Assembling the Printrbot Simple (Model 1401)

For kits produced between 1/15/14-6/1/14. This guide is for kits with the Fan Shroud. Instructions for metal and wood extruder (and bed) included below.

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Step 1 Simple Maker's Edition (Model 1401)  ¶ 

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Step 2  ¶ 

  • Your Printrbot Simple wooden pieces will come in 5 plates that you will then need to use a utility knife to separate.

  • You will use a utility knife to cut one side of the wood, flip over the plate, and cut through the opposite side of the tab.

  • Make sure to cut the plates apart on a surface that will be okay to have knife marks in it.

  • New line.NOTE - Do not snap the pieces apart with your hands as the wood will tend to remove top or bottom layers of the plywood.

  • NOTE- You can use a nail file or sandpaper to smooth the connection points in the wood.

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Step 3  ¶ 

  • Zip tie your bearings on the base plate bringing the zip tie up through the bottom of the plate.

  • Where to put the nub of the zip tie? Place it in the exact placement as photo #2, toward the front of the Simple (green boxes).

  • 8 - zip ties

  • 4 - LM8UU Bearings

  • Tip - place 8mm smooth rod through the bearings as you tighten the zip ties to ensure alignment of bearings.

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Step 4  ¶ 

  • 2 - M2 10MM screws, end stop with 6" wiring, base

  • Use 1/16" or 1.5mm Allen Wrench to tighten these screws.

  • NOTE: The "gator mouth" is open towards the longer end of the base.

  • Take X-axis wiring under the base of the Simple.

  • Set this piece aside to begin a new step.

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Step 5  ¶ 

  • Use End Stop with 3 inches of wiring.

  • 2 - M2 10mm bolt

  • In order to get the end stop into position as shown in photo #2, you will need to take the opposite end of the end stop (white terminal end) and feed through the top of the slot in part #8 (red box).

  • Bring part #18 up through the bottom of part #8. This will allow the end stop to screw into part #18.

  • Tighten end stop onto wooden assembly with screws.

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Step 6  ¶ 

  • 2 - rubber tubing

  • 2 - sandpaper pulley

  • Dab some super glue onto the rubber tubing.

  • Place the sandpaper pulley onto the rubber tubing until it is flush with one side of rubber tubing.

  • Once dry move to next step.

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Step 7  ¶ 

  • Once dry, press the rubber tubing onto the motor shaft of one of your large motors. X axis will be a large motor and the Y axis will be a small motor.

  • NOTE - the X axis motor pulley will need to be pressed about 2-3mm past the motor shaft (red box). It is a good idea to label the motor for later steps in the build.

  • Be sure to zip tie the base of the rubber tubing onto the motor shaft to prevent slippage.

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Step 8  ¶ 

  • Go ahead and do the Y-axis (small) motor as well.

  • You have probably noticed that there are two small motors pictured in these instructions. You could have received one with a black connector and the shorter motor shaft OR yours could have a white connector and a longer motor shaft.

  • If your Y-axis motor has a black connector, you will want to push the black tubing all the way down on the motor shaft. Shown on the left, photo #2 - black square.

  • If your Y-axis motor has a white connectro, you will want to leave about 5mm of space on the bottom of the motor shaft. Shown on the right, photo #2.

  • Label your Y-axis motor.

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Step 9  ¶ 

  • 4 - M3 10mm bolt

  • X axis large motor

  • Attach motor to Part #9 with four M3 10mm bolts.

  • You will want to make sure that the wiring is going off of the left side of part #9 as shown in red box in photo #3.

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Step 10  ¶ 

  • 2 - M3 16mm

  • 2 - M3 Hex Nut

  • Secure part #9 to part #8 with two M3 16mm bolts and two M3 hex nuts.

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Step 11  ¶ 

  • 4 - M3 10mm bolt

  • 1 - large motor

  • Attach Z axis large motor onto part #8 with four M3 10mm bolts.

  • NOTE - Make sure the wiring is coming off the motor toward the middle in part #8. Now would be a good time to label the Z-axis motor.

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Step 12  ¶ 

  • 2 - M3 16mm bolt

  • 2 - M3 hex nut

  • Take X axis/Z axis assembly and mount onto part #7 with two M3 16mm bolts and two M3 hex nuts.

  • NOTE - Make sure to route the wiring for the X axis end stop through the hole in part #7 for the Z-axis motor, shown in photo #3 (red box).

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Step 13  ¶ 

  • Wiring Managment Step

  • Because there is so much length on the large motors, we will need to manage them so your Printrbot Simple looks nice and neat.

  • Individually wrap each motor's wires.

  • First make sure about 4-5 inches of length comes out of the hole on part #8 as shown in photo #2.

  • You can use three fingers for wrapping as shown in photo #1.

  • Zip tie each batch of wiring.

  • Take the Z axis' zip tied wires and press into the gap between the two motors, shown in photo #2.

  • Take X axis' zip tied wires and place on the side of both motors as shown in photo #3.

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Step 14  ¶ 

  • Attach power adapter onto plate (wood part #5) with zip tie.

  • You will want to back the nut on the power adapter off enough for the zip tie to fit in between the nut and the plastic housing.

  • Zip tie nub is on the same side as the power adapter. See photo #2.

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Step 15  ¶ 

  • Close in wiring from step 12 with part #5.

  • 5 - M3 16mm screws

  • 5 - M3 Hex Nuts

  • Make sure that the wiring for the power adapter is routed through the provided slot before securing with M3 screws (red box).

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Step 16  ¶ 

  • Attach part #6 with M3 16mm screws.

  • 5 - M3 16mm screws

  • 5 - M3 Hex Nuts

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Step 17  ¶ 

  • 4 - Zip ties

  • Before you zip tie the electronics board on to the wood it is easiest to connect the Power adapter (red box) and the Extruder Power (green box) while the board is loose.

  • Only use three zip ties at this point to attach electronics board (orange circles). You will attach the final corner later in this build.

  • NOTE: The zip ties do not need to be extremely tight. The Printrboard should be secure with snug zip ties, but too much tension could put undue stress on it.

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Step 18  ¶ 

  • Once base assembly is together, time to connect the two end stops to the electronics board.

  • The Z-axis end stop can be identified as the one with the 3" wiring, much shorter than the other end stops.

  • Connect the Z axis end stop to the electronics board "Z-STOP" (red box).

  • Connect the X axis end stop to the electronics board "X-STOP" (green box).

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Step 19  ¶ 

  • Install the 10" smooth rods.

  • Use hammer or rubber mallet to get smooth rods through the two wood plates.

  • Make sure to provide support under the bottom plate so you don't blow out the bottom of the plate, shown in photo #2.

  • Once the rods are seated flush with the bottom side of the base take two M3 10mm bolts to lock the bars in place. Photo #3.

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Step 20  ¶ 

  • 4 - M3 Hex Nut Locking

  • 1 - M3 10mm bolt

  • Screw the M3 10mm up from the bottom of the print platform. This screw hits the X-axis end stop so do not screw it all the way into the wood seating the head of the screw completely.

  • You will want to leave some length on the screw as shown in photo #3.

  • Take the four M3 locking hex nuts and press them into the bottom of the print platform in the engraved corners of the piece with a pair of pliers or channel locks evenly.

  • NOTE - Be sure to face the nylon portion of the locking hex nuts out of the wood.

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Step 21  ¶ 

  • 4 - Zip ties

  • 2 - 6.5" 8mm smooth rod

  • Make sure the M3 10mm bolt is on the left as you assemble the bed platform, shown in photo #3 (red box).

  • Nubs of the zip ties should be facing the center of the print platform.

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Step 22  ¶ 

  • 1 - M3 10mm bolt

  • 1 - M3 hex nut

  • Begin the fishing line installation with the right side (green box).

  • You will want to get your line with a knot to put on the head of the M3 10mm screw.

  • Create a loop and twist the line around itself a few times. Then bring the end back up through the loop.

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Step 23  ¶ 

  • 1 - Zip tie

  • 1 - M3 16mm bolt

  • 1 - M3 Hex Nut

  • Press the M3 hex nut into the engraved portion of wood piece with a pair of pliers or channel locks.

  • Slide #21 onto #22 as shown in photo #2.

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Step 24  ¶ 

  • Since you've already tied off the right side of your fishing line on the print platform, you will now measure 9-1/8 inches.

  • This length will the point at which you will tie off the new X axis tensioning assembly.

  • NOTE - Tie the knot on the bottom side of the tensioning assembly. This way it will clear below the print platform (Part #2).

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Step 25  ¶ 

  • Once you've tied off both sides, you will want to wrap the fishing line around the sandpaper pulley two full wraps.

  • If you've measured the line at 9-1/8 inches you should have to stretch the tensioning assembly onto the left side of the print platform.

  • Take the zip tie and secure the tensioning assembly onto the print platform using the slots at the end of the assembly.

  • Screw the M3 16mm bolt clockwise to tighten the fishing line to remove any slack in the line. (line should be fairly tight)

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Step 26  ¶ 

  • 4 - M3 20mm screws

  • 4 - bed springs

  • 4 - nylon spacers

  • Attach the Metal Bed onto #2 with four 20mm M3 screws. The four nylon washers will seat between the head of the M3 screws and the metal bed (photo #3).

  • This is the print bed so you will want to space the two wood pieces with four bed springs.

  • Thread the four 20mm M3 screws into the M3 locking hex nuts pressed into #2.

  • If you do not have the metal print bed, substitute wood part 1. You will not have the nylon spacers included in your kit.

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Step 27  ¶ 

  • 8 - LM8UU Bearings

  • 16 - Zip Ties

  • Zip tie nubs should all be on the same side of part #11.

  • Notice in photo #3 (green box) that the top left zip tie nub is in a different location than the rest. You will want to copy this assembly.

  • Tip - place 8mm smooth rod through the bearings as you tighten the zip ties to ensure alignment of bearings.

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Step 28  ¶ 

  • 4 - M3 10mm

  • Make sure motor wiring points down toward the base of the Simple.

  • This is the only axis that gets a small motor.

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Step 29  ¶ 

  • 2- M3 10mm screws

  • 2 - M3 Hex Nut

  • 2 - M3 16mm bolt

  • 1 - 6-32 3" screw w nylock nut

  • Attach part #17 onto #13 with one M3 16mm bolt and one M3 hex nut.

  • Then attach parts #17 and #13 to #12 with another M3 16mm and hex nut.

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Step 30  ¶ 

  • 2 - M3 10mm bolt

  • 1 - Delrin Acme Nut

  • 1 - 3" 6-32 bolt

  • 1 - 6-32 Hex Nut Locking

  • Attach Delrin Acme Nut onto part #12 with two M3 10mm bolts.

  • Screw 3" 6-32 bolt through part #12 first and then through part #17.

  • Put one 6-32 locking hex nut on the end of the 3" bolt.

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Step 31  ¶ 

  • Y-axis end stop installation.

  • 2 - 10mm M2 screws

  • Use a 1.5mm allen wrench to screw two M2 10mm bolts attaching Y axis end stop onto part #11.

  • Make sure the end stop opens up as your attaching it to #11, photo #2.

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Step 32  ¶ 

  • 3 - M3 16mm bolt

  • 3 - M3 Hex Nut

  • Make sure to route the Y axis end stop wiring down past the bearing as shown in photo #2.

  • Attach the delrin acme nut assembly onto #11 with three 16mm M3 screws and three M3 hex nuts, photo #3 (green circles).

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Step 33  ¶ 

  • 1 - 1/4" Acme rod

  • 1 - Vinyl Tubing

  • 1 - zip tie

  • Thread acme rod into vinyl tubing and secure with zip tie, photo #2.

  • Thread acme rod into delrin acme nut, photo #3.

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Step 34  ¶ 

  • 1 - M3 16mm screw

  • 1 - M3 hex nut

  • 3 - M3 10mm

  • Attach #1 onto #14 with one 16mm M3 screw and one M3 hex nut.

  • If you do not have the 2014 Metal Simple please take this detour to the 2013 Extruder Guide.

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Step 35  ¶ 

  • Attach the base of the Aluminum extruder onto #1 with three 10mm M3 screws, paying attention to the orientation of the base in photo #1.

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Step 36  ¶ 

  • 3 - M3 16mm screw

  • 3 - M3 hex nut

  • Attach the previous assembly to #3 with three 16mm M3 screws and three M3 hex nuts.

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Step 37  ¶ 

  • Take the 625 bearing and place in the slot of the Aluminum extruder arm.

