protoDEV 3d printer

diy direct-drive extruder 3D printer running Smootieware firmware

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What is working here?

Hmmm... most important... it can 3d-print 24/7.

This is not an another incomplete "work in progress" project. It's a work in progress project that has improvement in mind.

I'm into 3d printing for few years, and active building 3d printers for most of that time. Learned a lot thanks to the community... and specially from community based systems like Prusa's. Internet is a place were some got news, youtube, porn... and some having nerd stuff... software, mechanical, electrical and electronics articles, blogs, vlogs, faqs etc. If you are a tech Nerd just like me, you can find tons of very interesting educational articles that can build up your knowledge until... for me everything ended up here on Hackaday (&GitHub). Why? because was living the 3d printer hype and tested all the bullshit and non-bulshit projects on te planet.

Now it's time to share some of the knowledge just like all those people all over the world shared

My goal is to gather some people that will/want to build, use and improve the project. I've spent over 3 months working on the Cad3D part (SolidWorks) of the project to make parts simple to print and simple for makers to assembly. The most of those 3 months was a the path of math, symmetry, mechanics... and off course... aggressive wife :P Then had to spent some time working on some modifications to Smoothieware firmware and hardware just to suit the system. After that been studying how printer moves in slo-mo to further improve the config and mechanics. After building & testing several machine variations, got to a place where the machine just after proper setup and calibration works without ANY failure within last several months.

My main goal for the system was to print with speed and quality parameters equal or beyond the market systems at under 1000 euro price tag.


  • build plate 245 x 245 x 300 mm ( X x Y x Z ) 
  • 32bit Smoothieware firmware for smooth motion
  • e3d volcano hotend with hartened steel 0.4mm nozzle
  • TMC2208 silent stepper drivers - spread cycle setup with step interpolarisation 1/256
  • geared (3:1) direct drive extuder with Bondtech dual drive gears(simpler and more reliable printing then bowden)
  • max speed up to 300mm/s 
  • heated build plate with PET film surface for superb material adhesion
  • support of multiple filament types (PLA, PET, TPU)
  • filament run-out sensor
  • coreXY with proper belt alignment for hi-torque and stiffness
  • hi-flow quality hotend (e3d hotend with volcano heat block) for high quality and fast printing
  • all axis with 2x higher mechanical resolution at same step rate (0.9deg 1/8 step = 1.8deg 1/16 step)
  • one motor doubble z-axis (no shaft sync problems)
  • all axis motors mounted at bottom of printer to lower the center of gravity
  • all of non-printed parts was selected to be worldwide available and have reasonable price to quality ratio.
  • enclosure
  • automatic nozzle cleaner
  • automatic parts removal ( if got time or need for this add on to work - i've designed it and printed just waiting for software )


( .stl renders, firmware and configuration files )


  • add enclosure files prepared for laser cutting
  • find quiet print cooling fans replacement
  • enclosure over-temperature control
  • 3rd party controler boards support (actual controler price to high?)
  • apr addon tests and firmware development for batch 3d printing
  • diy heatbed for protoDEV build instructions
  • user friendly build instruction
  • firmware/software manual
  • BOM for all non-printed parts

  • extruder gear update

    Michal Wojciechowski12/14/2018 at 10:58 0 comments

    Way tougher than previous version. Lots of testing done. This one should be the last design... ;)

    part list:

    - DIN 931 M5 x 40mm (cut to 24mm)

    - MR 105 ZZ

    - MF 105 ZZ

    - bondtech gear 5mm bore version

    - bondtech_gear_v2.stl

  • Example prints

    Michal Wojciechowski10/10/2018 at 13:44 0 comments

    Was testing and tweaking settings for the new extruder design. Here is an example of test print made in PET:

  • hall-e filament detector rev.a

    Michal Wojciechowski10/05/2018 at 15:57 0 comments

    I have been testing my very dumb arduino code for esp8266 written for dual input filament detector (it knows when filament ends on "spool" or when You want change filament). I'm running smoothiware so any changes in the firmware code made by me would never be merged (smoothie owner don't want to code any additional features and my skills are not with a quality they demand). That's why i'm using esp8266 connected to smoothie by serial and sending console commands / g-codes to control additional features like:

    - pause on filament run-out

    - sensing filament in extruder for semi-auto filament loading 

    - automatic heating up when detected that new spool is loaded

    - sending the user instructions when filament changing or run-out that can be read on 3d printers LCD panel

    A this point like i said at beginning the code is very stupid because it only sends commands but doesn't wait to receive any "ok" from the printer... And that's what i want to code next (will be glad if anyone want to help - code is on github inside protoDEV_coreXY project). 

