X printer - portable

Portable CoreXY 3D printer

Public Chat
Similar projects worth following
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.

Update: This problem has been solved. I added the formula for the non-linear Z-axis to the firmware.

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

  • wiring done + first print

    Malte Schrader2 days ago 0 comments

    I managed to wire everything up. It is not the best wire management, but it works. I added a LED-strip at the front for better looks and usability. The power supply and EinsyRambo are mounted under the 3d printer between the Z-slider and the printbed.

    In the back, there are a power switch, a USB-port and a power connection + fuse.

    First print :

    The first prints are looking very promising. I printed the test cubes with a 0.2mm layer height.

    On the other hand, the first layers are still pretty bad.
    I lifted the printbed 6mm as I thought this would improve it, but it didn't.
    Without a heated bed, the print adhesion ist not good, which could be a factor as well. The Z-slider has some flex which leads to some looseness in Z-direction. It is made out of 3mm Aluminum(7075), but it is still not rigid enough. I want to try to reinforce it, maybe this will help.

  • G28 - Homing

    Malte Schrader09/25/2019 at 19:05 0 comments

    Here is a video of the homing procedure. X and Y are homed sensorless and Z with an regular endstop.

    With the help of Uzair Patel I was able to solve the non-linear Z-Axis firmware problem. I decided to use marlin 1 instead of marlin 2, because marlin 2 takes way longer to compile in the arduino IDE than marlin 1.   
    I added the extruder and the  Bowden tube to the printer.

    And here is a picture of the "folded" Bowden tube.

  • 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 8 project logs

Enjoy this project?



Nullg wrote 4 days ago point

so hyped for this! do you plan to release the files for the aluminium milled version, or just the reprap friendly version?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Malte Schrader wrote 2 days ago point

I will publish the files for this version as well.

  Are you sure? yes | no

sanju71 wrote 10/06/2019 at 11:43 point

Very inspiring and innovative design... Especially the adapting of the open source resources.. Impressive. Keep up the great work... Being a trained Biotechnologist I am learning from you guys... to get acquainted in newer technologies. Thanks. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

D.77 wrote 10/04/2019 at 09:11 point

Interesting project and then embracing the open source concept is even more appreciable :)

  Are you sure? yes | no

Madaeon wrote 10/03/2019 at 08:07 point

This is a nice project and good implementation. I have been working on this principle since 2014 (mainly for resin 3d printing,, and got a patent for this system for my startup (I am the designer/developer/firmware writer/tester). Currently I have a prototype working quite well, not yet on the market anyway.   And yes, the Z axis being non linear is a bit difficult, especially if the machine is super compact so you have very tight spaces for encoders or sensors. And with resin, tolreances are even smaller.

  Are you sure? yes | no

sanju71 wrote 10/06/2019 at 11:45 point

Curious to know more about your undertakings & work 

  Are you sure? yes | no

shekharssorot2002 wrote 10/03/2019 at 05:24 point

This is amazing !!! .Just the other day i was using a scissor jack to raise my motorcycle for some repairs. Reading about this reminded me about the sheer simplicity and rigidity of that mechanism.

Amazing Top Job with putting that concept to use !!

The anti-backlash mechanism on the horizontal Z motor has to be top notch though.  The one thing i like about this approach is that in case of power loss, the Z is not going to drop down. My UP printer uses a Belt for Z and this has become my panic point.

Just one ask...Add a knob at the end of the Z ball screw to allow manual collapsing of the printer when there is no power. Allows for easier packing and unpacking.

Imagine an engineer putting a quick replacement part on print on the field !!! Brilliant implementation.

  Are you sure? yes | no

tormentor22 wrote 09/30/2019 at 18:20 point

Would there be a builing guide and a complete BOM? 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Malte Schrader wrote 10/01/2019 at 19:03 point

yes definitely, but I think not in the near future because this takes a lot of time to set up.

  Are you sure? yes | no

OpenDev wrote 09/25/2019 at 16:22 point

WoW great design!!! i thinking about build one for hackathons :)

  Are you sure? yes | no

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

  Are you sure? yes | no

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


  Are you sure? yes | no

sanju71 wrote 10/06/2019 at 11:48 point

Fantastic & motivational openness. 

I wish to build my own 3d printer...but probably I need to wait for another year or so, before I start earning after my schooling. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

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

Great idea, I love it! 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Similar Projects

Does this project spark your interest?

Become a member to follow this project and never miss any updates