What's new
VORON Design

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members!

LDO Trident 250, complete 3D printer beginner

Part 9

The printer is done, but I feel one of the best part of a VORON printer is the ability to modify and personalize it. There a tons of mods you can do, and while I’ve done a few there are lots more that I’d like to do some day.

It’s a wonderful feeling to augment the printer with parts made by the printer itself.



Flipping over the printer to access the electronics apartment is a huge pain. There’s a very cool inverted electronics bay mod for Trident printers, but it’s a tall ask for me to redo all the wiring at this point.

But then I found the simple RockNRoll mod that allows you to easily tilt the printer. Just having the rockers doesn’t work as the center of gravity is too high for the Trident, but with these additional stilts it works great.

Removable panels


Having to screw and unscrew the panels when modding or messing around with the toolhead got old fast. Therefore I made the panels easily removable by using magnets and snap latches.

The top is completely magnetic using the Magnetic panels with Magnet Inserts mod and is very easy to remove and replace.

Installation of the corner magnets.

I played around with the amazing snap latches mod to hold the panels together:

The latch closes with a very satisfying thud.

But they’re a bit cumbersome to lock and unlock, so I compromised and used the latches in the middle of the side panels and used magnets for the corners:


I also made the bottom panel magnetic using the bottom panel mag clip mod:


Necessary?No—but it feels nice.

Clicky-clack door


I really didn’t like the stock doors on the printer. I was planning to use the same magnetic and/or latch system for the front door, but I realized it would be very bothersome compared to a door you can swing open.

Luckily I found the Clicky-Clack Fridge Door mod that replaces the split panels with a full panel door and that can swing open, provides a better seal than the stock doors, and can easily be removed. It may not win any beauty awards, but it sure is functional.

Angry cam


The mod I most appreciate is probably having an integrated camera. It’s great to be able to just glance at my phone to see how the print is going, instead of having to go down to the basement to check.

I used the Angry CAM USB mod to mount a small camera module in the front of the printer, above the doors.The camera itself showed up in Mainsail and to my relief it worked immediately.To configure resolution you can alter crowsnest.conf like so:

[cam 1]
mode: ustreamer                         # ustreamer - Provides mjpg and snapshots. (All devices)
resolution: 2592x1944                   # widthxheight format
max_fps: 15                             # If Hardware Supports this it will be forced, otherwise ignored/coerced.

To see what resolution and fps the camera supports, you can take a look in ~/printer_data/logs/crowsnest.log.

I used the MJPEG IP Camera integration to get the feed into Home Assistant, using as the URL and made a quick dashboard for the printer:


Can you smell what the rock is cooking?!

I should probably rework this and all other Home Assistant dashboards one day…

The mount works well, but the camera is far from perfect. It’s good enough for checking in on the print, but a more clear view would’ve been nice.The focus isn’t working well, the colors are off, and I don’t see the whole build plate.Worse, the toolhead often covers up the print so I can’t see if it’s still printing well.

I won’t do anything about it right now, but in the future I’ll probably try to replace it with something else.

Smart filament sensor


Bed adhesion and first layer problems are annoying, but they can be mitigated by watching the first layer go down and if it goes badly you don’t lose that much time.

Something much more annoying is when the filament tangles.According to the internet it “should never happen”, but it has happened with four different spools from different manufacturers and it sucks when the print fails multiple hours in.

See this? This damned spool ruined 4 prints in a row for me. It’s not a real knot, but it’s tangled hard enough that the extruder couldn’t pull it free, and it started to grind down the filament instead of extruding it.

Fed up, I ordered Bigtreetech’s Smart Filament Sensor V2.0 that can detect both running out of filament and these “knotted” spools.

There are some nice mounts for it, but finding a good mounting point was difficult.I ended up moving the spool to the side of the printer, and routing the cable through the back panel:


One difficulty was that the wire was just a tad too short. I got it to reach, but just barely .I couldn’t route the cables to make the underside pretty… But meh.

The Octopus has dedicated ports for the two BTT connectors.

To setup Klipper I used this code:

[filament_switch_sensor filament_sensor_switch]
switch_pin: ^PG12
pause_on_runout: True
M117 Insert detected
M117 Runout detected
SET_DISPLAY_TEXT MSG="Runout detected!"