  • NOTE - You may have received ONE BLACK POST and #6 washer, rather than the two brass posts shown in photo #1. If so, click here to see an exploded view assembly diagram of the Alu Extruder.

  • Take one 16mm M5 screw and insert through the 625 bearing threading into opposite side of the Aluminum extruder arm.

  • NOTE - only one side of the extruder arm is threaded. Insert M5 screw through smooth side of arm and thread through opposite side.

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Step 38  ¶ 

  • Insert 1.5" 6-32 screw through the provided hole in extruder arm (photo #2).

  • Place 3/4" spring onto 1.5" 6-32 screw.

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Step 39  ¶ 

  • Thread 6-32 hex nut onto 1.5" 6-32 screw as shown in photo #1.

  • Insert the two brass posts into opposite sides of the larger opening in the arm (photos #2/#3).

  • Set this assembly aside to use in later steps.

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Step 40  ¶ 

  • 1 - M3 16mm screw

  • 1 - M3 Hex Nut

  • Attach #10 to #3 with one 16mm M3 screw and one M3 hex nut, photo #2.

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Step 41  ¶ 

  • 4 - M3 16mm bolt

  • 4- M3 Hex nut

  • Attach #4 to Y axis assembly with four M3 16mm bolts and four M3 hex nuts (red circles).

  • Take one zip tie and insert through small slot in #10 and then through small slot in #3, photo #2.

  • NOTE: Do not tie off the zip tie yet. Leave it open as pictured.

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Step 42  ¶ 

  • 2 - 6.5" 8mm Smooth Rod

  • Place Y-axis assembly onto Z-axis smooth rod, photo #1.

  • Insert the two 6.5" 8mm smooth rod into the horizontal bearings for Y-axis (red boxes).

  • Secure #3 to smooth rods with four zip ties, photo #3 (green boxes).

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Step 43  ¶ 

  • Take the clear vinyl tubing zip tied to the acme rod and press onto Z axis motor shaft.

  • Secure onto motor shaft with a zip tie, photo #2.

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Step 44  ¶ 

  • 1 - M3 10mm screw

  • 1 - M3 16mm screw

  • 2 - M3 Hex Nut

  • Fishing Line

  • Take one M3 hex nut and press into part #22 evenly.

  • Press #21 onto #22 and orient the pieces as shown in photo #3.

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Step 45  ¶ 

  • 1 - M3 10mm screw

  • 1 - M3 Hex Nut

  • Put 10mm M3 screw into hole on #3 (green circle) with M3 hex nut on opposite side of wood.

  • Tie two knots on the head of the M3 10mm bolt (same as the X axis).

  • Once completed with knots, tighten the 10mm M3 screw onto wood.

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Step 46  ¶ 

  • Measure 11-1/8 inches of fishing line to tie two knots on #22.

  • NOTE - It may be helpful to make a mark with a pen at 11-1/8 inches on the fishing line. Then you can use that mark as the place to tie #22 at rather than trying to hold a ruler while tying.

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Step 47  ¶ 

  • Wrap around the Y-axis sandpaper pulley two full times off the top of the pulley.

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Step 48  ¶ 

  • Place #22 at the end of #3 as shown in photo #1 and secure together with the zip tie already in place.

  • Tighten the zip tie on part #22.

  • Insert a M3 16mm bolt into the hex nut in #22 and turn clockwise to tighten fishing line.

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Step 49  ¶ 

  • Y-axis motor wiring plugs into "Y-MOT".

  • Z-axis motor wiring plugs into "Z-MOT"

  • X-axis motor wiring plugs into "X-MOT"

  • NOTE: Be sure to align wiring colors as pictured. If your motors are plugged in backwards, they will run in reverse.

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Step 50  ¶ 

  • Another picture of X-MOT and Y-MOT

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Step 51  ¶ 

  • 4 - M3 16mm Screw

  • 4 - M3 Hex Nut

  • Use 2.5mm Allen Wrench to tighten fan onto wooden piece from the back of the fan into the wood

  • NOTE - Pay attention to the orientation of what direction the fan wiring is coming of the fan as you screw together and that the sticker is facing toward #3 for proper airflow.

  • Now is the time to route the fan wiring through the slot in #1 (photo #2).

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Step 52  ¶ 

  • Fan Shroud Directions

  • Pay close attention to orientation of the photos in the next few steps to ensure proper assembly or check out this video tutorial.

  • Begin by folding the tabbed mounts up (photo #1).

  • Now fold up the sides (photo #2/#3).

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Step 53  ¶ 

  • Fold over the last full side (photo #1).

  • Fold inward the little side tab (photo #2).

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Step 54  ¶ 

  • Take the two little tabs and fold them inward (photo #1).

  • Insert the two little tabs into their corresponding slot which is shown in color in photo #1.

  • Tabs should snap into the slots.

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Step 55  ¶ 

  • 4 - M3 Hex Nut

  • Take fan shroud and press onto the M3 16mm screws on part #3.

  • Secure fan shroud into place with the four M3 Hex Nuts.

  • Tip - It can be difficult to thread the Hex Nut on the 16mm screw. Hold the M3 Hex Nut in position, back out the M3 16mm screw, and then thread the 16mm screw into the Hex Nut.

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Step 56  ¶ 

  • Run fan and large Kysan (extruder) motor wiring through the slot in #15.

  • NOTE - make sure wiring is facing the same direction as shown in photo #2.

  • Secure the extruder motor onto the extruder base with one 20mm M3 screw (red circle photo #3).

  • If you do not have the 2014 Metal Simple please take this detour to step 4 the 2013 Extruder Guide.

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Step 57  ¶ 

  • Proper drive gear alignment. Make sure the serrated portion of the drive gear lines up with the hole in the base of the aluminum extruder.

  • Photo #1 - misaligned (red circle)

  • Photo #2 - properly aligned (green circle)

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Step 58  ¶ 

  • Once the gear is aligned properly, place a small amount of blue threadlocker onto the set screw of the drive gear (this will ensure that the set screw does not vibrate loose during printing).

  • NOTE: Be sure to thread the set drive gear set screw on to the flat side of the motor shaft as pictured.

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Step 59  ¶ 

  • 1 - M3 22mm

  • Secure the arm (assembled earlier) of the aluminum extruder onto the extruder motor with one 22mm M3 screw.

  • Again, see this diagram if your kit came with one black post and #6 washer.

