Building the MakerGear Mosaic 3D Printer – Part IV: The Z-Axis

This is the fourth installment of my series on building the MakerGear Mosaic 3D printer. This part wraps up assembly of the Cartesian robot with the Z-axis mechanics, including installation of the two precision ground linear rails and the PTFE-coated lead screw.

Each week, I keep expecting that this will be the stage of the build where it starts to get difficult, tedious, and/or fiddly. In fact, so far no part of the assembly has been difficult, and the only even slightly tedious job has been installing all the captive nuts in the frame back in Part I.

With this guide, I’ve just passed the halfway mark. Next week, I’m assembling the extruder, then the build platform itself, and finally, the electronics. With any luck, I’ll be printing my shot glass on or about New Year’s Eve!


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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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