Kossel Z Carriage Choices

Been thinking as well researching quite heavy lately about the Z carriage for my Kossel build and the various solutions. Basically looking for a good cost effective solution to smoothly move each of three carriages vertically which support and move the effector around.

However, I have yet to find a solution I am happy with so I figured I’d share my research and just go with the cheapest solution for now and upgrade when things inevitably fail.

There are 4 options I have found to solving this problem, they are in order of expense and well… best solution too worse solution.

MGN12C HIWIN rails

High quality guide rails with build in carriages, the rails can be attached directly to the aluminum extrusions and provide very smooth movement.

These seem to the high end recommended solution.

Cost: around £20 per rail (3 rails = £60)

Pros:

  • Smooth movement
  • All in one design
  • Solid, No unexpected movement

Cons:

  • High initial cost
  • High replacement cost

OpenRail Linear Rail with V Grooved Rollers

These rails can be attached directly to the aluminum extrusions and V rollers can be used in conjunction with a 3d printed carriage (like this one) to create a smoothly moving Z carriage.

Cost: around £6 per rail (need 2 per side) and £1 per wheel (need 4 per side). In total about £48.

Pros:

  • Smooth movement
  • Solid, No unexpected movement

Cons:

  • A little costly
  • Most involved in terms of assembly
  • Wheels might wear out

Delrin V roller with printed frame

The Delrin V roller feature an outward facing V that can fit snugly into 2020 openbeam aluminum extrusion profiles which will prevent too much movement on other axis. The carriages will need to be printed (like this one).

Cost: around £4 per roller (3 per side should suffice), In total about £36.

Pros:

  • Smooth movement
  • Should prevent unexpected movement

Cons:

  • Expense (For just wheels?)
  • Fiddly
  • Wheels might wear out

Cheap shower wheels with printed frame

Locate some cheap shower wheels from a supplier and either custom make or download a carriage design (There are tons on thingiverse) and print it with a 3d printer.

Cost: less than £10 (can be cheaper)

Pros:

  • Cheap
  • Easy to replace

Cons:

  • Fiddly
  • Might move around
  • Might need to custom make a carriage for wheel
  • Wheels might wear out

For transparency I non own or have tested any of these solutions all of the above is merely opinion. For my project I am going to go with the cheap shower wheels first and see what they can do and when they inevitably fail I’ll try with the OpenRail or shell out for the MGN12C rails.

Leave a Reply