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Step 60  ¶ 

  • Press the hot end up through the provided hole in #1 into the base of the aluminum extruder.

  • If it is difficult to slide into the aluminum extruder base, pry the opening wider with a flat head screw driver (green box).

  • NOTE for Cartridge hot ends - Make sure the cartridge portion of the hot end is facing the same direction at photo #1. If it is not facing this same direction, it may bump the housing of the Simple and limit your Y axis print volume. BE CAREFUL NOT TO STRESS THE CARTRIDGE WIRING AT THE POINT WHERE IT MEETS THE BLOCK (yellow circle).

  • cartridge style hot end / ceramic style hot end

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Step 61  ¶ 

  • Secure the hot end into the base of the aluminum extruder with one 20mm M3 screw.

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Step 62  ¶ 

  • Plug extruder motor wiring into "E-MOT", making sure that the plug is flipped opposite of the other three axes.

  • See photo #2 for a diagram of the board with full wiring. Note that the extruder motor, "E-MOT" is wired backwards or "flipped opposite" - BLUE, YELLOW, GREEN, RED - top to bottom.

  • If the extruder wiring does not match this picture the filament will be pushed out of the extruder rather than pulled down into the hot end.

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Step 63  ¶ 

  • Take the hot end power lead and plug into power extension. Photo #1 shows the power lead from a Ubis Cartridge hot end.

  • Plug hot end power extension into "EXTRUDER" on board.

  • Photo #2 shows the hot end power lead for the Ubis Ceramic hot end.

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Step 64  ¶ 

  • Take thermistor lead from the hot end (clear insulation) and plug into thermistor extension (black and white insulation).

  • Plug thermistor extension into "T-EXT" on board.

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Step 65  ¶ 

  • Plug fan extension into "FAN" port on printrboard.

  • Having trouble connecting the fan cable to the fan extension? click here

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Step 66  ¶ 

  • Take a zip tie and take all of the wiring. Secure them together with the zip tie to part #E5.

  • It is VERY IMPORTANT to secure the hot end power and thermistor with the zip tie, particularly if you were supplied with a cartridge style hot end in your kit. This step alleviates stress on the fracture point of the hot end.

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Step 67  ¶ 

  • Simple build finished. Great job! You're not quite done though. There are a couple more steps on your journey to 3D printing glory. ...I know, it is sort of like beating a level in Mario Bros, when the bad guy runs off with the Princess again.

  • See the software guides on Repetier, Windows Drivers, and other software to connect to your Printrbot and get started.

  • Make 3D printing friends. JOIN OUR FORUM! It's a great place to discuss your build, get troubleshooting help, and share your own insights. We would love to see you become part of our community!

  • For more information, check out the Printrbot Simple category page.

For more information, check out the Legacy Printrbots category page.

Comments Comments are onturn off

Just to confirm the wood bed as well as any E pieces in that squared off area are NOT included with the new 2014, correct? The word "plate" could be seen as the bed only vs the whole chunk of wood that's been squared off.

Dan Fischbach, · Reply

I got only 3 plates with my 2014 Simple kit. Is this normal?

Dan Fischbach, · Reply

Yep! The "fourth" plate anyone would be talking about would be the wood bed and extruder. If your's came with the aluminum bed and extruder you're all set!

Alex B,

You need to apply a TON of pressure to separate the pieces in this step if you're just using a utility knife. I would recommend telling users to get another tool for this step.

Dan Fischbach, · Reply

I used an X-ACTO X239 extra fine saw. It worked well.

Peter DeGregorio,

I just used a single edge razor blade and rapped it with a screwdriver handle. Worked great.

Don Swords, · Reply

I tried the suggestion from another poster to use an X-ACTO X239 extra fine saw. It was hard to get clean cuts that way and some of the spots are too tight for the saw. I switched to using a normal x-acto knife and just applied pressure and that worked better and gave me good control. I just saw the suggestion to use a single edge razor blade and hit it with a screwdriver handle...I bet that would have worked well.

Eric, · Reply

Are there extra ties at the end of the project? Step 3 wasn't clear to me and it turns out I put the bearings on upside down. Possible to order more?

Josh, · Reply

I ended up with a few extras, but this size of zip tie can be bought at just about any hardware store.

Alex B,

* Photo #1 shows the BACK/BOTTOM of #7 (note the 2 small holes near the square are to the right of the square

* The rods are actually 7 mm wide

Dan Fischbach, · Reply

* Use your needle nose pliers to tighten the zip-ties around the linear bearings (a tip from another guide) and use your micro cutters to snip the excess off after placement according to Photo #3.

Dan Fischbach, · Reply

* When checking zip-tie tightness, the side with the bearings should have little to no "play" when wiggling the zip-ties left and right against the bearing. Things should be very tight!

Dan Fischbach, · Reply

Am I being dumb, or does picture 2 conflict with picture 3 here...It seems like if I put the nubs of the zip-ties towards the 'front' as in picture 2, the net result is not what picture 3 looks like..

Actually I see now, it's possible to slide the nub to either side..hence picture 2 doesn't look like picture 3.

Zuofu, · Reply

I noticed at this point that a couple of my bearings didn't allow for the rod to rotate. I thought they were defective and that I had to have them replaced until I realized that the rods don't rotate just slide back and forth.

Fred Willerup, · Reply

One of the holes doesn't penetrate the other side of the wood. Any recommendations?

Kirk, · Reply

Per tech support's suggestion, I drilled the hole myself. I'll update if I come across any downstream consequences. Thanks!


make sure to use the long yellow and black wire switch on this step

Trevre, · Reply

The M2 bolts were in the bag with the sandpaper pulleys - I found them after opening every other bag with bolts :)

michael lamb, · Reply

For those that don't know, they are the screws that are smaller in width. The head is smaller too.

Dan Fischbach,

To find the 3 end stops (1 short and 2 long) look in the bag within the bag with the hot end.

Dan Fischbach, · Reply

The end stop wiring in step 4 is 12" not 6".

Peter DeGregorio, · Reply

I used all the tips yet one of the sandpaper was still too tight to go around the rubber. Bad experience that I now I will spend more money in ordering a pulley kit and wasted time.

unsupak, · Reply

Note that the yellow wire needs to be on the same side as the two holes on Part #8. Another key is that out of the two notches in the hole used, the bigger notch is on the right. The orientation is the same as in Photo #1.

