SnakeOil-XY Frame

3 minute read

General Notes

The steps pictured next don’t follow the recommendations made by Chip, however, I felt like it made more sense for me. I did the same when building the HyperCube Evolution, and by dividing the assembly in two halves, it is much easier to handle (especially with larger sizes), and you don’t have to work in three dimensions while squaring it up. Also, when tightening the frame for good, the profiles that go in the X direction align themselves.

The most important joint is the Y-Extrusion to the Z-Extrusion, because that will determine the angle of the Z-Axis to the XY-Plane. Therefore, it appeared to make sense to start with this.

Misumi HBLFSN6

  • M8x20mm Button Head Screws are used for blind joints
  • Additional corner pieces (I used Misumi HBLFSN6, the BOM calls for 29 pieces but CAD only has 28, one is extra) need to be installed with M6x14mm bolts
  • The corner pieces interfered with the Drop-In T-Nut, so I had to use ball-loaded ones (pre-load in the extrusions!)
  • If you use T-Nuts that can’t be installed after the end of the profile is closed, install now
  • The M6x12mm Bolts shown in CAD to connect the two 3030 Profiles for the Z-Axis in the left front was too long, so I replaced them with 10mm Bolts.
  • Ensure the profiles can’t twist by clamping it between spare profiles when tightening the blind joints
  • I did not use Misumi HCJ Joints.
  • Check your extrusions prior to assembly for cut accuracy. One of mine was cut slightly angled, which wasted quite some time.
  • Take your time, further success in the printer build depends heavily on the squareness of your frame! Spirit Level and Steel Square are your best friends.

Assembly Steps

Right Structure


Start with the Y-Z Joint and work your way from the middle to the outer frame.

Left Structure


Start once again with the Y-Z Joint, don’t forget the second Z-tower fastened to outer frame using T-Nuts and a washer with the bolt.



Slide the right side into the blind joint bolts of the connecting pieces from the left side. Double check squareness, tighten blind joints gently, attach corner pieces and fasten.

Finished Frame

Linear Rails

At this point, I attached the Rails. I might have to undo these later because of part interference. The BOM for the 180mm version should include enough hardware to fasten it with every hole. Add spring washers to prevent the screws from working loose.

I used the best rail on X, and the worst “gliding” rail on Z. Ensure the carriages can’t fall off using rubber bands or other stoppers.

Linear Rail

The GitHub Release includes a rail aligner jig, but I preferred using a caliper. After checking the fit with the jig, all fitted well. The right Y-Rail is the so called “Preference Rail”, that will be fastened first. The left one needs to be aligned using the XY Gantry and you don’t have to fasten it yet.

Instead of aligning all Z rails using the aluminium extrusion, I used a spirit level. This way, a slightly angled extrusion can be compensated and the rails should run smooth along the whole range of motion.

Miscellaneous components

It makes sense to install other parts at this point, like Z Motor Mount Base Plate, Feet and AC-Inlet, but I don’t have the parts ready and will update you in the next post. Have a good one!