    The second filament run-out detector installed on the system is a new one. It's my latest design with hall-e sensor, very small bearing and neo-magnet. 

  • Uuuuups! What a nasty fail...

    Michal Wojciechowski10/02/2018 at 09:42 0 comments

    I was so happy that i will be using my latest extruder with BONDTECH gears that was working in big rush with the design. Most of time having in mind the „BONDTECH” part of the design... BONDTECH... bondech. I was very excited that i will print faster... the grip will be stronger...a last no under extrusion! Yeah. 

    .... With this attitude the stupid mode in my head was activated. The design was so bad that after just few days of using went into a disaster.

    Someone want’s to say that stupidity doesn’t hurt? ;)

    I was so angry about what i’ve done... that i was working “full time” to re-design that damn extruder. 

    So now it works perfect. It’s simple. Stronger than last design. Don’t want to cover all my stupid mistakes done with the last design but right now they’re all gone ;)

    Files on gith hub are updated with latest design so You can grab it and test on your own.

    Also working on a total overkill filament run out detector for lazy people like me but that will be shown in near future.

  • automatic nozzle cleaner

    Michal Wojciechowski09/17/2018 at 08:08 0 comments

    I'm using a lot of PET-G for printing. It's one of the most interesting material on the market. Printed parts layer to layer bonding is superb and it's way better than ABS and it can survive almost same temperatures. Printing with PET-G is simple and i think that it's even simpler than printing in PLA... but it likes to ooze.

    It was oozing for me to this point when i was very pissed off sitting in front of my printer waiting to heat up and then when the printer was starting to print i needed to take out the oozed string from the nozzle until it reached the build plate... 

    Now it's automatic in little help of an hobby servo. 

  • UPDATE! - Bontech extruder design

    Michal Wojciechowski09/13/2018 at 14:47 0 comments

    Finally i've got my hands on bondtech dual drive gears :) The quality of parts is excellent... if most of parts on market was made with quality like that i think we would have 3d printing heaven on earth.

    When was working on the extruder design i had many problems to make it backward compatible with the system but it's way simpler to fix or mod parts right now without re-printing tons of parts. 

  • enclosure, print cooling, tmc2208, irProbe...

    Michal Wojciechowski08/08/2018 at 21:45 0 comments

    1. Working on a pcb for Ir-Probe based on dc42 schematic. Any suggestions about pcb manufacturing company? Right now thinking about oshpark.

    Additionally will order an additional pcb's (watterrot board layout) for my tmc2208 sample chips from Trimatic. Got also tmc2224, 2130, 2660 sample chips so will try to make pcb's for them.

    -ir probe:

    - tmc2208 stepstick (watterot board layout):

    2. Print cooling fan duct update. Added a steel sheet to make an additional thermal barrier. Air flow can be much bigger without any heater temperature change.

    3. Enclosure project in progress.... All latest files added to github

  • Enclosure preview

    Michal Wojciechowski07/11/2018 at 22:50 0 comments

    Was working on the enclosure concept and made the first design. Here is the preview:

  • Another day, another... fail

    Michal Wojciechowski06/27/2018 at 22:18 0 comments

    When i got my hands on a small stepper motor from old scanner thought that i need to try it as an extruder motor... 

    Downloaded the datasheet and the spec wasn’t promising: 96 step, 24V, 15ohm, small torque and the worst part... pull-in torque and speed significantly different to pull-out. 

    Hmmm nice begining. But i didn’t want to buy any parts for experiments right now - got my eyes on bondtech dual-drive extruder gears and after making five different 3dprinters projects my hobby piggy bank is dry as an desert...

    So... Designed a 21:1 planetary gearbox.

    3d Printed all parts with PET filament, assembled and oiled everything. Without the motor attached there was an nasty friction when turning the gearbox so i’ve spinned it untill the friction got lot lower.

    Mounted the motor and it was spinning... few times and got very hot - so hot that i didn’t bother to test it in my 3d printer... the current was set as low as the motor could turn... Epic fail :(

  • Work accumulation... and some system fail

    Michal Wojciechowski06/25/2018 at 08:51 0 comments

    Box of upgraded parts needed to be installed...

    When printed some casual stuff for setup testing the nozzle got clogged. Very unusual i thought and then i realized that got some „quailty” fillament... PrintMe 1Kg Black PET-G.

    When You look at the photos there are some small white particles in the fillament that are big and hard enough to jam everything on it’s way...

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