Types of Cartiesian 3D Printer

  • In our last article we higlighted different types in FDM printer i.e Delta vs Cartesian 3D Printers .  So if you decide to go with Cartesian type 3D Printers then well one should also know that there are Different Types of Cartesian 3D Printers . Their are 3 popular styles in cartesian type 3D Printers, which works on x y and Z coordinate system and the difference in general is shown below.

    FDM 3D Printer

    In this type the the Z axis moves down after printing each layers and its much stable and x y axis movements is like CNC’s and is independent  from Z axis . The extruder is mostly mounted on the X axis gantry or a remote/Bowden extruder can also be used keeping the hotend on the platform . Core XY and H bot are such type printers  . This printers are  box / cube type made of moulded plastic ,aluminium extrusions , acrylic cut body or laser cut metal frames . This printers has good stability and mobility so its easy to shift or carry to  various locations . But these printers involve more parts , and hence price is more compared to other style printers . A DIY kit will be cheaper in price but assembling has to be done . Since the built platform moves only on z axis so the bed leveling issues are less compared to others. Parts having designs with small base or less area of contact to bed for adhesion and with more height can be printed with ease since the bed is stationary and does not move or vibrate during prints . The assembled printers are preferred by users who wants to print out of the box by doing just some minor setup steps. The assembled types are mostly preferred by professionals, designers, educational insitutions etc .  Such printers print area can go upto one meters or even more . Extending , hacking or modifying a DIY kit can be done but for assembled printer is almost not possible . A DIY printer can cost upto 50% less price compared to assembled one . Those who wish to learn every aspect of such printers can opt for DIY kits . 


    DIY 3D Printer Kit

    In this model there are less parts involved to make such printers, and takes less time compared to other two . The X axis mounted on Z axis and hence while printing each layer the x axis gantry shifts up . The printing bed is positioned in y axis making it movement front back or side ways . These printers are small compact but not enclosed most of the time . So if anyone wants to keep it safe then need to make a enclosure separately . Since it has most least part its light weight and easy to carry from place to place but most care has to be taken otherwise alignments and calibration may get disturbed . This type of printers uses bowden/remote extruders to keep minimum weight on x axis gantry since its suported from one side only . Large print area printers are often not available in this type of printers because long travel of x axis may tend to sagging since its supported from only one side on z axis . Hence there is limited scope for modification to increase print area on this printers. But its best if one have less space and want a table top compact model printer .


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    This type printer is famously known Prusa i3 models because of its designer name Josef Prusa . Its one of the best types loved by beginners , hackers , hobbyist and makers worldwide . This printers are available in both assembled and DIY kit form . There are lot of models with upgrades features available in market . The print bed is attached in y axis and x axis gantry is mounted and very well supported on the two z axis profile or smooth  rods . The x axis gantry is very well. Its easy to carry for workshops and presentations . Its one of the best budget printers available in market today ideal for home , office and makerspace . The printer can have direct drive or bowden/ remote extruder setup . It can be modified or hacked to increase print area ,add additional extruders, attach paste extruder , cnc engraver etc . This printers if calibrated and used perfectly then can give amazing results . It may have a bit restrictions to get quality prints for large parts at high speeds due to bed vibrations or movements of bed but It can be printed by lowering the acceleration and speed . Its fun to watch this printer printing parts .  

    Article contributed by:

    Kartish Nair 

    Maker, 3D Printer Hobbyist   

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    (Note: The instruction given here are general information and has to be carried with proper safety, in case of any loss we are not responsible for the occured loss)