although at that size you might want to do that anyways.

Happy printing,

Well, looks like I will just be settling for a higher wattage heater with a somewhat narrower bed. McMaster-Carr has some heaters that will work out to 360 watts for the entire bed using 4 6 by 12inch 90 watt heaters. I guess we will see if they let me order from them, as I hear it hasn’t worked for some. A Mean Well RSP 500-24 PSU should handle it nicely.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a place to get wiring harnesses? Or is it likely to be simpler to get the wire and make my own harnesses? I will want the same end style as the Creality printers use, as I will be using a BTT SKR MINI E3 V3.0 board and Creality steppers. Harnesses will be over a meter long.

Edit never mind, I see 3d Printing Canada has what I need for stepper harnesses. The endstop, thermistor, and heater cartridge harnesses will be easy to make myself

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sounds good look forward to deing this come together

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Hey there,

Yeah we have some pre-made harnesses here, but personally I have always enjoyed making them myself. I like crimping and soldering and when you do it yourself you can make it exactly as long as you need it to be which helps with the cable management.

Keep me updated on your progress, I am very invested in this project.

Well, I ordered some steppers and your 2meter stepper harnesses which should be pretty close to what I need, from you guys. I’ve done a bit more shopping around for bed heaters and found these guys LM Silicone Rubber Mat Heater 12v (Thermosense Direct)
Definitely a lot better fit for me than what McMaster-carr has. They’re 12v heaters, but sufficiently specced buck converters should do the job shouldn’t it? I still need to round up a few other components, and finish a few other projects here at home, but it’s looking more and more likely that I will be taking this project on. I will definitely keep you guys posted on this project.

Edit, apparently these guys don’t want to deliver to North America. I might need to contact them to see if they’d make an exception.

How are you expecting to get “sufficiently specced buck converters”? Buck converters are very poor in applications that have rapidly changing loads (like the changes you’ll see coming from the PID control). I doubt you will get any kind of consistent signal out of them unless you can reduce the PID period to 2s or more (for 3D printers, they normally run with a period of 0.1s - 10Hz).

Your best bet is with a linear regulator which means (a lot) more heat loss but very consistent voltage and current output. You will want to use something like: