Among many different 3D printer concepts, one important concept is the motion system. Two types of motion systems that go through a lot of debate are the CoreXY vs. HBot systems. Now, these are pretty different from Cartesian 3D printers.
With a Cartesian printer, you get movement on the print head in the X-axis. As for the print bed, it goes on the Y-axis. As for the systems, I will discuss the print head moves in both X and Y axes while the print bed stays in place.
Now, let’s get through the whole thing to understand a little bit more about the CoreXY and HBot systems.
About the CoreXY
The CoreXY is a movement mechanism that you can see in 3D printers. It decides how the printer will move in the X, Y, and Z axes in its working space.
This mechanism uses two stepper motors for moving in these axes. At the same time, the traditional Cartesian mechanism uses one for each axis. The CoreXY is an improved system compared to the Cartesian movement system.
In a CoreXY system, you get to have several different planes. This opens up the possibilities for free belt movement. This also helps prevent twists when the motors are moving in the same direction.
Also, the motors used on this system are stationary. So, you don’t have to worry about too many moving parts when using this system. Since they don’t move around too much, the inertia is not that much, providing faster acceleration performance.
Another great thing about this concept is the straightforward implementation. All you need for this to work are three structural plates. They can nest during the operation and provide you with the results.
It also has excellent flexibility for the material types that you can use for it. The design’s pretty easy to implement using different materials. So, you don’t need to worry about getting a particular material or going through a tough time constructing it.
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Things to consider the CoreXY
Till now, you got to see how this mechanism helps you in getting desired results. However, there are some weaknesses to this one as well. While they may not be that serious, it’s still important to consider these issues. So, let’s check out the weaknesses you get in this method.
- The first issue is with the movement system mechanism. This system uses the belt to get the job done. While there is no issue with that fact, aligning the belts before use is an issue. Ideally, you have to make the belts parallel so that the mechanism can work.
- The belt tension is also a major concern in this system. As the mechanism heavily relies on the belt function, the slightest error in the tension can impact the printing results.
- Also, when the belt wears down, it can make the printing process less accurate, which you don’t want. So, you have to pay close attention to the belt condition.
- While assembling the printer, you have to make sure that you are maintaining a perfect cube. Without that, you will end up with flawed prints that are skewed.
- Usually, the CoreXY system or mechanism comes as a kit. So, you have to go through a bit of the assembly process to use this mechanism. Now, this can be pretty troublesome in the case of some 3D printers out there.
There isn’t much of a drawback in terms of performance, as you can see. So, if you can get past these adversities related to a CoreXY system, you will have a great experience with the CoreXY mechanism.
Where to get a CoreXY printer?
Usually, there are two sources you can get a CoreXY printer from. You can either print the individual parts or assemble the whole thing. Or you can find many CoreXY printers out there from different brands. Now, depending on what you want and your purpose, you can make that decision.
For those planning to build their printer, you can try out Thingiverse and look for different CoreXY models. It’s just like printing the regular 3D models that you always do.
As for the ones who want to buy, you can find many options online. Brands like Creality, Tronxy, Creativity, Two Trees are pretty popular. For the cost, you can expect a decent amount of cost for this kind of printer.
To make things easier for you, I will go through a section of the pros and cons of the CoreXY. You can consider this a quick recap of the good and bad about the CoreXY mechanism.
Pros of the CoreXY
- You get quick printing performance with high-quality prints
- The build volume is quite significant for printing larger models with ease
- This movement mechanism provides better stability compared to other movement systems
- Also, the gantry becomes pretty lightweight with this concept
- The printing is very accurate with this movement mechanism
Cons of the CoreXY
- You will have to pay a lot of attention to the belt and its condition
- This requires a lot of power
- There may be quite a lot of printing failures with this printer
Now, if you are wondering where you can find such a printer, I have got you covered there as well.
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H-bot is the machine setup for your printer with a unique design. It’s in H-shape, which is where it gets the name from. There is a total of six-axis in this setup that you can use for various purposes.
While the design is pretty straightforward, it has some flaws that I will discuss. Having said that, if you can build the thing perfectly, you will end up with something unique. A flawless design of this mechanism will give you the excellent precision that you will love to have in your 3D printer.
Something that makes this design worthwhile is how easy it is to build this. You will only be using a single belt while making this, so your work gets much easier comparatively.
Another this is the fact that it’s pretty affordable. It’s also quite lightweight in design which can be a great positive to have in your 3D printer setup. So, if you are looking for something that doesn’t take too much money to build, this can be a pick.
Having said that, I suggest checking out the drawbacks of the H-Bot system as well. It’s important to consider them because they have a lot to play here.
Things to consider the the H-bot
There are quite a lot of things that you have to consider when going with this build. Yes, it’s simple and easy to build, but there are some flaws here and there right from the beginning. Let’s go through them one by one.
- This system can be a bit unstable, especially in the case of the axes moving. Simply put, the whole system flexes a little when there is movement on the axes. This results in getting poor quality on the prints
- You will need a lot of different anchors, idlers, and a bit of tension on the belt path
- There are a lot of movements in this system that can have a huge impact on the accuracy of the printer
- Correcting the flaws that you get with the design of this setup is quite costly. The parts are typically from Japan or Germany, which don’t come at a cheap price tag. They have to be high-end so, they will be pretty expensive to have
If you are still interested in this mechanism, you can go for it. Sure, there is nothing wrong with trying this one out. Also, if you can pull it off perfectly, you will end up with an exact system. It’s pretty good for beginners because it’s so easy to understand.