[filament_motion_sensor filament_sensor_motion]
switch_pin: ^PG13
detection_length: 10 # ellis recommends to start at 10mm, could maybe adjust this?
extruder: extruder
pause_on_runout: True
M117 Insert detected
M117 Runout detected
SET_DISPLAY_TEXT MSG="Runout detected!"

You also need proper PAUSE/RESUME macros. I just copied the macros from Ellis’ print tuning guide.

I tested it by holding the filament during the print, trying to simulate a knot in the filament. This worked, but damn was it HARD. The extruder really does have force behind it.

Since installing the sensor it has already saved multiple prints. For sure a huge quality-of-life improvement, and feels like a must-have.

Flex plate stops

Aligning the flex plate isn’t too much of a pain, but adding some flex plate stops makes the process easier.

To fit it at the back I removed the now unused z-endstop (I use Tap instead).

Gridfinity mounts


I’ve been slowly easing into Gridfinity—a free and open organization system.So naturally I wanted to add some some holders to the printer.

I used a combination of top and bottom holders.

Meshed panels


Adding meshes for the panels might be one of the prettiest mods you can do—and I think it’s very pretty—but that’s not why I did it. I added it as a safety measure against my kids (or me) inserting something like a screwdriver inside the electronics while the printer is running.

I didn’t do any fancy filament swapping prints, I just printed the meshes and glued them onto the backs of the panels. It works.

Galileo 2


I replaced the Clockwork 2 extruder with the Galileo 2.

This wasn’t exactly needed, I just thought it would be fun as building the Clockwork was one of the most interesting parts of the build, and this planetary gears thing looked pretty interesting. And the FOMO kicked in as I was following the discussion online, with people hyping about it but not being able to find a kit.So when I happened to find one I couldn’t help myself.

I was planning to make a separate post only about the build, but the build was surprisingly very quick so I think it works if I include it in this blog post.

I was worried about the quality of my printed parts, but they fit well.
The planetary gears.
Time to shove the motor into place.
The drive gear is installed.

The only difficulty I encountered when assembling the extruder itself was to align the drive gear. It touched the printed part, and I was worried my prints came out all wrong .The manual says that you can push down the carrier shaft, but I had to disassemble it and realign it before attaching the motor. After the reassembly it luckily aligned properly.

There were no issues mounting the extruder onto Tap or into the Stealthburner either. The LDO toolhead PCB fit without having to use spacers, although closing the lid was very tight.

Galileo 2 fits well on the printed Tap.

The biggest pain point was the wiring management (yet again). The drag chain mount on the Galileo 2 is higher up than on the Clockwork 2, which meant I had to pull through more wiring to be able reach the PCB.

Opening up the drag chains to pull through more wiring.

I really don’t enjoy opening up the drag chains, it’s just a huge pain. The next time I need to mess with it, I’ll probably go Canbus or Nitehawk and get rid of the annoying chains.

I’ve seen some people complaining that they’ve lost some y-travel, but I don’t understand why. For me the range has been unchanged.

The big question is, does it print better?

It’s a difficult question, because I don’t really know. Maybe it does, but I didn’t make any test prints to really compare. But it’s not an extreme improvement like some people online made me to believe. It’s more an incremental improvement, and the Clockwork 2 would honestly be good enough for me.

I do miss the latch of the Clockwork 2, but I don’t think I’ll switch back right now.Even small improvements to extrusion quality is nice.

Purge bucket & CNC Tap

The kit comes with a steel brush and references the Decontaminator Purge Bucket & Nozzle Scrubber mod that I was quite excited for.

Unfortunately, Tap decreases the range of motion for the toolhead so that the nozzle no longer can reach back behind the bed:

This is as far back the nozzle can go. As you can see, it doesn’t reach the (now unused) z endstop, and there’s no room for a purge bucket / nozzle scrubber.

There are some things I could do:

  • Ditch Tap and use Klicky probe instead.
  • Replace the printed Tap with a CNC Tap.
    The Chaoticlab CNC Voron Tap v2 should save around 4mm in the y-axis while Vitalii’s version should save around 1.4mm.
  • Sensorless XY homing might also give back some range.
  • Moving the bed is a theoretical solution, but that seems difficult to me.