Dan Fischbach, · Reply

It should say screw not bolt

Matt Bruemmer, · Reply

You may want to apply the glue to the inside of the sandpaper and push the dry tube in instead. Much easier

Steven H, · Reply

Y-axis motor gets a zip tie too (pictured in step 28).

Peter DeGregorio, · Reply

Watch out for trouble with the sandpaper pulley. They are very tight when they go around the rubber tubing. Manipulating them, I wore off a lot of the grit on the sandpaper. Try to avoid this as this grit holds the fishing line that moves the x and y axes. I've heard that you can use pliers to stretch the sandpaper pulleys by putting the pliers inside the sandpaper pulleys and pushing outwards. Although my Printrbot works great, I wish I would have known this trick before wearing off half the grit on the paper and spending far more time that I should have on this step.

Erik Beauchamp, · Reply

Check the cure time on your super glue. Mine said 3 seconds but cured in about 1 second, before I could fully seat the sand paper on the rubber tubing.

decieveus, · Reply

Do yourself a favor and order a spare sandpaper pulley kit. Even with stretching out the drum, it's too easy to mess this step up.

Galen Johnson, · Reply

Tip: Put the tubing in the freezer for an hour. It makes it much stiffer (and maybe shrinks it a little) so it doesn't squidge and expand when you're trying to force it into the sanding drum.

David McGuigan, · Reply

I used a Dremel tool with a tapered grinder that inserts about half way into the sandpaper pulley. I grind one end and then the other.

Don, · Reply

I had a difficult time fitting one of my rubber tubing pieces into a sandpaper pulley piece. The inside of the sandpaper pulley piece ended up getting frayed and messy inside, to I ended up whittling down a little bit of the rubber tube to fit inside. The end result isn't that pretty, and the entire piece is crooked towards the right a little bit as well as having a small piece of the sandpaper pully not flush with the rest of it.

Here's a picture:

Will this be a problem later? Thanks!

hans3, · Reply

It should be ok, but we do have a Sandpaper Pulley Kit if you end up needing it down the road.

Printrbot Support,

I was concerned about this step because of the various comments and also, when I first sorted out the pieces, I couldn't even come close to "squeezing" the rubber tubes into the sandpaper pulleys. I used several suggestions from other posts. In the end here's what I did and it worked.

1) Kept rubber tubes in freezer until needed

2) Used pliers to stretch out the pulleys

3) Used a rubber mallet to tap the tube into the pulley

4) Did test runs before applying glue

5) Applied glue inside the pulley (not sure why that's better, but followed that advice)

6) Worked quickly but carefully once applying glue and wiped off excess glue before it set

My rubber tubes were not cut square. Not sure it matters, but made the more square end the one flush with the end of the pulley.

Eric, · Reply

Isn't the "Sandpaper Pulley" in the photos just a 1/2" Dremel coarse grain sanding drum? I'm aware that you have a vested interest in selling "Sandpaper Pulley Kits", and I'm not trying to be problematic with your enterprise, I'm genuinely curious. I'd also like to know whether the fishing line is regular monofilament, or is it some of the braided "superline" that's woven out of aramid fibers? -WCK

Chad Knight, · Reply

Jeez! These were insanely tight!

Dan Fischbach, · Reply

You may want to use some soap on the motor stem to ease this step.

Dan Fischbach,

I found a drop of lotion worked well to help ease the rubber tubing on and didn't leave the tackyness of soap behind after drying.

decieveus, · Reply

I have 3 large Kysan 1124090 7220 motors and one small wantai stepper motor model 42BYGHW033J1. Is my small motor the Y axis motor?

chuck, · Reply

Yes, they mention it in Step 8 and 28.


Thanks for the clarification!

chuck, · Reply

Don't forget tip zip-tie this one too! Step #28 shows a zip-tie around the rubber tubing.

Dan Fischbach, · Reply

Jeez! These were insanely tight!

Dan Fischbach, · Reply

You may want to use some soap on the motor stem to ease this step.

Dan Fischbach,

I believe the M3 10mm bolts were in the bag with the sandpaper pulleys. (same bag as the M2 10mm bolts)

Dan Fischbach, · Reply

The 2 x M3 16mm Bolts and 2 x M3 Hex Nuts pictured here are for the next step. (Step #10)

Dan Fischbach, · Reply

The 2 x M3 16mm Bolts and 2 x M3 Hex Nuts are pictured in Step #9.

Dan Fischbach, · Reply

please mark the bolts better or have them separated as they are hard to tell apart without calipers

ThereWillBprints, · Reply

How at this step would it possible for someone following these instructions to know for sure which is the x-axis stop that should be routed with the z-axis motor?

I don't see a red box.

Pete, · Reply

The X-axis end stop was installed during step 4 and can be better seen in step 15.

decieveus, · Reply

Instead of jamming all the surplus wire into the base (there is a lot!), I took the time to cut out some of the wire from the middle to shorten the wires and soldered them back together. Just be careful not to cut too much out, and be sure to put heat shrink in place on the cut wires before soldering. Less wire = less resistance = more power for the steppers.

James, · Reply

When connecting the two wood pieces (before screwing) you may want to lightly tap them together with a hammer to get a good fit.

Dan Fischbach, · Reply

The folded edge of the box that these rods come in makes a great support during the hammering. It offers a little cushion across the bottom to distribute the force of the blow. No problems with wood splitting away.

Michael Ajamie, · Reply

I have my printrbot assembled to this step. When on a solid flat surface. one leg of the base is about 1.5mm above the surface. This creates a slight 'wobble' if I put downward pressure on any corner of the printrbot.

I have tried loosening the screws, aligning things, and then tightening them again to no avail. All the joints appear to be nice and tight.

Is this normal and acceptable for good print quality?

Should I spray adhesive a sheet of sandpaper to a large flat surface and sand the feet level? Is there some other fix?

William Houwers, · Reply

It is not uncommon to have wobble. Sandpaper or any other spacer on the bottom of the bot is a great solution!

Printrbot Support,

It is not obvious what the "extruder power cable" is. Its unique red and black wiring with a 4 post female adapter on one end and two post male adapter on the other end. approximately 9 inches long.

Trevre, · Reply

Thanks for the clarification! ^.\

Dan Fischbach,

If you look at the final picture/step closely, that's when the 4th zip tie/hole is used.

Dan Fischbach, · Reply

I am not sure if this has changed but it is a white 4 pin female and a black 2 pin female cord, because there is no other 4 pin cable like that in the box. You can check this by looking at step 19 pictures 1 and 2.

Thomas Rowe, · Reply

Hi. As a warning, (in the 2nd picture) note the extra block of wood reinforcing the 'bottom' side where the rods will attempt to exit the second piece of plywood. (Looks like a little wood foot sticking out

You need something near the openings to support the underside of the plywood or a layer or two of plywood will snap off, even with moderated hammering.

Sadly, I didn't notice this in the picture until it was too late.

Abraham Miller, · Reply

Nevermind, I failed to actually read bullet three... my bad.

Abraham Miller, · Reply

I actually find it somewhat hard to find something adequete to support this step. It would be nice to include it in the list of needed tools. Or, just add little block of wood to the laser cut pieces.

Pete, · Reply

I used a 1/2" square dowel as the spacer. Perfect fit.

Robyn Colopy, · Reply

I was building the kit with the XL upgrade and in this step I used the 13" rods from the XL kit.

marcouxn, · Reply

Put a drop or two of very light machine oil on the rod up a few inches and spread around with your fingers.

Don, · Reply

Didn't have machine oil but used a tiny bit of bicycle wax lubricant. I was able to push the rods in with a bit of rubber mallet tapping while keeping the structure on its side to avoid any chance of breaking part 7.

Eric, · Reply

Use small c-clamp or carpenters clamp to press in lock nuts, prevents damage to the wood and ensures a straight press.

Arturs Bergs, · Reply

When screwing in the M3 10mm Bolt, it seems to cause the other side to split. No idea why.

Dan Fischbach, · Reply

You can make a come-along to pull the nuts into place.

Take one 16 mm bolt, thread 4 - M3 hex nuts onto it finger tight to the bolt head one after the other. Follow with the #6 washer and pull the nut from the opposite side of the print platform.

No splitting!

Steve Blundon, · Reply

Used this suggestion and it worked well.


Try turning the screw in and out many times with 1/4 turn motions. It works just like a tap that way.

Randy, · Reply

For the XL upgrade, use the print platform from the XL kit.

marcouxn, · Reply

The slots, in the piece labeled "2" on the back of the Bill of Materials sheet, are too narrow for the 61/2" smooth rod to "nest" in the piece. I have found no clear indication as to the proper alignment of the rods and the wooden piece. Can you help?

kenlutz, · Reply

Hi kenlutz,

If you look at Photo #3 on Step #21 and Photo #3 on Step #22, it looks like Piece #2 just rests on the two rods and the rods should stay with Piece #2 via the 4 zip-ties you get in Step #21. The zip-ties should just meet the ends of the rods. See the photos I mentioned above for more.

Hope this helps!

Dan Fischbach,

Thanks to Dan Fischbach. Photo #3 of Step #22 did not appear until I re-loaded the program, so I missed seeing it. I'll take it from there.

I have received the expansion kit for printing larger objects; however, no instructions have been found pertaining to its installation. Any help?

kenlutz, · Reply

Hi kenlutz,

Do you mean the Simple XL upgrade kit/bigger bed?

Dan Fischbach,

Dan: Yes, the XL upgrade kit.

kenlutz, · Reply

Hi kenlutz,

Looks like there are instructions here:

Dan Fischbach,

The bars in this step *barely* overlay the edge of the part 2 cut out that they rest on and cannot be ziptied to the piece. Are the zipties supposed to actually attach the bars to the piece, or do they just act as protrusions that the ends of the bars sort of rest against? It seems like maybe part 2 is bigger than it ought to be...

aj t, · Reply

It should be as in picture #1; the zip ties go around the rods. The rods should be long enough ... the rods are just under 6-1/2" and the slots, including the narrow ends, are just over 6-1/2".

Peter DeGregorio,

I see the problem now. I received 4 6" rods, not 6.5"ish rods.

aj t,

Hi, i have the same problem of aj t, i recived 4 6" rods instead of 6.5" ones.. how did you solved the problem? thanks

beastr, · Reply

For the XL upgrade, use the 10" rods from the Simple kit.

marcouxn, · Reply

Anyone have any problems getting the zipties that attach the 6.5" guide rods to the build platform to clear parts 5 and/or 6 when the platform slides? Mine slightly hit curved area they're supposed to slide through on piece #5. The other side clears it OK. I tried putting some shims in the attachment tabs between the bearing mount surface and piece 5 to move it up a little which works, but now the assembly rocks slightly as it seems one corner is higher or lower than the others.

Brian Clarke, · Reply

I had this same problem. I sanded down the little semi-circular cutouts of part 5/6 with a dremel to get clearance.


I noticed my smooth rod zip ties were not clearing the semi-circular cutouts of parts 5/6, so I used a dremel tool to sand them down a little.

Luke, · Reply

If it's not obvious, it looks like you're supposed to start at the underside of Piece #2 you just attached. The M3 hex nut is supposed to go on the top side of Piece #2 to secure the fishing line on the other side so it's tight between the M3 10mm Bolt and Piece #2. (see Photo #1)

Dan Fischbach, · Reply

Cryptic. Tie the knot around the socket head, or under the socket head?

Pete, · Reply

So... What's the zip tie for?? :)

Abraham Miller, · Reply

Ahh... Picture three of step 25.

Abraham Miller, · Reply

The piece does not exactly slide in, does it? I had to use a considerable amount of force (read mallet) to drive it in..

Abhinav Dasari, · Reply

Not sure how well this will work with the Printrbot wood, but it might help to freeze the inner piece to make condense and maybe slide in easier.


9 1/8 in wasn't quite enough for me. I could barely get the adjuster into position at all, and there was absolutely no chance of installing it correctly. The tail of the adjuster (which should be zip-tied to part 2 in step 25) is sticking out, with the head of the adjuster tight against part 2 and the screw fully retracted.

If you look closely at photo 1, you will notice that the line has some slack in it while being measured. Also note that the 9 1/8 is being measured to the edge of part 2, not to the screw head (where the string actually ends).

My guess is another 1/8 ", or maybe even 1/4 ", would be needed to properly position the adjuster.

prr, · Reply

A little bit of super glue on the knot (small droplet!) will help prevent knot from untying.

