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Concept for making closed loop belt out of open loop

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MOST Delta filament as guide.JPG This page was part of an MTU course MSE4777 OA and MSE4777 OB/MSE5777/EE4777/EE5777: Open-source 3-D printing

Please leave comments using the discussion tab. The course runs in the Fall semester. It is not open edit.

Concept for closed loop belt for Delta Printer[edit]

Project developed by Ngtanike (talk) 05:35, 11 December 2015 (PST)
This OSAT has been designed but not yet tested - use at own risk.

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Using a closed loop belt has significant advantages over an open loop belt.

  1. Carriage assembly can be much simpler.
  2. The printer can be used for other purposes involving rotatory motion, instead of linear, such as centrifuge, tensile testing, etc.

The proposed system uses ninjaflex to print a belt extension piece which will enable the printer to work in 2 modes: 3D printer mode and free rotation mode.

  • This system converts an open loop to a closed loop.
concept for open to closed belt

Materials Needed[edit]

  1. Ninjaflex or similar flexible filament.

Items to 3D Print[edit]

  1. A belt extension piece of ninjaflex to be glued to the belt.
  2. Spacer for carriage

Thingiverse link


  1. Print the belt extension piece of ninjaflex with high accuracy and 100% infill.
  2. Firmly glue one side of the belt to the belt extension piece.
  3. Pull the belt tight around the pulleys.
  4. Clamp the belt and the belt extension piece together and glue them.
  5. Inset spacer between the belt extension piece and the carriage.
  6. Fix position using a bolt.


Make sure to leave a little or no space after the teeth of the belt while sticking to the inside of the belt extension piece, i.e make sure that a tooth just sticks out from the belt. This will ensure better mating with the pulley.

Disadvantages of this method are:

  1. The belt extension piece requires high resolution which is expensive to manufacture.
  2. A regular 3d printed piece will not mate perfectly and might slip.
  3. Gluing the belt means that it cannot be reused for printing. A new belt would be required every time the belt is removed.
  4. Theoretically, the belt cannot be perfect, the trick is to make sure that the disadvantages do the least harm

Future work and improvements[edit]

  1. A lot of changes have to be made to the athena to make sure that the belt can complete a full rotation and act as closed loop.
  2. A smaller radius on the belt extension piece would ensure better mating with the pulley, however, printing a component that small did not show positive results due to printer resolution.
  3. A belt of lower width, or a wider pulley will enable the use of a clamp in the belt extension piece. This would eliminate the need to glue the belt.
  4. Low tension applications should not have any problems with this system.