Ok so I currently have an Ender 3 printer and it's been pretty amazing

Ok so I currently have an Ender 3 printer and it’s been pretty amazing for the price so far. Well I saw that someone had mounted a linear rail on the x axis and I was thinking about doing the same, just for the hell of it. I figure that the bearing block would last a lot longer than the wheels riding on the extrusion would. So my question is, is this something that’s worth doing? I have seen some rails for pretty cheap on eBay but I don’t want to get something that’s worse than what I already have. If the blocks and rail are nice enough, I figured that mounting the hot end to 2 blocks would make it super accurate. If it turns out well, I may even do it to the y or maybe even z axis as well. Thoughts? Previous experiences?

Also, I’m not having any problems with the printer at the moment so this would just be more of a project than an actual need to upgrade. I fix what’s broken and upgrade what isn’t. Lol.

I’ve been told there is a WORLD of difference between legitimate hiwin rails and chinese knockoffs. I’d probably only do it if you go with the legit company.

THK also makes extremely high quality linear rails. There are a smattering of other Japanese and American linear rail manufacturers. They are blisteringly expensive, but they are extremely nice.

some of the cheap chinese rails are very decent quality and for sure more than enough for a 3d printer. dont waste your money on hiwin or thk, especially if it is just an experiment.

lots of people purchased rails for their voron printer on aliexpress from CNA Mechanical Parts Store and i did not hear many complaints.

I wouldn’t bother unless you go with OEM hiwin rails. The reason why a lot of companies are swapping to the wheels is because for the cost, they are far smarter than any linear bearing setup. My Ender 3 prints very well with the stock kinematics. I don’t see any reason to change it to be honest n

At work we use THK rails all day long but they are expensive and I’m not looking to sink a bunch of money into it. If the cheap stuff that you can get from eBay or other Ali aren’t very good, I’ll likely just pass on it. I just thought it would be a fun conversion and I love the way the rails look. But if the quality is going to drop or they won’t last very long, I wouldn’t want to do it. Although, I could always call our THK rep and ask for some free samples. Lol.

I have no idea if the off brand rails are any good, but I did find this on Youtube and I’m considering buying one rail to see if it just needs some TLC.

@Kevin_Danger_Powers have a look on youtube for voron 2. some of those printers have been printing nearly 24/7 for months.

Get the vwheels off the y axis. They are centrally located, being run axialy, under heat, hard to inspect and adjust, bearing considerable weight etc… I agree that x and z are fine but they are also perimeter located and run radially.

I’ve got some cheap Chinese rails and they are awesome. No doubt the expensive ones would be better. I’m using MGN7 with two carriages per rail and two rails per axis.
Heres a pic of my modified enlarger, with X and Y 450mm. I’ve got a laser mounted, but also use direct coupled extruder. The blocks are rated 100Kg each. But you do need to support the rail. I use 78381 aluminium channel or box. You need to drill all the mounting holes (block and rail) ACCURATELY and or provide a straight reference when assembling i.e. cnc otherwise the rails will seize up.
On this design I’ve got some flex issues on the long cantilever (500mm) at 250mm/sec.
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Heres some detail of my current project (Work in pRogress).
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@shorai that’s good to know. I can very accurately drill any needed holes so that wouldn’t be an issue. I just figured that the x axis would be the easiest to convert. I have plenty of experience with good rails, just not any with cheap ones.

@ThantiK It would be awesome to use Hiwin rails. Trouble is they would be much more expensive than the whole printer, wouldn’t they? I mounted the Y on my Tevo Tornado on two “MGN9” rails from the same seller and their feel is completely different in terms of smoothness. Perhaps different preload? Having said that I doubt it will make much of a difference in this application. While I haven’t had a chance to test it but I’m sure it will be better than the single central OpenBuilds slide.missing/deleted image from Google+

Nice thing is they are small, light and compact. I am now using 20mm Alu. sq tubing instead of profiles to save weight and get faster acceleration. Still have to see how it works :wink: