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Effect of lowering mass on V2 toolhead/ improvements to print quality


Active member
UPDATE: After playing around with a CF tube and skeletonized Aluminum, I can pretty much conclusively state that all the lower mass y options do absolutely nothing to improve print quality for normal use. If you are pushing every last ounce of speed out of a printer, lower mass means steppers can go faster before stalling out. That's pretty much it. I honestly think that any perceived quality improvements from lowering the weight on my tool head were due to the extra tuning I did every time I made a change to the printer and the fact that I have noticed a poorly tuned printer will "wear in" to some degree as well if you continue to print with it.


I noticed an improvement in print quality from going from my Dragon SF afterburner to a Revo afterburner, going from a Revo afterburner to a Revo stealthburner, and going from a standard cable run to a SB2040 CAN board with just 4 wires to the tool head.

For all changes, I was effectively lowering the mass of the tool head/ gantry system.

This got me thinking if lowering the mass further could continue the trend (and I know some people - "chase grams") so specifically in regards to switching to Titanium stealthburner fasteners (~20g lighter) or swapping the X extrusion to a carbon fiber tube or skeletonized aluminum frame (another ~60-70g), and/ or titanium gantry fasteners.

Looking for input from people/ Devs who have done these kinds of mods, i.e.:

a) The mods, they look Gucci but do nothing.
b) Eh, not much (maybe a placebo effect), like maybe makes it easier to tune the printer.
c) Make a considerable difference - but only in specific circumstances (i.e. ultra high-speed printing) so normal prints look exactly the same, but my 3-minute benchy went from absolute junk to just meh.
d) Well worth the money for almost all use cases, every couple of percent of mass decreased makes input shaper work that much better, etc.

For context - I'm not explicitly looking to print super fast. My goal is to get the absolute best print quality possible so normally I'm printing fairly slow (well for Voron speeds) - 40-100mm/s at 2000-4000m/s^2.

If there is a particular mod that is a must-do for quality, please also let me know.

Thanks in advance.
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So the toolhead itself is moved by X any Y, but Y has to move the X profile, cable chain, loom, X rail(s),... My first effort would be to lower the weight of the stuff being moved during Y movements so as to reduce the difference between X and Y.

If you're using 2 MGN9 rail for X movement, some switch to using only one, see

There are files available for SB to use a single MGN9 rail instead of a MGN12.

Then Canbus allows to get rid of all the cable chains and go umbilical.

This is going to sound stupid but replacing all steel fasteners with titanium fasteners will save you a lot of weight.
I already run CAN bus (SB2040) with 1 MGN12 rail on both my V2s, but that's some pretty clear evidence that reducing to a single high-quality MGN9 might be even better.

I decided to order some LDO MGN9s and some Fysec carbon fiber tubes. The total mass savings on the X-axis is projected to be 160g on my 350mm printer. That seems meaningful.

Can't seem to easily get titanium screws (literally can't find anything over 30m M3) - I'll wait till Whoppingpochard's store gets these back in stock.
I don't know if it was Kapman's who mentioned the Ti screws or some other guy on YT, but apparently it is a thing. I confess I haven't looked into it.

Carbon fiber is tricky because it's hard to get a straight one, is what I read. I think that's why Vez and others are going the lightened aluminum extrusion route.
I know Ti screws are a thing. Whopping sells them - https://www.lightweightlabware.com/shop/p/preorder-all-titanium-screw-set-for-voron-stealthburner

Kapman calls it out in his 10 Stealthburner tips video, tip #2.

Fysec has both, but since I want to do the MGN9 (seems like more weight savings than the extrusion replacement itself) and am a little concerned about the adjustability of skeletonized Al, went with this CF instead: https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256...9GW81eM&gatewayAdapt=glo2usa&_randl_shipto=US
Tilin9 are you happy with the CF you installed?
Sadly I was not. I actually already ditched the CF for the skeletonized aluminum.

The CF tubes didn't really add any benefit (no meaningful change in IS graphs, no noticeable improvement in print quality - maybe something slight, could be placebo) and were generally a pain to work with - I needed to create custom adapters for them. I also wound up with aluminum screws and used 8mm aluminum ones for the MG12 rail. When trying to remove the rail to clean it (as my IS still had some weird X artifacts), I managed to break off some screws in the CF. I then got paranoid about trying to drill out the screws since CF dust is dangerous - yes, it probably would have been minimal, and with proper cleanup and PPE would have been fine, but the whole overall experience soured me to the CF tubes. The only good thing I can say is that I did not experience any "loss of rigidity" with the CF tube over the stock extrusion, but I'm also not using or planning to use TAP.

The skeletonized had same level of change - i.e. nothing really noticeable, but technically lighter and so much less hassle. My fear about adjustability was unfounded as there is enough play in the clearance holes for a few mm in either direction. The skeletonized Al came with 5mm brass headsets for the provided adapter .stls making installation quick and easy. I decided to use 4mm steel screws for the MG12 (mainly since I had them), although even if I managed to break off my 8mm aluminum screws, I could have easily got them out by just turning them on the back with a pair of pliers.

While my new V2 prints really well at "stock" speeds, I'm still unhappy with my X IS curve and get ringing in X when I try to go super fast. Surpringly the Y is fine. I'm trying the Annex Engineering Z mounts (similar to the GESC Z mod), in an attempt to make things more rigid, and after that, probably just replacing the X linear rail - it's a genuine LDO so I will be a little peeved if that turns out to be the problem. The rail seems fine when I took it out, cleaned/ regreased it, and validated it on it's own.