I bought a Chaoticlab CNC Voron Tap, but had I known about the sensorless homing I might have tried that out first.

Installation was straightforward, I just had to be mindful of these things:

  1. Grease the rails.
  2. Apply threadlocker to the screws.
  3. I had to switch the wiring in the Tap–PCB cable.
  4. Use ~!PG15 instead of ^PG15 in the probe config.

But—and here’s the big but—it’s not compatible with LDO’s X/Y Endstop PCB board:

There’s nothing to press the X Endstop switch anymore.

To make this work I’ll have to add an X Endstop to the toolhead (there’s a dedicated mount for it), which is fine. There’s a X Endstop connector in the toolhead PCB… But I don’t see how to get that signal out from LDO’s breakout board in the electronics compartment (it takes it from the X/Y Endstop PCB).

That feels like a lot of effort… And I told myself I would not drag more wires through the drag chain, so I gave up on the mod for now. I’ll revisit this when I move to an umbilical setup, where I plan to move the X and Y endstops anyway to get rid of the drag chains.

But that’s a larger project for the future, at the moment I’m content.

Back in no time.

last words of William S. Burroughs
Part 10

The build is going well and the printer is printing tons of random stuff and I’m generally in awe of how cool the printer is.

But there’s one thing that sucks: it’s damn loud.

I knew that it wouldn’t be silent, but I wasn’t prepared for this kind of noise.

Silent controller fans

The very first mod I made (even before my first print) was to replace the LOUD skirt fans with silent Noctua FN-A6x25. When I say the fans were loud, I mean that they were incredibly damn loud. I don’t see how anyone could be near the printer with fans this loud for a prolonged period of time.

Maybe I’m just sensitive, but I digress.

You can run PWM fans, but I didn’t see the point so I went with the simple 3-pin variant.The fans will fit as they are and I only made some small tweaks:

  1. Used the 12V selection jumper for the fan output on the Octopus.
  2. Converted the 3-pin cable to a 2-pin JST connector, and used the existing fan PCB to split the Octopus output. (You can ignore the yellow RPM speed signal cable.)

The connection looks like this:

The fans are connected to the PCB splitter using low-noise adapters. It’s important to move the jumper for the PCB FAN connector.
I altered the extension cables that came with the kit because it leaves the fans intact and I can control the speed using the included low-noise adapters (I used the ultra-low-noise adapters). I didn’t have a compatible 3-pin splitter for the fans so I used the PCB I had on hand.

I also took the opportunity to cleanup the wiring and place the fans on the other side, closer to the Raspberry Pi:

The wiring looks pretty neat. I hope I don’t have to mess with it in a long time.

Note from the future: I’ve been writing these posts out of order, and I’ve had to mess with the wiring a bit.

You could do something smart with the fan management, but I no longer hear the fans so I just leave them on all the time. This is how I set that up in printer.cfg:

[fan_generic controller_fan]
## Controller fan - FAN2
pin: PD12
kick_start_time: 0.5
max_power: 1.0

# Set the controller fan to be on from startup.
# Speed is controlled by noctua low-noise adapter.
[delayed_gcode controller_fan_boot]
initial_duration: 1.0
SET_FAN_SPEED FAN=controller_fan SPEED=1.0

Nevermore fans

Another annoyingly loud part was the fans on the Nevermore filter. I could try to reduce the fan speeds, but that would also reduce the effectiveness of the filtering which I’m reluctant to do.

Then I found an issue discussing that the plenum lid makes the fans loud and weak because it restricts the airflow. I can only confirm that it made a noticeable difference. It’s by no means quiet like the Noctua fans, but now it’s similar in noise level to the hotend and partcooling fans.

It’s ugly because the prints don’t match, but it’s much quieter (and more effective).

Loud stepper noise

Another really annoying noise was the steppers.

The first problem was them being noisy while idle.This was solved by adding stealthchop:

stealthchop_treshold: 999999

But it was still really loud when moving, especially the xy steppers were super annoying.

