Project iTopie Continues…

iTopie MDF RightNo, it’s not done yet but the iTopie project continues. As you can see, the frame is painted, the parts are printed and the assembly process is well underway. I’m very satisfied with how the frame came out. It is solid and my added handle is the bee’s knees. The handle is slightly rearward of the current CG but I will try to fix that by putting any additional components as far rearward as possible. It’s still a handy handle, though!



The extruder is the Wade L3K (thing 512338) version. In my opinion, it is a well designed extruder, although I haven’t actually extruded with it yet! The parts were well thought out and assembly was pretty straight forward. There is also a bracket available for a capacitive probe for bed leveling, and since that was my plan anyways, picking this extruder was a no-brainer. And if you need a hobbed 8mm bolt, check out our hobbing how-to.

As much as I like this extruder, I did print a few different parts:

First, I wanted a quick release for the hinged pressure wheel/bearing thing. Check out this quick release lever (thing 22830).

Second, and slightly more complicated was this belt drive gear (thing 1038554). It is used in conjunction with an off-the-shelf 20 tooth GT2 motor pulley and a 100-tooth GT2 belt to replace the gear-to-gear setup common on the Wades extruder. The belt drive is supposed to have minimal backlash when changing directions. When printing, I had to scale the gear down to 98% to get the belt to fit correctly. But besides that, it seems to have worked perfect.

Third, are the z-rod bottom mounts. The original printer design had you jam the z axis rods into the MDF. These printed brackets are secured by 2 of the 4 z-axis motor screws. The rod is then clamped in place with a pair of 3mm screws and captive nuts. These were designed by me! I’m glad to be able to contribute to this project somehow.

I do have a bit more to do, like run all the wiring, mount the electronics and then battle the firmware (my least favorite part!).


iTopie Extruder-Installed

iTopie MDF Left

L3K Wades extruder

L3K Wades extruder

Leave a Reply