V Slot Wheels / Bearings – Highly recommended Upgrade

Wheels – Bearings – they’re critical, load supporting and a highly recommended, immediate upgrade for your printer….only 6 are critically needed – 9 will upgrade the Y and X axis – if you’re feeling flush, 15 will do the whole printer!

The V slot wheels on the Y axis that came with my Duplicator 9 were a bit squished in transit…I tried to squish them back together but it quickly became clear that these weren’t quite circular and had an eccentric wobble that transmitted up to the Y build plate.

I tried a few times to use the printer, but the build plate would quickly sag at the rear, making the plate off level to the point where it interfered with and hit the rear microswitch!


I guess I needed new ones


Some close ups below of the carriage that holds the wheels – At this time I didn’t realise that you could just unscrew the wheels without removing the whole bed!!


Found a lovely chap on Ebay 

Selling what look like Polycarbonate wheels for what seemed, a quite reasonable £2.50 each including post (for a pack of 10)

10pc Xtreme Delrin Wheel V Slot 3D Printer RepRap CNC Openbuilds shapeoko XCarve


No idea what material they are, but using 9 of them – 6 on Y and 3 on X….it’s made a MASSIVE difference to the handling of the printer…the build plate is so much less ‘wobbly’ is the biggest notable difference.

After replacing these, I simply levelled the bed, configured Z axis (with the new 1.6.1 firmware)


Delivery and unboxing of the D9 – part 2

During the unboxing, a bit of an oddity showed up, the build plate didn’t look level at all

taking a picture from the front, looking in, it’s clear that the height between the plate and that block thing is quite a bit more on the right, than the left

…….See post about V Slot Wheels

No worries, lets see if we can level the bed manually


Final assembly image below…and, power up………err


Um, yeah, that’s not supposed to happen!……….

I’ll write this up in another hints and tips section…But, to stop it doing this, you need to…

  • power down, move the axis roughly level
  • move extruder over a bit towards the middle
  • move Y build base forward a bit
  • power up
  • Use the utilities menu to move the X,Y,Z around just a bit
  • Home X,Y,Z
  • xyz

You probably won’t see the issue again….Seems ‘something’ about the Dual Z axis screws doesn’t like it when everything’s near or at the home position when it’s first powered up….which stops the left hand motor driving properly


Lets do a first print –


Delivery and unboxing of the D9 – part 1

It’s HOOOOOOOGE. look at that box!, you can fit a 6 year old child in that (no 6 year old children were harmed in determining that fact)


It seems to be quite well packed


Adult Lego – Wooooo

Quite impressed so far, there’s a lot of HEAVY hardware in this box. I’m a bit old school really and do associate heavyness with valueness This thing’s great value, I could quite easily bludgeon a 3 or a 6 year old with these things (note, no 3 or 6 year olds have actually been bludgeoned)



all fun so far….except that last picture………..that’ll lead on to a very small , quickly fixed problem…………….

Creality – comparing, Nah, just buy something else

Now i’ve discovered the fairly cheap seeming   Value for money Creality can be upgraded right from the go, with a much preferred (to myself) user interface….I’m looking more

I’ve dismissed the other touch printers right now as , they’re smaller or more than my £200 / £400 budget…..



And, specifically, and co-incidentally, a post  that popped up whilst browsing! (post’s been updated to add more printers!……..)


I’d noted that the Duplicator 9, previously £499 ..and definitely outside of any sane budget  .., wife approved £200 or my own ‘stuff it, double that’ budget…….now had become less than my ‘in trouble with wifey’ limit…

I immediately checked all the cashback sites


the 1.05% cashback won me over!, that’s £4 to contribute to my ever growing cashback account……

I purchased the D9………..


Crap, better do some research on this thing eh!………….


Creality CR-10S – Perfect…..

What’s more than my £200 budget, but, less than my self imposed £400…and just happens to sport some ‘go faster’ stripes in my favourite colour


Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the CREALITY CR-10S 300



Available for various prices, from many places, ALL of which are really, significantly higher than the pesky £15.01 UK customs limit for VAT and import duty and handling fees, Sometimes, it’s great to be living in Australia with it’s $1000 restriction

At this time, I’m a little sulky – The £350 Gearbest printer Could end up being a £450 printer after VAT and handling fees….

Still, I’m set, the CR10-S it is. Ticks all my arbitary boxes that I just made up…

  • Blue Racing Stripes
  • Significantly more than the £200 I’ve got ‘permission’ to spend
  • umm, OOh, an LCD and a knob
  • does BIG stuff (that’s my new thought, why buy small)

In seriousness though, it and it’s predecessors do seem to have quite a following


So, now, I’m settled on


After agonising days of googling the best price, looking up all the regular places, It seemed that facebook had gotten hold of me cookies and fronted an advert for a small UK Based place called Technology Outlet Which, At  a shade under £400 with postage is a better price than the chinese conglomerates, eBay, Amazon can offer!

Here’s a quick price match


Now, I want a touch screen………………



More Decisions



So, having discovered that there’s a whole load of 3D printers out there,I’ve no idea what I want, how much to spend and that I’ve still got £200 burning a hole in my pocket after a week,


I figured I’d up the budget to £400

First stop, Facebook marketplace! – an excellent source of day-day ‘crap’ and more…There’s a few printers available, Da-vinchi’s coming out of ones ears, Eaglemoss magazine ones and Anet A8’s, tarantulas, and more….