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Where to get H-bot printers?
Unlike the CoreXY printers, the scenario differs from the H-bot printers. Here you may have to lean towards building an H-bot printer than buying one heavily. You can hardly find many options or choices for H-bot printers from reliable brands. This is why it’s better to go for a printable version.
For printable options, you can always try out websites like Thingiverse. There, you should find quite a lot of different designs and options for H-bot printers. Download the files, print them and assemble the printer. The process is much more straightforward than building a CoreXY printer. That’s why in the case of an H-bot printer, it’s better to build it yourself.
However, if you don’t have any 3D printer to print these parts, you have no option but to buy one. In that case, you have to spend quite a lot of time finding a suitable option.
To give you a quick recap, here are the pros and cons of the mechanism so you can take a look at it. Let’s get through them very quickly.
Pros of the H-bot
- The system is super easy to understand and implement
- It’s very affordable to setup
- With proper build, you can get excellent precision
- It’s a very high-performance mechanism method
Cons of the H-bot
- There are some design flaws
- It may need a lot of correction that can be costly
- The system can be a bit unstable
Whatever the case may be, it’s still worth a try. You can give it a shot and see how that works out for you. However, if you struggle between the CoreXY and H-Bot systems, I can help you out with that.
I will go through an in-depth comparison between these two systems now. This will help you decide between the two and choose one system for your printer. So, let’s get going.
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CoreXY vs. H-Bot
Well, both these movement systems are based on the same Cartesian system. Even though the base is the same, there are specific differences.
Lower torque and better durability
First of all, the belts and pulleys in a CoreXY system turn out to be much longer than the H-bot one. Because of this reason the torque you get on the CoreXY is also a bit lower. If you are wondering, is this a good thing or a bad thing? Then, let me tell you it’s a good thing.
With a lower torque, there won’t be as much rotating force as you would usually get with higher torque. As a result, the belts and pulleys don’t go through much wear and tear. So, you get excellent durability from the belts at the end of everything.
Quality prints and more speed
CoreXY printers will have stepper motors that are firmly fixed. What does this do? Well, this gives the printer put out better print quality. It also helps in maintaining top-notch print quality.
This thing also helps in getting a faster speed on the print compared to an H-bot system. So, altogether you are getting better performance from a CoreXY printer in terms of print quality and speed.
Ease of setup and use
Here, I would have to say H-bot is by far the better choice. It’s super simple to understand and assemble compared to the CoreXY system. You would have to have a deeper insight into the system if you set up the CoreXY system for your 3D printing purposes.
However, in one aspect, they are pretty similar. You have to set both of them ideally to get the best results. If you are setting up the CoreXY system, you have to ensure it’s a perfect square frame. Otherwise, you will end up with prints that have dimension inaccuracy. Some parts of the print will be skewed.
On the other hand, with an H-bot system, you have to make sure all the components on the frame are perfectly aligned. Or you just end up with bad-quality prints of your model.
Getting a perfect alignment on the H-bot setup is more accessible than a CoreXY square setup.
The H-bot system seems to be a cheaper choice in terms of initial costing. You get better affordability on this system in comparison to the CoreXY system. However, there is something you have to consider here.
If you get the perfect alignment and set up on the H-bot system, you may need to go through a bit of correction. These corrections can cost you a lot. Most of the parts you need for the correction are high-end and come from Japan or Germany. So, they are pretty expensive to get your hands on.
So, if you plan to go through this correction process on your H-bot system, it will become much more expensive.
In terms of, availability CoreXY printers are much more common than H-bot printers. You can easily find a lot of options in the CoreXY printer category. In the H-bot printer category, you will have to look for more extended and search hard to find an appropriate option for your needs.
Sometimes, you may even need to rely on 3D printed parts to build your H-bot printer. Because finding one can be quite difficult in itself.
Here are some common questions people often have regarding CoreXY, H-bot printers. Let’s get through them quickly.
- Which printer should you build yourself?
There is no concrete answer to this because it depends on how skillful you are. If you are a beginner and choose to build your printer, then going for H-bot will be a better option.
The reason is that it’s much easier to understand and straightforward to set up. Whereas with CoreXY, you may get better performance and quality, setting this up perfectly is quite difficult. Without a perfect setup, the results will be awful anyway.
So, if you have skills, go for the CoreXY; otherwise, choose H-bot.
- Is momentum bad for printers?
The answer is yes. When there is a lot of momentum on the printer’s hot end, you get two issues. It creates a lot of extra shadows whenever you print things with sharper corners.
Another issue is the skipping step factor. Because of a higher acceleration, the motors tend to move the gantry that can also impact the precision. Also, any movement in the gantry can cause the skipped step issue.
All in all, choosing between CoreXY vs. H-bot won’t be the easiest decision of your life. However, it won’t be the hardest either if you consider some general factors here and there.
Overall, you get better performance from the CoreXY printers considering every aspect. Other than that, you can consider whether you are buying one or building one.
If you plan to build one as a beginner, then choosing the H-bot system will work out the best for you. It’s easy to understand and develop. It’s also suitable for affordability.
And if you are planning to buy one, then CoreXY is a better option because there are plenty of options you can choose from, which is not the case for H-bot printers.