X printer - portable

Portable CoreXY 3D printer

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The 3D printer has a compact size so that it can fit in a large backpack. It was essential for me that the printer has a reasonable print volume despite the requirement to be portable.
The outer dimensions are 300x330x105mm (folded), and the build volume will be 160x220x150mm (XYZ).

As you can see in the renderings, the printer will unfold during printing. The printer will be built out of CNC machined aluminum parts and 3d printed ones.
I chose aluminum in the first place because I wanted to build the printer as rigid as possible (proof of concept).

To obtain rigid joints, the printer uses a combination of axial and radial bearings. Three screws then preload each axial friction bearing.

jointFor the first build, the friction bearings will glide directly on the aluminum. Later I want the aluminum parts to be hard anodized (for a better friction coefficient and to expand the lifetime of the friction bearings).

Due to the different Z-axis construction, the movement of the Z-motor is not linear to the Z-axis movement of the nozzle. When the printer is in the folded position, the Z-axis has a gear ratio of 1/4 to the printhead's Z-axis, which can cause several problems. The Z-motor has to be powerful enough to lift the upper structure, and the whole construction needs to be highly precise.

Technical challenge:

Because of the non-linear Z-axis I can't use the stock Marlin 2 firmware. A simple function can describe the dependency between the printhead's Z-axis and the real one (Pythagorean theorem). My problem is that I don't know how and where to add this dependency to the firmware.

If someone has an idea or can help me with that, feel free to write a comment/message.

Future plans:

After the first build, I want to try to replace as many Aluminium parts as possible with 3d printed ones to reduce the weight and to make the printer more RepRap friendly.


I designed the 3D printer in Fusion360 and I will publish everything under an open-source license after I finished the first build.

  • 1 × Einsy Rambo Board small, low profile board
  • 1 × MGN9 linear guide X-axis
  • 1 × UHP-350-24 Mean Well power supply 350W 24V power supply which will be integrated into the printer
  • 1 × V6 hotend clone
  • 1 × 2.42 Inch 128x64p OLED display

View all 10 components

  • printhead wiring + Bowden tube

    Malte Schrader09/05/2019 at 14:38 0 comments

    The final printhead is mounted.

    The wiring of the printhead is pretty tight and very close (too close ?)  to the heat block, but the heat block has a silicone sock, so I hope everything will work fine. 

    The Bowden tube is foldable mounted to the printhead for maximum portability.

  • printbed

    Malte Schrader09/02/2019 at 19:12 0 comments

    I machined the printbed. 

    On the bottom side are holes for high-temperature magnets which are required for the removable printbed. At the rear right corner is a cutout for the printhead, because the nozzle needs to be below the print surface so that different nozzles or print surfaces can be attached. Later I want to add a heatbed, but because of the cutout in the printbed, I can't use a standard one. I plan to build one by my self out of copper tape and capton tape. 

    I use 3mm MDF to insulate the printbed from the base frame.

  • belts

    Malte Schrader08/25/2019 at 12:58 0 comments

    I used standoff nuts to mount the pulleys to the X-axis. For this reason, I had to modify my Y-axis carriages with an angle grinder.

    Because of a small mistake in the design process, I had to modify the mounting screws so that the belts have enough space to work properly.

  • X-axis and Y-axis

    Malte Schrader08/24/2019 at 23:28 0 comments

    The X/Y-construction is done. I printed the parts for the printhead (prototype). The printhead has a V6 hotend, two 35mm radial fans for part cooling, and an IR sensor for auto bed levelling. The printer will use a bowden system where the extruder sits next to the left corexy-motor.


  • first movement

    Malte Schrader08/22/2019 at 16:54 0 comments

    All sidearms are mounted. The main structure is almost done.
    In the video, you can see the folding process, which looks very promising.
    The printer weighs already 4,3Kg, but the aluminum parts pay off because the construction is quite rigid.

  • starting point

    Malte Schrader08/13/2019 at 19:43 0 comments

    Until now I've got the aluminum sheet for the base construction. I've machined two of the four side arms and printed some parts. I chose carbonfibre reinforced material for the high-stress-area parts.

View all 6 project logs

Enjoy this project?



Uzair Patel wrote 09/04/2019 at 09:41 point

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Malte Schrader wrote 09/04/2019 at 12:19 point


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Vije Miller wrote 09/03/2019 at 00:50 point

As some one who has lived in 12 places (7 cities and a several times in my car) in the last 5 years -- the while hobbling together what ever one can while in a hotel or shabby room or trunk -- this ... this would be gold. +1

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Larock1234 wrote 08/24/2019 at 10:02 point

Great idea, I love it! 

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