This seems to be a common issue with some 0.9° steppers and I tried manage this with various config settings:

  1. Lower run_current from 0.8 to 0.6 for x- and y-stepper motors.
    This drastically lowered noise during movement.It’s not silent and it’s still too loud, but it really helped.
    Some have suggested that raising run_current might help as well, but for me that just made things worse.
  2. Increased microsteps.
    microsteps: 128 on xy
    As long as the MCU can handle it there should be no downsides(?), and it does help with lowering noise.
  3. I tried interpolate: true, but I didn’t notice any improvements.

While things mostly weren’t that bad anymore, at certain speeds and certain angles the noise was still way too jarring for me to leave it alone. And it wasn’t just too high speeds, sometimes decreasing the speed made it worse!

77dB is loud! This was from long diagonal movement during (non-first layer) solid infill, which was one of the movements that generated the most noise.

So I gave in and ordered two Wantai 42BYGHM810 steppers from Aliexpress that according to the linked discussion should be much quieter. (1.8° degree steppers should generally be much better too.)

After waiting quite a while, the motor I got had the correct label of 42BYGHM810 but marked as 1.8°, despite being sold as a 0.9°. The joy of Aliexpress sometimes…

But it does seem that it is a 0.9° motor, and it was just badly labeled.

Swapping the motors was very easy, just loosen the belts a bit and I could pull them out. With some Molex Micro-Fit 3.0 4-Pin connectors (and some crimping…) I got it to run with a run_current: 1.1 and it’s so much quieter!

The motors run at 52dB in the same conditions as the LDO motors, which is really quiet. I can’t understate how large a 20dB difference truly is. The 63dB peak was from the filament getting pulled from the spool.

Is it silent?

Of course, the printer isn’t nearly as quiet as my water cooled computer—how could it? But these changes have made the printer much quieter, which is important to me as I’m quite sensitive to noise.

It’s still a bit noisy—too much if I want to sit in silence and ponder a difficult problem—but it’s silent enough so I can have it running in the background while I’m working. I’ll probably pause it if I’m in a call, and I won’t have it running all the time during work hours. (The printer is in my office, right behind me.)
How you are enjoying the BTT smart filament sensor2?
On mine the filament often can't be inserted as it get stuck right after the sensor. And it increases the drag quite a lot.
How you are enjoying the BTT smart filament sensor2?
On mine the filament often can't be inserted as it get stuck right after the sensor. And it increases the drag quite a lot.

It's been pretty solid for me.

I haven't had any issue with inserting filament, in fact I've had more problem getting it through the Galileo where I often need to cut the filament to get it to load.

It does increase the drag, but not sure how many issues that cause?

I've been saved by it a handful of times, and I've had it signal an error once (today actually), but I couldn't find any knot or issue with the filament. It kept signaling so I had to disable it during that print, but the print after that it worked as normal.
Part 11

The left POM nut got ground down, making the bed fall down.

After 600 hours, the printer met it’s first major failure. I know I earlier described how the extruder starter skipping in a big way, but that was just some filament getting stuck in the extruder. This time a part physically broke down.

What happened was that the rod on one of the Z-motors started to grind down the POM nut that holds up the bed:


It did this so much that the threads got ground down, making the bed fall down.

The POM nuts are considered expendable items, but a failure after only 600 hours “shouldn’t happen”. But here we are.

Potential issues

I’ve tried asking around, and I’ve rounded up a couple of potential culprits:

  1. Tightening the nuts holding the POM too hard.
  2. A gap between the motor mount and the front extrusion.
    I found is a gap between the motor mount and the front extrusion.

    This should mean that the rod would be tilting backwards at a slight angle, which might mean that the rod would catch against the nut more in that direction, increasing the attrition on the nut.

    The theory meshes well with the unevenly ground threads, especially since I mostly print things at a similar Z-height (as you can see in the first photo where the rod has collected a lot of flakes).

    The threads aren’t ground down evenly.One side is almost completely flat, while the threads are clearly visible on the other.

  3. I used the wrong grease for the rods (POM is self-lubricating, maybe I don’t even need grease?).
  4. Dust/dirt stuck in the nut or on the leadscrew.
  5. An issue with the LDO kit.

