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tripodmaker delta accuracy

In the past few days, I was frequently asked about the TripodMaker’s delta 3D printing Accuracy. In short, it is great and precise. In reality, it’s not as straightforward as you might think to quantify it with a number.

When talking about the TripodMaker 3D printing Accuracy, this is related to two things when it comes down to a delta 3D printer. A first obvious one is the hardware and extrusion process with its tolerances. A second, but less obvious one, is the software, so let’s start here.


Software has a big impact on how the TripodMaker moves. The adapted Marlin Firmware includes the TripodMaker dimensions. Based on known dimensions, the Tripodmaker can calculate where the nozzle is for a certain motor position. If the dimensions in the software however don’t fit with the dimensions of the physical TripodMaker, the movement might be inaccurate.

Bad built Delta printers might suffer from inaccurate x-y dimensions or un-flat moves. For flat and accurate movement, it is therefore critical to teach the TripodMaker the correct frame distances. For an assembled TripodMaker, these will be fine-tuned for you. A DIY kit might need some fine tuning once assembled. Based on our manual, this is piece of cake.


Every part that interacts with the 3D printing process, has its own tolerances. The final precision of the nozzle position is a combination of those tolerances on the machine.  Also the extrusion process has its variances. Plastic expands after extrusion and shrinks after cooling down, and this is related to print speed, temperatures and other factors.

There is indeed a quantifiable amount of error related to some of the parts. For example a stepper motor has a certain deviation on its angles. Harder to quantify is for example slack on the timing belts, misalignments and plastic deformation. On top of that, the way of how a delta robot moves, complicates the insight in resolution.

For a delta robot, the middle of the printer bed has the lowest x-y-resolution. This is because a small motion of the motor results in big movement of the printer head. Away from the centre, the x-y-resolution is the highest. This is because two of the three beams are nearly horizontal, and a big movement of the vertical slides, results in very small movement.

I created to small hand drawn animations, just to give you a physical view of what I just tried to describe =) Left the central movement, right the edge movement.

The layer height accuracy only differs slightly over the print area as this is related to the most vertical beam. Layer height itself is mainly related to nozzle diameter and is typically 30% to 80% of the nozzle diameter.


 Claiming that a printer can keep a 0.05 mm 3Dprinting accuracy in all directions, based on motor specs only (what is mostly done), is not correct and misleading for a delta 3D printer like the TripodMaker. The resulting accuracy is a combination of hardware, software and extrusion.

The TripodMaker has a rigid high quality designed structure. With fine-tuned software, it can deliver accuracies below 0.1mm, but that is just kind of experimentally based.

Some pics added at the bottom, just to show you some performances.

That’s it for today,


The Pink Panter Woman (with the shaved armpit) 

tripodmaker woman


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Today is a big day: The TripodMaker v2 is up and running! Check out the Video! It looks great and performs as the best and will be shown as a showcase printer for the Groningen Maker Faire.

Last Friday, my final pieces arrived for this build. During verification of the parts, I noticed some of them where not according to the drawings. (see picture, the one on the right is slightly bended at the end, resulting in a gap of 3mm when mounted on the aluminum profiles) Luckily, parts from the earlier TripodMaker v1 prototype could be re-used, but this meant disassembling the v1… which was kind of extra work that I didn’t took into account.

After the strip-down of the TripodMaker v1 and build-up of the v2, I am proud to present to you some new pictures and a short video of the new TripodMaker v2 3D printer. But first some additional info on the printers New Design and our new Automatic Calibration feature. (soon available on the Gallery page).


This contains a revised version of the TripodMaker frame, the new Alu-extruder and the new Alu-hot-end-skid. Throughout the developments, focus was mainly on the beauty of simplicity, while not compromising performance.

The frame received an additional beam at the bottom. This implies a higher rigidity than the previous version, while still looking elegant. The TripodMaker v1 is now 1 meter tall and has printer height of 40cm. It now also features a circular printer bed that fully uses the reachable area with the delta technology and a beautifully laser etched logo on our control box.

Tripodmaker Classic V1

The extruder is now equipped with a 5:1 reduction gearbox which creates bigger torque to push the filament through the nozzle. The outgoing axle of the reduction gearbox is supported with a ball bearing, comparable to the Airtripper’s V3 design. It is made out of high quality aluminum parts, which will not crack when the load gets high during fast printing.


 No need for calibration of the printer bed with this tool. Before every build, the touch probe feels the printer bed surface and compensates software wise for deviations of the bed surface. A must have in your 3D printing dreams! Check out the calibration procedure on the video below!

That’s it for the updates of the day. Looking forward to see some of you on the Groningen Maker Faire next weekend!