My first temptation was the Anet A8, it’s just over a Ton, so well within budget. But, why so many on sale, AND i have clear ‘permission’  to spend £200, which really means £400…

so, dismissed (that and there seems to be many, many ‘issues’  including spontaneous combustion, which is one of my lesser preferred features in any household appliance.

Jumping onto Gumtree, Shpock really showed a myriad of printers for sale, and my thoughts, if there’s so many for sale, are they any good, Should I be interested in the ones that aren’t selling second hand!?


There seems to be a marked increase in ‘stuff’ on a 3D printer when you start approaching that half a grand figure

Armed with a little more flash cash (don’t tell the wife) I decided to make my research easier, Bowing down to a little peer pressure, it seems that ‘everyone’  has one or more of these three brands.

Why I narrowed it down to these 3

  • Cost – I’m stingy by nature, I’m happy to tinker for sure, but with the aforementioned young offspring   becoming ‘not as young’ , my ‘me time’  is sorely limited. I need it to ‘kind of work’ but thoroughly enjoy the getting it to work aspects
  • Popularity – I’m a 3D printing noobie….I’m going to need to lean on some forums and users to gain advice. There’s no point in me buying a printer that no-one else has, if it breaks, where to go for some guidance
  • Because! i’d been eyeing up a few of the manufacturers offerings at night and probably had already made a decision………..


Duplicator 9 – Decisions

For some time now, I’ve been thinking about buying a 3D printer…….Just never really actually pulled the trigger

The lead up to the purchase

I’m a bit of a retro lover – Backed the Spectrum Next on Kickstarter, got a PCB only version too…After spending many months upgrading the PCB and playing, It’s been pushed aside due to lack of time 

I decided to sell the PCB to chap over in Denmark that’s currently writing music for many to be released games…

I digress!. With a couple of hundred quid burning a hole in my pocket, I started the 3D printing Research


What a minefield!

Needless to say, many days clicking, ‘researching’ and generally spending waaaaay too much time in one of the few quiet sanctuaries that a parent of two kids can be left alone for more than 5 minutes…

I eventually discovered Reddit’s 3D printing thread (the May version, which updated to the June version  – now the July Version)

reddit Capture

What a minefield! 

Direct link to the 3D printing advice page

Some things that became immediately obvious

  • There’s a LOT of 3D printers
  • There’s a LOT of prices for 3D printers
  • Monoprice seems to have a following
  • Some Wanhao printers seem to have a following


More Google Research

Even More Google Research

……………This wasn’t going to be easy

3D Printer Firmware – Support the Author


In my research of 3D printers, it seems that just one bloke is responsible for the massive explosion in popularity in recent years……

This bloke develops and releases for FREE the firmware / software that drives YOUR printer

Sign up for Patreon and donate just once, or just a dollar or two a month….I’ve just signed up for $2 a month….Not much, just imagine how much he’d get if he had just $1 a month off everyone who had a cheap 3D printer

Scott Lahteine



Marlin is used on over 90% of printers worldwide. The lead developer Scott sometimes has trouble making ends meet. This should NOT be happening. Please consider becoming a Patreon at his Patreon page below even if you can only commit for a month it is better than nothing.







Tightening Belt To Mitigate Vibration Artifacts on Monoprice Maker Select (Wanhao Duplicator i3)

Great piece about why us tinkerers purchase 3D printers and what we expect from them!….it’s small but steady steps that allow you to make great prints

New Screwdriver

Now that my open-box Monoprice Maker Select (Wanhao Duplicator i3) is up and running, it’s time to take a closer look at the less than perfect print output. This was totally expected at this terrifically low price point, and part of the point of this exercise was to learn how to analyze 3D printer problems and how to address them. This printer is not just a tool – it is a project in and of itself!

The first (and as it turns out, a recurring) issue is a vibration artifact in the print after a sharp movement. After some web searches, I’ve learned this was called “ringing” because it’s the after effect of a sharp impulse, like ringing a bell. Looking at the printer, I thought the obvious culprit would be the Y-axis movement. It has to move the build platform so it would have more inertia to overcome and…

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3D Printing

Ok, so a lot has happened in the past few years, much procrastination, an additional child, a move to a new (old) country!

I’ve finally bitten the bullet and gone purchased me a 3D printermathingy

One of these –


Wanhao Duplicator 9 Manufacturers website


It’s a little larger  than I’d anticipated – I can print 0.036 of a cubic meter on this thing!….If I ever get my head into an MRI, this beast’ll do a full 1-1 print!

I still own the 3020T CNC – see It’s arrived!

It’s setup right next to my new toy and now looking somewhat inadequate in size…..I’ve decided to keep both machines right now as it fits my procrastinatory nature quite well….if I can do subtractive manufacturing AND additive manufacturing, they really add up to nothing? (crappy dad joke!)

I’ll hopefully update a little more often, there’s little information out there about these D9’s, maybe what I post will help some of you decide to buy, maybe not?