    Someone in the VORON Discord said that this is a well-known problem with LDO Trident kits (sigh, I chose the expensive option to avoid problems like these…).

    The Z-motor I have is LDO-42STH40-1684CL300T.I don’t know what kind of POM nut I have (it’s black and it came with the LDO kit…)


I don’t know the actual cause of this, but I’ve done my best to address the potential issues described above. I’ve loosened the nuts on the POM nut a bit, I’ve adjusted the motor mount, and I’ve tried to clean the leadscrews (with a toothpick of all things). In the future I’ll try to avoid the grease as well.

I complained to 3DJake where I bought the kit, and they’re sending me a replacement leadscrew including a POM nut. It’s shipping from China so the wait is very long.In the meantime I bought a few replacement leadscrew nuts (TR8*4, not the TR8*2).

Replacing the nuts weren’t that hard, but I hope it’ll take more than 600 hours until the next major issue.

(I’ve already started seeing dust on the leadscrew… I’ll probably replace it when the replacement arrives and hope it’ll get better.)
Part 12

It’s finally done™. I’ve built a VORON that prints reliably and I’ve modded it enough to be able to leave it alone for a while, so I think it’s time to wrap up this build series with a little retrospective.

Building the printer was really fun and rewarding

I’ve always seen myself as a software person instead of a hardware person. But I must admit, assembling the printer was a very fun and rewarding experience.

Seeing how you go from bags of bits and pieces to a fully functional printer, and knowing that I—someone clueless about hardware—put everything together, is an awesome feeling.

And to then mod the printer—to print out parts to modify and enhance the printer—was also very cool and one of the best parts of this project. I think I enjoyed the building experience so much that I was seeking out more mods just to extend that sensation.

There’s so much to learn

Even though I’ve tried to include as much details as possible in this blog series, there are still many things I left out that you need to learn if you’re new to 3D printing like I am. For example:
  • Klipper & G-code configuration
  • Slicer management and the thousands of settings
  • Filament selection, stuck filament, wet filament, filament tuning…
You can absolutely start from zero with a VORON like I did, just realize that there’s a lot to learn, and building the printer is only the beginning of the journey.

Take it slow and ask for help, and I’m sure you could do it too.

Some modding is required

Okay, you can use the printer as-is. But in my mind some modding is required to get the most out of it:
  1. HEPA filter seems like a must.
    Sure, there are crazy people who even print ABS in their bedroom without an enclosure—but come on. Your health is the most important thing, you should take better care of it.
  2. A smart filament sensor saves you so much grief.
There are a lot of other great mods too, but I concede they’re not required.If you’re building a Trident I’d at least consider these mods as well:
  1. Removable top panel.
  2. Some sort of camera (maybe not the Angry CAM).
  3. RockNRoll (or inverted electronics, but maybe plan for that from the start).
(Modding is also one of the most fun parts, feel free to go nuts!)

Issues with the kit

Overall, the printer and kit was good and I haven’t had many issues with it. I did however have two larger issues:
  1. The printer was loud.
  2. The POM nuts wore out.
This isn’t a knock on the printer design (I think). Maybe it was an issue with some of the parts I received in the LDO Trident kit, but I don’t know. It could also be plain old user error.

Future plans

One might think that the printer is complete and that I won’t touch it anymore, but nooo. Oh no, I’ve a bunch of large mods I want to do with the printer:
  1. Replace the camera with a better one (maybe also a nozzle camera?).
  2. Remove drag chains and go umbilical.
  3. Complete the purge bucket mod.
  4. Try the inverted electronics mod.
  5. Replace Stealthburner with the Xol toolhead for better PLA cooling.
  6. Multimaterial with the Enraged Rabbit Carrot Feeder.
But before that I’ve identified a fatal flaw: I only have a single printer.

What should I do if I find that I’m missing a printed part when I’ve disassembled the printer to mod it? What if I break something? And if I’m doing a long mod the printer will be down and I can’t print things for any other project.

This clearly isn’t a sustainable solution—I need a second printer.

And isn’t that the best compliment one can give? That you haven’t even finished it yet, but you’re already pining for another one?