Arturs Bergs, · Reply

Make the string very tight. If it's loose, the printer will not print accurately and won't print layer on top of layer in the right spot like it's supposed to. How tight? They say it should pluck almost like a guitar string.

Erik Beauchamp, · Reply

the rope falls off every 5th time i print. it is really onoying

David Bershadsky, · Reply

Any idea how far down the screws should go?

Dan Fischbach, · Reply

Suggest turning each of the four bed screws about the same number of times. I was kind of careless about this and the machine wobbled on a flat surface, about 1/8". The wobble went away after I got the bed near level.

Peter DeGregorio, · Reply

As for how far in the screws should go, you at least want to make sure they are all the way into the locking nylon portion of the nut, so I screwed mine in until they "bottomed out" at the end of the locking nut.

Andy Little, · Reply

seemed like a simple step but I had some trouble with it. I had to pre-compress a spring with a zip tie around it to get the screw set. Then when set, I snipped it.

Clayton K, · Reply

Also it appears that the metal bed screw holes are offset, Meaning if you install it wrong you will have an overhang on the front edge and it wont line up with the wooden parts below.

Clayton K, · Reply

See step #31 for wire orientation

Robert Bouillon, · Reply

Parts from step 29 are duplicated in Step 30.

Daniel, · Reply

Be careful! Don't be stupid like me and put Part #17 on the wrong side of Part #13.

Dan Fischbach,

The 3" bolt is the Z-axis stop adjustment. It is not a big deal if it is screwed in too far; the effect will be the extruder will not get close enough to the bed before the Z-stop stops its travel; the solution is to back out the screw some. The picture (as of 3/9/14) shows the screw too far out, in my opinion. It should be set initially to about 1/2" between the top of the screw and the bracket. There are no instructions on how to set the Z-axis stop, by the way (as of 3/9/14). If the Z-axis bolt is not screwed in far enough the travel of the extruder head will not stop before it hits the print bed and strains the machine. (The outcome of that is the cleverly used vinyl tubing will pull away from the motor).

Peter DeGregorio, · Reply

The vinyl tubing does not fit tightly with the 1-1/4 screw even with the zip-tie around the vinyl tubing. Any suggestions ?

Hari, · Reply

have you tried using pliers to tighten the zip tie more? The most you'll break is the zip tie itself.


It would be nice to know how far I have to thread this onto the 1/4 threaded rod. looks like 1/2 way

Peter Lawrence, · Reply

If building with the XL upgrade, use the longer rod from the XL kit.

marcouxn, · Reply

It would be nice to know more about the black post and the screw/other thing we're supposed to use instead of the brass posts.

Dan Fischbach, · Reply

It looks like you don't have the worry about the screw until Step #59. As for the #6 washer they talk about, in my set I believe it was in the small bag with the nylon spacers used for the metal bed. That small bag was in the bag that is attached to the metal bed bag and containers more nuts/screws..

Dan Fischbach,

Any idea on how to use/mount the Black plastic thing that replaces the two brass posts?

Alejandro Zanotti, · Reply

The diagram they provide does give some hints, but it's not massively obvious.

The key is putting the M3 bolt through the washer, then through the extruder arm, then through the black plastic part, then into the top-right motor hole. The thicker end of the black plastic part goes against the motor, with most of the black plastic part inside the extruder arm.

Royston Shufflebotham,

If you returned to here from the 2013 guide without completing step 3 go back and do it first.

decieveus, · Reply

Missing : where to plug the Y-Axis end. It's not easy but we can plug it between X and Z axis. See step 18.

vincent, · Reply

Step 43 is easier if you do it prior to attaching the smooth rods and y-axis assembly.

Galen Johnson, · Reply

#3 looks a bit different in picture 3. The assembly appears to have an extra wood piece instead of the metal extruder. Is this photo a remnant from a previous version or did I miss something?

Kirk, · Reply

Connect the y axis endstop wire to the Y-STOP plug on the board.

John Ellis, · Reply

After you're done attaching the y-axis assembly, there's one more step to get to either now or a bit later. You'll need to adjust the long vertical screw at the rear of the assembly so that it hits the z-stop when the assembly is all the way down. My screw didn't hit the zstop at first and it took too long for me figure out why the hot end kept pressing into my bed during calibration!

Zak, · Reply

Ensure you carefully trim your zip ties here, otherwise there is a chance of having them rub against the extruder power cable.

Tom, · Reply

Is that the 2014 model shown in photo 1? If so, I did something wrong because my left part is different and the circle (for fan?) on the left part on mine is below, not above.

Eric, · Reply

This in the future should have a tensioner bolt to ease this step. However until that happens make sure you loop the fishing line around the bolt next to the extruder motor.

Use this instead of re-doing your knots or if you cut the string but there is too much slack. It will also be handy if the line ever becomes loose. It also prevents you from having a back fastener that is too high on the backside of this axis. Even here a spring system like the one used in the extruder would provide a great amount of support for how taught the line is.

Good Luck and you are almost done!!

ThereWillBprints, · Reply

This step is where to tie the fishing line to the tensioner.

Peter DeGregorio, · Reply

Quick tip: X, Y, and Z motors all have red wires as the topmost wire.

Dan Fischbach, · Reply

If building with the XL upgrade, use the Y-motor extension from the XL kit.

marcouxn, · Reply

Don't install the nuts this step - you'll use the same screws to install the fan duct and THEN install the nuts.

Daniel, · Reply

Be careful when folding in the last little side tab. Make sure it's a pretty straight fold or else you'll have trouble putting the tabs into the holes in the next step.

Dan Fischbach, · Reply

You're really not aligning the gear with the hole in the aluminum extruder bed. You're aligning it with the opening in the top of the hot end.

The hot end opening is not centered with the hole in the extruder bed - at least mine is not. I've discovered that when the gear and the hot end opening were not aligned, I was getting filament jams at the opening of the hot end when the filament softened high up in the hot end and was pushed off-center.

Robert Wallace, · Reply

What size Allen key goes in the extruded gear?

Chris Goff, · Reply


FWIW, I have two hex keys which are both supposed to be 1/16", but one of them was too small.

Adrian Quark,

Using a small length of filament threaded through the hole will help with the alignment of the groove.

Galen Johnson, · Reply

As pictured but not mentioned, be sure to get the locking bolt onto the flat part of the motor shaft, for a secure fit.

David Lindes, · Reply

Thanks David. We added a note.

