Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sneak peek of my new portable mini printer, Tantillus.

 Just a quick update as some of you may have already seen via John Biehlers Blog I have been working on a mini Ultimaker style printer with the goal of making a truly portable printer. This came about after taking my Prusa on holidays and finding it too big to travel with and not required for most things you would print on the go.

A few notes on its design and construction.

Outer dimensions:
 200mm x 200mm x 300mm (225mm x 225mm x 300mm with reinforcements brackets installed, see picture)

Build Area:
102mm x 102mm x 120mm (100mm x 100mm x 110 usable)

LM8uu linear bearings on all axis (currently using Triffid Hunters printable LM8uu's for testing with excellent results).
Fully printed case (12 main sections, 12 connectors, 14 axis parts, 5 optional reinforcements, 3 piece custom extruder).
It can print all of its own parts.
Designed to use J-head hotend (eventually).
Internally mounted extruder with bowden cable.
External power supply to allow for battery operated use.
Uses low cost wire rope (fishing wire) or High test Braided fishing line instead of costly belts (It wraps 5 times around the rod and then goes through a hole and wraps an additional 5 times resulting in no slip). This is a roll on roll off system with a fixed anchor in the middle.

Planned additions:
Extension panels to allow it to expand itself by 100mm in any or all directions (incomplete as of yet).
The ability to daisy chain two machines together to mass produce parts while only using one set of electronics (both machines would produce the same parts at the same time).

Vitamin list:
11- 608 bearings
10 - LM8uu's or 8 - LM8uu's & 4 - LM8Suu's
2m - 8mm smooth rod
250mm - 6mm threaded rod (1/4" threaded rod) and two nuts
60 - Socket head screws (Allen head)
4 - Nema 17's ( Nema 11's / Nema 14's should also work as it takes very little torque)
Your favorite electronics.

Thanks go to John for his beautiful picture.

It now has a name "Tantillus"

Update 2:
RepRap wiki page created.


  1. That is looking very nice, I would like to see the fishing wire working, makes a nice change from belts.
    I guess it could use 6mm rods and LM6UU's quite easily.

  2. Thanks. I have run the axis back and forth a hundreds times already and it has not stretched or wandered yet. But time and the highly repetitive nature of the machine may still prove problematic. The good news is I designed it with enough space for pulleys and belts if need be. As for LM8uu's, you would also need to change the 608 bearings that the rods rotate in to 6mm i.d. bearings. I also believe LM8uu's and 608's are the cheapest available. If the 6mm hardware is comparable it would be no issue to change them and it may even allow me to increase the build area by a few mm's

  3. GREAT stuff! Would love to see it running in a video. Keep us posted :)

  4. Great looking design. Maybe give the synchromesh cables a try. I saw Granz's post on thingaverse about them and just bought 2 meters for testing. $10. Might be a little more to get them to Cananda.

    Agree with everyone on the video. If you get a chance to post something that would be great.

  5. perfect for next to my prusa to draw me pcb's.. can't wait for the release!!!

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  7. Congratulations on what looks to be a really awesome design. Call me impatient, but I hope that you post files soon on thingiverse even as a "work in progress" / experimental thing so that people (myself included) can jump in and work on it. I second what Brian said, I'd like to try the Synchromesh as well just because I've been looking for a good excuse to use it on a printer.

  8. hey if you need a hand sorting out a battery pack for this thing I have
    a good number of lion cells that are still serviceable
    could hack up a nice regulated 12v power supply

  9. I'd love to see a version that allowed printing the top section in just one or two parts! The Ultimaker (and I guess Repraps?) could do that if the bridging succeeded. Two parts for sure would be fine (no bridging).

    Could it be assembled still if it was one or two parts for the top section?

    1. That is actually how I designed it originally and why it is 200 x 200. But when trying to print it I had to much warping which made the bearing locations out of square. Not to mention it would not be self reproducing. Also it would not have much bridging because the top would be printed upside down.

    2. Ah, cool. Yeah I meant bridging if it was made in just one piece.

      Good call on it being self-replicating. It would still be great to have the option to print it in fewer pieces for large printers. If you made files available for both a two piece top section and the many-piece top section, then people with large printers could make them more easily, and if they wanted to have it self-replicate then of course the other files are there.

      Assuming the warping issue can be sorted out.

      Either way, this is a really, really awesome design. I was thinking of making a Printrbot but I love this one way more! I can't wait to see the files, no matter how experimental they are!

  10. I agree! Can't wait to see the files. I've been tossing around the idea of a control board which uses CAT5 cable for comms to everything. It's a trick I learned on my FIRST robotics team. Seems like a small thing like this could do with cables that can be easily replaced while traveling.

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