Infinite Axis Printing On The Ender 3

It’s taken years to perfect them, but desktop 3D printers that uses a conveyor belt instead of a traditional build plate to provide a theoretically infinite build volume are now finally on the market. Unfortunately, they command a considerable premium. Even the offering from Creality, a company known best for their budget printers, costs $1,000 USD.

But if you’re willing to put in the effort, [Adam Fasnacht] thinks he might have the solution. His open source modification for the Ender 3 Pro turns the affordable printer into a angular workhorse. We wouldn’t necessarily call it cheap; in addition to the printer’s base price of $240 you’ll need to source $200 to $300 of components, plus the cost of the plastic to print out the 24 components necessary to complete the conversion. But it’s still pretty competitive with what’s on the market.

[Adam] is keeping details of the belt to himself for now.
If there’s a catch, it’s that the only source for the conveyor belt and the modified nozzles used in this design is [Adam]’s website, PowerBelt3D. The argument could be made that this is a bit like giving away the razor and selling the blades, but to be fair, it doesn’t seem like there’s anything here that would prevent you from coming up with substitute parts.

We imagine the elongated nozzles (which are necessary to get close to the angled bed) wouldn’t be too bad to make yourself if you’ve got the right equipment. But [Adam] says it took over two years to develop his Formula32 belt, so you might have your work cut out for you if you’re looking to produce something similar in-house.

We had high hopes for early contenders like the Printrbelt, but perhaps those early attempts were simply ahead of their time. With so many cheap 3D printers on the market these days to build off of, we may be on the cusp of a belt-printer renaissance.

29 thoughts on “Infinite Axis Printing On The Ender 3

      1. “It uses a Polyester (PET) tape top-layer that works very well with a variety of 3D printing materials.”

        Underlayer looks like fiber (glass? carbon?). Speculate wildly.

        The modified / pointy nozzles that he sells make sense as well, given that you’re printing at an angle. My bet is that you could easily DIY both if you wanted to.

      1. If you designed a 3d printer would the stepper motors be the part that makes it new and unique?

        If someone bought the belt but designed their own printer using the belt would that same belt not be the main interesting part of the new printer?

      2. Something is either open source or not, you cant make something partially open source (well you can but then it’d just be closed source with a few open components). Hiding details on a critical component so you can sell your secret sauce imo precludes this from being considered open source as it violate core tenets of its ideology.

      3. “How can it be open source unless I can diy my own stepper motors”

        As long as the specifications are available, you can replace Bobs Custom Stepper Motor with a COTS clone or even a self-built part. If the specifications are not available and you must use the super-secret whuffie-coated unicorn-belt, then it’s not open source.

  1. Because it looks like a carbon fiber roll (which probably incurs most of its real cost) covered with PET, I tried searching for “carbon fiber cloth” and “PET film”. I also looked for “pet belt” without success, obviously :b .
    The real problem is how to bind the cloth and the film, and how to have the surface roughness of the film (not the roughness of the cloth)

  2. “why bother printing at an angle”
    Because otherwise you’ll run into your print. Remember, with large prints you don’t print the entire first layer and then move up, you need to come from the side (or at a 45 angle to be more precise) in order to be able to print the whole thing.

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