Printrbot Support,

Do NOT skip the threadlock. It is crucial since the screw vibrates loose quite easily.

Galen Johnson, · Reply

It looks like to get it to align right for actual tightening to the motor, you need to fiddle with the silver screw on the top. Spent some time figuring this out. Hope it helps others!

Dan Fischbach, · Reply

Some of the screws provided are 22mm rather than 20mm. I used a 22mm one here.

Peter DeGregorio, · Reply

To get this screw to align with its hole I rotated the motor slightly (remember is fastened by only one bolt at this point) by wedging a screwdriver under the motor. This brought the hole upwards to where I needed it to be for the alignment.

Luke, · Reply

Prior to seating in the pre-drilled hole in the extruder arm and diminishing the gap in the arm, the end of the 20mm screw comes into contact with the motor housing but does not line up with the threaded hole in the housing. What is the intent of the designer?

kenlutz, · Reply

I was also having the problem of the screw bottoming out on the motor. I removed the roller assembly and loosened the other screw. It still felt like it didn't align, but when I used more torque to tighten it was aligning. Squeezing the collar tight takes a LOT of torque.

Ken Fritz, · Reply

The Printrbot Simple 2014 bill of materials lists 4 M3 20mm screws. My kit had 5. The build instruction requires 6. Other than that, the build went well.

Markcosmic, · Reply

We were also missing 1 20 mm screw and ended up 'borrowing' one from the metal bed for now. Will look for one at a local hardware store to replace the one we borrowed from metal bed

Lucie deLaBruere, · Reply

I was also missing an M3 20mm Screw. I just did like Lucie and borrowed a 20mm from the bed. Hopefully it doesn't throw everything off too much.

James, · Reply

we also were missing a 20mm from this step.

Roy Bergstrom, · Reply

Also short 1 - 20 mm M3, 4 used in the bed, 2 needed on the metal extruder. the BOM says we get 4 but I got 5 and needed 6.

Lloyd Miller, · Reply

I'll stop looking for the 'maybe I lost it in the carpet' screw. Like others, BOM says 4 were shipped. I received 5 and need 6.

William Houwers, · Reply

i'm missing a 20mm screw as well. i actually only received 4.

IV MI, · Reply

I'm stuck in this step. The M3 20mm screw, is not even to coming out on the other end and fit on the motor housing in order to tighten the collar. Shouldn't this be a 22mm screw?

Jay Tuduri, · Reply

Mine seems to be different. When installed per the instructions, the motor was running backwards. I flipped it (its now oriented the same way as the others) and its extruding properly - with one exception - retract does NOT work. When you add retract in slic3r, it actually EXTRUDES. Not sure what the solution is.

Brendan, · Reply

sounds like You need to flip the direction of your plug into the Printrboard.

Clayton K,

Don't freak out if you don't have this cable around. It may be already plugged into your Printrbot from an earlier step!

Dan Fischbach, · Reply

Thank you so much! i was losing my mind for 20 minutes. I even went through my trash looking for this wire!


Well those two connectors are not meant to go together reliably. I clicked on the link for additional instructions. Despite this I broke the pins off.

Peter DeGregorio, · Reply

I have been attempting to access the site "Getting Started Guide" resulting in either a message from Google to the effect that the page is not available or a message that Adobe has crashed. Help!

kenlutz, · Reply

There is also

Note, however, that this one has an entry in Slic3r that states there is no fan and of course there is a fan. It points out that you may need to configure Repetier disable Reset On Connect if manual mode commands are queuing up and not being sent and executed by the printer.

Peter DeGregorio,


1. How to initially adjust the Z-axis stop. My machine endured some strain because the Z-axis stop screw was assembled too far out and did not activate the stop to prevent the print head from hitting the bed and trying to keep going.

2. How to level the bed is missing from the Getting Started Guide. As is the need to use blue masking tape on the print bed.

However, this has been really fun and interesting and before long I got an initial print that wasn't half bad. Nice job PrintrBot!

Peter DeGregorio, · Reply

I also enjoyed this process, while finding the way these pulleys work a little harrowing.

I do feel like the instructions have left me with the feeling of unfinished business, things like finishing zip tying the circuit board, wrapping the hot end wires, never appear in the text.

Also, I have a strange assortment of left over hardware that I can't explain. Did I fall asleep somewhere? It seems like I have hardware for old kit components pre-2014.

Also, why was I told to buy wood glue!? I doubt I saved my receipt.

Pete, · Reply

Overall this is a superb assembly guide. Thank you! Like others, I would have appreciated a calibration guide for the stops and bed. I had to hunt around for info about this. The getting started guide is not for 2014 model so I am left wondering if some settings are wrong. But just completed my first print and it doesn't suck too much!

Fred Willerup, · Reply

We finished the build guide with very few difficulties and only a few spots where we had to go back. For people with clumsy fingers, the knots on the drive are a bit difficult. For your next development you may look for a simple system with which to attatch the string.

Randy, · Reply

Thought I would share my progress and where I'm having trouble. I completed the build and am able to control X, Y and Z from Repetier. After a bunch of trial and error I did the following:

1) Used the screws on the print platform to adjust its height until I could just slide a piece of paper under the extruder with Z set to 0 at each of points (X,Y) (0,0), (100,0), (0,100), (100,100).

2) Found that the extruded filament would not "stick" to the platform, but used a hairdryer to heat the metal and after that it did stick.

3) Saw that I needed to configure Slic3r and set the printer settings to a bed size of 100x100. (When I tried doing this before printing it tried to position my Y past 100.)

As of now though I still can't get a good print. When it moves to the next layer it appears to be printing offset of where it should be which makes me think that my X and Y strings are slipping.

Eric, · Reply

Update on my progress. Y was definitely slipping. I marked a point, moved Y, moved it back, repeated a few times, and the point was off. I reconnected the strong and it now appears to be holding position, but this whole mechanism feels fragile.

I then started printing again and thought I would get my first complete and reasonably correct print, but after about 10 layers the shark (test print) slipped off the surface. I'm now trying again using masking tape on top of the metal print platform. I also changed the shark size from 50% to 75% so even if it does work I won't be sure which variable(s) made the difference.


Unfortunately still no good. This time no slipping of the shark off of the platform, but each layer was offset a bit from the one below, quite a bit worse than my previous print. Looks like Y is slipping again. Any advice?


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